“More than 300 people have signed a petition to either ban or label and group materials related to homosexual and transgender content in the Orange City Public Library. … The controversy erupted in one of Iowa’s most conservative Republican counties in northwest Iowa after somebody filed a statement of concern to the library about a book on its shelves that featured LGBTQ content.”
No, not every book is good. “An appeal for the revival of the negative book review, then, is a remonstration against forced and foppish praise, where everything is good and so nothing at all is good. It is an appeal for a greater investment in the context and content of a book, a task far different from the casting about for bits to extol.”
And at first he didn’t want to be on the show at all. “I was offered the job and I said, ‘You’re out of your minds — I will ruin your show!’ … They said, ‘No you won’t, we know how to cast. From what we know, there’s never been a gay, Muslim, British immigrant on a global platform before.’” Indeed.
“I’d like to see politicians dancing. I’d like to see the world practicing art. Because the introspection from true art practice can’t lie.” (video)
Hannah Arendt: “I met Auden late in his life and mine – at an age when the easy, knowledgeable intimacy of friendships formed in one’s youth can no longer be attained, because not enough life is left, or expected to be left, to share with another. Thus, we were very good friends but not intimate friends. Moreover, there was a reserve in him that discouraged familiarity – not that I tested it, ever.”
Slate‘s Aisha Harris talks with Beth McGuire, who “is the director of speech and dialects at Yale, author of African Accents: A Workbook for Actors, and previously worked with stars Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira on the latter’s Tony-nominated play Eclipsed.”
It was a long, tricky, expensive, and contentious process to get Katastwóf Karavan fabricated and transported to Louisiana, even though Walker can laugh about it now.
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Americans injured in a 1997 suicide bombing in Jerusalem cannot seize ancient Persian artifacts from a Chicago museum to satisfy a $71.5 million court judgment against Iran, which they had accused of complicity in the attack.”
“David Zindel, son of American playwright Paul Zindel, filed the complaint Wednesday alleging that [Guillermo] Del Toro’s critically acclaimed film, which has more Oscar nominations than any other this year, has ‘exploited’ the play Let Me Hear You Whisper and should have credited and licensed his father’s work.”
“How much appetite there will be for another art fair in Los Angeles, however, remains to be seen. L.A. is home to a pair of established fairs: the L.A. Art Show, which is generally held downtown, and the glitzier Art Los Angeles Contemporary, staged at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica.
But the city is not generally regarded by collectors as an art market destination.”
“The plans include Saudi’s first opera house after concerts had been banned for the past two decades. This follows the recent lifting of a 35-year ban on public movie theaters, opening up a what is expected to be a lucrative market. It all falls under the progressive Crown Prince’s Vision 2030 program. These sorts of reforms are revolutionary in what has been an ultra-conservative Kingdom. Women were recently granted the right to drive and attend football matches.”
Reviewers are neither arbiters of taste nor are they ushers doing the job of wheedling readers to get under a particular set of covers. Consideration of a book is an engagement with its context, and even more crucially an enunciation of the alchemy between its content and the inevitably subjective experience of reading it. In this sense, the unique subjectivity of every reader will inevitably interact differently with a book; this prismatic aspect of what individual readers “get” from literature is part of the intimacy of reading, its inherently individual aspect.
Copeland said that ABT and ballet in general are naturally moving in a direction that favors gender equality and more diversity on stage, but key to ballet’s survival is the diversification of its patrons, too. “Bringing diversity into the theater is going to keep ballet thriving and relevant and alive. To me, that’s so critical and so important,” she said.
Samir Chopra: “The Buddha and David Hume considered the self to be a bundle of ever-changing perceptions and thoughts and images. Similarly, I propose a ‘self-as-bundled-anxieties’ theory: we are a bundle of anxieties; by examining them, to see what vexes us, what makes us anxious, we come to know who we are. Anxiety is a reminder that our selves are rather more diffuse and disorderly than we might imagine, that there are more bits to be seized as they swirl ‘about’ and ‘inside’ us.”
“The internet sank its teeth into a now-defunct Winter Olympics event this week: ski ballet. And it makes sense. When you see footage of actual ski ballet competitions from years past it’s hard to deny the novelty of it all, while simultaneously taking in the raw athleticism and artistry of the event. There’s also an extremely ‘What the hell am I watching?’ quality to ski ballet. … But really, no words can truly do it justice.” (includes video)
Collectively, the cities on this list are responsible for generating more than $112 million in wages for Equity actors and stage managers during the 2016-2017 theatre season. The market leaders are Central Florida – home to roughly 1,000 Equity members, many of whom work on Disney productions on a daily basis – Washington, D.C./Baltimore, Twin Cities, St. Louis, Milwaukee/Madison, Kansas City, Denver, Seattle, Houston/Galveston, and Cincinnati/Louisville.
