A global guide to LIVING CREATIVELY

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

DANCEworks 2011

Our review of Mo(or)town/Redux, at the Lobero Theater, (Santa Barbara, CA - March 2011), is listed in "The Latest" section of the DANCEworks website.
Photo: David Bazemore

Monday, April 18, 2011

We like Lidia Bastianich

Today, I received my newsletter from Lidia Bastianich. I would like to believe she sent it to me, personally, and no one else. After all, I love to cook - and I love to eat - and I'm half Italian. So, why not?
Lidia writes that spring is here. Although, I'm aware spring has arrived, I enjoy that the announcement of the vernal equinox is revealed to me by someone whose culinary and teaching skills I truly admire - immensely. Even before reading further, I know Lidia will tell me which vegetables are best at this very moment. And she comes through!
Just last week, after reading a story in Sunset Magazine about Cookbook (neighborhood green grocer) in Echo Park, Los Angeles, where I found the most beautiful fava beans, I had a hunch I would be reading about a fava bean recipe in this newsletter - and there it was: Orecchiette with Favas and Cherry Tomatoes.
My Italian Grandmother taught me how to remove fava beans from their pods and how to cook them. I remember her teaching me how to prepare Baccalà; dry salted cod reconstituted in water, prepared with potatoes, leeks, garlic and favas - drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Delicious! I look forward to preparing Lidia's recipe soon - perhaps improvising and adding basil instead of arugula.
Watching Lidia's Italy, I often think about my Grandmother (Nonna), my Mother and my two Aunts - all excellent cooks; all with their own special dishes. My Mother often strayed from her Italian roots, preparing dishes from China and Mexico. I remember long rice with shrimp or enchiladas filled with ground beef. Living in San Francisco, it was (and is) easy to find ingredients for any type of cuisine: China Town, the Mission District for Mexican ingredients and North Beach for anything Italian.
I have fond memories around food, wine and a table filled with relatives and friends. So, whenever, Lidia invites us to her table, exclaiming, "Tutti a tavola a mangiare!", I am transported back through time. Needless to say, food is important in my life - for it's healing properties (see earlier stories about Sally Kravich and Ani Phyo), and because it brings us to the table - to laugh, to tell stories of the past and present, and most importantly, to enjoy the delicious flavors of all the world's cuisines.
"Lidia, next time you invite me to your table, I will bring the wine!" So, invite me - PLEASE.
Lidia's Italy website
Cookbook LA

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Silver Lake Garden 2011

Last year, we took you through several iterations of our small Silver Lake garden - from roses, to blooming Azelias, to Buddha-pond and home-grown vegetables.
It all begins, again. The warmth of spring gave us a superabundance of Wisteria flowers. Their scent was incredible throughout the garden - and their pale violet color, a joy to our eyes.
Not shown, below, are zucchini and tomato plants, Swiss chard, and green beans. Soon we will post images of our newly started vegetable garden, which was enlarged this year.
So, as we enjoy the beauty of it all, we also anticipate tender and tasty vegetables this summer!
PS - We use only organic products, such as those from Dr. Earth, Gardner + Bloome, Seeds of Change, E.B. Stone and Whitney Farms.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

di Rosa Art

di Rosa Art
April 30 - June 4, 2011
Opens: Saturday April 30, 2011
6:00-8:00 PM
di Rosa Museum, Gatehouse Gallery
From the di Rosa:
Reconstructed World focuses on the work of artists who draw viewers into complex narrative tableaux through recreating and restaging sites, objects, and stories. Rather than striving for perfect realism or objective documentation, these projects side-step traditional representation for a more uncanny and ultimately affective experience. The projects in the exhibition utilize a range of media that include animated video, assemblage, constructed photographs and installation to evoke realities beneath the perceived surface of the everyday. Artists in the exhibition include: Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet, Keith Cottingham, Kota Ezawa, Al Farrow, Samara Halperin, leonard Ogilles Fleur, Liz Hickok, and Tracey Snelling.
di Rosa Gatehouse Gallery, Wed-Fri, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm, 5200 Sonoma Highway, Napa, CA 94559, 707-226-5991
(image: Kota Ezawa, Beatles Uber California (still), 2010; single-channel video with sound, 3:27 min.; Artist, Kota Ezawa)
Kota Ezawa: Beatles Uber California

