Archive for February, 2007

Interview: Patricio Pucci (in Spanish)

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Photo: Patricio PucciEl Festival “Jazz en Miramar” comenzó como un evento local, reuniendo principalmente a músicos de Argentina y Uruguay. Actualmente, se ha convertido en una tradición internacional de la Ciudad de Miramar, un balneario en la costa Atlántica de Buenos Aires, visitado por miles de turistas cada verano. La edición 2007 del festival se llevó a cabo entre el 18 y el 23 de enero, en homenaje a Leandro “Gato” Barbieri, un reconocido músico y compositor de Rosario, Argentina.

En esta entrevista, Patricio Pucci, productor y director general del evento, nos cuenta cómo ha crecido el festival desde su primera edición. También describe los diferentes estilos de jazz que se proponen, y los diferentes tipos de fusión de jazz con otros géneros musicales que existen en Sudamérica. Finalmente, Pucci comparte con KadmusArts su opinión sobre el futuro del festival y del jazz en Argentina, donde los jóvenes se lo están tomando cada vez más seriamente.

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Mommy, What’s a Hoo-Haa?

Monday, February 12th, 2007

Across all nations, all cultures, all kinds of artistic work, and all audiences, no matter where you are, there is one basic, essential fact that we all share: All of us have come from a vagina — except in Florida.

The Atlantic Theatres are currently producing Eve Ensler’s internationally renowned The Vagina Monologues. The play, now translated into 45 languages, is a series of monologues based on Ensler’s interviews with women about their views and experiences with sex, relationships, and violence against women. The production is often presented every February as part of V-Day, a global movement initiated by Ensler to stop violence against women and girls.

Well, it would be more accurate to say they were producing The Vagina Monologues. A woman called the theatre to complain that driving by the theatre and seeing the marquee she was “offended” when her niece (no age given) asked her what a vagina was (or is, as the case might be).

How does the theatre respond? What kind of bold stand to take? How will the producers lead the community in entertainment and enlightenment? Why they’ll change the name of the play! No longer will Floridians have to be shocked to see the word “vagina” in twelve-inch letters! The Atlantic Theatres is now presenting — live and for the first time anywhere in the world — The Hoo-Haa Monologues!

Honestly. The theatre has changed the billing of the play so no one else will be offended by the word “vagina.”

The story was first reported by News 4 in Jacksonville, Florida. (In the kind of irony you can’t make up: if you go to their website for this story you can click on the page’s advertiser to see women dancing — in their underwear.)

Where does “hoo-haa” come from? Apparently, it is children’s slang for “vagina.” At least that’s according to the second definition listed in the Urban Dictionary. (In another kind of irony you can’t make up: the first listing for the slang word is for telling “somebody of a good achievement or when trying to show off: Hey man, I got laid last night! HOO-HAA!”)

At least Thomas Bowdler was more creative. (You have to keep up on the history of censors.)

According to the theatre’s website:

It is not the intention of the Atlantic Theatres to offend anybody by hosting this event and we formally apologize to anyone that was upset when we advertised this on our marquee during the first week of February. We have since made changes to reflect the sensitive nature of this show’s title. If the new title on the marquee is still appalling, please call with suggestions.

Surely, we all can provide them some appropriate responses and recommendations.

- Bill Reichblum

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Interview: Deborah Golden

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Photo: New Play Festival Artistic DirectorsDeborah Golden is the Executive Director of the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, which sponsors the Philadelphia New Play Festival. In this podcast she talks about the genesis of the festival, the nine world premieres, symposia, readings and works in progress that begin on February 8th, and why Philadelphia is in the midst of a cultural renaissance.

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The Art of a True Fan

Monday, February 5th, 2007

There can be more to life than festival creating, participating, and traveling.

Last summer, we covered the World Cup: from our own cultural guide to what can be applied to producing art. Now, America is a nation obsessed by a game. (For many this surely must be a relief from other recent obsessions.) The game is the Super Bowl. Updating Paul McCartney’s poetry, this year’s expensive-marketing-company slogan: “Let’s Get It On.” (The game is so big, you don’t have to wait to get to the road.)

How big? Over 140 million watch the game. (In American television ratings, the game is always the number one watched show. Last year’s second most watched show? The Super Bowl post-game show.) Advertisers spend $2 million for a one minute commercial during the game. Each winning player receives $73 thousand and a $5 thousand ring. Losing players receive $38 thousand. (The average NFL salary is $1.1 million, which does not include signing bonuses. Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Colts received a $34.5 million signing bonus in addition to his seven-year $98 million contract.)

You can’t look at the money without also including the projected $100 million spent betting on the game. (That figure only includes the legal wagers.) Online you can find over 160 categories to bet - from who wins to how long it takes Billy Joel to sing the “National Anthem” at the start of the game. (The over-under is 1 minute and 44 seconds. In 2004, Beyoncé stretched the song to 2.09.)

Still, for all the time (pre-game show starts 9 hours before the game), analysis (newspapers with special sections), and build-up (even politicians stop talking about themselves to weigh in on the game) there is something remarkable about the event: it is a festival writ large.

There is accessibility for everyone. For the cognoscenti, there is all the information, statistics, and strategies to discuss. For the casual fan, there are the background stories of the players - the character motifs complete with dramatic arcs of obstacles overcome, and reversals of fortune. For those with no interest in the game, there is the opportunity to be welcomed into a home for a party with lots of food, drink, and cheers.

In other words, the Super Bowl follows the same model as a festival: open to all, fun for many, and with live drama.

Life is good when the sporting life and the artistic life come together. Don’t you think?

- Bill Reichblum

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