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Mobile Applications and RSS Feeds Discontinued

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Jul 25

The Crimson has discontinued support for its apps. To browse on your mobile device, visit thecrimson.com.

Mobile Applications and RSS Feeds Discontinued

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Jul 23

The Crimson has discontinued support for its apps. To browse on your mobile device, visit thecrimson.com.

"Yeezus" Saves

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Jun 19

“Yeezus” is Kanye at his best, boldest, least commercial, and above all, most sincere. West has always been capable of channeling this charismatic intensity into his music, and his albums demand attention much the way the man himself does.

Three Days At NY's Governors Ball Festival

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Jun 18

Staff writer Andrew R. Chow spent a weekend at the festival, braving the weather to catch acts such as Kings of Leon, Azealia Banks, Kendrick Lamar, and—of course—Kanye West.

"The Angels' Share" A Visual Delight

Harvard Crimson - Arts - May 16

As you can expect in any Loach film, there is no shortage of vividly rendered scenery. The cinematography is a real treat for the eyes, a visual whiskey tasting of colors, textures, and terrains. And despite a lazy plot, "The Angels' Share" still manages to be a heartening and enjoyable story.

"Gatsby" Not So Great

Harvard Crimson - Arts - May 16

The real problem at the core of the movie seems to be restraint: Luhrmann has none. In fact, the film is packed so full of confetti and sex that there seems to be little room for one key element: the source text. This makes for an entertaining film, perhaps, but not for a successful adaptation of one of the great American novels.

"Maker or Monster?"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - May 7

At the end of the production, S speaks to Shelley, demanding his counterpart to decide what type of man he will be. “It’s time to decide who you are—master or monster,” he says. With such an emotional ending, Giles’s “Sea Change” invited its audience to live and breath the life of Mary Shelley, leaving a sentiment that resonated even after the curtains were closed.

"At Last" Leaves a Memorable Missive

Harvard Crimson - Arts - May 5

There were breakups on the left, a besotted duo on the right, and playful friendly interactions behind. The varied relationships reached a climax at one moment in the middle of the production when all nine performers herded the audience into one group and danced around them, chant-like and circular as the lights narrowed on the unsuspecting theatergoers. The message was clear; relationships are all-consuming, emotional, and there’s no way to avoid the glaring reality of love.

When Relationships Get Too Close

Harvard Crimson - Arts - May 3

Patrick Marber’s “Closer” is a play of extreme, if shallow, intensity. It features only four characters, each of whom is pitilessly revealed to be selfish, narcissistic, and hypocritical. In a setting as intimate as the Loeb Ex, “Closer”, which ran until April 27 and was directed by Lily R. Glimcher ‘14, had an almost suffocating effect.

"Pain & Gain" Defines an Aesthetic

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 26

“Pain & Gain” is, in the end, a charming paradox. It is the least Michael-Bay film Bay has ever made, containing nearly none of the reckless destruction for which he is known. Yet somehow, it is also the most Michael-Bay a film can get, distilling all of his cinematic techniques down to their essence and deconstructing the aspects that fall into the Bay aesthetic.

With Public Art, Students Think Outside the Gallery

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 26

For some of these artists, the task of creating an art piece that engages with its surroundings is an emotional journey.

A Powerful Play in "Henry V"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 26

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.” So goes the famous St. Crispin’s Day speech, delivered by King Henry V at the climax of the eponymous Shakespeare play. In a departure from more popular Shakespeare comedies or dramas, director Matthew G. Warner ’13 says, the decision to perform “Henry V,” an English historyplay, illuminates a different, lesser-known aspect of Shakespeare’s work. Presented by the Hyperion Shakespeare Company, “Henry V” will open at the Agassiz Theatre on May 3.

It's Love and Dance "At Last"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 26

Dance is at the forefront in “At Last,” but the production is lent an additional layer of complexity by its plot. The dances in the production chronicle the evolving relationships of four different couples. In between dances, vocalist Page Axelson, a junior at Reading Memorial High School, sings differing versions of “At Last” that speak to the particular nature of the couples’ stories.

Interactive Map: Arts First

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 24

An interactive listing of events for this weekend's Arts First festival.

“Upstream Color” Goes Against The Current

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 24

“Upstream Color” comes to us after a nine-year gap from director Shane Carruth’s first film, full of stunning visuals and a deeply puzzling plot. Despite the jumbled and disjointed narrative, the cinematography is so beautifully done that it makes the film a pleasure to watch, if not to understand.

Kirill Medvedev: Yes, It's Good

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

Kirill Medvedev has brilliantly anticipated, but not truly managed to avoid the traps of literature and politics that he so perceptively outlines in his essays. His present celebrity as the leading poet of his country is yet a fragile one, by very fact of its inimitable novelty.

DanceFest on the Plaza

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

A diverse array of Harvard dance groups will perform in this free, four-hour Arts First showcase.

Mankiw, Lithgow with River Charles Ensemble

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

Economics professor N. Gregory Mankiw will conduct the usually conductorless River Charles Ensemble's performance of Beethoven's 5th, with assistance from actor John Lithgow '67.

Harvard Playwrights’ Festival

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

The annual festival will this year feature readings of eight student plays written in Liz Duffy Adams's advanced playwriting workshop.

Freshman Arts Collaborative Experience Showcase

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

Freshmen in this arts program will present a project inspired by the year's natural disasters, from Hurricane Sandy to February's snowstorm.

Jomion and the Uklos of Benin

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

The West African jazz group will give its first performance in the United States, accompanied by the Dudley House Jazz Orchestra, during the Arts First festival.

The Ethereals

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

The Ethereals, who comprise acrobatic Nicolas Maffey ’13 and a live band, will perform at Arts First.

Senior Spotlight: Kelly K.W. Lam

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

Her freshman year, Lam started from scratch. “I got interested because my roommate here was a singer. I joined the choir she was in—the Harvard University Choir—and then started taking lessons. Now I sing pretty much every day."

Senior Spotlight: Benjamin M. Woo

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

Woo identifies as a composer—but even to him, that title sounds a bit strange. “Composer evokes classical European guys, and that’s not exactly the sense in which I think of it,” Woo says. For him, the goal is to write music that is accessible.

Portrait of an Artist: Zak T. Aossey '14

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

Student, athlete, and rapper Zak T. Aossey '14 will soon be releasing his first mixtape. He sat down with The Harvard Crimson to talk about his love of music and his busy schedule.

Art Show Crafts Community

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

From a humble pipe and drape tent to a large professional gallery space, the Harvard Student Art Show has grown quickly since its inception. Now in its fifth year, the show will feature over 40 artists with more than 50 pieces in a new location at 65 Mt. Auburn Street.

Senior Spotlight: Georgina B. Parfitt

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

Ever since she was a little girl growing up in Norfolk, England, Georgina B. Parfitt ’13 knew she wanted to be a writer. But her talents extend beyond ink and paper: this year, she will be the puppeteer for the play “Sea Change,” which will be put on at the Loeb Drama Center during Arts First.

The Mic is Yours

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

Harvard's spoken word group, Speak Out Loud, is teaming with other student organizations in an open-mic performance with live music. All undergraduates and graduate students are welcome to participate.

The Eyes Have It

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

The Carpenter Center film festival on Saturday will showcase 50 years of Visual and Environmental Studies concentrators' work.

Beethoven (\ b t, -v n\), Electropop

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

The student electronic music group will give its debut performance at the Arts First festival.

Freshmen Go to Hell and Back

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

For a musical about Hell, "What the Hell?!" is strikingly uplifting. It's a world where Satan (Brad A. Latilla-Campbell '16) is a socially isolated failure, and where the most gruesome scene is an attack with hockey sticks. Despite using political messages as a source of humor—much was made of Hell's ill-advised decision to "go corporate," and the Greedy Pig demon lord kept workers at Walmart non-unionized—the show did not moralize to the audience.

