Amy Aldridge’s retirement evidently has nothing to do with the major personnel changes (and associated hard feelings) following the arrival of Ángel Corella as artistic director. She’s been dancing with the company for 23 seasons, 16 of them as a principal, and it’s time to retire.
Philadelphia Inquirer Published:03.28.17
“At the same time as she was becoming more difficult, she was also becoming more accessible. Part of Judson Dance Theatre’s deglamourization program was a refusal, by most of the choreographers, most of the time, to use conventional music, sets, or costumes. But Brown eventually put music back in, and while she often said that she did so because she got tired of hearing the audience cough, it cannot have escaped her notice that most spectators prefer dances set to music.”
The New Yorker Published:03.23.17
Bridget Kuhns of the Houston Ballet isn’t one of the ballet dancers who uses the pre-show ritual of “‘brush your shoulder, touch your toe,’ she says, laughing as she mimicked those movements. But Kuhns does have a thing about fresh breath onstage, she explained. She always brushes her teeth and then chews on a piece of gum until the stage manager delivers the two-minute warning call.”
Paper City Magazine (Houston) Published:03.24.17
Unless one considers the relationships among the criminally insane and their terrible “care”-givers a traditional ballet subject, a new ballet inspired by Frederick Wiseman’s 1967 long-censored documentary “The Titicut Follies” will likely be a bit of a surprise. “Adapting the film’s troubling message has been a challenge for every artist involved in the new ballet.”
Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Published:03.24.17
“For almost any device, claiming one individual as the inventor is problematic to say the least. Conception, demonstration and implementation can be very different things, and the path connecting them is typically not a line but a long, challenging and tortuous route.”
“As information technologies come to affect all areas of life, they are becoming implicated in our most important problems — their causes, effects, and solutions, the scientific investigations aimed at explaining them, the concepts created to understand them, the means of discussing them, and even, as in the case of Bill Gates, the wealth required to tackle them. Furthermore, information technologies don’t just modify how we act in the world; they also profoundly affect how we understand the world, how we relate to it, how we see ourselves, how we interact with each other, and how our hopes for a better future are shaped. All these are old philosophical issues, of course, but we must now consider them anew, with the concept of information as a central concern.”
The New Atlantis Published:03.17
Musk’s alarming views on the dangers of A.I. first went viral after he spoke at M.I.T. in 2014—speculating (pre-Trump) that A.I. was probably humanity’s “biggest existential threat.” He added that he was increasingly inclined to think there should be some national or international regulatory oversight—anathema to Silicon Valley—“to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.” He went on: “With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. You know all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water and he’s like, yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out.”
Vanity Fair Published:03.17
A theory about why the 1982 movie, which is considered “bad” by most film critics, fascinates and educates young children, even though the themes are hardly childlike: “The possibility of being a single being, alone in the world, was deeply fascinating to me. Annie, the protagonist of the film, makes hard decisions several times in the movie. She’s the moral center of a film that is deeply, complicatedly female driven.”
The Awl Published:03.24.17
The 4,000-seat theater was built in 1908 by Oscar Hammerstein I (grandfather of the Broadway lyricist) on what is now a gentrifying section of North Broad Street; it served as a cinema, ballroom, circus, and church before being abandoned a number of years ago. Now a real estate developer is renovating the Met and has signed Live Nation to operate it as a performance venue.
Curbed Philadelphia Published:03.28.17
“I believe that there is a strong rationale for the creation of a Cultural Endowment Foundation. It should aim to synthesise existing evidence, promote greater evidence use and generate rigorous new evidence (through supporting and evaluating promising interventions) on one and only one issue: how can we narrow social class gaps in adult arts attendance?”
“The top 10 most-visited attractions in the country were all in the capital. Seven of those saw a fall in numbers, including The Natural History Museum and the V&A, which both suffered a drop of 12%. The overall visitor numbers for London attractions last year were level.”
“I think the more people understand how much power the wealthy have through philanthropy, the more they’re likely to see it as part of this larger pattern of the wealthy speaking with a larger and larger voice, even as ordinary people struggle to be heard at all.”
The Atlantic Published:03.28.17
“For some reason, [people seem to think] TV can’t stand on its own as a ‘prestige’ narrative. For TV, prestige means getting reframed as something else and basking in the reflected glow of another art form’s cultural currency.” Kathryn VanArendonk looks at why this idea seems to stick, and why it’s so frustrating.
