The Wortham Theater's Green Room is a crush of nervous little girls, well-dressed men and slightly flushed women clutching programs and nudging themselves closer to Carlos Acosta, the man in white tights signing autographs. They're on a tingly, post-performance high, having just watched him dance Basilio in Houston Ballet's Don Quixote, where a good number in the packed house gasped, grabbed their armrests and finally launched themselves from their seats to bellow "Bravo!" Some of them cried. The ballet neophytes say they've never seen anything like it. The aficionados begin their assessment with these three words: "Not since Baryshnikov." "You've heard of Air Jordan? We call him Air Acosta, " Daisuke Sato, Acosta's friend from Cuba, is telling a young fan. Opera has its Pavarottis. Classical music has its Midoris. But the closest thing to a pop star the ballet world has now is an aging Mikhail Baryshnikov, who passed his pyrotechnic prime a decade ago. … [Read more...] about They call him ‘Air Acosta’
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This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 11 BRISTOL, Va. - Sonya Ratliff and about a dozen friends put on sparkly clothes and left early on a Tuesday morning to celebrate another mom's birthday. In years past, that might have meant brunch. Now, in this Bible Belt town on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, it means slot machines, blackjack and other games of chance at the newly opened Bristol Casino. How long would the women gamble? "Until we have to pick up our kids from school," Ratliff, 42, said to roars of laughter from her friends gathered around a roulette table. Since July 8, Virginia's first casino has been doing big business in a former abandoned shopping mall near the Tennessee line. More than 25,000 people from 49 states visited in just the first three weeks of operation, raising visions of economic salvation in a city that's been desperate for it. "It's … [Read more...] about Coal jobs are almost gone. Could a casino help rescue southwest Virginia?
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 26 CELIKHAN, Turkey (AP) — Mehmet Emin Calkan begins work harvesting a tobacco field in rural Turkey before dawn, then has another shift skewering and stringing the tobacco to dry under the sun. The 19-year-old, who hopes to study electronic engineering, has undertaken the strenuous work to help support his family and pay for books he needs to prepare for the university entrance exam. His family cannot afford to send him to schools that prep students for the test. “Sometimes I work until 9 p.m.,” Calkan said. While he labors, his boss, tobacco grower Ismail Demir, says rising costs from fuel to fertilizers have seriously affected his livelihood. “The vehicle I use to go to and from the field burns 300 Turkish lira ($16) of diesel. Last year, we … [Read more...] about Record inflation squeezes Turkish tobacco workers, owners