Have you heard of hiplet (pronounced “hip-lay”)? I can’t stop watching this combo of hip-hop and ballet, created by Homer Hans Bryant, the founder of the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center. Although the moves can look untraditional, Bryant noted, “I love awkward… It’s probably making a lot of teachers cringe… [But] we’re keeping it relevant and getting kids excited. Some people didn’t like Picasso either. He painted funny.”
The new Sesame Street character, Julia, has autism. This makes me happier than words can say. She meets Big Bird and friends, and they welcome her into the fold. The team was incredibly thoughtful about creating her persona: for example, her outfit is loose and doesn’t have buttons, tags or ribbons (which can bother kids with sensory issues). “Her eyes had to be a certain way because she has to have an intense look, but she has to look friendly,” says puppet designer Rollie Krewson. Krewson actually created two sets of eyes — a half-closed version and a fully closed version — so that if Julia gets overwhelmed by something, she can squeeze them shut. (This article is 1000% worth reading.)
Podcast lovers, mark your calendars for March 28th: S-Town, a new true crime podcast from the producers of This American Life and Serial, will drop all seven episodes at once. The narrative includes a “nasty feud and a hunt for hidden treasure”; and Ira Glass notes, “the story has this feeling and mood that’s different from anything else we’ve done.” If you have trouble getting a hold of us next Tuesday, you know why.