LA Times theater critic Charles McNulty: “We feed our minds and spirits as well our bodies. My way is theater. Yours might be movies, sports or church. It makes no difference. With gun regulation as irresponsibly lax as it is, we are all just a maniac away from being on the next casualty list.”
Says Pranita Nayar, who has studied the form for decades, “My audience is not from a thousand years ago, so what are we preserving? For whom am I preserving it? … [What’s more,] the bharatanatyam of today is only about 100 years old.”
First of all, name the problem. “When talking about gender parity in writing for the theatre, most of the conversation focuses on plays. Musicals get lumped in, and we assume the same solutions will impact both media once implemented. I don’t believe that’s true. Musical theatre is a related but different medium from playwriting. The path to production is different. The financing is different. The means of exposure are different. We need to be talking about musicals separately.”
The problem with Creative Canada isn’t that it devotes money to artists. It’s that it treats those artists as tech entrepreneurs. The ethos of Silicon Valley is encoded into the very dna of our new policy framework. Artists, says Creative Canada, are valued not for the art they produce but for “playing a critical role in driving innovation.” The plan answers the call “for developing the business, technology and entrepreneurial skills of Canadian artists and creators.”
” ‘Value’ is decided by the very few and then presented to the many. When I look at the AGO and so many of its peers, I see an institution guided not by public participation, but by the generic, elite consensus that rules the global art market, which sees product over public good.”
“‘On a good day, 80 percent of us are lying to ourselves about whether we’re lying to ourselves,’ [psychologist and author Tasha] Eurich says. Making things extra tricky is the fact that self-awareness has two components: Internal self-awareness is the ability to introspect and recognize your authentic self, whereas external self-awareness is the ability to recognize how you fit in with the rest of the world. ‘It’s almost like two different camera angles,’ Eurich says. … To be truly, fully self-aware, you need both components – a feat that’s difficult to pull off for pretty much anyone. But, it’s worth noting, not impossible.”
The “resident brainbox of British dance” tells David Jays about how he got a lab to sequence his entire genome (“three billion bits of information,” McGregor says excitedly, “60 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica”), created a series of “choreographic events,” and uses a software algorithm based on his DNA to sequence those “events” differently for every performance. (Yes, he knows that’s hard on his dancers.)
This Saturday, Rebecca Krohn performs with the company where she has danced for 19 years; next week, she starts her new role training and coaching her colleagues. Terry Trucco talks to Krohn about her career journey.
One thing that is now universally appreciated is Basquiat’s importance as an artist. Institutions were slow to understand his work and he is woefully under-represented in museum collections. In his recent monograph, The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat (published by Enrico Navarra Gallery, New York), Fred Hoffman writes that in the year following Basquiat’s death, Herbert and Lenore Schorr offered the Museum of Modern Art in New York the opportunity to choose a painting from their collection as a gift. “The museum replied that having a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat was not even worth the cost of the storage.”
“The public radio tradition that’s powered the recent podcast boom never invested much in children’s audio. But now that podcasting has allowed for endless shows on demand, audio makers are eager to get their content straight to children’s ears. And the technology that made podcasts possible – the smartphone – has also gifted its producers a golden sales pitch: Podcasts are being pushed as a guilt-free alternative to screen time, a more engaging option than zoned-out YouTube binging or hypnotizing mobile games.”
“San Francisco is now bohemian in name only. Anger and the anarchist’s persona have given way, under the weight of postmodernism, to politesse and pragmatism. And now more than ever the artist’s world is less in the hands of artists than arts administrators and boards. The new conviction is in negotiation and community building, and seeing everyone, regardless of occupation, on the same continuum of creativity.”
Renate Langer, a former child actress from Germany, claims that she travelled to the filmmaker’s house in the Swiss resort town of Gstaad in 1972, when she was 15, and that he raped her there.
“The Lion of al-Lāt, … which stretches 11 feet high and weighs 15 tons, was moved to Damascus after Syrian forces recaptured Palmyra in March 2016. Polish archaeologist [Bartosz] Markowski was able to restore the Lion of al-Lāt over the course of two months, and says approximately half of the resurrected statue is comprised of the original.”
Meet the new boss, same as the old substitute boss: Dausgaard, a 54-year-old Dane who takes over from Ludovic Morlot in 2019, has been the SSO’s principal guest conductor since 2014. “It was his 2015 Seattle Symphony Sibelius Festival performances,” writes Melinda Bargreen, “that made the tall, silver-haired Dane a popular figure among the city’s classical-music lovers, with standing ovations after every performance, and the kind of connection with players and audiences that conductors dream of.”
Both organizations have new presidents – Debora Spar at Lincoln Center and Deborah Borda at the Phil – who did not like what they saw when they looked at the plan’s costs, schedules (which were getting longer), and fundraising prospects. Said Spar, “There was a general sense that the project had just gotten too complicated.”
“The organization, which has faced significant financial struggles, announced Tuesday it is looking for its eighth leader in six years. The difference this time, officials say, is that the ballet has reached a more stable financial position – thanks in part to work by Caroline Miller, who after 16 months in the top job, resigned for personal reasons.” (In this case, that’s not a “to spend more time with family” euphemism.)
For Wednesday night’s Carnegie Hall season-opening gala with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chinese superstar was booked to play Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Chick Corea in a seldom-heard two-piano version. Then, this past spring, Lang Lang injured his left arm – he says it was by practicing Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand too hard. So he’s bringing in a 14-year-old protégé to play the left-hand part alongside him.
“The spots on the Hot 100 that aren’t occupied by rappers, DJs, or Imagine Dragons largely belong to interchangeable young men playing R&B for campfires: Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber of course, but also Charlie Puth, Shawn Mendes, and the second wave of One Direction solo efforts—Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson. The pose they strike is of the nice-guy seducer, the suave but puppy-eyed everyboy. It’s true that Cardi B and Taylor Swift have broken through lately with brash, campy cries of war. But it remains to be seen whether their success remains an outlier in an era when pop’s women have often needed to quiet down in order to be heard at all.”
The glasses will enable D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences to read live captioning on the lenses during a performance, removing the need for captioning screens in the auditorium. NT director Rufus Norris said the glasses mean that for the first time, D/deaf audiences will be able to attend any performance during a production’s run, rather then rely on the limited number of captioned performances – up to four per show – that are currently scheduled.
“Cultures are not just the passive accumulation of customs and traditions; they are formed, and then sustained by a fine balance between social forces. And we can learn from other species about the biological origin of those forces – as well as how these forces are now shaping the future of our culture.”
After Atlanta Ballet’s new artistic director, Gennadi Nedvigin, took over last year, five of the company’s dancers (including one who had applied for Nedvigin’s position) decided to split off and form Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre, which gives its first performances this month. “While American ballet tends to emphasize youth and athleticism, [John] Welker and the rest of the Terminus five envisioned a company that would showcase more mature dancers as artists capable of creating nuanced and poignant moments on stage.”