That would be Valery Gergiev, the general director of the storied St. Petersburg house as well as a compulsively globe-trotting conductor who’s found himself caught in controversy before. This time, in addition to opining on male dancers’ diets and female dancers’ size, Gergiev discussed the preference for small breasts on ballerinas and dissed the Mariinsky’s Moscow rival, the Bolshoi.
“New theories about the extent of Shakespeare’s collaborative work appear to chip away at the solitary-genius monolith, but in fact they gain their intellectual and institutional traction from our very investment in that monolith. Adaptations similarly reinforce Shakespeare’s dominance even as they attempt to overwrite his social and linguistic conventions.”
“A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth’s sprawling novel set in post-colonial India, … will be adapted into a lavish eight-part series with a script from Andrew Davies, the screenwriter whose hits include the famous 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and last year’s adaptation of War and Peace.”
“Amazon, the biggest e-book distributor in Europe, proposed to drop some clauses in its contracts so publishers would not be forced to give it terms as good as those for rivals. Such clauses relate to business models, release dates, catalogs of e-books, features of e-books, promotions, agency prices, agency commissions and wholesale prices.”
Audience engagement researcher Ben Walmsley writes about his project called Respond, “a responsive online platform … [which] attempted to break down cognitive barriers to dance by showing and explaining the rationale behind certain choreographic decisions and giving audiences demystifying insights into the rehearsal and development processes.”
Broadway this season has pure escapism, like “Hello, Dolly,” and socially engaged theatre, exemplified by Lynn Nottage’s “Sweat.” The problem isn’t either one, argues critic Jonathan Mandell. “Escapist fare is most irksome not when it focuses on something other than the world’s concerns, but when it demonstrates an active indifference to those concerns.”
In the 1960s, Baumol was trying to understand the economics of the arts, and he noticed something surprising: Musicians weren’t getting any more productive — playing a piece written for a string quartet took four musicians the same amount of time in 1965 as it did in 1865 — yet musicians in 1965 made a lot more money than musicians in 1865.
“In their 2015 public tax returns, the city’s three independent library systems, the New York Public Library, the Queens Library and the Brooklyn Public Library, reported collecting a total of $5.5 million in fines. Just as adults discover they cannot renew their driving licenses if they have too many unpaid tickets, children discover that they lose library privileges if they rack up more than $15 in late fees. The library is the Department of Motor Vehicles on training wheels.”
“Libraries will often have a restricted collection—a locked case, a unit of shelving behind the circulation desk, or a special room—that requires readers to obtain permission from a librarian to view the books within. Very often the restricted materials contain explicit adult content or valuable illustrations. During and after World War II the Library of Congress held one of the largest collections in the world of this kind, composed mostly of erotica and items considered to be pornographic or obscene.”
“Working in a multi-city and multi-venue environment requires an approach to pricing that is adaptable in the different marketplaces in which we operate. Pricing is therefore viewed as a flexible tool that helps us achieve the central and multiple imperatives of the organisation: generate revenue, encourage attendance, reach new audiences, offer new experiences and promote the artistic reputation of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. To translate these imperatives into tangible tactics, our pricing strategy focuses on the simple question: How do we want our audiences to behave? We have identified five behaviours.”
On her start after filming “Precious”: “Phone work paid well, but she quit to play Precious. Money was tight after the film wrapped; she was paid scale, about $2,500 a week, but it took a month for her to receive her first check. After “Precious” made its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009, Ms. Sidibe experienced fame without fortune, riding subways and buses to red carpet events. Life at home was still precarious. On the morning of one event, her landlord tried to evict the family for what turned out to be a clerical error. Her income that year was about $50,000, just under half of which was from the phone-sex work — and almost double what her mother made, earning Ms. Sidibe head of household status on the family tax returns, a position that made her anxious.”
The pitch is that .art instantly creates an identity aligned with the art world; you can see plainly why Apple Inc. rushed to register iphone.art and facetime.art, among 36 domain names. During the preferred access period, which launched in December, more than 2,000 domains were purchased on .art by cultural organizations, as well as tech companies, luxury brands and banks. Instagram.art, Rolex.art and Beyonce.art were all snatched up. Ditto: .art domains for the Louvre, Tate and Centre Pompidou. Mega-gallery Hauser and Wirth celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special .art micro-site.
