- By Joellen A. Meglin
Photo: Piet Mondrian, Composition with Red, Yellow, Blue, and Black, 1921, oil on canvas, 59.5 cm x 59.5 cm.
I discovered George Orwell’s post-Hiroshima, early Cold War essay “Politics and the English Language” as I prepared to enter a doctoral program in dance. It taught me that original thinking was going to have to be hard won, independent—my own choreography rather than learned repertory. Throughout my teaching career, I have often recommended this essay to students as an antidote to scholarly writing steeped in what Orwell calls “ready-made phrases”—jargon, orthodoxy, phrases that...