“From the start of his career, Kadare broke with the prescribed literary mode of socialist realism to write fiction rooted in history, myth, and allegory. But he never became a full-on dissident. Doing so probably would have meant execution. … He saw his books banned and experienced internal exile, but he also served as a minister of parliament. … He describes his own relationship to the dictator as a game of ‘cat and mouse’: He wanted to survive, remain in his homeland, and continue writing; [Enver] Hoxha ‘didn’t want to be seen as an enemy of writers.'”
“I was a relatively late convert to the e-reader, getting my Kindle five years ago when it became clear that reading 600 pages of A Suitable Boy while breastfeeding wasn’t going to work,” writes author Erin Kelly (He Said/She Said). “Hachette Livre CEO Arnaud Nourry recently called ebooks ‘stupid’ – but last summer, they changed my life” as both author and reader.
Russian media outlets and government officials, right up to President Putin, have been thunderously denouncing two of the nominees for Best Documentary Feature: Icarus, about the Russian doctor who blew the whistle on the country’s athletic doping program, and (perhaps more surprisingly) Last Men in Aleppo, about volunteer emergency medics working amidst Syria’s civil war.
rediscovery of the distinctive Minimalist composer Julius Eastman … took a major step forward on Wednesday, when the publisher G. Schirmer announced it would restore, reconstruct, publish and promote his music.
The publishing deal will ensure that the recent Eastman renaissance – spearheaded by a dedicated group of former colleagues, scholars and family members – will continue and grow. And it promises to restore the neglected work of a gay, black composer to the modern-music canon.”
With a new director in place, the financially troubled company decided to take “a year off from producing to get our house in order.” It seems progress has been made: PTC will stage three productions of its own in 2018-19, all by female playwrights, and will present some touring shows and other programs as well.
Having abandoned last year its long-anticipated plan to for a North American ticket-selling platform, the company told its British customers this week that it is closing Amazon Tickets, which had been operating in the UK since 2015. However, sources say that the online retailer has been working on a new ticketing platform that would work with the voice-activated Amazon Echo and the Firestick streaming device.
“[David] Glasser, known within the company as the ‘third Weinstein’, is expected to claim that his termination was ‘nothing more than a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the very people who were empowered to halt Harvey Weinstein’s abusive behavior – chairman Bob Weinstein and the two other members of the TWC board of directors,’ according to a statement from his law firm.”
“The Miami-based philanthropist and art collector Ella Fontanals-Cisneros has announced that she will donate some works from her collection of Latin American art to the Spanish government, which will exhibit them on the second floor of Madrid’s historical La Tabacalera, a former tobacco factory.”
“If the costs of things like accommodation, subsistence and travel, venue rents and licensing continue to rise then there will come a point where this festival is no longer affordable for the people who give it reason, content, credibility and existence – without whom none of the economic or other impacts would be possible.”
High Noon adapted for the stage, speaking sharply to 2018 and with no exit
High Noon is a great movie, but does it immediately jump to mind as a story that’s ripe for re-evaluation and revision? … read more
AJBlog: Condemned to Music Published 2018-02-21
Engagement at the Core
In addition to what has been said to this point concerning community relationships, programming, and marketing, I would suggest that in the beginning all internal stakeholders in an arts organization continue their work as is and … keep it simple. … read more
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2018-02-20
Da Vinci’s BFF, the CPA
It’s common modern practice to consider art and commerce in opposition to each other, and artists and accountants as cartoonish polar opposites, as well. But it wasn’t always so. … read more
AJBlog: The Artful Manager Published 2018-02-21
“Respect” Not “Hagiography”: How National Portrait Gallery Sizes Up Obama & His Predecessors
In pithy new blurbs, the National Portrait Gallery’s revamped and reinterpreted “America’s Presidents” installation strives to tell each former officeholder’s “unique stories of both triumph and failure” (in the words of the introductory wall text). … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2018-02-20
Rob Clearfield: Quiet And Deep
Rob Clearfield, Wherever You’re Starting From (Woolgathering Records)
The Chicago pianist’s low-key approach to solo piano might lead to wool-gathering that would justify the name of his label. But he bolsters … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-02-21
“Only a few months ago, … Lepage would never have thought twice about a nude scene with an actress. But the sexual harassment scandals that have wracked the entertainment industry since the Hollywood mogul’s fall have forced the Québécois master theatremaker to rethink how he works. The fact he was also rehearsing a play, Quills, inspired by the one of the most notorious sexual predators in history – the Marquis de Sade, after whom the word ‘sadism’ was coined – added further fuel for thought.”