An American icon: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater revisits Boston
Alvin Ailey's winning formula is combining the well-worn with the new, and the illustrious company again delivered to a receptive Boston audience.
Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition comes to life
What Makes It Great? with Rob Kapilow and NEC Philharmonia — Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition Presented by Celebrity Series of Boston NEC Jordan Hall Dec. 2, 2016
Vertigo Dance Company bestows Boston with its brilliance for the first time
The dancers were often full of life, bounding around the stage, rolling and leaping in synchrony. Other times, some dancers became inanimate. When they did, they became mere puppets — puppets "of the universe, of life and the audience," as Noa said.
An American in Paris dazzles Boston
An American in Paris nearly had me in tears. Not just once, or twice, or three times — I was continually overwhelmed with a range of ineffably blissful emotions. I'd be taking in the iconic music, the flawless dancing, the set, the acting, the story… and I'd be overcome with such an appreciation for being alive, in that theatre, sitting in that seat, experiencing such a beautiful performance.
In Sanctuary Theatre, a religious setting for an intimate ballet
In the second act, to Beethoven's Cello Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, dancer Spencer Doru Keith stood out as the most talented and athletic. He bounded airily across the stage, and his leaps attained impressive height and ended in light, graceful landings.
A centennial tribute to four jazz greats
Jazz is defined by its malleability. Every arranger brings his own style to well-worn standards, and Danilo Pérez is no different. The Panamanian pianist brought a distinctively Latin style to some respected standards from four jazz greats: Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Mongo Santamaria, and Ella Fitzgerald. He's collected a set of world-class musicians to realize his artistic goals, spawning Jazz 100, a celebration of the centennial birthdays of the four legends.
Out of China, a monumental addition to the sci-fi genre: Death’s End
In terms of sci-fi fare, Liu delivers his usual well-crafted showcase of ideas. What makes Liu’s fiction unique is that the science fiction interest doesn’t simply emerge from the introduction of a new technology, but from key shifts in realizations about the universe.
A rare gem: Dvořák’s only grand opera Dimitrij performed in concert
Telling a sweeping tale of the struggle for the throne in tsarist Russia, Dimitrij clocks in at nearly four hours across four acts. This rare opera, chosen and conducted by artistic director Gil Rose of Odyssey Opera, is epic, luscious, and riveting to the last note. It truly lives up to its genre.
Hit ’80s sitcom resurfaces in live stage adaptation
Set in a Boston bar, the sitcom Cheers dominated TV in the ’80s as the place to go where “everybody knows your name.” It’s back in a stage adaptation from Citi Performing Arts Center, debuting in Boston before embarking on a nationwide tour.
The Light Between Oceans is a journey of romance with many crossroads
In Derek Cianfrance's romance drama, The Light Between Oceans, Janus is an isolated island lighthouse overlooking two oceans and the setting for an intriguing story of love and loss, a journey worthy of the lighthouse's namesake.
As genuine as it is funny, Florence Foster Jenkins hits the right notes
Meryl Streep wins hearts in director Stephen Frear's latest film about a singing socialite.
Neon doesn't disguise the shabby spectacle of Suicide Squad
There's no joy in Suicide Squad. There's only the loss of hope and a feeling of emptiness, regret, and filth like the one that follows a greasy Chinese buffet. You were drawn inside by the bright neon signs to feed, but the meal leaves you wondering whether you have any sense of self-respect.
Star Trek Beyond falls short of warp speed
In attempting to portray the Federation and Starfleet as anything less than a galactic utopia, Star Trek Beyond falls short. Director Justin Lin is clearly comfortable with breaking out of Trekkies' comfort zones (he destroys the Enterprise in the first act!), but he doesn't do enough to convince us that the Federation is actually vulnerable.
A potpourri of performances in Boston Ballet’s Mirrors
The pas de deux has an impressively broad range of moves. The spins and lifts are mostly unique, and the variety easily keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Misa Kuranaga takes flight in spring premiere of Swan Lake
Kuranaga is wonderful at capturing the frail, tormented, hauntingly beautiful White Swan in the second act, yet is able to quickly switch to the energetic, coquettish Black Swan for Act III.
The NYC record industry comes to life in ’70s rock drama Vinyl
He’s a record man. Snorting coke in his car, his personal life on the verge of collapse, wanted for questioning for murder, trying to escape. Escape everything.
