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  • Dance

    Subway Dancers Vs. The NYPD

    “Cheered by tourists, tolerated by regulars, feared by those who frown upon kicks in the face, subway dancers have unwittingly found themselves a top priority for the New York Police Department – a curious collision of a Giuliani-era policing approach, a Bloomberg-age dance craze and a new administration that has cast the mostly school-age entertainers as fresh-face avatars of urban disorder.”

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    Ex Oregon Ballet Theatre Director Christopher Stowell Hooks Up With San Francisco Ballet

    “As assistant to Tomasson, to whom he will report directly, Stowell will have his fingers in just about every aspect of the company pie on both the artistic and administrative (read financial) sides.”

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    Is The Bolshoi Ballet A Soviet Throwback?

    Alastair Macaulay: “It was hard not to think of politics when watching the Bolshoi’s repertory – which was entirely pre-glasnost. Seeing the tedious mix of Swan Lake (in Yuri Grigorovich’s dismal production), Don Quixote (in Alexei Fadeyechev’s version) and Spartacus (all Grigorovich and all hokum) was to feel the clock turned back 40 years.”

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    Choreographing A Dance Piece For The Façade Of A Building (And Not A Flat Façade, Either)

    For Cincinnati’s Lumenocity celebration, a choreographer and two dancers from Cincinnati Ballet create a work to be digitized and projected onto the (enormous and ornate) face of the city’s Music Hall.

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  • Ideas

    Get Happy! Scientists Work On Finding Out What That Means

    “To track happiness they had to figure out what signaled the feeling and then decide how best to measure that. That ability to track emotion, which is part of a broader field called sentiment analysis, is a nut that everyone from Facebook to the National Security Agency (NSA) is trying to crack, and Dodds and Danforth believe they have found a granular way to do it.”

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    What People Think Of You Based On Your Photo

    “It’s impossible to deduce personality traits from a quick glance at a duckface iPhone photo. But a new study finds that, when it comes to first impressions, certain facial features do tend to convey specific personality characteristics to others with shocking consistency. You may not be an approachable-yet-dominant sexpot, but you sure look like one in your Facebook photo.”

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    Gee – We REALLY Don’t Like To Be Alone With Our Own Thoughts

    “In 11 experiments involving more than 700 people, the majority of participants reported that they found it unpleasant to be alone in a room with their thoughts for just 6 to 15 minutes. Moreover, in one experiment, 64 percent of men and 15 percent of women began self-administering electric shocks when left alone to think.”

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    Why Do We Love Little Free Libraries So Much?

    “Though they owe their spread largely to the Internet, Little Free Libraries often serve as an antidote to a world of Kindle downloads and data-driven algorithms. The little wooden boxes are refreshingly physical—and human.”

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  • Issues

    After Funding Uncertainty, Ontario Steps Up Again To Fund Toronto Luminato Festival

    “For the past year Luminato has been working with Queen’s Park to extend that support. And in making the case, Luminato had some impressive numbers to provide. The festival generates about $60 million each year for the Ontario economy, delivers $12 million in provincial taxes and provides the equivalent of 600 full-time jobs in labour income.”

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    Britain’s Top Draw For Young Visitors From Abroad? Culture

    “The UK’s cultural offering is the country’s most appealing feature for young people visiting from abroad, according to a new survey. More than a third of 18 to 34 year olds from Brazil, China, Germany India and the US that were surveyed said that culture ‘particularly contributed’ to making the UK attractive.”

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    130,000 Fans Flock To Comic Con. But Their Value To Marketers?

    It’s a “persistent problem of those who would sell products to the 130,000 or so fans who gather here annually to celebrate movies, television, video games and, of course, comics: These costumed folk have far more enthusiasm than buying power.”

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    It’s The Year Of The Posthumous Performance – Is That Good For The Artists Or The Art?

    Michael Jackson performed at this year’s Billboard Music Awards. Rick James has a new memoir. Tupac Shakur had a Broadway musical. James Gandolfini, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and River Phoenix (!) are in new movies. “It’s not weird that we miss those artists who’ve died. But it is weird that, increasingly, we expect them to keep producing art. The afterlife has become just another career stage – one that’s as lucrative and, in some cases, as productive as the pre-death career ever was.”

