Arts & Culture

This week New Orleans hosts a peppery performance that was almost lost to the past.

Conductor Paul Mauffray discovered a program for the 1894 show Tabasco: A Burlesque Opera while rifling through historic music in his hometown, which celebrates its 300th anniversary this year.

Imagine the following experiment: you choose people at random and play snippets of songs they've never heard. A grocery clerk in Illinois listens to an 8th century Berber ballad. A child in Beijing listens to Childish Gambino.

How would listeners react? Would they immediately recognize something universal, say "Oh, this song is clearly for dancing!" Or would the differences in musical style and language leave people confused?

WLRN’s daily news and cultural affairs show Sundial features news, politics, music, sports, arts and food — all with a local twist. It airs at 1 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

Here's what the people behind the show are reading.

Luis Hernandez, host

Hip-hop has had a steady presence in mainstream media. Successful Hip-Hop movies like "Boyz In The Hood" and more recently "Straight Outta Compton" validate the appeal the genre has on different audiences. Lately, Hip-Hop has gravitated to the playhouse. The meteoric success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s "Hamilton" is a testament that Hip-Hop may have a place in the theater.

Paperback Paris

On Tuesday, Broward County became the latest municipality to ban conversion therapy for kids. The ban passed in a unanimous vote.

The controversial therapy, designed to psychologically change a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation, has proved to be harmful to kids and teens. Broward County follows the lead of Palm Beach County, which was the first in the state to pass the ban.

A. Sorondo

With so many on-demand options available to film lovers (Netflix and Amazon Prime, to name a few), why do so many people still go to movie theaters?

Alexander Sorondo might have part of the answer.

It's the second week of 2018, and if you are still resolved to improve your life in this new year, Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer may be able to help. They host a podcast called By The Book, and for each episode, they choose one self-help book and live by its rules for a couple of weeks. So they're well-equipped to tell us which of these books has actually improved their lives — and which ones to avoid.

jvoves via Flickr Creative Commons

"Read more" is a common New Year's resolution — and some of us even take on reading challenges, with a number of books, or to read more of a specific author or genre.

For our first #FridayReads post of the new year, we asked some local experts — South Florida librarians — about reading goals.

Charles Allen, Librarian, Miami-Dade County Library

This year, I want to read more about how capitalism intersects with and exacerbates things like sexism and racism. I also want to read more about the politics of the modern Middle East.

Paul B. Goode

Update: The scheduled performance by Bill T. Jones at the Arsht Center has been canceled because of weather.

A few years ago, Bill T. Jones thought there was a good chance his nephew Lance was going to die. He was so sick. Bill T. Jones is hugely influential — as a choreographer and dancer, a writer and thinker — and when he thought his nephew was dying, he wanted to make sure his story stayed in the world. 

Imagine having one of the worst days of your professional life play out in front of 5 million people.

ABC News anchor Dan Harris doesn't have to. In 2004, he had a panic attack on live TV after years of working in war zones and using drugs to cope with the stress. But that mortifying moment led him to take up meditation.

In the 1970s, William Eggleston shocked the New York art world when the Museum of Modern Art exhibited his color photographs (Until then, most
serious photography had been black and white). Eggleston's pictures of the everyday established color photography and turned him into an art star. At the age of 78, the Memphis native surprised people yet again by releasing his first body of original music last October, an album titled Musik.

More than fifty years after her death, a new work by Zora Neale Hurston will hit the presses. Barracoon is her account of the last known survivor of America’s Transatlantic slave trade. The Florida anthropologist and author is known for her celebration of black life and culture in the rural South. This latest manuscript will reinforce that legacy.

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