“Lovers of drama, comedy and green onion cakes flocked to the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival in record numbers this year. … Patrons purchased a record 133,276 tickets to more than 1,600 shows, generating $1.46 million in box office revenue, an increase of 10 per cent from last year.”
If so, then modern technology is not the murderer, writes David Ulin. After all, when books had their greatest power and influence (he cites Thomas Paine’s Common Sense as an example), mass-market printing was cutting-edge technology. That’s not to say that today’s technology isn’t involved in the death, though.
The US company or its subsidiaries control some of the country’s biggest outdoor live music events including Latitude, Isle of Wight festival, Reading and Leeds, Parklife and Lovebox. The AIF said Live Nation had a 26% share of the market for events with a capacity of more than 5,000 people, compared to its nearest competitor, Global, with 8%.
The question has become an active issue in the University of California system: employees at UCal’s 100 libraries are pushing to have a clause guaranteeing academic freedom included in the new contract they’re negotiating. The librarians thought the idea was “a no-brainer” and including it in the contract a mere formality, but UCal administrators maintain that the doctrine of academic freedom doesn’t apply to non-teaching staff.
Many romance novels actually function as more than “imaginative opposition,” providing a very real space for enjoyment and relaxation, which might be otherwise missing from readers’ lives. The best romances can do this without lulling readers into a false sense of complacency.
Adi Boutros: “In my previous works, there was a text. But at some point I understood that I didn’t need to talk about it, but to experience and investigate it with the body. The body is a tool that has knowledge, and it also knows how to reflect this. All I had to do was investigate the body, and when I investigated it, my real identity got expressed.”
Sure, paper dolls were manufactured and marketed – to the parents who held the purse strings – as tools for teaching little girls obedience and conformity. (Well, until the ’70s – more on that later.) Yet, as Benjamin Frisch and Willa Paskin point out, “the conformity represented by paper dolls was easy to subvert, because it was so easy to ignore. The virtue of simple toys is that it’s simple to use them any way you please.” And that’s exactly what gay men did. (article and podcast)
We are beyond having reviews that are summaries and opinions on aesthetics. We need context and attention to detail in criticism. And we must not turn a blind eye to a playwright’s activism.
“[Artistic director Tim Carroll] points to the nearly endless number of meet-up opportunities: the post-show talkbacks, the cocktail hours, the classes and clubs, the pop-up patios, the escape rooms, the speakeasy jazz nights, and garden tours, some of which are for friends and members only, many of which are open to all. ‘I think all of that is as much part of the Shaw experience as coming to the shows,’ Carroll said. ‘People sign up for the whole ticket.'”
“It began to unfold back in the ’60s and ’70s, when identity came to the forefront. People felt unfulfilled. They felt they had these true selves that weren’t being recognized. In the absence of a common cultural framework previously set by religion, people were at a loss. Psychology and psychiatry stepped into that breach. In the medical profession, treating mental health has a therapeutic mission, and it became legitimate to say the objective of society ought to be improving people’s sense of self-esteem. This became part of the mission of universities, which made it difficult to set educational criteria as opposed to therapeutic criteria aimed at making students feel good about themselves. This is what led to many of the conflicts over multiculturalism.”
“YouTube began rolling out its so-called digital wellbeing tools Monday morning, which include a dashboard that tells users how much time they’ve spent on the service watching videos. The Google-owned video service also recently launched a new feature that allows users to set reminders, alerting them when it’s time to take a break from binging.”
Researchers from UC-Davis “found that 57 percent of chronic-pain patients who attended a private hour-long tour” – branded as “Art Rx” – “of the galleries of the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California, reported a decrease in their pain levels up to three weeks after the tour. Most participants also generally reported feeling less socially disconnected, a common byproduct of chronic pain.”
