ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

Jane Campion’s Bones

“I’m an old dog in the game,” Campion says, smiling. “I’m careful about the bones I care to chew on. I want something with a deep enough scope, something that will hold up.” - Los Angeles Times

Florida School Called TikTok High, After Dance Videos

The videos featuring students – many of them uniformed athletes at Venice High School – dancing at the school with the staircase as their backdrop, as well as parody and reaction videos, have racked up millions of views in recent weeks. - Patch

A Dancer Who Doesn’t Look Like The Others

The 23-year-old has returned to dance from injury and uses his wheelchair and crutches to perform. He said it should be easier for others like him to enter the profession in future. - BBC

How Amazon Made Book Selling The Way We Read

The populist turn has put into question whether a comparatively very small group of authors—no matter how diverse—should really hog the scholarly limelight, especially when their productions constitute such an unrepresentative sample of all the imaginative or fictional texts. - BookForum

Chicago Art Institute Fired Its Docents – A Struggle To Redefine American Museums

The ramifications of what happened at the Art Institute will play out for years. Depending who’s talking, it’s about diversity, gratitude or merely the future of museums. - MSN (Chicago Tribune)

Mary Ellen Poole discusses student leadership and faculty representation

Mary Ellen Poole, Carnegie Mellon University’s Dean of the College of Fine Arts, talks about increasing faculty representation and student leadership.

Oscar Tang Dynasty: Met Renames Wing for $125-Million Donor & Ups Its “Emergency Relief Fund” to $100 Million

At some cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum, naming rights can have expiration dates. That famously happened with the

Four Constraints of Arts Enterprise

Why is it that some arts initiatives or disciplines tend toward commercial markets, others non-commercial? Some tend toward complex and durable nonprofit organizational forms...

He went down to the crossroads

In today’s Wall Street Journal I review the Lantern Theater Company’s hybrid-theater streaming production of Me and the Devil. Here’s an excerpt. *  *  * Robert Johnson’s celebrity...

Replay: Cream plays “Crossroads”

Cream plays Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” live at Fillmore West in 1968: https://youtube.com/watch?v=7HfkSzsyh1E (This is the latest in a series of arts- and history-related videos that appear...

Our Free Newsletter

Join our 30,000 subscribers

If Democracy Is Institutions, What Institutions Are Democracy?

Political institutions differ considerably from one purportedly democratic society to the next. Voting procedures, representation schemes, conceptions of free speech, and judicial arrangements are not uniform across societies that are widely regarded as democratic. - 3 Quarks Daily

Has America Lost Its Imagination?

Americans used to go to movie theaters to watch new characters in new stories. Now they go to movie theaters to re-submerge themselves in familiar story lines. - The Atlantic

What Ails Us: Our Search For Cures

Adam Phillips tells us again and again, the quest for self-improvement is itself the problem. What we suffer from “are our self-cures”, otherwise known as “symptoms”; what we need to be cured of are our cures, and our hankering for them. “There is no cure.” - New Statesman

Inside The NFT Hype Bubble

After “community,” the second-most used word at NFT.NYC is probably “rich.” As in, “Do you want to be rich?” The speakers ask the audience variations on that question a lot. -Artnet

Is Society Failing, Post-Pandemic?

Jill Lepore: Of course, there is such a thing as society. The question now is how the pandemic has changed it. Speculating about what might happen next requires first deciphering these statements, and where they came from. - The Guardian

When Each Of Us Is Turning Into An Investment Opportunity

Parallel shifts in culture and technology are forging a new paradigm. The rules around how we create and capture economic value are being rewritten, opening up new roads to the kind of wealth creation previously limited to a select few. - The Atlantic

Why It’s So Difficult To Design Communities Resilient To Climate Change

The recent passage of a $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill is a big step toward tackling some of those problems, but as East River Park shows, even when money is at hand, our convoluted systems often make it difficult or impossible to find consensus and work at the speed and...

