Awful…. Terrible…Un-wise

The English National Ballet was evidently commissioned by some Football (soccer) organization to create a short ballet documenting the top ten plays in Football (soccer) history. The result is so stunningly awful….. Here are a few images, and a link to a video montage from the piece.



The video was created by the Times, so I can’t embed.

If you click on this link you can see the video.

The Rising

I’ve been really enjoying this song by Bruce Springsteen called ‘The Rising’. While listening to it in the car Fani told me that it was written as a response to the attacks of September 11th. I like it even more now. The only song in response to the attacks I knew of was very aggressive. I find The Rising appropriately spiritual.

Performance of the Rising:

I looked it up on Wikipedia, and this is what we had to say:

The song tells the story of a New York Fire Department firefighter, climbing one of the World Trade Center towers after the hijacked planes had hit them. The lyric depicts the surreal, desperate environment in which he finds himself:

Can’t see nothin’ in front of me,
Can’t see nothin’ coming up behind …
I make my way through this darkness,
I can’t feel nothing but this chain that binds me.
Lost track of how far I’ve gone
How far I’ve gone, how high I’ve climbed …
On my back’s a sixty-pound stone
On my shoulder a half mile of line

The choruses are more upbeat, featuring a more pronounced drum part and “Li, li, li” vocal parts, but as the song progresses the verses trace the ever more dire situation. Images of fire engines and the Cross of Saint Florian are introduced, and then, “in the garden of a thousand sighs,” a series of final visions: his wife, his children, and all human experience:

Sky of blackness and sorrow ( dream of life)
Sky of love, sky of tears ( dream of life)
Sky of glory and sadness ( dream of life)
Sky of mercy, sky of fear ( dream of life)
Sky of memory and shadow ( dream of life)

The single was released ahead of the album, initially appearing on AOL First Listen on June 24, 2002. There was a considerable marketing push for the single and the subsequent album, based on the September 11 connection and on being the first studio recordings from Springsteen with the E Street Band in 15 years. “The Rising” also debuted Springsteen’s collaboration with producer Brendan O’Brien, who gave Springsteen a somewhat more modern-sounding feel than did former producer Jon Landau. Although “The Rising” was not a pop hit, peaking at only #52 on the Billboard Hot 100, it achieved significant radio airplay in some quarters, making #24 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and #16 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the U.S. It did not place on the UK Singles Chart.

No music video was made for “The Rising”.

Critical reaction to “The Rising” was generally positive. Allmusic called it “one of Mr. Springsteen’s greatest songs. It is an anthem, but not in the sense you usually reference in regard to his work. This anthem is an invitation to share everything, to accept everything, to move through everything individually and together.” Rolling Stone worried that, “As with ‘Born in the U.S.A.’, the title … may mislead some who hear it, particularly those intent on retaliation, which Springsteen himself shows little interest in contemplating. His concern is not with a national uprising but with a rising above: the transcending of ever-mounting losses and ancient hatreds.”[2] The New York Times described “The Rising” as a work in which “one man’s afterlife is an endless longing for the physical touch of those left behind, and the music climbs toward jubilation as an act of will.”[3]

In looking up the song, I found this interview from the Letterman show in which Mr. Springsteen talks about his writing/creative process. You have to wait till about the third minute for the good stuff.

Awards for Dance

Justice is Bling

I have been sitting up (just now) cramming for a meeting tomorrow.

I am in my third year sitting on the Metro DC Dance Awards Finals Selection Committee. The public narrows it down to three, or five, nominees and then this committee decides who gets the awards. We each get one vote. We’re supplied with DVD’s of everything. The performance/performer with the most 1’s wins. The system is set up to run quickly, so we really only discuss if there are two items with same number of #1 votes.

I’ve sat on a few grant committees. I don’t mind the work of it. I find it interesting, and I like that my judgment is trusted. For some reason, I’m really uncomfortable tonight. Yes, I’m about a week late turning in my ballots (which are supposed to be turned in before the meeting), but that’s not it.

Some of what I watched, I watched with more pleasure, cause it was more to my taste. Who am I to say that my taste deserves an award? Is the thing that I and most people will give a ‘1’ too really the best? Moan, struggle, angst… but seriously: the stuff I ‘liked’ more – does that mean that it’s ‘better’?

I’m tired of judging my peers work. Ok. I’m not tired of judging my peers. But I’m tired of my judgment impacting them. There were very few performances that I saw that didn’t deserve an award, and none that I saw that I was like – holy shit, that just has to win. And there were things that weren’t nominated that I thought should be. That I saw cause there were other categories, or people, in the video, so I happened to see them watching for other things. (Chris Morgann’s sonnets thing for citydance really didn’t suck at all. Little rambly, but good.)

Lady Justice

I like sitting on grant panels. Hearing what people might do. Seeing what they have done. But I don’t like these awards. I know they serve a great purpose for our community. They really help to raise the winner’s profiles. And that’s a service. Shit, I want one! Nevertheless:

I read in the LA Times last night that from 1918 to 1948 (or something) art was in the olympics. You could win a medal for watercolor painting, or sculpture. I’m glad I wasn’t a judge. I’m off the committee after this year anyway, but I’m really struggling with trying to fill out these ballots. I’m not sure how to give my peers justice. I don’t feel it’s mine to give. And I’m tired of giving them judgment.