“If this plays out right, people will be coming from all over. They’ll be looking for readings, visiting bookstores, making pilgrimages to our downtown library — they’ll know about all the things we have to offer. Once that positive reinforcement loop gets going, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Archives for May 2018
What does the Shed’s sliding roof get you that the sliding wooden panels don’t? The answer: It gets you bang for your half billion bucks. The Shed wants to be grand. The Shed wants awe. The Shed wants to look like a spaceport. Even in von Hantelmann’s taxonomy of ritual spaces, we have raced backward rather than forward—not to the theater, not to the museum, but all the way back to the reverence-inducing, hugely capitalized cathedral. A thousand essays on inclusivity won’t change that. They won’t erase the Shed’s position in a development scheme that benefits the wealthy.
It is not new information that Roseanne Barr makes racist, Islamophobic and misogynistic statements and is happy to peddle all manner of dangerous conspiracy theories. ABC knew this when it greenlighted the “Roseanne” reboot. ABC knew this when it quickly renewed the reboot for a second season, buoyed, no doubt, by the show’s strong ratings.
“Although historically ubiquitous and seemingly omnipresent, ink is anything but simple. … On a basic material level, inks consist of two components: colour and a way for that colour to attach itself to its intended surface, be it papyrus, parchment or paper. But the way that those elements combine, and the ingredients used to make them, offer a variety of permutations, proving ink to be one of the most curious and complex objects in human history.” Lydia Pine chooses half a dozen different inks from across the centuries to tell the story.
This was the beginning of the end of her performing career. However, far from sinking into despondency and brooding on fate’s cruel hand, Fisher reinvented herself as a piano teacher. And, over the past four decades, she has built up a reputation as one of the best in the business, dedicating herself to the advancement of pianists, many of whom are now enjoying the sort of career for which she herself was once destined.
“The midlife crisis was invented in London in 1957. That’s when a 40-year-old Canadian named Elliott Jaques stood before a meeting of the British Psycho-Analytical Society and read aloud from a paper he’d written. Addressing about a hundred attendees, Jaques claimed that people in their mid-30s typically experience a depressive period lasting several years. … In ordinary people symptoms could include religious awakenings, promiscuity, a sudden inability to enjoy life, ‘hypochondriacal concern over health and appearance,’ and ‘compulsive attempts’ to remain young.”
“In my 25-year career as a museum director, I have not seen a more challenging time to be an arts leader; the national and global political climates have created a situation in which our essential principles are under attack. It is not appropriate for a public museum to take positions in partisan politics. We must, however, stand up for what we believe in and defend our values.”
“One hundred years after the puff piece floated into our consciousness, it is being swept aside by a new kind of celebrity profile, developed within a newly engaged culture. It may be no less calculating than its predecessor, but its purpose is the opposite. Rather than meaning nothing, it means everything. The power piece positions itself as the celebrity profile as activism, and sometimes it even succeeds.”
Robert Lepage has returned to filmmaker Norman McLaren for his latest project Frame by Frame, teaming up with the National Ballet of Canada and the National Film Board to create a multimedia dance production that marries ballet and abstract film animation in hopes of pushing the boundaries of ballet for our technological era. The ballet took four years to make and cost $1.4 million.
“Darin Webb, 47, faces 20 years in jail on wire-fraud charges for embezzling $3.4 million from storied Manhattan agency Donadio & Olson, according to a recently unsealed federal criminal complaint.” The agency represents among others, Chuck Palahniuk and the estates of Mario Puzo and Studs Terkel.
“The world now changes at warp speed. Colleges move glacially. By the time they’ve assembled a new cluster of practical concentrations, an even newer cluster may be called for, and a set of job-specific skills picked up today may be obsolete less than a decade down the road. The idea of college as instantaneously responsive to employers’ evolving needs is a bit of a fantasy.
“In Morocco, where state funding and institutions for the arts is scarce, break dancing has empowered young people to make their own entertainment since its arrival in the 1980s. … While protesters and outspoken artists were targets, dancers flew under the radar because they were seen as apolitical. When a second generation of Moroccan B-boy crews emerged in the early 2000s, their art really began to flourish.” (photo journal)
“Virtuosos is a talent contest which already has a track record of attracting a mass viewership – in its native Hungary. It was started in 2014 by entrepreneur Mariann Peller, … with impressive results: the show’s fourth series has been reaching audiences of over 700,000 per episode, with the 2017 final not far short of the million viewer mark – nearly one in ten of the country’s population, which is comparable to the reach in the UK of mass market talent shows like The X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent.” Now Peller is going to try bringing the show to Great Britain and the U.S. – with no less than Plácido Domingo signing on to be a guest judge.
Okay, he was being a bit facetious, but he said that and a whole lot more to reporter Tim Teeman for an extended feature on the genesis of the opera from the hit film and E. Annie Proulx novella and on its upcoming production at New York City Opera.
“Chance the Rapper and his father, Ken Bennett, are among seven trustees who have resigned from the board of the DuSable Museum of African American History … The group of seven represents one-third of the museum’s board.”
