Top 10 Australia Culture On this week 12/04/2020 (COVID-19 EDITION)

Step outside of yourself inside.


10) At Home With the Auditorium: Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre

13th April

What: This livestream, presented by the Auditorium Theatre (a landmark venue in Chicago) features dancers from Ensemble Español performing the company’s work from their own homes. This is part of the Auditorium’s new video series, At Home With the Auditorium, to help keep performing arts lovers engaged and connected during these difficult times.

Why: Even though times like this are difficult, particularly when sharing a space with a partner, remember that neither of you have ever suggested learning flamenco dancing as a way to keep the spark alive, and take a break from fantasising about ripping their head off to tell them how much you appreciate them.


9) Cloud Conversation with Jeanette Doyle and Anne Murray 

14th April

What: Cloud Conversations is about bringing artists from around the world to you. It connects artists from different disciplines, cultures, and philosophies to bring the best minds together using art as a way to better understand our society and perhaps, to help build a stronger and brighter vision for our world, through intelligent investigation and hard work. Please join art curator Anne Murray for a visit and theoretical discussion with artist Jeanette Doyle in Dublin on ZOOM. Doyle’s work is connected to theorists Jean-François Lyotard and Lucy Lippard with its references from immateriality to dematerialisation like dancing synapses across different media.

Why: The most pretentious reason for finally acquiring the ZOOM app to ever exist.


8) Uffizi Decameron

12th-18th April

What: The Uffizi has launched a social media campaign aimed at bringing its art to everyone as a result of the self-isolation currently being enforced. Every day the Uffizi’s Instagram and Twitter will publish photos, stories and videos of different artworks, including from Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens. An official Gallerie degli Uffizi Facebook page has just been launched too. The name of the campaign, which has the hashtag #UffiziDecameron, is inspired by one of the most celebrated masterpieces of Tuscan and Italian literature, the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. “The treasures of the Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens will keep you company over these weeks, in which we make common cause against the virus,” said Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries. “We will tell stories everyday, just like in Boccaccio’s masterpiece. We will avoid every contagion, save that of beauty.”

Why: Escape ruminations concerning your own mortality by focusing on a giant Italian mausoleum.


7) Live From Emmet’s Place: Jazz Trio 

14th April

What: The Emmet Cohen Trio is a tight-knit group containing three young stars in Jazz today. They are a family on and off the road, and have been quarantining together since their return from touring. Because of social distancing, the trio has and will miss many months of touring. This upcoming weekend, the Emmet Cohen Trio was slated to deliver a show at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room featuring singer Freddy Cole (Nat King Cole’s brother) and legendary saxophonist Houston Person. Unfortunately audiences won’t be reached in person, but livestreams have the ability to unite and uplift people all over the globe, and this is your opportunity to experience their talents!

Why: There’s nothing like an extended session of live jazz to remind you that not everything about the outside world is preferable to your silent disinfected hell-box.


6) Silkroad Home Sessions with Brandee Younger

14th April

What: Brandee Younger is an American harpist who infuses classical, jazz, soul and funk influences to the harp tradition pioneered by her predecessors and idols Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane. Experience her talents in a special live performance that celebrates the life and legacy of Dorothy Ashby.

Why: ‘Dorothy Ashby’. Another name to add to your post-COVID-19 gamut of references that say, “I’ve intellectually improved as a person”, rather than, “I’ve spent 90 days in my underpants eating raw instant noodles and playing Shania Twain on repeat”.


5) Raja Gemini: Socialite Distancing

16th April

What: Raja Gemini is an American make-up artist and drag performer. She is best known for her work on the reality television show America’s Next Top Model, serving as the show’s make-up artist for nine cycles, and as the winner of Season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She will be hosting a special live interactive performance for, and discussion with, her fans that she’s calling ‘Amusing Musings of a Muse’.

Why: Nothing makes you feel slightly better about the endless nothingness of death we’re all currently facing like remembering the fact that America’s Next Top Model was allowed to exist for 24 seasons.


4) Vienna State Opera: Live

12th, 13th, 15th & 17th April

What: The Vienna State Opera is sharing past performances via free daily online streams. Experience the majesty of the Viennese opera alongside a worldwide audience. This week’s schedule features Die Feen (Fassung Fur Kinder), Sylvia, Parsifal, Schwanensee and Der Rosenkavalier.

Why: Blast Wagner to remind yourself that the only potential casualty of warring for toilet paper, as opposed to racial supremacy, is your anal skin.


3) Silkroad Home Sessions with Kaoru Watanabe

17th April

What: Kaoru Watanabe is a Brooklyn-based composer and musician who specializes in the Japanese shinobue flutes and taiko drums. Watanabe creates music that is at once personal, philosophical, meditative, and virtuosic, that reflects his extensive background in Japanese traditional music, American jazz, and his decades-long devotion to cross-cultural musical collaboration. Experience his unique combination of talents in a livestreamed performance.

Why: An artist with a combination of talents so niche, if he were white, we’d be positive he had just jumped out of a Wes Anderson script.


2) Silkroad Home Sessions with Layale Chaker

18th April

What: Raised on the verge of several musical streams since her childhood, Lebanese violinist and composer Layale Chaker debuted her musical training at the National Higher Conservatory of Beirut in her native Lebanon. Layale has appeared as a soloist, performer, improviser and composer in concerts, recitals and projects around Europe, the Middle-East, North and South America and Asia, with collaborations and commissions with Oxford Orchestra, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Holland Baroque, Babylon Orchestra, Avignon Festival, Lucerne Festival, National Sawdust, London Jazz Festival, Wigmore Hall, and New World Symphony among others. Experience her talents in a spellbinding livestreamed performance.

Why: Severe regret that, unlike Layale Chaker, you never honed a talent in adolescence. Another rubber band to add to the ball of self-hatred bouncing around your head.


1) Silkroad Home Sessions with Shane Shanahan

16th April

What: Percussionist, composer, and arranger Shane Shanahan has combined his studies of drumming traditions from around the world with his background in jazz, rock, and Western art music to create a unique, highly sought after style. He is one of Silkroad’s inaugural co-artistic directors, and has performed with Bobby McFerrin, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Philip Glass, Alison Krauss, Chaka Khan, and Deep Purple, among others, and has appeared at the White House, playing for President and First Lady Obama. Experience his talents in a unique livestreamed performance.

Why: If all the pressures of an increasingly chaotic universe are pressing down upon your cabin fever-addled brain, just remember, you’re the least important person Shane Shanahan will have ever played for and nothing you do will ever really matter.

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