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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Durham native Heather Havrilesky discusses her new memoir and working for Rupert Murdoch

Posted By on Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Photo by Whitney PastorekWho doesn't feel that their quirky childhood would make a great book? But actually producing such a book takes the kind of wit and talent that Durham native and Duke graduate Heather Havrilesky has manifested into a writing career. In the introduction to her new memoir, Disaster Preparedness, Havrilesky writes: “Growing up in the ’70s, it was tough to avoid the specter of disaster. On every movie screen, airplanes plummeted to the ground, earthquakes toppled huge cities and monster sharks ripped teenagers to bloody bits. But more disturbing than the catastrophes themselves was the utter lack of...

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Departing ADF Dean Donna Faye Burchfield:
The Independent Interview

Posted By on Sun, Jul 25, 2010 at 10:29 PM

photo courtesy Christy PessagnoDeparting ADF Dean Donna Faye BurchfieldRelating a conversation with Donna Faye Burchfield, Dean of the American Dance Festival, without audio and video footage—or Labanotation, for the dance transcriptionists in the audience—is, to some degree, an exercise in frustration. Even when seated, her hands and body frequently work through and illustrate the concepts we’re discussing. Her speech is peppered with sudden stops for reflection, followed by equally sudden surges of insight. Pensive murmurs contrast with full-bodied laughs as she contemplates the absurdities and deeper implications of her craft. As the festival’s Dean since 2000, and in other roles...

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shen Wei artistic associate Sara Procopio at ADF:
The Independent Interview

Posted By on Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Artistic associate Sara ProcopioFor most American Dance Festival students, it’s the stuff of dreams: After an enigmatic young choreographer spots you in an audition, you work for six weeks on what becomes the standout of the season. Then he says he wants to start a company, with you, in New York. That company rises quickly to the heights of modern dance, with seasons at home and performances in cities and festivals around the world. When your choreographer creates dances for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, your work is viewed by billions of people when it’s broadcast across the...

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cunningham reconstructor Jean Freebury at ADF:
The Independent Interview

Posted By on Sun, Jul 18, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Jean FreeburyIn my first experiences with modern dance, thirty years ago, there was everyone else—and then there was Merce Cunningham. Though dance innovations abounded in the ‘80s, inevitably the other choreographers I recall encountering would use dance as narrative—to achieve theater by other means.But not Merce. Or, at least, not then. By that time, Cunningham’s theatrical experiments of the ‘40s and ‘50s had ceded to works considerably more abstract, but no less intellectual. Theater by other means? No. Think architecture, instead. Or abstract expressionism, for that matter, with more than an occasional diversion into the world of nature—seemingly, at times,...

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Choreographer Rosie Herrera at ADF:
The Independent Interview

Posted By on Sat, Jul 10, 2010 at 2:58 PM

After five full weeks of dance, it was hard to shake the inaccurate sense that we’d already seen it all. But when a dapper young man shot a young woman sitting across from him at a café table in the face, without warning, with a high-power water hose on stage during the final week of last year’s American Dance Festival, it was a wake-up call, to say the least. Then, just to make sure we got the point, he did it again. And again, as the stunned party crowd on stage went as still as the audience. from Rosie Herrera's...

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Choreographer Martha Clarke at ADF:
The Independent Interview

Posted By on Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 1:15 AM

It’s been a whirlwind of a year—but it’s not at all clear that MARTHA CLARKE would have it any other way. In February she workshopped a new arrangement of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess for a Broadway producer. She also learned two bits of news: She’d won the Scripps/American Dance Festival award for Lifetime Achievement, with an honorarium of $50,000. Plus, she’d received a commission for a new work to premiere at this year’s ADF. The result, ANGEL REAPERS, is based on the history of an obscure New England sect: The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing—better known as...

