Archives for November 2004
Warburg was a dismal grey place.
the Bush administration continuing to oppose the artistic and entertainment establishment. “What they’ve realized now is that cultural warfare not only works but it triumphs — that stigmatizing, demonizing not only is a device, it is the device,” Gabler said. “It is the way to govern the country.”
“The Republicans ran directly and very successfully against the arts here,” said Alan Woods, a longtime professor of theater and cultural history at Ohio State University. “In Ohio, Bush played the Midwest off against the culture of the coasts. I don’t think the arts are at all persuasive to people in Ohio anymore. Then again, I am not sure they ever were persuasive on a political level.”
All this is second-guessing. The massive endorsement of John F. Kerry by arts and entertainment personalities helped bring his candidacy back from the dead after the persistent slander he endured (Swift boat vets).
Moreover, those endorsements helped him carry an enormous majority of both urban and well-educated voters. And finally, he did win the election. The Bush team just had another more important endorsement from Diebold CEO Wally O’Dell.
Inflated and deflated numbers. Urban districts under serviced as well as undercounted (people couldn’t wait long enough to vote).
Now we should believe that the Democrats should give up celebrity endorsement. What’s next? Democrats should be wooing instead the endorsement right-wing fanatical preachers? Read the Tribune article to understand how nonsensical this has all become.
Iraqis who take up guns to defend their homeland are terrorists. American soldiers who bring overwhelming firepower to civilian neighbourhoods from ground or sky are heroes and defenders of freedom. Endorsement of the Republicans by crackpot evangelicals is effective campaigning. Endorsement of the Democrats by the icons of the arts and entertainment world is alienating.
Orwell has arrived! Welcome to Newspeak.
Who attends dance performances?
The Chicago Community Trust, with help from Prince Charitable Trusts, funded research that focused on the local dance audience. The profiling data, gleaned from the phone surveys and focus groups with arts patrons, are to be used to help dance companies gain broader recognition and boost ticket sales. A look inside the demographics of “dance attenders,” or those who have attend-ed one or more professional dance performances in the last year.
71% are female (29 percent male).
56 years old, on average.
77% are white (12 percent Latino, 7 percent Black).
63% are urban dwellers (37 percent live in suburbs).
59% took dance classes growing up.
60% do artistic or creative activities themselves.
The number in there which really surprised me is that sixty per cent of those who attend dance, practiced at one point or another. It’s true that there are always a significant proportion of current professional dancers, dance teacher, ex-prima ballerinas as well as a legion of young people presently studying dance in most given audiences.
Many times I have taken culturally aware people (who go to at least one of museums, theatre or art cinema regularly) to dance performances. Usually mixed results. They are not often sold on making it a regular part of their lives. They think of it more as a curiosity than anything else.
Oftentimes, either the music is alienating. Most of the classical ballet canon, apart from Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes pieces scored by Stravinsky or taken from Rimsky-Korsakov symphonies, are set to wretchedly banal scores, Swan Lake the notable exception. Even Giselle is maudlin. Or the modern stuff is just cacophonous. Or to sparse to be enjoyed (a single high hat being tinkled twice on the minute).
In modern dance in North America (and to a lesser extent in Europe) one suffers from the “anyone can be a dancer” train of thought, which considers that not personal beauty, stage charisma or dance talent should play a deciding factor in one’s ability to express oneself via movement in front of others. In classical dance in North America, audiences all suffer from the Auschwitz factor. The gentlemen who rule the roost have no great taste for the female figure. And so the female dancers are all young Adonis without rounded shoulder or bottoms or breast. Not a curve in sight.
These twig figures are hardly muses or and in many cases are barely recognisable as humans, let alone adult human females. Fortunately in Europe, the female dancers, depending on the company, are far more authentically proportioned. And thus more pleasing to the untrained eye. Perhaps it should not be a surprise that ballet enjoys wider favour among audiences in European cities.
So just how does one expand dance audiences? The eternal question.
In my particular case, take beautiful pictures of dance and publicise dance as widely as possible. Personal experience has shown this not to be enough.
More pleasing performers and consistently higher calibre music would help enormously. In any case, that strategy worked for Diaghilev.
But in general it would seem that answer would be to expand dance schools and train as many people as possible in Terpsichore’s art.
As a remedy for the general gracelessness of the world and problems of form, this would probably offer considerable both health and aesthetic benefits. Perhaps the Health Ministries should get involved.
A supple body and awareness of the body contribute mightily to a good intimate life. Perhaps the tabloids and the women’s magazines could join the effort.
Atrios – Edited Comments on the Election Lost: Everything Points to Diebold
If voters can be challenged, why can’t the machines be challenged? With all the lawyers available, it looks like the voting machines could be opened to examination in questionable exit poll/real poll precincts and thoroughly reviewed by software engineers (don’t go back to Diebold to get the source). There might not be a “software” trail but who knows.
fletch | Email | Homepage | 11.03.04 – 1:36 pm | #