“William Shakespeare died in pain of a rare form of cancer that deformed his left eye, according to a German academic who claims to have discovered the disease in four genuine portraits of the world’s most famous playwright.”
Music fans are uploading playlists they’ve created to music services and tagging them thematically. It’s “a phenomenon that some researchers predict will dramatically change the online music business before the decade is out. IMixes are the online cousins of amateur cassette-tape and CD mixes created over the years by countless music collectors as soundtracks for parties and road trips. Many of the playlists focus on a theme — and many of those on a personal one, whether the subject is a lost love, a class reunion, a nasty breakup, duty in Iraq or a new romance.”
Hollywood unions are “criticizing the Walt Disney Co.-owned network for deciding to pay residuals on TV episode sales to video iPod users under the same payment formula for DVD sales. That interpretation has angered guild leaders, who contend that Hollywood talent is getting shortchanged by an antiquated formula.”
Although still far behind music, television shows represent the fastest-growing type of files downloaded online. As Internet speeds increase and software improves, almost anyone can get high-quality bootlegs of such popular shows as “Desperate Housewives,” “24” and “The O.C.” — minus the commercials that make “free” TV free. TV producers are worried.
“Now the elusive avant-garde item is viewable and re-viewable with a flick of your DVD remote. Unsupported by the film industry’s marketing and promotion, such proudly independent works usually plummet straight to obscurity — joining the vast unseen cinema, to borrow the title of a new DVD set devoted to making that cinema more seeable than ever before. Not only is this a great development for movie buffs and avant-garde connoisseurs. It also marks a quantum improvement in the plight of film-studies and art-history professors wanting to illuminate this shadowy continent in the classroom.”
“How much should a critic know about a choreographer’s intentions and talk about them? There often seems to be a disconnect between what choreographers say they’re doing and what actually occurs onstage.” Tere O’Connor takes issue with how critics write about dance.
The Edinburgh Festival has a new director. “Just how Edinburgh, the city of Hume and Mill, the home along one main street of three latterday Walter Scotts – Rowling, Rankin, McCall Smith – the Venice of the North, the greatest arts festival between Aix-en-Provence and Santa Fe, just how Edinburgh got itself into such a selection muddle that it had to hire a minnow from the other side of the world is almost beyond comprehension.”
The Cincinnati Art Museum is embarking on a huge expansion. “It will cost at least $125 million and add 110,000 square feet, underground parking, new and renovated galleries and an outdoor sculpture park. And it will eclipse the city’s most recent art museum projects: construction of the $35 million Contemporary Arts Center in 2002-03 and the $22.8 million renovation and expansion of the Taft Museum of Art in 2003-04.”
Sales of audiobooks were up four percent in 2004. “The major trend emerging from the survey showed higher revenue from new audio formats and the continued slow fade of the traditional audio cassette. MP3 CDs represented 1 percent of sales and digital downloads represented 6 percent of sales in 2004.”
Washington Ballet “has been on hiatus since mid-December, when negotiations on a first-time union contract for the dancers turned sour. Among the issues still unresolved: how the school’s students will be used in professional productions, how many dancers will be in the company, and terms of employment. By all accounts, these are standard fare for the negotiating table. In other dance companies, somehow a balance of interests is achieved and shows go on. So what’s holding up the Washington Ballet? A year after its dancers joined a union to correct what they say were poor working conditions, and after months of negotiating an employment contract, why is there no deal? And no dancing?”