Posts tagged dance
I think there’s no better time to reflect on Seattle’s 2011 Bumbershoot®: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival, which I had a three-day pass to, than exactly four weeks after the start of the festival. Instead of writing detailed reviews for everything I saw, I decided to break it into what I thoroughly enjoyed, what I didn’t love and what I wished I saw.
I thoroughly enjoyed:
- The Improvised Shakespeare Company
- MarchFourth Marching Band
- YACHT (music)
- The Trey McIntyre Project (dance)
- Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
- Dan Savage and Terry Miller: It Gets Better (words and ideas panel)
- Manos: The Hands of Felt by Puppet This
- 1 Reel Film Festival - Frankly Female films: Election Day, Worn, 0507
I didn’t love:
- Why Censorship? Why Revolution? Why Now? (words and ideas panel)
- Kristin Hersh: Paradoxical Undressing (music/monologue one-woman show)
- 1 Reel Film Festival – Frankly Female film: Connect To
- Visual art: The Magic Show, Skaters Gauntlet, Bumber by Number
I wish I saw:
- Spectrum Dance Theater
- Vendetta Red
- Lots of 1 Reel Film Festival: Best of SIFF 2011 Jury Award Winners, Best of SIFF Audience Award Winners, Around the World in 50 Minutes
Image taken without permission from official Bumbershoot site.
These are a busy couple of weeks for the arts in Beijing. From this past Wednesday to next weekend, the city will host no fewer than four major visual and performing arts festivals and fairs.
The news that Britney Spears has psychiatric problems too severe for her to control her own finances or take a witness stand shook me. I wouldn’t call myself a fan, but because her career has coincided with my coming-of-age years, she is a symbol to me of all female celebrity. This got me thinking about celebrity and feminism in general, specifically as it relates to art with these women as subject matter.
My favorite television show and one of my four favorite art organizations both draw inspiration from Britney Spears. The South Park episode “Britney’s New Look” makes the grim case that Britney Spears was chosen at a young age as a sacrificial beautiful woman to be eventually driven crazy by a society obsessed with her. View the episode here. For Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater‘s 2007-2008 rendition of “Flowers“, which I saw last March, the prima ballerina based her character on Britney Spears. Alvin Ailey choreographed the ballet immediately after the death of Janis Joplin, who some view as another sacrificed female icon. You can listen to comments from within the dance company here.
Another interesting case study is “Paris 2008“, Jonathan Yeo‘s portrait of Paris Hilton that is a collage of pornographic magazine clippings. Damien Hirst bought the work, and Yeo offered to share the proceeds with Hilton because he thinks its unfair that she never received money for her infamous sex tape. You can also note that the artist made a portrait of President Bush out of the same media first.
Do Yeo’s actions regarding “Paris 2008″ empower women or degrade them? Are these women ridiculed as sluts and idiots because it’s somehow more okay to attach those labels to women than men? Does it take slutty and irresponsible behavior for women to become superstars in United States pop culture? These are questions I don’t have the answers to but fine art attempts to address.