Month: November 2017

Research for all

As a member of the Advisory Board of the research libraries of the New York Public Library, I got an early view of the new plans to renovate the Schwarzman building at 42nd Street. This renovation follows years of debate about the fate of the building, particularly a plan that gutted the research purpose of the building and turned it over to circulating collections. The outcry was vociferous enough that it caused a complete reversal—a re-dedication to research as the primary function of that building. Still, figuring out how “research” works in the age of Google in a building that is also a primary tourist destination and is devoted to remaining accessible to all requires some fine-tuned thinking. I think this plan is a good step forward in meeting those goals. (Summary of renovation in this WSJ article, including a quote from me.)

Don’t Stop and Criticize–Go

Dances at a Gathering (1969) is one of Jerome Robbins’ most acclaimed ballets. Danced to Chopin, it is a meditation on relationships and what is revealed when people move together, alongside one another, in companionship. Robbins is rarely sweet—and that’s a word that may be too close to saccharine for it to have a less tainted meaning—but there is an innocence in this ballet that feels unweighted by drama. And drama is something that Robbins is well-known for, both in creating tension and meaning in dance, and in the process of choreography. Read more…