The Month in Culture — April

Dogs and performance art? The joy of choral music? Faxing is cool again? Every month we’re serving up all the stories you may have missed in the world of culture.

But Is It Art? In the Case of ‘Doggie Hamlet,’ Yes

Credit: Kelly Fletcher

Two words: Doggie. Hamlet. In what’s being billed as a “full length outdoor spectacle” created by the artist Ann Carlson, dogs, dancers, and sheep interact for 70 minutes in an exploration of dance and movement. While the concept may sound less than profound, Doggie Hamlet, performances of which have been sponsored by various governmental funds here and abroad, is sparking real debate about what constitutes art, and who should fund it. As the New York Times points out, Doggie Hamlet’sproblem isn’t that the work is perceived as inflammatory or politically-minded to government funders: “there is no decency standard at play, just a perpetual problem for modern dance and performance art: It is too easy to make fun of them.”

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