The cases of Peter Martins and Marcelo Gomes are the only ones from the dance world to have hit the national media in the #MeToo era, and the movement’s momentum seems to have faded in the field seems to have dissipated. “[Yet] we’ve barely scratched the surface of the dance world’s harassment problem. One reason why: The same culture that makes harassment possible in dance makes it uniquely difficult for artists to speak up,” writes Lauren Wingenroth in an essay exploring the issue.
Scott Gormley, filmmaker and dance dad: “I’ve spent the last two years creating a documentary about the struggles that young men face when they choose to dance ballet ― when they choose to thumb their nose at what boys ‘should do.’ … What I found the most upsetting were the attacks that came directly from family members: fathers, stepfathers, uncles, brothers, many of whom feared that ballet would ‘turn’ boys gay.”
“There is a sense that history’s alleged tendency to repeat itself is particularly pronounced in the cultural value debate, and with respect to efforts to ‘demonstrate’ the value of arts and culture. Have we made progress in the past 30 years, or is it true that we have been going in circles? … Patrycja Kaszynska, the lead on the Cultural Value Scoping Project, spoke to Ian David Moss, founder of Createquity, about ideas and emerging trends in cultural value research.”
“The magazine was owned by Peter Brant, a billionaire art collector, who acquired the magazine in 1989. Its closure comes after months of turmoil, including staff being locked out as part of rent dispute, a lawsuit brought by a former editorial director over back pay and the resignation of a fashion director accused of sexual misconduct.”
“Robert Indiana stands as one of the very few artists in history to make a work of art that got away from its maker and took on an incredible, even improbable, life of its own. His iconic presentation of the word ‘LOVE,’ which he created in 1964, ranks as one of the most popular artworks of the 20th-century — an utter crowd-pleaser that is instantly recognizable to millions, whether rendered as a giant metal sculpture or emblazoned across a T-shirt. Such omnipresence could be the signal achievement for any artist, but Indiana was also one of the cornerstones of the Pop art movement of the 1960s.”
“In a federal lawsuit filed Friday, a day before Mr. Indiana’s death at 89, a company that says it has long held the rights to several of Mr. Indiana’s best-known works proposed an answer, arguing in court papers that [caretaker Jamie Thomas] and New York art publisher [Michael McKenzie] had tucked the artist away [in his island home in Maine] while they churned out unauthorized or adulterated versions of his work.”
In the early hours of Friday morning, “white paint was spilled near the chapel’s entrance and in the reflection pool surrounding the Barnett Newman sculpture, The Broken Obelisk, which is dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. [There were also] ‘handbills’ strewn around the grounds and the pool that read, ‘It’s okay to be white.'”
“An actress who combined ravishing beauty with cool sophistication, [Morison] was promoted as the ‘Fire and Ice Girl’ when she landed in Hollywood in the late 1930s. She appeared opposite some of the most popular stars of the era — from Spencer Tracy to Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller — but her career stalled from typecasting as a well-coiffed vamp. [She] did not emerge to public recognition until returning to her Broadway roots in 1948 to perform in Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate, which became one of the most popular stage musicals of all time.”
Saying that the move would send “a strong signal that culture is the foundation for our open and democratic society,” culture minister Monika Grütters announced that Angela Merkel’s government plans to increase the arts budget by 23%. In the five years that Grütters has been in office, the national culture budget has grown by 38%, roughly $548 million.
The long-serving archaeologist “was not the first person to see the pottery fragments, nor did he order the partial excavation of the complex, which became a national treasure.” But he was the first one to reassemble the statues from the broken fragments that were first discovered. “Decades later he was still signing his name with a grand title: ‘Zhao Kangmin, the first discoverer, restorer, appreciator, name-giver and excavator of the terra-cotta warriors.'”
When Mark Coetzee resigned as the first executive director and chief curator of Zeitz MOCAA on Cape Town’s waterfront, and the museum’s trustees said they were investigating his “professional conduct” and the museum’s “institutional practices,” reporting suggested that the concerns were about a too-close relationship with a group of collectors. But the problem was nothing so highbrow: “Numerous high flyers in the art world, who did not wish to be named, said they had witnessed Coetzee making lewd and sexually suggestive comments at work and inappropriate advances and suggestions of a sexual nature towards men in public.”
Monday Recommendation: Get To Know Tom Talbert
Demands on time and resources have sidetracked plans for a new Monday Recommendation. Hey, stuff happens. The Rifftides staff’s solution is to reach back to the earliest days of this blog, and … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-05-21
Weekend Extra: Zeitlin, Williams and Wilson Together Again
Denny Zeitlin, Wishing On The Moon, Live At Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola In New York City
Pianist Zeitlin has recorded three albums with bassist Buster Williams and drummer Matt Wilson, beginning in … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-05-20
These are not dances with deep spiritual meanings, but rather they’re the most prolific forms of creative expression for young Africans right now. That has since evolved into a professionalization of these dances, as tutorial videos crop up on these very dances and professional choreographers increasingly incorporate them.
The Grand Prix went to Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” an American racial drama that just about pops with relevance. From the lofty heights at the top of the carpet, Cannes carried on business as usual. Yet that didn’t stop a great many people, throughout the festival, from asking: Has Cannes lost its luster, its excitement, its relevance? Has its status as the world’s most prestigious and sexy and important film festival been dimmed? Has it been undermined by a perfect storm of elements, from the rise of Netflix to the power of awards season? To put it in the most blunt terms possible: Are the great films now playing somewhere else?
