Peloton Stock Plunges After “Sex in the City” Episode Runs

Shares of Peloton, the fitness equipment company, fell 11.3% Thursday — tumbling to a 19-month low — after a key character in HBO Max’s “Sex and the City” revival, “And Just Like That,” was shown dying of a heart attack after a 45-minute workout on one of the company’s exercise bikes. – Variety
Tags: Art, Media, Peloton, HBO Max

Lifestyle Over Learning? Today’s Colleges Compete At The Wrong Things

In a higher education system financed mostly by tuition dollars, the customer is king. Colleges and universities have become full-service lifestyle stations, competing for students. But why is everyone is somehow finding their best selves in really nice gyms, dormitories, and dining halls? – Liberties Journal
Tags: Art, Ideas

France Okays Modernization Of The Interior Of Notre Dame

The plan is “to bring a more modern look to Notre-Dame before its planned reopening in 2024, including the installation of contemporary artworks and new lighting effects. Opponents say the changes will debase the 850-year-old cathedral and disturb the harmony of its Gothic design.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, France, Visual, Interior Of Notre Dame

A Crisis Of Copyright For Canada’s Education Publishers

Not only is the Canadian copyright crisis now called “the Canadian flu” in international book publishing circles but—for those who love silver linings—it’s believed to be working as a vaccination-by-example to help ward off similarly disastrous legislation in markets far from Canadian shores. – Publishing Perspectives
Tags: Art, Canada, Words, Education Publishers

How The Conversations Between Books Has Been Lost

The culture that connected people of my generation was popular television and music. I noticed when I traveled that bookstores were as crammed with seasonal novelties as shoe stores; and used bookstores — this has been one of the saddest developments of my lifetime — had mostly disappeared.  – Liberties Journal
Tags: Art, Words

At Last: Met Museum Removes Sackler Name From Its Building

The decision, which came after more than a yearlong review by the museum, was reportedly mutual and made “in order to allow the Met to further its core mission,” according to a joint statement issued by the Sackler family and the institution. – Artnet
Tags: Art, Visual, Sackler

Opera’s Three Laws Of Gravity (There’s No Escaping Them)

“In opera, the external is the internal.” 2. “In opera, all speech is dream speech, whether it wants to be or not.” 3. “Opera transforms pain into pleasure.” Composer Matthew Aucoin, whose Eurydice just finished its run at the Met, explains. – Literary Hub
Tags: Art, Music, Matthew Aucoin

Dying American Shopping Malls Are Obviously Symbolic. But Of What?

“A dead mall, while eerie and odd, is strangely difficult to interpret. Tempting to see it as an Ozymandias-like portent of the collapse of capitalism, but it’s surely not, or not quite. … How are these castles to consumerism crumbling while the system they represented lives on?” – Slate
Tags: Art, Issues

How A Master Of Indian Classical Dance Is Subtly Transforming Her Genre

Bijayini Satpathy spent 25 years performing and teaching at Nrityagram, the famous dancers’ village near Bangalore, before deciding to become a touring solo artist. She has pared back the ornate jewelry worn in Odissi style and changed the viewpoint from which key dances are performed. – Dance Magazine
Tags: Art, Dance, Bangalore, Nrityagram, Odissi, Bijayini Satpathy

And Now Some Orchestra Business Numbers:

For the last 12 months (November 2020-October 2021), orchestra ticket revenue is down 67%. This is on par with results for the larger performing arts sector in the U.S. for the same period. – SMU Data Arts
Tags: Art, Music

The Uyghur Cultural Traditions Being Wiped Out Under Beijing’s Crackdown

There’s been plenty of coverage of the built heritage of the Uyghurs that has been razed in recent years, but intangibles — literature, traditional music and dance, meshrep gatherings for poetry and storytelling — have been either banned or edited into hollow performances for tourists. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Beijing, Issues

Legendary fantasy artist Chris Achilleos dead at 74

British artist Chris Achilleos died this week at 74, reports Doctor Who News. Achilleos's glamourous fantasy artwork graced everything from album covers to fantasy novels and movie posters. The signature Achilléos style combined vivid colours, minute detailing, and an innovative blend of historical, psychedelic, and comic book influences. — Read the rest
Tags: Art, Post, News, Achilleos, Chris Achilleos

Evidence Vikings Landed In North America Nearly 500 Years Before Columbus

Scientists have known for many years that Vikings — a name given to the Norse by the English they raided — built a village at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland around the turn of the millennium. But a study published in Nature is the first to pinpoint the date of the Norse occupation. – NBC News
Tags: Art, Newfoundland, North America, Vikings, Issues, L'Anse aux Meadows

Suddenly The Best Documentary Short Oscar Race Is Interesting, Thanks To Two Old Titans Of Print

Time was, that was a low-stakes category for obscure indie directors. Ten years ago, HBO was the only major competitor. Now several legacy media institutions, most notably The New York Times and The New Yorker, are livening up the field and actively pursuing the statuette. – The Hollywood Reporter
Tags: Art, Hbo, Media, New York Times

Could This Show Replace The Golden Globes?

