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Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is an imperial complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest; the temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century. Jiajing built three other prominent temples in Beijing, the Temple of the Sun in the east, the Temple of Earth in the north, the Temple of Moon in the west; the Temple of Heaven was renovated in the 18th century under the Qianlong Emperor. By the state budget was insufficient, so this was the last large-scale renovation of the temple complex in imperial times; the temple was occupied by the Anglo-French Alliance during the Second Opium War. In 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, the Eight Nation Alliance occupied the temple complex and turned it into the force's temporary command in Beijing, which lasted for one year.

The occupation desecrated the temple and resulted in serious damage to the building complex and the garden. Robberies of temple artifacts by the Alliance were reported. With the downfall of the Qing, the temple complex was left un-managed; the neglect of the temple complex led to the collapse of several halls in the following years. In 1914, Yuan Shikai President of the Republic of China, performed a Ming prayer ceremony at the temple, as part of an effort to have himself declared Emperor of China. In 1918 the temple was turned for the first time open to the public; the Temple of Heaven was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 and was described as "a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design which and graphically illustrates a cosmogony of great importance for the evolution of one of the world’s great civilizations..." as the "symbolic layout and design of the Temple of Heaven had a profound influence on architecture and planning in the Far East over many centuries." The Temple grounds cover 2.73 km2 of parkland and comprises three main groups of constructions, all built according to strict philosophical requirements: The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is a magnificent triple-gabled circular building, 36 m in diameter and 38 m tall, built on three levels of marble stone base, where the Emperor prayed for good harvests.

The building is wooden, with no nails. The original building was burned down by a fire caused by lightning in 1889; the current building was re-built several years after the incident. The Imperial Vault of Heaven is a single-gabled circular building, built on a single level of marble stone base, it resembles it, but is smaller. It is surrounded by a smooth circular wall, the Echo Wall, that can transmit sounds over large distances; the Imperial Vault is connected to the Hall of Prayer by the Vermilion Steps Bridge, a 360-meter-long raised walkway that ascends from the Vault to the Hall of Prayer. The dome for this building has no crossbeams to support the dome; the Circular Mound Altar is the altar located south of the Imperial Vault of Heaven. It is an empty circular platform on three levels of marble stones, each decorated by lavishly carved dragons; the numbers of various elements of the Altar, including its balusters and steps, are either the sacred number nine or its nonuples. The center of the altar is a round slate called the Heart of Heaven or the Supreme Yang, where the Emperor prayed for favorable weather.

Thanks to the design of the altar, the sound of the prayer will be reflected by the guardrail, creating significant resonance, supposed to help the prayer communicate with Heaven. The Altar was built in 1530 by the Jiajing Emperor and rebuilt in 1740. In ancient China, the Emperor of China was regarded as the Son of Heaven, who administered earthly matters on behalf of, representing, heavenly authority. To be seen to be showing respect to the source of his authority, in the form of sacrifices to heaven, was important; the temple was built for these ceremonies comprising prayers for good harvests. Twice a year the Emperor and all his retinue would move from the Forbidden City through Beijing to encamp within the complex, wearing special robes and abstaining from eating meat. No ordinary Chinese was allowed to view the following ceremony. In the temple complex the Emperor would pray to Heaven for good harvests; the highpoint of the ceremony at the winter solstice was performed by the Emperor on the Earthly Mount.

The ceremony had to be completed. Earth was represented by Heaven by a circle; the whole temple complex is surrounded by two cordons of walls. Both the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and the Circular Mound Altar are round, each standing on a square yard, again representing Heaven and Earth; the number nine represents the Emperor and is evident in the design of the Circular Mound Altar: a single round marmor plate is surrounded by a ring of nine plates a ring of 18 plates, so on for a total of nine surrounding rings, the outermost having 9×9 plates. The Hall of Prayer for Good H

West Brattleboro, Vermont

West Brattleboro is a census-designated place in the town of Brattleboro, United States. The population was 3,222 at the 2000 census. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 25.9 km², of which 25.8 km² is land and 0.1 km² is water. As of the census of 2000, there were 3,222 people, 1,433 households, 849 families residing in the CDP; the population density was 125.0/km². There were 1,500 housing units at an average density of 58.2/km². The racial makeup of the CDP was 96.28% White, 0.74% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.93% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.47% from other races, 1.24% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.43% of the population. There were 1,433 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.7% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.

