Floating on Water: The Medieval Art of Ebru

Traditional art forms remain astounding and disarmingly beautiful in an era dominated by technology. What makes this art so beguiling? Ebru, a form of paper marbling, is an ancient art that originated in the 15th century in central Asia. Europeans first encountered it in Istanbul and were mesmerized by it. If you have seen old books with marbled beginning … Continue reading Floating on Water: The Medieval Art of Ebru

Literary and Theatrical Magic: Suspension of Disbelief and Resilience

We all spend time with illusions: books, movies, television, theatre. Does the ability to suspend disbelief contribute to human resilience? In the theatre we often speak of the suspension of disbelief, the willingness to temporarily accept an illusion as truth. The term was coined in 1817 by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who was actually speaking … Continue reading Literary and Theatrical Magic: Suspension of Disbelief and Resilience

The Mystery of Gender: Robina Asti and Flying Solo

Gender identity is more complicated than society likes to admit. Does it remain a valid means of classifying human beings? "I'm sorry, but I do hate this differentiation between the sexes. 'The modern girl has a thoroughly businesslike attitude to life' That sort of thing. It's not a bit true! Some girls are businesslike and … Continue reading The Mystery of Gender: Robina Asti and Flying Solo

Comfortable in Her Own Skin: Tradition, Modernity and the Dancing of Irina Akulenko

The society we live in shapes our understanding of body image and self. How does dance influence that understanding? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XGIRLwcw4o Video via WorldDance NewYork. Irina Akulenko plays the blindfolded character of Justice as pictured in the Tarot. Irina Akulenko bases her life as a dancer, teacher and choreographer in New York City, touring both nationally and internationally. … Continue reading Comfortable in Her Own Skin: Tradition, Modernity and the Dancing of Irina Akulenko

A Tale of Two Conchitas: Reflections on That Obscure Object of Desire

Why do we frequently make judgements on others based upon their appearance and manner without taking into account their actions? If you are familiar with Luis Buñuel's 1977 film masterpiece That Obscure Object of Desire, you know that the film is unusual because two actresses play the same part, that of the heroine Conchita, a … Continue reading A Tale of Two Conchitas: Reflections on That Obscure Object of Desire

Uniting Sacred and Secular: Two Green Cathedrals of Europe

Cathedral construction was a major engine of medieval Europe. Does a new approach to this historical architecture hold new possibilities? A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never … Continue reading Uniting Sacred and Secular: Two Green Cathedrals of Europe