Burning with "Desire"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

From the moment Blanche (Ema H. Horvath ’16) stepped onstage and looked around with incredulity at an apartment ironically situated on Elysian Fields Avenue, the production, directed by Sayantan Deb ’14, crackled with energy, anger, and suppressed hysteria, transfixing by the sheer force of the actors’ charisma.

Phoenix's New Release Emotionally "Bankrupt!"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

This album is less personal than some of the group’s more recent releases. Lyrically, the focus is on status-obsessed characters (mostly unattainable women) of the sort one probably meets a lot in the band’s hometown, Versailles, France. The album’s strongest points are its swaggering grooves.

Hip-Hop Resurrected In "Twelve Reasons to Die"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

“Twelve Reasons to Die” gives us a glimpse of hip-hop at its best. Working within their genre, which has a rich history of contemporary and classic forms, Adrian Younge and Ghostface Killah understand the capabilities of hip-hop as a storytelling tool and have created a narrative-driven masterwork.

Of Monsters And Men

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

Put simply, “Cargo” succeeds because it eschews the urge to read some deeper symbolism into the zombie apocalypse and instead embraces zombies’ meaning on their own as the ultimate negation of what it means to be human. In the face of zombification, we see a man wordlessly struggle to preserve those elements he fears he will lose.

Framing Harvard Film

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

As the Carpenter Center celebrates its 50th anniversary, film pieces from past and present students show that Harvard’s program in film education coalesces with the liberal arts curriculum and results in a unique, holistic preparation for the film industry.

100 Years of Jazz Saxophone

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

I don’t presume to be anything more than a student of the jazz saxophone tradition, but in my few years of study I’ve benefited immensely from drawing my own map of the historical territory. Of course, ignorance and misinformation are par for the course, but it’s been an invaluable exercise to try to orient myself while navigating the unspeakably diverse collection of voices that define the legacy of the jazz saxophone.

Smart Girls at the Party

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 23

In the soundbite age, it’s rare to encounter such honesty, particularly from our public figures. When politicians misstep, they issue formulaic apologies. When celebrities give interviews, they offer canned, publicist-penned answers. Reality television is immensely popular, but there’s no sign of “reality” within them.

Big Shoes to Fill

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 22

What’s more mind-blowing than the idea of entirely re-making a perfectly good song (especially when the original belongs to a legend), though, is an artist’s ability to rework it so much so that it takes on an entirely different meaning. There is nothing trickier than a cover song.

Singles Roundup

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 22

The long-awaited single from Daft Punk's coming album, "Random Access Memories," is an instant summertime hit. Meanwhile, Selena Gomez and Drake both challenge their current positions. "Girls Love Beyonce" offers Drake stand-alone status while "Come & Get It" is surprisingly experimental.

Visuals Breathe Life into “Oblivion”

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 19

While “Oblivion” succeeds artistically and features a strong cast, its writing occasionally borders on being overly sentimental and fails to take the film’s unique premise towards a strong conclusion. The film touches briefly on themes such as individuality and free will, but brushes by them on the way to visually satisfying scenes.

"Beowulf" is Woefully Weird

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 19

With a mix of folksy belting, thumb war games, and a mock magician’s act, “Beowulf” could hardly be more genre-bending and avant-garde. At times it risks being as raw and in-your-face as Lady Gaga’s meat dress, only longer and less symbolic. Though the show’s direction, lyrics, and overall concept prove so shockingly anarchic that it is hard to digest the performance, its original score and talented singing provides some redemption.

Labor of Love in "Frankenstein"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 19

In 1818, the 18-year-old Mary Shelley published “Frankenstein,” but some scholars say her novel had significant input from her young husband Percy Bysshe Shelley. The relationship between the couple and their supposed collaboration on “Frankenstein” is the subject of “Sea Change,” the new play by director and writer Daniel J. Giles ’13, opening on the Loeb Mainstage on April 26.

"Dreamgirls" Goes Up in Lights

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 19

On April 25 at 7:30 p.m., Farkas Hall will transform into a Motown palace complete with tinsel, back-up dancers, flashy costumes, and 106 stage lights directed from the back of the stage out at the audience. “Dreamgirls” follows soulful starlets the Dreams as they belt their way to the top of the charts despite racial tensions present in the 1960s and ’70s.

The Carriage House

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 18

Through superb character development, narrative innovations that are all her own, and humor that winks at Austen without kowtowing to her, new author Lousia Hall crafts a poignant tale that transcends the riff-off genre.

Reader Redux: "Flipped"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 18

Connie Yan explains how "Flipped" surpassed the typical teenage romance and taught her valuable lessons about social stigmatization.

"Terror" An Affecting Experiment in Fear

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 17

As the Flaming Lips' album develops, the tracks become more opaque and, at times, completely impalpable. The Lips cultivate an impersonal, synthetic sound, never coming close to sounding like a rock band.

Singles Roundup: Drake; Psy; Tyler, the Creator

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 17

The Canadian rapper details his tough upbringing, arguments with Mom and all. Psy's latest fails to measure up to "Gangnam Style." With "IFHY," Odd Future mastermind Tyler describes a romantic obsession over unsettling beat production.

"Company" An Uneventful Affair

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 17

Despite his own star power and screen presence, Robert Redford's most recent film fizzles due to a lack of focus or captivating action. Redford is the most interesting part of the film, and he greatly outshines his costars like Shia LaBeouf. "The Company You Keep" skirts around its most compelling questions and comes out fairly unentertaining.

"42" Covers Its Bases

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 17

Brian Helgeland's latest is a Jackie Robinson biopic starring Chadwick Boseman, chronicling the baseball legend's experience as he broke the color barrier in baseball. While Boseman delivers a powerful performance, whenever Helgeland steps away from the baseball field, the film tends to oversimplify its characters and relationships to a fault.

Choreographers Emerge into Spotlight

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 17

The Emerging Choreographers Showing will exhibit the work of ten student choreographers this Thursday and Friday in the Harvard Dance Center. Irineo C. Cabreros '13, Hazel A. Lever ‘13, and The Lone Window Project, a group of eight students, have been selected as the spring 2013 choreographers.

Bachsoc Embraces Baroque

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 17

This Saturday, the Bach Society Orchestra will have its fourth performance of the school year. The concert will feature three pieces: Salieri’s “La Tempest di Mare,” Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, and Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” with violin soloist Keir D. GoGwilt ‘13.

From Graffiti to Gallery

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 17

Arist Barry McGee's traveling exhibit, organized by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, is the first mid-career museum survey of the artist's work and is currently being show at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston.

Hip-hop Greats Dig the Standards

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 17

Hip-hop giants 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, and DJ Premier were the centerpiece of the event, “Digging the Music of Hiphop: These are the standards,” last Wednesday, which was sponsored by the Hiphop Archive at Harvard.

A Latin "Presencia" on Campus

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 17

Presencia Latina, the only show on campus that incorporates all of Harvard's Latin cultural groups (as well as groups from the city as a whole), will this year take place on April 20.

Translated Tales: "He Who Burns" Explores Sufi Narratives

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 17

The Sufi poetry translations in English showed the rich depth of Sufi poets such as Mansur Al-Hallaj and Hafiz, who provide compelling spiritual aphorisms on love and loss. One line in particular reflected both the title and theme of the play. Iblis describes love “to be like the flame of the candle always burning,” thereby invoking the theme of fire and light. All three dancers moved with fluid and effortless synergy, mastering the interplay of strength and softness of movement.

Get "Closer" in the Ex

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 17

An unconventional love story about two interchanging couples, “Closer,” which opens on Friday in the Loeb Ex, could either be the perfect show or the worst show to take your date to. Exploring the selfish and sadistic motives of love, the play promises to be as abrasive and irresistible as a destructive relationship. "’Closer’ is brutally honest, I think that's what I like about it. There are no bells and whistles. It is quite raw and bare," says Lily R. Glimcher '14, a first-time director. "I ...

