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Laughing At ISIS: Syrian Refugees Move From Fear Of Extremists To Video Mockery

March 20, 2015 - 4:11am

“‘The entire world seems to be terrified of ISIS, so we want to laugh at them, expose their hypocrisy and show that their interpretation of Islam does not represent the overwhelming majority of Muslims,’ says Maen Watfe, 27. ‘The media, especially the western media, obsessively reproduce ISIS propaganda portraying them as strong and intimidating. We want to show their weaknesses.'”

A (Female) Bach Scholar Takes Down The Anna-Magdalena-Wrote-The-Cello-Suites Theory For Good

March 20, 2015 - 4:07am

Ruth Tatlow: “My decision to undertake this analysis of Written by Mrs Bach was not taken lightly. I had to weigh up the pain of writing critically about the well-meant research effort of an acquaintance, against the temporary relief but longer-term discomfort of remaining silent. I offer this analysis in the hope that it might help clarify some of the confusions and defuse some of the widely-felt frustrations.” (pdf)

French Police Widen Net In Manuscripts Investigation

March 20, 2015 - 4:00am

“The scandal in France involving manuscripts’ dealer Gérard Lhéritier and his company Aristophil is growing daily. Earlier this month, he was charged with fraud, money laundering, creating false accounts and embezzlement. Bail was set at €2m. … Experts have started to inventory the company’s huge collection of around 135,000 documents, and two legal firms have begun registering complaints from the company’s 18,000 clients.”

What Does Art Smell Like?

March 20, 2015 - 3:55am

“Imagine you’re in an art gallery, studying a portrait with a red background. Does your interpretation of it change if you taste ketchup while you look? Or smell blood? Or both? Tate Sensorium, an upcoming exhibition at the London museum Tate Britain, is attempting to answer these questions by using interactive technology to experiment with how senses change the way people interpret visual art.”

The Top 10 Reasons To Support The Arts In 2015

March 20, 2015 - 3:51am

Randy Cohen on his annual list: “Changes this year include updating #3 with the BEA’s new Arts in the GDP research, #8 to include a statement about the benefits of the arts in the military, and #10 includes the new Creative Industries data (now current as of January 2015).”

Arts Education And Cognition: A Caution And A Path Forward

March 20, 2015 - 3:50am

“Trying to find causation between arts education and better academic performance within other disciplines is a bootless errand. I do not believe that it is an effective strategy for arts educators to justify our existence through the improvements the arts may or may not contribute to learning in other disciplines. So what do we do?” Peter Duffy offers some ideas.

A Rothschild Is Selling Two Rembrandts For €150M, Causing Controversy In France

March 20, 2015 - 3:50am

The portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit were acquired in 1877 by Baron Gustave de Rothschild. Eric de Rothschild is putting them on the market, and the French government has granted an export license – making some art lovers in the country furious at both of them.

Arts In England Face ‘Serious And Irreversible Damage,’ Says Arts Index

March 20, 2015 - 3:49am

“The Arts Index, which has been updated to include figures from 2012/13 and 2013/14, is described as a ‘health check’ on the arts in England and is measured by 20 indicators including financial inputs and outputs, and community and participation levels.”

‘The Human Earthquake Of Modern Theatre’ – Peter Brook At 90

March 20, 2015 - 3:49am

Michael Billington: “Brook himself hates looking back over his career … [but] the rest of us are entitled to put his 70-year-long career in perspective and the stock idea is that it falls into two distinct parts” – the British period and the internationalist period. “It’s a neat division but, to me, Brook’s career is far more unified than it seems.”

French Comedian Convicted Twice In Two Days, For Condoning Terrorism And Inciting Racial Hatred

March 20, 2015 - 3:48am

“A French court on Thursday fined Dieudonné 22,500 euros ($24,000) for anti-Semitic comments … It caps a bad week for the comic, who was on Wednesday handed a two-month suspended sentence for condoning terrorism after a comment suggesting he sympathised with one of the jihadists who attacked Paris.”

Are ‘Big’ Truths Better Than ‘Small’ Truths?

March 20, 2015 - 3:48am

“Humans, with our finite lives, are naturally drawn to grand questions about time, space and the cosmos. But, astrophysicist Adam Frank asks, where does that leave life’s little truths?”

When ‘The Glass Menagerie’ Conquered Broadway

March 20, 2015 - 3:48am

In an excerpt from his prize-winning biography, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, John Lahr recalls the atmosphere in New York and the rest of America at the time of the play’s Broadway success – the close of World Wat II.

‘No Bums Sticking Out': Rehearsing A Ballet With Hofesh Shechter

March 20, 2015 - 3:47am

Royal Ballet member Beatriz Stix-Brunell: “Performing the choreographer’s new commission for the Royal Ballet is like swimming through honey. Week by week, from our fingertips to our toes, our bodies begin to understand what they need to do.”

Karole Armitage Makes Eco-Dances

March 20, 2015 - 3:47am

“In 2013, she created Fables on Global Warming, a performance-art ballet inspired by animal stories and, last year, presented an ecology-minded piece for families, Four Seasons – A Spinning Planet. Now with the premiere of On the Nature of Things, performed by Armitage Gone! Dance, March 25-27 at the American Museum of Natural History, Ms. Armitage’s activist side has grown even more brazen as she tackles climate change.”

‘Washeteria’ – Off-Off-Broadway Royalty Take Children’s Theater Through The Spin Cycle

March 20, 2015 - 3:46am

This “theatrical installation” at a laundromat in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, “is the first for families ever produced by Soho Rep, the venerable downtown institution that has won 18 Obie Awards over the past decade.”

What’s The Deal With Mardi Gras Indians?

March 20, 2015 - 3:46am

“The inevitable first question, though, can always be answered with: ‘No, they’re not Native American.’ This is a purely African-American tradition. … Some suggest it was a way of honoring Native Americans who sheltered runaway slaves, and also a means of paying respect to a culture that fiercely resisted European domination. Others say it arose after Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show passed through New Orleans in 1884.”

Japan’s Ministry Of Cool

March 20, 2015 - 3:45am

“For over a decade, the country has embraced ‘Cool Japan,’ a government-supported movement focused on selling what many have described as its ‘gross national cool.’ … There is some irony at work here – an eagerness to promote something as trendy usually signals the opposite – but for years the country’s efforts have paid off. “

How The Solar Eclipse And Vernal Equinox Have Cast Shadows Across Literature

March 20, 2015 - 2:24am

“A solar eclipse will be visible across the UK on Friday, coinciding with the vernal equinox. To celebrate, we look back at how authors have been inspired by this ‘obliteration’ of the sun as well as the onset of spring.”

Using A “Musical Glove” To Help Stroke Victims Rewire Their Brains

March 19, 2015 - 3:08pm

“The glove is outfitted with tiny sensors that track the user’s hand movements. Patients use it to play a Guitar Hero-style game that involves pinching and gripping notes on the screen of a tablet.”