With a revival of the musical looming (opens in previews on December 11 on Broadway) and the film (December 2020), I was asked to reflect on why West Side Story still resonates for NPR’s Studio 360’s New York Icons series.
I chaired a panel at the Society for U.S. Intellectual History conference this past weekend that considered the state of Greenwich Village in the 1950s-60s. Artists such as Judith Malina of the Living Theater insisted that the Village at that time was “the center of the universe!,” while others thought the increase in residential and commercial rent values, the expansion of New York University, and the influx of tourists to the Washington Square area were indications of imminent death. The East Village and SoHo began to claim the mantle of edginess and bohemianism in the 1960s, suggesting that sites of experimentation had moved east and south.Read more…
Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani has written a fascinating book about the long, dispiriting, and complicated history of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) on the Lower East Side of New York. She uses art and pedagogy as intervention and gives me hope that another future for the city is possible. Our conversation here.
More essays on New School Histories at Public Seminar! One of my favorites is from my co-conspirator Mark Larrimore who penned an inspired investigation of Parsons centenary (in 1996) to see the New School’s centenary more clearly. And my latest on the tie of the school to the city: “New York is the place.”
So says the New York Times about the Robbins exhibition (full review here)! There was also an article in The Times of Israel; a clip on WABC-7 with Sandy Kenyon (also appearing in 6000 cabs!); another on CUNY-TV’s Arts in the City; an Instagram story with New York City Ballet’s Adrian Danchig-Waring; and a poignant account of remembering a beloved dance instructor–and former dancer in West Side Story–through the exhibition.