Throwing Tarantino a Bone

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 17

The transformation of “DOGS” into a stage play succeeded because of the largely good design, effective use of sound and music, and excellent group of actors. As morally ambiguous as the original, “DOGS” added attitude and youth to the original premise. From the beginning of the show, when the actors strode through the waiting crowd outside the Loeb Ex, they immersed themselves in their characters and emphasized the best aspect of a live theater adaptation—being in the room with “the ...

Look Out, World: K-pop Acts Worth Watching

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 16

While there are numerous sub-genres under the greater umbrella of “popular Korean music” (such as talented ballad singer K. Will, indie-folk group Busker Busker, or rock band CN BLUE), here are a few groups worth watching for a potential breakthrough in the U.S. mainstream market.

Shadow Play

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 16

Their house was filled with books that no one read, a piano that nobody played, and paintings that nobody looked at. There was a dog that no one loved and a white picket fence that kept nobody out and held no one in. It was shadow play—all the right shapes but no substance. This poster picture of the American Dream was like a set, and they were only actors.

She's Looking Good

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 16

“She’s Looking Good” handles this dichotomy extraordinarily well. At no point does the song feel disjointed, nor do any of its constituent parts seem out of place. Given the history of both the artist and the record label, which worked with local blues and rockabilly artists as well as soul, this shouldn’t be surprising. The musicians who defined soul as a genre were actually working within a pre-existing framework.

In A Uniform Fashion

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 16

With fashion shows like Identities and Eleganza promoting a step up in fashion at Harvard, are more students taking risks with the ways they dress? And what inspires those who do?

"Rock And Roll" Alive, Fall Out Boy Happily Takes Credit

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 16

Subtlety has never been a strong suit of Fall Out Boy’s, but to accuse them of insincerity would be a mistake. An immediate salvo of strings on the opening track of the album removes any doubt as to the depth of Fall Out Boy’s conviction that they are indeed the saviors of rock and roll.

Nair Reveals Challenges of Producing "The Reluctant Fundamentalist”

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 16

“This is the most difficult film I have ever made,” Nair said.

Hollow "Ghost" Fails to Haunt

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 16

Against all reason, Beam and his 11-piece band stay true to this newfound and problematic musical formula of “more is more” throughout the album. Troubling musical experimentation aside, the true disappointment of this album is the flatness of Beam’s lyrics.

Artist Spotlight: Joshua Redman '91

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 16

"What I can say is this: you can't go into jazz wanting to make a solid living or wanting to become well known. Those are just not the reasons that attract people to this music. The people who come to be the most artistically successful and who come to feel the most fulfilled with their work are those with a genuine passion and dedication to this music."

A Passionless "Paramore"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 16

The trick is figuring out how walk a narrow line between indulging your creative urges and staying true to your roots—and your fan base. Every group that has achieved financial success while maintaining a sense of artistic integrity has figured out this formula, and the ones that haven’t, well, haven’t.

Whatever You Do, Don't Check In to Tyga's "Hotel California"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 13

You've probably heard that Tyga is misogynistic. This is true. He is also vacuous, talentless, and devoid of personality. His latest album, "Hotel California," reflects how little he has to rap about, and how bad he is at doing it.

A Reimagined "Streetcar"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 12

With an original musical score and an honest return to Williams’s depiction of the characters instead of what the iconic actors portrayed in the movie, this stage production is different from the film version most audiences are familiar with, director Sayantan Deb ’14 says.

Phenomenal Cast in "Wonderful Town"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 12

Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of “Wonderful Town” is the acting, which transcends the music and lines. From Bob Baker’s (Mark R. Heath ’14) love-struck grin to Leimkuhler’s hilarious bouncing subway ride, each actor’s range of emotions, not only in their faces but in their body movements, drives the story home. At the end of the show, the performers’ honest and passionate portrayals of each character remains the best part of a wonderful “Wonderful Town.”

Swing Meanings

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 9

Jazz musicians love puns. Here’s an example: “Just You, Just Me” was a song from a 1929 film called “Marianne,” which was adopted by musicians as a jazz standard and reinterpreted over the years. In the 1940s, pianist Thelonious Monk composed a song with harmonies adapted directly from “Just You, Just Me” but with a new melody, which he titled “Justice.”

Gossip Girl: The Musical

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 9

If “Smash” wants to be the best version of this particular vision for the show (like, for example, the first season of “Gossip Girl,” its obvious peak), there are a few clear moves it can make.

To Roger Ebert: For Giving Us So Much

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 9

On Thursday morning, my plan was to write this article about Tyga. I wasn’t entirely sure where it would go; the initial impetus had something to do with timing, how the announcement dovetailed with public outcry over the verdict in the Steubenville rape trial. If I had an extra column, I might still have written that. But at 3:41 p.m., something much more pressing came up. On Thursday afternoon, Roger Ebert, a revered film critic and a personal idol, died at the age of 70.

How Does Harvard Respond to Literature Involving Rape?

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 9

Our courses offer well-informed readings of literature with racist undertones, and we have developed thoughtful methods for discussing post-colonialism, anti-Semitism, classism, even sexism—but not, it seems, sexual violence. Rape should be included in the ranks of literary complexities most deserving of attention.

“Evil Dead” A Shallow Tour de Gore

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 9

Fede Alvarez revisits a cult classic and a monumental film in the horror genre with "Evil Dead," a remake of the 1981 "The Evil Dead." Alvarez's film is filled with visually rich terrors that the original cannot match, but "Evil Dead" is nowhere near as novel or important for the genre.

Working in the Wrong Dimension

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 9

Hollywood has recently taken an interest in re-releasing old favorites in 3D, but this is a misstep. 3D has proven itself as a powerful cinematic tool, yet it is often used as little more than a promotional tool. Much of the success of the recent re-releases is due to the audience's nostalgia for the films, not the fact that the films are now in 3D.

Mary Roach on "Gulp"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 9

With topics ranging from the similarity of Cheetos and kibble to feeding babies peanut butter formed to look like feces, Mary Roach's talk hosted by The Harvard Book Store lacked boundaries just as her books do.

"Utopia" Comical, but Musically Limited

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 9

The success of “Utopia, Limited” ultimately rested on the Players’ ability to translate and package the satire of Gilbert and Sullivan’s original work. The Players’ rendition of this satire succeeded through their convincing portrayals of characters while remaining immediately relevant.

Body Image Takes Center Stage

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 9

“Measure Up,” which played in Adams Pool Theatre until April 7, comprised two very different plays on the subject of feminine identity. The first play, “Beautiful Bodies,” written by Laura Cunningham and directed by Rachel J. Stephens ’15, took a much more realistic approach to the subject, retelling the story of six women gathered for a baby shower. This performance, which investigated the thoughts and struggles of women through their conversations, was perfectly contrasted by a surreal second ...

River Charles on the Rise

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 9

The River Charles Ensemble, a relatively new campus orchestra distinguished by its lack of a conductor, proved coordinated and musical in this past Friday's concert. Though the performances weren't perfect, the group proved capable in its ability to self-correct and work together, even without the direction offered by a conductor.

Yardfest, A Shrinking Stage?

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 9

Tyga’s controversial lyrics might go largely unheard if there isn’t a strong showing at this year’s Yardfest. But is it just "Rack City" that could make Yardfest less successful than spring festivals at other universities?

THUD to End Semester with a Bang

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 8

A video of the ensemble performing this piece has been uploaded to YouTube along with recordings of many of their other performances since 2009. This video currently has over 70,000 views.

Young Musicians Bring Classical Greats to Sanders

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 8

The Discovery Ensemble will offer a fresh, new spin on Schoenberg, Beethoven and Schumann. The group is also distinctive in its focus on social action initiatives within the Boston community.