Why The World’s Best Chess Players Are Too Good To Win

Accurate is the word of the match so far. Inevitably, the string of draws is the main narrative out of Dubai; no one has won a regulation game in the world championship in more than five years. But wins at this rarefied level most often come thanks to an opponent’s...

Hashing It Out: Is “West Side Story” Worth Doing In 2021, Or Is It An Outdated Basket Of Harmful Caricatures?

As the Steven Spielberg/Tony Kushner film arrives, New York Times critics Jesse Green and Isabelia Herrera, playwright Matthew López, theater historian Misha Berson (author of a history of the show), and writer Carina del Valle Schorske (emphatically not a fan) have at the question. - The New York Times

If Boris Won’t Make British Audience Members Mask Up, Then Venues Will

When performances started up again in the UK over the summer, masks weren't made mandatory (much to the alarm of some visitors from abroad). But with Delta and Omicron coronaviruses continuing to sicken people, venues are starting to insist that patrons wear face coverings. - The New York Times

Ten Best Performances Of 2021 (Yeah, We Know, ’21 Isn’t Done, But…)

The list is utterly subjective and non-comprehensive—no matter how much you watch, there’s somehow much more you’ve missed—but it includes ten people (or groups of people) who burst through the excess of amusements, onscreen or onstage, and did something extraordinary. - The New Yorker

Can You Really Copyright A Recipe?

U.S. copyright law seeks to protect “original works of authorship” by barring unauthorized copying of all kinds of creative material: sheet music, poetry, architectural works, paintings and even computer software. But recipes are much harder to protect. - The New York Times

Mezzo Jamie Barton Intends To Dismantle The Patriarchy, Or At Least Its Standard Opera Repertory

"I've spent a lot of years doing roles where I'm the third person in a love triangle, … and the lead soprano almost always has to kill herself, and those stories are 1,000% created by the patriarchy, and I'm not interested in them anymore." - The Guardian

Why Orchestra Percussion Sections Aren’t Diverse

At minimum, percussion students need a room to practice in — usually in a large single family home and not an apartment — over $10,000 for instruments, and $6,500 per year for lessons. And this is to say nothing of other crucial training opportunities, which come at an additional...

A Playwright-Turned-Librettist Considers Opera’s Centuries-Long Penchant For Adapting Pre-Existing Properties

Adaptations from well-known sources go right from the beginnings of opera as a distinct genre circa 1600 (Peri's Euridice and Monteverdi's L'Orfeo) to the remarkable flowering of new opera (especially chamber opera) in the US today. And there are good reasons for that. - Van

One Of Canada’s Top Contemporary Groups Calls It Quits

“We have been here for 35 years. We have made 300 creations, several international tours, 11 Canadian tours, and 70 concerts across the country. Before, the word “fatigue” was not even a reality for me, but time does its work.” - Ludwig Van

The Korean Who May Be The Most-Listened-To Living Composer In The World Right Now

Korea accounts for 20 percent of worldwide classical music sales, with a much younger audience base than in the West. The K-pop juggernaut needs no elucidation. Koreans have embraced Western music and elaborated on it. - 3 Quarks Daily

San Francisco Opera Is About To Turn 100 Years Old

When it comes to established and continuously active opera companies in North America, there is the Metropolitan, founded in 1883 ... and then San Francisco Opera. - San Francisco Classical Voice

Chicago Art Institute Fired Its Docents – A Struggle To Redefine American Museums

The ramifications of what happened at the Art Institute will play out for years. Depending who’s talking, it’s about diversity, gratitude or merely the future of museums. - MSN (Chicago Tribune)

Spain’s “Scrap Cathedral”

Using bricks and wood scavenged from building sites, shards of stained glass, and stacked oil drums for pillars, former monk Justo Gallego spent six decades constructing a church of his own design in outer Madrid. He died last weekend, but a nonprofit will finish the building. - Yahoo! (AFP)

