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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Coughing As Performance Vandalism
"In this anything-goes age, it seems as if coughing in concerts is fast becoming one of the last universally reviled forms of high-culture hooliganism."
The New York Times 12/31/13
email this story | Posted 01/02/14@08:50AM
Pussy Riot Documentary Pulled From Russian Screening Following Threat
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer was to have its first showing in Russia last Sunday at Moscow's Gogol Center. Then the authorities telephoned on Saturday afternoon.
The New York Times 12.29.13
email this story | Posted 01/02/14@01:43AM
12 Years a Slave's Italian Distributor Withdraws Posters After Faux-Pas
It seems the imagery on the posters was trying to obscure the fact that this is a movie about black people.
The Hollywood Reporter 12.24.13
email this story | Posted 01/02/14@01:21AM
Korean Investors Become Players on Broadway
With East Asia becoming a major market for Broadway musicals, producers from Seoul are investing millions in New York shows in the hope of getting dibs on production rights.
The New York Times 01.01.14
email this story | Posted 01/02/14@01:15AM
'It's About Finding His Mind, Not Losing It': Frank Langella On Playing King Lear
The 76-year-old actor, who will be playing the mad monarch in Brooklyn next week, turned down the role in his 60s - because he didn't think, back then (not having read the play), that it was worth the trouble to play such a spoiled, mean-spirited old whiner. Langella explains why he thinks differently now.
The New York Times 01.05.14
email this story | Posted 01/02/14@01:11AM
Is Valery Gergiev Being Scapegoated for the Kremlin's Anti-Gay Policies?
As head of St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater and a famously tireless globe-trotter, Gergiev is Russia's leading conductor and arguably its most prominent living musician. He is also the cultural figure most closely identified with Vladimir Putin. Consequently, it is Gergiev who is constantly targeted with protests in the West over Russia's treatment of its gay citizens. Mark Swed considers whether this is fair.
Los Angeles Times 12.30.13
email this story | Posted 01/02/14@12:50AM
SUV Crashes Into Kansas Ballet Academy
"No one was injured when a woman accidentally drove a sport utility vehicle into the front of Kansas Ballet Academy on Tuesday morning."
The Topeka Capital-Journal 12.31.13
email this story | Posted 01/02/14@12:48AM
Kevin McKenzie on Bringing ABT Back From the Brink
In 1992, American Ballet Theater was reeling from a $6 million deficit and an ugly breakup with artistic director Mikhail Baryshnikov. "McKenzie - a plain-speaking former working-class Irish Catholic altar boy turned ABT principal dancer - was brought in to try to save the company."
The Australian 12.28.13
email this story | Posted 01/02/14@12:46AM
Pompidou Centre Will Open Satellite Museum in Málaga (Or Will It?)
The Andalusian resort city's mayor says that the Paris contemporary art centre will display about 70 pieces from its collection in a new structure. The Pompidou itself says that "nothing is confirmed and negotiations are still ongoing. It is definitely not an outpost in the style of the Centre Pompidou-Metz."
The Art Newspaper 12.31.13
email this story | Posted 01/02/14@12:07AM
Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How Andy Warhol Explains China's Attitudes Toward Chairman Mao
Under Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese Communist Party decreed that the Great Helmsman was 70 percent right and 30 percent wrong. "And this mixed legacy makes it hard to pin down exactly what about Mao Party leaders want to celebrate, and what about him they don't. Who could have anticipated this? Andy Warhol."
The Atlantic 12.26.13
email this story | Posted 01/01/14@11:58PM
An Atheist Megachurch (Yes, It's Real, and It's Growing)
"The founders of the 'Sunday Assembly' in London say they're not forming a new church, though they do meet on a Sunday. And they say they're not trying to create a new religion, but their movement has a growing number of followers around the world."
Public Radio International 12.31.13
email this story | Posted 01/01/14@11:57PM
Getting Drunk and Making Resolutions on New Year's Are Religious Acts
As University of Chicago Divinity School professor Wendy Doniger explains, our seemingly secular traditions around January 1 are echoed in religions all over the world.
The Atlantic 12.31.13
email this story | Posted 01/01/14@11:39PM
Was Religion Itself Originally the Product of Psychotropic Drug Use?Was Religion Itself Originally the Product of Psychotropic Drug Use?
The idea - referred to by scholars as the entheogen theory - has certainly been discussed over the past 60 years or so. How much is there to it?
The Atlantic 12.27.13
email this story | Posted 01/01/14@11:37PM
The New Year's Eve Fireworks You Could Taste And Smell
Giant orange-flavored bubbles, banana-flavored confetti, peach-flavored snow, the scent of strawberries - sure beats the smell of gunpowder, right? London has these two inventive (and crazily-dressed) food scientist-artists to thank.
Slate 12.27.13
email this story | Posted 01/01/14@11:18PM
Peter Gelb On The Met's HD Cinemacasts
"The business plan I had for it is that it would make a modest profit so from a financial point of view it has exceeded those expectations significantly. But, at the same time, we were very fortunate that it did because if it hadn't we would be in trouble right now."
Reuters 12.30.13
email this story | Posted 01/01/14@10:58PM
U.S. Customs Officials Smash Musician's Bamboo Flutes
A Moroccan-Canadian musician and U.S. green card holder says that agents at JFK airport inspected his 11 neys and two kawalas, decided they were untreated agricultural items, and destroyed them - and only told him about it afterward.
