On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Frank Chaves, the artistic director of River North Dance Chicago, a critically acclaimed dance organization, founded in 1989, that continues to perform at leading venues around the world. This company is recognized for its skilled and emotive dancers, stimulating music, and bold choreography. Chaves, who's also the company's main choreographer (and who's been with the company for two decades now), tells us that River North Dance Chicago is especially dedicated to merging jazz, ballet, and contemporary styles of movement.
Marcel Proust has his little madeleine cakes. Calvin Trillin has Arthur Bryant's BBQ in Kansas City. And Tulsa-based writer and editor Mark Brown has, well, his mother's bygone fried chicken. Food, for so many of us, is about much more than taste and sustenance, much more than flavors and rations. It's about culture, society, tradition, and practically everything else --- about the past, the seasons, our memories, our loved ones. Food is as basic to the human species as are celebrations, rituals, fingerprints, or dreams.
Talk about the influential use of language.... Did you know that "bloviate," "lunatic fringe," "iffy," "military-industrial complex," "Anglophobia," "public relations," and "ottoman" are all terms or phrases that have been either coined or popularized by various U.S. Presidents over the years?
On this "best of" edition of our show, we're listening back to a discussion we had by phone last year with Jack Hitt, who's a contributing editor to The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and public radio's This American Life.
On this "best of" edition of our show, we're listening back to a discussion from earlier this year with the author and activist Jamal Joseph. Joseph's autobiography, "Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention," is the focal point of our chat; it's an engrossing hybrid of coming-of-age candor, street-savvy wisdom, and recent socio-political history.
On this "best of" edition of our show, we're listening back to a discussion with the well-known Hollywood actor --- and children's book author --- Bob Balaban. When we spoke with Mr. Balaban by phone, back in early October, he had just put out a book called "The Creature from the Seventh Grade: Boy or Beast" (Penguin Young Readers Group). We spoke with him about this work, and about his efforts as a writer and actor --- and film producer / director / screenwriter --- more generally.