“Exposure to entertainment television, particularly at a young age, can contribute to making individuals cognitively and culturally shallower, and ultimately more vulnerable to populist rhetoric,” write Ruben Durante of Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Paolo Pinotti of Bocconi University, and Queen Mary University of London’s Andrea Tesei. “By popularizing certain linguistic codes and cultural models, entertainment television may have contributed to creating a fertile ground for the success of populist leaders,” they add.
Pacific Standard Published:03.28.17
Though details have yet to be finalized, most of the studios agree that they must come up with new ways to shorten the gap between a movie’s theatrical release and its home video debut.
Los Angeles Times Published:03.27.17
“Three of the six major studios — Paramount, Sony and Fox — have removed or replaced their top executives in the last year. Jim Gianopulos, the longtime head of the 20th Century Fox movie studio, lost his job. Some of the current leadership turnover reflects long-term struggles at the individual companies, especially Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment, which have yet to replace their chief executives. But the management shake-ups also signal wider challenges in the movie business amid fast changing viewer habits.”
Los Angeles Times Published:03.27.17
Uwe Boll made his name, such as it is, mostly by dragging the already abhorred genre of the “video-game movie” to previously unthinkable new lows. His video-game adaptations BloodRayne, In the Name of the King, and House of the Dead are rated 4 percent on Rotten Tomatoes; Alone in the Dark has a 1 percent rating. In 2007, BloodRayne received Golden Raspberry Award (Razzie) nominations for worst director, worst picture, worst actress, worst supporting actor, worst supporting actress, and worst screenplay. Two years later, Boll received a “Worst Career Achievement” Golden Raspberry Award.
Vanity Fair Published:03.27.17
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Published:03.27.17
“In response to asking whether it was possible for his jazz band to attend the festival, the Israeli musician Alon Farber was informed that Copenhagen Jazz Festival did not accept Israeli musicians due to ‘political reasons’.” Farber posted this on Facebook, word got around the internet, Copenhagen’s deputy mayor demanded an explanation and made noises about city funding – and the festival’s director is claiming that this is all due to a misunderstanding of what he meant by “political.”
Copenhagen Post Published:03.28.17
“After 11 seasons of fizzle-outs, it doesn’t look like The Voice is in the business of really making superstar dreams come true. But it has perfected the art of selling the glittering El Dorado promise of the American Dream, a myth so enticing that it still draws seekers, though all evidence suggests they probably won’t find what they’re looking for.”
The Atlantic Published:03.27.17
In January the company cancelled the second half of its current season after racking up $200,000 in debt. General director Mark Beudert lives in Indiana and ran Eugene Opera on a part-time basis – a situation about which the board chair said, “We’ve just reached a stage where that as a model is not going to work for us.”
Oregon Public Broadcasting Published:03.27.17
David Patrick Stearns talks with orchestra percussionist Chris Deviney about the concerto he’s fashioned out of three cuts from Metheny’s album An Imaginary Day.
Philadelphia Inquirer Published:03.27.17
She was known particularly for her performances of Brünnhilde (including at Bayreuth) and Isolde (opposite Jon Vickers at the Met). She had to give up performing in 1991 when her retinas began to detach from the sheer force of the vibrations from her larynx.
Philadelphia Inquirer Published:03.28.17
“Not long after I moved to New York, Michael Jackson died. O had no idea who Michael Jackson was. ‘What is Michael Jackson?’ he asked me the day after the news – not who but what – which seemed both a very odd and a very apt way of putting it, given how much the brilliant singer had transmuted from a human into an alien being. O often said he had no knowledge of popular culture after 1955, and this was not an exaggeration. He did not know popular music, rarely watched anything on TV but the news, did not enjoy contemporary fiction, and had zero interest in celebrities or fame (including his own). He didn’t possess a computer, had never used email or texted; he wrote with a fountain pen. This wasn’t pretentiousness; he wasn’t proud of it; indeed, this feeling of “not being with it” contributed to his extreme shyness. But there was no denying that his tastes, his habits, his ways – all were irreversibly, fixedly, not of our time.”
The Observer (UK) Published:03.26.17
“It got so demoralizing. I’d gone to NYU and I’d trained with some of the great acting teachers and I was constantly doing Murderer No. 2 or Janitor No. 3 and it was just like, ‘Am I always going to have a number next to my name?'”
“Though Mr. Storey struggled for recognition at first, he went on to win Britain’s premier fiction award, the Man Booker Prize, in 1976 for his novel Saville, in which a miner’s son breaks away from his background. Two of his novels were shortlisted for the award. Three of his works were named best play by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, all within four years in the 1970s. He also earned two Tony nominations.”