Mack Avenue Superband: jazz legends, educators
The Mack Avenue Superband, an energetic and star-studded six-piece jazz ensemble, performed at the Berklee Performance Center last Thursday.
MIT’s design wins SpaceX challenge
A team of 25 MIT students took the Best Overall Design award in the first stage of SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod competition this weekend. Their design for a pod that will shuttle between San Francisco and LA at prodigious speeds beat those of over 120 teams at the competition’s Design Weekend, held at Texas A&M University.
Pro football and a math PhD: Juggling two worlds
MIT students tend to have a lot on their plates — they might be juggling a varsity sport, a few clubs, and an academic workload. But John Urschel has reached a different height — after finishing his second season in the NFL this month, he’s now working on a PhD in mathematics at MIT.
Course 6 employs survey to measure student workloads
Part of a larger institutional response to student feedback, MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has been collecting data on its students’ workloads since last spring. And the results are starting to take effect behind the scenes.
Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker: A sure sign of the holidays
Every holiday season, the Boston Ballet adorns its atrium with Christmas trees and festive laurels in preparation for its annual performance of The Nutcracker.
An evening of strings with Pinchas Zukerman
The Boston Symphony Orchestra continued its wide-ranging selection of fall programs with a collection of works by Tchaikovsky, Elgar, and Schubert, featuring guest conductor-violinist Pinchas Zukerman last weekend.
Framed in conversation: Bridge of Spies
The Glienicke Bridge, today a mundane cantilever thoroughfare, was once a gateway between East and West Berlin, between two ideologies opposed for decades on the brink of war. Yet, instead of the Glienicke’s becoming a Cold War battleground, it was a symbol of freedom and diplomacy. At its midpoint, high above the Havel River, dozens of captured agents crossed over to their countrymen on the other side between 1962 and 1986. Its four prisoner exchanges between the Soviets and the West across two decades, seminal moments in Cold War history, gave rise to the Glienicke’s enduring alias — the Bridge of Spies.
The Tech talks to Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg is a man with great respect for history. Early in his four-decade career, his films were archetypes of Hollywood blockbusters — the modern adventure and sci-fi genres were built upon Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, among his other works. He then sojourned into new territory, broaching humanistic themes in critically acclaimed historical dramas. His WWII-era portrayals of the struggles of two remarkable men in Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan showed that he had the skill and tenacity to recreate pivotal events in history through cinema.
3 of New House’s 6 houses will remain closed next semester
Up to 140 MIT students will be given the option of moving into the Cambridge Hyatt Regency hotel for the fall semester, following a sprinkler pipe burst in New House.
Dorm demolition to take 2 months
Demolition of condemned undergraduate dorm Bexley began on June 29; a temporary park is set to be built in its place by October.
REVIEWER’S NOTEBOOK: Terminator Genisys is mankind’s worst migraine
I’d promised Sonya I’d get her into a press screening. I’d also promised her she could choose which one...
Jurassic World rips its way to the record charts
Playing off childhood nostalgia and obscene levels of hype, Jurassic World was poised to make a record-shattering opening weekend. And it did, beating Marvel’s Avengers for the highest-grossing opening of all time.
Edge of Vision engages the senses with three diverse dances
Boston Ballet’s Edge of Vision, a three-part performance featuring original choreography and eclectic music, grips its audience with stunning sensory detail.
Defense plays down prosecutors' image of 'unrepenting' Tsarnaev flashing middle finger
Jurors saw a new face of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the opening statements of the marathon bombing trial’s penalty phase on Tuesday, when the government showed a photo of Tsarnaev flashing his middle finger at a holding cell camera shortly after his arrest two years ago.
Tsarnaev found guilty of bombing marathon, killing MIT officer
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on Wednesday of all 30 counts he was charged with in the Boston Marathon bombings, including the killing of MIT police officer Sean Collier. The verdict was unanimously reached by the jury after 11 hours of deliberations over two days.
Closing arguments expected Monday in guilt phase of Tsarnaev trial
After calling just four witnesses, the defense in the Boston Marathon bombing trial rested its case on Tuesday, clearing the way for closing arguments to be held next Monday, April 6. Closing statements will be followed by the second phase of the trial — the penalty phase — if defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is convicted.
Government rests its case in Boston Marathon bombing trial
The prosecution called its final witnesses to describe the bombing victims' injuries in graphic detail, which left several jurors in tears.
