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  • Dance

    International Ballet Festival Of Miami Turns 20

    “Festival founder and director Pedro Pablo Peña emphasizes the daunting nature of his enterprise. ‘Fulfilling my dream of bringing ballet from all over the world to Miami has been a task worthy of Don Quixote,’ he says in Spanish. ‘It’s taken quite a bit of inspired madness.'”

    A New Ballet Explores The Real, Complex, Dark Relationships Behind Picasso’s ‘Three Dancers’

    “Working for the ballet had been a good career move for Picasso, augmenting his income and introducing him to an audience of rich, cultured patrons. It had also pleased Olga who, while retiring from the stage, remained deeply attached to her old profession.”

    A Dance Critic Takes On ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

    “While I may be impressed by the calibre of these performances, being ‘impressed’ has little to do with what I expect or want from dance. Imagine if critical engagement with literature centred on its ability to impress, rather than its ability to provoke thought and feeling, to trouble and inspire, to mitigate the disjuncture between our conscious and unconscious minds. The demotion in richness, in complexity of experience, would be self-evident.”

    You Should Know The Work Of These 12 Choreographers

    “From the early days of the Great White Way to the greatest hits of the past ten years, here are 12 legendary choreographers who have (literally) given shape to Broadway as we know it.”

    More Dance

  • Ideas

    A Field Guide To Dwelling On Your Failures

    “When something doesn’t go right, the usual, understandable instinct is often to forget it, as quickly as possible. Move on, we advise each other. Don’t look back. … And yet, as tempting as it is to think of stoically soldiering on as the smart approach to dealing with failure, there’s also a solid case for wallowing in your mistakes, at least for a time.”

    Some Oliver Sacks Reading Lists

    “Over the course of his life’s work, Sacks approached his many questions with rigorous intellect and, above all, empathy. The best word for this, maybe, is grace. And it’s everywhere in the elegant body of work he left behind—his many books, but also his shorter essays and interviews.”

    (Also, here’s a link to all of Sacks’ work for the New Yorker.)

    Small Villages In Turkey Use Whistles To Talk From Town To Town – And That Changes Their Brains

    “Researchers in Current Biology discovered an interesting effect whistled Turkish has on the brain: since it’s composed of auditory features like frequency, pitch, and melody, it lights up the whistler’s right brain in addition to their left brain.”

    The Science Behind Why Some People Are Selfish

    “What is interesting, then, is that when you show calculating people what they expect — that you are ready to exploit their vulnerabilities for self-gain — there is no sign of surprise. When you respond to their selfish behavior with kindness, their brains immediately start planning how to best take advantage of you. They are, in fact, selfish jerks.”

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  • Issues

    ISIS Destroys Yet Another 2,000-Year-Old Temple In Syria

    “After a day of conflicting reports about the extent of damage that Islamic State militants had inflicted on the Temple of Baal in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, a United Nations agency said late Monday that satellite images confirmed that the structure had been largely destroyed. The primary temple building, nearly 2,000 years old, was flattened.”

    Too Much History: Why Istanbul Can Hardly Dig A Subway Tunnel Anywhere

    Not even an area that was underwater during antiquity is free of archaeological concerns. After all, there were shipwrecks …

    Target Shooters Are Destroying Ancient Petroglyphs In Utah Parks

    “Spattered paint and bullet holes are erasing an archaeological record dating back thousands of years on public lands south of this growing enclave of subdivisions in Utah County.”

    Inside The Persistent Boys’ Club Of Animation

    “Animation professionals interviewed for this article knew the conventional wisdom: ‘Boys’ shows are general audience and girls’ shows are niche.'”

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  • Media

    Netflix Film Premieres At Venice Film Festival

    “When it is commercially released in October, Beasts of No Nation will be immediately available to see not only in selected cinemas but also to subscribers to the Netflix home entertainment service – which now boasts more than 50 million international subscribers.”

    Apparently, European Cinema Is About To Be Destroyed

    First, there’s Netflix (and HBO, Amazon, iTunes, etc.); and now “this sense of threat has been made more urgent by the proposals tabled by the European Union’s executive branch, the European Commission, to sweep away territorial copyright barriers in the movie and TV business in order to create a single European market.”

    Is British TV Dying?

