Anya Wassenberg
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Anya is a long-time freelance writer with a varied career that has included everything from books to print periodicals, and loads of online writing from social media to copywriting. Along with writing, she is a singer and has been known to work as a fine art model. Visit her at www.anyawassenberg.ca and www.artandculturemaven.com.

Entries by Anya Wassenberg

I Paid The Price For Arriving Early To The Braless Revolution

(18) Comments | Posted October 18, 2016 | 3:18 PM

I've seen the memes, and celebrities are getting in on the trend, which means it has truly arrived. Just the other day, Charlize Theron made headlines for it, and now that Beyoncé is on board, I think we have the makings of a revolution -- the...

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Why We Can't Make Pretty Art Anymore

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 1:24 PM

Not long ago I was listening to a new jazz release by saxophonist/composer Rich Halley -- Creating Structure, an album of four-part jazz improvisation. The first track is called Analog Counterpoint. It's percussive and insistent with an urgent sax line -- Rich's instrument -- above a dry staccato...

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When You Go Online To Look For Answers, Always Remember the Source

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 11:07 AM

I've been freelancing as a writer for about two decades and it used to be a decent if less stable alternative to a full-time gig in the publishing world. That old world of print, as we all know, is shrinking as we speak of it and it's more than just...

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When I Turned 50 I Realized I Could Sing

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 11:53 AM

I have a history of doing things out of sync with the rest of the world.

I tried the straight-and-narrow lifestyle at 20 -- married, 9-to-5 job after a university degree, baby a sensible 5 years later. Something happened, though, when I reached my late 20s and the whole normal...

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A White Canadian in Harlem

(9) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 3:07 PM

As an arts addict, I'm always in search of cheap digs to stay at in New York City -- like apartment sublets. In that quest, I've gotten creative and crept higher and higher past the Uppers and into Harlem, way past where the tourist websites stop their recommendations...

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Choreographer/Dancer Jeanguy Saintus Riché and Ayikodans: Dancing in the Dark

(1) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 11:40 AM

"The last three years have been difficult, especially the last two," says Jeanguy Saintus, professional name of Haitian-born and internationally renowned choreographer, dancer and dance educator Jeanguy Saintus Riché,. "In 2010, it was a shock to everyone. We didn't know what would happen."

On January 12, 2010, the earthquake...

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Stories from Canada's Afro-Caribbean Music Artists

(2) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 5:00 PM

"When I was back in Kenya, I'd heard Canada was cold and I thought PEI, being an island, would be warmer," singer/songwriter Ruth Mathiang remembers with a laugh.

Juno winner Lorraine Klaasen similarly recalls her impressions of Canada. "I came in 1978 at the height of...

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True to the Avant-Garde: Wadada Leo Smith

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2013 | 12:45 PM

For acclaimed jazz composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, the avant-garde is much more than a genre in the art world; its imperative of experimentation has been the foundation of his artistic life. Named as one of three finalists for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in music,...

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The Renaissance of Aboriginal Culture

(1) Comments | Posted February 2, 2013 | 7:03 AM

Idle No More is grabbing headlines across the country. The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, celebrating its 14th incarnation in 2013, has seen audiences increasing steadily over the last few years. In 2012, 14,000 people took in its varied program of film, multimedia, music and more.

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The Woman Who Plays the Pipa

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2012 | 12:28 AM

Borderlands: Wu Man and the Master Musicians of the Silk Route on the Smithsonian Folkways label is the 10th and final CD/DVD set in the award-winning "Music of Central Asia" series, co-produced with the Aga Khan Music Initiative. It follows the journey of musician Wu Man...

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Musical Activism: Wake Up Madgascar

(0) Comments | Posted July 13, 2012 | 11:45 AM

When most North Americans think of Madagascar, they think of the adorable animated creatures who inhabit the DreamWorks Madagascar film franchise, currently into its third installation with the recent release of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted which hit movie screens last month. Setting aside any issues of biological accuracy --...

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This Artist IS Present

(1) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 3:05 PM

This HBO Documentary on the life and work of Marina Abramović, which airs in Canada this month, will be of interest to performance art enthusiasts, to be sure, but should be of interest to all the sceptics out there as well. "The most important is from which state of mind...

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Canadian Playwright Brad Fraser on Keeping Things Interesting

(0) Comments | Posted May 10, 2012 | 4:45 PM

It's a hot afternoon in September when I meet with Canadian playwright (screenwriter and director and producer) extraordinaire Brad Fraser at Church and Charles for a caffeine fix and to talk about the release of his latest play 5 at 50 in book form (Playwrights Press 2012).

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Experimental Theatre is Back in the Spotlight

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2012 | 12:30 PM

I caught up with Young Jean Lee, often described as a rising star of avant-garde theatre, on the phone just as her production of The Shipment begins performances in Toronto.

To say that the theatrical works of Young Jean Lee are thematically diverse is something of...

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Do Black Dance Companies Hit a Glass Ceiling?

(2) Comments | Posted January 31, 2012 | 8:26 AM

"The platforms for black dance are so narrow," states acclaimed Australian independent choreographer Bernadette Walong-Sene.

It was a sentiment that echoed over and over in the panel discussion I attended at the 2012 International Association of Blacks in Dance (I.A.B.D.) Conference that just ended Sunday, January 30 in Toronto...

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Why I Watch Movies to Get My News

(17) Comments | Posted December 30, 2011 | 11:08 PM

A few years ago, I tuned out the news. It wasn't really meant to be a permanent decision, but nonetheless I did make a clean break with TV and radio newscasts, newspapers, and news magazines (although it's virtually impossible to entirely escape headlines when you're on the Internet). Around the...

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Prosecutor Film Uncovers ICC Struggles

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2011 | 8:00 AM

Prosecutor
Law. No Order.
A documentary film screening and Q&A with Luis Moreno Ocampo, Stephen Lewis and filmmaker Barry Stevens
Nov. 14, 2011 in Toronto

"The Nazis killed millions of people. We said never again. We were wrong."

"The age of impunity is ending."

These...

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Dance = Life

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2011 | 8:30 AM

I come from a culture that doesn't dance.

There is a series of videos you may be fortunate enough to catch on YouTube at some point. It comes from a 1966 film of the Berliner Philharmoniker performing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony under Herbert von Karajan (and the reason you probably...

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A Nude Model's Story of Humility and Joy

(9) Comments | Posted October 8, 2011 | 8:31 AM

I was going to be an important and well-paid writer, see. The modelling thing, that was just to tide me over till the whole writing gig took off, because I knew that you could basically walk in off the street and get work taking your clothes off for artists. But...

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Why I Hate World Music

(27) Comments | Posted September 17, 2011 | 9:24 AM

I interviewed South African trumpet player and composer Hugh Masekela on tour last year. At 71, he's been playing and recording since the late 1950s, and his work has been variously filed under jazz, classical, contemporary North American adult, and as African music, all terms he has little time for....

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