Friday, 21 October 2022

7x7 (10. 242)

lettuce rejoice: a bit of highly monitored produce outlasts the prime minister 

cincinattus: the real and fraught possibility that Boris Johnson could be brought back as the Tory leader

jazz swing and joy wheel: revisiting the playground and its antique architecture—via tmn  

hive mind: how studying the decision making approach of bumble bees can lend insights into the mechanics of human memory  

on pointe: ballet dancers caring for the tools of the trade  

not another experiment: UK opposition political parties call for a General Election 

every inch of you: a punny produce display

Sunday, 16 October 2022

7x7 (10. 229)

symphony of the birds: CBS Radio director Jim Fassett’s 1960 experimental arrangement  

home row: Google Japan develops a long, horizontal keyboard for messy desks—reminded us of the iPhone Taller that doubles a guitar  

benevolent dictator: a profile of President Kevin Baugh and his micronation of Molossia—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

kunstradfahren: a graceful bicycle ballet by a skilled practitioner of this 130 year old sport  

barcalounger: ten homes whose decor is tied together with classic Eames chairs—see previously

unreliable narrator: microbrews and hipster beer names  

peer-reviewed: birdsong helps alleviate human anxiety and paranoia

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

8x8 (10. 174)

on pointe: an Australian ballet company recites an alphabet of foot poses  

detour: experts urge adding a Venus-flyby to first crewed mission to Mars  

suaviter in modo, fortiter in re: the Royal Mail’s Investigative Branch is the oldest recognized crime fighting organisation in the world—via Messy Nessy Chic  

puffling: with blรกsa Icelanders help to reset sea bird chicks internal compass  

bisexual lighting: the story of a strange picture and other Wikipedia articles in need of an illustration—via Super Punch  

only you could be so bold: whilst Putin invades Ukraine, a studio in Kyiv is creating the voice of Darth Vader

asteroid! coming in from the void: ripped from the headlines 

tiptoe: performer dazzles with their bottle-walking routine

Friday, 18 March 2022

8x8

the fiume endeavour: Neutral Moresnet and other countries that fell off the map 

international male: thirty-three national costumes from the 2022 Mister Global pageant via Miss Cellania  

odette and odile: a diminutive chihuahua and human handler perform Swan Lake  

smpte colour bars: a BBC test pattern jumper and mural—see also  

bad actor mode: an AI normally tasked with developing new, novel medications had its parameters switched seek out toxicity and suggests tens of thousands of chemical weapons and poisons in the space of a few hours—via Slashdot 

 cameo appearance: Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams portrayed the President of United Earth on the season finale of Star Trek and brought the planet back into the Federation 

state-of-the-art: ten breakthrough technologies online now that could change our trajectory for the better—via Kottke  

geopolitics: charting the advance of democracy

Saturday, 29 January 2022

idomeneo

Considered one of the greatest operatic works of all time, the Italian language dramma per musica based on a 1705 stage play by French tragedian Prosper Jolyot de Crรฉbillon about the eponymous King of Crete by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had its premiere as the opener for court carnival season in Mรผnchen on this day in 1781. The piece in three acts with ballet interludes tells the story of the homecoming of the commander-in-chief who led the Cretan navy into the Trojan War, comrade of Ajax and rebuffed suitor of Helen, Idomeneus (แผธฮดฮฟฮผฮตฮฝฮตฯฯ‚—like The Odyssey)—grateful for peaceable relations again after decades of fighting, exercises clemency over prisoners of war brought from Troy, including Priam’s daughter Princess Ilia, though Argonaut Princess Electra is not happy about the potential competition to marry into the dynasty. In contravention to an earlier pledge that would have the king sacrifice his son to the sea on condition of a safe return, Neptune relents and spares the life of the king’s son Prince Idamante, on the promise that he relinquishes his throne to the younger generation, with the new king taking the Trojan princess as his queen. All are happy except Electra—her later parricidical frenzy attributed to this early rejection.

