Falling In Love Over And Over, With Bookstores


“My favorite day at that store was when the power went out for a few hours but we didn’t close. We experienced booksellers manned the computer-less information desk, answering questions using only our amassed knowledge of books in print. It was like bookseller thunderdome, and I have to say that I killed it.”

The Science Behind The Beats That Make You Wanna Dance


“The results revealed that beat preference, when graphed, looks like an upside-down U on the scale of rhythmic intricacy. Overly simplistic beats are boring, it seems; overly complicated ones are befuddling. A mix of both, however, makes a sound that’s just off-kilter enough to be exciting.”

Change Of Venue – Now THIS Is How To See Opera


“Live opera is as physical as art gets, though you would never know that from sitting in any major opera house. In the Sam Wana­maker Playhouse, you can feel singers’ breath on your face; you can hear their inhalations as well as their sung exhalations, the scratch as well as the sustained tone of the violins. Some illusions are lost but with them goes a certain artifice that holds you at arm’s length.”

You Can’t “Habit” Your Way Into Making Good Art


“There is no secret ingredient to artistic success; no magic routine for producing art. Copying Joan Didion’s routine won’t make you write like Joan Didion. Writing on index cards won’t turn you into Vladimir Nabokov. We are all more than the pattern of our days and the materials of our work.”

An Artists’ Boycott Of Putin’s Russia Could Backfire

A scene from Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. The choreographer has announced it will not be touring Russ

Judith Mackrell: “[If] artists move towards the blanket boycott [Jonathan] Jones has advocated, life can only get harder for all those artists opposed to Putin and his politics. It can only restrict their dialogue with the wider art scene and push them back towards the old cold war-era isolation.”

Ballet’s Most Difficult Moves, Dissected

ballet dissected

“What can pass in just a few musical beats during a performance – the corkscrew jumps, the ballerina who seems to fly apart in the air only to land with perfect poise – is dissected here for the speed, timing and calibrated force that audience members might miss if they blinked.” (video)

Studying Ballet In Iraq

ballet iraq

“In American and European cultures, ballet is typically viewed as a respectable art form, and you wouldn’t think twice about teenage girls taking lessons.” In Iraq, ballet lessons might get a girl killed. (includes video clip)

Is America Suffering A Brain Drain?


“For many years, the United States has benefited from a kind of reverse brain drain, which is that the best and brightest from all other countries would come to the United States to do research because we had for a very long time the most generous support for basic science. But I have seen, especially recently, the trend is starting to reverse a little bit.”

Seattle Theatres Talk About Raising Wages


“Despite the outcry from some restaurant and bar owners in the past few weeks, not everyone running small and midsize businesses with razor-thin margins is panicking about the prospect of a $15 minimum wage. Arts organizations large and small say they will do what it takes to increase wages.”

A Wide Open Race This Year For Tonys’ Best Musical


“The 12 shows are such a mixed bag that this year’s race for the top prize, the Tony Award for best musical, is wide open for the first time in recent memory. In question is not just that award, but also (and this is truly rare) the four or five nominations for that category, which will be announced on April 29.”

Study: What Country Music Says About Our Economy


In an analysis of the most popular country songs over six decades, Jason Eastman and Terry Pettijohn II of Coastal Carolina University finds top hits are “lyrically more positive, musically upbeat, and use more happy-sounding major chords during difficult socioeconomic times.”

Man Crowbars A Banksy Out Of A Wall, Sets Off Storm Of Protest


“It was removed by crowbar by the leader of a nearby youth club within hours of being found. Dennis Stinchcombe said he hoped to raise £100,000 for the struggling Broad Plain Boys’ Club by auctioning it. But Bristol mayor George Ferguson asked for the work to be put back on the city council-owned wall.”