Friday, April 18, 2014

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Fine arts

DSO brings Bach to Ann Arbor


Today, Bach fans will mark the composer's 323rd birthday. Also today, Christians will mark the death of Jesus Christ. That quirk of this year's early Easter calendar makes tonight's Hill Auditorium performance of Bach's "St. Matthew Passion" especially timely. The choral piece that rocketed Bach into post-mortem popularity draws from the Gospel of Matthew's telling of Jesus's crucifixion and debuted on Good Friday in 1727 in Leipzig, Germany. The size and complexity of tonight's 7:30 p.m.

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Making art for the viewing public

At Rackham Auditorium last Thursday, the Beat-tradition poet Gary Snyder criticized fellow writers who lament the chore of getting work published and sold, as though publishing their work were beside the point.
"Well, they just haven't thought it through - not in an artistic sense and not in a spiritual sense," the 78-year-old poet declared. "Karl (Pohrt, the founder and owner of Shaman Drum Bookshop) and his work are as much a part of it as any other step in the process."

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The body's second brain


Homer once wrote, "The belly is the commanding part of the body," and he was right. It aches when we're sick, drops when we're shocked, fills with butterflies when we're nervous, but moves freely when we dance. This is something Oriental dancer, choreographer and teacher Leila Haddad understands. Haddad will make her Ann Arbor debut tonight at the Power Center for the Performing Arts.

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An Unlikely Art


Controversial and diverse art show comes to A2

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When charisma deserves its own applause


We all know who we thought we'd prefer to have a couple of beers with back in 2000. And, I guess, in 2004. Now months away from the Democratic National Convention that will decide between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, questions of palatability and personality are once again raised in the same breath. Individuals who do their work in public view - whatever work it is - must confront how their visibility affects the task at hand.
Presentation - be it of a stump speech, a policy lecture or a sonata performance - changes how we receive information.

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Styles from New York


Daily Arts's thoughts on one of fashion's biggest weeks

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Wu Man, pipa and the Bay Area Shawm Band

Brian Merlos


The pipa is a Chinese lute, and its sound is surprisingly spry and agile, with sounds that hit and bounce off the ears like tiny springs. Watching Wu Man's hands fly on and off the instrument's fretboard is like watching a pianist's escalating frenzy as his hands climb the keyboard. This is not coffee-shop-worthy new age music. If it were, you might spill your espresso.
"It's a very demanding instrument," Wu Man said. "It's both-handed, and the sound can be very, very beautiful, elegant, quiet, and also can go the complete opposite - extremely exciting and fast and dramatic."

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