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Ballet as an International Language

Mao's Last Dancer

Mao’s Last Dancer, the highest-grossing Australian movie of 2009, is a story about a Chinese ballet dancer who comes to America, and then refuses to return to his homeland. It was based on a memoir by the dancer in question, Li Cunxin.

Cunxin’s book has been very successful in itself: it has been published and marketed in more than 20 countries, and won the Christopher Award, an annual prize for works of art that “affirm the highest values of the human … Continue Reading

Does Santa Claus Own “Ho, Ho, Ho”?

green freak

The Green Freak

I should say at the start that the headline of this post isn’t especially original. Mark Parisi, of the “Off the Mark” cartoons, drew a courtroom scene in which Santa Claus tells a judge that “this green freak” (the ‘Jolly Green Giant’ of vegetable-sales fame, pictured above) has ripped off Santa’s signature phrase.

And so it goes.

In 2005, Coldplay’s singer, Chris Martin, told a magazine interviewer, “We’re definitely good, but I don’t think you can say we’re that original. I … Continue Reading

Men at Work: R.I.P. Greg Ham

Gregory Norman "Greg" Ham (27 September 1953 – approx. 19 April 2012)

Greg Ham was found dead in his home on April 19, 2012. The 58 year old musician lived alone, and friends who had not heard from him went to his home to check on his welfare, and found him deceased. The cause remains unknown. Although authorities initially spoke of “unexplained circumstances” more recently they have been saying that the postmortem turned up nothing suspicious.

There has still been no straight answer as to … Continue Reading