Culture

Arts and culture

James Teeple / WLRN

The tourists keep coming, but many locals stay away from Ocean Drive.

People living in Miami Beach will tell you that Ocean Drive has turned into a carnival of rowdy crowds, petty crime and non-stop noise from cruising cars and bars along the street.

Mitch Novick, a longtime preservationist and owner of the Sherbrooke Hotel, just around the corner from Ocean Drive, says the street has become a “free-for-all for bad behavior.”

Nadege Green / WLRN

Dance icon Arthur Mitchell is sitting in the dance studio at Dr. Michael Krop High School in Northeast Miami-Dade.

He’s 81 years old. And even seated, he has the presence of a dancer.

Head high. Chest out. Back straight.  

Ruth Wiesen, director of the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, is reading excerpts of his lengthy biography to about two dozen students.

Wiesen, who helped organize Mitchell’s trip to Miami, tells the students that he was the first black principal dancer with the New York City Ballet in 1955.

Tiny Desk; Big Exposure

Jan 29, 2016

The deadline for NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest is next Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Tiny Desk Concerts are intimate concerts, featuring new videos of original music recorded at the desk of “All Songs Considered’s  Bob Boilen. Last year, NPR Music published 84 Tiny Desk Concerts, and they seem to be catching on.

Where a mainstream fashion magazine might do a special "black issue," like Italian Vogue back in 2008, or a black lifestyle magazine might run a queer feature, the perspective of queer black folks tends to occupy occasional outskirts in fashion and lifestyle glossies, never the mainstay.

Miami New Drama

In Jewish folklore, a golem is a creature fashioned of clay and animated by magic.  To Michel Hausmann, the golem is less a Yiddisha Frankenstein's monster than a dark knight.

“It’s a Jewish Superman,” says Hausmann. “It’s the ancestor of all superheroes.  When you don’t have the strength to fight your enemies, you create this creature to do the fighting for you.”

But what happens after it defeats your enemies?

“Then YOU become the enemy,” posits Hausmann.

A play by first-time playwright Charles Gluck makes its debut in Boca Raton, with a cast of South Florida favorites  and a powerful message about familial relationships.

  

Gemma Bramham

When nominations for South Florida’s equivalent of the Tony Awards – the Carbonells – were announced recently, Broward County theaters snagged a quarter of them.

That comes as no surprise to Bill Hirschman, founder of and chief critic for the website Florida Theater On Stage.

The standard, highbrow obituary of Pierre Boulez would highlight the obvious facts and benchmarks of his life. 

They'd mention that he was born in France in 1925. That he conducted, sans baton, many of the world's leading orchestras. And that Boulez was known as an avant-garde composer. 

But I want to hightlight his collaboration with someone you may not expect: Frank Zappa. 

Yeah, that Frank Zappa. Leader of Mothers of Inventions. Freak Out! And the song with that all important message — "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow."

Nadege Green / WLRN

It's YoungArts Week in Miami.

That means young artists from across  the country (dancers, writers, singers, filmmakers, visual artists and more) are in town  performing and exhibiting their work. In between, they get the opportunity to take master classes and workshops with leading artists in their fields. The events are taking place at the YoungArts Campus and the New World Center. 

More and more, I eschew end-of-year best-of lists for the simple reason that they're arbitrary and imply a comprehensiveness on which they can never deliver. What works for me is to compile a list that reflects some of the enormous gratitude I feel for getting to enjoy other people's work and art — one that doesn't even pretend to define what is best, but simply to share some of the abundant good stuff I run into.

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