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Spenser Willden


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Culture

UNM performs ‘auto-bio-choreo-graphy’ of prolific, controversial artist

  There’s a line in “Jérôme Bel,” presented over the weekend by the University of New Mexico Department of Theatre and Dance, that says, “The most beautiful thing a performer can bring to their audience is their vulnerability.”  The piece, titled “Jérôme Bel” after the author, French contemporary choreographer, is directed by professor Dominika Laster and reenacted by UNM assistant professor of theater Alejandro Tomás Rodriguez. In the piece, Rodriguez (as Bel) presents a performance-lecture on groundbreaking works from the artist’s history of unique choreography.

GALLERY: Opinion: the lost art of set dressing in high-budget film
Culture

OPINION: Bring mess back to set design

  There’s a certain lifeless element to the modern blockbuster that’s difficult to pin down. Culprit not discussed often enough are the set designers and dressers; when done well, their work lends a deeper and more nuanced understanding to the characters and themes. When done poorly, it can kill a film. Though our on screen characters are hotter than ever, there’s an increased sterility in the way they move through their worlds; their arcs feel flat, their emotional situations contrived and their relationships to each other underdeveloped. Some of these issues originate from the performers themselves, but even more from the directors, screenwriters and producers who push out low-quality schlock with little regard for culture or art. There’s no question about it; something is rotten in the state of the blockbuster.

GALLERY: Dry Heat One-Liner Night
Culture

One-Liner Madness showcases local comedy talent

  Across the street from Dry Heat Comedy Club at Launchpad, audiences gathered to watch sixty-four local comics compete in One-Liner Madness, a March Madness style competition, this past Sunday, Feb. 19. Comics went head-to-head to determine who had the best one-liners in the competition that was hosted by Dry Heat, as determined by audience applause. The competition was founded in New York by comic and writer Emily Winter, who had the idea with her producing partner at the time, Larry Mancini, according to Dry Heat co-owner and comic Sarah Kennedy, who served as one of the judges of the competition alongside Winter and comic Chris Calogero.

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Culture

Black Student Union builds community through outreach, education and advocacy

  The Black Student Union, a Black student organization in the African American Student Services department at the University of New Mexico, aims to foster community for Black students through a combination of outreach, education and advocacy work. The BSU offers a space for Black students to connect with the community, both on campus and across the city, according to Nakia Jackson: BSU president and UNM junior majoring in signed language interpretation.

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Culture

‘The Legend of Vox Machina’ succeeds on charisma check, but just barely

 On Friday, Jan. 20, Amazon Prime Video released the first three episodes of the second season of “The Legend of Vox Machina,” animation studio Titmouse Inc.’s adaptation of the wildly successful Dungeons and Dragons actual-play show “Critical Role.” Though impressive in scope and showing plenty of promise for what’s to come, season two so far is underwhelming, if not as an adaptation, then as a story on its own. This season, “The Legend of Vox Machina” follows titular adventuring party Vox Machina as they track down legendary magical items to help them defeat a cadre of villainous dragons dubbed the “Chroma Conclave,” bent on ruling the world. If it sounds played out, that’s because it is — mostly.

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Culture

5 and Why: 5 best places to read on campus

 As students and faculty return to the University of New Mexico main campus, it can be harder than ever to find a nice, relaxing place to unwind with a good book. To help readers get back in the swing of things amid the bustle of a new semester, fifth year student Arely Ortega shared five of her favorite places to read on campus. El Centro de la Raza As far as study spots on campus go, you can’t get more welcoming than the various student resource centers on campus. To Ortega, the most relaxing of these is El Centro de la Raza, located in Mesa Vista Hall.

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Culture

“This Place Rules” doesn’t rule

Two years ago on Jan. 6, 2021, a group of right-wing pro-Trump rioters stormed the capitol building in Washington D.C., marking the violent culmination of a historic cultural and media frenzy around the polarizing 2020 election cycle. This event, and the frenzy leading up to it, are the subject of journalist and documentarian Andrew Callaghan’s new documentary on HBO, “This Place Rules,” which premiered Dec. 30, 2022. Though laudable, the filmmaking is surprisingly shallow, making “This Place Rules” an ultimately skippable watch.

GALLERY: Hanging of the Greens
Culture

UNM community celebrates annual Hanging of the Greens

This past Friday, Dec. 2, the University of New Mexico welcomed the holiday season to campus with the annual Hanging of the Greens. The event featured caroling, refreshments and over 13,000 luminarias placed around campus. Attendees met near the bookstore and walked through campus to University House, where they presented President Stokes with a wreath she then hung on her door. Following this, they proceeded to Hodgin Hall for a reception. This year’s event boasted a strong turnout, proving that after 90 years, the long-standing tradition is still enjoyed by UNM and the broader Albuquerque community, acording to Mortar Board director of public relations and chair of the Hanging of the Greens committee Tayler Suazo.

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News

OPINION: Now’s the time; let’s lose Twitter

Losers, rejoice — in a move sure to be celebrated by the worst men you know, Elon Musk completed his long-threatened acquisition of social media platform Twitter on Oct. 27, bringing with it changes that have prompted many users and staff members to finally call it quits. Verification overhaul, content moderation changes and more are all on the table and have already altered user experience nearly beyond repair. With Twitter going through rapid change, now is the time to leave it behind for good and move on to greener, less awful pastures. 

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Culture

UNM swing dancing club celebrates first dance

A crowd of over 50 students gathered in the Student Union Building for the first meeting of the University of New Mexico Swing Dancing Club on Sunday, Nov. 20. Starting with an introductory West coast-style swing lesson from the SouthWesties dance troupe, the night brought dancing to campus for students of all skill levels. By meeting on campus, the Swing Dancing Club gives students the opportunity to engage in dance in a safe and welcoming space for those under 21 and without the transportation to go off campus, according to attendee and dance enthusiast Brianna Knox Hubbard. “I’ve been looking for an under-21 space to social dance since I’m 19, and this provides that,” Hubbard said.

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