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  • Dance

    Misty Copeland’s Promotion At ABT Signals New Era For Company

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    “Along with Ms. Copeland’s ascendance, the company’s other, less-heralded promotions announced Tuesday suggest a new era at Ballet Theatre—one with a stronger emphasis on promoting dancers who have made a commitment to the company, especially in the early stages of their training.”

    Misty Copeland Talks About Being Promoted To Principal At ABT

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    Ms. Copeland said she had been pleased to see more racially diverse audiences turn out at some of her performances in the past year. “From the day that I met my manager, Gilda Squire, she asked me, ‘What do you want to do?’ ” she recalled. “And I said, besides continue dancing at A.B.T., I […]

    Misty Copeland Promoted To Principal At ABT

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    “Her promotion — after more than 14 years with the company, nearly eight as a soloist — came as Ms. Copeland’s fame spread far beyond traditional dance circles. She made the cover of Time magazine this year, was profiled by “60 Minutes” and presented a Tony Award on this year’s telecast. She has written a […]

    Former NYCity Ballet Principal Albert Evans, 46,

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    “Mr. Evans joined City Ballet in 1988 and was named a soloist in 1991 and a principal four years later, becoming only the second black dancer in the company’s history to hold that position. The first, Arthur Mitchell, now 81, performed with City Ballet in the 1950s and ’60s and in 1969 helped found Dance […]

    Principal Ballet Dancers, Aging Gracefully

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    “Retirement is there, it is going to happen. This is going to sound morbid and I don’t know if I should say it, but it’s a bit like dying. You know you’re going to die, everybody does, but you don’t stop what you are doing because of that. You don’t slow down because you know […]

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  • Ideas

    Are The Arts Dying Because Of Indifference?

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    “For while the fine arts can survive a hostile or ignorant public, or even a fanatically prudish one, they cannot long survive an indifferent one. And that is the nature of the present Western response to art, visual and otherwise: indifference.”

    How Your Personality Affects Your Creativity

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    Researchers “found that focused attention generally decreased people’s creative performance, but focused individuals still did better than mind-wanderers when both personality types tried to solve problems analytically.”

    Talent Spotting: Which Would You Trust, The Data Or The Hunch?

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    “The gift for talent-spotting is mysterious, highly prized and celebrated. We like to believe that certain people—sometimes ourselves—can just sense when a person has something special. But there is another method of spotting talent which doesn’t rely on hunches. In place of intuition, it offers data and analysis. Rather than relying on the gut, it invites us to use our heads. It tends not to make for such romantic stories, but it is effective—which is why, despite our affection, the hunch is everywhere in retreat.”

    Why “Smart” Kids Often Don’t Turn Into Smart Adults

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    “When people perform well (academically or otherwise) at early ages and are labeled smart or gifted, they become less likely to challenge themselves. They become less likely to make mistakes, because they stay in their comfortable comfort zone and stop growing. And their fixed mindset persists through adulthood. The simple and innocent praising of a smart kid feeds an insidious problem that some researchers track all the way up to gender inequality in STEM careers.”

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  • Issues

    Is AirBnB A Threat To Urban Artist Spaces?

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    “The end result of an AirBnB’d neighborhood is not a profitable artist collective. Rather, it’s an international bedroom community of “post-tourist” upwardly mobile workers, an intermittently empty complex of condos for creatives who can parachute in, patronize local cafes, and then escape as quickly as they arrived.”

    What Is Lincoln Center’s Place In The Arts World?

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    “If a new generation of middle-class Americans chooses to move back into the inner cities, large-scale performing-arts centers might start to make fiscal and artistic sense. But even if that should happen, Lincoln Center will never again be culturally influential in the way that it was in the ’70s and ’80s.”

    Measuring Hispanic Audience Clout In America

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    “The Hispanic market has grown from $1 trillion in buying power in 2010 to $1.5 trillion this year, according to Nielsen data. And Nielsen and Google surveys find members of that audience to be among both the heaviest viewers of TV and the earliest and most active users of new media technology.”

    Network Bans “Dukes Of Hazzard” Reruns. Why?

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    “The flag will remain charged whether publicly visible or not, and so TV Land banning The Dukes of Hazzard is a banal gesture of how little we are prepared to confront the horror of Charleston, the continuing gritty day-to-day horror of all kinds of hatred aimed at all kinds of minorities.”

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  • Media

    Flip: Turns Out Casting A Strong Female Movie Lead Is Good For Box Office

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    “New mid-year figures suggest that not only do movies with women in lead roles sell well, but there might even be a link between female leads and overall attendance boosts.”

