Ballroom dancing is very hot right now. Not just in studios and nightclubs, but onstage too. “The way I see it, ballroom has existed in this sort of cocoon, in the studios and competitions. It was almost its own unique little world, like a step back in time. When you think of ballroom, you think of the slicked-back hair and the fake tans and the sequins…. We want to sort of deconstruct that myth.” – Christian Science Monitor


New technologies are changing the music business. Musicians can play along, or they can fight it. But just because the economics are changing doesn’t mean it’s a catastrophe. “Rather than insist that the way the music world does business today is the only way imaginable, it behooves artists to take a longer and more imaginative view. It’s not as if the status quo has served them so well.” – Salon


London’s 13-year-old modern dance troupe Adventures in Motion Picture (AMP) announces it will move into the Old Vic Theatre as company-in-residence beginning in 2002. Under choreographer Matthew Bourne, AMP’s “outrageously entertaining shows drew on traditions of showbiz, classical ballet, and film, and rapidly attracted a public far wider than hard-core dance fans.” Once the company takes up its new residence, it will become the only major British dance company, other than the two Royal Ballet companies, with its own home-base theater. – The Guardian


Despite the fact that much rap music contains lyrics that are violent, degrading to women, Jews, whites and blacks, record labels have stood silently by while they have raked in millions of dollars from top-selling rap artists. Now Universal Music Group has told its “rap recording group the Murderers that it wouldn’t release their new album until they removed anti-police and anti-gay slurs from their lyrics.” If they’re being so responsible, some rappers have pointed out, why don’t they object to the “N-word”? – Los Angeles Times


After Metropolitan Opera soprano Deborah Voigt cancelled her performance with the Y Music Society (which presents only one singer each season on its Carnegie Music Hall recital series) untested soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian filled in to take her place. The 25-year-old Canadian “is much in the news, in fact, as she will make her New York operatic debut this week in a concert version of Herold’s rarely-heard ‘Zampa.'” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Classical musicians are under pressure to produce better music with less rehearsal time. “Conductors could argue that they go into rehearsals with lower expectations because of the time pressures. What we are talking about is not shoddy workmanship; it is a culture in which routine music-making has become a fixture in the artistic climate and orchestral economy.” – Sunday Telegraph