New York Times Published:03.27.17
“Isherwood will be writing for Broadway News, a new online venture from Broadway Briefing, an aggregator of theater news. Isherwood will be joined in reviewing by Elizabeth Bradley, an arts academic at New York University and former producer, manager and administrator with long ties to Canada’s Stratford Festival and the Sony Centre in Toronto, among others. The new site will launch next week.”
Erik Piepenburg visits Stewart Laing, designer of the enormous, glaringly colored sets that revolve around the audience in director Richard Jones’s revival of the Eugene O’Neill play.
New York Times Published:03.27.17
Actress Playing ‘Malvolia’ Hits Back At Telegraph Column Arguing Actresses Should ‘Get Their Mitts Off Male Actors’ Parts!’
Telegraph critic Dominic Cavendish used the current National Theatre production of Twelfth Night, which features Tamsin Greig as a female Malvolio, as a jumping-off point for a column suggesting that gender-reversed casting is becoming entrenched and that actresses – and theatres – should spend energy finding and developing female equivalents to the roles of, say, Hamlet or Willy Loman. Now Greig has responded, saying not only that Cavendish used “slightly unenlightened vocabulary,” but also that “he would not have dared to say anything if it had been a black man playing Malvolio.”
The Stage (UK) Published:03.27.17
Michael Schulman offers an essay on Lynn Nottage’s Sweat.
The New Yorker Published:03.27.17
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project Should Be Put On Ice, Says The Guy Who Thought It Up In The First Place
Thomas Krens, the longtime director of the Guggenheim Foundation and the driving force behind the global expansion of the Guggenheim brand, now says “The world financial crisis and the Arab Spring has [sic]changed the equation radically … It may not be such a good idea these days to have an American museum … with a Jewish name in a country [that doesn’t recognise Israel] in such a prominent location, at such a big scale.”
The Art Newspaper Published:03.27.17
“The much-loved 1785 painting, Mr and Mrs William Hallett (‘The Morning Walk’), received two scratches of about 1-metre and 65cm long in the incident, which happened on a busy Saturday afternoon.”
The Guardian Published:03.28.17
“The opposing forces were represented by two powerhouse teams of Chicago attorneys: former U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick M. Collins, and Tinos Diamantatos represented the British Museum; former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb, Sam Adam Jr., and Robert A. Clifford argued for Greece. And each side produced an expert witness.”
Chicago Reader Published:03.24.17
“The coin, which police said was protected by bulletproof glass, carries a nominal value of C$1m and was produced by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007. Known as the “Big Maple Leaf” and made of the purest bullion, only five have so far been produced, according to the mint’s website. One side features a maple leaf, the other a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.”
The Art Newspaper Published:03.28.17
The New York Times‘s co-chief art critic looks at how the debate over Schutz’s Open Casket at the Whitney Biennial has developed, reminds us that African-American opinion on the issue is not monolithic, and suggests that those calling for the painting to be suppressed or destroyed have more in common with, for instance, Rudy Giuliani’s crusade against Chris Ofili’s The Holy Virgin Mary than they might like to admit.
New York Times Published:03.27.17
“Some writers swoon over language: ‘It’s my muse, my lover’, and so on. Well, it’s my enemy, and I seem to spend all my life arguing and battling with it. Also, sitting down at a desk aggravates my sacroiliac joint, so by the end of a week of solid writing I’m pretty much bed-bound or crawling around on all fours. What else? Writing is static, unsocial, and restricts opportunities for the uptake of vitamin D via dermal synthesis.”
The Guardian Published:03.25.17
That might be because literary adult books need time and distance, not topicality – or at least that’s the idea. “Anecdotal evidence would suggest to me that YA novels take, on average, less time to get from idea to hardcover than literary novels, so that may be a factor in all of this. But there’s also the fact that in literary publishing, there’s a definite ick factor that comes along with being too timely.”
Literary Hub Published:03.23.17
Well, at least in the UK: “Poetry book sales have gone up by more than 50% in four years, while there are now more than 30 annual events devoted to celebrating spoken and written verse.”
The Observer (UK) Published:03.25.17
“In April of , he broke with Russian social-democratic orthodoxy and, in a set of radical theses, called for a socialist revolution in Russia. A number of his own close comrades denounced him. In a sharp riposte, Lenin quoted Mephistopheles from Goethe’s masterwork: ‘Theory, my friend, is grey, but green is the eternal tree of life.'”
The Guardian (UK) Published:03.25.17
“I was a traditional product of the Cold War. … There was little sympathy for Communism in our house. So I felt like le Carré’s character George Smiley, who learns of yet another betrayal: I felt like I had taken an elbow deep in the gut.”
The New York Times Published:03.24.17