The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.87. In the CDP, the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.9 males. The median income for a household in the CDP was $35,332, the median income for a family was $46,827. Males had a median income of $31,391 versus $22,114 for females; the per capita income for the CDP was $18,996. About 6.3% of families and 9.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.0% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over

The Clichettes

The Clichettes were an all-women feminist performance art group formed in Toronto, Canada in 1977. Their practice is notable for injecting theatricality into the sphere of performance art; the three performers worked using lip sync and choreography as their tools to parody pop culture depictions of femininity and expanded their practice by including elements from science fiction and theatre in their performances. The Clichettes are notable for their impact on Canadian performance art as well as Feminist and performing arts in general; the Clichettes were a feminist performance collective of three choreographers, Johanna Householder, Janice Hladki and Louise Garfield, who formed in Toronto and were active in North America from the mid 1970s through 1990s. Their subversive practice was typified by an exaggeration of the hallmarks of contemporaneous female performing groups as well as camp references to drag-performance and science fiction; the depiction of women in mass media was a primary subject of critique and parody in their performances.

Johanna Householder attended Oberlin College. Following a brief period in London where she studied choreography, Householder relocated to Toronto where she continued her art and writing practice. Householder describes her initial study of dance as an attempt to learn a medium in order to reject it. Householder has assisted in founding Danceworks and the Women's Cultural Building in the 80s, the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art, held biannually in Toronto, she is a professor in the Integrated Media Program at OCAD university, where she is the Chair of the Criticism and Curatorial Practice Program. Janice Hladki studied at Queens University and moved to Toronto to study dance at the Toronto Dance Theatre. Hladki was influenced by a trip to the United States where she encountered the work of the Mabou Mines theatre group. An important aspect of Hladki's practice was to combine dance with a feminist consciousness, she is an associate professor in theatre and film studies at McMaster University.

Hladki is a founding member of Danceworks and the Woman's Cultural Building. Louise Garfield is a trained dancer and television producer, she was notorious for dropping out of several institutions prior to the formation of The Clichettes, including York University. Householder admiringly stated that "Lou was the model for quitting", she was motivated by an interest in performative dance, but was dissatisfied with traditional ballet and modern choreography. She studied dance with Gail Mazur in Toronto, where she found her interest in dancing. Garfield was enrolled at York University, another meeting place for the three members. Louise Garfield was the executive director at Arts Etobicoke for 13 years since 2004 before retiring, has been a producer of films including Zero Patience and The Hanging Garden. In the mid 1970s, all three members of The Clichettes were living and performing in Toronto, Ontario; the performers became acquainted with each while working as servers at The Parrot restaurant on Queen Street West.

All three members attended 15 Dance Lab and dance conferences in which they developed and observed each other's individual practices. It was there that they discovered their shared vision to explore a witty and feminist approach to performance, their gravitation towards one another was the result of a mutual admiration of style and desire to resist and parody contemporaneous dance practices. It was around the same time as their meeting. Coincidentally, it was the Queen Street West area that budded with potential and style - associated with not only music and visual arts, but theatre, design and dancing. Clive Robertson wrote, "it can be argued that the birth of the Clichettes coincided with the birth, or public emergence of Toronto's recent progressive cultural scene." The central themes that would preoccupy The Clichettes throughout their career – satire, parody, feminist commentary, pop-culture and media deconstruction – were present during their formational period. As a feminist performance group, The Clichettes' practice resisted the conventions of girlhood and dance through satirical, humorous performances.

They contested gender stereotypes through the use of brash humour. The Clichettes made their debut at the Tele-Performance Festival in 1978, an event themed in response to television as content and technology. Dressed in kitsch-60's good girls outfits, the trio lip-synced to Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me" for the first time. Lip-synching the words “ You don’t own me. I’m not just one of your many toys”, their other early performances and reflected the "performativity" of gender norms; this full-frontal method of feminist assault was inspired by satirical musical group the Hummer Sisters. Their brand of camp media parody exemplified the blurring between high art and entertainment occurring in the 1970s; this style of non-detached and ironic pop-culture appropriation enabled them to be critical without alienating their audience. By 1981, the trio's lip-sync performances had begun to expand to include increasing theatricality, influences were drawn from more subversive sources. Marni Jackson became a collaborator for the production Half-Human Half-Heartache, a move for the group to expand beyond dance and into satirical theatre.

The 1981 production featured a narrative casting The Clichettes as aliens who could kill by speaking, thus establishing a narrative purpose for lip-sync. The trio of aliens begins to live the facade of'1960's good-girls' but become entangled in the problematic dynamics of this life; the cabaret s