The Boston Globe 12.31.13
email this story | Posted 01/01/14@10:51PM
Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Problem With TED
"But have you ever wondered why so little of the future promised in TED talks actually happens? So much potential and enthusiasm, and so little actual change. Are the ideas wrong? Or is the idea about what ideas can do all by themselves wrong?"
The Guardian (UK) 12/30/13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@12:25PM
How Do You Design A Light Rail System To Match LA's Personality?
"Although the spare and modern design marks a clear improvement over Metro's wildly uneven status quo, it is also overly restrained, even bloodless. What it's lacking more than anything is the colorful, informal exuberance that has always animated the most significant L.A. architecture and design."
Los Angeles Times 12/31/13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@11:54AM
Why Oscar Categories Need To Be Gender-Segregated
"Clearly, gender-based award categories are essential to maintaining even a tenuous presence for talented women in Hollywood."
Pacific Standard 12/30/13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@11:47AM
Banksy Backlash Explained
"At some point, Banksy crossed the line between success and establishment hack. He should have seen it coming. The art world, with its unforgiving addiction to novelty, always sneers at popular success. The critical backlash was two fold."
Hyperallergic 12/31/13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@10:20AM
The Best In Canadian Arts In 2013
Alice Munro, of course. But the rise of Ballet BC and the return of Ben Heppner too...
The Globe and Mail (Canada) 12/28/13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@10:15AM
Did JS Bach Burn Out In The Last Years Of His Life?
Why did the industrious and dutiful German musician abandon his duties? Was he tired of the job or even depressed? In light of the sensational find, German music journalists have been quick - perhaps too quick - to talk about "Bach's burn-out."
DW 12.27.13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@09:48AM
Netflix Has A Different Approach To Keeping Its Employees Creative
"People find the Netflix approach to talent and culture compelling for a few reasons. The most obvious one is that Netflix has been really successful."
Harvard Business Review 12/13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@09:39AM
2013 Top Ten Classical Music Performances In Chicago
Andrew Patner: "The calendar year gives a frame for comparisons and evaluation even in a healthy scene, such as Chicago has now, where narrowing great performances and presentations to 10 is not easy."
Chicago Sun-Times 12/29/13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@09:33AM
This Opera Has 180,000 Miles On Her. Is It Time To Go?
"As it aged -- past 30, then 35, then 40 -- the production came to seem less charming than vaguely pernicious: a symbol of the deep-seated resistance to change, the allergy to experimentation and newness, that remains at the core of opera's American mainstream."
The New York Times 12/30/13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@09:25AM
How Extreme Money Is Transforming Our Cities
In architecture, 2013 was the year great wealth transformed the urban landscape. And nowhere was this more true than in New York City.
Sticks and Stones 12/29/13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@09:13AM
How The Internet Has Grown Since It Was First Switched On
"Everything has expanded by a factor of a million since we turned it on in 1973. The number of machines on the network, the speeds of the network, the kind of memory capacity that's available, it's all 10 to the sixth. I would say that there aren't too many systems that have been designed that can handle a millionfold scaling without completely collapsing. But that doesn't mean that it will continue to work that way."
The New York Times 12/28/13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@09:09AM
The Insanity (Addiction) Of Audiophiles
"Reading about the truly insane things audiophiles will do in pursuit of the perfect sound, I can't help reflecting back on that unfortunate period in my life when I almost fell down the same rabbit hole."
Anxious Machine 12/10/13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@08:44AM
Theatre in a Tehran Taxi
"Iranian cabs afford passengers a degree of anonymity, paving the way for uninhibited conversations and a new play."
The Guardian (UK) 12.26.13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@01:18AM
Torturing The Slippers At New York City Ballet
Tiler Peck, for instance, bangs hers against a cinder-block wall. (It keeps them quiet.)
The New York Times 12.30.13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@01:13AM
He Keeps The Opera House On The Amazon Running
"In 1973, Raimundo Pereira do Nascimento, known as 'Nonato,' walked into the Manaus Opera House with a contract to hang drywall and help with some restoration work. His deal was for three months, but he stayed on - and over the past 40 years he has held almost every job in the house, from box office clerk to usher to backstage technician."
BBC 12.29.13 (video)
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@12:56AM
Give My Theatre Its Funding Or I'll Drive My Car Into The Presidential Palace!
"An Italian theatre manager rammed his car into the iron gates of an entrance to the French presidential palace Thursday to protest against subsidy cuts for his Paris venue, police said. The action was seen as largely symbolic since Attilio Maggiulli 'only succeeded in lightly hitting the grills at slow speed,' a police source said."
GlobalPost (AFP) 12.26.13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@12:53AM
The 8 P.M. Curtain-Time Is Becoming Old-Fashioned
David Patrick Stearns: "Empires rose and empires fell, but if there was one thing the world could depend on, it was the 8 p.m. curtain time for theater, opera, and classical music performances. That, however, was back in the 20th century."
The Philadelphia Inquirer 12.28.13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@12:48AM
Do You Know Handel?
Dear old Georg Frideric was quite a fascinating character: prosperous, gluttonous, gifted, truculent, generous, sometimes glowing with happiness - much more than the pious gentleman who composed oratorios like Messiah.
