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  • Dance

    Here’s What It’s Like To Run NY City Ballet

    “I think the thing that’s changed the most over the years is that it just becomes more and more and more difficult to sustain organizations and to sustain the art itself. The funding climate has changed over the years: it’s much more difficult and much more competitive. And the nature of the audience has changed as well. There is just so much more competition for people’s time especially with what’s available online, in new media, and on demand.”

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    The American Ballet Theater Goes To Court Against One Of Its Longtime Workers

    “The lawsuit rolls on, pitting a 57-year-old stage carpenter against one of the country’s premier ballet companies. And it puts two friends, who bonded during years of working alongside the likes of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev and Susan Jaffe, on opposite sides of the courtroom.”

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    Spreading The Ballet Love After Being Mentored By Misty Copeland

    “‘I’ve been with her this whole time on this journey of hers,’ Copeland said. ‘When she told me she couldn’t dance anymore and was going to open a school, I said, “What can I do to help?”‘”

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    Alexei Ratmansky Goes Forward To The Past For ABT’s New “Sleeping Beauty”

    “This production is not an occasion for him to express his bold originality as is the case with his Nutcracker … Rather, his approach to Sleeping Beauty is to re-create as closely as possible the 1890 choreography by Marius Petipa,” notation for which has survived.

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  • Ideas

    The Conflicting Values Of Self-Criticism

    “We may not be able to imagine a life in which we don’t spend a large amount of our time criticising ourselves and others; but we should keep in mind the self-love that is always in play. Self-criticism can be our most unpleasant – our most sadomasochistic – way of loving ourselves.”

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    Why The Internet Isn’t Going To Solve Our Problems

    “Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.”

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    The Philosophical Anxiety Behind The Arguments Over #TheDress

    “What fascinates us about the dress, I think, isn’t its color: it’s the degree to which our perceptions can diverge. How could the same image appear so different to various people? The dress controversy is compelling because it touches, however unsophisticatedly, on some of the oldest and most difficult questions in philosophy of mind.”

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    A Beautiful Modernist Techno-Utopia Landed In New York In 1939 And ‘Opened A Whole New World’ [VIDEO]

    “It’s hard to imagine what a marvel the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair would have been to its visitors. Still living in the heavy shadow of the stock market crash of 1929, the many people who flocked to the big exhibition found not only bounteous luxuries such as free Coca-Cola and grand spectacles of entertainment, but the unveiling of unthinkable new technologies that promised that a better world lay ahead.”

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  • Issues

    Should The NYPD Be Deciding When Busking Counts As Art And When As Begging?

    “Recently, a busking video went viral. In it a police officer, armed with a gun and club, passed judgment on a busker, who protested by reading out the law covering art in public. He got a loitering charge. Boos are bad, hisses worse and an audience unsatisfied enough to pelt is humiliating. But a criminal record? Does society want such severity?”

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    Here’s One Of Those Fairytales Rediscovered In Bavaria A Couple Years Ago

    “An evil witch kidnapped three princesses and would not set them free. While they were in captivity, the girls learned a few magic tricks from the witch. …”

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    It’s Time To Consider Making The Destruction Of Cultural Heritage A War Crime

    “In the face of vandalism on this scale and at this level of wantonness and depravity, something larger is called for. The collective voice of the civilized world must speak out and declare that, henceforth, the destruction of cultural heritage will be deemed a war crime, with appropriate penalties meted out by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”

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    Performing Artists Need Emotional, Not Just Financial, Investment In Their Arts

    “Artists are constantly being asked to be financially resilient. But what about emotional resilience? When artists face rejection from a funder or a programmer, who is there to provide that sense of community and solidarity and empathy? So often the work that artists subsidise with time, money, love and belief is treated as a commodity, or just a product by venues.”

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  • Media

    Why Net Neutrality Ruling Might Not Be All It’s Cracked Up To Be

    “Competition on the internet is constantly evolving and poorly understood. AOL was a has-been before the ink was dry on the relentless complaints about its unassailable monopoly; cable content is suddenly challenged by streaming video; DSL, once thought dead, now offers 25-75 Mbps service. Yet the FCC’s rules ignore this complexity, insisting on a one-dimensional conception of internet competition that’s never actually existed.”

