Said: The Artist As An Old Man

Before he died last year, Edward Said mused on the powers of the artist late in life: “What of the last or late period of life, the decay of the body, the onset of ill health (which, in a younger person, brings on the possibility of an untimely end)? These issues, which interest me for obvious personal reasons, have led me to look at the way in which the work of some artists acquires a new idiom towards the end of their lives – what I’ve come to think of as a late style.”

Attempt To Pin Down Noah’s Flood Foiled

Four years ago scientists thought they had found evidence that could “solve the age-old question of whether the Black Sea’s flooding was the event recounted in the Biblical story of Noah.” But “the scientists who visited the underwater site last summer off the northern Turkish coastal town of Sinop couldn’t arrive at any conclusions. The settlement, about 330 feet underwater, was ‘contaminated’ by wood that had drifted in, foiling any attempt to accurately date the ruin and thus date the flood.”

d’Amboise Still On The Trail

Jacques d’Amboise is 70, and taking the kids of his National Dance Institute to China. But he’s always teaching. Four years ago he hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, teaching a trail dance to people along the way. “I hiked the whole thing. And more than that, I taught 14,000 people the trail dance. I did 40 big events, as wild as teaching prisoners in jail. That was terrific.”

Edinburgh Fringe Play Upsets Gay Community

A play at the Edinburgh Fringe has the gay community upset. It portrays “hidden violence and cruelty inside gay relationships. ” But the playwright defends the work: “The message we usually give out is that we are a happy community, and some think that if we do anything to alter that picture we will alienate ourselves further from the rest of society. I think the time is right to make it clear we are exactly the same as heterosexuals when it comes to these problems.”

Cirque du Soleil – Canadian Ambassadors

“Cirque Du Soleil is perhaps the best international ambassador in Canada’s history. This entertainment giant has thrilled more than 40 million spectators since it began two decades ago, growing out of a small festival in the Quebec town of Baie-Saint-Paul. Cirque brought a new kind of circus into existence, made up of dazzling acrobatics and gymnastics, rather than animal acts and tawdry sideshow displays.”

Phil Orch Prez Admits Misleading Statements

As the Philadelphia Orchestra’s contract negotiations spiral into an embarassingly public spat between managers and musicians, the orchestra’s embattled president, Joseph Kluger, has been forced to admit that some of the statements the management made on a website intended to turn public sentiment against the musicians were inaccurate. Kluger and board chairman Richard Smoot had claimed that rental costs on office space for the orchestra were unanticipated and impossible to predict; they had also claimed that the orchestra’s second harpist performs only three concerts per year. In fact, the rental costs were always known, and the harpist in question plays “16 of 30 subscription weeks, 19 single concerts, and has played or will play nine of 28 summer concerts.”

Cash-Strapped UK Universities Selling Diplomas

A new investigation has revealed that some British universities have made a practice of trading diplomas for cash with students who would not have achieved passing grades on their own. “The ‘degrees-for-sale’ scandal stretches from the most prestigious institutions to the former polytechnics and includes undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, foreign and home students.”

Saving A (Decrepit) Landmark

“Eighteen years after [Denver’s] Bonfils Theater was shuttered, it no longer matters who was the bad guy responsible for the decay of the once-great venue. The important question is whether anyone will take responsibility for the building’s reclamation before it’s too late… In the past two decades, many plans have been put forward to save the theater. Most were done in not by the modest purchase price but the daunting task of rehabilitating a theater that has grown decrepit from lack of use and maintenance.”

Let Chicago Be Chicago!

For years, Chicagoans have rolled their eyes while viewing films purported to be taking place in their home city, but clearly filmed elsewhere (usually in Toronto.) But the fact is that plenty of movies have been shot in Chicago – it’s just that those movies are usually supposed to take place in New York. Or Cincinnati. Or East Berlin.

The Impossible Life Of A Working Actor

Steven Barkhimer is one of Boston’s busiest actors, a man beloved by critics and audiences alike. And yet, he hasn’t been able to pay his own rent in more than a year, and barely manages to scrape by financially. He’s not an anomaly, he’s the poster boy for the life of the Boston actor. And that’s a big problem for the city’s theater scene.