The Yorkshire Boy Who Joined The Mariinsky Ballet


Xander Parish “mov[ed] from ballet class in a salmon-pink-painted former church school to the gilded grandeur of the old Imperial Theatre, named after an empress and home to the most famous stars in dance … 1,222 miles as the bird flies – and an entire world away.” (includes video)

Hans Christian Andersen, Innocence, And The Truth


“Hans Christian Andersen believed in an untouched innocence at the core of every person. … Innocence could be hidden and emerge, or it could be apparent and then corrupted. .. To be wholly innocent was rare. To be wholly innocent, for Andersen, meant to be wholly yourself. It meant that you were free from the distorted reality of the devil’s mirror.”

After Almost 1,000 Years, The Bayeux Tapestry Is Completed


“The tapestry, chronicling the Norman conquest of England and that battle in 1066, is regarded as a marvel of medieval Europe. However, since it was ‘rediscovered’ by scholars in the 18th Century, its original final scene has been missing. … Now, a team of embroiderers on Alderney, a small island just off the coast of William’s native Normandy, have ‘finished’ the job.”

Study: Dancing Improves Mobility In Seniors


“By the end of the 12 weeks, those who danced had less pain in their knees and hips and were able to walk faster, said Jean Krampe, an assistant professor of nursing at Saint Louis University and lead author of the study. The use of pain medicines fell by 39 percent among seniors in the dance group but rose 21 percent among those who did not dance, she noted.”

New Wave Of African Writers Making An International Noise


“Black literary writers with African roots (though some grew up elsewhere), mostly young cosmopolitans who write in English, are making a splash in the book world, especially in the United States. They are on best-seller lists, garner high profile reviews and win major awards, in America and in Britain.”

Are We Trying To Save Arts Or Organizations? (Why Some Arts Organizations Should Die)


“I don’t buy the idea that if our arts organizations die, so will our ability to access art. We’ve seen for more than 2 millennia that art arises from a fundamental human need to both create, and consume, transformative experiences. That will continue for another 2 millennia regardless of our organizational structures or legal tax status.”

The Art Of Practicing (Here’s How It Works)


“The purpose of practising is so that we (offstage as engineers) make sure that we (onstage as pilots) are completely free to fly to the destination of our choice. That destination is one involving imagination and creativity and spirituality and danger and ecstasy of course, not merely the A to B of playing the notes, but without the nuts and bolts in place we will never be airborne. The greatest interpretative vision of the final pages of the final sonata of Beethoven will nosedive to oblivion if we can’t play an even trill.”

Allen Grossman, 82. ‘A Poet’s Poet And A Scholar’


“His poems, brainy and lyrical and often written in a voice that might be described as conversationally academic, are replete with referents, redolent of intellectual yearning and proudly high-minded … and though his work was always serious and often self-consciously grand, he also mixed lofty rhetoric with antic humor or sly wit and wrote with personal detail about people he knew.”

StoryCorps Launches New Project To Record LGBT Elders

storycorps outloud

Dave Isay: “We’ll make a comprehensive effort to find people who were alive in the pre-Stonewall era – in the ’50s and ’60s in small towns all across the country, creating a record of what life was like for them. I think it is going to be very difficult to hear. It’s difficult now; then, it was probably difficult beyond our imagination. You know, it was a spiritual holocaust.”

Does ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Shortchange Men?


Noah Berlatsky: “Female prisoners on the show are treated very differently. They may be violent and may be queer, but they are, for the most part, presented as sympathetic. This seems like a feminist move, on the surface. But the inability to extend that sympathy to male inmates, raises a disturbing possibility: that the show is condescending to women while reinforcing old and destructive attitudes about men.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 06.30.14

The Trouble With Opera
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-06-30

Droit de Suite revisited
AJBlog: For What it’s Worth | Published 2014-06-30

Stream come true
AJBlog: Life’s A Pitch | Published 2014-06-30

A new face in the canon
AJBlog: About Last Night | Published 2014-06-30

First View: A Pre-Opening At The Clark
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-06-30

NEA Jazz Masters: Joe Segal
AJBlog: RiffTides | Published 2014-06-30


In Search Of Lost Stephen Crane


The first biography of the short-lived novelist, published in 1923, seems to have been largely made-up. What scholars have put together since “enables us to piece together a new Stephen Crane: a figure as driven to prove his manhood as Jack London; as plaintive about his broken faith as Herman Melville; and as ironic about his personal self, and as recklessly disinclined to take conventional sexual morals seriously, as Oscar Wilde.”