Limelight (Australia) 12.29.13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@12:40AM
Marta Eggerth, Last Great Star of Viennese Operetta, Dead at 101
"[She] was a film and stage star in Europe in the 1930s, traveled from Hollywood to Broadway in the 1940s and continued to win audiences in cabaret performances well into her 90s."
The Washington Post 12.28.13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@12:35AM
The Virgin Mary, Feminist
"Mother of God, become a feminist!" sang Pussy Riot in the protest that made them world-famous. But "is it just a crazy oxymoron to imagine the Virgin Mary, to whom a very large proportion of traditional Christian ritual and prayer is addressed, as a feminist heroine?"
The Economist 12.23.13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@12:24AM
Is Virtual Reality Finally About To Have Its Breakout?
Second Life founder Philip Rosedale: "There is nothing magical about the real world. There is no magical ether. There are no magical particles that enable us to be connected to each other only when we're face to face."
The Atlantic 12.27.13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@12:22AM
Why We Make Resolutions (And Why They Fail)
As Oscar Wilde wrote, "Good resolutions are useless attempts to interfere with scientific laws. Their origin is pure vanity. Their result is absolutely nil." Research psychologists have found that he had a point.
The New Yorker 12.30.13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@12:13AM
Mapping How Emotions Manifest in the Body
From anger to surprise to happiness to depression to disgust, "across cultures, people feel increased activity in different parts of the body as their mental state changes."
The Atlantic 12.30.13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@12:10AM
A Dozen Maps That Changed The World
From Ptolemy to Korea ca. 1400 to Mercator to Google Earth.
The Atlantic 12.30.13
email this story | Posted 12/31/13@12:05AM
Monday, December 30, 2013

The Best Of 2013 Dance In Chicago
For Chicago dance aficionados it was among the best of times.
Chicago Sun-Times 12/29/13
email this story | Posted 12/30/13@11:17AM
More Words Yes, But We're Not Really Having Conversations
"We're talking all the time, in person as well as in texts, in e-mails, over the phone, on Facebook and Twitter. The world is more talkative now, in many ways, than it's ever been. The problem, Sherry Turkle argues, is that all of this talk can come at the expense of conversation. We're talking at each other rather than with each other."
The Atlantic 12/22/13
email this story | Posted 12/30/13@10:37AM
Culture Quiz - The FT's 2013 Culture Question Contest (AJ Readers Should Have No Problem With These)
"In a study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport in September, researchers discovered that practitioners of a certain art form performed better after taking vitamin D supplements in winter than those who didn't. Name the art form."
Financial Times 12/28/13
email this story | Posted 12/30/13@09:09AM
Mayor Bloomberg's Amazing NYC Arts Legacy
"The most prominent aspect of Mr. Bloomberg's arts legacy is the $2 billion the city spent to transform the buildings of institutions across the city. But it also includes organizations that have come into being largely through the efforts of the mayor and his staff."
The Wall Street Journal 12/30/13
email this story | Posted 12/30/13@09:00AM
Is This Nine-Year-Old The Next Opera Superstar?
Nine-year-old singer Amira Willighagen won Holland's Got Talent on Saturday evening with a moving performance of Puccini's "Nessun Dorma."
Classicalite 12/29/13
email this story | Posted 12/30/13@08:55AM
Global Fight To Attract Movie Business As California Loses Out
"Fueled by politicians doling out generous tax breaks, filmmaking talent is migrating to where the money is. The result is an incentives arms race that pits California against governments around the world and allows powerful studios --with hundreds of millions of dollars at their disposal-- to cherry-pick the best deals."
Vancouver Sun (AP) 12/28/13
email this story | Posted 12/30/13@08:52AM
Director Of The Barnes Moves On After Turbulent Tenure
"There was a fair amount of turbulence in the beginning, with one lawsuit after another. He weathered all of that in a spirit of, I would say, extreme graciousness and never lost his cool."
The New york Times 12/28/13
email this story | Posted 12/30/13@08:42AM
Sunday, December 29, 2013

New York's Newest Rich Person Thing: Condos Made For Art Collectors
"The walls of the apartments, most of which have four bedrooms, won't simply be made of Sheetrock, as is often the case elsewhere. Many will be reinforced with plywood, to support the weight of heavy picture frames."
The New York Times 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@10:27PM
Curator Of Controversial 'Hide/Seek' Gets A Promotion At The National Portrait Gallery
"Ward maintained the curator's presence in 'Hide/Seek,' defending the exhibition amid political controversy, while also, like the historian he is, seeking to understand why the controversy erupted as it did."
Washington Post 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@10:16PM
Herb Geller, 85, Saxophonist And Composer
"Initially, he was prominent among the musicians who created the west coast jazz style, picking up combo gigs and recording dates with the best players in California. Later, after the death of his first wife, he relocated to Europe and established himself as a salaried artist in a subsidised orchestra."
The Guardian (UK) 12/29/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@10:09PM
Where Pulp Fiction Bridges The Ideal And The Real
"Battered between competing allegiances to the idealized homeland and the reality of home, culture was often the life vest. Books, movies, clothing, and ritual -- they bridged the chasm between the old world and the new by taking you to the place you could no longer go."
Los Angeles Review of Books 12/29/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@09:48PM
Will New York's New Mayor Lead A Return To Populist Art?