The Critics Choice Awards has long been something of an also-ran. The 2020 show drew just 1.2 million viewers, about half the audience of that year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards and a fraction of the Globes’ 18 million-plus viewers. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Media

National Museum Of Afghanistan Is Open Again — With Taliban Guards

Twenty years after a previous generation of Taliban took over the country and looted and smashed its way through the collection, the new government, which took power in August, has reopened the museum, providing security officers and even encouraging visits. – AP
Tags: Art, Afghanistan, Taliban, Visual

Rape Charge Against Filmmaker Luc Besson Dismissed By French Court

After a 3½-year judicial investigation in Paris, and in accordance with the prosecutor’s recommendation, the case brought against Besson by actress Sand van Roy has been dismissed for lack of evidence. – Variety
Tags: Art, People, Paris, Luc Besson, Besson, French Court, Sand Van Roy

Rolando Villazón Had Thought His Voice Was Fried For Good — But He’s Singing Again And Back At The Met

Following a meteoric rise in the ’00s, the Mexican tenor suffered more than one vocal crisis, changed repertoire, and finally gave up. But, he says, he retooled his technique during the pandemic and now thinks he’s singing better than ever. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Rolando Villazòn

Association Of American Publishers Sues To Stop States’ Library E-Book Laws

The trade group says that a Maryland law (along with a similar one pending in New York) requiring publishers who sell e-books to individual customers in the state to also sell to libraries “on ‘reasonable’ terms” is against federal copyright law and unconstitutional. – Publishers Weekly
Tags: Art, New York, Maryland, Words

Circus Oz, Australia’s World-Renowned Troupe, Is Closing Down

The government agencies that provide 75% of Circus Oz’s budget told the company that it must revamp its board and governance or lose funding. The Company Members (anyone who performed with it for at least three years) rejected that demand by a 3-to-1 margin. – ArtsHub (Australia)
Tags: Art, Australia, Theatre

Dutch Government Set To Spend €150 Million To Buy A Rembrandt From The Rothschilds

The Standard-Bearer, once owned by George IV of Great Britain, is one of the very few Rembrandts still in private hands. The Rothschilds are prepared to sell it to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam for €175 million, of which €150 million will come from the central government. – Artnet
Tags: Art, Amsterdam, Great Britain, Visual, George IV, Rothschilds, Standard Bearer

What Makes Salvador Dalí’s Iconic Surrealist Painting “The Persistence of Memory” a Great Work of Art

Salvador Dalí painted melting clocks. This is not as drastic an oversimplification as it sounds: after first painting such a counterintuitive image, “Dalí, who knew the importance of branding, would use the melting clocks for his entire career.” So says no less an expert than James Payne, the gallerist and video essayist behind the Youtube channel Great Art Explained. In its latest episode Payne takes on the unrelentingly prolific Dalí’s most famous canvas of all, The Persistence of Memo...
Tags: Art, Facebook, College, History, Salvador Dalí, Seoul, Einstein, Bosch, Payne, Mike Wallace, Dali, Taschen, James Payne, Colin Marshall, Surrealist Salvador Dalí Painting, 21st Century Los Angeles

Accept no substitutes

The new stage version of Mrs. Doubtfire, reviewed by me in The Wall Street Journal: The first big-budget commodity musical to hit Broadway since the end of the Covid-19 lockdown has now opened—at a theater named after a man who despised such shows. It couldn’t be more ironic that the Stephen Sondheim Theatre is home to “Mrs. Doubtfire,” a new stage version of Chris Columbus’ 1993 screen comedy about a divorced father who dresses up as a woman and becomes nanny to his children so that he...
Tags: Art, Robin Williams, Broadway, Ajblogs, Rob McClure, Chris Columbus, Doubtfire, Stephen Sondheim Theatre

Replay: Adam Driver sings “Being Alive”

Adam Driver sings “Being Alive” (from Stephen Sondheim’s Company) in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story: (This is the latest in a series of arts- and history-related videos that appear in this space each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
Tags: Art, Stephen Sondheim, Adam Driver, Ajblogs, Noah Baumbach

Meet Ms. Bobbie

The new Broadway revival of Company, reviewed by me in The Wall Street Journal: Two weeks after Stephen Sondheim’s death, a revival of his first great musical has arrived on Broadway. And while revivals of “Company” long ago became common—I’ve reviewed five—this one, directed by Marianne Elliott, is by definition exceptional, for it is a high-concept production originally mounted on London’s West End in whch Bobby, the seemingly confirmed bachelor whom all his friends long to see marrie...
Tags: Art, London, Stephen Sondheim, Broadway, West End, Wall Street Journal, Ajblogs, Elliott, Bobby, Bobbie, Marianne Elliott, Katrina Lenk

‘This is our voice’: The Uyghur traditions being erased by China’s cultural crackdown

Ancient shrines, oral folklore and hip-hop cyphers are all part of a rich artistic heritage being ‘hollowed out’ in Xinjiang say Uyghur exiles and scholars On Thursday, the Uyghur Tribunal delivered its damning judgment on the human rights abuses allegedly committed by the Chinese state in Xinjiang. Over the past months this London-based people’s tribunal has heard testimony from international scholars as well as survivors of Chinese detention and “re-education camps”.While the ruling has no leg...
Tags: Art, Music, London, China, Culture, Art and design, Xinjiang, Uyghurs, Uyghur Tribunal, north west China Rachel Harris

Works by Turner and Lowry gifted to British nation in 2021

Paintings, archives and other items worth £52m allocated by Arts Council England to museums across UKSir Anthony van Dyck’s Portrait of a Woman, JMW Turner’s Walton Bridge and LS Lowry’s painting of David Lloyd George’s birthplace in Manchester are among the dozens of items of cultural importance saved for the nation this year.Thanks to Art Council England’s cultural gifts and acceptance in lieu schemes, the paintings, archives and other items worth £52m have been accepted for the nation and all...
Tags: Art, UK, England, Culture, Art and design, Museums, Manchester, Arts Council England, Turner, Lowry, Jmw Turner, Anthony van Dyck, David Lloyd George, Art Council England, Walton Bridge

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