218 Authors Sign Open Letter Protesting Russian ‘Chokehold’ on Free Expression

PEN Intl

The letter, organized by PEN International and signed by four Nobel laureates (Grass, Soyinka, Jelinek and Pamuk) as well as Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Lyudmila Ulitskaya, and many others, says that recent laws against “gay propaganda”, blasphemy and defamation “specifically put writers at risk.”

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Valery Gergiev Talks to CNN on Gay Rights in Russia

Gergiev

“I myself question very much why the country needed something like this law. … I think it was seen internationally as a bad thing happening in Russia. I think in Russia, the view was different. The way people read this law is slightly different or sometimes very different.” (includes video and transcript)

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Why I Nailed My Scrotum to Red Square

Petr Pavlensky

“He has wrapped himself in barbed wire, sewn his lips shut and caused the world to wince with his now-infamous stunt in Moscow. As the Russian authorities circle around Petr Pavlensky, the protest artist explains why he’s not afraid.”

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The Ontological Proof for the Impossibility of Satan

there is no satan

“The Ontological Argument is an infamously devilish a priori argument for God’s existence.” In a bit of theological jiujitsu, a pair of philosophers has used those exact premises to argue that the Devil must, of necessity, not exist – and “the Christian’s world just got a whole lot smaller.”

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Top Posts From AJBlogs 02.05.14

Museum Secrets: Instructive Audit In St. Louis Source: Real Clear Arts | Published on 2014-02-06 That’s going to dampen fundraising Source: The Artful Manager | Published on 2014-02-05 UX Design Source: Engaging Matters | Published on 2014-02-05 See It Now: Video of Architect’s Presentation and Panel Discussion on MoMA’s Expansion Source: CultureGrrl | Published on 2014-02-05 Nastiness Starts: DIA Plan Opponents Attack Director […]

New York Philharmonic Puts Its Archives Online

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Among the future highlights, the Philharmonic said, would be first editions of Berlioz’s “Benvenuto Cellini” and Wagner’s “Rienzi” overture, and a score of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 with evidence of a spat between two of the orchestra’s most illustrious music directors.

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Bolshoi Director Vows To Clean Up The Place

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“The director of Russia’s Bolshoi theatre vowed Wednesday to bring an end to the bitter infighting that culminated in an acid attack on its artistic director and create a ‘normal artistic atmosphere’ at the legendary institution.”

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What Great Artists Need: Solitude

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“The artistic process unfolds in the lonely hours. That’s when the work happens. You have to control the creative energy that you’ve got. You have to discipline yourself to fulfill it. And that work only happens alone.”

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What Do Theatre Audiences Want? Are Theatres Afraid to Ask?

theatre audiences

A former chief of the Royal Shakespeare Company says “she and others had [at one point] been keen to organise large meetings of RSC audiences in Stratford and London and simply ask them what they wanted. The meetings never took place, because fear intervened. What if the audience wanted something that the RSC’s artistic team […]

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Jean Babilée, 90, Postwar Ballet’s Great Rebel

Jean Babilee

“[He] gained instant stardom in French ballet as the violent chair-throwing youth in Roland Petit’s Le Jeune Homme et la Mort in 1946 … His extraordinary technique, soaring leaps and masculine power were matched by a pantherlike pounce and a jarring poetic presence.”

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Mind Meld: The Genius of Swarm Thinking

swarm

“Researchers are starting to see swarms as living entities with senses, motivations and evolved behaviour. … This does not simply tell us about flocking birds, shoaling fish, swarming locusts, and the like. It has implications for how we understand all sorts of collective action.”

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The Balanchine Muse Struck Down by Polio

Tanaquil Le Clercq

Leonard Lopate interviews the director of a new documentary about Tanaquil Le Clercq, the New York City Ballet star who inspired George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins (and married Mr. B.), only to be paralyzed by polio at age 27.

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