Biggest-Ever Vermeer Show Is Coming, And It Could Be The Last

At least two dozen of the 35 surviving paintings of Johannes Vermeer will be on display in the spring of 2023 at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, whose director says he expects to borrow every Vermeer that isn't too fragile to travel. - The Guardian

Medieval Rock-Hewn Churches Of Lalibela Retaken By Ethiopian Government Forces

The UNESCO World Heritage Site and pilgrimage center has been one of the battlegrounds in the civil war between Ethiopia's central government and rebels from Tigray province, whose forces captured the town in August. - Al Jazeera

The Art World Power 100 List

NFTs (and with them cryptocurrency and all that comes with it) have upended the art market, bringing contemporary art and millennial meme culture crashing together.  - ArtReview

Italy Shows Britain (And The Rest Of Us) How To Return The Parthenon’s Looted Friezes

"The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports has announced that Italy will return a fragment of the Parthenon Frieze, which has been on loan as part of a cultural exchange." - Artnet

Premium Classifieds

Managing Director – Village Theatre

The MD is expected to be a critical civic partner with the AD, being both a strong internal manager with an obvious and enthusiastic external presence in the Puget Sound area.

Apply by Jan 15 for IU’s M.A. in Arts Administration

The O’Neill School’s M.A. in Arts Administration at Indiana University creates opportunities to learn from practitioners in the field and master innovative ways to support artists.

Director, Opening Nights at Florida State University

The Director, Opening Nights (ON) directs all aspects of the organization by administering and implementing strategies that advance the organization.

AJ Classifieds

Dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts

The University of California, Irvine is seeking a dean for its Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

Vice President of Philanthropy

As one of the greater Phoenix area’s largest and most iconic cultural institutions, we seek dynamic, outgoing, goal-oriented team members to join our institution to help propel the Symphony into its next phase of artistic and organizational growth.

PRESIDENT/CEO – DAVID A. STRAZ, JR. CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

The President & Chief Executive Officer provides the overall institutional and creative vision.

MAJOR GIFTS OFFICER

The Major Gifts Officer is an integral member of the development team at Playwrights’ Center.

Director of Artist/Patron/Corporate Relations, Marketing, Community Engagement & Next Generation Initiatives

This position will be responsible for the management of Four Seasons’ artist/patron/corporate relations.

Executive Director of O’Shaughnessy

St. Catherine University and the Office of Institutional Advancement invite applications for the position of the Executive Director at The O’Shaughnessy.

Executive Administrator of the Southeastern Piano Festival

The Executive Administrator will work closely with the festival Artistic Director and serve as liaison to School of Music directors of finance, development and marketing.

PRESIDENT/CEO CENTRAL CITY OPERA

Central City Opera (CCO) seeks a dynamic leader to be its first President & CEO (CEO).

Director–The Hartt School Community Division

We are seeking a collaborative and strategic leader who is passionate about music, dance, and theatre and who shares our belief in the transformative power of the performing arts.

Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance Tenure-Track Assistant/Associate Professor in Choreography

The ideal candidate has an active choreographic profile, is committed to time-based performance as a form...

Assistant Professor/Associate Professor of Theatre

The successful candidate will play a key cross-disciplinary role in a complex and multi-faceted MFA program with concentrations in Acting, Directing, Dramaturgy, Playwriting, Theatre Management and Producing, and Stage Management.

Director of Programming

Guide the Programming Department’s annual and long-term programming goals pursuant to the organization’s mission.

Music Director, Greenville Symphony Orchestra

The Music Director is responsible for the repertoire, programming, and artistic production.

Advertise on AJ

NBC’s Live “Annie” Was “Pleasant”

You probably tuned in to NBC’s “Annie Live!” for one reason: to see if it would be a train wreck. - Washington Post

Dominique Morisseau On Why She Pulled Her Play “Paradise Blue” From The Geffen Playhouse

"I felt in this situation that everybody's wellness was not considered. The theater makers that were causing the harm were being centered over the people who were being harmed — and those who were reporting harm were told to wait it out and endure it." - Yahoo! (Los Angeles...