"The abrupt rise of Mr. de Blasio caught much of the city's cultural establishment off guard and set off anxious speculation about what kind of artistic patron he might be as mayor -- a question that took on particular urgency because the city budget is tight."
The New York Times 12/29/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@09:22PM
Freed Pussy Riot Members Renew Call For Sochi Olympics Boycott
"They also stressed that they have no plans of capitalizing on the Pussy Riot brand or even using it in the future."
The Hollywood Reporter 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@09:17PM
Lawsuit Against Calder's Art Dealer Dismissed
"The suit claimed that Perls and his family held on to hundreds of Calder's works, cheated the artist's estate out of tens of millions of dollars over the course of three decades and sold fake Calder works."
The New York Times 12/29/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@09:12PM
The Year Music Escaped The Concert Hall
"This has been the year of sound art, a year when museums and galleries, alternative spaces and train stations, parks and Beverly Hills formal gardens, even the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva went after a decent-sized piece of the acoustical action. Why now?"
Los Angeles Times 12/28/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@09:09PM
Wojciech Kilar, 81, Composer For 'The Pianist' And More
When Francis Ford Coppola asked the Polish composer what it took to write music like that in the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula, Kilar cryptically replied: 'You need to live in Katowice.'"
BBC 12/29/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@09:08PM
What Exactly Do Playwrights Do When They Reside?
"Already I've been using the title to open some doors. ... Yet, the role itself feels delightfully and frustratingly vague."
HowlRound 12/29/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@09:01PM
Sequels Ruled At The Movies This Year (Sigh)
This was a fantastic year at the box office, but "Hollywood did it largely by serving more of the same. The five leading films at the global box office were all sequels."
The New York Times 12/29/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@08:58PM
Actually, The Movies This Year Were Pretty Good
"Back in the movie wasteland of last January, no one could have guessed what a bounty of good films the year would bring. Not just good films, but several that measure up to our idealized notions of what the medium once was."
The Wall Street Journal 12/26/23
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@08:57PM
Variety 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@08:51PM
The Wall Street Journal 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@08:49PM
An Especially Excited Statue Gets A Little Cover
"Critics did not interpret the animal's grip on the man -- its paws gently resting on the man's hips -- as a bear hug. Moreover, the man appears to be experiencing sensations other than fear: He has an erection."
The New York Times 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@11:00AM
Lost Van Dyck Turns Up On Antiques Roadshow (Yes, Really)
The painting "was bought for £400 by a priest in Nottingham, but experts say the restored 17th century portrait could be worth around £400,000."
The Independent (UK) 12/29/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@10:50AM
Making The Oscars Into The World's Best, Not Just Hollywood's Best
"There's the Oscar lesson, proven year after year: You might win with a dark vision, but in general, keep it light and keep it in English."
Variety 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@10:40AM
As Illustrations Grow More Popular, Museums Get Priced Out
"The rising prices are proving prohibitive for some; Davis says that high prices for works by Rockwell and Parrish have made purchases by museums such as his more difficult."
The Art Newspaper 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@10:30AM
In New York, Some Stagehands Make A Lot (A LOT) Of Money
"Even as organized labor in the United States has weakened significantly, the nearly 2,600 active members of Local 1 have retained their clout, allowing them to push for good wages and work rules."
The New York Times 12/28/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@10:20AM
The Last Business Days Of A Typewriter Repairman
"Mr. Gan is also not a huge fan of Francis Ford Coppola, but he did service the Olivetti that Mr. Coppola used to write the Oscar-winning screenplay for 'The Godfather.'"
The New York Times 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@10:00AM
The Return Of 'The Lady And The Unicorn' Tapestries
"Now they have been cleaned and rehung we have some idea of how they might have looked in the Middle Ages. They are really extraordinary."
The Observer (UK) 12/28/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@09:50AM
The Stage To Screen Transition Is Just Rough
Reviewers take the movie version of "August: Osage County" to task for, well, theatricality.
Los Angeles Times 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@09:30AM
What's The Matter With Minnesota?
"Any orchestra could slide off the road into the ditch the way Minnesota has done."
NPR 12/28/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@09:20AM
The Most Exciting Magazine Of All Time
"No contemporary magazine could duplicate Life's success, and not just because 1945 was such a monumental year. No modern magazine has remotely close to its influence."
Slate 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@09:10AM
The Art Dealer With Deep Nazi Ties
"Gurlitt, the 'art dealer to the Führer,' reinvented himself: as a victim of the Nazis, a man who had saved precious artworks from destruction and someone who had never done anything malicious."
Der Spiegel 12/23/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@09:00AM
Is Arts Journalism Only Going To Survive As The PR Wing For Institutions?
"In the new media landscape, everyone is a content provider, and thus everyone is in competition. All true. To some extent."
The Chicago Tribune 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@08:40AM
What Were The Most Powerful Images Of 2013?
Let The Atlantic show you in this three-minute video of 80 photos culled from the year in photography.
The Atlantic 12/28/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@08:20AM
When You Consume Culture, Spare A Thought For The Creatives
"Those circulating copyrighted content can be as Scrooge-like as they please, because there's no Tiny Tim to think of. Except that there is."
The Guardian (UK) 12/26/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@08:10AM
The In-Jokes Onstage (Starting With 'The Nutcracker')
"The bodice of the principal dancer is adorned with a small oval cameo-style portrait of Balanchine. The women in the corps de ballet wear cameos of Lincoln Kirstein."
