From its beginnings as a group of male performers in the 1980s, Sarabande has transformed into a close-knit community of female dancers. Every semester these women dedicate hours of work to their craft, with a large performance to cap off the semester. Check out this video to get a closer look at what it takes to be a member of Tufts’ only ballet and contemporary dance group.
Sarabande’s spring show, “Break out of Ballet,” will have it’s last performance Saturday April 13 at 8PM. Tickets are available for free with a Tufts ID.
Posted by Jacob Passy on April 9, 2013 under Uncategorized | Comments are off for this article
As the semester gets into the thick of it, my television viewing ultimately suffers. There are only so many hours in the day, and just a few can be filled with the lovely shows of the tube. Typically, the first to go are my most guiltiest of pleasures – new episodes of shows like NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” (1999) and reruns of others like The CW’s “Gilmore Girls” (2000).
Along with these losses also comes some of the most trashy-classy reality television that Bravo has to offer: “The Real Housewives” series. Watching an episode of “Real Housewives” can be an experience of pure bliss. True, every ounce of the drama may be scripted or staged, but it still offers an indelible view into the lives of the rich and the famous.
This is not to say these shows are good – in fact, some installments I feel never approach the trash-tastic appeal that is a pre-requisite to my viewership, and instead amount to nothing more than trash. What’s more, it’s hard to ignore the troubling depictions of women embedded within these shows – the catfights may be funny, but they also create a problematic stereotype.
Now, obviously not everyone watches these shows. But despite their flaws, I still highly suggest them. Well some of them – below I’ve presented the pros and cons of each installment in chronological order from when they first aired. From the table-flipping antics to the dazzling manions, here’s what you can expect when you tune in.
Posted by Jacob Passy on April 5, 2013 under Campus News | Comments are off for this article
Relay for Life held a fundraiser at Joshua Tree last night – the latest in a string of fundraisers being held at local restaurants to benefit charitable events. Prior to last night’s event, four similar functions have been held in the past few weeks for students participating in the Boston Marathon.
According to senior Will Lyoo, who serves as special events committee chair for Relay for Life, said that the initial idea to hold a fundraiser came from the push to get more publicity.
“We noticed that Joshua Tree had made a Facebook event for a night that seemed geared toward college kids, so we approached them with hopes that they would see this type of event as mutually beneficial and fortunately they did,” Lyoo said.
Senior Patricia Moncure also held a fundraiser at Joshua Tree last week, as well as one at frozen yogurt eatery Orange Leaf, to benefit her Marathon team. She said she enjoyed holding the fundraiser at local watering hole Joshua Tree because it was different from the norm.
“I knew many local organizations, such as J.P. Licks, Boloco, and Danish Pastry House, are often sponsors of Tufts events and make generous donations, so I thought I would branch out a bit further and try a local bar for a different type of fundraiser,” Moncure said. “The manager at Joshua Tree was extremely receptive and coordination went smoothly. The event was also a success–many team members and their friends made it out to Davis and we were able to raise a total of $494 for the team.”
Overall, most students find similar success to Moncure’s Joshua Tree event, raising a significant amount of money for their charitable causes. Moncure added, however, that the Joshua Tree fundraiser ended up raising more money than the one she held at Orange Leaf, which only raised $77.
Posted by Jacob Passy on February 20, 2013 under Arts & Living, Columns | Comments are off for this article
This past week marked the tragic end to the lives of two reality television stars. On Feb. 14, Reeva Steenkamp’s death made headlines far from her South African home after her boyfriend, famed Olympic and Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius, was implicated as the likely culprit. Steenkamp’s appearance on South African television show “Tropika Island of Treasure” (2013) followed soon after, with multiple memorials to its fallen star in its first episode.
And just on Sunday, country singer Mindy McCready passed away in an apparent suicide after a life battle with substance abuse, some of which was chronicled during her appearance on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” (2008).
While neither star died during the filming of their reality television show, their notoriety plays into the sensationalism of the medium. Reality TV, much like journalism, banks on the drama its contestants or main characters can bring. This is not to say that television producers are actively seeking such tragic occurrences, but they certainly can’t hurt the ratings.
Well, most of the time anyway. VH1’s would-be reality dating show “Megan Wants a Millionaire” never met its audience after a contestant’s death. The man in question, Ryan Jenkins, had been sought for questioning and later charged in the case of his wife’s murder. Subsequently, he disappeared and was then found dead in an apparent suicide in British Columbia. VH1 cancelled the show, later confirming that Jenkins had placed third. For the more sadistic readers out there, here’s the trailer to the series, which seemed like it would have been quite trash-tastic.
Tufts announced in a community-wide email that the parking ban which went into effect last night will continue until Monday, Feb. 18 at 9 AM due to the snowstorm. Cars may not be parked on university roadways or in faculty lots, and anyone with a green or red parking decal is welcome to park in the Lower Campus Garage or Dowling Garage. Non-commuters may also leave their cars in the Dowling Garage until 3 PM on Monday.
Despite the parking ban that is in effect, the university shuttle buses including the Joey will continue to run on their normal schedule, with the potential for delays due to the possibility of poor road conditions. For service updates, visit this website for more information.
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On the heels of Winter Storm Nemo, which broke records for snowfall in the city of Boston, another storm is coming overnight Saturday. According to the National Weather Service, this unnamed storm is only expected to bring light to moderate snow to the area.
Local cities, including Somerville, have begun to issue snow emergencies for the weekend in order to prepare for snow removal efforts that will be complicated due to the large amounts of snow still accumulated from last week’s blizzard, which brought over two feet of snow to the area.
Tufts has enacted a parking ban on university roadways and staff/faculty parking lots, which starts tonight at 11 p.m. and continues until tomorrow at 9 p.m, according to an email sent out to the Tufts community tonight. Students with Resident or Commuter permits are allowed to move their cars to the Lower Campus Garage or the Dowling Garage.
