Cirque Du Soleil Hasn’t Been *Completely* Sold, Just *Mostly* Sold – For $1.5 Billion

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The majority stake went to a U.S. private equity firm, with minority stakes going to a Chinese investment firm, Quebec’s pension fund, and founder Guy Laliberté. Plans are for a major expansion in China, though the owners insist that Cirque’s headquarters will remain in Montreal.

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First-Ever Chicago Architecture Biennial Takes Shape

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The 63 participants in the upstart exhibition … come from more than 30 countries on six continents. … They include architects whose designs range from a luxury Mexican house made up of pentagon-shaped pavilions to the painting of abandoned houses in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood in such colors as ‘Currency Exchange Yellow’. Some, like Chicago’s Jeanne Gang and the Danish firm BIG, already are well-known. Others have built little but have big ideas.”

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Alison Bechdel Never Expected The Bechdel Test To Become A Real Thing

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“I feel sort of funny about that whole thing because it wasn’t like I said, ‘This is the Bechdel test, and now you must follow it.’ It somehow just got attached to me. I mean, I did write down the principles in a cartoon, but this younger generation of feminists and film-watchers has adopted it in this way that I think is pretty cool.”

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Pulitzer For Music Goes To Julia Wolfe’s “Anthracite Fields”

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Describer by the jury as “a powerful oratorio for chorus and sextet evoking Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th century,” Anthracite Fields was commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, which premiered the piece last April with the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

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“Between Riverside And Crazy” By Stephen Adly Guirgis Wins Pulitzer For Drama

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“[A] play about the police, race, a suspect shooting, and real estate,” with a retired African-American cop (shot and wounded by a white colleague) at its center, Between Riverside And Crazy debuted last summer at New York’s Atlantic Theater Company.

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Why People Like Food Porn When They Can’t Eat The Photos And May Never Cook With The Recipes

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On a basic level, the appeal of any sort of porn is what scientists call supranormal stimulus, “[an] exaggerated imitation [that] can cause a stronger pull than the real thing.” But food porn “is a visual experience of something that other people can smell and taste … something that, at its best, should manufacture a desire that it can’t satisfy.” So what happens in the brain that keeps people hooked on it?

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‘All The Light We Cannot See’ Wins Pulitzer For Fiction (And The Complete List … )

New York Philharmonic

Anthony Doerr wins for “an imaginative and intricate novel inspired by the horrors of World War II and written in short, elegant chapters that explore human nature and the contradictory power of technology.”

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Norway Will Be The First Of Many Countries To Turn Off FM Radio

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“Frequency modulation, or FM, radio was patented in 1933 and has been recording and sharing the human story for nearly a century. But its days are clearly waning.”

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The American-Born Ballerina Dancing For $8 A Day At The Kremlin

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“When she left the Bolshoi in 2013, [Joy] Womack joined the Kremlin Ballet Theatre where she still works, aged 20, as a principal ballerina; dancing close to the Russian president’s office, next to the cathedrals inside the red walls of the Kremlin.”

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Talking About ‘Resilience’ In Theatre Can Lead To Bad Ends

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“We are so reliant on the resilience narrative that it has become our intuitive response to every event, from audience development to fundraising to how we generate our creative work. This is a terrifying trend for the practice and production of contemporary theatre.”

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A Fabled British Bookstore That Was About To Fall Down Gets A Happy Crowd-Sourced Response

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“Four steel columns were required at Scarthin Books, in Cromford, Derbyshire, to support the weight of about 100,000 books. Thousands of pounds were raised within days of the appeal starting and it is now close to hitting a £10,000 target.”

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How Do Nice Downtowns Get That Way?

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“In every place we’ve been, every one we’ve talked with about downtown recovery stresses the crucial importance of getting people to live there.”

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A New Tate Museum Is Open – In Minecraft

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“Tate’s initiative, known as ‘Tate Worlds,’ is the result of a collaboration with a group of Minecraft artists and builders known as ‘The Common People’ in order to refashion artworks from their collection into Minecraft’s virtual universe.”

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Did The Internet Make Book Culture Explode?

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“For centuries, if what you had written was going to be shown to others, it would have to be placed in a library, usually a church library. And since the only way anyone would know that a new piece of literature had been written was if the writer personally put the word around, there would usually be some kind of social connection between writer and readers.”

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Tina Fey Is The Anti-David Mamet

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“Despite masculinity’s lingering and damaging presence, the women are the victors here.”

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Univision Ends 53-Year Run Of Popular Program ‘Sabado Gigante’

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“The Miami-based weekly variety show has long been an institution for Latino immigrants and their children. Over its run, the show has established itself as an important part of the network’s history and identity, as well as Spanish-language television in the U.S.”

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10 Fun Facts About The Whitney Museum

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“The Whitney likes to treat their artists right. If you have a piece in the collection, you’ll never pay a dime to access the museum for the rest of your life.”

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Even PBS Knuckles Under To Celebrity, Sony Emails Show

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“[Ben] Affleck’s family used to own slaves, a fact that he sought to cover up before his episode aired, according to e-mails from the Sony hack, uploaded last week and cataloged into a searchable database on the WikiLeaks site.”

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American Classical Musicians To Visit Tehran Will Be The First Since The Iranian Revolution

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“‘Opening up the cultural interaction between two nations whose governments have been at odds for so long can be a window to hope and peace,’ said Iranian-born composer Reza Vali, a Carnegie Mellon University music professor.”

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Actor Who Played Gilbert In ‘Anne Of Green Gables’ Series Dies At 48

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“Crombie became a heartthrob to multiple generations after he won the role of Gilbert Blythe, played opposite Megan Follows as Anne Shirley, in the 1985 award-winning CBC production of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s famous novel.”

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A Writer On A Meteoric Rise Amid Her Main Character’s Grief And Isolatin

Essbaum author photo (c) Megan Sembera Peters

“We are made separate by the things we do or do not do. Responsibilities of all types curb us. Desire betrays us. No wound is ever truly petty. And there are so many ways to be locked apart from the rest of the world.”

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Why Is Western Orientalist Art Making A Comeback?

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“The rise of modernism rendered the Orientalists old-fashioned; later on, the fall of the European empires and the rise of cultural criticism made them politically incorrect. But now Orientalist art is having something of a comeback.”

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Meryl Streep Funds Screenwriting Lab For Women Over 40

"India's Daughter" New York Screening

“Called the Writers Lab, the screenplay development program aims to increase opportunities for female screenwriters over the age of 40. This year the initiative will accept submissions May 1-June 1, with eight winning scribes named Aug. 1.”

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Reviving Pakistan’s Legendary Classical Music Scene

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“Pakistan’s second-largest city once had a booming film industry and a flourishing music scene. Classical musicians, with their tabla drums, violins and sitars, would perform on stage, in movies and in crowded markets. Then in 1977, Pakistan’s sixth president, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, clamped down on the film and music industry.”

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