TV critic David Bianculli isn't sure how best to describe PBS's show Alive from Off Center, which features music, dance, and performance art--but little dialog. He recommends an upcoming episode about composer Meredith Monk called Ellis Island.
Festival planner Marilyn Wood. Using dance, film, sound and light, Wood designs celebrations of the urban environment. She organized celebrations and festivals like the first Riverfront Celebration in Columbus, Ohio, The Hong Kong Arts festival, and the opening of the Tehran Museum of Art. Wood used to be a dancer with the Merce Cunningham dance company. (Interview by Faith Middleton)
Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerry Casale were still in art school when they founded their band DEVO, which is equally inspired by high and low culture. They join Fresh Air to talk about their music's role in the current corporate-sponsored rock culture.
Critic-at-large Laurie Stone recently saw performance artist Michael Moschen's newest act, Moschen in Motion, which features expert and sometimes improvisatory juggling, as well as homages to abstract expressionist painters. Stone says she was awed by the end.
Artist Chris Burden. He gained fame as a conceptual artist in 1971 when he had a friend shoot him in the arm as part of a performance piece at a Santa Ana gallery. Burden's concern with realism (one critic calls it his greatest strength and greatest weakness) is reflected in a touring retrospective of his works, which include sculpture, and also artifacts of his conceptual pieces.
Rock critic Ken Tucker review the new albums from Janet Jackson and Laurie Anderson. Ken says the two performers are seemingly miles apart...Jackson's the sister of Michael Jackson and her albums are huge urban contemporary hits, and Anderson's a product of the New York performance scene...but there is common ground. Both albums (Jackson's is called "Rhythm Nation 1814" and Anderson's is titled "Strange Angels") have unifying themes and draw heavily on the latest technology.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a recent album by singer Shelly Hirsch and keyboardist David Weinstein. Their music draws from a diverse array of styles and traditions. Kevin says Hirsch is one of the most amazing singers in any genre.