Jackson Merilyn2

Merilyn Jackson

Contributor

BSR Contributor Since February 21, 2009

Merilyn Jackson writes on dance for the Philadelphia Inquirer and other publications.

Merilyn Jackson, a dance critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Pointe and Dance Magazine, also writes about food and Eastern European literature.

She was awarded an NEA Critics Fellowship in 2005 and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in 1999 for her novel-in-progress, O Solitary Host. A chapter of that novel, “A Sow of Violence,†appeared in the Massachusetts Review in the Fall 2004 "Food Matters" issue.

In 2012 several of her poems were published in Exquisite Corpse, The Rusty Nail and Broad Street Review, and she attended poetry workshops at Colgate University and Sarah Lawrence College, working with poets Peter Balakian and Tom Lux, respectively.

She likes to say that dance was her first love, but when she discovered writing she began to cheat on dance. Now that she writes about dance, she's made an honest woman of herself, although, she also writes poetry.

By this Author

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A life spent dancing: Manfred Fischbeck on stage with members of Group Motion. (Image courtesy of Group Motion.)
A life spent dancing: Manfred Fischbeck on stage with members of Group Motion. (Image courtesy of Group Motion.)

Remembering Philly dance icon Manfred Fischbeck

Fifty years of Fridays

Manfred Fischbeck passed away on March 17, 2021, but his Philadelphia dance legacy lives on. Merilyn Jackson remembers.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Profiles 5 minute read
The Relâche ensemble in the late 1980s and early 90s: Kathleen Carroll, Chuck Holdeman, Laurel Wyckoff, Doug Mapp, John Dulik, Lloyd Shorter, Helen Carnivale, and Ken Ulansey. (Photo courtesy of Joe Franklin.)
The Relâche ensemble in the late 1980s and early 90s: Kathleen Carroll, Chuck Holdeman, Laurel Wyckoff, Doug Mapp, John Dulik, Lloyd Shorter, Helen Carnivale, and Ken Ulansey. (Photo courtesy of Joe Franklin.)

A dance critic’s musical journey

The relâche summer

With stages dark around the world, dance critic Merilyn Jackson remembers the path of her musical education, rooted in the sounds of Philadelphia.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 5 minute read
Defiant during Rizzo’s last days: Roderick Phifer and Stanley in ‘The Under Way.’ (Image courtesy of BalletX.)
Defiant during Rizzo’s last days: Roderick Phifer and Stanley in ‘The Under Way.’ (Image courtesy of BalletX.)

BalletX presents the Virtual Works & Process Series

Dance for our moment

Originally commissioned to be performed at the Guggenheim, this series of short dance films features BalletX artists finding their way on unexpected stages. Merilyn Jackson reviews.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 3 minute read
Varone’s style shines through the decades with each new ensemble. (Photo by Erin Baiano.)
Varone’s style shines through the decades with each new ensemble. (Photo by Erin Baiano.)

Swarthmore College presents Doug Varone and Dancers in residency

The meaning of the moon

Is style just something you recognize when you see it? Doug Varone and Dancers still have it in a special residency performance at Swarthmore, despite two decades of a changing ensemble. Merilyn Jackson reviews.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 4 minute read
Looking for Hellmut Gottschild: ensemble members of ‘From Zero to Sixty.’ (Photo by Karen M. Smith.)
Looking for Hellmut Gottschild: ensemble members of ‘From Zero to Sixty.’ (Photo by Karen M. Smith.)

The Performance Garage presents ‘From Zero to Sixty,’ a tribute to Helmutt Gottschild

Waiting for Gottschild

Instead of seeing reconstructions of his dances, the expectant audience at this tribute saw a confusion of works that bore no relation to Helmutt Gottschild’s oeuvre, except for one. Merilyn Jackson reviews.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 3 minute read
An instantaneous draw: Nicolás Poggi and Luciano Rosso in ‘Un Poyo Rojo.’ (Photo by Ishka Michocka.)
An instantaneous draw: Nicolás Poggi and Luciano Rosso in ‘Un Poyo Rojo.’ (Photo by Ishka Michocka.)

