“Taking inspiration from the rotoscope – an early filmmaking device that allowed animators to trace over live-action – the Japanese design group EUPHRATES used an innovative computer algorithm to capture outlines and extract other information from a video of a ballerina, Kurimu Urabe of the Bolshoi, dancing in a ballet studio.”
“When it comes to presenting music, museums aren’t necessarily ahead of the curve. Yes, it’s great that they do it — and they do it a lot. Most of Washington’s major museums present concerts, from the diminutive Kreeger Museum, which fills its central exhibition space with chairs for a small chamber music festival every year in June, to the National Gallery, where the foliage and statuary of the West Garden Court, despite its distorting echoes and uncomfortable folding chairs, often conspire to make events feel delightful. And yet most museum concert halls lack such charm.”
It’s a crowded category, but here are fifteen “covers from hell.”
Sondheim was one of the first people I told about my idea for a piece about Alexander Hamilton, back in 2008. It was in this townhouse, on the first floor. I’d been hired to write Spanish translations for a Broadway revival of “West Side Story,” and during our first meeting he asked me what I was working on next. I told him “Alexander Hamilton,” and he threw back his head in laughter and clapped his hands.
“Some of these books are concise introductions to topics you might later wish to pursue in greater depth: Modern India, say, or Shakespeare’s Tragedies. Others, like Teeth, contain pretty much everything the average layperson would ever want or need to know. All of them, however, take their Very Short commitment seriously. The length of each book is fixed at thirty-five thousand words, or roughly a hundred and twenty pages. … Never mind that the Roman Empire got some four thousand pages from Edward Gibbon, and that was just to chronicle its demise; here it gets the same space as Circadian Rhythms, Folk Music, and Fungi.”
“The question then becomes, are the scores on Rotten Tomatoes just reflective of the history of criticism, and thus of conventional opinion? Or are the Rotten Tomatoes contributors themselves the critics who prop up these reputations, and thus pave the way for smarter conversations about film online?”
“In Asia, where a youthful stand-up comedy scene is still developing, comedians in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia are finding creative ways to tell jokes about sex and politics, while coming up against cultures of censorship and taboos.”
“Native voices in the conversation are often put aside, and a lot of times the folks that get the spotlight or the final say are those that are in the higher positions within the field. So it feels like, collectively, what everyone is talking about is this idea of not being heard regularly, not being recognized regularly within larger historical narratives, within the art field in general, and then even within this conversation. So, thank you all.”
Siobhan Burke: “I can’t remember when I first sensed disgruntlement toward the E-word. But in speaking with dancers and choreographers over the years, I’ve noticed that more often than not it elicits an eye roll, head shake, groan, sigh or shrug of ‘whatever that means.'”
D. Neal Bremer, a Kalamazoo resident who worked as COO of the GRAM from June 2015 until his termination on June 28 of this year, claims that museum executives regularly misused donor-restricted funds on other expenses, “including general operations expenses,” according to the lawsuit filed on Sept. 22 in the 17th Circuit Court for Kent County.
“The mini-studio announced Monday that it has entered into an agreement for [Los Angeles billionaire Thomas] Barrack’s private equity firm, Colony Capital, to provide a cash infusion to the New York company. … They have [also] entered a negotiation period for a sale of all or part of the beleaguered firm’s assets.”
According to a statement issued by the museum, Beatrix Ruf resigned because of “the speculation in the media in recent weeks which may have an impact on the reputation of the museum.” Her duties will be taken over by the current management team, along with a short-term interim business director.
In fact, Homer’s version is literally Wisdom personified – which is to say that it’s Athena, goddess of wisdom, appearing to Telemachus in the form of a man named Mentor. Harvard classicist Gregory Nagy talks to The Atlantic about how Homer’s Mentor is still relevant today.
At the famous theatre at Epidaurus, the claim has always been that you could hear a pin dropping or an actor whispering onstage even in the farthest seats. But a team of researchers has done extensive tests there, at Argos and at the Odeon in Athens, and they found that – while these ancient venues are hardly as bad as, say, the Sydney Opera House or Lincoln Center’s original Philharmonic Hall – this hear-a-pin-drop business is a myth.
“After more than a year and a half of renovation work, the Freer reopened to the public over the weekend, along with a raft of new exhibitions at its partner institution, the subterranean Sackler Gallery to which it is connected by an underground tunnel. With the director of the Freer/Sackler, Julian Raby, set to retire early next year,” writes Philip Kennicott, “this project serves as a summation of his tenure: Sensible, accessible and stylish in a low-key way.”
“The art world lost track of acclaimed sculptor Auguste Rodin’s bust of Napoleon in the 1930s, but it’s apparently been on display for the past 85 years in the most unlikely of places – the council chambers in Madison Borough Hall.”
