New buildings including Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town and the Guardian Art Center in Beijing, for example, incorporate hotels, event spaces, and other uses, a reflection of the fact that arts infrastructure “has come to play an important part in the experiential economy.”
Profound demographic shifts have happened quickly. A place with a 78.6 percent white majority in 1990 has become more than half Hispanic and Asian, according to the 2010 census. But in one highly visible area Orange County still seems mired in the past: arts leadership.
Studies released over the past decade indicate that reading regularly can increase the odds of longevity, bolster blood flow to the brain, maintain vocabulary and critical thinking skills, and even hold off dementia. What’s more, books provide more benefit than even long-form newspaper or magazine articles.
“Forty-nine times the Bible mentions a perfect, pure blue, a color so magnificent and transcendent that it was all but impossible to describe. Yet, for most of the last 2,000 years, nobody has known exactly what ‘biblical blue’ — called tekhelet in Hebrew — actually looked like or how it could be re-created.” Writer Noga Tarnopolsky tells the story of the team who figured it out.
When Paul Taylor danced, everyone said it was impossible to look anywhere else. Even after he’d stopped dancing, at rehearsal, sitting on the sidelines in his studio, he’d demonstrate a gesture, simply stretching one impossibly long, graceful, quietly powerful arm upward, and guests would stop looking at the dancers and focus on the choreographer.
“The Tomb of Mehu, in the Saqqara necropolis near Giza, features dozens of vibrant paintings from Egypt’s sixth dynasty, dating back approximately four millennia. … [It] was first discovered by Egyptologist Zaki Saad in 1940, but remained off-limits to the public until this month.”
“Since the dawn of the twentieth century, our understanding of good design has had a slightly moralizing tone, even as it shifted from early Bauhaus to boxy midcentury modern and into the sleek … white cubes of twenty-first-century Minimalism. … Ugliness isn’t just a rebellion against the norms of good taste; it’s also a fittingly chaotic aesthetic for a chaotic era of presidential tweets, alternative facts, and government propaganda.”
“Much of how we think about contemporary music criticism traces its roots to The Voice … The paper provided crucial early coverage of hip-hop, was dedicated in its coverage of jazz and modern classical, and weighed in on obscure rock and hyper-mainstream pop. On this week’s two-part Popcast, several former Village Voice music editors and music critics, whose tenures date from the paper’s early years up to the last decade, look back.” (podcast)
The sad truth is that all too often jazz suffers the same kind of casual dismissal that hip-hop, country, and EDM used to get before they took over the mainstream. Granted, this might be something only a jazz lover would notice but since at least the ’70s, jazz has become something of a niche market, to put it mildly. In terms of yearly record sales, jazz usually sells as much as classical music does, one of the many things the two genres have in common. Far too often jazz comes off as dated or quaint; it’s your granddad’s make out music. Worse, there’s an implied snobbishness often projected onto loving jazz — it’s a little like explaining that you prefer to spend your Saturday nights translating Hegel or making artisanal cheese.
Fortunately, one thing we have a lot of in this organization is risk capital. Our board allows us to take chances — artistically and monetarily. Not every piece we commission is going to enter the repertory. Most work we commission is not. So, why do it? We do it as an investment in the art form, to push the boundaries forward, and keep our audiences informed and inspired.”
“The modern aphorism may be modelled on the classical, but it adds to the form a degree of self-consciousness about its own power, motion, drive. Above all, the aphorism is a sharp or pointed thing, violently deployed — though this action can never be definitive, but must be repeated time and again.”
“Comedies that tackle heavy, philosophical matters … have become more common in the past few years. These are funny shows, or at the very least dramedies, that explicitly and consistently explore ethics, spirituality, or what purpose human beings are meant to serve on Earth. Typically, they deal with those earthly issues while placing their characters in heightened, even fantastical situations. The Good Place, which will enter its third season this month, is the gold standard for this type of series. But it is not the only example.”
The Swiss maestro, who lost his positions with several orchestras earlier this year in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual assault, will become principal guest conductor of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, one of Russia’s top orchestras, as of May 2019.
“We have three great institutions, but they’re all competing against each other for audiences,” [Victor] Medem says. “You can survive doing that locally, but you will never attract an international audience.” So Medem founded Barcelona Obertura, a project to get the city’s classical organizations communicating with each other and cooperating on projects — the first of which will be a major spring festival aimed at visitors and residents alike (and at turning Barcelona into a classical-music destination).