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    ISIS And Its Sophisticated Cinema Of Terror

    “The cinematography is as crisp and chilling as a horror movie. Men in orange jumpsuits kneel on a beach beneath a sky of broken clouds. Executioners hover over them, dressed in black, knives aglint. … This and other recent execution videos released by Islamic State are slickly produced narratives of multiple camera angles, eerie tension and polished editing that suggest the filmmakers are versed in Hollywood aesthetics.”

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    For The First Time Ever, Chinese Box Office Tops U.S. Box Office

    “A record Lunar New Year bonanza brought in $650 million in the second-largest movie market, according to data from research firm Entgroup.”

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    Kristin Scott Thomas Says Hollywood’s Ageism Is A Disaster (And Boring, To Boot)

    “Until the average life-span is 150 years or something, I don’t think women in their 50s are going to be considered at all viable.”

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    When Hollywood Was Truly The Wild, Wild West

    “The new movie colony’s lax self-governance galvanized middle-American arbiters of morality into a force so disruptive and outspoken that even an assumed untouchable like Zukor feared their wrath, lest their cries for reform prompt the Federal Trade Commission to censor his often lurid but profitable movies.”

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  • Music

    And Then There Were None (New York’s Last Sheet Music Store Closing)

    Frank Music has been struggling for years, as music became readily available online, said Heidi Rogers, the shop’s owner. “We went from seeing 15 to 20 people per day to seeing two or three,” Ms. Rogers said on Monday. “I went from feeling like I was at the center of the world to feeling invisible.”

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    Simon Rattle Appointed Music Director Of London Symphony Orchestra

    “The conductor will take up the appointment in September 2017, following in the footsteps of principal conductors including André Previn, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Colin Davis and the current incumbent, Valery Gergiev, who is heading to the Munich Philharmonic.”

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    Here’s A Provocative Essay About Reasons For Decline Of Classical Music

    “To gain a proper and complete understanding of what we call “classical” music is to appreciate that it was all written within the context of societies which were predominantly Christian in nature, and where celebrations of traditional national attributes were not seen as old-fashioned or backward-looking as they often are today.”

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    In St. Paul: How A New Hall Redefines An Orchestra

    “It’s the sound equivalent of what happens when curators at museums do that very careful cleaning process of old masters’ paintings and the colors become more vibrant and you can see all sorts of detail.”

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    Have We Just Found The Next Terrific Woman Conductor?

    Mark Swed: “Word was out. The hall sold out. Presenters from Chicago, New York and elsewhere came to check her out. Managers who didn’t were simply not paying attention. The debut was a preview. Mirga mania can now officially begin.” (What’s more, “[she] was the third exceptional woman to conduct the L.A. Phil in a week.”)

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  • People

    Maggie Smith Will Do No More Theatre – “It’s So Exhausting”

    “I just don’t think I could cope with it. Almost every Wednesday and Saturday I wake up relieved it’s not a matinee.. … It’s hard enough doing film and television, but at least you know it’s not day, after day, after day. I just found it so exhausting.” (By the way, what she actually said about Downton Abbey is less definitive than you think.)

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    A Day With Machiavelli In Exile

    Johns Hopkins classicist Christopher Celenza looks at a letter Machiavelli wrote to a close friend describing his daily life in the country, not long after he was banned from Florence, during the period in which he wrote the first part of The Prince.

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    Yasar Kemal, Turkey’s Master Novelist And Fierce Critic, Has Died

    “Mr. Kemal’s home region — Cukurova in southern Anatolia, known in antiquity as Cilicia — is the backdrop for his sweeping tales of rapacious landlords, callous bureaucrats and peasant heroes who fight injustice. He wrote more than two dozen books, using a colorful narrative style that appealed to a broad audience, fiercely criticizing injustice and creating noble outlaws who became permanent parts of Turkey’s cultural landscape.”

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    Bob Hope Captured America, But His Legacy Is Sinking Fast

    “These days few readers may know or remember just how big a deal Hope was in his prime. … Hope was both ‘the most popular’ and ‘the most important’ entertainer of the twentieth century, ‘the only one who achieved success—often No. 1-rated success—in every major genre of mass entertainment in the modern era: vaudeville, Broadway, movies, radio, television, popular song, and live concerts.'”

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  • Theatre

    The Show That’s Turning Islamophobia Into A Laugh Riot

    “What do you do if your inbox is clogged up with anti-Muslim hate mail? Turn it into a cabaret show. Daryl Lindsey reports from Berlin on a strangely joyful evening of horrendous abuse.”

