Sexual violence play at Know Theatre benefits crime victims

By George Basler

The issue of violence against women has been much in the news. Congress recently re-authorized the Violence Against Women Act. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is holding hearings on sexual abuse in the military. A rape and killing in India has prompted protest and self-examination in that country.
So a production taking place this coming weekend (March 8 and 9) in Binghamton is both timely and provocative. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why science needs art

Check out this Huffington Post commentary about how art and design can help technology power innovation: http://tinyurl.com/dynhr2q.

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Endicott native Paglia ponders the future of fine arts; what’s your view?

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, American author, teacher and social critic Camille Paglia wrote  that “too many artists have lost touch with the general audience and have retreated to an airless echo chamber…

“For the arts to revive in the U.S., young artists must be rescued from their sanitized middle-class backgrounds. We need a revalorization of the trades that would allow students to enter those fields without social prejudice (which often emanates from parents eager for the false cachet of an Ivy League sticker on the car). Among my students at art schools, for example, have been virtuoso woodworkers who were already earning income as craft furniture-makers. Artists should learn to see themselves as entrepreneurs.”

Paglia, a self-described dissident feminist, was born in Endicott and was valedictorian of her 1968 Harpur College (Binghamton University) class. She is a professor at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Here is a link to the article, which we at BAMirror hope will inspire some comments from you: http://tinyurl.com/94c7az9.

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Art Mission screens provocative film

Reviewed by George Basler

In the midst of big-budget summer blockbusters flooding local multiplexes, a small but important film has opened at the Art Mission & Theater in downtown Binghamton.

Bully, directed by Lee Hirsch, is a documentary that focuses on schoolyard persecution and  its impact on students and their families. While some may consider sitting through a documentary as a far-from-entertaining way to spend a Sunday afternoon, I found Bully anything but bland. It’s extraordinarily compelling as it tackles a topic that has been much in the news. Read the rest of this entry »

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Get ‘A Taste of Broadway’ at BHS

By George Basler

For one night only, Binghamton High School’s main cafeteria is going to be turned into a cabaret. After a scoring a big hit last year, the Rod Serling School of Fine Arts in association with the high school’s culinary arts class is again presenting “A Taste of Broadway.” On the bill next Wednesday (May 23) will be s a sampling of tasty desserts and a selection of show tunes. Read the rest of this entry »

Music lovers: Don’t miss out on BU spring concerts

By Lee Shepherd

It occurs to me that the community doesn’t take full advantage of the many free or very low-cost concerts offered by the Binghamton University Music Department. Take the weekly Mid-Day Thursday (1:20 p.m.) Concerts during the school year, all in Casadesus Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building. They’re free and feature up-and-coming student musicians and/or faculty. A special treat will be the May 3 Jazz Mid-Day with guest artist Mark Buselli, who also will perform that evening with the Harpur Jazz Ensemble in the Osterhout Concert Theatre of the Anderson Center. Read the rest of this entry »

Why not di-verse-ify with poetry this month?

There are a myriad of things to celebrate and support during the month of April. One of those things is poetry. To quote W.S. Gilbert’s Pirate King and his crew (soon to be seen in the UCF-supported Summer Savoyards’ 2012 production, The Pirates of Penzance):

KING: “Although we live by strife,
We’re always sorry to begin it,
For what, we ask, is life
Without a touch of Poetry in it?”

ALL: “Hail, Poetry, thou heav’n-born maid!
Thou gildest e’en the pirate’s trade.
Hail, flowing fount of sentiment!
All hail, all hail, divine emollient!”

You can help BAMirror celebrate National Poetry Month by posting either an original poem or a poem that is one of your favorites. If you send your own work, please include what inspired your writing. (Shameless plugs of published volumes or upcoming public readings are encouraged.) If you choose to send in someone else’s poetry, please include why that particular poem speaks to you.

More thoughts about the arts and education

Did you catch the guest viewpoint in the Press & Sun-Bulletin yesterday (Feb. 26)? Gretchen Dandrea Blynt of Andes, a teacher at a school in the Catskills, wrote about New York state’s recently adopted Common Core Learning Standards vis-a-vis an arts curriculum and the value of independent, critical thinking. Here’s a link: http://tinyurl.com/74exzxn.

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Silence that phone!

By now, everyone knows about the “I-Phone Marimba” moment that temporarily stopped the New York Philharmonic’s performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony.  For the record and as continuing reminder to concert and theater goers everywhere, here’s the whole cringe-inducing story.

Opera world facing more ups and downs

Check out these two good news/bad news reports from the world of opera. First, an article from The Dedham Transcript (Needham, Mass.) on the demise of Opera Boston. Then, a New York Times look at how small opera companies are trying to fill the void left by the drastic reduction and displacement of New York City Opera.

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Binghamton University Kafka expert links teaching and research

From our “Food for Thought” file comes the following article by Rachel Coker published Dec. 5 in the blog Discover-e, Insights & Innovations from  Binghamton University.

Kafka scholar Neil Christian Pages does more than encourage his undergraduate students to engage in research. He gives them the tools they need to demystify the literary academy.

A tiny figurine made out of thread — a former student’s representation of the character Odradek from Franz Kafka’s “The Cares of the Father of the Family” — hangs from one of Pages’ bookshelves. It’s material proof of the way Pages’ students engage with Kafka in his classroom and beyond it.   Read more.

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Give the arts for the holidays

By Barb Van Atta

Still stumped in your Santa duties? Hustling for one more Hanukkah gift? Look no more. Your best gift idea — one that truly keeps on giving — is something artistic. Visit a local gallery for everything from pottery to photos to note cards. (Not sure of someone’s taste? Give a gift certificate.) Buy tickets to plays or concerts. Make a donation to an arts organization in the name of your hard-to-shop-for friend. Why not celebrate the holidays by supporting the arts?

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Food for thought: Is director of Broadway-bound ‘Porgy and Bess’ tinkering — or tampering — with a classic?

Proposed changes to “Porgy and Bess” before its Broadway revival range from replacing recitative with dialogue to brightening up the ambiguous ending. Supporters say this new, “Bess-centric” version fixes the original opera’s thematic problems. Detractors, including Stephen Sondheim, complain of disloyalty to Gershwin’s classic. (Check out this link to The New York Times: http://tinyurl.com/3ula3jn). What do you think?

Food for thought: Opera? Musical? Please respect the difference

“More than ever,” Anthony Tommasini wrote  in the July 7 New York Times, “composers are busily breaking down walls between stylistic categories. Opera in particular has been a poacher’s paradise. We have had folk opera, jazz opera and rock opera. Bono, who collaborated with the Edge on the music and lyrics of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” called the show “Pop-Art opera.” Whatever that means. But of all such efforts, mixing opera with the Broadway musical might seem by far the most natural combination. Then why are so many efforts to crisscross that divide so bad?”

Read the complete article at http://tinyurl.com/6fqdn8m.

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