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Raising the Barre

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to speak on dance writing that moves readers

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November 11, 2010 | by Wendy Leopold
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Sarah Kaufman, staff writer at The Washington Post, will talk about her journey from ballerina to Pulitzer Prize-winning dance critic when she delivers a Crain Lecture Monday, Nov. 15, at Northwestern University.

Titled “Raising the Barre: Provocative Dance Criticism that Moves Readers,” the free and public program will take place at 5 p.m. in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, on the Evanston campus. It will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Kaufman fell in love with ballet at an early age and, like many young dance enthusiasts, dreamed of a career as a dancer. She later decided to combine writing and her love of dance and, in 1987, earned a master’s degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

Kaufman joined The Washington Post as a staff critic in 1996. In a controversial 2000 story, she disclosed that many of the late Martha Graham’s most important works were in the public domain. A court ruling corroborated her findings.

This year, Kaufman received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for her “refreshingly imaginative approach to dance criticism, illuminating a range of issues and topics with provocative comments and original insights.”

Kaufman worked on copy desks at the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Ill., and The Buffalo News in New York. She later worked as a freelance journalist in Germany.

Presented by Medill, the popular Gertrude and G.D. Crain Jr. Lectures regularly bring journalists, newsmakers and others discussing current events and the news business to the Evanston campus.

For more about Kaufman, read the fall issue of Medill Magazine at http://www.medill.northwestern.edu/alumni/medillmagazine.aspx.

For more on Kaufman’s speech or upcoming Crain Lectures, call (847) 491-5401, email jpgilbert@northwestern.edu or visit http://www.medill.northwestern.edu/.