Wynton Marsalis to Share Jam Secrets

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 8

Marsalis has delivered three lectures at Harvard over the last two years as part of the university’s ongoing effort to integrate music and art into campus life.

Pigeons and Silk: Ann Hamilton Discusses Art in Public

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 8

Unlike the institutionalized mediums of painting, sculpture, or, more recently, installation, public art is a less common art form.

Artist Spotlight: Andy J. Boyd '14

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 8

I kept getting these roles and acting in them and thinking, ‘I can do better than this.’

Harvard Alums Help Organize Beijing Screenwriting Contest

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 8

Screenplays must focus on Beijing and, according to the event’s press release, attempt to convey the romance, mystery, and cultural diversity of Beijing.

James Blake Grows Up, Not Over

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 8

“Overgrown,” Blake’s excellent sophomore outing, makes good on every promise of his debut. The album is both more immediate and more sonically lush; it moves away from the minimal dub of its predecessor into more standard pop territory even as it maintains an experimental sensibility.

Singles Roundup

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 8

The new single from Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. takes them into slightly synth-ier territory, but remains properly quirky and oddly sultry. New Kids On The Block begin to show their age with cut-rate and poorly-disguised Auto-Tune. Meanwhile, Chris Brown's new single is lyrically uncomfortable.

Flume Takes Audience by Electrical Storm

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 8

He is 20 years old, with light acne and hair that flops in his face, like many other 20 year-old boys. Except that this isn’t a normal college student we’re talking about. The Aussie-born producer got his start from a music kit in a cereal box at age 13. On Thursday he certainly made his mark at Middlesex Lounge.

Youthful Potential Lost at Sea

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 8

Ultimately, a few promising tracks can’t save “Machineries of Joy” from mediocrity. The album opens weakly with its title track, which under-performs both in lyricism and composition. Unfortunately, the most fitting way to describe the remainder of “Machineries of Joy” is as a cliché of indie rock.

A Lone "WOLF" Rises Above the Pack

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 8

Tyler delves fearlessly into himself with numerous, conflicted alter-egos and spins his deepest worries into grand schemes, creating songs that strike on levels both low and lofty. Tyler uses his characters to create tension and drama that he mines to great effect on songs like “IFHY.”

Caveman Continues to Evolve

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 7

Though their first album, “CoCo Beware,”didn’t generate much buzz for the Brooklyn-based, five-piece rock group, it certainly seems that Caveman’s second, “Caveman,” does more than enough to bring them recognition, combining distant guitar riffs, smooth synths, bright vocals, and solid beats to create a complete sound.

"Pines" Stylish but Confused

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 6

"The Place Beyond the Pines" is Derek Cianfrance's second collaboration with Ryan Gosling, after 2010's "Blue Valentine." "Pines" struggles to hold together the disparate segments of its story, and it is only Cianfrance's strong sense of directorial style that redeems the film.

Main Street Comes to Mainstage

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 5

"Wonderful Town" opens tonight on the Loeb Mainstage. The Leonard Bernstein show is a Golden Age musical like "Bye Bye Birdie" or "Oklahoma!" A 17-piece orchestra and colorful set bring to life the production's tale of a move to the Big Apple.

"Dream" Comes to Life in Lowell Opera

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 5

The group stages Benjamin Britten's opera "A Midsummer Night's Dream" perfectly. Acting, singing, and production design come together in an enchanting and immersive conjuring of Shakespeare's magical forest. The opera commemorates Britten's centennial and the LHO's 75th year.

"Pines" Stylish but Confused

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 5

"The Place Beyond the Pines" is Derek Cianfrance's second collaboration with Ryan Gosling, after 2010's "Blue Valentine." "Pines" struggles to hold together the disparate segments of its story, and it is only Cianfrance's strong sense of directorial style that redeems the film.

"Pines" Reaches Beyond the Script

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 3

Director Derek Cianfrance and his cast, which includes Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, describe the process of filming "The Place Beyond The Pines," focusing on the importance of the setting and the process of forming each character's persona. The film's title refers to the city of Schenectady, where the story is set.

“G.I. Joe” A No-Go

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 3

"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is the sequel to the 2009 film "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra" and picks up where it left off. The film stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and includes the star of the previous film, Channing Tatum. "Retaliation" struggles because it never decides whether it is a comedy or a serious action movie.

"Middle C" is a Tonic of Imagination

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 2

Gass’s sentences in "Middle C" are notes with their own frequencies, counterpoints, tonics and modulations in what may be the philosopher-writer’s last aria.

A TV series that always pays its debts

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 2

In an audience of fans—of both the novels and the program—it would be hard to find a person left unenthused by the next installment of the saga.

Art For Sale

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 2

The arrangements of goods in a store are never random. Are they designed merely to entice customers, or can the design of a store be characterized as an art in itself? Writer Kurt P. Slawitschka investigates.

Music "In Time of War"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 2

This Sunday, LGBT chorus Coro Allegro will perform their concert "...In Time of War," which will focuses on issues surrounding the armed forces. Works include Haydn's "Mass in Time of War" and a musical setting of a soldier's last letter home.

Shifting Identities

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 2

This year, the annually sold-out Identities fashion show will make some changes from past years. The show will now take place in Northwest Labs—certainly an unusual location for fashion—and will host a fashion competition.

"Crescendo" Builds Varied Showcase

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 2

The Harvard Ballet Company has grown immensely since its founding in 1993. Now, in its upcoming "Crescendo," the group will both bring back old pieces and perform completely new choreography.

K-pop and Social Media

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 2

Imagine it’s the morning of your birthday, or the afternoon you’re headed to the airport, or the evening when your new relationship status (#taken) was unveiled. You turn to your cell phone to share this news with your Twitter fam and discover that the top trending topics in the Twitterverse are actually already about you. Sound exciting? Frightening? Bizarre? Welcome to the social media world of K-pop.

In Defense of Being 'Busy': A Response to “The ‘Busy’ Trap”

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 2

I’m going to go on a rant and say a lot of things that I might not totally mean if I thought about it harder. But I feel like I need to say it, especially before I leave Harvard. And maybe I’m biased, but I’ve worked in other countries, so here it is: Americans don’t know how to take a break.

I Keep Asking You Questions

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 2

Black Ivory should have been New York’s answer to Sly and the Family Stone—they certainly were good enough—but due to a combination of poor timing and the limits of a small label they never got the audience they deserved. However, great music is timeless, and even though they weren’t appreciated in their day, Black Ivory found a new audience in a bunch of hip-hop producers with an ear for a great groove.

"That Thing": Light and Funny

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 2

Grace S. Sun’s production successfully translates Tom Hanks's popcorn-munching sensibilities and fun in "That Thing You Do!" All of the songs were played live, and it is through these performances that the dynamics of the group and its respective characters really came alive.

"Acres of Diamonds" Unearths American Drama

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 2

Boyd infuses this family drama with the familiar setup of chasing the American Dream, symbolically setting the opening scene on the Fourth of July. Still, Boyd manages to make the story his own by bringing it into the present day, in the aftermath of the last recession, which gives the theme of lost and broken American dreams added poignancy and realism.

CUPSI Showcase Slams Audience with Emotion

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 1

As evidenced by the avid vocalizations of the audience members and their apparent zeal for the performances, it is apparent that the early years of spoken word at Harvard are already successful ones.

Artist Spotlight: Phillip Golub '16

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 1

"First of all, there’s the general thing of having your music performed, which is an incredible experience. I always describe [hearing my pieces performed] as [though] time goes in two directions—everything slows down and you hear every moment."

Jason Alexander Begins a New Act

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Apr 1

Alexander said he will continue to perform—he is currently touring the country and giving stand-up comedy performances, and he hinted that he will return to Broadway next year. Though Alexander may be defined by George Costanza, his performances on Thursday show that his talents extend far beyond that iconic role.

