Julian Oliver: “Whether my work is placed in a gallery and intended as art is of little interest to me, but what I’ve found is that it doesn’t matter whether I call it art. Others will do it for me, so I may as well take advantage of what those spaces have to offer.”
“As nations become increasingly ineffective, gridlocked and dysfunctional, cities are taking their place not just as local problem solvers – which they’ve always been pretty good at – but also as collectives that start to tackle global problems like climate change, that nations are unable to redress on their own.”
“British theatre is both art and part of an industry topped by film and television that produces highly skilled practitioners but doesn’t always know how to use them. Except stereotypically.”
“The literary writer who attains commercial success is a rare breed. One who mixes genres, merges history with fable, and mines the constrictive reality of his repressive state – while boasting of sales in the millions – may only exist in one person. And, surprisingly enough, that person is Chinese.”
“The laughter of our everyday lives isn’t for the most part in response to anything resembling jokes. Instead, most of it occurs in conversations that, out of context, don’t seem funny at all.” (Remember the “laughing disease” epidemic in Tanzania?) What makes us do it?
“Futurists like [Marinetti and] Pannaggi may have been trying to break civilization wide open. They may have declared a new age of speed and violence and radical newness. But as soon as they attempted to analyze that newness, as soon as they attempted to say something about their brave new world, they found themselves pulled back into history and tradition.”
The Royal Ballet star, now artistic director of English National Ballet, tells the famously confrontational interview program that “We never spend any time talking about the joy, about the huge satisfaction that being a ballet dancer gives you.” (video)
“In the spring of 2010, two budding choreographers made their main stage debuts at the Royal Opera House – Liam Scarlett and Jonathan Watkins, both twentysomething dancers with the Royal Ballet.” Scarlett has made conventional career progress at Covent Garden; Watkins went home to Yorkshire and created a dance about a boy and his pet raptor.
“Dispositional mindfulness increased significantly over the course of the 12-week intervention in the exercise group,” the researchers report. It did not rise for members of the relaxation-training or wait-list groups.
The company’s board decided that proceeding with the fourth production of 2013-14, Britten’s Albert Herring, would risk “further financial strain.”
Rupal Patel and Tim Bunnell have been “developing algorithms that build voices for those unable to speak – without computer assistance. The voices aren’t just natural-sounding; they’re also unique. … [The premise is] that technology now allows us to think about the voice ‘just like we think about fonts for written text’.”
“Alaa Wardi’s wiggling eyebrows and bushy hair are as recognizable as the madcap backdrops to his YouTube videos” – which have gathered more than 36 million views. He does a cappella covers of popular songs; the most recent is “a silly version of Pharrell Williams’s ‘Happy’ embellished with puppets, body percussion, and running commentary in the style of the minions from Despicable Me – only in Arabic.” (includes videos)
Up to 13 feet of water inundated the basements and ground floor of Westbeth, destroying both the art created and stored by many of the residents and the large studios where they created it. Now the (non-profit) landlord, to cover huge repair expenses, wants to rent those spaces to a commercial tenant.
“We’re characters on a stage and portraying a role, so I don’t feel like there is any ideal image that you should have to have, as with actors and actresses. … In terms of body types in ballet, I think the field is becoming more open than it used to be because of the types of movement and choreography we’re doing that are calling us to be more athletic. We have to have muscles in order to support that, so I think that dancers are healthier looking now.”
Bringing People Together to Improve the Place They Love
AJBlog: Field Notes | Published 2014-03-26
What does it mean to be a ‘strategic’ arts manager?
AJBlog: For What it’s Worth | Published 2014-03-26
The Many Faces of Spring
AJBlog: Dancebeat | Published 2014-03-25
Dubai Ruler Orders Four New Museums
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-03-25
General director Ian Campbell: “We are not bankrupt, owe no money, and have no creditors we believe we cannot pay if people honor pledges they made … It is not an expense issue. It is a problem on the revenue side. Drops in both sales and contributions over several years now mean that we doubt we will be able to complete the next season.”
“Indonesia has banned the release of the Hollywood blockbuster Noah, saying the biblical epic contradicts the teachings of the Koran and may mislead people. ‘We don’t want a film that could provoke reactions and controversies,’ said [a member of the] Film Censorship Board.”
The legislation put forth by 12 councilmembers aims to put in place “a permitting process providing for clear guidelines in distinguishing commercial speech from public art, describing required public input, and reviewing the effect on traffic safety,” because displays of public art “can become excessive.”
“These results provide strong evidence for the idea that although humans cannot consciously discriminate liars from truth-tellers, they do have a sense, on some less-conscious level, of when someone is lying.”
“The greatest things that happen in choreography are by accident. Sometimes it’s a dancer’s physical reaction to the last step that informs my brain and leads to the next one. Or how a group of dancers happens to stand together, or if they fall out of a lift, or accidentally try a different grip that creates a window of opportunity and gives direction to what should happen next.
Jerry Saltz: “The greatest collection of modernism on Earth has been relegated to rotating storage. If the wrecking ball swings in May, our beautiful garden of modernism will become another Penn Station.”
“Alongside the new appointments – which sees Nicholas Hytner join the BBC executive board and Vicky Featherstone become a ‘creative leader’ – director general Tony Hall has today announced a range of new arts programmes and strands which he said would put the arts at “the very heart” of what the BBC does.”
“Nielsen’s 2013 American Moviegoing report found that 80% of moviegoers refer to reviews at least some of the time when they’re considering what to see. By comparison, 40% of those surveyed they value recommendations they see posted by their friends or family on social media.”
“The general consensus seems that this move is designed to punish prisoners purely to show potential voters that the government is tough on crime. But if you look into the science and psychology behind such things, it actually makes little sense.”
Michael Kimmelman: “You can listen to students at architecture schools, many of them anxious to make an impact beyond the bubble of fading glamour in which stardom derives from designing costly art museum expansions and megaprojects for clients in Qatar and Dubai, built on the backs of indentured labor.”
Assistant fight choreographer Patrick McCollum: “It’s about working on developing boxing technique with the actors, and then we also created ways that the actors can safely impact on each other in the show so it looks like a real fight. It is essentially a real fight.”