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Valentine's Day

Love Stories

You Can't Buy Love (But You Better Buy Something)

by Caitlin Derose

Falling In Love Again

by Buck Quigley


Women in Black: Nimbus Dance at the Albright-Knox

by K. O'Day

The dramatic device of the classical Greek chorus marked the birth of tragedy (as Frederick Nietzsche argued in his book of the same name), and is considered by many scholars to be the very essence of the tragic experience. Wailing out its grief, whether in protest or in sympathy, the Chorus provides both a cue and an emotional outlet for the audience, either urging or censoring the characters of the drama with rhythmic dances, pantomimes and intonations. If indeed “All the World’s a Stage,” then the members of Nimbus Dance Company are more than players; they are commentators and tragic interpreters, using the many forms of media and artistic expression to speak to their audience.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Happy Valentine Daze, Aquarius! During this lover’s holiday, I’m praying for you to have mind-boggling communions with smart-mouthed, quick-thinking virtuosos who are at least as brilliant as you. To be frank, I don’t care whether or not these communions are with attractive members of your favorite gender. In accordance with the promises of your current astrological omens, I just want to see you stimulated to the point of spiritual and intellectual rapture by kaleidoscopic give-and-take sessions.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ Inexplicable: Sudan Provost, 40, walked into the River City Bank in Sacramento, Calif., on Dec. 29 and, reported the Sacramento Bee, quietly announced to employees that he had come to “rob” it, but then handed a teller his driver’s license and a money order to be cashed. The teller asked if he had an account, and Provost replied, “This is not a joke. I have a gun. I do this for a living.” However, he opened his bag to reveal that he had no gun and then asked for a tissue for his runny nose. The teller said she didn’t have one. Provost said he’d be right back and walked across the street to a drugstore, and by the time he had returned, police were on the scene. Provost was arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery.

Getting a Grip

Bottled Insanity

by Michael I. Niman

It’s got to be one of life’s cheapest escapes: a mini buck fifty sojourn to the rainforests of Fiji, all from the convenience of your own cubicle. America is mad for Fiji water—an emerging victor in the designer water wars.

Letters to Artvoice

I feel the need to respond to Michael Niman’s article titled “Who’ll Stop the War?” (Artvoice v6n5). As someone who serves in our nation’s military I was able to see exaggeration and inaccuracy in his arguments.

Fine Dining

'Twas a Gaudy Romance

by Marla Crouse

My friend and I traveled along the icy roads, past the airport and into an uneventful area of town. As we turned onto Transit Road, we saw the Gardens up ahead: a white gazebo, white Roman statues of all shapes and sizes, the white pillars of the entrance, the antique car collection with mannequin drivers and passengers in period costume, all flooded with light. I recounted a childhood memory of wondering, “What is that magical place?”

Design Matters

Pecha Kucha, Vol. 2

by Albert Chao

At a packed Soundlab, last Friday night, artist Don Paul Swain exclaimed: “Is this madness? Perhaps, but bear with me.” He proceeded to divulge his interest in life and death. An image of Frankenstein was followed by another of Swain, in a laboratory, attempting to imbue clay with life. Lobsterman was another of his fantastic, absurd and amusing creations.

In the Margins

Michael Gizzi Reads at Rust Belt

by Michael Kelleher

Artvoice: Earlier in life you worked for over a decade as a licensed arborist. I notice the titles of your first three books all point to the natural world (Bird As, Avis, Species of Intoxication). Do you see any connection between your poetry and your life among trees?

Book Reviews

The Teahouse Fire, by Ellis Avery

by Tim Bryant

Any life but this one.” That is the wish of Aurelia Bernard, orphaned by the death of her mother and transported to 19th-century Japan by her missionary uncle. The protagonist of Ellis Avery’s first novel finds herself adopted into the Shin family, who have for centuries been the proud teachers of temae, ceremonial tea-making. Avery deftly interweaves an impressive amount of research on Japanese history into a compelling tale of both wide, historical changes and personal exigencies. The young American gradually learns the exacting customs and beliefs of the Shin’s craft and way of life, even as westernization threatens to erase them. Against her father’s wishes and family tradition, Yukako Shin strategizes to educate women and non-Japanese in the ways of temae and thus ensure its survival. Her occasional foil in both romance and politics, the geisha Miss Koito frustrates Yukako’s efforts as both women struggle not only to adapt to cultural changes but also to take advantage of opportunities opened up to them. Beneath the beautiful surface of Avery’s artfully controlled prose, akin to the tea ceremonies it describes, unrequited love, betrayal and regret give the reader a sense of deep feeling and personal urgency. Renamed Urako, the narrator finds herself also changed, caught up in a way of life that she had not imagined could be her own, but also caught between personal desires and what society permits. The novel’s essential question is that of desire: By what ceremonies, through what pains and past what obstacles must we endure in order to have not just any life but the one we most want to claim as our own?


The Return of Richard Ruiz

by Anthony Chase

The current national tour of Sweet Charity at Shea’s starring Molly Ringwald, features another face familiar to Buffalonians, Richard Ruiz, who graduated from Buffalo State College in 1995. Sweet Charity is the story of a dance hall hostess who is unlucky with men and wants to change her life. Ruiz plays Herman, the belligerent yet adorable manager of the Fandango dance hall, who “Loves to Cry at Weddings.”


by Anthony Chase

Mule Bone is the result of the attempt of two literary greats, Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, to collaborate. The script was never finished and exists only in fragments, because its creators got into a fracas, complicated by the machinations of their white patron. The project was scuttled. Sprawling and incomplete, Mule Bone has remained a tantalizing theatrical artifact ever since.


Gifted Julie Burdick Dies at 25

by Anthony Chase

The theater community and Niagara University were shocked and saddened to learn of the death of actress Julie Burdick, who died unexpectedly on January 27 in New York City. The cause was, reportedly, meningitis. She was 25 years old.


Slugs and Kisses

by Gabe Armstrong

Remember roller derby? Not long ago, the sport was all but written off as a short-lived sensation—tough women on quad-wheel roller skates plowing through one another to sweet victory, in a pool of blood, tears and angst.

Film Reviews

Peter Principal: Venus

by M. Faust

A few weeks back, I commented in these pages that Forest Whitaker’s performance in The Last King of Scotland was as close as you could get to a sure bet at this year’s Academy Awards. Having since seen Peter O’Toole in the witty, ribald and thoroughly delightful Venus, I’d like to take that back.

Film Clips

A Comedy of Power

by George Sax

Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?

by M. Faust

Hannibal Rising

by M. Faust

See You There

Apples in Stereo

by Caitlin Derose

Chris Thile

by Geoff Kelly


by Shaun Smith

Vision of Sound

by K. O'Day

Calendar Spotlight

Mr. Lif

by Shaun Smith

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

by Caitlin Derose

Trevor Dunn


by Shaun Smith

The Koffin Kats