Words and Dance Combine

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 31

Carr and Holmes both agreed that their collaborative art is a form of storytelling, a way of questioning and remaking identity. The event suggested that the interaction between poetry and dance can create new art form with a more powerful effect than either might have produced alone.

Singles Roundup

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 31

While OneRepublic adapts to changing musical trends with the insertion of a rabid techno mix, Fall Out Boy furthers their agenda to "Save Rock and Roll" with a new uptempo, threatening track. Jim Carrey speaks up and sings on about the ongoing gun debate in the country with a hilarious track.

Black Angels Take the Road More Traveled

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 31

It used to be an accomplishment to make it through an entire Black Angels album in a single sitting. However, “Indigo Meadow” continues the work of its predecessor, “Phosphene Dream,” in stripping away this production in favor of a clear and classic style.

Low Fails to Match Peak on Latest

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 30

There’s something beautiful and useless about “The Invisible Way.” It certainly has the highest production value of any album Low has put out in their 20-year career, but for the most part it simply retreads the same musical concepts as those other albums.

Justin Timberlake's "20/20" An Almost Perfect Vision

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 30

The skin-tight t-shirts and hair gel are long gone, replaced by bow ties and a slickly combed hairstyle. On his latest effort, “The 20/20 Experience,” the music matches the look and attitude. The hooks may not be as catchy as we’re used to, but the album as a whole is a sprawling, ambitious effort.

A Whole "Host" of Problems

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 29

Much like the proverbial crow or magpie, Stephenie Meyer seems to be attracted to shiny things: the glittering vampires of “Twilight,” for example, or the shimmering parasitic aliens from “The Host.” Andrew Niccol’s film adaptation is visually stunning, but with its underdeveloped characters, awkward flashbacks, and voice-overs, it has little else to offer.

At 29 Garden, Microbiology Class Puts Science On Stage

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 29

Microbiology 213: "Social Issues in Biology" delves deeply into the ethical issues that connect biology and medicine to the human experience. Professor Beckwith has taught this class for over 20 years, but this is the first year that the class has produced a theater piece.

Fantasy and Comedy in "Utopia"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 29

"Utopia, Limited" promises the trademark Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire of clipped consonants and pointed diction along with smatterings of barmy British satire. The musical is politically and socially charged, particularly when placed against the backdrop of America’s own capitalist tale.

Boston Ballet Stunning and Surreal

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 28

The male company section was especially spectacular when performing in canon. Each dancer got a brief chance to showcase his powerful sous de chat—a dynamic leap in which the dancers separate their legs in midair—in succession. The duet section was similarly constructed as every couple took turns performing unique duets that all revolved around the shared theme of embrace with a repeated flexed foot phrase.

The Art of an Uprising

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

With the rise of film, photography, and “people’s art,” anyone with a phone can become a protest artist. What led to those changes in medium? And what does this mean for the future of protest?

“SPRING BREAKERS” Forever

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

"Spring Breakers" is a triumph of direction and vision. Director Harmony Korine deserves the credit for this—it is he who took many admittedly kitschy elements and sculpted a film filled with dread and fear, a film that dares you to forget that Gucci Mane tried to change his name to Guwop or that Vanessa Hudgens dated Zac Efron.

"Olympus" Unforgivably Forgettable

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

Without a doubt, "Olympus Has Fallen" is the most forgettable film in quite some time. It has come and it will go and it will have changed nothing. It is not bad art, it simply fails to fulfill the minimum requirements of a piece of art. It is inconsequential, and it is not worth a second thought.

“Ginger & Rosa” Underwhelms

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

“Ginger & Rosa” prevails upon itself to depict the incredible tension of Cold War-era London, but the film struggles due to a weak storyline and poor character development. Fanning’s incredible acting saves what is otherwise a heavy-handed and overly dramatic film.

Revived, "Raisin" Shines in the Sun

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

Throughout the three-hour play, the cast delivers a dynamic performance that traces the characters’ evolution and never flags in its vitality. The skilled cast leaves the audience with a searching portrayal of the cost exacted from those who dare to rise above their circumstances.

Error 37: Must Construct Additional Servers

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

SimCity is in a State of Emergency. Three weeks ago, everything looked to be perfectly in place for Electronic Arts’ first major installment in the series since 2003’s SimCity 4. The marketing was massive and, if the number of pre-sales and digital downloads was any indicator, working.

Enlightened

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

When HBO announced last week that it would not renew “Enlightened” for a third season, television viewers everywhere wondered: What is “Enlightened”? The show had a small fan base, to the say the least, but we true devotees aren’t quite ready to say goodbye.

Play it Like You Mean it

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

If you believe Coltrane meant every rhythm and pitch that he played in a technical sense, then he’d be the undisputed master of the music with regards to control: a supreme technician expressive to the microlevels of rhythm and pitch. This is a pretty scary thought.

Questions of Travel

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

In her poem “Questions of Travel,” Elizabeth Bishop asks, “What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life / in our bodies, we are determined to rush / to see the sun the other way around?” I boarded a plane to South America last Thursday with Bishop’s poem in my canvas bag.

“Lake People” Does Not Escape Convolution

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

The opening was beautiful, promising, and the ending was synthesized wonderfully. But the void that is the middle lacks a reason to even put in the effort of wading through.

Portrait of an Artist: Ewan Foster '15

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

Ewan H. Forster '15 has a rather unusual extracurricular pursuit: he performs Irish dance competitively, and will compete in his fifth World Irish Dancing Championships this Saturday.

This "V-Day," Violence is Challenged

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

On March 14, women and men came together at the Graduate School of Education to present a series of monologues relating to violence against women. This event was only one of many that constitutes part of One Billion Rising's international V-Day initiative, which seeks to help end violence toward women through such events.

"KaylaTV" Animates Escobedo's Thesis

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 27

Last Monday, senior Kayla Escobedo hosted her own solo art show at the Harvard Monday Gallery, a student-run art gallery that she co-founded. The show represents a large part of her senior thesis for VES, and includes GIFs projected onto various surfaces in the gallery.

Harvard Dancers to Showcase Semester's Progress

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 26

According to Johnson, the intention of the performance is for the audience to be struck by key moments that resonate with them in unexpected ways. “Dance isn’t necessarily about understanding one version of what’s presented; there isn’t only one story. You can come to the theater and have it be a break from our hyper-digitized work day and see what it looks like when the body is thinking,” Johnson says. “Dance is about articulating things for which there are no words.”

Light in Place of Darkness in New Exhibit "Tierra de Luz"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 26

“To give support to victims—it is not only to give them a house or write down laws,” Escobar Jaramillo says. “But we also have to think about symbolic acts—metaphor, art, culture, education as means of expressions to get to the heart of the victims, to heal wounds.”

Concert Preview: Hey Marseilles

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 26

The seven-piece band will play Brighton Music Hall on Friday. Singer Matt Bishop talks to The Crimson about the Seattle music scene, learning to write songs collaboratively, and big families.

For the Record: "Our Endless Numbered Days"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 26

Growing up felt like a series of endings that I was never quite ready for. I would leave one school for another, I would leave some friends for others, or I would leave one identity for another. I remember when I finally understood what the phrase “Our Endless Numbered Days” meant.

"The Call" A Confused Mess

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 24

Brad Anderson's "The Call" is a victim of its indecision, failing to succeed potential as either a thriller or a horror film. Despite strong acting from its leads, Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin, the film is held back by poor writing and uneven direction.

"Wonderstone" Falls Far from Incredible

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 24

“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” has a strong enough beginning and ending that almost—but not quite—allow its audience to overlook the flat and hackneyed jokes that pepper the mediocre middle portion of the film.

Yo-Yo Ma Joins Panelists for a Discussion of Cultural Citizenship

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 15

The symposium, a joint presentation by the Mahindra Humanities Center and the Silk Road Project, explored the idea of a culturally based definition of identity and the idea of cultural diffusion through the lenses of current events and music.