“A concert hall that was simply too cavernous: hard to sell out and leaving audiences feeling distant from the music. Lobbies that have grown shabby over time. A fortresslike presence, somewhat isolated from the city just outside its doors. These are all problems that Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic have been trying to fix for nearly two decades at the theater now known as David Geffen Hall – and still hope to, after their announcement earlier this month that they had scrapped a $500 million gut renovation in favor of a more modest approach. But Cincinnati faced these issues too – and went ahead and did something about them.”
“The Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky set fire to an entrance of Bank of France in Paris this weekend. The artist also condemned bankers as the new monarchs in his latest act of political performance art in France, the country that granted him political asylum in May. Pavlensky came to worldwide attention for his previous performances in Moscow, such as nailing his scrotum to the ground in Red Square and setting alight an entrance of the Federal Security Service building.”
“At his final curtain call, Mr. Fairchild, the youngest dancer to have a farewell event at City Ballet” – he’s 30 – “choreographed an unusual flower presentation: he stood by a basket of roses and handed a flower to fellow principal dancers, who came onstage one by one.”
“The 2018 ballet season will be cut in half, from a two-week run in 2017 to just one week. … [Saratoga Performing Arts Center CEO Elizabeth] Sobol said the board decided to reduce City Ballet’s stay because it lost more than $1 million on the NYCB residency. She said continuing to lose money on the residency is ‘not prudent’.”
The architectural sculpture titled Domestikator was rejected by the Louvre for installation in the Tuileries Gardens because they were thinking of the children: the work was thought too sexually suggestive to be displayed outdoors. (A playground is not far away.) So the work will end up outside the Pompidou Centre instead.
“He will begin the role starting with the 2018-19 season – the post had previously been held by Jiří Bělohlávek until his death in June this year.”
His six-decade career included plenty of television and film work (he played Mozart’s father in Amadeus) as well as an astounding number of stage appearances. He was an early member of Peter Hall’s Royal Shakespeare Company, won a Tony as the scheming father in A Moon for the Misbegotten, gave nearly 1,800 performances as 17th-century writer John Aubrey in the one-man show Brief Lives and hundreds more as the president in Mister Lincoln. He holds the world record for the number of different characters voiced in audiobooks – 224, in George R. R. Martin’s Song of Fire and Iceseries, the source for Game of Thrones.
Last month, the country’s first major show of queer art was shut down in Pôrto Alegre after conservative groups began protesting, claiming that the art endorsed blasphemy and pedophilia. A couple weeks later, the same groups loudly objected to dancer Wagner Schwartz’s La Bête – in which he lies on the floor naked and invites audience members to manipulate his body – after a woman brought her five-year-old daughter to participate and video of the incident went viral.
The Voracious Collector
That headline could apply to dozens of people, especially nowadays in this age of competitive, ostentatious collecting of contemporary and modern art. But I was referring to J. P. Morgan, who in his lifetime purchased … read more
>AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-10-16
Salvaging “Salvator Mundi”: Inside Look at “Extensive Restoration” of Leonardo at Christie’s
“Without question,” Christie’s confidently declared last week, Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi (being auctioned on Nov. 15 in New York) is “the greatest artistic rediscovery of the 21st century.” Really? With 83 years still remaining in this century, we’re entitled to pose a few questions. … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-10-16
Richard Wilbur, American Poet, 1921-2017
Just a quick post to note the death of the great poet and translator Richard Wilbur. Until two days ago, when he passed away at 96, I would have called him America’s finest living poet. … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2017-10-16
Over a year and a half, older adults who took weekly dance classes showed gains in their balancing ability. There were no such improvements in the traditional exercise group. Researchers also found hints that all those mambos and cha-chas had extra brain benefits.
“Plenty of technological advancements have followed the modern LP record, which debuted in 1948: audio cassettes, compact discs, MP3 files, and now streaming services. Yet vinyl sales skyrocketed by nearly 4,000 percent between 1993 and 2016. And while CDs still vastly outpace vinyl in total units sold—99.4 million to 17.2 million in 2016—CD sales have plummeted some 91 percent since their peak in 2000. Lest you think the vinyl phenomenon is contained to this side of the Atlantic, vinyl surpassed digital music in sales in England (about $3 million to $2.7 million) at one point last year.”
“The skills you learn in the humanities are exactly the skills you use in a job search. The humanities teach students to understand the different rules and expectations that govern different genres, to examine social cues and rituals, to think about the audience for and reception of different kinds of communications. In short, they teach students how to apply for the kinds of jobs students will be looking for after college.”
Private employment grew almost twice as fast in large metropolitan areas as it did in small ones from the trough of the recession, in 2009, to 2015. Income grew 50 percent faster. And the labor participation rate — the share of the working-age population in the labor force — shrank only half as much. “Economic transitions work against smaller America. This is a period demanding excruciating transitions.”
“Part of me fears the parameters that are being placed on writers whose voices have not traditionally been heard, whether it’s to be “authentic” (however we decide to define it), to be representative of their culture or to be the interpreter for a group of readers that’s assumed to be a mainstream/white readership.”