Does Putting A Broadway Show On Video Cut Into Sales? Quite The Contrary, Says Lin-Manuel Miranda

The creator of Hamilton says the show's filmed version o on Disney+ has only increased demand for tickets to the staged production. (If only all shows could be hits like that one …) Lynn Nottage's new play, Clyde's, is streaming as well and could offer more data. - Playbill

Doing Standup Comedy In India Is Getting Dangerous

You can't say that the country is humorless, but the Modi government's laws can have people fined or jailed on mere accusations (even false ones) of insulting the nation or religion, and Hindu nationalists egged on by Modi's party disrupt performances and threaten comedians. - BBC

Ticket Sales For England’s Christmas Pantos Are Lagging, And Theatres Are Getting Nervous

Sales are down by a third from 2019, and research indicates that many audience members remain wary of attending while COVID case numbers are high. As with Nutcracker for American ballet companies, English theatres depend on panto income to help finance the rest of their seasons. - BBC

Broadway Gathers To Mourn Sondheim

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban, members of every Broadway show up right now, and many, many other people gathered "on the red stairs above TKTS in Times Square" to sing the composer's "Sunday." - Variety

Florida School Called TikTok High, After Dance Videos

The videos featuring students – many of them uniformed athletes at Venice High School – dancing at the school with the staircase as their backdrop, as well as parody and reaction videos, have racked up millions of views in recent weeks. - Patch

A Dancer Who Doesn’t Look Like The Others

The 23-year-old has returned to dance from injury and uses his wheelchair and crutches to perform. He said it should be easier for others like him to enter the profession in future. - BBC

The Pivot That Got One Of L.A.’s Biggest Dance Centers Through The Pandemic

"In August, the Los Angeles-area stalwart the Lab closed its dance space, a 12,000-square-foot location. … Instead, it has transformed from a dance studio into a 'creative agency and lifestyle brand,' as its website says — a feat of survival, and a strategic one." - The New York Times

The Choreographer Who Designs Movement For People To Use Computers With

Lins Derry "is one of the world's foremost experts on the design of choreographic interfaces: the practice of using carefully designed bodily motions (think: using 'pinch-to-zoom' or swiping right or left on your mobile device) to bring humans and computers into productive dialogue." - Dance Magazine

Why Sexual Grooming And Abuse Seem To Happen So Often In Ballet

"Unfortunately, ballet's rigid hierarchy, job scarcity and conditioning of dancers to be compliant makes it a comfortable environment for perpetrators to thrive in." Kathleen McGuire examines how it happens and what might be done to prevent it. - Pointe Magazine

It’s Been Ten Years Since Robert Battle Took Over Leading Alvin Ailey Company

“The knee-jerk thing is to overcorrect,” he continued. “But sometimes you need to double down in your mission. Sometimes you have to think about what doesn’t change, what shouldn’t change.” - The New York Times

How Amazon Made Book Selling The Way We Read

The populist turn has put into question whether a comparatively very small group of authors—no matter how diverse—should really hog the scholarly limelight, especially when their productions constitute such an unrepresentative sample of all the imaginative or fictional texts. - BookForum

Bookstore Lost 400,000 Books In A Fire. Then The Community Stepped Up

Thousands of books, filling two shipping containers, have been donated - and more are coming in all the time. - The Leader

The Diagram Prize For The Oddest Book Title Of 2021 Goes To —

Is Superman Circumcised?, which is, in fact, a serious study of the origins of the DC Comics character (subtitle: "The Complete Jewish History of the World's Greatest Hero"). It won the public vote against five other finalists by 28 percentage points. - The Bookseller (UK)

The Universal Story (But Why?)