Social Artist and Poet Spreads Joy in the Square

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 15

In scanning the sidewalks and horizons for targets to deliver the lines to, the walkers were encouraged to truly pay attention to their presence in a social space. “You created smiles that didn’t exist before,” Cotner told the participants.

Family Quarrels in "Diamonds"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 15

“It’s fourth of July, nighttime,” says Boyd, describing the dramatic climax of his play. “There will be fireworks exploding off in the distance, throwing colors across the set in these big dramatic washes.” The action on stage will be equally volatile. The patriarch, James (Joshua G. Wilson ’13), reveals he wants to sell the family farm, and his wife (Mallory J. Weiss ’15), and daughter (Amy Q. Friedman ’14, a Crimson editor) oppose his decision.

“The Dinner” Gloriously Gluts for Punishment

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Yes, we know our Tolstoy, but Herman Koch applies this maxim to his own novel a delightfully acerbic way.

"The Teleportation Accident"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

The intelligence of “The Teleportation Accident,” for all its glad existential moments of felicitous insight, still seems more a species of precocity than of wisdom.

With Back Bay Chorale, "Anything Can Happen"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

This Sunday, the Back Bay Chorale will be giving a whirlwind performance that includes the works of Mozart, Seamus Heaney, and rising composer Mohammed Fairouz. They will be performing Mozart's Requiem in D with Fairouz's "Anything Can Happen," a choral work inspired by Heaney's poetry.

The Science of "Spinal Tap"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

As part of their "Science on Screen" series, this Monday the Coolidge Corner Theatre will be screening the classic mockumentary "This is Spinal Tap" with an accompanying talk by medical school professor Christopher A. Shera on the science of audition.

Portrait of an Artist: Federico Cortese

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

HRO conductor Federico Cortese was not always a musician: he in fact holds a law degree from La Sapienza University in Rome. But now he has found his calling as both conductor of the HRO and instructor of a Harvard course in conducting, where he hopes to inspire future students in music.

A "Sojourn" in Musical Tradition

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

This Saturday, a St. Patrick's Day tradition comes to Sanders Theatre. WGBH's Brian O'Donovan will present the annual "St. Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn," a performance and celebration of Celtic music by musicians from diverse national backgrounds and levels of experience in the genre.

The Shape of the Script

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

Harvard’s diverse student productions depend on a small but devoted team of set designers, whose task is to create a captivating world on stage.

Big Bird

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

One of the hardest things for any artist to do is to mesh two different styles without compromising the integrity of either one. “Big Bird” is an example of precisely how this should be done. It is full of rock elements, but never once sounds like anything but a soul song. It captures both rock’s hard edge and soul’s lushness.

Dashes, Commas, and Colons—Oh My!

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

Periods, commas, and colons are the fine-edged tools writers need to contour the voice they want the world to hear. When we treat writing not only as a structure of pages, paragraphs, sentences, and words, but also as a patchwork of punctuation marks, reality can celebrate for having another level of gradation revealed through language.

Love and the Absence of Colour

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

I loved you the first time we spoke. It was at your party during that black night in your gray apartment on your white couch in my black-and-white dress when I wanted nothing more than to lie in your white room on your white bed and stare at the white ceiling and make gray clouds and think black thoughts with you.

The Breaking Point

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

The U.S. has witnessed its share of fans-gone-obsessive, including occasional celebrity stalking cases. However, in the U.S., even the most devoted fans don’t physically interfere with artists’ lives (except for the occasional crazy fan who might make a tabloid headline for trying to steal Britney Spears’ wig). In contrast, there is an entire breed of K-pop fans who have taken fandom to an alarming level.

Two Thumbs "Down"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

Despite its moderately intriguing and suspenseful setup, “Dead” struggles with cheesy plot twists and ludicrous dialogue. The action sequences and the screenplay of the film are both lackluster, and the unfortunate combination of the two weighs down the movie, making “Dead” an extremely unpleasant viewing experience.

Mixed-Up Twins Translated Again

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

With comic timing, the quick-fire pace and sure blocking allowed the production to flow freely and transcend its now-clichéd plot. While not a twin, the update of the original work recreated the levity of a hilarious misunderstanding while preserving enough of the text to seem merely referential rather than plagiaristic. If only Shakespeare could say the same.

Finding Lost Memory in Eurydice

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

Bersin’s production of “Eurydice” gives viewers a tender and multi-faceted portrait of love and loss, and though Ruhl’s script focuses on the pain of losing one’s memories, the cast delivers a performance not to be forgotten.

HRO Performs Challenging Program With Solid Results

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

The gap in musicianship and technical skill between the strings and the rest of the orchestra persisted throughout the symphony. The strings were mostly excellent throughout, even providing some jaw-dropping moments such as the wonderfully formed interplay between the violins and cellos during the third movement.

Singles Roundup

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

New tracks from Jay Sean, Tate Stevens, and Surfer Blood. Surfer Blood's new single, "Demon Dance" is wildly successful, referencing hellhounds and Pentecostalism. Tate Stevens and Jay Sean, however, have given us tracks that are less than impressive.

Bowie Makes A Stunning, Unheroic Return

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 12

In his newest album, Bowie stays close to his artistic roots but does not simply imitate his past work, providing an engaging album that can stand both on its own and proudly alongside his previous albums. There is some faint hope that “The Next Day” will be not a conclusion but, rather the beginning of a new era.

Relevance of Art Debated at Kennedy School

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 11

Panelists from Harvard graduate schools met for a panel entitled "Are Arts Relevant in a 21st Century World?" The panelists discussed ways to popularize the arts and to make art an effective tool for social change.

"Oz" Both Great and Powerful

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 9

A 200-million-dollar major motion picture cannot be labeled camp (if this is camp, it is the air-conditioned-cabins, day-trips-to-Six-Flags variety)—a better descriptor for “Oz the Great and Powerful” may be ebulliently self-aware. The dialogue is stilted, the characters are caricatures, but everyone is in on the joke.

Blanco Explores Poetry, Identity

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 9

Richard Blanco is the youngest inaugural poet ever, as well as the only one to be an immigrant or openly gay. In his lecture and discussion at Winthrop House on Wednesday, Blanco explored how these various identities have informed his poetry, and how they have evolved in the wake of the inauguration.

A New Universe for "Eurydice"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 8

“It takes something that everyone is familiar with and puts a twist on it. It’s not what you expect,” Bersin says. “It’s kind of an American take on this in a big way…. There’s something very ‘at home’ about this version.”

For the Record: "XO"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 6

Arts writer Se-Ho B. Kim revisits Elliot Smith's emotionally resonant album, "XO." "Although “XO” is an album that taught me the art of breaking up, it ultimately helped me put myself back together. At the very least, it helped me come to terms with the part of me that wanted things to fall apart and for me to forget."

Singles Roundup

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 6

New from Rick Ross, One Direction, and Eric Clapton. Clapton's new single, "Gotta Get Over," appeals to old fans with its jazzed-up, Fender-filled finale in the original Claptonian fashion. Rick Ross and One Direction both disappoint. Ross' track is marred by a lazy rhyme scheme, while One Direction's homage to Blondie falters.

Powers Stumbles Trying to Break Out of the Bughouse

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 6

Youth Lagoon's sophomore album is compromised by over-experimentation. Wondrous Bughouse more readily embraces dissonance and distortion, which make it an album that is not always beholden to the conventions of synth-pop. However, the album does stumble on its more pointed deviations.

Park's "Stoker" An Icy Affair

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 5

Park Chan-wook’s English-language debut filled with sights but little fright. With its funereal calm and measured pacing, “Stoker” initially seems a million miles away from the kinetic heat of “Oldboy.” Dig deeper, though, and this exercise in style is a pleasing evolution of Park’s visual palette.

