American Ballet Theatre’s 2009 spring season: cheering

I know, we haven't even resigned ourselves to winter yet and I'm already drooling over ABT's spring season, but I just got the schedule, and I thought while you were in the ABT mood--they are currently dancing at City Center--I'd alert you to the glories ahead. First, a world premiere by new ABT recruit Alexei Ratmansky to Prokofiev, paired with Balanchine's early, Expressionist "Prodigal … [Read more...]

The scribbling class, the yawning ass

It's always bothered me when critics call a work or performer "boring," but now Susan Sontag, in her 1965 essay "One Culture and the New Sensibility" (from Against Interpretation), helps put my finger on why: The charge of boredom is hypocritical....Boredom is only another name for a certain species of frustration. The moment a critic declares (through her nose) that she is bored, she's abdicated … [Read more...]

How to make lazy, sleepy, or dopey friends and relatives laugh–and get them to the polls ontime

See, this video can be custom made for every well-intentioned Obamaite you know who just might take too long a nap on Election Day. Watch it, edit it, and send it out. We might as well turn our election jitters into something useful (and funny). (You ask, isn't this just a bit off topic, Apollinaire? I say, Only in the narrow view of things). … [Read more...]

How to watch a Wheeldon ballet. Plus, his young company’s promise and peril

When my niece, Hannele, was an infant, she would light up whenever you turned on the light, staring at this facsimile of the sun with curiosity and awe. For her little brother, Pascal, music had the mind-altering effect. Light took my niece out of herself; music pulled my nephew into itself. He'd close his eyes and let his head fall back in a swoon.   Dance often moves in fruitful … [Read more...]

GO: Cynthia Gregory in conversation this Friday

To celebrate the release of the DVD "Together"--a compendium of scenes from ballets that the American Ballet Theatre ballerina shared with principal dancer Fernando Bujones--Cynthia Gregory is sitting down with my esteemed colleague Joel Lobenthal, of the extinguished Sun, at the Lincoln Center Barnes and Noble, 7:30 pm this Friday, October 17. GO! I know from firsthand experience that Joel is an … [Read more...]

Ann Liv Young: performance artist for the Palin moment

  Recently at Slate, it flashed on writer Meghan O'Rourke what "dark literary doppelganger" Sarah Palin--"with her bright smile, her folksy-corporate style, and her Silly Puttied authenticity, which mirrors back at the viewer whatever talking point she's just absorbed"--reminded her of:   a character in a George Saunders story... trapped in the American DreamTM. … [Read more...]