Yo-Yo Ma’s modern-day Silk Road
World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma has done more than create music with his Silk Road Ensemble — he’s united the world with an innovative approach to cross-cultural exchange. His eclectic group, which performed at Symphony Hall as part of the Celebrity Series of Boston last Wednesday, consistently breaks down the borders of music. Featuring instruments, composers, and musicians from every corner of the globe, the Silk Road Ensemble performed six original pieces — at times scattered, but thoroughly vibrant and entertaining.
SSAC 2015 unites Stats with Sports
The Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, held on Feb. 27 and 28, is the mecca for sports fans — dozens of teams from almost every major league, and hundreds of sports industry organizations were represented.
True love and tragedy in Boston Ballet’s Lady of the Camellias
Choreographed by Val Caniparoli, Lady of the Camellias by Boston Ballet is an emotion-filled display of the talent that makes the company so special.
Boston Marathon bombing trial scheduled to begin next week
Opening statements are expected to commence next Wednesday in the trial of the accused Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, according to a court official. Pending motions will be addressed in a hearing on Monday, and on Tuesday the defense and prosecution teams will whittle down the 70 remaining potential jurors to the 18 who will be seated for opening statements.
Reykjavík artist Katrín Sigurdardóttir’s exhibit on display at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, entitled Drawing Apart, is powerful and agitating, a true treat for MIT’s artistic community.
MIT closed Tuesday, joining many but not all area colleges
Just over six feet of snow have fallen in Boston these past 18 days, setting new records in terms of both depth and speed, according to Weather.com. MIT was among the many institutions that shut down Monday and Tuesday due to the snowstorm that led Governor Charlie Baker to declare a state of emergency Monday night.
Tsarnaev trial jury selection staggers
Day 2. Seated at one end of the long wooden table, potential juror 40 recalls the events of April 2013 in a weary voice. Facing nine attorneys, the judge, and alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, she remarks:
Marathon bombing suspect faces potential jurors in federal courthouse
The much-anticipated trial of the alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev began in federal court Monday, with about 400 of over 1,200 potential jurors showing up to complete a preliminary questionnaire. They got a first sight of Tsarnaev and his attorneys, along with the federal prosecution team, who are preparing for a trial that is expected to take months and could end in the death penalty.
Bloated fan service and CGI in Peter Jackson’s final Hobbit film
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, has sucked up over $700 million in global box offices, if only because the film is director Peter Jackson’s final trip to Middle-earth. But the movie, despite its expectedly breathtaking cinematography, is a mediocre lobster roll — there’s not much meat and quite a lot of filler.
Marathon bombing trial begins this week with jury selection
The much-anticipated trial of the alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev began in federal court Monday, with about 400 of over 1,200 potential jurors showing up to complete a preliminary questionnaire. The jurors got a first sight of Tsarnaev and his attorneys, along with the federal prosecution team, who are preparing for a trial that is expected to take months and could end in the death penalty.
MIT Football’s historic season ends Saturday in second playoff game
The MIT football team’s historic undefeated regular season and first-round playoff win are, according to Head Coach Chad Martinovich, “just part of the progression.”
First look at Harvard Art Museums
After a six-year wait, the red brick college down the road finally opened its Harvard Art Museums, a merger of three museums encompassing a history of world art, uniting them under a single glass roof.
Externship numbers increase
A record 1208 students sent in over 3000 applications to the MIT Alumni Association’s Externship Program this year, according to Katie C. Maloney, Director of Parent Association and Student/Alumni Relations. Over a third of the applicants plan to spend this January’s Independent Activities Period (IAP) working with alumni sponsors worldwide.
MFA after dark
Last week, the MFA hosted College Night: MFA After Dark, a chance for college students to visit the MFA after dark and take in the spooky sights before Halloween. Appropriately, the keynote exhibit of the night was Francisco Goya’s “Order and Disorder,” a collection of over 170 works from the Spanish artist famous for his boundless imagination and extreme variety.
Maseeh still forgoing DormCon membership
Representatives from Maseeh appeared at a recent Dormitory Council (DormCon) meeting for the first time since Maseeh seceded from the council in 2013, but Maseeh executives claim that they are not actively seeking to rejoin.
REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Study on urinating dogs wins prize at Ig Nobel ceremony
Six Nobel laureates convened at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre last Thursday for the 2014 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, presenting ten awards to fellow scientists being recognized for strange research.