Ali Smith, Osmo Vänskä, the Nicholas Brothers, Islamic Art & the Supernatural, A Martian Sends a Postcard Home
Ali Smith discusses her Brexit-era novel, Autumn, with Samira Ahmed. It's the first of a quartet which very much reflects the issues of today.
Osmo Vänskä is about to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra playing all the symphonies of Sibelius. He speaks about the composer and Sibelius' place in Finnish national identity.
In 1943 two African American brothers from Philadelphia performed a dance routine in the film Stormy Weather, which Fred Astaire would come to refer to as the greatest movie musical sequence he had ever seen. For Fayard and Harold Nicholas - otherwise known as The Nicholas Brothers - entering the Hollywood arena this was no small feat in the 1940's America, a time when racial prejudice was commonplace. Choreographer Stuart Thomas reflects on the achievement of the brothers who were regulars at Harlem's Cotton Club - working with the orchestras of Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington - and one of whom taught Michael Jackson to dance.
There are old saws that depicting figures is prohibited in Islam and that the religion, apart from devotion to the one God, has no truck with the supernatural. Francesca Leoni, curator of a new exhibition at the the Ashmolean Museum, and Professor Tariq Ramadan, discuss with Samira Ahmed how things are a good deal more complicated than that.
And, on the day a spacecraft lands on Mars to send messages back about the planaet, we hear part of a poem that reverses that process.…read more