The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 21 July 2018

Culture

Dance up a storm

New York pulls on its ballet slippers to examine the relationship between dance and the screen.

People have always loved to observe the body in physical expression of music – or dancing, to use a less esoteric term. Yesterday the Dance on Camera Festival in New York pranced into its 46th edition and will run until Wednesday. Staged at the Film Society Lincoln Center, the event examines choreography’s relationship with the screen. This year’s edition profiles an array of styles, from ballet and tap to mime. The show will screen the world premiere of If the Dancer Dances, a documentary following a dance troupe as they reconstruct the legendary routine RainForest, by famed choreographer Merce Cunningham. Another standout feature of the festival will be photography exhibition, “Angels in Human Form”, by Francisco Graciano, a timeline of the artist’s 13 years spent as a dancer in the Paul Taylor Dance company.

Culture

Image: ALAMY

Cheers to that

Chinese pull on their German dirndls and crack open a few (thousand) cold ones in Qingdao.

Qingdao’s 27th International Beer Festival kicked off yesterday. Chiming with the city’s German colonial past, it’s a jamboree of beer tents, dirndls and excessive drinking. The month-long festival is expected to attract thousands of beer-swilling tourists to the city. For those thinking China isn’t famous for its beer, think again. Tsingtao, the lager that hails from Qingdao, is the second-most widely consumed beer in the world, with only Budweiser quenching thirsts at a higher rate. While gallons of it will be chugged during the festival, there will also be smaller producers and more than 200 brands for parched attendees to play with. Last year’s festival saw more than four million visitors, with its busiest day attracting 100,000 to the festival’s three locations. As well as hoards of revellers, expect over-the-top stage shows and frenzied shouts of, “Ganbei”.

Music

Image: Florian Bouvet-Fournier

Blow-by-blow account

The Swiss hills are alive with the sound of alphorns – but will they be singing their songs for another 1,000 years?

The International Alpine Horn festival​ begins its trumpeting in Switzerland’s Nendaz today. Some 150 alphorn players are due to assemble on the mountains of Valais with an important joint aim: to see who among them is the best blower. While once the alphorn was a means of communication used by shepherds in the Alps, today it is a musical instrument that features heavily in folk festivals across the region. A yearning for the pastoral life has given the horn – as with other rustic pursuits such as Schwingen wrestling – a boost in popularity. Those who aren’t content with alphorn music alone will be pleased to know that the two-day event also offers yodelling. There is a hidden agenda to the get-together though: organisers want to encourage a greater number of young people to take up the instrument.

Music

Image: Getty Images

Sound of the summer

Sun’s out and surf’s up in Biarritz, as the Basque city welcomes a stellar line-up of French artists.

Breezy Biarritz welcomes the first edition of music festival Biarritz en été this weekend. Ever since the city’s popular Big Festival was cancelled in 2017, the French Basque city had been lacking a big-draw summer shindig. Organised by Super Agency (the minds behind Paris’s chic five-day festival Vilette Sonique) in collaboration with media group Les Nouvelles Éditions Indépendantes, the new festival will definitely fill its predecessor’s shoes – and more. Rock darlings Phoenix (pictured) take to the stage today as part of a French-led line-up, there’s blues from Bayonne courtesy of Kepa and garage rock by Bordeaux-based TH da Freak. Mellow and melancholy, Cigarettes After Sex are not to be missed on Sunday. Leave enough room on the schedule for a surfing lesson too – after all, that’s what sea-soaked summer in Biarritz is all about.

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