“‘Every few weeks I do a search on Twitter and there is an incredible benevolence about the Habsburgs,’ says Eduard Habsburg, Hungary’s ambassador to the Vatican and the former ruling family’s unofficial social-media maven. ‘There is definitely renewed interest.’ The reasons for this burst of enthusiasm are nuanced, even contradictory. This year’s centennial of the end of the first world war, and of the empire’s collapse, is part of the explanation. So is a sense that the anxieties of the late imperial period, years of disorienting change in politics and society, overlap with today’s.”
“We caught up with eight established choreographers, artistic directors, and instructors who mentored at this year’s Young Choreographer’s Festival to find out what mistakes new choreographers should be aware of — and how to avoid them.” (Our favorite: “You need dancers with the skill and ability to magnify your intention, and that group might not include your friends.”)
“It’s not that Russians don’t smile, [cross-sultural studies professor Maria] Arapova explains. They do smile, and a lot. ‘We’re not such gloomy, sad, or aggressive people,’ she tells me. But smiling, for Russians — to paint with a broad brush — is an optional component of a commercial or social exchange and not a requirement of politeness. It means something different to smile — in fact, smiling can be dangerous.”
In 1986, John Vasconcellos, a somewhat tortured California state assemblyman who had attended programs at Esalen, persuaded Gov. George Deukmejian to fund a “task force to promote self-esteem and personal and social responsibility.” Professors from the University of California were to study the links between self-esteem and healthy personal development. And California — nay, the world — could then design programs to nip homelessness, drug abuse and crime in the bud, by teaching people to value themselves and achieve their potential.
“Many websites that Americans access on a daily basis and take for granted, including Facebook, YouTube and Google, are blocked in China. … There’s always the option of bypassing the Great Firewall of China with VPNs, but not everyone may feel the need to go through the hassle for a single news item. Instead, most of them are cognizant of the confines of the web space they occupy and are comfortable employing ways to circumvent censors.” BJ Pang Chieh Ho explains how they do it.
“Rider University on Thursday signed a controversial deal to sell Westminster Choir College, a renowned but struggling institution in downtown Princeton, N.J., for $40 million to a Chinese company with little experience in higher education.”
“This time last year, Catherine Conley was already living a ballet dancer’s dream. After an exchange between her home ballet school in Chicago and the Cuban National Ballet School in Havana, she’d been invited to train in Cuba full-time. It was the opportunity of a lifetime, and one that was nearly unheard of for an American dancer. Now, though, Conley has even more exciting news: She’s a full-fledged member of the National Ballet of Cuba’s corps de ballet.”
“Perhaps unsurprisingly, feuding brothers are one of the most common sources of spite buildings around the world.”
The results of the annual study show that in 2017, just 16% of films were directed by women and only 10% came from film-makers of color, the latter statistic at the lowest it’s been since the DGA started reporting in 2013. The figures emerge in a year that saw notable successes for minority directors, including Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.
Opera Philadelphia has steadily built its reputation over the last decade as one of the top-tier companies in the world for commissioning (and co-commissioning) new works. In 2017, the nonprofit company launched its new programming model, with an ambitious—and wildly successful—fall festival called O17.
Understanding the mechanisms of violated expectations in music elucidates some of the basic functions of learning, memory, and our perception of time. Along with enhancing our understanding of music, the study of how we process expectations, and learn to revel in ambiguity and uncertainty, is important in understanding how we appreciate many aspects of art and life that involve solving puzzles and deciphering codes, from poetry to painting, science to math.
“The Angel Shadows — three dancers and two puppeteers — are one of the most remarkable elements about this Tony Award-winning production, directed by Marianne Elliott. Through intricate choreography and cues, the Shadows are responsible for propelling the Angel into the air and operating her heavy wings.” Gia Kourlas talks to the designers who came up with the idea and some of the performers who enact it.
Benjamin Lee looks at the making of the mid-1980s titles Buddies (shot in nine days in 1985), the TV movie An Early Frost (on which NBC lost $500,000 after advertisers fled; it went on to win four Emmys), Parting Glances, and Longtime Companion.
Wesley Morris: “The more she empowered us to speak, the better she got at knowing how her emotional algorithm could supply us with books and feelings and tools for betterment. And she took real risks to better understand this country, too. … Oprah didn’t do this work alone. She helped us do it. She was a platform. She was Facebook. Forget the presidency. She was the facilitator in chief.”
“At the end of Rattle’s 16-year tenure as music director of the orchestra, their relationship is not unlike a couple that’s been married for too long. … ‘The orchestra doesn’t look at him anymore,” one string player familiar with the situation in the orchestra said. … Rattle is ‘the nicest and most diplomatic guy on the planet,’ [a] former member of the Karajan Academy said. ‘But particularly with this orchestra, if the conductor isn’t demanding something bigger than themselves, it’s a free-for-all.'”
“A small square tile with the profile image of a beautiful angel has been claimed not only as the earliest surviving work by Leonardo da Vinci, but as his own self-portrait as the Archangel Gabriel. If genuine the tile has survived miraculously unbroken for more than 500 years, since the 18-year-old artist made it in 1471. The claim – dismissed out of hand by the world renowned Leonardo expert Martin Kemp – is certain to spark academic debate.”
“UCL, in collaboration with audiobook giant Audible, measured the physical reactions of 102 participants aged between 18 and 67 to audio and video depictions of scenes from [well-known] books … According to the study, while the participants reported that the videos were “more engaging” than the audiobooks by about 15% on average, their physiological responses told a different story, with heart rates higher by about two beats a minute, and body temperatures raised by roughly two degrees when listening to audiobooks.”
Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, a Miami native who has spent the last two years at the helm of the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, will take the reins at MCB later this summer. “Thursday’s announcement noted that under Castroverde Moskalenko’s leadership the Auditorium ‘experienced a significant financial turnaround … and is projected to end Fiscal Year 2018 in August with a surplus.”
Antiquities Ambiguities: Parsing the Legal Arguments in the Battle of the Getty Bronze
Italian Judge Giacomo Gasparini‘s June 8 decision giving the laurel wreath to Team Italy in the Olympian legal contest over the Getty Bronze seems to me persuasively well-reasoned … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2018-06-21
When Grant Green Got Funky
Grant Green, From Paris To Antibes (1969-1970) (Resonance)
Grant Green, Slick! Live At Oil Can Harry’s, (Resonance)
Two previously unissued Grant Green albums are giving the guitarist’s music something of a comeback. … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-06-21