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2005 Year

ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2005 | Chris Pasles
THOMAS W. MORRIS Artistic director, Ojai Music Festival I actually have a vivid best, the touring performance of Osvaldo Golijov's "Ayre," with Dawn Upshaw and Eighth Blackbird, which came through Cleveland. It was one of the most refreshing and real concert experiences of the year. As for "worsts," I can't think of a performance this year that says "dog" all over it.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2005 | Robert Hilburn, Times Staff Writer
THERE were lots of excellent albums during 2005, but only three brilliant ones: Bright Eyes' "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning," Kanye West's "Late Registration" and the White Stripes' "Get Behind Me Satan." All three are works of immense ambition and craft, and the reaction to them has been so extreme -- from near suffocating praise in one case to considerable puzzlement in another -- that you wonder about the effect of it all on their creators.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2005 | LEWIS SEGAL
DANCE in Southern California had its share of milestones in 2005. Three contenders announced their intention to create world-class ballet companies in the Southland -- none more promising than Ethan Stiefel, the new artistic director of Ballet Pacifica. The Dance at the Music Center series presented its first dauntingly expensive, top-of-the-line international ensemble: Russia's superb Kirov Ballet. And two television networks discovered how dance could serve the needs of reality TV through L.A.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2005 | CHARLES McNULTY
WHAT lingers in the memory of my mostly New York theater year -- one that no one of sound mind could possibly call vintage -- isn't a playwright's dazzling new drama or a visionary director's groundbreaking production but a passel of courageous portrayals by actors who reinvigorated familiar roles with difficult, and consequently dignifying, human truth. "Aristocrats," London's Royal National Theatre.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2005
HERE are some notable -- and forgettable -- productions cited by Times reviewers and writers Philip Brandes, F. Kathleen Foley, Lynne Heffley, Daryl H. Miller, David C. Nichols, Don Shirley and James C. Taylor: The true-life controversy at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia provided ripe material for Thomas Gibbons' "Permanent Collection." This glimpse into the internal struggles at an art institution took on issues of race and cultural ownership.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2005 | Christopher Reynolds, Times Staff Writer
FIRST, if you need to feel wanted, consider a career in museum management. Second, be wary of new ventures involving flooded orchestra pits. And third, be jealous of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where life at the moment seems almost impossibly good. For the movers and shakers of highbrow Southern California -- and indeed for arts leaders nationwide -- these are just some of the larger lessons of 2005, as well as clues, in some cases, to what 2006 may bring.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2005 | Reed Johnson, Times Staff Writer
A moment of silence, please, for the imminent death of the old Mainstream Mass Culture. Born sometime between the invention of baseball and the 1904 World's Fair, it began experiencing violent headaches and seizures shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, then lapsed into a coma during the launch of MySpace.com. There will be no survivors, except on select reruns of "Lost." In lieu of flowers, friends may send checks to the "Bring Back Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw Emergency Fund."
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2005 | Todd Boyd, Special to The Times
IS it me or have we been stuck in what Duke Ellington would call "a sentimental mood" over this last year? In the age of reality television, it seems that the focus on ordinary people pursuing inane challenges for mass entertainment has become a modern form of melodrama. We can see the impulse played out, for example, in both the corny mini-biopics of "American Idol" contestants and the overwrought sob stories that define whose home gets picked for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2005 | CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT
THE year 2005 was the best of art times, and it was the worst of art times. * The UCLA Hammer Museum offered an invigorating survey of new art that crystallized an emerging sensibility among younger artists, braced against the feeling of dissolution so prevalent now. "Thing: New Sculpture From Los Angeles" was a rarity -- a fresh and meaningful overview.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2005 | CARINA CHOCANO
GIVEN all the focus this year on the declining box office, it would follow that compiling a list of the year's best movies might feel like an exercise in futility. And if I were required to choose only from the movies that pass for major American cinema these days, it would have been exactly that. There's an odd inversion that seems to be taking place: The more big studio dramas reach for "seriousness" of the kind that tends to win awards, the more bogus they come off.
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