A Falstaffian provocateur, Mr. Alsop believed that his visually spectacular projects brightened their landscapes, and that architects had a calling to inspire the public. “Lifting the spirit, whether you’re working in a building or walking past it every day, is the job of the architect,” he told CNN in 2005.
Thomas Nagel argued that when we sense that something – or everything – in life is absurd, we’re experiencing the clash of two perspectives from which to view the world. One is that of the engaged agent, seeing her life from the inside, with her heart vibrating in her chest. The other is that of the detached spectator, watching human activity coolly, as if from the distance of another planet.
What has changed is not so much the level of noise, which previous centuries also complained about, but the level of distraction, which occupies the space that silence might invade. There looms another paradox, because when it does invade—in the depths of a pine forest, in the naked desert, in a suddenly vacated room—it often proves unnerving rather than welcome. Dread creeps in; the ear instinctively fastens on anything, whether fire-hiss or bird call or susurrus of leaves, that will save it from this unknown emptiness. People want silence, but not that much.
No one questions Hammerstein’s historical significance, nor does the popularity of these six musicals show any sign of diminishing. But there is a gap between that popularity and the esteem in which he is held by many critics. Kenneth Tynan summed up the conventional wisdom about the alleged sentimentality and naiveté of Hammerstein’s work when he dismissed The Sound of Music as “a show for children of all ages, from six to about eleven and a half.” Stephen Sondheim, Hammerstein’s protégé, put it more forgivingly when he described him as “easy to make fun of because he is so earnest.”
“These companies aren’t out to nail trends, as the fast fashion manufacturers of past decades did, but rather to sell an all-encompassing clothing system through which consumers are meant to live. In tech terms, the brands are platforms and the products must be scalable, aimed at as wide and profitable an audience as possible, whether those products are fabric sneakers or ethically manufactured underwear. It’s clothing as software, embracing an ethos of one-for-all uniformity.”
Eight months after slashing its price and expanding membership past 2 million users, MoviePass is now at risk of going bust. The parent company, Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc., which now owns 92 percent of MoviePass, said last week that it had just $15.5 million in cash at the end of April and $27.9 million on deposit with merchant processors. MoviePass has been burning through $21.7 million per month.
“I’ve been kept alive by music, and I’ve had friends who were kept alive by music. And the thing I know is that when a musician dies at the hands of their own demons, it makes the demons in your life—the ones that the musician helped you understand—seem briefly larger and more menacing. A person inspires you by enduring in the face of insurmountable pain, until they decide not to endure anymore. By virtue of having imagined yourself in the same boat, that death can become a fresh and dark isolation.”
Two of the protesters that entered the hall led music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin to slam his baton on the podium and walk off the stage. Some musicians began to leave, too, before the protesters, who were loudly booed by the audience, were forcibly removed. After the 10-minute disruption, the orchestra’s interim co-president, Matthew Loden, told the audience: “We live in an age where dissent is important. It matters. It should be heard. But the sanctity of the concert hall should be respected.”
German museums’ collections of colonial-era artifacts, statues and art are being put under extra scrutiny as the country moves towards a nation-wide restitution effort. Germany’s culture minister, Monika Grütters, and the German Association of Museums published a code of conduct this week that outlines how curators can determine whether historical artifacts were acquired unethically or unlawfully by today’s standards.
Weaponized classical music is just the next step in the commodification of the genre. Today, most young people encounter classical music not as a popular art form but as a class signifier, a set of tropes in a larger system of encoded communication that commercial enterprises have exploited to remap our societal associations with orchestral sound. Decades of cultural conditioning have trained the public to identify the symphony as sonic shorthand for social status — and, by extension, exclusion from that status. The average American does not recognize the opening chords of The Four Seasons as the sound of spring but the sound of snobbery.
Copeland says she feels lucky, and like her success is almost unbelievable – but she wants some compatriots at the top. “She is adamant that a large part of her purpose as a public figure is to make sure up-and-coming black and brown dancers know they belong in the world of classical ballet – and feel welcome there.”
The Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye has 1,600 residents – and thousands of people coming to its book festival. Its director explains why Hay is special: “I think we all have a special sense of place that defines what we do and how we do it. For Hay that’s the open green mountains and the dark skies, and it’s the fact that the town has 1,600 people and 28 bookshops. How many cities have that kind of wealth?” (Also: Survive by talking to other book fans.)
Gold designed the posters for Casablanca, A Streetcar Named Desire, Alien, and thousands more. “Long before poster artists turned to photography and computer-generated images in the 1980s and ’90s, illustrators like Mr. Gold billboarded movies with freehand drawings, based on scripts and first screen prints, that hinted at plots and moods and mysteries, without giving away too much — priming audiences for love, betrayal, jealousy, murder.”
Why does that make a difference? “The vocal variety now offered by these companies minimizes the subservient female assistant vibe. And as these assistants are increasingly being adopted in households with children, bossing around not just a female-voiced assistant seems like a healthy step in teaching gender equality and eliminating traditional gender role expectations. For younger children anthropomorphizing the bot, a changing voice may also make it clear that this is a computer entity, not a person.”