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  • Media

    Time-Shifted Viewing Increasingly Competes With Live TV (And It’s Changing How Programing Is Done

    “In the past year, the volume of DVR playback viewing that occurs during primetime hours has reached the point where the DVR now ranks as the No. 1 network. The ratings generated by viewers opting to watch time-shifted programs — from across the television dial — are equivalent to the averages of the Big Four networks combined.”

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    More Universities Get Out Of College Radio and Affiliate With Public Radio Stations

    “College-radio fans say the deals threaten rock innovation and experimentation. Many fledging bands still get their start on college radio, where the lack of profit constraints allows the stations to experiment with music and expand listeners’ horizons, they say.”

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    How China Is Increasingly Changing The Kinds Of Movies That Are Made

    “At their current rate – anywhere between 10 and 13 new cinemas a day – China will have 60,000 screens in 10 to 15 years. The centre of gravity is shifting so rapidly to China and Asia – not just the market but also the money and capital for American movies – that their opinions are going to matter much more. Ultimately, China is going to be not just the biggest market but also the arbiter of what can get made and will get made.”

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    Television Station Challenges Ban On Airing Ads On Public TV

    The government’s argument is that selling ad spots would change the nature of public TV. An executive from another public TV station, WGBH-TV in Boston, testified that were they allowed to start selling ad time like commercial stations do, funding from federal and state government sources, as well as foundations and not profits, would be “jeopardized.”

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    Why Is Hollywood’s Stereotype Of Kick-Ass A Blond White Woman?

    “How is it that in a film whose premise rests on the idea of reimagining the past, present and future, we still end up with a blonde white woman with flashing blue eyes as the stand-in for what personifies evolution and supremely fulfilled human potential?”

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  • Music

    The Met Opera: Caught Between Competing Realities

    “Whether our current opera house model will survive will depend, I believe, on how successfully opera houses attract new artists to create work that speaks as eloquently to the traditions as to present-day audiences.” It’s an open question, however, whether the Met can do so. It certainly cannot while the stage door is padlocked.”

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    UK Reverses Ban On Guitars In Prisons

    “A ban on steel-string guitars in prison cells in England and Wales has been reversed after a campaign by rock stars including Billy Bragg and Johnny Marr. Prisoners had been unable to play the instruments outside supervised sessions since rules were changed last November.”

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    Rochester Philharmonic Names New Music Director

    Ward Stare, who played in the Rochester Youth Philharmonic as a youngster and spent four years as the St. Louis Symphony’s resident conductor, takes over this fall “after the turbulent tenure of … Arild Remmereit, who was terminated mid-season in 2012 after two years into his four-year contract.”

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    A Live Opera Webcast Via Google Glass – From, Of All Places, Sardinia

    “On Wednesday, selected singers, orchestra members and various technicians” at Cagliari’s Teatro Lirico (a high-tech hotbed, in fact) will perform Puccini’s Turandot “wearing Google Glass to transmit the opera live from their individual points of view to audiences online. … Live links through the opera’s website, Facebook, and other social media will allow at-home opera aficionados to enjoy – and interact with – the company.”

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    Why Are Sopranos So Hard To Understand? (We Mean The Words They Sing, Not Their Psyches)

    It’s just plain physics (with some physiology thrown in), argues Lauren Ackerman.

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  • People

    After Only Six Months On The Job, William Penn Foundation Head Resigns

    “Peter J. Degnan, who came to William Penn as managing director at the beginning of March from his post as vice dean of finance and administration at the Wharton School, has tendered his resignation, foundation leaders said Monday.”

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    Andrea L Rich, Controversial Former LACMA Head, 71

    “In her methodical process of updating LACMA’s technology, balancing the budget and reorganizing the curatorial departments into “centers,” she often seemed to impose an unwieldy university structure on a relatively eccentric art institution.”

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    NYT Art Reporter Carol Vogel Caught In Unattributed Wikipedia Quote

    “As the comparison shows, Vogel appears to have substituted and deleted a few words, but otherwise left the structure—and several strings of words—mostly intact.”

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    Pussy Riot Pair Sues Russia Over Imprisonment

    “Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova say their prosecutions amounted to torture. They have filed a case at the European Court of Human Rights against Russia, seeking compensation.”

