Sunday, May 31, 2015

C'est intéressant w/c 25 May 2015

Interesting, intriguing, exciting, amusing, enraging, fascinating things I recommend.

BBC Radio 4 - Soul Music: Gracias a la vida
A moving listen. People talk about what this song, made famous by Mercedes Sosa, has meant to them. Includes the testimony of a political prisoner under Pinochet in Chile in 1973. I responded to these words from a recent widow, who grew to associate the song with the death of her husband: "when you're saying to yourself thank you to life which has given me so much, you can't actually focus on what's been taken, if you really hear those words" 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

C'est intéressant w/c 11 May 2015

Interesting, intriguing, exciting, amusing, enraging, fascinating things I recommend.

A podcast by Broadway producer Ken Davenport with Liz Furze, co-head of AKA agency's New York office. AKA are a major player in the world of promoting live entertainment, particularly big musicals and plays (and ballet! I work with their London team). This is a really insightful podcast on how they made it from London to New York, and Ms Furze is surprisingly candid about budgets and how her business is working.

Despite what most people are lead to believe, new ideas don't just appear out of nowhere. "Few people find great ideas on a blank canvas" says this article, which lists different sources to discover insights and help you think more creatively. Worth a read - I particularly related to the theme of 'questioning orthodoxy'!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Frida Kahlo love and farewell letter

I am reading Frida, the biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera, as I realised I didn't know that much about this important artist, beyond her looks, marriage to Diego Rivera and bisexuality.

During her loving yet tempestuous marriage to Rivera, they both had many affairs. When Frida was in New York for her first solo exhibition in 1938, she fell in love with Nicholas Murray, a portrait photographer working for Harper's Bazaar and other mags who had helped her organise the show during a visit to Mexico. During her stay in Paris in 1939 (she despised the town and was not impressed by many of the Surrealist painters she met there), the affair floundered as she felt the need to return to Mexico to be with Diego and Murray got involved with a woman he eventually married that year.

Murray wrote to her:

"I knew NY only filled the bill as a temporary substitute and I hope you found your haven intact on your return. Of the three of us there were only two of you. I always felt that. Your tears told me that when you heard his voice. The one of me is eternally grateful for the Happiness that the half of you so generously gave. (...) When you left I knew it was all over. Your instinct guided you so wisely. You have done the only logical thing for I could not transplant Mexico to NY for you and I've learned how essential that was for your happiness."

Frida later wrote him a farewell which includes this paragraph I find extremely moving:

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Death of Maya Plisestkaya - reactions

Maya Plisestskaya was a legend of ballet, and her death yesterday, aged 89, marked the passing of one of the true greats. Her grace, class, technique, passion, legacy were celebrated by many ballet dancers and fans around the world. Here is a round-up of their tributes.

Ballet Stars

A partir de 3'45 c'est unique.... From 3'45 it's unique !!!
Posted by Sylvie Guillem on Sunday, May 3, 2015

One of the greatest dancers of our time, Yves Saint Laurent's and Pierre Cardin's muse, beautiful and graceful Maya...

Posted by Mikhail Baryshnikov on Saturday, May 2, 2015