01.05.19

Once-Feted Dancing Girls Of Lahore Fall On Hard Times As Pakistan Becomes Ever More Conservative

“The dancing style is known as ‘nautch,’ and is a sophisticated art form that arose out of the Muslim Mughal empire and peaked in the mid-19th century.” After partition, many of India’s nautch dancers settled in Lahore, where the form had a new heyday. Now the Pakistani authorities have cracked down, closing venues and schools, and most of the best dancers have gone abroad. — The New York Times

Retooling Scott Joplin’s ‘Treemonisha’ For The 21st-Century

That’s the project of Toronto theatre company Volcano, which hopes to tour its adaptation — with “an entirely new story” — of Joplin’s 1911 opera to California, D.C., Canada, and Britain next year. Says Volcano’s artistic director, “As far as I can find, the libretto has never been touched. We’re just giving Joplin the help he was denied.” — The Washington Post

One Of Hollywood’s Early, Prolific (Woman) Directors Gets Two Movies Restored

A century ago, Lois Weber ruled Hollywood, directing 138 films and being counted as one of the three finest minds in the industry, alongside DeMille and Griffith. Her biographer: “She was a very vocal advocate for cinema’s ability to portray complex social issues in a popular narrative form. … She considered cinema what she called ‘a voiceless language.’ And by that I think she meant cinema had an ability to convey ideas to anybody, regardless of their educational level, regardless of their command of English, right, at a period when there were many immigrants to the U.S. who did not speak English as a first language.” – NPR