How did Hunter S. Thompson become the anti-establishment embodiment of Gonzo, fighting politicians, editors and even friends in no-words-barred journalism? As his acquaintance William McKeen tells it in “Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson,” the late Woody Creek icon came out that way. Even as a kid in Louisville, Ky., Thompson was charismatic, reckless, a rebel ” and infatuated with the idea of words as tools of power. Even at the peak of his success and popularity, from the mid-’60s through the mid-’70s, he never lost his most critical tool ” his self-image as an outsider ” allowing him to look at the Hell’s Angels, Richard Nixon, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, and the entire American political system through confrontational eyes. McKeen kicks off his book tour with an appearance on Friday, July 18 ” Thompson’s birthday ” at Explore Booksellers.
For a company based in a remote outpost, especially as the dance world goes, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) brings a worldly take on dance to their portfolio. The organization kicks off its Summer Dance Series with performances on Thursday and Saturday, July 17 and 19, by its own resident company, and the international flavor is thick. The program features Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo’s “Red Sweet,” commissioned by the ASFB; and the American premiere of “Chameleon,” by Israel’s Itzik Galili. Also to be performed are “Quartet,” a multimedia work commissioned by the ASFB, set to the music of hard rock band Nine Inch Nails, by American Nicolo Fonte; and a return of the otherworldly “Noir Blanc,” by Moses Pendleton. The dance world expands further as the Summer Dance Series continues with appearances by London’s Ballet Boyz, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and DanceBrazil.
It’s no understatement to call pianist Yefim Bronfman a force of nature; even in the solo setting, he blows listeners away with sheer power. So what happens when the native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is placed in a chamber trio with two other forceful musicians? Expect sparks to fly. The Bronfman-Shaham-Harrell Trio, with violinist Gil Shaham and cellist Lynn Harrell, performs a program that includes Mozart’s Piano Trio in C major, Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, and the Western U.S. premiere of a trio by French composer Marc-Andre Dalbavie. While all three members of the trio are most accustomed to playing as soloists, with all the extroverted expression that comes with it, they are also seasoned chamber players and sophisticated all-around musicians. So don’t expect those sparks to actually set anything on fire.
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