“The choreographer, who turns 70 this year, will leave the London venue in November in order to concentrate on leading the Richard Alston Dance Company towards its 25th anniversary in 2020. He has been artistic director of the Place since 1994 and formed his company, which is resident there, in 1995.”
Art creates pathways for subversion, for political understanding and solidarity among coalition builders. Art teaches us that lives other than our own have value. Like the proverbial court jester who can openly mock the king in his own court, artists who occupy marginalized social positions can use their art to challenge structures of power in ways that would otherwise be dangerous or impossible. Authoritarian leaders throughout history have intuited this fact and have acted accordingly.
The interim artistic director at the Alley Theatre is weighing the best response to the query of, “What will be Gregory Boyd’s legacy?” Boyd, who left in January, helped grow the company’s reputation as artistic director over nearly three decades but was also accused of harassing several women on his staff and creating an abusive work environment.
“A quarter of the 40 major arts and culture organisations that had to report their gender pay gap details to [the UK] Government this week paid their female staff a higher average hourly rate than their male employees last year. Overall the major arts employers still pay men more than women – there is a median hourly pay gap of 4.4%, but this is lower than the average of 12% across all 10,000 reporting employers.”
Just because an academic field is timeless doesn’t mean it should never change. If the humanities are ever to enjoy a true resurgence, it will come as a result of a reinvention that embraces a fresh new take on old disciplines.
Parul Sehgal: “It’s constant panic, and guilt, and shame. Also pajamas. No, it’s a great gig, I’m not going to lie. … It’s monkish, but if you are into that sort of thing, it’s bliss. But with that, I think what propels me is also a feeling of responsibility. It’s also a feeling of working in a very strange genre, in that when you write a book review – and the book reviews we write at the Times are roughly 800 to 1,000 words – you’re serving a lot of masters.” (includes audio)
Diep Tran: “There is one question that has been lingering both for me and many other women in and around the theatre: If we’re going to stage these retrograde works” – Pretty Woman, My Fair Lady, Carousel and Kiss Me, Kate are all on Broadway this season – “and ‘reinvent’ them for the 21st century, why are men the only ones being given the opportunity to do the rethinking – to give these old properties a ‘feminist twist’? Are male artists the only ones who get to define feminism in theatre in 2018?”
“‘The right function of every museum,’ wrote John Ruskin, the influential 19th-century art and social critic, ‘is the manifestation of what is lovely in the life of nature, and heroic in the life of men.’ Museums of the 21st century have moved on a bit. … They are also ‘destination’ enterprises, with permanent collections and special exhibitions, cafes and shops trying to attract as many visitors as possible in an age of global tourism. … As leading museums compete for crowd-drawing exhibits, and try to balance commercial interests and cultural diversity, visitors are bearing a rising proportion of the cost.”
This retrospective meetup in the commercial O.K. Corral of American theater suggests that for at least some parts of the gay community, the canonization of milestone works is taking deeper root in the culture. Not that this signals any end to the struggles of gay, lesbian and transgender people, not by a long shot, or that the works of female and trans writers, particularly those of color, are as yet receiving the same level of prominent treatment as those of these white men. But, as Kushner noted in a telephone interview, the tide of history might be playing a part in this intersection of gay plays.
I have discovered that most people, including any number of scientists, remain cloudy on the issues involved in struggles over consciousness. Another analytical philosopher, John Searle, has referred to the consciousness “scandal.” The “scandal” is that no one agrees either on a definition of consciousness or how it comes about.
Or, more specifically, that is Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. Tenor Jonas Kaufmann, who is singing Tristan in Boston: “You can never get rid of it. It is always there, stuck in your brain.”
Just whoa: “Alexander Calder, who famously rejected the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1976 as a form of protest against the Vietnam War, would be extremely surprised to learn that the conservation of his outdoor sculptures is increasingly a result of a collaboration between art conservators and the US Army Research Laboratory.”
This is a serious technology question: “With DVDs steadily joining VHS cassettes as extinct technology, what has become of the fun, insightful mixed bag that movie fans came to know as bonus features — the audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, bloopers, deleted scenes and alternate endings? Some of these extras have shifted to digital stores and streaming platforms. But can cinephiles access them as easily as they could when video rental stores prospered in every neighborhood?”
Wilson’s assemblages, she said, only told a story (to her, at least) when she put them together, and she didn’t plan the story ahead of time. “Inside the home garage that was long ago converted into her studio, Ms. Wilson worked in a uniform that included knickers, long socks and a vest. The shelves in the room were filled with the ephemera that she had purchased at five-and-dime stores, antique shops and flea markets or was given by friends and neighbors. She used her daughter’s toys, including a tiny doll.”
