If you appreciate the arts, Smiley Library has acquired a new database to enjoy on your next visit. Alexander Street database offers streaming videos on music, dance, and theater. Watch Tennessee William’s A Streetcar named Desire; listen to the Bossa Nova sounds of saxophonist Stan Getz; and admire Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake performed by The Royal Ballet. This database is only available while you’re at the Library, so when you’re ready to take a break from studying, grab your laptop or get on to one of Smiley Library’s computers and head to www.akspl.org/elibrary. Scroll to the Alexander Street icon and click to get started. Don’t forget to bring your headphones when listening to audio videos, or head over to our circulation desk for a free set of earbuds.
I thought it would be fun to pair some of our new performing arts books with videos from the Alexander Street database. Here are a few suggestions to consider.
Check out the book, “Miles on Miles: Interviews and Encounters with Miles Davis,” edited by Paul Maher, Jr. and Michael K. Dorr, for your reading pleasure. This collection of 30 interviews illuminates the philosophy of life and music from an absolute jazz legend. Before heading home with your book, jump onto a computer to access our new database and watch the quick video Miles Davis: The Cool Jazz Sound. This will be a great introduction into the mystique of Miles.
If you can sing songs from Into the Woods or West Side Story, you may be familiar with this next composer and lyricist. “Sondheim: His Life, His Shows, His Legacy” by Stephen M. Silverman showcases one of the most important figures in American musical theater, Stephen Sondheim. The book provides a detailed background of this brilliant man, along with beautiful photos. Pair this with the short video, Stephen Sondheim: Extended Interview, available through our database, to hear him talk of his life in the theater.
For dance enthusiasts, try “Errand Into the Maze: the Life and Works of Martha Graham” by Deborah Jowitt. This erudite and scholarly book examines the life of this very influential dancer and choreographer of modern dance. Pair this with the video, The History of Modern Dance to get a real feel for the evolution of modern and postmodern dance.
Have a happy and artsy new year!