Cuban opera singer challenges "jealous" bureaucrats over closed theater

HAVANA (Reuters) – The Cuban government has closed a privately run cultural center, causing consternation among artists and intellectuals in what is shaping up to be the latest test of President Raul Castro’s loosening of controls over everyday life. A week ago government inspectors burst into the El Cabildo cultural center to the shock of patrons, artists and staff attending musical performed by its theater company, the “Opera in the Street. …

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    Takashi Murakami Cranks Up the Sex, Cy Twombly Remembered, the Sockless Sommelier Art Thief, and the Week’s Other Top Stories (ARTINFO)

    ARTINFO – The most-talked-about stories on ARTINFO, July 4-8, 2011:

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      Britain’s "first modern art movement" in Tate show

      LONDON (Reuters) – The exquisite detail, vivid colors and radical 19th century style of the Pre-Raphaelites light up London’s Tate museum with a new exhibit of Britain’s “first modern art movement”. The 180 paintings, sculptures and tapestries of “Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde” comprise the largest exhibition of the movement’s works at the Tate Britain since 1984. It runs from September 12 until January 13. …

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        Businesses must step in with cash to save the arts

        AN Australian philanthropist and major benefactor of the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) has called on ordinary citizens and businesses to help save the Scottish arts in the face of government cutbacks and global austerity.

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          Top Vacation Destinations

          Indulgence is all about taking your vacation in style and living life as a fantasy. A must to escape from daily grind and give beat to burnout, choose any luxury packages to luxurious hotels and retreat in the world where you will live a life like a dream come true. Just make a fantasy of your desires and wishes and list down below are bound to make it real and oh so happening and the world of this place is for you to take at some price and your every whim shall be taken care of.

          • Vacation destinations: Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Spain

          Imagined yourself where there is wine and more wine wherever you see. Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Spain will let you live a life of wine connoisseur, which is hidden deep in Rioja region. Here there is indulgence in elixir, from the vineyards view surrounding the retreat and have the pleasures of tasting best wines. Since 1980, designed by architectural brilliance Frank Gehry, this is wine’s love haven from the time you check in and to time you check out, you will be in kicked in world of fantasy. You won’t even think about spirits and mixers, but will enjoy delicious meals served with wine sauce. And then move on to the The Wine Bar Vinoteca for nightcap or two and gulp in some more delectable wines. And on waking up there is sore head, The Caudalíe Vinothérapie® Spa will take care and there you again indulge in exclusive wine therapy massages and treatments. Don’t drink their spa dry!

          • Vacation destinations: Hilton São Paulo Morumbi, São Paulo, Brazil

          Fantasy of living like some President or Prime Minister will cease and become alive here. Hilton São Paulo Morumbi, São Paulo, Brazil which offers this dream package at $5,500 and live Like A Mogul. Immerse yourself in presidential lifestyle, beginning and ending with helicopter ride to and fro from São Paulo and ending at drop at Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport. On arrival you will be welcomed with Champagne and chocolate and then presented with key to Presidential Suite. Award winning chefs serving you dinner for romantic two, and sleep on Fretté sheets for such a good night. And in morning you need not do anything of presidential duties , but have a presidential breakfast and then wrap in Hilton dressing gown head on to having a presidential treatment in Sensory Spa, done by masseuses who are Brazilian beauty and indulge in massages, foot treatments, body scrubs and facials, as many as you like. When going for sight seeing, your personal chopper will be awaiting ready to ferry you round the city and have power trip.

          • Vacation destinations: Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur India

          Want to be a Maharaja- that’s emperor and live life king size and sleep in a bed that can accommodate some four to five couples and yet there be space? In a very picturesque location of Udaipur, Rajasthan in India, A palace like hotel which is set afloat in Lake Pichola, an abode of Taj Hotels, resorts and palaces. Feel like a maharaja- king of world, in the palace hotel amidst the Aravalli Mountains. Gleaming white marble structure, with majestic suites having stunning murals, exotic carpets, sweeping arches, claw-foot bathtubs and maharaja-size beds. And this can be seen and experienced only in India. And you will love and have the pleasure of ‘Hookah’ or being fanned by pretty Indian girl in sari; laze on chaise lounge and everything there are vibrant. Take a ride on decorated camel; pamper yourself with princely massages at Taj Spa. At night admire the brightly lit palace and take a romantic walk in the fountain lined courtyards. You will feel like Alladin and there will be so many genie’s out there to serve to your every need. Also enjoy the traditional folk and dance performed for you and dinning on exotic cuisine of India will be do delectable and you may ask for fireworks to go to show your princess jasmine and have a romantic and passionate night in your candle lit suite.

