Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Writing Brain

Well, this is a fascinating MRI scanning experiment about writing - the difference in experienced and more novice writers' brains.

21 hours a week?  Only 19 hours to go...

In other news, it would be helpful if they discovered what part of the brain is involved in making one sit down and do it, and how to trigger it.

In other other news, I actually have a second draft of a script. No surprise, but I discovered I find it easier to revise and have ideas about other's work than to revise my own.  That would be a useful area of the brain to trigger as well, preferably triggered by eating a daily bowl of ice cream.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Tanaquil Leclerc

I just finished watching the documentary "Afternoon of a Faun" about Tanaquil Leclerq from PBS American Masters.  Riveting.  Tanaquil (Tanny) Leclerq was Balanchine's 4th wife, and a star dancer with the American Ballet theater, when she was stricken with polio in 1956 at the age of 27.  There are some incredible dance clips of her dancing with Jacques D'Amboise (a legend in his own right), and clips from ABT in the 50s. She was beautiful, sensuous dancer - intelligent, alluring.  The documentary is a fitting tribute, as well as a time capsule for the creation of some of Balanchine's work.

I had no idea of her story. I love documentaries.  She lived to almost 80, taught at Dance Theater of Harlem, and lived the rest of her life in a wheelchair once she adjusted to the loss of her legs.  It's quite a triumph from a strong, strong person. I am so glad there are photos and film of her dancing. Quite impressive. Ironically, Balanchine cast her in a ballet where she played polio before she contracted it. I won't spoil one of the most heartbreaking moments, but it's incredible how one small decision can effect our entire lives.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Waters of March

This is Waters of March (Aguas de Marco) by Antonio Carlos Jobim sung by the great Elis Regina, who died much too young. Her daughter is the Brazilian singer Maria Rita. 

I posted this version, even though it's a little choppy, as it has literal English subtitles. Jobim wrote English lyrics, but these are his original in Portuguese.  They're so specific and beautiful. The English lyrics are great, of course, but these are evocative of the end of Summer in Brazil, and much more specific. I think they're much more beautiful.  A perfect marriage of word, song, and performer.  No wonder some say it's the most beloved Brazilian song of all time.