The New York Times 12/28/13
email this story | Posted 12/29/13@08:00AM
Friday, December 27, 2013

The Best Dance Of 2013 In London
A top five list and a worst five list.
The Telegraph (UK) 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@04:24PM
Did Iron Maiden Actually Use Piracy Data To Locate Its Fans And Make Money?
"I really wish MusicMetric had advised Iron Maiden on how to make millions of dollars from music pirates. It's such a good story. Too good, evidently, to be true."
TechCrunch 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@11:41AM
What A Disaster Was London Architecture This Year
"After such crimes against our built environment as an office tower that burns its neighbours with a solar "death ray", and prison-like student flats that look out directly on to a brick wall, architects risk earning the same contempt as bankers and politicians."
The Guardian (UK) 12/26/13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@10:17AM
UK Tax Break To Art Owners Describes As A "Racket"
Under the scheme, inheritance tax can be deferred if an owner commits to keeping significant works in the country and makes them available for the public to view. But it "is an incredibly small obligation", with owners having to make an item available for no more than 28 days a year.
The Guardian (UK) 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@10:11AM
What We Can Learn From Wikipedia (By How People Use It)
"The internet behemoth boasts 30 million articles written in more than 285 languages, tweaked by 70,000 active editors and viewed by 530 million visitors worldwide each month. As mountains of information go, it's Everest. Teasing out trends from the open source encyclopedia's archives is a task few would even attempt."
Wired 12/26/13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@09:00AM
Teens Are Abandoning Facebook (Who Cares?)
The question of whether teens will abandon Facebook has fascinated observers for at least four years (ever since the hysteria over teen Facebook addiction passed). But all that really matters to the service is what happens after teens go off to college and enter "the real world."
Wired 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@08:52AM
2013's Best New Architecture
"While a certain modern classicism predominated in 2013, there was another strain of smart buildings that aimed for a contemporary sensibility more concerned with sustainability, landscape, the vernacular and even geology."
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@08:47AM
Terry Teachout: The Best Theatre I Saw This Year
"Doubtless because of regional theater's cautious bent, it was in New York that I saw the best new shows of 2013."
The Wall Street Journal 12/27/13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@08:43AM
Why We Should Tune To 442 (and Ditch 440)
"Most music worldwide has been tuned to A=440 Hz since the International Standards Organization (ISO) promoted it in 1953. However, studies regarding the vibratory nature of the universe indicate that this pitch is disharmonious with the natural resonance of nature and may generate negative effects on human behaviour and consciousness."
Collective Evolution 12/21/13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@08:33AM
Who Has The Least Power In The Artworld? (A Top 20 List)
"This is a particularly bad year for critics. Not a single entry on the Power 100, while print media keeps firing their full-time art critics. It's so bad, some critics don't even bother putting their names on scathing takedowns of multi-million-dollar shows since it really doesn't matter."
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@08:30AM
What Milwaukee Did In Visual Art This Year
It was a full year, as critic Mary Louise Shumacher chronicles.
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 12/26/13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@08:23AM
Band Finds Out Where Its Music Is Most-Pirated, Then Plays Concerts There (And Makes Millions)
"Having an accurate real time snapshop of key data streams is all about helping inform people's decision making. If you know what drives engagement you can maximize the value of your fan base. Artists could say 'we're getting pirated here, let's do something about it', or 'we're popular here, let's play a show'."
BoingBoing 12/24/13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@08:14AM
Italy's Entire Opera System Nears Collapse
"Only three Italian opera houses are currently able to pay their bills within two months."
Newsweek 12.26.13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@01:32AM
Vasari's Last Supper Reassembled After Nearly Half A Century
"The last casualty of the devastating Florence flood of 1966 has been reassembled, raising hopes of a full restoration before the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest cultural disasters of modern times."
The Guardian (UK) 12.26.13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@01:31AM
London Theatre Cave-In: Why The Audience Didn't Panic
Social psychologist Chris Cocking looks at the impressively orderly response of the people in the Apollo Theatre when the ceiling collapsed - and sees more evidence of what his profession calls "social attachment theory".
Don't Panic! 12.20.13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@01:30AM
No Excuses - Fix The West End's Theatres!
Lyn Gardner: "It was once said that it would be impossible to modernise football grounds but that has happened, in some cases through updating and in some instances through re-building. Like football, West End theatre is a business, and one that last year posted record revenues."
The Guardian (UK) 12.23.13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@01:29AM
The Year's Most Pirated TV Show
Fans "are so eager for the murder, villainy, depravity and wedding banquets gone horribly wrong depicted on that series that they don't mind engaging in a little piracy to see the show."
The New York Times 12.26.13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@01:28AM
We're In A Golden Age Of Video Games - And Video Game Criticism
Well, the New York Times video game critic would say that, wouldn't he? But Chris Suellentrop may have a point.
The New York Times 12.26.13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@01:27AM
Saving the Lost Art of Conversation
"In a fast-paced digital age, an MIT psychologist tries to slow us down" - with the help of the age-old technique of eavesdropping.
The Atlantic 12.22.13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@01:26AM
Nicole Kidman With The Real-Life Character She's Just Played
In The Railway Man, the Oscar-winning actress portrays the wife of Eric Lomax, who wrote a best-selling memoir of his time as a prisoner-of-war in a World War II Japanese labor camp in Thailand. In a three-way phone interview, Kidman and Lomax talk about getting to know each other and what they have in common.
