Queering the Scandal in Shakespeare’s Sonnets

By Susan

by Ryan Tracy

Photo: Lucie Jansch

Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend

Upon thyself thy beauty’s legacy?
—William Shakespeare, Sonnet 4

Shakespeare’s sonnets have occasioned at least two “scandals.” The first has to do with the purported realization that two thirds of the sonnets are thought to be addressed to a young man. The second scandal appears to lie in the sheer raunchiness and adulterous innuendo of the sonnets that are attributed to a female subject, often referred to as “The Dark Lady.” Much scholarship has added scandals to these two (the scandal of the latter poems’ unabashed misogyny being an important one). While some scholars have succeeded in broadening our contemporary view of the sonnets and their scandalous past, there remain many open questions about the genders represented by and addressed in the sonnets, as well as the erotic relations that exist between speaker and his or her subjects of adoration.

One of the things at stake in debates about the gender and sexuality represented in the sonnets is the availability (or unavailability) of certain literary interpretations which consequently affect the stories we can tell with them today. Too many of the scandalous narratives surrounding the sonnets aim to reduce them …read more

Source:: Bam News:

Justin Peck on Murder Ballades

By Susan

Murder Ballades. Photo: Laurent Phillippe

L.A. Dance Project brings to the Next Wave Festival repertory by three exciting choreographers who have been in the news lately. Benjamin Millepied, ex-New York City Ballet principal, founded LADP in 2012. He has established a reputation for creating challenging dances in the classical vocabulary while working with unexpected collaborators. He is also the next artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet, which recently premiered a critically acclaimed ballet by Millepied. His work Reflections, with music by David Lang and visuals by Barbara Kruger, comes to BAM Oct 16 to 18.

William Forsythe, an artist well known to BAM audiences for his daring theatrical and movement experimentation, recently announced his upcoming retirement from The Forsythe Company, based in Germany, and will join the University of Southern California as a dance professor in 2015, teaching choreographic process and composition. LADP will dance Quintett—a profoundly moving work to Gavin Bryar’s haunting music, which Forsythe’s previous company, Ballett Frankfurt, performed in the 2001 Next Wave Festival.

Murder Ballades. Photo: Laurent Phillippe

LADP also performs Murder Ballades by Justin Peck, recently named resident choreographer at New York City Ballet, where he …read more

Source:: Bam News:

In Context: QUANTUM


QUANTUM runs at BAM from October 2—4. Context is everything, so get even closer to the show with this curated selection of original blog pieces, articles, interviews, and videos related to the production. Once you’ve seen it, help us keep the conversation going by telling us what you thought below.

Program Notes


Watch & Listen

Artist Julius Von Bismark at CERN (CERN.ch)
“Nothing is fixed, nothing is real, says von Bismarck. “Everything is just culture.”

Gilles Jobin at CERN (YouTube)
“[Before the CERN residency,] I thought we were just a pile of stuff,” confesses Jobin.

Excerpt from the QUANTUM score (Bandcamp)
Carla Scaletti’s score was made by mapping particle collision data to music.

The Creators Project: Julius von Bismarck (Vice.com)
A profile of the wizard behind QUANTUM’s gyrating interior illumination.

Julius von Bismarck Conceived Connections
Von Bismarck takes to the mountains to develop a project similar to his work in QUANTUM.


Gilles Jobin’s CERN Blog
Read the QUANTUM choreographer’s engrossing diary kept throughout his CERN residency.

Meet CERN’s New Artist in Residence, Julius von Bismarck (Wired)
The QUANTUM artist is perhaps most famous for mounting a giant neon smiley atop the city of Berlin.

Now your turn…

So how did you enjoy the show? Likes? …read more

Source:: Bam News:

In Context: Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature


Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature runs at BAM from October 1—4. Context is everything, so get even closer to the show with this curated selection of original blog pieces, articles, interviews, and videos related to the artists. Once you’ve seen it, help us keep the conversation going by telling us what you thought below.

Program Notes

Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature (PDF)


“A Disturbance of Dramaturgy: Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature (BAM Blog)
“I pruned each scene [of Terms of Endearment] with sonnets, villanelles, pantouns, odes, and sestinas,” says Annie-B Parson of one element of Alan Smithee.

Big Dance Theater
See what else the ambitious company has up its sleeve.

“Name of Director Smithee Isn’t What It Used to Be” (Los Angeles Times)
Eclectic auteur Alan Smithee’s filmmaking days are numbered.

BAM Blog Questionnaire: Set Designer Joanne Howard (BAM Blog)
The Alan Smithee set designer and director Annie-B Parson were once roomies.

“Husband and Wife, Marrying Art Forms” (The New York Times)
On the many creative unions of Big Dance Theatre’s Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar.