Monday, April 4, 2011

DANCEworks Santa Barbara 2011: "Mo(or)town Redux" Day 17

Doug Elkins Dance Company
"I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance."
Friedrich Nietzsche
Photo: David Bazemore
We are beginning to think that visiting friends has benefits that go far beyond good conversation and eating well. Last year, while visiting with our friend, Paula, she planned a trip to the Di Rosa Museum - which turned out to be an adventure in art. Recently, invited by Santa Barbara friends, we were taken to the Lobero Theater, where we experienced an adventure in drama, humor and joy through movement.
Mo(or)town/Redux, a world premier piece based in Shakespeare's, Othello with music from the legendary Motown Studio in Detroit, opened the Doug Elkins Choreography program. Each of the dancer's movements corresponded to both the distinct sound and rhythms of Motown, while simultaneously expressing the Shakespearean tragedy of love, jealousy, contempt, deceit, murder and, ultimately, suicide. 
Referring to the 1949 dance work entitled, The Moor's Pavane (choreographed by José Limon), Mr. Elkins' charges his "redux" with the bravado of b-dancing (breakdance) elements and a mixture of various other contemporary and classical dance styles - all colliding and flowing into one another - as the story is expressed.
In each work, a white handkerchief plays an important role in the choreography and story. Othello's gift, a token of love gifted to Desdemona, the handkerchief is later used as a tool of manipulation by Iago. Handed from one performer to another, throughout, the white cloth is the visual thread, linking all the elements together - the tragedy of Othello to Limon's, The Moor's Pavane, to Elkins', Mo(or)town/Redux.

Videos: David Bazemore
Two more dance pieces were presented; Fräulein Maria (excerpts) and Center My Heart-1996.
Fräulein Maria was danced with a "wink" throughout. While honoring The Sound of Music, Mr. Elkins also places his tongue firmly in-cheek, mixing dance styles, Alpine and  African costumes and genders. The audience, delighted to be in on the joyous visual pun, roared with laughter from beginning to end.
Center My Heart - 1996 was also a joy to watch and feel. Dancers, costumed in  shades of bright reds, yellows and pinks danced with pure exuberance to the sacred Sufi-inspired music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The dancers, expressing an almost hypnotic vibration, transformed themselves into lively, animated Whirling Dervishes. 
An objective of Sufism, as defined by classical scholars, is the atonement of the heart and its immersion in all that is God. As an audience member, I was mesmerized by the repetitive sounds of the music and ecstatic movements of the dancers - all blending into one at the end - inspired dancers, immersed in movement, to the exclusion of all else.
We will look forward to more from Doug Elkins! And we will also look forward to more from DANCEworks!
Dancers included:
Alexander Dones, Cori Marquis, Donnell Oakley, Gregory Omar Osborne
Fräulein Maria (excerpts)
Sara Barney, Renee Colbert, Frazier Collins III, Matthew Foley, Wesley McIntyre, Grace Louise Pavelka, Meredith Robinson, Alex Dean Speedie,
Center My Heart - 1996
Sara Barney, Renee Colbert, Frazier Collins III, Matthew Foley, Wesley McIntyre, Grace Louise Pavelka, Meredith Robinson, Alex Dean Speedie
DANCEworks residency at the Lobero Theater (Lobero Live) is conceived by Dianne Vapnek.
Motown soundtrack by Musical Director, Justin Levin
Special thanks to Angie Bertucci, Marketing and Communications Liaison, Lobero Theater Foundation - and to photographer, David Bazemore
Doug Elkins Choreography 
Lobero Theater, Santa Barbara, CA 
DaTripman's Channel, Youtube
David Bazemore Photography

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