There’s Eadweard Muybridge, who was a bookseller until a traumatic brain injury in a stagecoach accident led him to become the pathbreaking photographer he was. There’s the orthopedic surgeon who suddenly became a talented pianist after being struck by lightning, and the slacking college dropout who became a math and geometry genius after a bar fight. How could this happen? Neurologists have two ideas.
Since punk began as a rebellion against boredom, the dead space of commercial music production and the empty hedonism born of the hippie era’s “great sexual revolution”, it was only a matter of time until it, too, would become corrupted. A yearning for its own prelapsarian state was built into punk’s ethos.
Nathan Lucky Wood, on watching a play about homelessness performed for homeless youth: “A young man raises his hand. He wants to ask a question. Why have they come here to perform a play which is so depressing? Being homeless is already hard. He was excited to see a play because he thought he could forget about that. But now he had been reminded of it, and he felt awful. He wanted to know, what had been the point? The facilitator didn’t have an answer. Nor, having worked across theatre and homeless services for years now, do I.”
“After completing its purchase of Rodale Inc. last week, the Hearst Corp., which announced the deal in October, quickly turned around and sold Rodale’s trade book publishing assets to Penguin Random House. Terms of the acquisition, which involves more than 2,000 backlist titles and 100 frontlist books, were not disclosed.”
Jenny Schlenzka, Performance Space’s artistic and executive director, said the organization had decided “nothing would be too holy to be rethought.” The new name, she added, “is signaling an ambition to be relevant and accessible to all of New York.”
“Now, no movie is one thing. … And so Three Billboards is about grief and anger, parental and police responsibility, truth and reconciliation. But it is also about class and race in rural America – and the levels to which [filmmaker Martin] McDonagh doesn’t actually investigate or interrogate his own storytelling decisions in that regard are frustrating.”
“Neuroscientist Agnieszka Burzynska … and her team looked at 40 female college students: half highly trained in modern dance, and half non-dancers. They had the subjects do various tasks – from watching dance videos to remembering the location of dots on a screen – and used scanners to look at their brain structure and activity. Here’s what they found.”
“Q: You’ve said that many new musicals don’t have proper songs. What goes into the making of a proper song?
“A: To write proper songs for a musical, there are special theatrical things you must master. Your songs must always be telling the story, which is very tricky, and you must learn how to do it. And the transitions between spoken dialogue and music are very hard; you can always tell when these transitions are awkward.”
Gregory Boyd, who served as artistic director for 29 years (and signed a five-year contract renewal in 2016), told staff that he had planned to retire after the end of last season but stayed on to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. “In this moment, while I am still ambulatory, I feel that it’s time for me to step aside …,” he said.
The annual survey by the Broadway League found that 25% of attendees were under age 25, with roughly 1.65 million of them under 18, the highest number ever measured. The portion of audiences from New York City has risen to 22%, with a further 18% from the suburbs.
Time and time again, the author argues that background knowledge is not only unnecessary, but even hurtful, to truly appreciating a work of art — hence the advice to ignore wall labels and audio guides. Michael Findlay accurately points out that many people are intimidated by art, because they feel they don’t know enough to understand it, so if they could just look at it for what it is, they’d appreciate it more than if they’d known the whole artist’s biography.
“That battle pitted two of the nation’s most prestigious, and deep-pocketed, archival institutions against each other, in a mini-drama mixing Milleresque high principle with more bare-knuckled competition. And it cracks a window onto the rarefied trade in writers’ papers, and the delicate calibrations of money, emotion and concern for posterity that determine where they ultimately come to rest.”
UK Music says 35% of venues across the country have closed in the last decade. “The big problem has been in recent years that developers have moved in next to pre-existing music venues,” says the body’s chief, Michael Dugher. “All of a sudden, the people in a block of flats are complaining about the noise of a venue.”
The hardcover book that costs $18 on Amazon was suddenly free for anyone via WikiLeaks’s Twitter page. The tweet, which includes a link to a PDF file saved on Google Drive, raised questions about possible copyright infringement — and whether those who click on the link and download the free file could face legal troubles.
