Harry Potter For Adults

An 800-page novel about magicians looks to be a blockbuster. First0time writer Susanna Clarke has written “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which has already been sold to a dozen countries and attracted interest from Hollywood, looks set to make her a millionaire and has enabled her to quit the day job to become a full-time writer.”

Judge Disallows DVD Copying Software

A US Federal judge has ruled that a company must stop selling a software program that allows users to make copies of DVDs. But the company vows to appeal: “There is no difference between making a copy of a music CD for personal use and making a backup of a DVD movie for personal use. We are so firm in our belief in the principle of fair use that we will appeal this ruling immediately. And we will take our fight all the way to the Supreme Court, if that’s what it takes to win.”

The Cuban Connection

“After nearly half a century of defections, including 20 in 2003, Cuban dancers and teachers are exerting a powerful influence on American and world dance that brings to mind the profound impact Russian dancers brought to the West as their defections mounted in the dusk of the Soviet empire.”

In Connecticut – Are Arts Supporter’s Troubles Trouble For The Arts?

Connecticut governor John Rowland has been a major supporter of the arts. Now the governmor’s in trouble, and his “troubles couldn’t come at a worse time for cultural groups. The arts are weathering tough economic times locally, statewide and nationally. New initiatives are being downsized or postponed. And a new state super-agency – established by the legislature at the governor’s urging last year to oversee the state’s interests in tourism, arts, history, culture and film – is still finding its identity, focus and voice. During this time of trials and tribulations for the governor, is the arts agenda lost?”

A Shadow Of Mikhail

Mikhail Baryshnikov is on another tour. But his aging body isn’t keeping up. “In brief, he sells tickets on his reputation and performs whatever he’s commissioned from contemporary dance-makers, slight though the result might be. But how much can a choreographer ask of a vintage instrument in a fragile condition? Fit though Baryshnikov is, he has endured knee surgery many times. For his European tour, he’s had to abandon a tricky solo…”

The National’s Hytner Team

“Nicholas Hytner took over as artistic director last April and in less than a year has turned the sometimes recalcitrant South Bank complex into a house of hits of an order unmatched by his predecessors. Is Hytner’s a one-man fiefdom? No, actually, and certainly not in the style of Trevor Nunn, his predecessor, whose five-and-a-half-year tenure was very much given over to none other than Nunn.”

Remembering Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan changed ballet with her unusual personal style. “Duncan has gone down in history as a hard act to follow – a one-off original who, from mixed motives of exhibitionism and evangelicalism, believed she could change the world. She was born in California in 1877 and raised by her mother in a very West Coast bohemian style.”