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Kaufman, Sarah  

Rebecca Schwartz-Bishir

(b Austin, TX, May 16, 1963). American dance critic. She studied ballet while growing up before earning a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Early in her career she worked for the Buffalo News, the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and for English-language journals in Munich, Germany. She freelanced for the Washington Post until 1996, when she succeeded Alan Kriegsman, the Post’s long-time writer and the first dance critic to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Kaufman’s writing about dance has earned her notice, including the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Award for Arts and Entertainment Reporting (2001), and the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism (2010). She has covered such diverse subjects as George Balanchine and Michael Jackson, and she has examined dance in ballets, film, popular culture, and everyday life. In July 2000 she broke the story that works by Martha Graham may not have copyright protection. Kaufman’s style blends acute description and historical savvy with fearless wit. She explains the hard truths and beautiful meanings of the art of movement....