New data from the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, and Action Fraud – which reports on fraud and cyber crime for the police – shows that the total recorded losses between May and October 2017 came to £1.66 million. This is made up of 3,973 individual reported incidences of ticket fraud – when tickets are purchased but don’t arrive, or turn out to be fake. This is an increase from the 2,885 reports recorded over the same period in 2015.
“The idea is to treat our collections as one and for our curators to work together accordingly,” LACMA director Michael Govan said in the announcement. “This exchange of works and ideas will allow both museums to bolster exhibition content especially in the areas of the historical and contemporary American West and the exploration of indigenous cultures across the Americas.”
The issue, writes Jacob Brogan, isn’t the “echo chamber” or “media bubble”. Rather the contrary: Twitter is the opposite of a bubble – and that’s precisely the problem.
Last week, a group called the Higher Education Video Game Alliance, which describes itself as a platform for higher education leaders to “underscore the cultural, scientific and economic importance of video game programs in colleges and universities,” published a statement that strongly objected to the WHO classification. The alliance described the proposal as “premature” and said it was based on research into gaming addiction that showed “a clear lack of consensus” from scientists and doctors.
Several observers pointed out that the initial five approved venders offered fewer than a hundred books for sale, two dozen of which are coloring books. “Why would they eliminate books?” Garcia asked. “It’s bureaucracy clashing with humanity.”
The Irish National Opera won’t be parking itself in the capital: plans are for and 38 performances in eight regional cities as well as Dublin, plus a contemporary work at London’s Barbican Centre. Repertory ranges from Mozart and Gluck through Verdi, Offenbach and Bartók to living composers Thomas Adès and Donnacha Dennehy.
“Ridley Scott’s Getty kidnapping drama was hastily reshot the week of Thanksgiving after a cascade of sexual misconduct allegations were made public against Kevin Spacey, who previously starred in the drama as billionaire J. Paul Getty. … But new information reveals ugly math behind the Hollywood victory.”
“Trained in ballet in her native Germany, Ms. von Aroldingen admitted that she had to unlearn much of what she knew when adapting to [New York] City Ballet’s fleet, streamlined style. Yet after Balanchine’s death in 1983, she became an expert stager of his works for other companies in the United States and abroad, and performed a wide Balanchine repertoire herself before she retired from dancing in 1984. She served as a ballet mistress in the company from 2004 to 2016.”
What You Need to Know
Community engagement and its potential for enhancing the viability of arts organizations is too often poorly understood or just plain misunderstood. It is conflated with other tasks and minimized by people who cannot envision its … read more
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2018-01-09
Should museums have free admission?
A common refrain is that the museum can “afford” to have free admission for all, either through better management of costs, or through increased donations from the very rich. I don’t doubt this. But is it a good idea? … read more
AJBlog: For What It’s Worth Published 2018-01-09
Maurice Peress, 1930-2018
Maurice Peress, a conductor who served as a link between jazz and classical music, died over the weekend at his home in New York. He was 87. Peress collaborated with Duke Ellington … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-01-09
Oprah, Donald Trump, and The Man Who Saw Them Coming
There has been, of course, an enormous amount of talk about Oprah Winfrey since her truly impressive speech at the Golden Globes Sunday night, and some have proposed her as the ideal candidate for … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2018-01-09
“This spring, the Worcester Art Museum … will put the complex process of identifying a Leonardo at the heart of a new exhibition. The Mystery of Worcester’s Leonardo (10 March-3 June) makes the case that a work that has been in the museum’s collection since 1940, A Miracle of Saint Donatus of Arezzo (around 1479-85), should be credited to the Renaissance master.” Judith H. Dobrzynski reports.
“Guillermo Del Toro’s fantasy epic about a woman who falls in love with a sea monster … picked up 12 nominations, including best film and best director, as well as a best actress pick for Sally Hawkins and best supporting actress for Octavia Spencer. Darkest Hour and Three Billboards [Outside Ebbing, Missouri] each received nine nominations, including best film and outstanding British film.” Biggest snub: The Post, completely shut out.