Archive for May, 2006

All That JASSS

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Quick - this diagram analyzes what festival?

On our Home Page you can see a few of this week’s highlights. As the web’s main resource for information about performing arts festivals, we have to cover what is perhaps the biggest event of the week. How big? The event includes acts from 37 nations. Millions will watch on television. Many of them will be on the edge of their seats until it is declared who is the winner of — the Eurovision Song Contest.

This year’s contest takes place in Athens, home of last year’s winner. (In last week’s interview, Staniewski proposed that Athens will, once again, become the world’s cultural destination. Could this be proof?)

The semi-finals take place during the week — you can watch on television or see rehearsals on the web. The final is on May 20.

Inspired by the San Remo Festival in Italy, the Eurovision song contest has, over the last fifty years, continued to grow in its popularity, participation, and pop culture fun. Some cool facts:

  • The most used word in connection with the song contest is “Abba.” (They were winners in 1974 with Waterloo.)
  • Sweden did not win again until 1984 with the song, Diggo-loo-diggi-ley.
  • The most covered Eurovision hit song is Volare. (How many other songs can you name that were recorded by both Dean Martin and David Bowie?)
  • What other festival gets analyzed by the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation?

That’s right. In the most recent publication of JASSS - the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Vol. 9, No. 2 - Derek Gatherer compares the voting results from Eurovision song contests.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at his article, Comparison of Eurovision Song Contest Simulation with Actual Results Reveals Shifting Patterns of Collusive Voting Alliances. The Venn diagram above represents the “collusive voting partnerships, significant at the 5% level, for a 5-year window between 2001 and 2005.” Sounds like each region’s nations like to band together to support their own.

Gee, and I would have abandoned my own national family to vote for ABBA!

- Bill Reichblum

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Sweet (Sounds) All Around

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

You know spring has really arrived when it’s time to put manure down on the fields. It is not so much irony as a perfect juxtaposition that, as we continue to expand KadmusArts’ technology, when the wind blows in the right direction our studio is filled with the sweet smell of manure from the surrounding fields. Aren’t we all searching for the perfect balance between high-tech and nature?

Our newest tech tool on the site is podcasting. Our interviews are also available on iTunes if you want the option to download any or all of them — for free.

There is a nice connection between our first two interviews: both Brian Pulver and WÅ‚odek Staniewski have been building communities. Brian has one of those ideas which is such a natural extension of the festival spirit that we hope it will be repeated and expanded for many more festivals around the globe. WÅ‚odek’s work has always sprung from a determined integration into a community’s daily life, as well as its art. Check out his book (with Alison Hodge), Hidden Territories for a fascinating account of how this process works.

Building our community is an essential part of the interviews. If you have anyone you think we should interview - let us know. If you would like to send in your own interview for posting, send us the information and we will get back to you.

If you want to continue the “conversation” from the interviews, use our Forum to give feedback and exchange ideas. We’ll be sure to let our interviewees know about any posts so as to invite a direct response to you.

The interviews are another aspect of KadmusArts’ festival possibilities: to build, sustain, and promote the Festival community.

Nice to feel connected to so many — though, aren’t you glad you can’t smell us right now?

- Bill Reichblum

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Interview: Wlodzimierz Staniewski

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Wlodzimierz StaniewskiWlodzimierz Staniewski is the founder and artistic director of Center for Practices “Gardzienice”, one of the world’s most prominent theatre companies. Based in the village of Gardzienice, on the eastern border of Poland, for almost thirty years Staniewski and his company have created some of the most significant productions of our time. In addition to their performances at hundreds of festivals all around the world, Staniewski has led cultural expeditions to “hidden territories,” initiated a training Academy, and developed international projects for the integration and exploration of cultural life.

Staniewski sat down in our studio to talk about his recent theatrical creations based on ancient Greek literature, music, and visual art: the relation between indigenous and ancient cultures; inspiration from ancient art’s physicality; his process as theatre archeology; and the need to recognize history in ourselves.

Play
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