“‘Don’t look at the mirror, look at your feet,’ Michelle Dorrance corrects. Smiling at the counterintuitive suggestion, Gillian Murphy, Devon Teuscher and Christine Shevchenko — American Ballet Theatre principals accustomed to projecting up and out to opera house balconies — look down at their pointe shoes as they shuffle into a line of tight fifth positions. As polyrhythmic strains of music fill ABT’s studios, the trio flashes through small, quicksilver position changes while Teuscher quietly counts a steady 4/4 beat that isn’t yet audible in the music.”
“Once James [Corden] steps in, you want to laugh at everything, but what makes what we’re doing funny is that we take it very seriously. So I always have to tell the dancers: ‘You approach the crosswalk like this is Broadway. Like this is the best thing you’ve ever done in your life.’ And that’s what makes it so funny, because people that are driving by are like, Why is there a full-blown production in the street?“
Ben Zimmer recounts how he traced the origin of the slang word “props” to Aretha’s version of the hit “Respect” (not Otis Redding’s original) – and convinced the gatekeepers of The Oxford English Dictionary to give the Queen of Soul her due.
Says Garrett Anderson, “I want to create a company in which the dancers won’t just be relegated to the studio. They will understand the organization in a more holistic way, and feel a sense of agency that is not limited to choreography. That ownership will then allow them to take the choreography to a new level.”
“Earlier this year, the Kresge Foundation published the first in a series of white papers to help grantmakers and practitioners more successfully integrate arts and culture into community development. … Kresge recently published the second white paper, ‘Creative Placemaking and Expansion of Opportunity — Observations and Reflections,’ which surveys the state of the rapidly evolving field … Here are some key takeaways.”
“Cerny was, for seven years, the General Director and CEO of the Dallas Opera. His sudden resignation from there was announced in December 2017. Cerny took charge of the Calgary Opera in January 2018. He begins his [new job as CEO of the Fort Worth Symphony] in January 2019. In the news release, he cites the travel constraints as a big reason for moving back to Texas.”
Last week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art issued a press release saying it had welcomed its one-millionth visitor to its special Costume Institute exhibition, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Really? Truth is, we can’t be sure of that. Because of the complex installation, actual numbers are nearly impossible to compute.
Luciana Souza, The Book Of Longing (Sunnyside)
Returning to recording, Luciana Souza is inspired by poetry. The Book Of Longing finds her drawing inspiration from poets of two centuries …
“Bulging white mounds rear up out of the ground in the middle of Helsinki, tapering to circular windows that point like cyclopean eyes around the square. Children scramble up the steep slopes while a skateboarder attempts to glide down one, past a couple posing for a selfie at the summit.” Oliver Wainwright visits the new Amos Rex museum in the Finnish capital.
“‘We’re Not Gonna Take It,’ by the hair metal act Twisted Sister, was once named among the ‘Filthy 15’ songs singled out for offensive content and brought before Congress by concerned parents in the 1980s. It’s also an indelible hit, whose instantly recognizable hook practically invites the listener to shout along.” By now it’s been used by everyone from the striking schoolteachers of Oklahoma to the New York Yankees to Paul Ryan (?!?).
Investigative reporter Martin Bailey: “Vincent had made the drawing in 1889 in the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole to send to Theo in Paris, to give his brother an idea of his painting … The drawing done for Theo had been donated to the Kunsthalle Bremen in 1918, but it was lost during the chaos of the Second World War. It was seized at a German castle by Victor Baldin, a Red Army officer who took it back to the Soviet Union on a tractor. For decades it remained hidden away and was recorded in the Van Gogh catalogue raisonné as ‘lost’. I can report that it is now almost certainly in a secret Russian government storage facility in Moscow.”
Ross looks at the zillion different directions new music has gone in since the eclipse of modernism. He also discusses what he calls the “Kandinsky Problem”: “In the art world, instinctive antagonism to the new, the weird, and the absurd is less common. People think nothing of queueing for hours in order to sit in a chair opposite Marina Abramović or to grope their way through a foggy tunnel designed by Olafur Eliasson. Indeed, composers can often find a more appreciative audience if they reclassify their music as an installation or as performance art.”