    BBC Slashes 1000 Jobs As Britons Migrate Away From TV To The Internet

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    “Some Britons have discarded their televisions — the main source of home viewing for half a century — in favour of tablets which many younger people use to watch programmes over a wireless Internet connection. The BBC’s Head of News, James Harding, last month predicted that by 2025, most people in the United Kingdom would probably get their television programmes over the Internet.”

    Are Too Many Movies Being Made?

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    “Let’s talk about this supposed crisis of overchoice in the film business. In the past couple of years, there have been a lot more movies released. Depending on where you live, there may be twice as many movies being released in theatres each week as there were in 2000.”

    Big Changes Ahead For American Public Media? (An Ominous Memo Leaks)

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    “Some inside the public-radio walls are speculating that the reason for the siren has to do with the struggle to get institutional funding, a fairly common problem these days. An APM spokesperson denies that is the case. In fact, this person says, APM is growing and is working under a balanced budget.”

    Netflix Isn’t Trying To Change TV, It’s Thinking Post-TV

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    “That all-at-once drop of House of Cards, for example, illustrates part of what Netflix has that television doesn’t. “It was not meant to be the template” for how Netflix would release shows, Sarandos said. “It was just, Let’s see how people watch it.” They had the flexibility to try something that would never work on TV, and the data to see immediately how users responded.”

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  • Music

    Five Things Classical Musicians Need To Do To Survive

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    “People can always tell when they are being patronised, and the only way classical music will manage to survive is to reach wider audiences by believing in what it has to offer, and not by trying to change what it is.”

    Music Consumption Up 14 Percent In 2015

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    “Nielsen Music’s 2015 U.S. mid-year report, released Thursday, shows a 14% increase in music consumption over the first six months of last year. What’s driving the increase? For one thing, on-demand streaming, which nearly doubled year over year, rising 92%.”

    Curtis Student Wins Top Tchaikovsky Violin Prize

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    “Yu-Chien “Benny” Tseng won the silver medal, second prize, in the Moscow competition, whose results were announced Wednesday. No gold award was given this year, which is not unusual. The Taipei-born violinist came to Curtis in 2008, and the following summer, at age 14, played Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center.”

    Did Smooth Jazz Die On The Radio Because Of Bad Ratings Data?

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    “Smooth jazz was at the edge of a cliff. The Portable People Meter could have helped pull the format back or push it over. It turns out PPM gave it a swift kick right over the edge.”

    So This Is The End Of iTunes

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    “Apple still makes billions per year on iTunes downloads. But Spotify, Pandora, and other startups have eroded that business, first with their free streaming services and more recently with a paid subscription model. It’s been clear for a while now that streaming is the music industry’s future: iTunes Store sales dropped an alarming 14 percent in 2014 while revenue in the streaming sector jumped 28 percent. So Apple had a choice: Hold fast to a fading business model, or hasten the transition by getting out in front of it. It made the only sensible call.”

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  • People

    Young Minimalist – The Disappearing La Monte Young

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    “Yet none of his major compositions are in print, he rarely performs, and he places such extensive restrictions on performances of his music that it’s rarely heard. He has all but disappeared, by his own hand.”

    The Curious Remaking Of David Foster Wallace

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    “He has become a character, an icon, and in some circles a saint. A writer who courted contradiction and paradox, who could come on as a curmudgeon and a scold, who emerged from an avant-garde tradition and never retreated into conventional realism, he has been reduced to a wisdom-dispensing sage on the one hand and shorthand for the Writer As Tortured Soul on the other.”

    Remembering Gunther Schuller

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    “Although he coined the expression “third stream” in the late 1950s as a suitable epithet for his own amalgam of classical and jazz forms, his music was technically complex and demanding. Hence it never secured a wide and sympathetic audience in his lifetime.”

    Why Does The Work Of Great Artists Get Destroyed?

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    The motivation for destroying an artist’s work is often shadowy, and always riven with questions of ownership.

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  • Theatre

    Can A Theatre Critic Be A Good Playwright?

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    “Does writing regularly about theatre make you a stronger playwright? I feel I’ve benefited from soaking up others’ work for years; I’m in a constant state of inspiration. (Sometimes I have to tell my own characters to pipe down so I can focus on the show.) My defense has always been that I was an artist—acting and directing Off-Off Broadway—before I became a critic. But there has to be some level of talent to nurture in the first place. If you have an ear for dialogue, an eye for structure, a feel for storytelling, reviewing can sharpen those gifts.”

    Most Expensive West End Theatre Ticket Tops £200 (A Complete List Of Ticket Prices)

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    “Top price seats for The Book of Mormon have reached a record-high of £202.25. This is an increase of a third on last year’s most expensive seat in the survey, which came in at £152.25 and was also The Book of Mormon.”

