Posts by Candace Allen

arts•meme contributor  Candace Allen lives in London. She is novelist, political activist, cultural critic and screenwriter. She is the author of Soul Music The Pulse of Race and Music, published by Gibson Square Press in 2012. Candace contributes regularly to U.K. Guardian newspaper and is a frequent radio and television commentator on culture, race and politics. Candace received her BA degree from Harvard University before attending the New York University School of Film and Television. She was the first African-American female member of the Directors Guild of America.


Great performances overcome ‘Otello’ racist legacy @ ENO 2

Music · Reviews
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I find Shakepeare’s Othello problematic in the extreme, all the racist references in the text, the historic use of blackface, the desperate fragility of a black man so easily duped by a white conniver, the hysteria around strong and bestial black hands closing around the white neck of the blameless Desdemona, even more so when ...

Mozart @ 18 in Glyndbourne’s “La Finta”

Music · Reviews
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Haven’t heard of La Finta? Not to worry, few people have. Written when the composer was but 18 years old and very (very) rarely performed, the anonymous text is primarily to blame: The Podesta (Mayor) is in love with his new gardener Sadrina, which is too bad for the servant Serpetta who more than fancies ...

Somi aces Ace Hotel Shoreditch

Music · Reviews
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I’d never heard of her but liked her look on the press announcement: the youthful but knowing joy of her open smile, the color riot of her wax print dress celebrating the burnished brown of her skin. Tickets only £10 (in Shoreditch?)The London launch of Lagos Music Salon, her new cd from Okeh. I remember ...

Gilliam’s brilliant, bonkers Berlioz @ ENO

Music · Reviews
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Bombastic imaginations, bonkers juxtapositions, no attention to rules of deportment, and energy without limit.  It would seem that Hector Berlioz and Terry Gilliam are a match made.. well, somewhere .. but certainly for each other.  Following the wild and wooly success of his Damnation of Faust in 2011, Gilliam has trained his most particular talents ...

ENO ‘Cosi’ conjured at Coney Island

Music
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How do you solve a problem like Cosi — Mozart’s Job-like musical glory of messing with the minds of two women on a bet, just to prove that they’re “like that”? In the words of Peter Sellars, prior to his revisionist diner production more than twenty years ago: “Is this the most offensive anti-feminist opera ...

Savion Glover, sole survivor

Dance · Reviews
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I’ve been paying attention to Savion Glover since he incandesced onto the theatre scene in The Tap Dance Kid at age 12. His level of virtuosity, enhanced by a cheeky grin and genuine joy at being up there just doin’ it! as impossible to resist as a warm sunny day (I live in London, remember). ...

Weaving magic to the Bard: The Royal Ballet in “The Winter’s Tale”

Dance · Music · Reviews · Theater · Visual arts
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I don’t get to Covent Garden all that often lately. Downstairs to the Linbury Studio experiments, yes, but upstairs? Elegant always, but stately for my current tastes — my dance fix is generally fed by Sadlers Wells these days. Last season’s Royal Ballet encounter with Mayerling — my favorite narrative by far — had been ...

Cameron Carpenter, accompanying “Caligari,” pulls out stops 1

Film · Music
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London’s Southbank Centre dearly loves a party. Give it any excuse and the architecture that some have characterized as brutalist is festooned with banners, murals and all manner of colorful whirligigs, giving this hitherto cultural bunker the air of Pinocchio’s Pleasure Island-on-Thames. The return of the Southbank’s 7,866-pipe Harrison organ after six years of restoration ...

Flirting with Fascism, Sinatra: ENO’s Rodelinda

Music · Reviews
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I’d been away from London, in New York, for Rodelinda’s Coliseum premiere but heard such good things about it that I arranged for one of its last performances and am so glad I did. Beyond the grace of Handel’s music conducted by baroque specialist Christopher Curnyn and played with usual panache by a reduced English ...

Guilty pleasure? No, guitar pleasure from masters Gismonti, Towner

Music · Reviews
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I was needing to hear some music but the last days before trans-Atlantic travel were beyond hectic. Nothing was fitting. Couldn’t get over to the Coliseum for an opera opening; despite all desire couldn’t fit in that last Vengerov, but the soul was saying “You gots to do something..” Egberto Gismonti at the Barbican. How ...