    “On the face of it seems to be in rude health. America has been buying up British production companies, British TV formats continue to spread around the world and the global market for quality drama is growing. However, there is also anxiety about the Government’s attitude towards the BBC and the questions it is asking about reducing its size and scope.”

    Stop Calling It ‘The Bechdel Test,’ Says Alison Bechdel

    After all, as she’s been saying for years, she wasn’t the one who came up with the idea. She simply put it in a comic strip, where it was eventually noticed.

    When A Snuff Film Becomes Unavoidable: Social Media And The Virginia TV Shootings

    This is why Twitter and Facebook shouldn’t make video play automatically.

    More Media

  • Music

    The True Value Of Contemporary Music

    “Musical performances are among the few that demand you sit still and turn off your phone, and in the realm of the avant-garde, where there is rarely a narrative structure or a song, those can sometimes seem long. But art that forces you to sit and experience something, even if it makes you impatient, can be valuable in the same way that meditation and quiet spaces (churches, libraries) are valuable, in the same way that any inactivity is valuable.”

    Is The Symphony Over?

    “A genre once aimed at vast crowds—Mahler imagined his symphonies being played in stadiums, for tens of thousands of people—now leads a more subdued, solitary existence. Much of its legacy is ignored in concert halls and can be encountered only on recordings.”

    One Of China’s Biggest Peking Opera Stars Makes Her U.S. Debut At The Met

    “Ms. Zhang, a lithe, delicate woman of 44, is a megastar in Beijing. She has performed for sold-out crowds here and in Shanghai, captivating audiences, including legions of young fans, with her sorrowful eyes, deep vocal intonations and graceful displays of martial arts. In 2007, she was the first star of the Peking Opera genre to perform solo at the Great Hall of the People, the seat of China’s central government.”

    Former NYT Music Critic Allan Kozinn Is Now Looking For New Music Concerts In Maine

    “Leaving the Times was not easy, but I began considering the prospect in 2012, when the paper’s culture editor thought it would be interesting to redefine my job, transforming me into a general culture reporter.”

    Israel And Iran Are United – Against Daniel Barenboim

    “The conductor Daniel Barenboim’s efforts to lead the Berlin Staatskapelle at a concert in Tehran drew criticism this week from the Israeli culture minister, who called the performance anti-Israel, and a rebuff from Iranian officials, who said on Friday that they would block the concert because of Mr. Barenboim’s Israeli citizenship.”

    More Music

  • People

    38-Year-Old Concert Pianist Beaten To Death; Husband Arrested

    “The husband of Russian pianist Natalia Strelchenko has been arrested after the musician was found murdered at their home in Newton Heath, Manchester. John Martin, 48, is understood to be the man police arrested on 30 August on suspicion of murdering the prodigious pianist and remains in police custody for questioning. He is a double bass player who also acted as the victim’s manager.”

    Bloomberg Arts Editor Manuela Hoelterhoff Retires

    “Manuela Hoelterhoff has decided to retire after 11 years during which she has written, edited and presided over more than 20,000 stories, weekend TV shows and radio segment on the arts, architecture, books and music, science, the Nazis and Hamlette … Manuela is one of the most versatile writers we’ve ever had and we will miss her wit and sharp pen.”

    Wes Craven, The Mainstream Horror Maestro With A Debt To Ingmar Bergman

    “Wes Craven’s career is a startling link between the European arthouse and Hollywood exploitation horror.”

    Conductor George Cleve, 79, Helped Interpret Mozart For The Summer Festival Crowd

    “Renowned as a Mozart interpreter, Mr. Cleve spent his career primarily on the West Coast. He was the music director of the San Jose Symphony from 1972 to 1992 and in 1974 founded the Midsummer Mozart Festival, an annual concert series in the Bay Area that he directed to the end of his life.”

    More People

  • Theatre

    ‘Hamilton’ Is Not Only A Great Musical But Also A Theatrical Game-Changer

    “Within the Broadway spectrum, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop historical musical has less in common with recent smashes than with shows that radically expanded audiences’ perceptions of the kind of stories musicals could tell, and the language and form they could use to tell them.”

    What British Dramaturgs Do

    “While every major theatre in Germany has a whole department devoted to the function and a practitioner assigned to every production, in British theatre the dramaturg has been a comparatively rare beast. Until recently.”