From one point of view, it’s obvious that, despite exceptions, most stories portray “goody-baddy” dynamics—from nursery rhymes to juicy gossip, from ancient folktales to Holy Scripture, from lowbrow reality shows to award-winning documentaries. The question is, why? - Quillette

“The Russian Proust”, Who Died At Auschwitz, Will Have A Novel Published In English For The First Time

Yuri Felsen (né Nikolai Freudenstein), born in St. Petersburg in 1894, fled to Paris after the Revolution and was considered by Russian émigrés to be a near-equal of Nabokov. His first novel, Deceit, published in Russian in 1930; will see print in English next spring. - The Guardian

Author Alice Sebold Apologizes To Man Cleared Of Her 1981 Rape Featured In Her Book

“My goal in 1982 was justice – not to perpetuate injustice,” she said. “And certainly not to forever, and irreparably, alter a young man’s life by the very crime that had altered mine.”- The Guardian

It’s Not You: Why It’s Getting More Difficult To Understand Movie Dialogue

"It's really a gumbo, an accumulation of problems that have been exacerbated over the last 10 years … that's kind of this time span where all of us in the filmmaking community are noticing that dialogue is harder and harder to understand." - Slash Film

After 25 Years, “Citizen Ruth” Is Relevant Again, And Star Laura Dern Is Very Pleased

In this Q&A, she says that in 1996, Harvey Weinstein and Miramax deliberately buried the movie, but that young people today (including her daughter's friends) have discovered it and love it, especially now that Roe v. Wade is in jeopardy. - Vulture

NPR Morning Edition Host Noel King Is Leaving For A Sort-Of Competitor

She is moving to Vox Media as editorial director and co-host (with current host Sean Rameswaram) of Today, Explained, Vox's morning news podcast. What's more, WNYC has agreed to distribute Today, Explained to public radio stations nationwide. - Axios

Female Filmmakers Are Rethinking And Reworking The Western

"These female-made Westerns are really tackling toxic masculinity and the ways in which men's attempts to prove themselves as men can backfire, rather than glorifying the myth of the cowboy as the older, traditional Western did." - BBC

The Rise Of The Media “Comfort Creator”

“With the terror of a global pandemic sending anxiety sky high and rendering TV one of the few safe entertainment outlets, the desire for comfort has become particularly noticeable.” - The New York Times

What’s The Right Length For A Podcast? That Depends …

Hosting platform Acast says that the average episode length of its 100 most popular podcasts is 38'10" — but it's not that simple. Comedy shows average 55½ minutes, news/politics programs 28 minutes. Podcasts aimed at commuters run about 40 minutes, those for people doing chores about 20. - Inside...

Jane Campion’s Bones

“I’m an old dog in the game,” Campion says, smiling. “I’m careful about the bones I care to chew on. I want something with a deep enough scope, something that will hold up.” - Los Angeles Times

Sondheim And The Art Of Mentoring

As a mentor, as a letter writer, as an audience member who showed up far beyond Broadway to witness new work, he quietly, faithfully nurtured generations of theater makers. - The New York Times

Antony Sher, One Of Britain’s Great Stage Actors, Dead At 72

Though an accomplished writer and screen actor, he was most admired for theatre classics from Shakespeare to Pinter. In 1985, for Richard III and Torch Song Trilogy, he became, he said, "the first actor to win an for playing both a king and a queen." - BBC

Alvin Lucier, Pathbreaking Avant-Garde Composer, Dead At 90

"During a career spanning six decades, Mr. Lucier moved from a respectable position as a traditional composer … to the near-personification of experimentalism in music, … writing pieces for brain waves, birdcalls, electronic devices, resonant bowls and, every so often, standard classical instruments." - MSN (The Washington Post)

Tony Kushner, Architect Of A New Great Historical Mistake

Among my favorite Kushner quotes: “Dare to participate in the great historical mistake of your time.” The particular mistake he has in mind is “West Side Story,” a new movie, directed by Steven Spielberg. - The New York Times

David Gulpilil, Pioneering Indigenous Australian Actor, Dead At 68

He became a star in his home country playing the lead in Nicholas Roeg's Walkabout and familiar internationally for his role in Crocodile Dundee. He won acclaim and awards for other film and TV performances and helped end the use of blackface in Australia. - The New York Times