Monday, 27 December 2021

7x7

the year that was: Miss Cellania’s Winterval tradition of annual lists—including arts and entertainment, animals and more  

market volatility: unusual vintage shot glasses track ups and downs of the Dow Jones Industrial Average—via Super Punch 

a sight for sore eyes: a coffee table edition from rock royalty The Residents  

where the wild things are: Maurice Sendak directed a darker version of The Nutcracker ballet, truer to the original narrative and far more captivating  

ultimate rendering: Picasso’s first and last self-portraits—see also—via Messy Nessy Chic 

boop: robot reacts to a poke in the nose

lend me your ears and i’ll sing you a song about a sad, dysfunctional d.c.: US president Joe Biden’s first year in review presented by Politico

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

7x7

the dance of the proletariat: a cultural revolutionary ballet 

reefer madness: an excerpt from “Cocaine, the Princess of Perdition” (1939)  

beef and dairy network: a 1986 board game called “Grade Up to Elite Cow” 

music to moog by: Melbourne’s Electronic instrument museum  

old growth: an anthology of the most memorable trees in the literary canon  

ambiguate: a notable lacuna, lexical gap for a word that ought to have been formed 

rhythm is a dancer: a comprehensive dance music archive covering the recent past—via Things Magazine

Monday, 7 June 2021

9x9

glass menagerie: a Murano bestiary on display in Venice  

glow up: beauty tips from Ancient Roman—via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump  

coconuรŸritter: a short about Foley artists and creating soundscapes  

happy little clouds: explore a relaxing gallery of Bob Ross paintings (previously), via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links   

culaccino: a database of words that do not readily translate succinctly, like this Italian term from the mark left on a table by a cold glass—via Swiss Miss 

electrobat vi: antique electric forerunners side-by-side with modern EVs  

the perils of everybody: a ‘mistake waltz’ that illustrates the pratfalls all ballet recitals are prone to  

where the buffalo roam: restoring the ecosystem of the North American Great Plains by reintroducing charismatic megafauna  

kitchenette: re-examining Liza Lou’s beaded exhibits

Sunday, 16 May 2021

9x9

segmentation and targeting: A/B testing “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”—see also 

light house customer: we appreciated the chance to revisit a new and improved version Lights at Sea—via Nag on the Lake—both times  

nice.walk.ruined: award-winning global addressing scheme what3words (previously) subject to some juvenile humour with locations mapped in smutty language, both real and bespoke  

isotopia: a high-brow 1950 ballet and pantomime presented to the steering committee of the Atomic Energy Association to extol nuclear power from Weird Universe  

apartment d3: seven printed homes around the world  

l’art de payer ses dettes et de satisfaire ses crรฉanciers san dรฉbourser un sou: credit culture in nineteenth century France 

alpha version: drag and drop personal, old school websites from mmm—via Kicks Condor 

sovietwave radio: broadcasting a selection of the sub-genre’s best space age and syntho-pop—via Dark Roasted Blend 

the writers’ block: a suite in Chelsea Carlyle mansion home to Henry James, T. S. Eliot and Ian Fleming on the market

Friday, 18 December 2020

ั‰ะตะปะบัƒะฝั‡ะธะบ

Debuting in Saint Petersburg on this day in 1892 (Old Style, 6 December), the stage, fairy ballet (ะฑะฐะปะตั‚-ั„ะตะตั€ะธั) adaptation of the short story by E. T. A. HoffmannThe Nutcracker and the Mouse King—opened as a double-feature with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ultimate opera Iolanta, a one-act performance about the Duchess of Lorraine, Yolande de Bar—a romanticised biography of figure who was more retiring and reserved in real life. Though initially not well-received and critics using rather harsh language, the overture and suite that the composer score was an enduring success, with countless Christmas season performances accounting for an incredible forty percent of attendance for ballet companies in North America in normal times.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

do the sabre dance

A short movement in the final act of his ballet Gayane, premiering in Moscow in 1942, composer and choreographer Aram Khachturian (*1903 – †1978, the Georgian artist’s music later denounced by the state as “anti-people”) lamented how this one section based on an Armenian folk dance deflected from the rest of his repertoire, in 1948 becoming a jukebox hit in the United States and elsewhere and being reinterpreted by various charting artists, including a lounge and boogie version in the early 1960s.

Monday, 18 November 2019

triadic ballet

In keeping with the theme of all the pieces featured in this year’s Performa in New York City that paid tribute to the Bauhaus movement on its centenary anniversary, Kia LaBeija’s contribution takes the outline of the third act of Oskar Schlemmer’s 1922 experimental choreography (previously here and here) and expands it as a showcase not only for her talent but moreover as a reappropriating of a school which for all its subsequent influence and resonance was rather still a product of its age and the domain of the few—not representative of the reach that the members’ aspired for.  The costumes not only exaggerate the dancers’ figured and invites one to think on the function that belies our conceits but also what sort of prosthetics and inventions we can avail ourselves of, not just in terms of image and health but also as something enhanced beyond human weaknesses.  Much more to explore at the links above.

