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Sweeping Culture Daily

SPOTLIGHT: Sweeping Culture Daily

In Five: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Julie Taymor, Millepied Named Paris Opera Ballet Director, and More Culture News

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1. Julie Taymor, coming off the disastrous “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” will direct Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as the opening play for the new Fort Greene, Brooklyn home of the Theater for a New Audience. Taymor first collaborated with the Theater for a New Audience in 1986 with a production of “The Tempest.” Casting and other details have yet to be announced, and the play will open on November 2. [Variety]

2.  Benjamin Millepied has been appointed the new director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet, starting in September 2014. The choreographer and former principal dancer at the New York City Ballet was a surprise choice for the position due to his lack of experience running such a large organization and his unfamiliarity with the “byzantine politics” of the group. Millepied is best known outside dance circles as the husband of actress Natalie Portman, whom he met while working on the film “Black Swan.” [New York Times]

3. Robert Polito, current director of the creative writing program at The New School (and author of “Savage Art,” a stunning biography of pulp writer Jim Thompson), has been named the new president of the Poetry Foundation. Polito, who begins the position in July, will take over for John Barr, who is set to retire. The Poetry Foundation publishes Poetry magazine, which received a $100 million donation from Ruth Lilly, the creator of the magazine, in 2002. [Artsbeat]

4.  The Roots are currently preparing a collaborative album with Elvis Costello, drummer Questlove announced in an interview. The songs have been recorded, and Costello and the Roots plan to mix and master the album in the near future. The collaborators met during Costello’s performances on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” where The Roots are the backing band. “It was really love at first sight,” Questlove said of Costello. [Billboard]

5. Akron/Family, who always pushed the boundaries of the “freak folk” tag they were given early on in their career, are back with a new song, “No-Room.” The single is from their forthcoming album “Sub Verses,” set to be released later this year on Dead Oceans. The song sees the band returning to the heavier, hypnotic sound of their record “Meek Warrior.” [Stereogum]

Previously: Irina Dvorovenko, David Fincher, “Bored to Death,” “Mad Men,” Nightlands

Image: Julie Taymor/Jemal Countess/Getty Images

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