The Greatest Dance Sequence Ever?

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Mikhail Baryshnikov called the Nicholas Brothers the greatest dancers he had ever seen in his life. Fred Astaire called the dance number in the clip above the greatest musical dance sequence ever captured on film. Who am I to argue?

Cab Calloway starts off the madness singing “Jumpin Jive” from the film Stormy Weather.

Thanks to YouTuber laughland

“Here’s My Story, Sad, But True…”

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By 1961, Dion had ditched the Belmonts, for the somewhat longer-in-the-tooth Del-Satins. Fans may remember that it was in Dion’s number one hit song for that year that Mr. DiMucci delivered to us the explosive, shocking, world-shaking news headline that Runaround Sue, “Goes out with other guys!”

More at Dion

One Is The Loneliest Number

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Here’s a little piece I put together that was broadcast today on WBAI radio’s Arts Express program and on Pacifica affiliates across the country. Just a fun segment about the  current craziness, along with some appropriate music for the time.

 

Changing Perspective

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As our minds begin to play tricks on us during the ongoing unpleasantness, perhaps we might take solace in realizing that our minds were always playing tricks on us anyway.

Above, the Shepard Table illusion, brought to my attention by Bill Mullins of the Genii forum. The table tops (not the thicknesses, just the top surfaces) are identical parallelograms. If you’re like me, you’ll say, WTF, no way–the horizontal table top has a smaller length and a greater width than the vertical table top.

What’s happening is that the table legs and their angles induce a false sense of perspective, altering our perception of the length and width of the objects. Instead of treating the parallelograms as 2-dimensional objects we are interpreting them as 3-dimensional objects.

When the legs are re-aligned, the distorting effect is lessened:

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But again, if you’re anything like me, you’ll nod your head, and think, yeah, but I still don’t really believe they’re the same.

So what your intrepid reporter did (and you can do it too!) is take a screen shot of the initial picture of the two tables up above and print it out.  I cut the picture in two, separating the tables, and then carefully cut out only the tabletop of the horizontal table. I rotated the piece and placed it on top of the vertical table top.

Here’s a video I made of doing that:

 

It was a perfect duplicate. The situation was the same. Only the perspective had changed.

Quick, block that metaphor!

 

Happy Feet!

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Feeling tapped out these days? Not Gregory Hines, Bunny Briggs, Jimmy Slyde, Buster Brown, or Sandman Sims, five of the masters of American tap dance. This one is lots of fun.

Thanks to YouTuber Mercedes Barker

Arts Express April Newsletter Preview!

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And here we are with a preview of our third free issue of the Arts Express Newsletter, the jam-packed, super-duper April Issue.

As always, think of the Arts Express newsletter as a print extension of the conversation started on our global radio arts magazine, Arts Express, heard on WBAI 99.5 FM in NYC, WBAI.org, and Pacifica affiliates across the country, in Paris, Beijing, and Berlin.

Every month, it’s full color pages of Arts Express goodness, filled with fascinating interviews, reviews, scripts of our radio drama, photo features, gossip, film, theatre, book recommendations and more.

Here’s a preview of what’s in our April issue, which if you subscribe (just send an email to ArtsExpressList@gmail.com and put Subscribe in the subject line) , you will receive for free the first week in April and every month thereafter:

* Prairie Miller’s  interview with South African writer and anti-apartheid activist Tim Jenkin, who talks about his film Escape From Pretoria, which details his escape from Pretoria Maximum Security Prison, and his work setting up a communication system for the imprisoned Nelson Mandela.

*A joyful portfolio of photographs of the world’s largest flower parade held every year in Zundert, Netherlands, the birthplace of Vincent Van Gogh.

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* Red Vienna: An Arts Express Extra: Culture critic Dennis Broe writes about the city of Vienna in the 1920s, when a socialist city government planned and built public housing and public facilities throughout the city, which to this day makes Vienna one of the most livable cities in Europe.

* The poetry of Trinidad and Tobagoan poet Camryn Bruno, also known as “Queen Bee,” from her book Queen Bee Cavity.

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*And Announcing the Arts Express Community Call-in. Would you like to join your fellow listeners in a telephone conversation about culture in a time of pandemic? Write us at artsexpresslist@gmail.com and we’ll give you more details!

*Plus: The Guest List–our recent and upcoming guests; The Back Room–news and gossip about WBAI and the Arts Express crew; and information about exclusive giveaways, and how to win an opportunity to broadcast your own work on the air.

It’s all in the new free Arts Express Newsletter.

If you’re not yet subscribed, you can get your free pdf copy every month to your email address, by sending an email to ArtsExpressList@gmail.com and put Subscribe in the subject line. We’ll do the rest!

And don’t miss our next radio show, Tuesday 3/31 at 4am NYC time, which you can hear on WBAI.org or WBAI 99.5FM NYC., featuring:

 Film: Mrs. America – Actress Margo Martindale discusses playing Bella Abzug in this upcoming feminist mini-series

TV: Asian American actress Keiko Agena on Prodigal Son, Gilmore Girls, Better Call Saul

Report From The Front: Europe And The Coronavirus. Arts Express Paris correspondent Professor Dennis Broe’s news and analysis from the European pandemic epicenter. And what all of this may have to do with austerity and automation; Shakespeare, the plague, King Lear and Macbeth; and Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal – where the poor are served up as a source of nutrition and fine dining.

Plus…Pandemic radio drama, Syrian comic pandemic satire in the No Laughing Matter Comedy Corner episode – and Bernie Sanders in performance.

 

 

 

It Must Be The Night Fever

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Monday morning, you look out the window at the empty streets and think of times when the Night Fever meant something else…

Thanks to YouTuber HD Film Tributes

Time Thieves

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The cliché is that time is money, and it must be true because there are plenty of folks out there looking to steal our time. My guest, Cosima Dannoritzer is the writer and director of an award-winning documentary film called Time Thieves, which takes an international look at the way time has become commodified and manipulated in modern capitalist society.

Click on the triangle above to hear the interview as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI 99.5 FM NYC.

Fast Car

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Tracy Chapman was an unlikely singer/songwriter to chart in the top 10 in 1988, but there was something so pure, authentic, and truthful in her singing that this song resonated with many and, improbably, became a hit.

Thanks to YouTuber Folk & Country on MV

Going Viral

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(The latest pandemic has caused an outbreak of poetical inspiration in me.)

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There’s nothing to fret about, see?
Even though treatment won’t be for free
Now ladies and gents,
I give you Mike Pence
Whoops, we just lost our latest VP

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Corona is better as beer,
There’s nothing from that I would fear.
A bottle or two–
We laid up a few–
Will brighten the rest of the year

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The Plague isn’t new in the mix
In London in Sixteen-Oh-Six,
They shuttered the plays
For hundreds of days
For Lear and for Hamlet, no tix!

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Please pardon the lace and damask
And the heavy gauge armor–don’t ask
The pads and the plugs
Are all for the bugs
And excuse, please, the Donald Trump mask

“Queen Bee” Cavity: The Poetry of Camryn Bruno

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Our newest Arts Express contributor, KeShaun Luckie, put together this audio segment highlighting the wonderful poems of Camryn “Queen Bee” Bruno, performed by the author. It was a pleasure to have two such talented artists over here recording.

You can listen to Queen Bee’s reading, as broadcast today on Arts Express on WBAI 99.5 FM NYC, by clicking on the triangle above.