The Guardian (UK) 12.26.13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@01:25AM
Broadway's Next Big Thing? Immersive Dinner Theater
Queen of the Night, produced by the man who brought New York Sleep No More and The Donkey Show, "is presented as a 'dark debutante ball' given by the Marchesa, a potently ambiguous figure ... who blends aspects of Mozart's queen, the 1920s muse and dandy Luisa Casati, and the performance artist Marina Abramovic."
The New York Times 12.27.13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@01:24AM
August: Osage County Becomes Community Theater Hit
Surprisingly (or not?), amateur troupes all over the U.S. have taken to the dysfunctional-family extravaganza.
The Wall Street Journal 12.19.13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@01:23AM
How The Romans Celebrated The Holidays
"The Romans celebrated the winter festival of Sigillaria on 23rd of December, part of their Saturnalia festivities. Just like on Christmas Day, Sigillaria saw presents exchanged. So how does Sigillaria compare to a modern day Christmas? And can we say that the Roman's invented Christmas?"
University of Reading 12.23.13
email this story | Posted 12/27/13@01:22AM
Thursday, December 26, 2013

Live Theatre Versus Our On-Demand Culture
"What's gone wrong with theater? It isn't a matter of quality control. I've been reviewing performances from coast to coast since 2004, and I continue to be impressed by what I see. Instead, what I'm hearing from regional artistic directors is that they're being slammed by the on-demand mentality."
The Wall Street Journal 12/25/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@09:26AM
Best Arts Quotes Of 2013
"I have a friend who says there are two problems in this world, and only two: one is how you live with other people; the other is how you live with yourself. What I like about theatre is that it's the meeting point of those two problems."
The Guardian (UK) 12/26/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@09:20AM
New York Art Gallery Runs Into Trouble With Loan To South Korea
"A New York art gallery is in a $1.35 million legal dispute with South Korea's Gwangju Biennale Foundation, a case that demonstrates the potential pitfalls of international loans as more fairs and exhibitions spring up around the world."
The Wall Street Journal 12/24/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@09:14AM
Detroit's Morality Play Pits City Against Art
"I think it's immoral to play off art and culture against a person's basic income," says Michael Mulholland, vice president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 207, which represents about 950 city employees.
NPR 12/25/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@09:10AM
Netflix Nation - Do Our Changing Video Habits Bring Us Together?
In 2012, Americans spent more money purchasing online movies than they did physical formats such as DVDs. It's a historical shift with unknown consequences. If Netflix is capable of bringing everyone together, we should be seeing manifestations of this power anytime now. Then again, the advertisement's tagline only mentioned, "might." There was never any promise of "will."
Pacific Standard 12/24/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@09:06AM
Where Are The Strong Female Characters Since "Buffy"?
"What Buffy showed us is that having one strong female character per show - even if she's well-written, interesting and complex - just isn't enough."
BBC 12/24/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@08:58AM
They're Tracking Us (You Might Be Surprised By What They Can Find Out)
"An Acxiom presentation to the Consumer Marketing Organization in 2013 placed customers into "customer value segments" and noted that while the top 30 percent of customers add 500 percent of value, the bottom 20 percent actually cost 400 percent of value. In other words, it behooves companies to shower their top customers with attention, while ignoring the bottom 20 percent, who may spend "too much" time on customer service calls, and may cost companies in returns or coupons, or otherwise cost more than they provide."
New York Review of Books 01/09/14
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@08:45AM
Images Everywhere. So What Do They Mean?
"Amidst the surfeit of images today, the history of iconoclasm reminds us how powerful images can be in shaping and reshaping our relationship to the world. And, more importantly, how ephemeral every image can be."
The Smart Set 12/24/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@08:30AM
Wanna Be A Pop Star? Now (More Than Ever) You Gotta Have A Gimmick
"Even as publications such as Billboard lamented the lowest weekly music sales recorded since the dawn of Soundscan tracking technology in 1991 this past summer, a barrage of high-concept marketing campaigns unleashed in support of some of the year's biggest albums demonstrated that people are still willing to invest a great deal of time, energy, creativity and (in some cases) money in the increasingly futile pursuit of huge chart returns."
Toronto Star 12/25/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@08:26AM
The Best Nutcracker In The Land (Bet You Didn't Know There Was A Prize For This, Did You?)
The Debbie Allen Dance Academy's show, "The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker" that was mounted earlier this month in Los Angeles, beat out nearly 60 other productions of "The Nutcracker." It's Allen's second time winning the award.
Yahoo! (AP) 12/24/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@08:22AM
An Orchestra Comprised Of The Mentally Ill
It's billed as "the world's only classical music organization for individuals with mental illness and the people who support them."
Yahoo! (AP) 12/26/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@08:13AM
Is Economic Inequality The Next Fertile Ground For Artists' Work?
"As wealth inequality becomes a pressing issue in the Western world - particularly the growing gap between generations - it seems like artists are increasingly interested in talking actual numbers."
The Globe and Mail (Canada) 12/25/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@08:09AM
Star Ailey Dancer Returns To The Stage At Age 55
A former Alvin Ailey superstar and a current artificial-hip owner, Elizabeth Roxas-Dobrish, returns to the stage to perform "Revelations," the company's best-known work.
