Nearly two years after the ABT star retired from the stage and returned home to the Argentine capital, she’s been named director of the ballet company at the Teatro Colón.
A lot of actors start production companies in which they’re not all that involved in the actual producing. Not Kidman with Big Little Lies: she got the rights to the book, got Reese Witherspoon on board, and the two of them lined up a director, a screenwriter, a big-name cast, and the studio themselves. Sarah Lyall gets the story.
“We tend to think of creativity as something artistic—the quality that produces masterpieces. But it’s actually an important part of just getting everyday stuff done. It’s what allows a programmer to complete her first line of original code, a product manager to identify a new market for an existing product, and an elementary-school teacher to find an entertaining way to teach subtraction. And when it comes to situations as different as these, constraints seem to improve our performance.”
“Radical empathy, as I define it, is the act of reaching out with an open heart and mind, even if we feel the person or community we are reaching out to is undeserving of such openness. It’s the notion that, if we swallow our own hurt long enough to extend empathy to our opposition no matter what (that’s the radical part), we will establish connections capable of yielding far greater fruit than any amount of soap-boxing or condemnation ever will. Radical empathy is how the artist and arts institutions will foster communication and connection across communities. Radical empathy is the artist’s new job.”
“Jen Graves, who was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for criticism and a nominee for the best art reporting award from the U.S. section of the International Association of Art Critics, was an increasing rare entity: an art critic working full time at a major city newspaper. The number of people in that role has dwindled in recent years as the media business has struggled and publications have cut staff.”
Leon Botstein: “The presidents of our colleges and universities must defend the principles that have enabled institutions of higher education to flourish. These are freedom and tolerance, and openness to individuals no matter their national origin or religion. The actions and spirit of the new administration threaten the American university’s core values.”
“Ultimately, artists of integrity will have no choice in how they respond to the Great Besmirchment. Those who thrive on politically charged material will continue in that vein. (In contemporary classical music, Ted Hearne is a master of that mode; recent works have addressed WikiLeaks, race relations, and the Supreme Court.) Yet those who devote themselves to numbered string quartets or painterly abstractions should not feel pressure to forsake their destiny. The task of the audience is to absorb art’s conflicting messages and remain alert to unexpected revelations.”
United Talent Agency (UTA) on Wednesday canceled its annual Oscars party and said it will instead hold a rally in Beverly Hills two days before the Feb. 26 Oscar ceremony to protest “anti-immigrant sentiment” in the United States. “If our nation ceases to be the place where artists the world over can come to express themselves freely, then we cease, in my opinion, to be America,” UTA chief executive Jeremy Zimmer said in a statement.
“Five of the 10 feature-length and short documentaries nominated for Oscars are directly or indirectly about refugees. … Several of the documentarians wanted to bring their subjects to the Oscar ceremony, but plans were upended by President Trump’s [travel ban].” So the Times‘s Carpetbagger asked what they’d say if they got the chance.
The conductor and president of Bard College, himself an immigrant, in a New York Times Op-Ed: “Not since the era of witch hunts and ‘red baiting’ has the American university faced so great a threat from government. … What, then, are we, the leaders of our institutions of higher education, to do when faced with a president who denies facts, who denies science?”
Jay Griffiths lays out how the ideas and propaganda techniques of the early-20th-century movement can be heard and seen in the words and actions of Steve Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos, Nigel Farage, and Donald Trump. (Her thorough conflation of libertarianism with the alt-right and fascism is less convincing.)
Historian Simon Morrison (Bolshoi Confidential) talks with Here & Now‘s Robin Young about how turmoil has abounded at the theater for all of its 241 years, and how the ballet company has stabilized following the horrific attack on former ballet artistic director Sergei Filin (and after Filin’s subsequent involuntary departure from the company). (audio)
“Under Andreas Mitisek’s artistic leadership, the 43-year-old company moved boldly into more productions of modern and contemporary work. It also began producing away from its sophisticated but hard-to-fill home base at the Harris Theater. During the last few years, COT also eliminated its debt, established a cash reserve of more than $850,000 (thanks largely to a MacArthur Foundation grant), and took in its largest gift ever, a $1.5 million donation from Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson.”