    Who Sets Cell Phone Etiquette In Theatres – And Who Should?

    “Theater as a whole desperately needs to keep attracting younger audiences, and yet it doesn’t seem particularly able or willing to educate newer playgoers or accommodate their differing ideas on how culture should be consumed.”

    How A Theatre Season Can Come Together To Support – Or Ignore – Diversity

    “There are hundreds of priorities to balance in the process of planning a season. The decisions we make reveal the hierarchy of those priorities. It is the season, not the mission statement, that expresses what we believe in, what we fight for, what we privilege right now, in this moment. A season is an expression of our values, both personally (as leaders) and institutionally. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, this is the bottom line. A season does not ‘just come together.'”

    More Theatre

  • Visual

    Sculpture Of Chaliapin As Mephistopheles Vandalized By Russian Orthodox Radicals; Protesters Demand Restoration And Cossacks Fight Each Other

    “Hundreds of St. Petersburg residents and cultural preservationists gathered on Sunday to protest the destruction of [the] bas-relief … The sculpture is offensive to Russian Orthodox believers according to a letter sent to Russian media by a Cossack who initially took credit for the removal. Another Cossack leader denounced him as a quasi-Cossack and said he would take revenge for the sculpture’s destruction.”

    Little Girl Breaks 2,000-Year-Old Vase, And Museum Is Thrilled

    No, she didn’t pull an Ai Weiwei. “A little girl accidentally broke a 2,000-year-old glass vessel during a visit to the Israel Museum on Sunday. The museum said the object has now been repaired and is in better shape than it was before.”

    How Art Helps New Orleans Students Deal With Their Post-Katrina PTSD

    “Trauma is all about details. Trauma renders itself in certain songs, in the quality of the air against the sky, in colors of socks, in flavors of alcohol. When the human brain encounters a trauma, it makes quick decisions about what to remember, and it often remembers otherwise mundane details: the timbre of birdsong, or the specific shake of a tree’s shoulders. Sometimes the brain gets kind of obsessive about trauma.”

    Fast-Rising Artist Noah Davis Dies (Far Too Young) The Same Day His MOCA Installation Opens

    MOCA chief curator: “Noah is an important artist because he occupies the term ‘artist’ in the largest possible way: an incredibly accomplished painter, he is also a profound visionary — dreaming up the idea of the Underground Museum and then physically enacting that dream against all odds.”

    The Dissident Artist Who Was Detained For Eight Months In Cuba Speaks

    “Until the last minute they want to mess with your head. They want to make you paranoid. At one point he said, ‘Someone close to you works for us.’ I said, ‘You’re not going to make me a paranoiac. I’ve been here for eight months and I am not a paranoiac.’ I understood they were watching me. But I would not let them make me a paranoiac. That’s what they do, they make you paranoid, they isolate you.”

    More Visual

  • Words

    How The Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive Handwriting

    “Thicker ink, fewer smudges, and more strained hands: an Object Lesson.”

    Unpacking The Call For Diverse Books

    “Sometimes it seems that what publishing is looking for, when they look to the Market to sell books by marginalized writers, is a single story. It is: this writer is *the* Dominican writer, or *the* Japanese writer, or *the* Sudanese writer that you should read right now. After all, we live in a culture that sells books with the tagline, if you read only one book this year.”

    Social Media: To Blame For Literary Mediocrity?

    “A middlebrow cult of the popular is holding literature to ransom. Thus, if you judge by the emotional outpourings over their deaths, the greatest writers of recent times were Pratchett and Ray Bradbury. There was far less of an internet splurge when Gabriel García Márquez died in 2014 and Günter Grass this spring. Yet they were true titans of the novel.”

    The Reading Is So Hard – But That Doesn’t Make It Brilliant (Or Does It?)

    “The reader who assumes that abstruse prose is clever prose, or that there is a reliable correlation between opacity and depth, is bound to waste a lot of time on writing that doesn’t deserve it. She is also liable to end up praising works that confound her, for fear of being revealed as a dimwit if she confesses her perplexity.”

    Frustrated: Editor Blasts Critics Complaining About Lack of Diversity And Transparency at Writers Conference

    Editor Kate Gale took aim at the charges in a blog post at Huffington Post in a plea for members to stop questioning (attacking) the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).

    More Words

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