Egypt Independent: Arts-Main news http://www.egyptindependent.com//enhome_channel/Culture/rss.xml en Kyle Jean-Baptiste, Broadway's first black Jean Valjean, dies after fall http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2456727 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/08/30/501184/kyle_jean.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste, who made history as the first African-American to play the lead role in a Broadway production of &quot;Les Miserables,&quot; died Friday night in New York.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Marc Thibodeau, a spokesman for the production, said Saturday that Jean-Baptiste fell from a fire escape.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;The entire Les Miserables family is shocked and devastated by the sudden and tragic loss of Kyle, a remarkable young talent and tremendous person who made magic -- and history -- in his Broadway debut,&quot; the production said in a statement. &quot;We send our deepest condolences to his family and ask that you respect their privacy in this unimaginably difficult time.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The critically acclaimed &quot;Les Miserables,&quot; now in its second year since returning to Broadway, was Jean-Baptiste&#39;s Broadway debut.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The 21-year-old played the roles of the constable and Courfeyrac and was also the understudy for the lead role of Jean Valjean -- what he called his &quot;dream role.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He was thrilled to make his debut as what Twitter dubbed #blackValjean on July 23, stepping into the role while leading man Ramin Karimloo was on vacation. In doing so, he also became the youngest actor in a Broadway production of &quot;Les Miserables&quot; to fill the role.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Thank you for all the love! Last night was one of the best nights of my life,&quot; he said the day after his debut.</div><div><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Join us as we congratulate <a href="https://twitter.com/BaptisteKyle">@BaptisteKyle</a> on his Jean Valjean debut! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LesMizBway?src=hash">#LesMizBway</a> <a href="http://t.co/0LJ27aiEo0">http://t.co/0LJ27aiEo0</a> <a href="http://t.co/iDuKyue7Hq">pic.twitter.com/iDuKyue7Hq</a></p>&mdash; Les Misérables (@LesMizBway) <a href="https://twitter.com/LesMizBway/status/625750006595633152">July 27, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div><div>Broadway composer and &quot;Hamilton&quot; star Lin-Manuel Miranda acknowledged the landmark in a tweet parodying &#39;Les Mis&#39; lyrics.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;RED:THE BLOOD OF ANGRY MEN</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>BLACK:OUR BWAY JEAN VALJEAN</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>RED:MAKE HISTORY AGAIN</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>BLACK:THE BARRICADE LIVES ON</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Congrats!&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Miranda was one of many Broadway luminaries to mourn his death, calling it &quot;unimaginable.&quot; Earlier this month, the two faced off in song outside the Richard Rodgers Theater for Miranda&#39;s musical video series, #Ham4Ham.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="436" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ASlkb6CLJng" width="536"></iframe></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Debra Messing, Kristin Chenoweth and Josh Groban also paid tribute to the death of a rising star.</div><div><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">He was just getting started. So sad. My condolences as well to family and cast. <a href="https://t.co/1q6r0wmG1f">https://t.co/1q6r0wmG1f</a></p>&mdash; josh groban (@joshgroban) <a href="https://twitter.com/joshgroban/status/637711201032650752">August 29, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Jean-Baptiste was asked to join the Broadway cast in May, one day after graduating with a degree in music theater from Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio, according to Cleveland.com.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>His alma mater, Baldwin Wallace University, posted on Facebook that they were &quot;incredibly saddened by the loss&quot; of one of their own.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 10:52:00 +0000 CNN 2456727 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/08/30/501184/kyle_jean.jpg From lepers to art lovers, an ever-changing Brussels district http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2456732 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2014/05/24/484151/brussels.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Once the last refuge of lepers and criminals, one of Brussels&#39; quirkiest neighborhoods teems with vintage furniture sellers, flea markets and linguistic invention.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Les Marolles in French, or de Marollen in Dutch, stretches from the Gare du Midi, where Eurostar trains arrive, to the city&#39;s highest point, the Mont des Pendus or Galgenberg (Gallows Hill), where you can look down on half of Brussels.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The district is dominated by a massive law court that has helped to form the Marolliens&#39; rebellious spirit.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Nicknamed the ink-pot because of its giant gilded dome, the 19th-century Palais de Justice sprawls over 26,000 square meters (6.4 acres). It was designed by Joseph Poelaert, who was promptly dubbed the &quot;skieven architek&quot; or crooked architect.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The expression is still a potent insult for the Marolliens who were outraged by the number of houses cleared to make way for the hated court on a site where criminals were hanged in the Middle Ages.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>As city guide Didier Rochette points out in his tour, there was a positive aspect to the hangings: the corpses, left to rot until they dropped from the gallows, allowed doctors to improve their understanding of anatomy.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Today&#39;s Marolles is a center of medical expertise.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Saint Pierre hospital, affiliated to Brussels university, stands where the nuns of Maria Colentes, or Marikollen (hence Marolles), tended lepers in the Middle Ages.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The lepers were outcasts, living alongside the working classes, which the upper classes also believed should be kept at arm&#39;s length in a district then beyond the city walls.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Now the area is being gentrified, or Sablonised in a reference to the Sablon area, renowned for smart chocolate shops, which adjoins the Marolles.