The Week June 3rd - June 7th

panta rei dans lullaby

Video - Panta Rei Danseteater 'Lullaby'

Norwegian dance company Panta Rei Danseteater, late last year, conducted a little experiment whereby three dance makers created two pieces with the same name based on the same idea, featuring three male dancers and two musicians, to see what the outcome was.

June 2nd, 2016

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Welcome dear readers to the roundup of culture news culled from the assorted media covering the business that we call show.

Swing Time


No idea who took this image because Wired couldn't be bothered to caption it.

We start with news from Wired magazine of a gentleman in Holland, Thor ter Kulve, a designer, who has taken to vandalism that most folks would consider nice!

Instead of spraying buildings with random "tags" or unreadable writing Mr ter Kulve installs unauthorised improvements to various bits of street furniture in his home country of Holland.

These adornments include swing sets on lamps posts, water spray systems on fire hydrants and large transparent balloons on top of street lights.

"In the Netherlands it is forbidden to attach anything to public trees, not even a birdhouse, let alone a swing," he says. "But this is also an issue I like to address -- why do we use this common field in this way? And aren't the rules preventing joyfulness to happen?"

None of the art works are permanent. He leaves them in place for a few hours and removes them, almost like he was never there to begin with.

If, like us, you think "Banksy" is a bit of git who should be thrown onto the counterclockwise ring of the M25 along with his spray cans then we encourage you to support the far better and much more interesting work of Thor ter Kulve.

[ Source: Wired ]

Tight Fisted

If you think the problems we have with arts funding in this country are bad spare a thought for the citizens of California in the United States.

The LA Times reports that the local government types suspended a vote on increasing the states dreadful arts budget until some point later in the year.

"The arts council's budget, now $5.5 million, peaked at $32 million in mid-2000. It was cut nearly in half over the next two years, then all but eliminated in 2003 as the economy fell into a recession. Since then the arts council has received $1 million a year from state tax coffers."

To give you a little perspective. California has a population just over half that of the UK (38 million) and government contribution to the arts per-annum is just £3.5Million. That's about 10 times less than Arts Council England's budget for..... England.

Previous budget cuts have also been attributed to politicians within the State Assembly not liking whomever happens to be in charge of the Arts Council. At one point the Council had a budget of $75Million.

We also note that California is the home of Hollywood and the largest commercial film economy in the world. A group of people that just spent about $130Million making 'After Earth', a large-scale vanity project for "actor" Will Smith and his son Jaden that has been universally mauled by critics and ignored by the public.

There's an argument right there for massive public spending on culture because in many ways, the commercial sector is dropping the ball so hard it could punch a hole in the earth all the way to China.

Pretty sure that script is in development for Mr Smith and his rather annoying offspring for their next movie.

[ Source: LA Times ]

Miller's Crossing

More DCMS doom and gloom news as The Telegraph reports that UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller may be for the chop along with her entire department.

Apparently the Chancellor, George "Can't Count" Osborne is displeased with Ms Miller's inability to do anything at all, ever!

"Mrs Miller is regarded as one of the Cabinet's weakest performers and her department's failure to swiftly roll out a high-speed broadband network has angered the Chancellor.
She is also under investigation for abusing her expenses and has recently refused to brief the Telegraph on forthcoming Government policies in apparent revenge for this newspaper exposing her claims."

To be fair to Ms Miller, her predecessor Jeremy "Not James" Hunt, was in the job a lot longer and he couldn't roll out this mythical high-speed broadband network either.

We imagine the reasons for this are that neither of them are telecommunications engineers and they have limited access to massive amounts of fiber-optic cable and a screwdriver. Also, the UK's government doesn't own a large scale communications company because the last time they were in power they sold it. Looking at you BT.

The DCMS has denied that it is under threat of any kind. The dance world at large reacted to this news by being completely unaware that the news even existed at all.

[ Source: The Daily Telegraph ]

This Week In Tweets

The Stage reported, for want of a better word, that an organisation called Crystal Ballet will be releasing some filmed ballet/dance work on iTunes at the beginning of next month.

The company was quoted thus;

Given our strong views on how dance needs to be filmed to make it usable on the small screen then the folks at Crystal Ballet might have thought again about their response.

Have a nice weekend.

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The Week May 6th - May 10th