The Hidden Performer Inside All Of Us?

“The desire to perform is, I think, universally present, but the horror of failure or ridicule is almost as strong. Many people have had a eureka moment with music; a spark, a fuse, an explosion which might be talent revealed or, at least, the start of an enduring interest, love, even obsession. But perhaps the talent for hearing and enjoying music is actually separate from the ability to produce it.”

Getting Inside Merce

“On the eve of the Lincoln Center Festival’s revival of his protean 1994 work, “Ocean,” no one argues when the 86-year-old Merce Cunningham is hailed as the world’s greatest living choreographer. But people still don’t entirely know what he is, though. Devoted fans and critics commonly dismiss one aspect or another of his complex art so they can fit it into their own smaller notions of dance…”

The Day Theatre Went Dark In London

“For the first time since the Blitz during the Second World War, every West End theatre cancelled its performances that day. Several shows that were due to perform matinee performances cancelled those first; then, as the police urged everyone to stay away from central London, evening performances were cancelled, too. All public subway and bus transport in central London was suspended in the immediate wake of the attacks, making it impossible for performers or audiences alike to get to the theatres in any case. Some theatres, like the Royal Court, automatically refunded all patrons who had booked. Others are seeking to exchange tickets for future performances.”

Surprise – Hollywood Has An Up Week

The comic book movie Fantastic Four has snapped Hollywood’s losing streak. “The flick about a quartet of dysfunctional superheroes earned an incredible $56 million, leading the box office to its first up weekend after a record 19 straight downers, according to preliminary studio figures Sunday. If estimates hold the top 12 movies will have grossed $140.9 million, a 2.2 percent gain over this time last year when fellow Marvel do-gooder Spider-Man 2 headlined the lineup.”

Why Do Mamet’s Progeny Sound Like Sendups?

“The language they use to show their smarts and their cool is the language that all of Mamet’s men use: R-rated and graphic. They rattle off four-letter words the way a jazz pianist does blue notes — to spice up a performance that might otherwise be too bland. The problem is that Mamet’s followers in all the narrative arts have made that language mainstream. As a result, the first-act tableaux in a Chinese restaurant, spiels in which three of the salesmen jockey for power, have lost their outrageousness and now seem more like sendups of Mamet.”

Is The Summer Blockbuster Legend Being Put To Rest?

“Will the 70’s never end? Or are they finally, totally, over? Are we, that is, nearing the end of a pop-culture business cycle that began 30 years ago? Maybe. The summer blockbuster – legend-shrouded mutant offspring of “Jaws” and “Star Wars” – laying waste to the noble traditions of the Old Hollywood even as it trampled the blossoming potential of the New: this has been received wisdom among people who write about movies for as long as much of the current movie audience has been alive.”

The Rocky Road To Choreography

“Emerging choreographers face a variety of obstacles, financially and logistically, to their artistic development. There is no clear path to becoming a choreographer, and until companies or funders start to recognize a name, artists are left to secure dancers, studio space and training in a world without apprenticeships. Even for people who grow up in dance, what it takes to be a choreographer remains something of a mystery.”

Nobel Winner Claude Simon, 91

Claude Simon, the last French writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, has died at the age of 91. He won the Nobel in 1985 He was hailed as a novelist who “incarnates the renewal of French literature in the post-war period .Rejection of conventions, or rather, man’s fundamental originality, are at the heart of his work, the source of his creation.” His books included “The Wind” (1957), and “The Flanders Road” (1960).