April 11, 2014 |
Barely three months after their release from Russian prison, Masha Alekhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova sit outside a Santa Monica hotel, smoking cigarettes, insisting that their group Pussy Riot is not a band. "People sometimes think we are a musical group and think we can do a performance," Tolokonnikova, 24, says with a smile, leaning forward. Alekhina, 25, nods between drags, and adds, "But it's not true. We're another thing. " Still, the noise from a notorious one-song performance of "A Punk Prayer" inside Moscow's Orthodox Christian cathedral in 2012 was potent and outrageous enough to land the pair a nearly two-year prison stay in the Gulag for what prosecutors called "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.
April 5, 2014 |
Shortly after assuming the helm as the fourth director of the Museum of Contemporary Art last month, Philippe Vergne visited the Los Angeles Times to meet with editors and writers. Still in the beginning stage of absorbing MOCA's history and formulating his mission, he didn't have a great deal to share about his plans. But when asked whether he thought performance, a currently disregarded part of the museum's founding mission, was important, Vergne answered that he wouldn't call it important.
March 7, 2014 |
Theater is a superstitious profession, especially when it comes to failure. On Broadway, the Foxwoods Theatre, which served as home for the troubled musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," will officially be renamed the Lyric for its next tenant -- a revival of the musical "On the Town. " As one of Broadway's biggest houses, the 1,900-seat Foxwoods has undergone a number of name changes since the venue opened on 42nd Street in New York in 1998. It was first called the Ford Center for the Performing Arts and was later rechristened the Hilton Theatre in 2005.
February 28, 2014 |
In his recital on Thursday at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge, his first in Southern California since 2009, Murray Perahia displayed a breathtaking drive and imagination playing the music of Bach, Beethoven, Schumann and Chopin. The 66-year-old pianist seemed especially focused. Opening with Bach's French Suite No. 4, Perahia's dreamy rendition of the Allemande gave way to a visceral feel for the rhythms of these Baroque dances, including a jig-like Courante and a crisply articulated Gavotte, Menuet and Gigue.
February 13, 2014 |
The future head of the National Endowment for the Arts will likely face many of the same funding challenges that have beset the organization for years, according to two former chairs of the federal arts organization. In separate interviews, Dana Gioia and actress Jane Alexander, both of whom have served as chairs of the NEA, said that the organization continues to be under-funded and that restoring cuts to its budgets will likely be at the top of the next chair's agenda. On Wednesday, Jane Chu was announced as President Obama's nominee to be chairwoman of the NEA. Chu, the president and chief executive of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Mo., faces Senate confirmation.
February 9, 2014 |
The 3-year-old Valley Performing Arts Center at Cal State Northridge - a growing local hub for live music, dance, drama and other cultural events - has named Thor Steingraber as its new executive director. Steingraber, 47, was vice president of programming for the Los Angeles Music Center, where he oversaw last year's ambitious opening celebration for downtown's Grand Park. He brings 24 years of arts management experience to VPAC. He replaces Robert Bucker, who had been VPAC executive director and dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication at Cal State Northridge.