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Codarts Talent on the Move

Shanghai Noir

This was my program last Saturday. It's wrinkled and limp from all the humidity that night. Tropical temperatures in Dutch brick buildings means no airco and precious little circulation. But the heat being generated on stage was worth it all. This is Codarts, a dance academy based in Rotterdam, putting on their graduation show Talent on the Move.

The choreography captured in this photo is a fragment from "Political Mother" by Hofesh Shechter. The original work features 40 artists, 16 dancers and 24 musicians. Rock concert meets street dance. Check out Shechter's mission statement:

We dance to know what it feels like, not just to live, but to be alive. In all our work, we strive to move ourselves, and our audiences, beyond reason.

Now there's an artist statement to live by. Can I rise to meet this challenge?

The stakes feel awfully high these days. I've just read two books, back to back, that were out of this world. I was already a fan of George Saunders, both his short fiction and his craft essays. But a novel with talking ghosts? This I had to try. Lincoln in the Bardo is good beyond reason. You'll see why in my review: Possessed.

Whenever I read a fabulous book, I worry that the next one I pick up is bound to disappoint. It's one of the reasons why I try to switch genres and countries. I chose the poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong, thinking I would at least learn something about Vietnam. Instead, I came away with images burnt into the backs of my eyeballs. You can read my review here: Ocean.

Some books stay with you all your life. There are books that can even change your life, for better or for worse. As the political temperature continues to rise in Hong Kong, I've been thinking about civil liberties and a little thing called freedom of speech. That's the topic of this week's blog post: Banned Books.

The countdown continues: newsletter and blog post #9 before the great adventure begins.

p.s. If you're in Amsterdam this Friday, Talent on the Move is playing at 20.30 hours in the Vondelpark Open Air Theater.

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