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  • Theatre

    London Theatre By The Numbers – This is A Booming Industry

    “In 2012/13 more than 22 million people went to a London theatre performance and £618.5m was taken at the box office. London cinema admissions totalled 43 million, meaning the average ticket price would need to be more than £14.40 – which it is not – for cinema to have a bigger box office figure than theatre.”

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    Andrew Lloyd Webber Sues Over Cancellation Of “Superstar” Stadium Tour

    “The show had been due visit 50 US cities, with a cast including Sex Pistol John Lydon and former Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams. But the promoter, Michael Cohl’s Options Clause Entertainment, pulled the plug at the end of May” without giving any reason.

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    What’s The Best Theatre Town In America Outside New York And Chicago? (And How Would You Measure?)

    “The states with the highest per capita concentration of theaters,” concludes the NEA, “now include: Vermont, Alaska, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Oregon, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Minnesota.”

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    Nicholas Hytner’s National Theatre: Be Proactive, Think Big

    “Hytner’s National has been characterised by several things: cheap tickets, NT Live, hospitality to experiment and, above all, a readiness to embrace the big issues of the moment.”

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  • Visual

    Iraqi Anger As Militants Damage Cultural Heritage

    “The angry public reaction to the attacks on Mosul’s cultural history — including the eviction of Christians by militants, which outraged many Muslim residents who celebrate Mosul’s reputation for tolerance — appears to be the first spark of rebellion against harsh Islamic rule.”

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    Michael Kimmelman: Why The Frick Museum Shouldn’t Expand

    “The city’s truest anti-MoMA, the Frick becomes the latest front in a larger battle to prevent nonprofit outposts of civilization from falling prey to the bigger-is-better paradigm.”

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    Corcoran Lawyers Make Case For Breakup

    “After painting a grim portrait of a museum on the edge — empty coffers, emergency climate chillers in the courtyard, a backup power generator in the street, “combustible” student art-making equipment one floor below priceless works — lawyers for the Corcoran Gallery of Art on Tuesday rested their case in favor of a dramatic reorganization.”

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    U.S. Authorities Drop Effort To Seize Ancient Mask From St. Louis Art Museum And Return It To Egypt

    “‘The Department of Justice will take no further legal action with respect to the mask of Ka-Nefer-Nefer,’ U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said [Monday].” Authorities are unable to produce any evidence that the item, which disappeared from Egypt sometime between 1966 and 1973 and was purchased by the museum from a U.S. dealer 25 years later, was stolen.

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    Met Museum President Emily Rafferty Retires

    “The Met’s first female president managed some 1,500 workers. Working with Met director Thomas Campbell, she oversaw renovations of its Islamic galleries and American wing, new digital initiatives and an increase in attendance fueled by blockbuster shows.”

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  • Words

    Amazon Makes Hachette A Public Offer: Price E-Books At $9.99 And We’ll Make Peace

    “In a post on its website, Amazon made the argument for lower e-book prices and outlined that it would be willing to continue accepting 30 percent of e-book sales, its current take, if Hachette stopped pricing titles at $12.99 and $14.99. The company did not suggest that Hachette lower all e-books to $9.99, leaving room for exceptions for specialized titles that warrant higher prices.”

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    What Happens When Archives Aren’t On Paper Anymore?

    When Salman Rushdie donated his archives to Emory Univeristy, he didn’t mean only his papers: the collection includes four of his old computers (and will include all his later digital effects). How do archivists go about making the material on these old pieces of technology available to the public?

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    Just What Do Poet Laureates Do? And Why Do States Have Them?

    For the broader world of people who read poetry — and many who don’t — the brouhaha was a chance to ask a more basic question: Just who are America’s state poets laureate, and what do they do anyway?

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    Look, HarperCollins, No Single Publisher Can Take On Amazon And Win

    “Unlike in France, Italy or Germany, where publishers banded together to create options to Amazon, British and American publishers still seem bent on competing with one another, even as Amazon eats into their finances.”

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    What Happens When You’re A Memoirist With No Parents?

    “I don’t know that I would be this free. I don’t know that I would be who I am. I don’t know that I would be writing, and I certainly don’t know that I’d be writing about the stuff that I’m writing about.”

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