"Benediction"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 5

"Benediction" triumphs as a technically masterful exercise of sparse prose. However, when undertaking the topics of death and family, Haruf doesn't achieve such success in beliveability.

"Metamorphosis": Kafka's Classic Takes the Stage Sideways

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 5

"Metamorphosis" opened as the Samsa family’s morning bustle was interrupted by the flash of a beetle silhouette, hinting at the change that had taken place. With a creative take on portraying Gregor’s transformation and a set that channeled the creepiness of the Kafka’s original story, the production at Paramount Center Mainstage had a powerful aesthetic design.

Shakespeare's Dysfunctional Families

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 5

The decadence of the pool that once was, before its conversion to a small, intimate theater—and the tales of coed skinny-dipping and a few fabled orgies—is a stiff act to follow. Nevertheless, the dauntless Hyperion Shakespeare Company was the latest to take on such an endeavor and the verdict? Not bad. The Hyperion performed ten scenes, mostly well-known, from seven of Shakespeare’s plays, with all of the scenes based on the theme “Family Feud.”

Musical Gluttony And How To Suppress It

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 5

I was a junior in high school when it started. Every Saturday morning, I would leave my house in suburban New Jersey and take a train into Manhattan, transfer to the subway, and make my way over to the Manhattan School of Music on the Upper West Side. It was there that I became a musical glutton.

TV In The Age Of Netflix

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 5

The February debut of Netflix series “House of Cards” has critics in a frenzy—but not over anything that actually happens on the show. The topic of discussion is instead its method of distribution. The company released all 13 of the series’ episodes on the same day, making it in some ways resemble a long movie more than a traditional television show..

Tweets Of The Southern Wild

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 5

With the ever-tactless Seth MacFarlane for a host, there was never any doubt that this year’s Academy Awards broadcast would ruffle a fair amount of feathers. For all of its other failings, the ceremony certainly delivered spectacularly on that front; it took a scant few minutes for the “Family Guy” creator to offend just about the entire audience in an opening number cleverly titled “I Saw Your Boobs.”

Portrait of an Artist: Xanthe Gresham

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 5

Xanthe Gresham, a storyteller from the U.K. who has travelled the world spinning tales of goddesses and ancient myths, will be holding a storytelling workshop tomorrow (March 6) at Arts @ 29 Garden. She will also be performing selections from Persian Epic "The Shahnama" today (March 5) at the Sackler Museum.

A Bauhaus Return to the Carpenter Center

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 5

Visual and environment studies faculty members Katarina Burin and Amie Siegel chanced upon a collection of old slides of the home of Walter Gropius, a Bauhaus architect who resided in Lincoln, MA. The slides were recently presented to an audience at the Carpenter Center as a timely return of Bauhaus to the building.

The Beauty of the Act

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 5

Director Leos Carax appeared at the Carpenter Center for the Harvard Film Archive's retrospective “Overdrive,” which took place during the last two weekends of February. Carax is notoriously averse to public appearances and speaking with press about his work, so it was a rare privilege to hear the director speak in depth about his work.

Poetry Reading at Houghton to Focus on Ecology

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 4

The nearly 600-page collection features formally innovative work in the tradition of the pastoral, an ancient form of lyric poetry celebrating shepherds and rural life. At the same time, these poems address ideas from an ecology perspective.

BPYO Resurrects Mahler

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 4

A Mahler enthusiast, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Benjamin Zander has not conducted one of his favorite works—Mahler’s Symphony No. 2— in 40 years. On Sunday at Symphony Hall, he will rediscover the piece with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

Harvard Ballroom Dance Team Show its Colors

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 4

Ballroom dance is known for for its flashiness, but on Friday, more than just the ballroom dancers’ outfits will be in bright colors. The Harvard Ballroom Dance Team, a competitive ballroom dance team, will perform their annual showcase—this year entitled “Colorful”—in Lowell Lecture Hall.

"Schroder" vs. "Lolita"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 4

With more allusions to Nabokov, Gaige's prose would become needlessly stilted; with fewer, it would sound ungrateful.

What Happened to Harvard Square's Music Scene?

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 4

Decades after the folk revival that helped make the Square a musical hub, new musical venues are opening and old ones continue to succeed. But what has changed over the years, and what’s to come?

Pitchfork President Kaskie Talks About How He Decided to “Zag”

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 3

"We’re definitely in the position where we want to innovate online publishing, whereas before we were a website." Chris Kaskie spoke about listening algorithms, Pitchfork's music festival, and why he still buys vinyl.

Poetry Reading Plays Beyond Words

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 1

The more the words were repeated and sustained, the faster their meaning slipped away.

"Giant Slayer" a Modest Success

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 1

"Jack the Giant Slayer" is a predictable yet satisfying film. The writing remains very faithful to the source material—elements from both the classic “Jack and the Beanstalk” tale and lesser-known Cornish story “Jack the Giant Killer” are deftly integrated without the spirit of either being compromised.

Shakespearean Scenes: Family Feud

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Mar 1

Scene Recital by the Hyperion Shakespeare Company

Reader Redux: Read “Persuasion” on Your Deathbed

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

So here is my logical proposition: wait until you are weeks from the end of your life, when you are wrinkled and your bones are more brittle than the pages of “Persuasion.”

Behind the Pages

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

The centuries-old art of bookbinding has kept the volumes of Widener library in good health for years. But what else can the restorative craft do in the age of the e-book?

MFA Exhibit Forges Connections to Past through Porcelain

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

This is an exhibition that speaks very particularly to that that productive tension between the past and the present

Singles Roundup

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

A review of three new singles from CocoRosie, James Blake, and the Uncluded.

Iceage Thaws Paralyzed Punk Rock Genre

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

"You're Nothing" breathes new, furious life into the punk scene.

Robert

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

A potbellied, life-weathered man yelled things we couldn’t understand from his seat on the sand a short distance away. His beat-up leather skin had been worn by the beach like driftwood in the sun.

Soul Fever

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

By the sound of it, if Queenie caught her man cheating, he’d be lucky if he got a three-second head start.

Old-School K-pop

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

Just as American blues evolved into modern day mainstream pop, rock, and hip-hop music, “pansori”—or Korean opera sung along to a drum—was the cornerstone for what developed into K-pop.

Portrait of an Artist: Jon Morris

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

“Performer with Cirque Du Soleil” is a rare credit to see on most resumes, but for Jon L. Morris, it ...

Laube Inaugurates Mem Church Organs

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

Acclaimed Organist Nathan Laube comes to Harvard March 5 to give a concert on Memorial Church's two new instruments.

Zigen Again Hosts Charitable Concert

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

The Zigen Fund, a nonprofit that supports the educational and social development of women and children in impoverished areas of China, will be putting on a concert to celebrate the Lunar New Year on March 3 at Sanders Theater.

SFJAZZ Conquers Corea

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

The SFJAZZ Collective will be performing the music of jazz legend Chick Corea at the Berklee Performance Center on March 8.

Beyoncé Inspires in "Life Is But a Dream"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

Through a medley of professional footage of her onstage performances, behind-the-scenes moments, home movies, and private videos taken by Beyoncé on her laptop, “Life Is But a Dream” captures how personal the artistic experience of music is to Beyoncé and exposes the complications of fame.

Voice Actors' Guild Teaches the Powers of Speech

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

Stop by one of the general meetings of the Harvard College Voice Actors’ Guild and you’re sure to be bombarded by myriad accents from across the world.

"punkplay" Rocks out in Adolescent Woe

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 26

Sensitive and insightful, "punkplay" details a misfit's quest for individualism.

And the Oscar Should Go To...

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 24

Crimson arts editors select the year's best in film before tonight's Academy Awards.

"Zero Dark Thirty"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 24

Crimson arts editor Christine A. Hurd picks the year's best film.

Joaquin Phoenix

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 24

Crimson arts editor Petey E. Menz explains his choice for the Best Actor award.

