Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Björk's new album, Volta, will be released May 7th.

The Volta (Vuel-ta) is known as a "Renaissance dance" (a period in time) which came from Italy (some say Provence, France) as a peasant dance in the early 16th century and later into Switzerland, then to France (Volte ) and ending in Germany . The name Volta means "turning." It is said that the Italian Volta was first introduced by the "Count of Sault " to the Paris court in 1556. Later, around 1581,Catherine De Medici (1518-1589) introduced the Volta to the French court of Versailles .

The Volta is said to be the first of the Waltzes or the forerunner of the Waltz when combined with other round dances. The Girls of Provence danced the Volta in the Great feast of Bayonne in 1565.
The Tordion (Galliarde ) was used for a few measures to start the Volta. During the Volta, the man faces his partner instead of standing alongside or opposite each other (which was very scandalous), and held her very close. The leader turns his partner around several times and then helps her take a high Saute Majer (Leap) into the air (with the skirts shamelessly flying high), as well as he, at times leaping with her (or just after her.) The Volta was usually taken with two single steps and a double step with a hop on the 5th. (5 counts) and was done in 3/4 time. The name "Volta" means turning or to turn.

With the right foot raised high in the air, the dancers hopped on the left and turned at a ninety degree angle, then took a long stride, and another quarter turn then sprang high in the air again making another quarter turn, each pattern consisted of three quarter turns and a leap.

This dance was claimed shameful and indecent and the entire dance being filthy. It was reported that "the Volta brought forth many murders and miscarriages" (not true) and "should be heavily looked into by local police." Madame de Valentinois , in the time of Francis the First , was very fond of this dance, and while dancing it sang the psalms translated by Clement Marot.

in the meantime

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It's Cremaster Time

"The cremaster muscle is a muscle that covers the testis. Its function is to raise and lower the scrotum in order to regulate the temperature of the testis and promote spermatogenesis" (Wikipedia)

Spring is finally here (despite the Arctic blasts whipping into Chicago this past week), and you know what that means. That's right: it's Cremaster time.

Throughout the month the Gene Siskel film center will be showing all five parts of Matthew Barney's The Cremaster Cycle (starring the first-ever Bond girl herself Ursula Andress), concluding with a screening of his most recent film Drawing Restraint 9 (starring his exponentially talented wife Björk). I simply couldn't think of a better way to spend those rainy April days than to delve into the phantasmagoric mindfuck that is 'male sexuality'. A bit disorienting but bizarrely captivating, check it out yourself!

show times

Friday, April 13, 2007

Let The Countdown Begin

"I have loved working with TopShop, they have given me complete creative freedom throughout the process. I am excited to see my range launch."

Ladies, start your engines: Kate Moss' much anticipated collaboration with U.K. retailer TopShop will be available May 1st. After sifting through the look-book I must admit, I'm only mildly enthused. While the little black dresses are something to behold, I just don't think I'm ready for her uber-short shorts to enter ubiquity. The collection is more or less an attempt at knocking off her sartorial staples (hasn't H&M been doing this for years?) with very little innovation. I suppose her style isn't so inimitable after all.

Link: Take a peek for yourself...