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;It has changed enormously but it has kept its character,&quot; said Stephane Carette, one of the partners at Haute Antiques gallery, an Aladdin&#39;s cave of a furniture store based in a former dance hall and cinema at 207, Rue Haute (Hoogstraat).</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Rue Haute and Rue Blaes (Blaesstraat) are the Marolles&#39; two main arteries and home to vintage and antique shops that evolved naturally from the workshops of the old Marolles district.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For those with smaller investments in mind, La Place du Jeu de Balle is the setting for a daily flea market with second-hand clothes, books, bric-a-brac and, in season, stands selling oysters and white wine.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Jeu de Balle refers to a ball game played with teams of five players in Belgium and eastern France, and it is only one of several names for the square, listed on a plaque in the dialects that have thrived in the Marolles.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Now French and Dutch, as well as ubiquitous English, dominate, although a handful of the older Marolliens still speak Zwanze, a dialect characterized by mockery and exaggeration.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Jeu de Balle name plaque is on a corner next to the Cite Hellemans, an early 20th-century project by architect Emile Hellemans, who sought to replace unhygienic alleyways and cramped homes with planned, aesthetic social housing.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For architecture connoisseurs, another very different study is number 132, Rue Haute, believed to have been the 16th-century step-gabled home of Pieter Bruegel the Elder.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Regarded as the greatest of a dynasty of painters, his scenes of rugged peasant life are on display in the fine arts museum beyond the main Sablon square.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He is buried beside the church of Notre Dame de la Chapelle, founded in the 12th century. Precisely where he lies is unknown. It could even be beneath the fritkot, or chip cart, that serves some of Brussels&#39; best Belgian fries to church-goers and furniture-shoppers alike.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 10:14:00 +0000 Reuters 2456732 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2014/05/24/484151/brussels.jpg Singapore's 5 spectacular new structures http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2456683 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/04/14/501184/6ddbb9d0fc656986cd4886275f82cab7522d26e7.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Singapore -- the home of Esplanade &quot;the durian&quot; Theater, ArtScience &quot;the banana&quot; Museum and other iconic structures -- continues to reinvent itself with new marvels of modern construction.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Coinciding with the city state&#39;s jubilee anniversary are five stunning new public developments.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Each is redefining the Singapore&#39;s fabric with fancy facades, crazy curves, and decadently restored historic structures.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>After nearly decade of planning (due to project delays resulting from the 2007-8 financial crisis), the highly anticipated South Beach complex is nearing completion.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div><strong>South Beach</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="South Beach&amp;#39;s curvilinear sheltered roof tempers Singapore&amp;#39;s climate to provide shady and sheltered public spaces and encourage tropical breezes -- a novel (and welcome) alternative to the city&amp;#39;s typical and ubiquitous air-conditioned shopping malls. &amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;" src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/150826142133-singapore-structures-south-beach-exlarge-169.jpg" style="height: 301px; width: 536px;" /></div><div><em>South Beach&#39;s curvilinear sheltered roof tempers Singapore&#39;s climate to provide shady and sheltered public spaces and encourage tropical breezes -- a novel (and welcome) alternative to the city&#39;s typical and ubiquitous air-conditioned shopping malls.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>After nearly decade of planning (due to project delays resulting from the 2007-8 financial crisis), the highly anticipated South Beach complex is nearing completion.</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div>With a prime location occupying an entire city block next to Raffles Hotel, the development features a number of repurposed historic structures, along with office towers by renowned British architect Norman Foster, and a hotel designed by Philippe Starck.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The highlight is a beautiful wave-like canopy forming a large sheltered outdoor mall, which will no doubt become one of the coolest new spots in the city to shop, eat, and hang out.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The complex is opening gradually, with the office tower completed and designer hotel slated to open in April 2016.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>South Beach, Beach Road, Singapore; complex opening in stages.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Indian Heritage Center</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="The Indian Heritage Centre sits within the charismatic, bustling streets of Little India. It features a shimmering, reflective facade during the day. &amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;" src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/150826135249-singapore-structures-ihc2-exlarge-169.jpg" style="height: 301px; width: 536px;" /></div><div><em>The Indian Heritage Center sits within the charismatic, bustling streets of Little India. It features a shimmering, reflective facade during the day. </em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This brand new gallery literally shimmers like a jewel in Singapore&#39;s vibrant &quot;Little India&quot; district.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Its colorful facade is inspired by Indian &quot;baori&quot; (step wells). Activity pulses along the newly pedestrianized street out front.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The sleek Indian Heritage Center is enough to delight any modern architecture fan, but it also features traditional elements such as a 16-feet-high (five meters) entrance door, hand carved by Indian craftsmen especially for the new building.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Dark, dramatic exhibition spaces feature priceless artifacts of Singapore&#39;s Indian heritage alongside interactive and multimedia displays.