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Flash Extra, 9-1: Voiceless
Voice Fires Veteran Dance Editor Elizabeth Zimmer

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2006 The Dance Insider

The Village Voice Thursday laid off eight staffers, including Elizabeth Zimmer, dance editor since 1992, reliable sources have confirmed to the Dance Insider. Since being bought by the weekly chain New Times last October, the legendary New York paper -- a pioneer in alternative journalism in the United States -- has seen a steady attrition of veteran staffers, either through lay-offs or resignations. Zimmer, already a seasoned critic when she arrived at the Voice 14 years ago, said she will continue to cover dance for other national and New York media, including the Dance Insider. She also said dance companies seeking coverage or listings in the Voice should send press releases to listings editor Grace Bastidas or arts and culture editor Joy Press. Asked what her dismissal might mean for dance coverage in the Voice -- under Zimmer, a bedrock and indeed necessity for New York dance companies -- Zimmer said only that to her knowledge, there were no plans to lay off staff writer Deborah Jowitt, who provides the bulk of the weekly critical dance coverage in the newspaper. However, the loss of Zimmer -- an in-house editor advocating for dance coverage in the paper beyond its dance review page, now down to one-half page -- could have a major impact in reducing the presence and profile of the New York dance scene in the journal that, particularly for contemporary dance, has been its major chronicler for nearly 50 years.

(To read Elizabeth Zimmer's latest article in the Voice, a review of Mindy Aloff's new "Dance Anecdotes," click here.)

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