Alan has made an enormous impact on how we view dance, with an extraordinary 60 years of dance criticism and scholarly writings. His acute perceptions, developed through an eager engagement with dance and all the other performing arts, have provided insightful reflections and commentaries on Australia’s constantly changing dance landscape. Alan’s contribution to dance reflects his passion for the art form and its artists. He possesses a generosity of spirit and complementary honesty for which we love and respect him. As a veteran dance and drama writer, he has proactively encouraged and supported emerging dance writers, particularly as co-editor of Brolga—an Australian journal about dance.
We often forget that those who have not danced themselves but have spent a lifetime of intellectual endeavour in the service of dance are fundamental to its ecology. Alan brings an outsider’s eye and insider’s knowledge to the discourse on dance to challenge and provoke us to see dance in diverse ways while affirming our own value and enriching our knowledge of dance, evident in his most recent publication, Australia Dances: Creating Australian Dance 1945—1965.