Robert De Niro

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 24

Crimson arts editor Austin Siegemund-Broka explains his choice for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award.

Mark Boal, "Zero Dark Thirty"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 24

Crimson arts editor Ola Topczewska explains her choice for the Best Original Screenplay award.

Tony Kushner, "Lincoln"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 24

Crimson arts editor Ola Topczewska chooses who should win the Best Adapted Screenplay award.

Jacki Weaver

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 24

Crimson arts editor Tree A. Palmedo explains who should win the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Jennifer Lawrence

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 24

Crimson arts editor Caleb J.T. Thompson picks who should win the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Ang Lee

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 24

Crimson arts editor Will Holub-Moorman explains who should win the Academy Award for Best Director.

“Admission” Stars Apply Themselves

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 21

At a press conference in New York City, the director and stars of "Admission" answered questions about the filming and motivation of the upcoming movie.

Breaking the Barriers

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

Despite the perceived divide between the arts and sciences, innovators at Harvard find success in fusing the two together.

Portrait of an Artist: Michelle Erickson

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

Ceramic artist Michelle Erickson sits down with the Crimson to talk about her diverse work and unusual techniques.

In Its 75th Year, LHO Evolves

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

The Lowell House Opera, the only opera company in New England that has been continuously operating for the past 75 years, works to revamp itself as it celebrates this important anniversary.

A Brutal Celebration

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

A new exhibit entitled "Brute" aims to reexamine and reactivate the Carpenter Center, architect Le Corbusier's only North American building.

Reader Redux: "True Notebooks"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

Standing in contrast to “white savior” narratives comes a tale of hope made poignant by its commitment to grit.

"Vampires in the Lemon Grove"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

Karen Russell's newest collection of short stories have fascinating premises, but ultimately suffer from lack of character development and some heavy-handed language.

A Brief History of Trolling in the Arts and Elsewhere

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

Harassment is bad, and trolling can be bad, but it needn’t be. At this point, sometimes I even enjoy getting trolled just a little bit, but as with drinking and as with art-making, we have to be responsible about it. Troll responsibly.

In Praise of Criticism

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

Then there’s “Les Misérables.” The controversy there can be boiled down to one word: really?

Giant Beetles, Gunmen, and Frankenstorms

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

Was this reality? I could almost feel Kafka’s Coliseum rising up around Aurora as though summoned from the author’s literary depths. I began to grasp that in our historical moment, a shooter can costume himself as a superhero villain and blast Batman fans with ammunition.

The Body Politics of HBO's Girls

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

Amid controversy over how the unconventionally attractive Hannah could possibly snag such a nice-looking man, I’d like to say the following: Thank you, Lena Dunham.

"The Last Will": A Bard's Final Word

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

Dark, self-aware, and ultimately sanguine, “The Last Will” presents a more complicated portrait of the man behind the name.

'Lunar Labyrinth' Amazes

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

If caressing the audience is a vital part of a production, an ideal space to put up the play is ...

"pool (no water)" Ambitiously Treads in Abstraction

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

Some groups of friends live together, breathe together, and succeed together. But what happens when only one succeeds?

Singles Roundup

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

Hot new singles from Kenny Chesney, Justin Timberlake, and 50 Cent

Genuinely Strange

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 20

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds break new ground on "Push The Sky Away."

"Identity Thief" Lacks Chemistry and Common Sense

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 19

"Identity Thief" is a film of questionable quality and equally questionable content, as unfunny tropes are used to deliver dubious messages.

BCSM Concert

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 19

Boston Chamber Music Society concert to span musical eras

Gungroo 2013

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 19

24th annual Ghungroo to be largest yet

JACK String Quartet

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 18

New musical compositions to be performed at Paine Hall.

Africa Remix Showcases Music

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 18

As snow began to fall last Friday, Harvard graduate students, humanities professors, and music experts gathered at the Barker Center ...

Mumford & Sons Headline Crowd Pleasing Concert

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 15

Feel-good show relies on folksy charm

Singles Roundup

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 15

Hot new singles from Lil Wayne, Lonely Island, and The Strokes

Frightened Rabbit Find Their Courage

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 15

"Pedestrian Verse" creates strength from melancholy

Neither Wonderful, Nor Glorious

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 15

Eels’ new album unimpressive in the shadow of their oeuvre

ART Offers a Surreal Take on Williams

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 15

The main stage at the American Repertory Theater was off balance when lights came up on “The Glass Menagerie.” The ...

"punkplay" Looks at Teenage Angst

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 15

February 22-24, February 28-March 2

'Yes or No?' Engages with Audience

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 15

Opening in Agassiz Theatre tonight, “Yes or No?” promises to be a provocative performance. Sponsored by the Office of Sexual ...

A Two-Minute Speech on Time

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 12

I’ve never had a big, empty stage all to myself before. It’s a big, vacant stage, really; it looks empty, but it is only artificially so. Underneath the fresh coat of paint it holds all the old dirt and holes, scratches and marks and gestures and breaths from people past. History.

B-List Star to Worldwide Phenomenon

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 12

On a sweltering August evening in 2012, a plump, 34-year-old hip-hop artist, father of twins, college dropout, and self-proclaimed “B-list star” dropped his sixth album. Within hours, he became the world’s most sought-after musician. Twelve years into his career, Psy (Park Jae-sang) witnessed his fame skyrocket overnight. A few short months later, the music video for his song “Gangnam Style” hit a record-breaking one billion views, becoming the most watched video in YouTube history.

This Love Starved Heart of Mine

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 12

Sometimes I feel like writing for the Arts Board is a bit like being a defense attorney. Granted, there are some things on which we all agree (shout out to Kendrick Lamar and Pokemon Blue), but a large part of my artistic taste has to be defended.

Packing the House

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 12

With rising ticket prices and online streaming options contributing to declining audiences, the survival of independent movie houses may seem unlikely. Yet Cambridge’s independent theaters, drawing on a number of strategies, continue to thrive.

BPO Returns to Fateful Symphony

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 12

Conductor Benjamin Zander will once again lead BPO in performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 6.

Harvard Goes "Black in the Day"

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 12

The Kuumba Singers celebrate Black History Month with performance and tribute.

Sweet Honey a Rare Treat

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 12

All-female a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock will be performing at Harvard this coming Thursday and Friday as part of the Women's Choral Festival.

DHO's 'Cinderella' Updates a Classic

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 12

The plot of Jules Massenet’s opera “Cinderella” is essentially the same as that of the Disney movie everyone grew up ...

Hibernation Pays Off for My Bloody Valentine

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 10

Long awaited album is a valentine to loving fans

"The Lone Bellow" is a Refreshing, if not Revelatory, Mashup of Southern Style

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 9

Suspender-snappers' new album is a mashup of Southern style

HCSSA Bridges Cultural Barriers

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 7

In its annual Chinese New Year Gala, the Harvard Chinese Students and Scholars Association brought in acts from across different cultures for a unifying celebration of the holiday.

'pool (no water)' Opens in Adams Pool Theatre

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 7

February 14-16, 8:00 p.m.

Preview: Dunster House Opera's 'Cinderella'

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 7

February 9, February 14-16, 8:30p.m.

Positive, Potent 'Side Effects'

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 7

"Side Effects" serves as an engaging and tight reminder of Steven Soderbergh's directorial skills even as he prepares for a break from filmmaking. While the film does not feel like a triumphant finale from the influential director, it is still a fine final note.

Sisterly Bond Holds Strong in 'You For Me For You'

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 6

In their homeland of North Korea, two sisters struggle to make the difficult decision between remaining faithful to their country ...

JAMS Provide Chance to Explore Arts

Harvard Crimson - Arts - Feb 5

The Harvard JAMS (January Arts and Media Seminars) gave members of the Harvard and Cambridge communities the opportunity to explore the arts during Wintersession.