Posts by Allan Brown
I recently found myself wondering why it took me so long to come across the Muppets films. As you do.
I suppose the answer is that until you have children of your own, you are unlikely to watch the kids' flicks you missed out on when growing up. And after adolescence, there are only a few windows of opportunity for adults to watch children's films.
It was while trying to keep a trio of ankle-biters entertained over the recent holidays that I came across The Muppet Movie (1979) and, later, the Oscar-winning The Muppets (2011). They are simply incredibly good musical films. Apart from the catchy numbers and clever dialogue, they are filled with heart-warming silliness and convey moral messages about camaraderie, collaboration and perseverance.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. Compared with even three years ago, we can, today, do a hell of a lot when and wherever we want to. We're in the middle of an exciting period in the development of human communications. Few working-age people in the UK live off-grid. Mobile phone technology and the Internet have hopped into bed together and decided to consummate their digital relationship. There's no reason to be incommunicado anymore, save you lose your charger, lose your phone, laptop or tablet PC, or find you've got no signal.
Digital technology is dazzling us like a siren. We have become enchanted, but instead of dragging us into the drink, technology and its battalions of aps, programmes and social media platforms is speeding us up.
Those gaps between our daily tasks are being filled by texting, tweeting and updating, or fretting over which ironing board cover product review to believe. These downtimes are precious times. These moments of sanctity, whether a quiet 15 minutes with a book or five minutes of idle daydreaming, bring balance to our lives. We seem to be 'moving' a lot more than we used to. In all senses of the word. Gentle reflection has made way for connection, silence for sound, and patience for impatience.
Our dancers are using the movement-stillness dynamic as the theme of their next show, Stillness in a Mobile World. Professional choreographers will work with third-year dancers to capture some of the spirit of our age through elements and fusions of ballet, commercial, jazz and tap. It is a challenging theme to explore through such a dynamic art form.
That's the beauty of art, though. You work from a blank slate, whether that's a piece of canvas or a group of students, shaping and creating until you find that perfect combination of colours, that perfect combination of movements. Art can say what you want it to say. It's like a ball of magical play putty.
On a similar note, in December some of LIPA's management students are putting on a secret cinema event in Liverpool, particularly aimed at those looking to escape the Christmas hullabaloo - and go off-grid - for a few hours.
Their event, called The Hidden Picture Show, is a film-screening with a difference. To find out more information and book tickets you'll have to go online. Digital technology's really has got us, hasn't it. The web in particular has become as sticky as an extra sticky, sticky-toffee pudding.
ON NOVEMBER 6, Americans go to the polls to choose who they want in the White House for the next four years. Just a few days before they do, we will be staging our production of the high-kicking musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
The timing is perfect as the show is partly about political sidestepping and, as in most elections where mega amounts of power and clout are up for grabs, there will be some of that going on.
THE fiasco surrounding the security set-up at the Games not only generated debate about why the problem was not nipped in the bud but also reminded us that putting on the Olympics is an Olympic task in itself.
There was always going to be hiccups, and the above-mentioned belch, but it was to be expected when putting on such a huge event.
While the athletes have been honing their skills, the production staff in London have been working away like soldier ants getting everything prepared, from the loos to the winners' podiums. These behind-the-scenes personnel enable the Games to go ahead, in the same way that backstage staff at a theatre are as vital as the actors, musicians or dancers.
There's a lot of noise on the Internet about 2012. Some, basing their theories on Mayan calendar cycles, say we can look forward to fiery annihilation in December. Others, who have been busy with calculators, calendars and Hindu teachings, say this year marks the end of a dark period in our history and the start of a golden era.
Although I hesitate while writing this, not wanting to tempt fate, I'm pretty sure we won't be dashing for our tin hats come the 12th month. NASA says so, too. Many brush off the second theory as a concoction of religious teachings and myths cooked up by conspiracy theorists, albeit less morbidly pessimistic ones.
These theories, and many like them, should not be read literally, though. They seem symptomatic of the human condition. A lot of people, judging by the gargantuan mass of web pages dedicated to conspiracy theories, are in a spiritual semi-vacuum, looking for something to believe in and feeling disenchanted by what Western society has to offer. We are, I think, looking for a change of some sort.
Hello and welcome to my blog. As this is my first, here goes with a little bit about me.
I'm press and marketing officer at LIPA, a position I've held since 2009. Prior to that, I was something of a nomad, working across the UK and overseas as a journalist and press officer. While working in Santiago, Chile, I also taught and translated.
I like all types of music, from Mozart to Megadeth, and can knock out a tune on the guitar. In my spare time, among other hobbies, I like reading books in Spanish, partly for pleasure and partly to keep on learning.
Although I'm not a professional snapper, I also like photography and get to do it as part of my job. A few weeks ago I was on Hope Street taking photos of the former Liverpool College of Art building - where John Lennon studied in the 1950s - for LIPA's website.