Philly Fringe 2019: FringeArts presents ‘Un Poyo Rojo’

Fresh off the bench

After touring the world to wild acclaim, Nicolás Poggi and Luciano Rosso finally bring ‘Un Poyo Rojo’ to Philly for the Fringe. Merilyn Jackson reviews.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 3 minute read
Treading carefully with grief: Nichole Canuso’s ‘Sneakers.’ (Photo by Peggy Woolsey.)
Treading carefully with grief: Nichole Canuso’s ‘Sneakers.’ (Photo by Peggy Woolsey.)

Philly Fringe 2019: Nichole Canuso’s ‘Sneakers’

The movement of memory

Choreographer Nichole Canuso returns to work inspired by the loss of her mother with ‘Sneakers,’ her Philly Fringe offering at Theatre Exile. Merilyn Jackson reviews.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 2 minute read
Mayara Pineiro tops the symbolic staircase in Ducker's 'This Divide.' (Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.)
Mayara Pineiro tops the symbolic staircase in Ducker's 'This Divide.' (Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.)

Pennsylvania Ballet presents 'Petite Mort and World Premieres'

Petite Mort, big impact

The Pennsylvania Ballet visited a contemporary favorite and premiered two new works by Andrea Miller and Russell Ducker. Merilyn Jackson reviews.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 4 minute read
This year, Brian Sanders invites you to peer into 'Plunge.' (Image courtesy of Brian Sanders' JUNK.)
This year, Brian Sanders invites you to peer into 'Plunge.' (Image courtesy of Brian Sanders' JUNK.)

Philly Fringe 2018: Brian Sanders’ JUNK’s ‘Plunge’

Water, plastic, and magic

Rain postponed but didn’t dampen the opening night of the latest Fringe extravaganza from Brian Sanders. Merilyn Jackson reviews.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 3 minute read
Jody Kuehner's Cherdonna Shinatra turned out to be a hot mess — figuratively and literally. (Photo courtesy of FringeArts.)
Jody Kuehner's Cherdonna Shinatra turned out to be a hot mess — figuratively and literally. (Photo courtesy of FringeArts.)

FringeArts presents Cherdonna Shinatra's 'Clock That Mug or Dusted'

When drag is a drag

FringeArts brought "female impersonator impersonator" Cherdonna Shinatra's 'Clock That Mug or Dusted' to Philadelphia, but the show left something behind. Merilyn Jackson reviews.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 4 minute read
Courtney Robinson in "Shout." (Photo by Julieanne Harris)
Courtney Robinson in "Shout." (Photo by Julieanne Harris)

Kimmel Center presents Philadanco's 'H-I-S-T-O-R-Y'

Something old, something new

Philadanco's year-end performance looks back at dance 'H-I-S-T-O-R-Y,' and forward at some newer work. Merilyn Jackson reviews.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 4 minute read
Wolves in their own skins. (Photo by Andrew Jordan)
Wolves in their own skins. (Photo by Andrew Jordan)

Kimmel Center presents Christopher Williams and Gregory Spears's 'Wolf-in-skins'

A wolf in man's clothing

The most original dance and music event of this season, the second installation of choreographer/librettist Christopher Williams’ six part dance/opera 'Wolf-in-Skins' is certainly more than human. Merilyn Jackson reviews.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 3 minute read
Subcircle's dancers leave the movements to chance. (Photo courtesy of FringeArts.)
Subcircle's dancers leave the movements to chance. (Photo courtesy of FringeArts.)

FringeArts presents Subcircle's 'HOLD STILL while I figure this out'

Bonne chance!

Dance company Subcircle's 'HOLD STILL while I figure this out' transforms FringeArts' space with a John Cage-like performance. Merilyn Jackson reviews.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 3 minute read
Dancers performed sidesteps, swipes, coffee grinders, and backbends. (Photo by Bicking Photography.)
Dancers performed sidesteps, swipes, coffee grinders, and backbends. (Photo by Bicking Photography.)

Annenberg Center presents Raphael Xavier's 'Point of Interest'

Something old, something new

In Raphael Xavier's Annenberg Center Live debut, 'Point of Interest, reviewer Merilyn Jackson sees ballet moves shadowing hip-hop.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 3 minute read
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, better than ever. (Photo courtesy of Annenberg Center Live.)
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, better than ever. (Photo courtesy of Annenberg Center Live.)

Annenberg Center Live presents Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Five dances, one night

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago returns to Philadelphia with a bevy of performance beauties. Merilyn Jackson reviews.
Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson

Articles 4 minute read