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Modern-day Medicis: behind the private art museum boom

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Deep in the headquarters of fashion giant Louis Vuitton on Avenue Montaigne in Paris, Jean-Paul Claverie cuts a dapper picture of old-school elegance. He takes my hand and offers me a seat ...
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NGV Hermitage exhibition: Catherine, Russia’s golden age empress

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Since it was first opened to the world in 1852, Catherine the Great’s remarkable collection of treasures has attracted audiences across the world, with more than three million visitors a year making the pilgrimage to the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. ...
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Whistler’s Mother heads to NGV Melbourne from Orsay in Paris

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The Whistlers smile secretly in their corner ... that is all part of the subtle malice with which they win you.’ British poet and editor Arthur Symons, Studies in Seven Arts, 1906 ...
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Pharrell Williams creates score for Jonah Bokaer’s dance work in Brisbane

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Jonah Bokaer, the so-called mystery man of American dance, has packed a lot into a short life. At 18, the New York-based artist was the youngest dancer to join Merce Cunningham’s company; in his early 20s, he launched a stellar choreographic career with multimedia dance works that straddled the worlds of architecture, sculpture, theatre, digital animation, biomechanics, performance art, video and visual arts. ...
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Australian Ballet to perform Nijinsky by Hamburg legend John Neumeier

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John Neumeier barely blinks as a dancer lands heavily at his feet, arms akimbo — ta-da! Behind him, more dancers approach, leaping and turning, sweat flying in fine arcs, breaths puffing under the plink-plonk strains of the ageing rehearsal piano; one young coryphee lands awkwardly from a jete and mutters a curse as he limps into the corner, nursing a sore knee...
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Jean Paul Gaultier creates costumes for Snow White ballet by Preljocaj

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Picture the scene. You invite Jean Paul Gaultier to dinner. At some point during the meal you nervously float your proposal: you want the Parisian haute couture legend to design all the costumes for your new ballet. Gaultier, to your disbelief, says yes — and, what’s more, he will do it gratis. ...
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Frida Kahlo: artistic genius and queen of pain

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On September 17, 1925, a teenage Frida Kahlo was travelling on a bus in Mexico City when it collided with a trolley car. Her body was pulverised on impact — her injuries included a broken spinal column, smashed ribs and collarbone, a shattered pelvis, 11 fractures in her right leg, and a mangled foot. ...
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Alexei Ratmansky takes steps in time with Cinderella for the Australian Ballet

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ALEXEI Ratmansky sits on a little stool, swaying slightly to a phantom tune only he can hear. His eyes are closed and he sits in a pose of intense concentration. Thirty or so dancers, a ballet mistress and a company pianist wait patiently around him in a sunny rehearsal room at the Australian Ballet's Melbourne headquarters. ...
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Haruhisa Handa talks opera and Shinto in rare interview

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Shadowed by a towering, one-eyed Queen Nefertiti, and watched by an entourage of assistants, minders, and bemused Opera Australia director Lyndon Terracini, Haruhisa Handa, 64, leans forward, angles his jaw to the setting sun, tips his shaggy black head backwards and opens his mouth. Out, in a rich baritone, come the opening strains of Torna a Surriento, the doleful 1902 Neapolitan classic sung by everyone from Pavarotti to Meat Loaf: “vide’o mare quant’e bello / spira tantu sentimento…”
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There is a doctor in the house

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SHE conceived the idea for her intensely personal musical in 1992, and has spent almost two decades trying to get it to an international stage. ...
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Brother's Keeper

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As Bangarra explores the complex life of Bennelong, Stephen Page is still coming to terms with personal tragedy.

This last century has been lacking in spirit,” declares Stephen Page. ...
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Original Skin

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Nudity in dance is staging a comeback

Izzac Carroll, 18, prowls around Henry Moore’s reclining Henry Moore’s Fallen Warrior before nimbly springing up on a bench. ...
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Theatre director Benedict Andrews brings Gloria to Griffin

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As he works into the evening from his home in Reykjavik, Iceland, Benedict Andrews tracks the setting sun on its journey across the peninsula. It arcs westward across the sky, finally slipping below the waterline. “I can see a distant rim of mountains and this incredible bay in front of me and this fierce, crystalline beauty. The light changes every single day of the year. It’s never stable.” ...
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Outsider knowledge in Ivan Sen's Mystery Road

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ON the night of June 17, 2003, Theresa Beatrice Binge, a gregarious, stocky Aboriginal mother of three, disappeared after leaving the historic Victoria Hotel in the southern Queensland beef, cotton and wheat town of Goondiwindi. ...
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Defiant Bolshoi Ballet soldiers on despite shocking attack on director Sergei Filin

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IT'S lunchtime on a cold Moscow spring day, and Galina Stepanenko, ensconced at the Bolshoi Ballet's home base in Theatre Square, has hardly stopped since morning broke. For the former principal dancer, who stepped into the role of interim artistic director of the world's biggest ballet company following the shocking acid attack on its director Sergei Filin in January, the day has been a back-to-back stream of meetings, rehearsals and appointments. ...
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Me Tarzan, you lady who make me swing

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Meryl Tankard speaks to Sharon Verghis on the eve of the choreographer's Broadway debut.

TALK about not seeing the wood for the trees. Meryl Tankard has been chatting about her latest project, Disney's new musical staging of Tarzan, for several minutes before she notices the huge, newly minted marquee banner unfurled down the side of a building across the road from where we sit in a room perched above Broadway. ...
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Easy rider filling Nureyev's shoes

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A motorcycle nut and the son of a prison warden, Ethan Stiefel isn't a typical ballet superstar, writes Sharon Verghis.

Ethan Stiefel laughs as he recalls the day he was offered a bribe, of sorts, by the venerable New York City Ballet. ...
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STC’s Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh and co scale Chekhov’s heights

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"In 1984, veteran Chekhov thespian Ian McKellen observed “actors climb up ­Chekhov like a mountain, roped together, sharing the glory if they ever make it to the summit”. ...
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Shanghai surprise

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The city is returning to its glory days, writes Sharon Verghis.

When Graeme Murphy and his dancers first visited Shanghai in the early 1980s, as part of a three-week cultural exchange between Australia and China, they found a city seemingly preserved in amber. ...
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Bangarra's main man Stephen Page celebrates 20 year at helm

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IT'S a late autumn morning, and a searingly blue sky arcs over the arts precinct at Sydney's Walsh Bay and the old wooden wharves packed with crowds attending the Sydney Writers Festival. ...
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Oz you like it

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The thunder from Down Under reaches the Gotham theater scene.

Between sips of hot chocolate, Nick Stevenson and Jeremy Waters dissect the way violence shapes souls, psyches and cities. ...
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Two blokes walked on to a stage

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"At the time when Godot was first done, it liberated something for anybody writing plays ...