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>After each level of galleries, a moment of visual ecstasy is provided through a trip down a flight of &quot;baori&quot; stairs, hanging on the outside of the buildings in a glass enclosure with stunningly colorful graphics and a panoramic view of the Singapore skyline and cityscape of Little India.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Singapore University of Technology &amp; Design</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="The high-tech SUTD campus buildings were designed by avant-garde Dutch architects UNStudio." src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/150826144325-singapore-structures-sutd2-exlarge-169.jpg" style="height: 301px; width: 536px;" /></div><div><em>The high-tech SUTD campus buildings were designed by avant-garde Dutch architects UNStudio.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>People don&#39;t often think of visiting a university campus, unless they&#39;re a freshman going for a campus tour.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The brand new SUTD campus is different.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It&#39;s funky, fresh buildings epitomize the high-tech architecture of Singapore.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And nestled among the cutting-edge buildings are four priceless Qing and Ming dynasty structures more than 400 years old, which were shipped over from China by film star Jackie Chan as a gift to the new university.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>National Gallery Singapore</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="Two of Singapore&amp;#39;s most significant historic structures, the old Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, are joined with a sensitively designed, light and airy roof canopy -- supported by tree-like sculptural columns -- to create the new Singapore National Gallery.&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;" src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/150826142125-singapore-structures-ng-exlarge-169.jpg" style="height: 301px; width: 536px;" /></div><div><em>Two of Singapore&#39;s most significant historic structures, the old Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, are joined with a sensitively designed, light and airy roof canopy -- supported by tree-like sculptural columns -- to create the new Singapore National Gallery.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Although this spectacular new art gallery doesn&#39;t open until November, it&#39;s possible to get a sneak glimpse at the immaculately restored museum (sans art) on one of the &quot;naked museum&quot; tours if you&#39;re lucky.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>After opening, the gallery&#39;s first traveling exhibition will be a collaboration with the famous Centre Pompidou in Paris, featuring works by Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and Marc Chagall.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Designed by French architects Studio Milou with local partner CPG Consultants, the new National Gallery Singapore integrates the historic Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, with the creation of a new glass and steel roof.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It&#39;s a fusion the architects describe as a &quot;very non-violent way of joining the two without changing the existing buildings.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The gallery opens November 2015.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Capitol Singapore</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="A key feature of The Capitol is a public plaza along North Bridge Road, framed by exclusive condominiums, shops and restaurants. There&amp;#39;s also a dramatic circular covered event space, the beautifully restored Capitol Theatre, a playful water fountain and gardens designed by the landscapers responsible for the city&amp;#39;s stunning Gardens by the Bay. &amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;" src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/150826135242-singapore-structures-capitol2-exlarge-169.jpg" style="height: 301px; width: 536px;" /></div><div><em>A key feature of The Capitol is a public plaza along North Bridge Road, framed by exclusive condominiums, shops and restaurants. There&#39;s also a dramatic circular covered event space, the beautifully restored Capitol Theatre, a playful water fountain and gardens designed by the landscapers responsible for the city&#39;s stunning Gardens by the Bay.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Fancy catching a play but bored with all the typical venues?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The recently completed Capitol Singapore breathes new life into the historic Capitol Theater, one of Southeast Asia&#39;s first cinemas, which was built in the 1930s.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>All jazzed up, it now incorporates stylish new shopping and dining venues in the heart of the city.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Capitol Singapore, 11 Stamford Road, Singapore; +65 6499 5599</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 12:13:00 +0000 CNN 2456683 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/04/14/501184/6ddbb9d0fc656986cd4886275f82cab7522d26e7.jpg Wind-powered 'Strandbeests' strut through Boston at start of US tour http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2456673 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/08/29/501184/strandbeests.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>A pair of skeletal sculptures that harness the power of the wind to walk strutted around Boston&#39;s City Hall on Friday at the start of the US tour of Dutch artist Theo Jansen&#39;s &quot;Strandbeests.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Constructed of PVC tubes and about the size of large sport-utility vehicles, the pair were just a taste of the largest fleet of Strandbeests to go on exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, north of Boston, next month before heading on to Chicago and San Francisco.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Jansen&#39;s vision is that one day herds of the animal-like sculptures would repair eroded beaches, said Trevor Smith, exhibit&#39;s curator.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;He had this whimsical observation,&quot; Smith said. &quot;Maybe one day we could have an animal that would pile up the sand after storms.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A crowd of hundreds of people gathered to see the sculptures debut.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;It&#39;s incredible to see. He is a genius,&quot; said Melissa Guimaraes, a 33-year-old high school art teacher, whose 7-year-old daughter, Kanna, had been clamoring to see the &quot;sand monsters&quot; for weeks.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I&#39;m happy to see my daughter interested in art,&quot; Guimaraes said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 10:53:00 +0000 Reuters 2456673 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/08/29/501184/strandbeests.jpg