          • Vacation destinations: ICEHOTEL, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

          You may live in New York or California or Paris or Singapore but you may have dreamed a life where you are an Eskimo, living in such a cold place and keep on snuggling to feel cozy and living in a place made up of ice. Wow, that’s not a fantasy or dream because this has been made possible and into a reality. Enter yourself into the world famous and brilliant marvel of design and idea that’s ICEHOTEL which is in Jukkasjärvi, some 200 km in northern of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. Absolutely amazing and mind blowing fantasy retreat. Well I have only one word for it and that’s Astonishing, mimicking the construction idea and methods of nose kissing ancestors, the place is completely made up of ice. I mean, every thing, from the reception desk that shall greet you to the bed of ice for passionate love on it. The whole place is made up of ice from River Torne. As you check in, you shall be wrapped in warming furs. But its not just eyes blocks that makes the hotel, the décor of hotel is done in breathtaking and beautiful arts which are dotted around hotel. Heading on Icebar is first thing people do after donning on warm garbs, sipping on cocktails in the glasses made up of ice. As you may start feeling too cold and cannot even feel as if you have your feet below, go to warm up in ICEHOTEL restaurant which is only structure there which is not made up of ice but serves delicious local delicacies on ice slabs. You may unwind here, in a very elegant stylish restaurant before heading to cold or hot accommodation as per your choice. The retreat also has exciting and fun filled activities like ice sculpting, ice fishing, snowmobile rides and snowshoe excursions. But the best and most romantic sight is to watch the glittering northern lights in the sky together.

          • Vacation destinations: Samudra, Byron Bay, Australia

          Surfing paradise and Yoga retreat, Samudra, Byron Bay, Australia will serve your desire to ride on waves and feel the solidarity within. One of the best places on earth to catch the waves is Down Under, despite of Great Whites intimidating under the surface yet the water is lovely with such a panoramic view of vast and deep ocean. Byron Bay Manor, a retreat that combines surf and yoga at superb place of Samundra, you will be flying to relax as well as for having surfing adventure at the luxurious and lavish Byron Bay. This fantasy retreat is situated in New South Wales, Australia in some twenty seven acres of verdant grounds. The place has a distinct ambiance, a student bohemian vibe and suiting to surfer dude’s lifestyle. Here you may get a good training on surfing, initially you may not stand up but by the time you are about to live you may be doing like Kelly Slater. Invigorating Yoga in early morning is ritual of Manor, and then heading on the pristine golden sandy beach!

          . Other then Surfing and yoga, you can simply relax at solar heated pool, which has just the right temperature which will sooth your nerves and in spa for treatment and massage that will take away all your anxious worries. You can even unwind with a book or sit in the ocean view veranda while seeing the sun going down in Samundra. Also a very good chance to improve on your billiards technique and challenge people back home.

          Vacation destinations for fancy retreats will rejuvenate and reinvigorate you for back to daily life and memories of these exotic destinations will be like a talisman that will keep making you go on other fancy retreat on the list.

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          Birds of Tokyo- Wild At Heart (Perth, Australia, 2/10/09)

          Birds of Tokyo performing ‘Wild At Heart’ at the Fremantle Arts Centre in Perth Western Australia on 02/10/10.

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            Arts community demanding spotlight in Las Vegas (AP)

            AP – It’s a desert oasis that hangs its priciest paintings on casino walls, where neon signs are a point of a pride and themed-hotels pay tribute to architecture’s golden eras. Still, Las Vegas’ cultural offerings have long taken a back seat to the glamour and crudity of its most notorious vices. People come here to party, the stereotype goes, not broaden their artistic horizons.

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              Turtle Island String Quartet pt 2

              Live in concert , Perth Australia, Turtle Island deliver another great version of the Charles Mingus tune ‘Fables of Faubus’ filmed by Shenzo

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                SAMPOLOGY // SMACKDOWN

                SAMPOLOGY is an artist tracking his own path, mixing the skills of turntablism with visuals, he’s his own DJ and VJ show in one funky parcel. This interview combines footage from his recent vist to Perth as well as his chat with Cut & Paste from early in 2010 when he played the Beck’s Music Box for the Perth International Arts Festival.

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                  Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum reopens in September

                  The director of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum says the famed site of modern and contemporary art will reopen to the public in its permanent location on Museum Square on Sept. 23.

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