BOMB Interviews Annie-B Parson (BOMB Magazine)
“It takes a lot of craft to align with the synchronicity of the universe, and …read more

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BAM Blog Questionnaire: Joanne Howard, set designer for Alan Smithee

By Susan

The set’s floor in process. Photo: Joanne Howard

Big Dance Theater is known for its engrossing productions that shapeshift between dance and theater, but a constant among its shows is the presence of memorable set designs. Joanne Howard has been designing sets for many Big Dance Theater productions including Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature, coming up at the BAM Harvey Theater from Sep 30—Oct 4. The busy designer shared a few thoughts in a BAM Blog Questionnaire.

You are a close collaborator of Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar. How did you meet?
Annie-B and I were introduced through a mutual friend. I needed a roommate and she needed a room.

What are your some of your favorite props from Alan Smithee?
It’s a toss up between the fur coats and the telephones.

Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature. Photo: Mike van Sleen.

Which artist do you admire from a field other than your own?

Too many choices!

What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken?
Returning to school at age 50 for an MFA.

What is your favorite thing about seeing your set on the Harvey Theater stage?
The Harvey is such a gorgeous theater, and …read more

Source:: Bam News:

Laurie Anderson—Storyteller

By Susan

Laurie Anderson wrote Laurie Anderson in Delusion, 2010. Photo: Rahav Segev

by Don Shewey

Anytime someone in contemporary culture wants to peer into the future, they usually try to engage Laurie Anderson to serve as consciousness scout. She’s a visionary who can be relied upon to bring curiosity, humor, and intelligence to the question “What’s next?” whether the subject is art, media, technology, spirituality, outer space, the political climate, or the new millennium. She’s a dauntless pioneer who surfs the edge between the known and unknown with a visual artist’s eye, a linguist’s ear, and a storyteller’s tongue, wearing her signature spiky haircut and soft, spangly slippers. She has put a friendly face on the sometimes-forbidding phenomenon we call avant-garde art.

A university-trained sculptor and art historian from a large, affluent suburban Chicago family, Anderson emerged from the fertile, cross-pollinated art garden that was 1970s SoHo to become the world’s first performance-artist-as-pop-star, thanks to “O Superman,” the unlikely hit song from her 1980 performance United States Part II. Its “ha-ha-ha-ha” sampled voice tape-loop has joined the pop pantheon of famous riffs alongside the buzzing guitar of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” or the opening notes of “Billie Jean.” And the accompanying video, album, …read more

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Venezuela Proposes Finger Swiping Shopper

Nowadays, laptops are becoming so secure that you have to actually swipe your finger in order to access it. The same may be said for buying groceries in Venezuela soon. According to ABC News, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says a mandatory fingerprinting system is being implemented at grocery stores to combat food shortages by keeping people from buying too much of a single item. The good news here is that at least this procedure is not being implemented due to high rates of theft. The bad news though is the fact that there is a food shortage.

Called the “anti-fraud system”, the anti fraud system does not look to be placed into immediate effect. Administrators project that it could be implemented sometime in December or January. This system looks to help with goods like cooking oil and flour, which shortages have been reported of for more than a year. With quantity limits set on goods and price controls already put in place, producers are complaining that some goods are priced too low to make a profit on.

The problem digs deeper than just profitability and quantity limits. Part of the reason why Venezuela is suffering from these shortages is because there are black market vendors who purchase groceries at subsidized prices and then illegally resell them for several times the amount.

Looking ahead, President Maduro has spoke of the possibility of easing some of the country’s price controls although nothing is imminent. Venezuela is also taking action on the border with Colombia, closing it at night to try and cut down on smuggling.

New Shake Shack to Open in DUMBO

In DUMBO, more traditionally known as Fulton Ferry, a new restaurant is preparing to open its doors.  The Shake Shack, which has been under construction for months, is now ready to open for business, according to an article recently completed by Gothamist.  The Shack, located at One Fulton Street, opens this week.  However, the owners intend to open an additional sidewalk café as well, but plans have yet to be approved; they present the proposal to Community Board 2 on the twenty-third of June.

The Shack stands at three thousand two hundred square feet of purely green architecture; the interior walls are clad in wood of Alaska Yellow Cedar that has been recycled from rooftops of the water towers in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  Other than this tiny facet, the interior of the Shake Shack has been kept quite secret; no one has been allowed in prior to the opening date.

The menu features a variety of choices, including burgers, hot dogs, fries, drinks, beer, wine, frozen custard, cups and cones of ice cream, treats for dogs and, of course, several options in shakes.  Their main attraction is something they are calling Concretes—a shake made of dense frozen custard ice cream, blended on high speed.  Of the Concretes, the most noted is the Jane Carousel Concrete, otherwise known as the Caramel Carousel.  This shake features frozen custard ice cream, bits of sugar cone, sea salt caramel sauce and a banana.

The Shake Shack opened for business on the seventeenth of June at eleven o’clock in the morning.  The author of the article was so excited upon hearing the news of the opening early in the morning that they arrived far too early and were asked to return several hours later when the doors would actually be open for business.