Monday, 3 June 2019

6x6

someday my prince will come: life lessons gleaned at the Princess Academy

decolonise this place: a collection of maps presented from an aboriginal perspective, via Nag on the Lake

bathyscope: a ten-hour montage of mesmerising ocean footage

if you just smiled more: an epic discussion thread uses classical paintings to illustrate everyday sexism

the master and margarita: a compelling reading recommendation for Mikhail Bulgakov’s Soviet satire

ะฑะตั€ั‘ะทะบะฐ: the floating step of a ballet ensemble founded by choreographer Nadezhda Nadezhdina 

Thursday, 23 May 2019

7x7

bit part: a preview of a biopic about Claude Shannon (previously)—the unsung Father of Information Theory

the revolution will not be biennialised: Banksy (previously) makes an appearance at a Venice expo, selling paintings of giant cruise ships moored in the canals

en pointe: the Hong Kong Ballet celebrates its fortieth birthday

๐Ÿ˜พ ๐Ÿ˜พ ๐Ÿ˜พ: Thangrycat is exploiting vulnerabilities in the underpinning architecture of the internet

urban spelunking: when the Jehovah’s Witnesses relocated from Brooklyn Heights to upstate, their vacated properties included a series of underground passageways, via Super Punch

conducive to learning: a collection of striking maps and charts that inspired pupils in the late nineteenth century

walking trot: phones can now determine who is carrying them by knowing their users’ gait and other kinematic factors, via Slashdot

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

6x6

glou glou: TYWKIWDBI regales us with an overview of new wine terminology

ะณะพั€ะพะดะฐ́-ะฟั€ะธ́ะทั€ะฐะบะธ: a visually stunning gallery of abandoned places in Russia, via Things Magazine

voluntarily generated pilomotor reflex: studying goosebumps produced at will is a lot more intriguing than it first appears

i’ve got to break free: Freddie Mercury trains with the Royal Ballet in 1979

der phantashische film: German animator Heinz Edelmann, best known for his work on Yellow Submarine, created a psychedelic opening sequence for broadcaster ZDF

south street squidport: as sort of a reverse trap-street, one online mapping service is creating neighbourhoods and districts according to the branding of advertising agencies

Friday, 26 May 2017

she’s got electric boots, a mohair suit


Singer, song-writer duo Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin have collaborated with several film-makers to produce music videos to three of their iconic songs over forty years after their initial release. Go to this link to see all three songs—the others being Rocket Man and Tiny Dancer, other numbers like Crocodile Rock achieved perfection already with a guest appearance on the Muppet Show—and learn about their production and choreography, which in the featured video reminded me of the Triadic Ballet of the Bauhaus movement.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

choreographed geometries

Our thanks to the brilliant Messy Nessy for her extended and studied appreciation of the sublimely strange Triadic Ballet of the Bauhaus Theatre movement of the 1920s.
We had marvelled at the production and revivals beforehand but we were not clued into the backstory, inspiration and legacy enough to be able to enjoy it to the full extent, one always being induced to learning more, like realising the aspirations of Bauhaus itself was in a way realised in the lifestyle engine that is IKEA. The passage through the acts to something darker and more mechanised, formal and constrained in its expression, symbolised synthesizing the Dionysian impulse (which we’d assign to dance) in purely artificial and abstract Apollonian terms—which is ultimately the fate or anything staged and the burden of performance art. In fact, one of the character designs of Oskar Schlemmer that appeared in the third triad became the inspiration for Kansai Yamamoto’s 1973 Ziggy Stardust exaggerated jodhpur jumpsuit. There is currently an exhibit on set layout, choreography and costumes in Metz, and while no troupe is performing the piece right now, you can watch a video of a seminal production at the source link above.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

root, third and fifth

Courtesy of Nag-on-the-Lake, comes an interesting look at the choreography and vision of Oskar Schlemmer through his avante-garde production called the Triadisches (Triadic) Ballet, scored by Paul Hindemith, which premiered in Stuttgart in 1922 and toured Europe to spread the spirit and character of the Bauhaus design movement.  A certain Euclidian transformation takes place for these dancers in elaborate and bulky geometric costumes.  There is more to discover at the link, including a recreation (the original musical accompaniment lost to history but reconstructed) of a performance staged in 1970.