“This is the tale of how Tennessee literature was saved from a fate closely resembling oblivion by an unlikely hero: the United States government. Specifically, it was saved by the tiny portion of the US federal budget allocated to the National Endowment for the Humanities. More specifically, by the even tinier part of the federal budget that the NEH budget disburses to Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the national agency. The knight in shining armor who swooped in to save literature, it turns out, was Uncle Sam.”
For Hollywood’s VFX workers, it’s easy to be nostalgic for a time when movies were made entirely in their own backyard. When I met with Squires in a Studio City coffee shop, he told me about making “Close Encounters” in two buildings, just one block apart, with Spielberg dropping in each week to check on the progress of different parts. Today’s business model is far more complex: The brain directing most of the action may be in one place (usually Los Angeles), but different arms are distributed around the globe, managing various shots, scenes and characters. Having all the world’s vendors to choose from allows movie studios to mix and match different VFX houses like “flavors of ice cream.”
“We needed to devise a way of working that didn’t rely on either a subsidy or the star power supplied by Spacey. What producing model would allow the Old Vic, a £13 million turnover break-even business, to continue generating its own work, and to stay solvent?” Old Vic executive director Kate Varah writes about how she, artistic director Matthew Warchus, and their colleagues found the way.
After years of strenuously avoiding any public statement about the ever more dire political situation in his homeland, the star conductor last week gave a strenuously evenhanded plea for both sides to settle their differences – whereupon both sides attacked him. Now, after a young musician was shot while protesting, Dudamel has directly called on “the President of the Republic and the national government to rectify and listen to the voice of the Venezuelan people. … Democracy cannot be built to fit the needs of a particular government or otherwise it would cease to be a democracy.”
“At 63, [she] has been running an art museum in New York longer than anyone except Glenn Lowry at the Museum of Modern Art. … She is one of only two directors in the city who has overseen the construction of a brand-new building. … And she is now in the midst of an $80 million capital campaign to double her museum’s size, a project notable at least so far for its sotto-voce nature, in sharp contrast to the expansion Mr. Lowry is overseeing.
“The School District of Philadelphia has over 1,000 broken musical instruments, from flutes with bent keys to trombones missing slides. Some of their fixes are easy, others complex, yet due to funding cuts in the city, the district doesn’t have a budget for either.” But a Temple University professor had an idea for making music with them as-is, using that as a way to raise money to start fixing them.
“It is time for the next wave to roll in at the Brooklyn Academy of Music: Joseph V. Melillo, who has helped shape the academy’s cutting-edge aesthetic for more than three decades, will announce on Friday that he plans to step down as executive producer at the end of 2018. Mr. Melillo, 70, is the last link to the organization’s impresario and visionary leader, Harvey Lichtenstein.”
Ukrainian-American businessman Len Blavatnik – who funded the $100,000 Warner Music Prize and gave a $25 million naming gift to Carnegie Hall last June after his nemesis stepped down as board chair there – has made a donation of more than £50 million to the Tate Modern, which will name its popular new extension after him.
Cost disease in the arts: what does it mean?
Professor William Baumol, one of the greatest living economists, has died at the age of 95. … Readers of artsjournal.com know him best for his conception of cost disease, done jointly with William Bowen. … Let’s expand on that a bit, and ask what it means for arts policy. … read more
AJBlog: For What It’s Worth Published 2017-05-04
Defying Trump, Bipartisan Deal Would Boost Funding for NEA and NEH (with strings attached)
The strong efforts of arts-and-humanities advocates appear to have (at least temporarily) overcome the pernicious, fallacious notion that the National Endowments of the Arts and Humanities are preserves of the elite and therefore unworthy of government support. But … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-05-04
Schmooze & Peruse: My Storify on the Frieze Art Fair in New York
I thought I’d give it another try by attending the preview for Frieze Art Fair (to May 7), but I still find that, for me, art fairs are a a good way to network with art-world luminaries but a poor way to view and absorb art. … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-05-04