Maybe We Do Need A Hole In The Head

A Russian neurophysiologist “is exploring the idea that people with Alzheimer’s disease could be treated by drilling a hole in their skull. In fact, he is so convinced of the benefits of trepanation that he claims it may help anyone from their mid-40s onwards to slow or even reverse the process of age-related cognitive decline. Can he be serious?”

Opera Grand Rapids Breaks Ground On New Facility

“For most of its 42-year history, the company has presented operas by Mozart and Puccini in the comfort of DeVos Performance Hall. But it has managed its affairs from rented offices, stored props and costumes in the homes of staff and volunteers, and rehearsed for productions such as Bizet’s Carmen in vacant warehouses and empty storefronts. The company’s days of operating as a traveling caravan soon will be over.”

Hare Writing Play On Financial Crisis For National Theatre

“Over the last five years, he has tackled the Iraq war, political party funding and railway privatisation. Now, David Hare is turning his attention to another weighty and pressing subject: the banking meltdown. The National Theatre’s director, Nicholas Hytner, approached the playwright in early April to write what the theatre calls ‘an urgent and immediate work’ investigating the cause and effect of the financial crisis.”

MOCA Gets $3 Million In Donations For Regular Operations

“The Museum of Contemporary Art says one of its trustees, real estate and investment executive Fred Sands, has given the museum $2 million, with an anonymous donor providing an additional $1 million. The donations are on top of $1 million and $5 million gifts from unnamed donors that the museum had made public last month, and bring the total raised since Jan. 30 to $10 million….”

LaBute, MCC Theater: There’s No Rift Between Us

“A perceived split between Off Broadway’s MCC Theater and the org’s longtime writer-in-residence Neil LaBute appears to amount to little more than a production delayed for scheduling reasons. A previously announced staging of LaBute’s play ‘The Break of Noon’ did not appear as part of MCC’s recent announcement of its 2009-10 season, spurring speculation in print that LaBute and MCC … were parting ways.”

Does Art Truly Represent The Culture That Creates It?

The recent 10-day Muslim Voices festival in New York aimed to expand understanding of Muslim culture. “Yet nothing in the festival could ultimately fulfill the organizers’ agenda, because they presented as examples of Muslim-culture artforms that mostly Western or Westernized Muslims consume. How many Americans will believe — and why should they? — that any of this reveals the prevailing culture of the vast majority of today’s practicing Muslims?”

The Ballets Russes Return To The Scene Of That Historic Riot

“On Friday night [at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées], in a culmination of years of diplomatic and artistic negotiation, the curtain will be lifted on four of the works that helped make the dance troupe’s name.” The program includes “two of the company’s best-known ballets, Scheherazade and Ravel’s Bolero, alongside two 1912 works which were largely forgotten about after Diaghilev’s death in 1929.”

Sonny Rollins, Maria Schneider Triple Winners At Jazz Awards

“Rollins, 78, collected awards for musician of the year and top tenor saxophonist on Tuesday night. Rollins’ Road Shows, Vol. 1, a collection of live concert recordings from 1980 to 2007, was chosen the historical recording/reissue of the year. … Schneider once again won the awards for composer, arranger and large ensemble of the year in voting among the 450 members of the Jazz Journalists Association.”

Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center Approves New 25-Year Master Plan

“The master plan calls for the Memorial Arts Building, which opened in 1968, to be dismantled or have its space reconfigured or renovated, and be replaced by four free-standing, but connected, buildings surrounding an expansive pedestrian plaza that would extend to the Peachtree sidewalk. Those structures are the new Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert hall, the Alliance [Theatre] expansion, the Alliance auditorium and the current Symphony Hall, to be renovated and used for arts and education functions or rental.”