A redesigned Dance Ink magazine publishes again after a 20-year hiatus.

After a 20-Year Hiatus, a Redesigned Cult Magazine for Dance Lovers Returns

After a 20-Year Hiatus, a Redesigned Cult Magazine for Dance Lovers Returns

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
July 29 2016 8:47 AM

After a 20-Year Hiatus, a Redesigned Cult Magazine for Dance Lovers Returns

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The first cover of the new Dance Ink magazine features Silas Riener performing Merce Cunningham’s “Changeling.” First created in 1957, the performance was considered “lost” and only known through a few photographs until a 1958 film of the work recently resurfaced in a German archive, enabling the choreography to be restaged.

Maria Ferrari

Dance is an ephemeral art, but painters, photographers, and videographers have long sought to harness the elusive beauty of performance in two-dimensional form. From 1989–96, Pentagram partner Abbott Miller was the art director of Dance Ink, an award-winning magazine that treated its pages as a stage, commissioning new work to showcase the art of dance and performance. After it ceased publishing, Miller and the magazine’s founder, Patsy Tarr of the New York City–based 2wice Arts Foundation, moved on to other projects, including developing digital apps. But 20 years later, inspired by a new generation of dancers and the mini-renaissance in independent magazine publishing, they have gone old school and launched a redesigned Dance Ink 2.0.

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Maria Ferrari

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Maria Ferrari

Tarr told the New York Times that she decided to bring back the print magazine while thumbing through old issues as she convalesced after slipping and shattering a kneecap. She said in a press release that she was inspired by a “desire to create a platform for the amazing new talent in performance, just as the original Dance Ink featured emerging and established figures in the 1990s.”

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Maria Ferrari

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Maria Ferrari

The first issue includes bold, clean graphics; striking photography from Christian Witkin; and a smattering of words by dance writer Nancy Dalva that “returns to the magazine’s original concept of creating a unique and enduring stage for performance, using great photography, powerful design, and the beauty of high-quality printing,” according to the release. It features acclaimed New York City Ballet principals Amar Ramasar and Adrian Danchig-Waring performing choreography by resident choreographer Justin Peck and Merce Cunningham Company alum Silas Riener.

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Maria Ferrari

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“The magazine is conceived as an alternative performance space for dance,” said Pentagram in a blog post about the project. “Dance Ink fills a unique niche in dance publishing and the performing arts world: There are dance magazines that report on the scene, and newspapers that review performances, but Dance Ink represents a more native extension of the dance community, a space to create and perform.”

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Maria Ferrari

Originally published as a quarterly, it will now come out twice a year. Miller and Tarr are embracing the possibilities of digital printing with special edition posters and stunning custom murals that will be made available for purchase with each issue.

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Maria Ferrari

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Maria Ferrari

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.