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

RUBBERBANDance Group's Victor Quijada at ADF:
The Independent Interview

Posted By on Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Choreographer Victor QuijadaRUBBERBANDance Group choreographer Victor Quijada has truly walked between the worlds. After growing up in the hip-hop culture on the streets of Los Angeles (which gave him the nickname Rubberband in description—and honor—of his moves) and transformative teenage years at the L.A. County High School for the Arts, Quijada danced with Twyla Tharp and Eliot Feld in New York. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens called, and he moved to Montreal.Then a choreography workshop Quijada took with Les Grands suggested that he might have even more to offer dance. Though his frustrations with the limitations of street dance made him...

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Choreographer Kate Weare at ADF: The Independent Interview

Posted By on Sun, Jun 13, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Leslie Kraus & Douglas Gillespie in "The Bridge of Sighs"At one speed, the gesture is a caress: a familiar transfer of warmth between lovers of long duration. But at a different velocity, the same move registers as impact—either in bewildered self-defense or with malice aforethought. What have our eyes just seen?Audiences will likely ask themselves that question at a number of points during The Bridge of Sighs, which choreographer Kate Weare's company performs during the showcase her group splits with Monica Bill Barnes & Company, Tuesday and Wednesday, June 15 & 16, at the American Dance Festival. (A video excerpt...

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Monica Bill Barnes at ADF: The Independent Interview

Posted By on Sun, Jun 13, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Anna Bass & Deborah Lohse in "Another Parade"Well, something makes them do it: the dancers who walk—not just once, but repeatedly—out upon a empty, darkened stage, in front of hundreds of strangers who’ve paid money to see what they can do, before the first gestures provide the confirmation: Yes, they are the evening’s entertainment.On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 15-16, New York choreographer Monica Bill Barnes shares a showcase with Kate Weare at the American Dance Festival. Barnes’s company performs excerpts from Another Parade, a work that investigates, with wit and poignancy, what makes performers perform, and what exactly our relationship...

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Jodi Picoult discusses Asperger syndrome and her new novel, House Rules

Posted By on Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 6:08 PM

On the phone about her appearance at Meredith College on March 8, Jodi Picoult is friendly, bubbly and frequently laughing. There's no indication of the misery and tragedy visited upon the characters in her best-selling novels, including My Sister's Keeper, Handle With Care and her latest, House Rules, which hit bookstores on Tuesday. Picoult's novels often involve such horrors as school shootings, execution, infanticide, date rape, sexual abuse, suicide pacts and more. The tales frequently combine courtroom drama with deeply flawed characters that don't always make it through the story intact. (On the other hand, last year's film of...

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Man for all media: A conversation with Anthony Horowitz, television writer and children's author par excellence

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 8:39 AM

Anthony Horowitz is considered one of the top television dramatists in the UK, as the mind behind such shows as Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders, numerous adaptations of Agatha Christie's Inspector Poirot tales and, most recently, Collision, currently airing on PBS' Masterpiece Contemporary (the miniseries concludes at 9 p.m. on Nov. 22; Part One encores at 2 a.m. on Nov. 21, for those with insomnia or TiVo). But his biggest success hasn't come from his reality-based dramas but a series of children's books about a teen spy: Alex Rider, a teen James Bond-style secret agent whose latest adventure, Crocodile...

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Picasso's Closet: The Independent Interview with Ariel Dorfman

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 8:11 AM

I spoke with Ariel Dorfman about his play, Picasso’s Closet, for about 45 minutes in his office at the John Hope Franklin Institute at Duke, at midday on Oct. 13, 2009. Nasher Museum of Art will present a staged reading of the play in conjunction with its Picasso and the Allure of Language exhibit, Oct. 29-31, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Duke Box Office website. Independent: This must be a difficult script to produce. Ariel Dorfman: This is an experimental play. Let’s say I’ve tried to do, modestly, in theater with time what Picasso does with...

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You stopped the arts coverage to cover the election..... You were probably better off just covering the arts, rather than …

by Matt Price on Will to Live Cautiously Returning? Here's a Few Things to Do This Week. (Arts)

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