Art is naive. There’s something painfully innocent about the attempt to forge a meaningful statement out of nothing; to stand up in front of people and sing or play or speak with all your heart, knowing you may look foolish, knowing you may spectacularly fail. Our big institutions, the mighty choruses and orchestras and theaters that offer Verdi Requiems and King Lears, generally insulate us and themselves from this kind of failure
Called Primephonic, the platform claims to have nearly all classical music ever recorded, with over 1 million tracks available at the push of a button.
Luckily, 2018 avoided a total repeat of last year’s Fyre Festival debacle (phew), but several festivals did go up in flames. Retire your flower crowns, rompers, and drug stashes for the winter and let’s pour one out for all the festivals we lost this year — some gone for good, others on hiatus, and a few on death watch.
Massacres like this were a major part of what some historians call a forgotten genocide during the colonization and settlement of the American West. The perpetrators of these massacres were sometimes honored with mountains, valleys and towns.
As part of Playbill’s Back to School week (#BwayBacktoSchool), we have combined past Schools of the Stars features that track where members of the casts for each Broadway show went to college, along with a bit of added research, to present the ten colleges currently most represented on Broadway (plus a few honorable mentions).
Link taxes are a bad idea. In an era of fake news, anything that limits the ability of internet users to link to reliable news sources deals a terrible blow to our already weakened public discourse. Copyright filters are an even worse idea. Not only will these both overblock and underblock, they’ll also be ripe for abuse.
“It is only appropriate, given the subject matter, that … all parties in this fracas have reasonable claim to Kafka’s papers yet also clearly shouldn’t be anywhere near them. The story [author Benjamin] Balint tells is one of an interminable trial between doomed parties, in which physical struggles morph into questions about identity, self, and existential belonging. If only there were some author whose name is now an adjective used to describe exactly such stories!”
The first day we busked in Manchester with the double bass, we broke £100. Part of the key to our financial success was having a “bottler” – someone who would walk around the crowd with a hat while the band were playing, ensuring that no pocket went unemptied. Legend has it that the word “bottler” came from a tradition whereby someone would go from table to table in pubs collecting money for the musicians, with a hat in one hand and a bottle in the other.
Harrell was exposed, sort of, to hoochie coochie during his rural Georgia childhood, when his father would take him to traveling fairs but leave the boy with friends while he went out at night. “As I got older, I started to realize that they were going to see naked ladies dance. They were going to see a hoochie coochie show, and that was my first understanding of dance as a spectacle. Because I never actually saw it and we never talked about it, it’s always something that’s been lurking in my consciousness.”
“The goal in [Fortnite: Battle Royale], as in most multiplayer shooter games,” writes Sarah Kaufman, “is to blow your enemies to shreds.” What does that have to do with dance? Well, players can buy preprogrammed moves for their avatars called “dance emotes,” which they use to dance on the dead bodies of the enemies they’ve blown to shreds. Dance emotes are so popular that the game pulls in $126 million every month, and players are starting to bust those moves themselves offline.
“John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice have been awarded Emmys for their TV production of Jesus Christ Superstar, earning them EGOT status – meaning they have each won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. EGOT winners are an exclusive club: including the trio, only 15 people have ever managed to achieve the four wins, including Audrey Hepburn, [Whoopi Goldberg,] Mel Brooks and John Gielgud.”
“Cultural official Shahram Karami told the official IRNA news agency Monday that Iran’s judiciary had ordered the detention of the play’s director, Maryam Kazemi, and the manager of the theater that hosted it, Saeed Assadi. … Both were taken into custody Sunday evening, after the broadcast of a video trailer about the work.”
Johanna Pfaelzer, who is currently the artistic director of New York Stage and Film, a nonprofit best known for its Powerhouse Theater summer program at Vassar College, will become the next artistic director of Berkeley Rep starting next fall. She will succeed Tony Taccone, who has been at Berkeley Rep for 33 years, 21 of them as artistic director.
Routinely exposing a population of 80,000 to a perfect barren in relatively safe circumstances should be seen as an ingenious experiment. After all, philosophers from Edmund Burke to Arthur Schopenhauer have recognised that qualities in nature can be appreciated as sublime only if they fall just short of absolute threat.
Emil Viklický, Humoresque (NCML)
Last spring, Czech pianist Emil Viklický traveled from Prague to visit relatives in the American Midwest. Never one to forgo a playing opportunity, while he was there he gave a concert at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
A Tate spokeswoman says that the gallery does “not have the resources to create biographies for every individual” in its collection, or to update biographies for living artists. Wikipedia provides “the most up to date and reliable biography possible within the constraints of our resources”, she adds.