According to an announcement by the City of Somerville, residents may not park cars on the even-numbered sides of streets starting at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Anyone who cannot find parking is permitted to park in municipal and school parking lots during this time. Keep checking Jumbo Slice over the weekend to find more updates on this storm and its effects.
Senior class council announced that the third senior pub night will occur on Thursday, February 21. According to Senior Class Council Vice President of Social Programming Hilary Ludlow, the event will be held at Gypsy Bar in Boston’s Back Bay.
In an email sent by University Registrar JoAnn Jack to the Tufts students, Student Services reminded that the date to drop courses without record of enrollment is coming up. Tufts seniors, juniors, and sophomores can drop courses until Wednesday, February 20 at 5 PM.
Students can drop courses either with an add-drop form or on SIS Online until that date. Any students who drop a course after that time will receive a grade of a ‘W’ on their transcript. This is also the last day that students can select the Pass/Fail option for a course.
First-year undergraduate students have until Wednesday, April 3 to drop courses. Any students who need more information are asked to call Student Services at (617) 627-2000.
Posted by Jacob Passy on February 13, 2013 under Columns | Comments are off for this article
That’s the question. This week, as I watched an episode from the 17th season of ABC’s “The Bachelor” (2002), all I could think about is the improbability of this show doing so well. But is it on its last legs?
When “The Bachelor” premiered in 2002 with single man Alex Michel, the format of the show seemed pretty revolutionary, but was actually just more of the same in a sense. Dating shows are nothing new after all. In 1965, “The Dating Game” became one of the most popular game shows ever and recurred in various installments until 2000.
The concept of the show was simple – a girl would pick from three male suitors who she wanted to go on a date with, and the catch was that she couldn’t see them. Audiences were delighted to be in on the secret, and kept returning for more as the male companion’s antics were almost sure to make you laugh.
Fast forward about 40 years though, and the television landscape was a completely different place. MTV’s “The Real World” had debuted in 1992 and set off a thirst for more realistic television. It wasn’t enough to see people talk about their dates, you wanted to watch them go on them.
Posted by Jacob Passy on February 6, 2013 under Arts & Living, Columns | Comments are off for this article
This is the first installment in Jacob Passy’s online column “Reality Bites” which examines trends and highlights in the world of reality television.
“Project Runway” has been around a while – 11 seasons to be precise (if we’re not counting the additional two “All Stars” installments.) And in that time, it’s run the gamut of challenges and contestants. So in its attempt to stay relevant and fresh, it fell into the latest reality television trap: the twist.
Ah, the classic twist. Just when you think you know how a show’s going to go, it changes everything up. Better yet, it changes its complete format. That appears to be the thinking behind the latest trend in reality competition series.
Take, for instance, NBC’s “The Voice.” Although based on a pre-existing Dutch singing competition, the show threw a wrench in the chokehold that “American Idol” appeared to have on the genre. But with its mix of popular and attractive judges – we’re looking at you, Adam Levine – on top of chair-turning gimmicks, it became the one to beat.
One by one, reality competition series began copying its style. Cooking competitions suddenly were done in teams with celebrity chefs – à la ABC’s “The Taste”. Nigel Barker, the photographer who famously was sent packing after a longtime stint on “America’s Next Top Model,” took the same approach with Oxygen’s “The Face,” having three supermodel coaches select teams of aspiring female models. Barker’s former show reinvented itself even as Tyra Banks began to engage more with social media this past season.
Oh, and if you haven’t noticed, this nearly identical naming is becoming a thing. To the chagrin of “Project Runway” executive producer Heidi Klum, they couldn’t exactly rename the show. Or take the same format. But, as she knows all too well, you’re either in or you’re…cancelled.
Executive Producer and host Klum, left, is trying to keep 'Project Runway' fresh. Photo by Barbara Nitke Copyright 2011 (The Denver Post | Barbara Nitke)
In an effort to avoid the chopping block – not that they have much to worry about since Lifetime’s never been a ratings powerhouse – the show re-invented itself. They chose to do so with teams, naturally, so they’re sort of like “The Voice.” For their eleventh season, the big twist is that every challenge is a team challenge.
Don’t ask me how that will work for the finale, which typically features three solo designers, but so far it’s proved… Well, actually, that’s the problem – the concept is so uninspiring that it’s hard even to assign an emotion to it. In their constant effort to attract ratings, the show’s producers forgot that the show’s audience hates team challenges as much as the contestants do.
But – let’s be honest – how hard can it be to do a team challenge. Sure, you need to stand out to win and all that jazz, yet have none of these designers ever looked at a fashion label? Everything is done in teams. In today’s world, how can you avoid coordination and working together with people. If this reality TV show is indicative of actual reality, I’m concerned for the future of our workforce that can never get it together to make a single successful garment.
I’ll cut the show some slack – there have only been two episodes with this theme so far – but I don’t expect it to make for very interesting television. Within the second episode, the designers have already run out of ways to say “I hate my team,” not that I had much faith in this year’s batch of uninspiring contestants. In their defense though, these tired tropes have been overplayed on “Project Runway,” which had enough team challenges each season prior to this one that this is hardly much of a change.
I’m going to wager that – in the effort to join the club (or team, as it were) of reality shows trying new things – Klum’s show is on its way out. Sure, I love watching pretty clothes, but the German supermodel and her crew are no longer as fresh as they once were. And to think, less than a decade ago, this show was the most stylish new kid on the block.
So if “Project Runway” is no longer the future of reality TV, then what is? Each week I’ll be trudging my way through these unscripted beauties – or tragedies depending on your taste – to find my winner. Stay tuned!