The New York Times 12/26/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@07:57AM
Philanthropist Robert W. Wilson, 86, Dies In Suicide
Wilson served as chairman of the New York City Opera and on the boards of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Opera. He donated more than $500 million to charities.
Bloomberg 12/25/13
email this story | Posted 12/26/13@07:39AM
Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 Was The Year We Asked "What Is TV? (And The Answer Was Pretty Good)
"This was the year of the "What is TV, anyway?" question. The surge of viewers to Netflix and the increasing number of younger people watching TV online only caused the question to be asked. And it caused confusion. There should be none - TV is content watched on any platform."
The Globe and Mail (Canada) 12/24/13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@11:11AM
Legendary Detroit Jazz Saxophonist Yusef Lateef, 93
"He gained notoriety as early as the 1950s in Detroit for his prescient experiments with what would come to be known as "world music," grafting exotic instruments like the Egyptian arghul and the melodic contours and rhythms of Africa and the Middle and Far East onto the trunk of hard-swinging modern jazz."
Detroit Free Press 12/23/13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@11:06AM
The Art Newspaper 12.24.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:53AM
Where Illuminated Manuscripts Really Began
"Evidence has emerged for a previously unknown school of painting in sub-Saharan Africa that may have been responsible for the earliest Christian paintings in manuscripts."
The Art Newspaper 12.20.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:50AM
Show At London's Collapsed-Ceiling Theatre Cancelled Until New Year
"Nimax Theatres has confirmed that all performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time [at the Apollo Theatre] have been cancelled until and including January 4, 2014."
The Stage (UK) 12.20.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:25AM
Why Are So Many West End Theatres In Such Bad Repair?
"Actually, they were largely quite flimsy to start with, and for good reason: the buildings were never expected to last."
The Atlantic 12.20.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:22AM
How The Civil War Helped Create Christmas American-Style
"Northerners and southerners, civilians and soldiers alike attempted to recreate in it the peace and well-being that eluded the nation."
Slate 12.23.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:20AM
American Imprisoned In Dubai For Parody Video
"The video in question is a 19-minute short that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture."
CNN 12.23.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:17AM
Spike Jonze's Abandonment Issues
"He keeps making movies in which extremely needy people get what they are seeking (a ghost orchid, an escape from mom, fifteen minutes inside John Malkovich, an O.S. for a girlfriend) but can't keep it."
The New Yorker 12.23.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:15AM
Ailing Pierre Boulez Cancels Chicago Symphony Residency
The maestro, who turns 89 next spring, has suffered a number of health problems in recent years.
Chicago Tribune 12.21.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:12AM
ENO's Income Up 12%
"Increased performances and audience numbers together with a 71% increase in income from sponsorship and donations gave English National Opera a 12% boost in total income to just over £40 million in the year to the end of March."
The Stage (UK) 12.23.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:10AM
Dallas's New Arts Center Is In The Black, But ...
"Officials for the AT&T Performing Arts Center announced Monday that they finished in the black for a second consecutive year," after an opening year that saw a $3.3 million deficit. But there's the matter of the capital campaign.
The Dallas Morning News 12.23.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:07AM
Orlando Ballet Gets Third Exec In Three Years
"The Orlando Ballet has chosen its third executive director in three years. Ron Legler, president of Florida Theatrical Association and owner of downtown nightclub The Abbey, will be the ballet's interim leader."
Orlando Sentinel 12.23.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:06AM
What It Takes To Study Kathakali
Students of the dance-drama from the Indian state of Kerala face a regimen that even ballet dancers might find daunting.
The National (Abu Dhabi) 12.19.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:01AM
A 21st-Century Star of Ancient Sanskrit Theater
"Not many women in India choose a Sanskrit theatre that's more than 2,000 years old as their profession. But Margi Sathi not only picked koodiyattam, she also contributed immensely to the evolution of a strong feminine narrative of the ancient art form, while resuscitating nangiarkoothu, a women-only offshoot that dates back to the 10th century."
The National (Abu Dhabi) 12.23.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@01:00AM
Why Is John Goodman One of Hollywood's Favorite Character Actors?
"I guess I'm able to tap into some undealt-with anger a lot. My innate rage."
The Wall Street Journal 12.19.13 (includes slide show and video clips)
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@12:53AM
Who's The King Of English Country-House Opera?
The Glyndebourne Festival has long been the standard-bearer, but a couple of relative upstarts may be eclipsing it.
The New York Times 12.23.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@12:51AM
What May Surprise You About Duck Dynasty
Virginia Cannon: "Admittedly, a reality show about a hunting clan of self-proclaimed rednecks in West Monroe, Louisiana, sounded problematic to me, too - like having to spend time at home with a southern branch of the Palins. But what is remarkable about the show, at least what I've seen of it, is its gentle nature."
The New Yorker 12.22.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@12:49AM
Dolphins May Not Be as Smart as We Thought
Say it ain't so! Well, they're far from dumb, mind you, but we may have been inferring more than the evidence we have really warrants.
The Wall Street Journal 12.18.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@12:46AM
Plants May Be Much Smarter Than We Thought
Michael Pollan writes about the new - and controversial - study of plant neurobiology. (Does this mean I should feel guilty about pruning?)