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    The Economics Of Arthur Miller’s Plays

    “But it was really his view of the crash of 1929 and the Great Depression: even more than an economic crash, it was a national emotional collapse, ‘like all the winds had stopped, gone dead’ … That sense of existential and economic desperation carries across all his plays.”

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    Another Friday-Afternoon-News-Dump Departure: CEO Of L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse Steps Down

    “Kenneth Novice has departed the Geffen Playhouse after serving as its managing director for more than five years, the company has announced.” Both parties refused to comment further.

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    New Orleans Theatre Company Finds A(nother) Temporary Home

    “In the years since leaving Canal Place, Southern Rep has almost settled in a new permanent location three times — in the Central Business District, Bywater and Mid-City. But each time the deal has fallen through. And each time, Hayes said, ‘you have to start from scratch.'”

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  • Visual

    Mass Exodus? Why Nearly Half Of Miami’s Art Museums Don’t Have Directors

    “Four museums in Miami are currently searching for new directors. In a city that has transformed itself into one of the top destinations for contemporary art in the US over the past decade and boasts perhaps ten significant art institutions, nearly half are now leaderless.”

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    Was ISIS’s Attack On Mosul Museum Staged? Just Another Of Its “Cinema Of Terror” Pieces?

    Christopher Knight, observing that several of the statues destroyed were obviously modern copies: “Earlier snuff videos … show the beheading of soldiers, journalists and humanitarian aid workers. The new video purports to show nothing less than the beheading of an entire civilization. The question is: Does it really? Or is the video, instead, a grotesque perversion of performance art, cynically designed to inflate the image of Islamic State power?”

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    Iraq’s National Museum Reopens, In Gesture Of Defiance To ISIS

    “In response to the destruction of antiquities in Mosul last week by Islamic State militants, the Iraqi government reopened the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad this weekend, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaking out against the terrorist group at the ribbon cutting.”

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    A Day Off, Sort Of, With The Director Of The Dia Art Foundation

    “I’m living next to the Earth Room, one of Dia’s sites. Usually artists stay there. I wake up and see the Earth Room, and say good night to it, too. It’s a project that Walter De Maria built in 1977 and it’s exactly as it sounds, a space on the first floor of a building in SoHo, which is filled with earth. It has a very strong presence, and it’s there, next to you.”

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    Add Many Countries In Africa To Your List Of Places To See Great Works Of Modernist Architecture

    “There was an intense flowering of experimental and futuristic architecture in the 1960s and 70s, which the young African countries used to express their national identities. … But we simply don’t know about it.”

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  • Words

    Survey: What Men Are Reading (And Why)

    The “survey showed that 39 per cent of adult fiction works and 56 per cent of non-fiction were for males, suggesting men are not so keen on keeping up-to-date with storytelling, but slightly ahead of women when it comes to reading history, politics and biography.”

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    Are These The Five Best Bookstores In America?

    “Before the winner is announced in early April, each of the five finalists will submit a portfolio to impress the judges. The reward — publicity in Publishers Weekly and at the Book Expo convention in May — is certainly valuable, but this is a distinctly cordial competition.”

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    Stolen 400-Year-Old Books on Their Way Home To Italy

    “This is the odyssey of two rare books that were taken from an Italian library and wound up in the hands of a Bay Area rare-book collector. The books are safe and sound, the Homeland Security Department said, and heading home to their rightful owner.”

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    Turns Out Fiction Is (Just) Slightly More Complicated Than ‘A Stranger Comes To Town; Someone Leaves Town’

    “To the aficionado, Jockers’s sheep/goats, wheat/chaff division of imaginative fiction sounds about as sophisticated as dividing the world of music into the up-chord and the down-chord. It sounds, indeed, like the lady in the Monty Python sketch explaining her theory about the brontosaurus (it starts off thin, becomes very thick, then thin again).”

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    The Essay About Teaching In MFA Programs That Has Writers Freaking Out Across The Internet

    “Anyone who claims to have useful information about the publishing industry is lying to you, because nobody knows what the hell is happening. My advice is for writers to reject the old models and take over the production of their own and each other’s work as much as possible.” (Now, search Twitter for “MFA” or “MFA essay” and see what writers are saying about this piece.)

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