    Canadian Government Okays Sale Of Cirque Du Soleil To US, Chinese Investors

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    “Industry Minister James Moore said Tuesday the application to acquire the famed circus troupe was deemed an overall economic benefit for Canada. The buyers have committed to maintain the Cirque’s strategic decision-making and creative and artistic development at its Montreal headquarters.”

    A New Shakespeare Play?! Computer Algorithm Says Yep

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    “The play does have all the hallmarks of a legitimate Shakespeare and Fletcher collaboration.”

    The Worst Act Of All Time – Perhaps By Design

    The Cherry Sisters’ “variety act included original music, bass drum thumping, poetry, mouth harp playing, inspirational recitations, essay reading, fake hypnosis and other artistic expressions. And the audience responded to the whole shebang by hurling vegetables, shouting interjections and behaving rudely.”

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  • Visual

    China’s Great Wall Endangered

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    “Citing a recent report from the Great Wall of China Society, the newspaper claims that more than 30% of the original structure has disappeared. Approximately 74.1% is poorly preserved, and only 8.2% is in good condition. While concerns about the wall’s condition have deepened in recent years, the study appears to be the first to actually quantify the problem.”

    In Its Most Challenging Year, Whitworth Museum Wins £100,00 Art Fund Prize As UK Museum Of The Year

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    “The Whitworth underwent the largest physical transformation in its 125-year history in 2014. The project doubled its size and connected the building with its surrounding park. During its redevelopment the Whitworth continued to offer pop-up projects all over the city, maintaining established audiences and building new ones ahead of its February reopening.”

    Sotheby’s Just Had Its Biggest Ever Sale Of Contemporary Art

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    “Warhol’s ‘One Dollar Bill (Silver Certificate)’ fetched £20.9m, smashing its pre-sale estimate of £13-18m. This was Warhol’s first such work of a dollar, painted by hand in 1962. A bidding frenzy powered Lucien Freud’s 2002 work ‘Four Eggs on a Plate’, which was originally a gift to the late Duchess of Devonshire, to sell for £989,000, nearly ten times the pre-sale estimate of £100-£150,000.”

    Greece Needs Money. Britain Wants The Parthenon Marbles. A Deal To Be Made?

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    “For the last few years, amidst her financial crisis, Greece has flirted with the idea of selling off state historical assets. Since Greek independence, Graeco-British relations have been shadowed by the Elgin marbles: relief panels from the Parthenon, along with major pediment sculptures, which were purchased by the 7th Earl of Elgin in 1798.”

    Paris Okays Its First Skyscraper In 40 Years – A Giant Pyramid

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    “A common sight in most major capitals, skyscrapers have faced deep opposition in Paris ever since the 300-metre high Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 Universal Exposition. Paris’s socialist mayor, Anne Hidalgo, diluted opposition to the new Tour Triangle last November after some of its planned office space was sacrificed for childcare and cultural centres.”

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  • Words

    Why Do We Use Four-Letter Words?

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    “The use of offensive, obscene or taboo language is a linguistic feature in most human cultures, from the English “f**k off” to the French merde (sh**), and from the Indian sala (brother-in-law) to the Arabic yil’an abu ommak (curse your grandfather). While people tend to think of the “four-letter words” as modern phenomena, the reality is that the earliest recorded uses of these words date from 1,000 years ago (“f**k” is one of the most recent, from 1503).”

    Amazon’s New Pay-Per-Page Scheme Offers Shockingly Tiny Share To Authors

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    “In other words, for an author to make $1.30 on an ebook rental, he or she would have to write at least 220 pages, and the reader would have to flip through every page. As a literary editor told The Guardian, this could hit nonfiction writers and children’s book authors particularly hard, since their books tend to fall on the shorter side.”

    A Contradictory Story About When (And How) Harper Lee’s Novel Was Found

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    “The discrepancy between the two accounts raises questions about whether the book was lost and accidentally recovered, and about why Ms. Lee would not have sought to publish it earlier.”

    Book Subscription Service Stops Offering Romance And Erotica Titles Because Its Readers Read Them Too Much

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    “Scribd appears to have slightly underestimated just how much can be consumed at their all-you-can-eat literary buffet – especially by fans of romance. Because Scribd has to pay the authors of the books they make available on their site, it is now shelling out more money than it can make back in subscriptions, thanks to the voracious appetites of romance and erotica readers.”

    The World’s First “Metaphor Map”

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    “Over the past 30 years, it has become clear that metaphor is not simply a literary phenomenon; metaphorical thinking underlies the way we make sense of the world conceptually. It governs how we think and how we talk about our day-to-day lives.”

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