“A bronze index finger in the Louvre, which was initially believed to be a toe, has been revealed to be the index finger of a colossal bronze statue of Emperor Constantine in the Musei Capitolini in Rome. Fragments of the 12m-high, early fourth-century bronze statue of Emperor Constantine are among the most valuable bronzes in the Capitolini’s collection.”
“Just half an hour before the sold-out opening night performance of The Tempest was set to begin, police officers asked the hundreds of well-dressed patrons to immediately evacuate the theatre, telling them to go as far from the building as the Avon River and Water Street.”
Marius Petipa created the commedia dell’arte-themed ballet in 1900, and it remained in repertory in St. Petersburg for almost 30 years; when later versions were choreographed by Lopukhov, Gusev, and Balanchine, the actual movement was a combination of steps passed down orally and newly created in Petipa’s idiom. For American Ballet Theater, Alexei Ratmansky went back to the Stepanov notation of the Petipa original made when it was new – and what he discovered was a surprise.
“Hutton wrote for 23 years for the Post, starting in 1984. … After the daily closed [at the end of 2007], Hutton established musicincincinnati.com, which was named ‘Best Web Site’ by the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.”
“A rapping Hamilton and a (quietly) rocking Boss propelled Broadway’s box office to new heights over the past year, as rising demand and even faster-rising ticket prices shattered industry records. Over all, the 67 shows that ran over the last season brought in $1.7 billion from 13.8 million patrons, according to figures released Tuesday by the Broadway League.”
“After a year and a half of negotiations and controversy, the city of Paris has still not found a site for the controversial sculpture the American artist gifted to the city in memory of the victims of the 2015 terror attacks. The French Culture Minister has now publicly stated that the work will not be installed at the Place de Tokyo square in front of the Eiffel Tower, as the artist had initially proposed.”
“The German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans has teamed up with a friend, the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, to encourage artists and other creative people to brainstorm ways for Europe to better present itself to the public. They put out a call in March for rebranding proposals, asking: ‘How can the European Union be valued by its citizens and be recognized as a force for good, rather than as a faceless bureaucracy?’ They requested ideas ‘for communicating the advantages of cooperation and friendship amongst people and nations.’ More than 400 proposals from 43 countries poured in.”
While the company had its challenges this year – most notably, having to find an alternative venue for its Sydney season, with the Sydney Opera House’s Joan Sutherland Theatre under renovation – its staging of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, sold 75,840 tickets over 41 performances in Sydney and Melbourne.
Odd ducks and different buds
‘You must have been quite an odd duck as a boy,’ I said to Barry Humphries, as the entertainer described his unusual devotion to Berlin cabaret artists, fostered in stuffy suburban Melbourne. … read more
AJBlog: Performance Monkey Published 2018-05-29
From stage to screen
Time was when hit plays on Broadway and London’s West End were routinely turned into big-budget films. Most of the time, alas, the plays in question were recast and “adapted” within an inch or two … read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2018-05-29
In an age that supremely prizes capitalist efficiency, the proliferation of pointless jobs is a puzzle. Why are employers in the public and private sector alike behaving like the bureaucracies of the old Soviet Union, shelling out wages to workers they don’t seem to need? Since bullshit jobs make no economic sense, David Graeber argues, their function must be political. A population kept busy with make-work is less likely to revolt.
Dipayan Biswas, a marketing professor at the University of South Florida, conducted the study at a cafe in Stockholm, where various genres of music were played on a loop at 55 decibels and 70 decibels at different times, for several days. When the music was louder, researchers found 20 percent more customers ordered something that was not good for them, compared to those who dined during the lower-volume times.
The play “3 Viudas en un Crucero” (Three Widows on a Cruise), which has been showing since January, featured light-skinned actress Marta Velasco smeared with dark makeup, exaggerated red lips, thick, drawn-in eyebrows and an Afro wig. A trailer of the play posted on YouTube shows Velasco pounding her chest, with her legs wide open while saying “Bailar, tomar y gozar como tres gorilas” (to dance, drink and have fun like three gorillas).
Ehrenreich contemplates with some satisfaction not just the approach of her own death but also the passing of her generation. As the boomers have aged, denial of death, she argues, has moved to the center of American culture, and a vast industrial ecosystem has bloomed to capitalize on it. Across twelve chapters, Ehrenreich surveys the health care system, the culture of old age, the world of “mindfulness,” and the interior workings of the body itself, and finds a fixation on controlling the body, encouraged by cynical and self-interested professionals in the name of “wellness.”
ABC’s cancellation announcement came hours after Barr announced she was “leaving” Twitter – again – after apologizing for calling former President Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett an offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes.” Barr came back to Twitter about 5 minutes later to expand on her apology.
Her sons say without doubt that if the real Katharine could see herself now she would be horrified, never having wanted to end up as she is. Indeed, most people find the prospect of this ending a negation of self, denial of a life’s work and character, a mortifying indignity no one should suffer. Who wants to leave family and friends with a final memory of themselves as a vegetable, a distortion, an alien being?