The New Yorker 12.23.13
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@12:44AM
How to Do Contemporary Dance
"Look no further than this instructional video by Contemporary Eric, which carefully demonstrates the 15 foundational steps of the genre," such as the "Zombie With Emotion" and the "Why Is Your Head in My Hand?"
Slate 12.23.13 (video)
email this story | Posted 12/24/13@12:43AM
Monday, December 23, 2013

How Syria's Government Is Using Facebook As A Weapon Against Its People
"For the last two years cyberwarriors loyal to Bashar al-Assad have made cyberspace a second front in the Syrian conflict. For nearly as long, Marquis-Boire and his colleagues Eva Galperin and John Scott-­Railton have been tracking and analyzing the arsenal of computer malware used against the Syrian opposition, journalists and NGOs."
Wired 12/23/13
email this story | Posted 12/23/13@06:03AM
How "A Christmas Story" Became A Cult Film Classic
"It is a curious cinematic evolution, one that speaks to how a relatively low-budget movie consumed with the simplest things from a 1940s life can have lasting appeal."
CBC 12/13/13
email this story | Posted 12/23/13@05:57AM
Why Hungary's Most Famous Musician Can't Perform There
"I have been threatened that if I return to Hungary, they will cut off both of my hands. I don't want to risk physical and mental assault."
BBC 12/22/13
email this story | Posted 12/23/13@05:52AM
The Problem With Reality TV? Um...
"The particular problem for the TV industry is that it's trying to profit off the same cultural tensions it's exploiting. That inevitably leads to problems such as the current one engulfing Duck Dynasty."
Los Angeles Times 12/20/13
email this story | Posted 12/23/13@05:37AM
Anthony Radich: We Need To Reinvent State Arts Agencies
"The largely grantmaking-driven state arts agencies simply are not structured to excel in today's environment. This is primarily the case because the grantmaking function in the states as currently practiced requires an ever-expanding flow of funds to operate successfully in the long term."
Barry's Blog 12/23/13
email this story | Posted 12/23/13@05:30AM
Sunday, December 22, 2013

One Member Of Pussy Riot Released Early In Russia
"Tolokonnikova's father Andrei told Reuters on Thursday that the planned release of the band members was clearly a public-relations move ahead of the Olympics."
The Guardian (UK) 12/23/13
email this story | Posted 12/22/13@10:19PM
Can An Obscure Database Help ID Nazi-Looted Art?
"Questions about the origins of the Gurlitt trove, which includes works by Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Renoir, have riveted the world. While German authorities have yet to divulge the identity of all the works, they have said they believe that less than half of them were stolen from Jewish owners."
The Wall Street Journal 12/22/13
email this story | Posted 12/22/13@10:14PM
Even If Apple's FreakyCool New HQ Gets Built, Will Workers Care?
"Its ambition is to be a marvel of modern architecture. ... But there's a problem."
Wired 12/20/13
email this story | Posted 12/22/13@10:10PM
The Man Bringing Trinity Church Wall Street Back To Its Music
"Austerity is out. In its place: a four-month festival of Benjamin Britten's music, Bach cantatas every Monday and a series celebrating the 12 nights of Christmas."
The New York Times 12/20/13
email this story | Posted 12/22/13@10:05PM
Sundance: It's Not Just For Movies Anymore
"Sundance's growing influence on theater comes after two decades of gradually increasing the number of labs and workshops it holds each year and broadening its search for the next great, risk-taking playwright."
The Detroit News (AP) 12/22/13
email this story | Posted 12/22/13@09:56PM
Lichtenstein Foundation Gives Thousands Of Works To Major Museums
The trove of about 200,000 photos and associated items - mostly photos of artists - will be distributed to the Getty in L.A., the Museum of Modern Art in N.Y., the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in D.C., and the Tate in London.
Los Angeles Times 12/21/13
email this story | Posted 12/22/13@09:47PM
Julian Myers, 95, Publicist To Marilyn Monroe And Elvis Presley
"Known for his good humor, smart wardrobe and old school stunts, he told Variety in 1992 -- past most people's retirement age -- that he was opening 'round-the-clock' offices."
Variety 12/22/13
email this story | Posted 12/22/13@09:44PM
When 'The Nutcracker' Goes Wrong
"One time, the Bunny from the battle scene, danced by a school child, wet herself onstage, and we had to navigate around the yellow snow. The dressers were furious afterward because one of the dancers had to kneel in the puddle."
The Boston Globe 12/21/13
email this story | Posted 12/22/13@09:40PM
Making Fewer Films - And More Money
"Profitability is the new mantra. The film business is now in survival mode, as changed viewing habits, a long decline in home entertainment sales, and fresh competition for viewers in rich foreign film markets like China take their toll."
The New York Times 12/22/13
email this story | Posted 12/22/13@09:32PM
We Love Technology - And This Year, We Became Fully Creeped Out By It
"In the last six months, Snowden -- like Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs before him -- has become the personification of our fears and desires about the awesome power and potential downside of digital technology."
Los Angeles Times 12/21/13
email this story | Posted 12/22/13@09:28PM
The Mafia And The Mystery Of The Stolen 'Nativity'
"Stolen works of art pay for drugs and arms. The turnover in stolen art is second to the turnover from drugs."
BBC 12/23/13
email this story | Posted 12/22/13@09:25PM

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