Thirteen years after a different court turned down the heirs’ claims, the judge in this case “rejected the idea that Mr. Grunbaum had voluntarily transferred the artworks during his lifetime to an heir. ‘A signature at gunpoint cannot lead to a valid conveyance,’ he wrote.”
The discussion of modernist poet Lola Ridge spurs a call to arms, or rather to pens: “Gender is part of who gets remembered. In 2015, 71.7 percent of biographies were about men and 31 per cent of those were written by women. Only 6 percent of male biographers chose to document a woman’s life. Hence there are far fewer biographies written about or by women than men.”
Constance Zimmer, who just directed an episode of UnReal: “I saw Greta Gerwig [an Oscar nominee for her directorial debut of Lady Bird] on a panel recently and she said, ‘When it’s your first time, that’s when you can fail.’ That was my approach. If you don’t go big, you don’t know if you could have done better.”
The dean of the school said, “It is in the times that are most challenging that we, as artists, must engage the world with our greatest passion, clarity and forward-thinking vision. … To be an artist in an uncertain future, you must be brave, you must be bold, and you must strive for excellence.”
This is a fine, nuanced, complex piece of writing. For example: “How are we meant to feel about art that we both love and oppose? What if we are in the unusual position of having helped create it?”
From an interview published this year: “Dictators are always afraid of poets. This seems kind of weird to a lot of Americans to whom poets are not political beings, but it doesn’t seem a bit weird in South America or in any dictatorship, really.”
The lead of this piece sums up the issues, really: “For four years after she left Grey’s Anatomy, Sandra Oh waited. She waited for offers to come in, juicy scripts that could come alive in the hands of her Golden Globe–winning talent. Sure, she did acting work here and there, … but there was nothing on the scale of Cristina Yang, the sarcastic surgeon she played on Grey’s for nearly a decade – a standout performance that turned the Korean-Canadian actress into a household name, and earned her five Emmy nominations in a row.”
Who can afford to be an art historian, or a curator? “The Brooklyn Museum job was advertised as a part-time position for a limited period. ‘It goes without saying that for many, this kind of employment is not practical.'”
General admission to the main sites of all the UK’s national museums has been free since 2001, and has helped make Britain’s museums and galleries some of the most visited in the world. But it means they rely on government funding or special exhibitions to survive. Critics say this has created a two-tier system, whereby only tourists and higher spenders can afford the special exhibitions.
In Washington, Andrew Jorgensen worked with Francesca Zambello on casting of such highlights as the 2016 “Ring” cycle and “Appomattox,” as well as the new operas commissioned for the annual American Opera Initiative. Jorgensen will only be the fourth leader in St. Louis’s 43-year history, after the founding director Richard Gaddes and his successor Charles MacKay, both of whom subsequently led the Santa Fe Opera.
Tchaikovsky had 14 entries in the Classic FM Hall of Fame, revealed on Monday. Mozart was the most popular composer, with 23 works in the Top 300.
The specific reasons for Debora Spar’s abrupt exit are so far unclear. In her letter, she wrote, “We understand you may have questions about this change,” adding that there would be a meeting of the center’s staff on Monday at noon, when “we will have the opportunity to discuss the transition and answer your questions in person.”
“Approximately the same amount of hardcovers are being sold today as they were in past years,” writes a research team led by Albert-László Barbási. “The increasing availability of books in the digital format has [had] no influence on hardcover sales.” OK, but what types of books typically take off? Barbasi and his colleagues report they tend to be works of fiction or biographies/memoirs.
It’s certainly true that observation plays a crucial role in science. But this doesn’t mean that scientific theories have to deal exclusively in observable things. For one, the line between the observable and unobservable is blurry – what was once ‘unobservable’ can become ‘observable’, as the neutrino shows. Sometimes, a theory that postulates the imperceptible has proven to be the right theory, and is accepted as correct long before anyone devises a way to see those things.
Taylor’s legacy is his sound: He played the piano with a furious attack, using the entire range of the instrument to create a unique musical language. His approach inspired other musicians and he remained true to it, even though it meant a lifetime of financial struggles.
“Much of the public conversation about important issues in the music business seems light in nutritional value, or narrowly focused on the concerns and actions of a handful of superstars. If you’re working in a genre or music subculture that isn’t based around mass-market assumptions, your concerns may be absent. We can all read dozens of hot-takes on the latest celebrity copyright kerfuffle, but how many of them examine whether a young composer whose work has been infringed has any meaningful recourse, if she can’t afford expensive legal representation?”