Sarah Kaufman has been The Washington Post’s dance critic since 1996. Before then, she was a regular Post freelancer. In the early 1990s, Kaufman lived in Munich, Germany, where she was a translator and wrote on culture for English-language journals. In the 1980s, she worked at the Buffalo News and the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Ill.
For The Post, Kaufman has written extensively on all forms of dance, including football. She won a Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Award for Arts and Entertainment Reporting for her examination of the decline in ballet programming at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2000, Kaufman broke the story about the lack of copyright protection for Martha Graham’s choreography. Kaufman was the first journalist to challenge the ownership claims of Graham’s heir, disclosing evidence that many of Graham’s most important works were in the public domain. A court ruling corroborated her reporting. Kaufman’s writing has also been published in “Balanchine: Celebrating a Life in Dance” (Tide-Mark Press, 2003).
Kaufman was born in Austin, Tex., in 1963 and raised in Washington, D.C. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland, where she studied poetry with Reed Whittemore. She lives with her husband and three children in Takoma Park, Md.