Archive for July, 2010

MORE ARCHIVAL PRESS ON 2004 GALA OF INTERNATIONAL BALLET STARS

July 31, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2004
Ballet standouts showcase talents

Sizzling performers wow Aronoff crowd
By Kathy Valin
Enquirer contributor

There were lots of stars. All glittered, but some shone more brightly than others Saturday night when the Gala of International Ballet Stars returned to the Aronoff Center.
The cast of 18 dazzlers was drawn from international ballet companies. The dancers performed in a program of short choreographed pieces, made up mostly of pas de deux, the French phrase that in the ballet world means “a dance for two.”
Blond standout Sarah Lamb and partner Raul Salamanca played the mythic Greek figures Diana and Acteon in their version of Agrippina Vagonova’s pas de deux. Lamb was dressed in a revealing off-the-shoulder red tunic, and Salamanca was bare-chested. When he twirled her on pointe in multiple pirouettes, with one leg held in passer (pointed at the knee), the audience cheered.
The couple returned in David Dawson’s “The Grey Area.” Lamb, again on pointe with bare legs and a filmy, strappy top, had the technique to hold side leg extensions as high as her breathtaking straight-legged battements, or kicks. Salamanca alternately drew her along or pushed her, always guiding her. The two showed abandon with torso ripples, and he was able to magically anticipate her falls into his arms. It seemed that they were a modern couple, drawn together and apart in Dawson’s choreography.
A torrid Kellye A. Saunders and Donald Williams, he in pants, she in a halter dress, were Broadway jazzy in Michael Smuin’s “True Love,” she as the eager young thing, he as a man with his mind on another woman.
Prince Credell’s spiritual solo, an excerpt from “Road” by Alonzo King to Johann Sebastian Bach, showed every fiber of his muscular body in motion. Credell moved with total control, riffing off the Baroque music with the tension of dormant power.
As for humor, in Harrison McEldowney’s “Call It Off,” Olivia Clark and Jimmy Orrante alternatively nitpicked in rambling spoken text about each other, but ended up dancing together anyhow in this funny crowd pleaser.
Best in show went to Bridget Breiner and Christopher Roman, in William Forsythe’s “Herman Schmerman.” Roman’s total commitment to the quirky, increasingly loose-limbed choreography drew cheers.
The rousing classic “Don Quixote Pas de Deux” by Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky was a thrilling roller-coaster ride.
Agnes Oaks completed a strong series of 30 fouette turns (one leg whipping her around). In motionless balances, she was peerless. Thomas Edur was a revelation as he entered for his solo variation in giant scissor-legged jumps.
The two brought the enthusiastic crowd to its feet, and there they stayed as the whole cast reassembled for multiple bows.

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GAZPACHO A LA VALINKAT

July 31, 2010

FISH GOT TO SWIM, BIRDS GOT TO FLY

July 30, 2010


July 29, 2010 – According to William Neuman in The New York Times,  hobbyists in the United States or Britain who feed their pet reptiles contaminated thawed frozen mice are at risk for contracting salmonella.

Apparently, according to Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh, a veterinarian and epidemiologist with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, snake owners can become ill by handling the frozen or thawed mice, handling infected snakes or cleaning feces from a cage.

The Times notes that Steven Gilfillan, 51, a deputy sheriff in Council Bluffs, Iowa, keeps “a couple hundred” garter snakes in the basement of his house, and early this year bought 10,500 mice from MiceDirect which he keeps in a freezer.

“As far as precautions, I don’t know,” said Mr. Gilfillan. “Snakes got to eat and snakes got to poop and you got to clean it up.

A DELIGHTFUL LUNCH WITH VEGGIES AND JAMES THURBER

July 29, 2010

Stir-fry

Penguin Books edition

"What have you done with Dr. Millmoss?"

This afternoon, I used some of the delish vegetables I got Tuesday from Findlay Market vendors to create an eggplant, green bean, onion and tomato stir-fry. I sprinkled on some parmesan, and sat down to lunch with The Selected Letters of James Thurber, one of my favorites. As the book blurb notes, he created Walter Mitty, the Thurber Dog, and the Seal in the Bedroom in addition to being a brilliant correspondent.

In a letter to a Miss Frances Glennon from his home in West Cornwall, Connecticut, he quotes Robert Benchley’s definition of a freelance writer (my current profession): “One who gets paid per word, per piece, or perhaps.”

On page 231 I discovered a 1961 letter to Cincinnati’s Marianna Brown, apparently written in response to a query from her.  “Dear Marianna Brown:  The past is an old armchair in the attic, the present an ominous ticking sound, and the future anybody’s guess. It was fun back there with the Rover Boys, the Little Colonel, Pollyanna, and Peg-‘o-my-Heart, but we don’t want to be caught in the past while the Russians are shaking hands with the Martians.  Let us then be up and doing. Sincerely yours, James Thurber.”

ARCHIVAL PRESS: VALINKAT INTERVIEWS ALEXEI KREMNEV &ANNA REZNICK, KATHLEEN TRACEY, LAUREN ANDERSON AND DESMOND RICHARDSON, WHO ALL PERFORMED IN THE GALA OF INTERNATIONAL BALLET STARS IN 2002

July 29, 2010

Dancers Speak!
Conversations about the Gala of International Stars
By Kathy Valin
Cincinnati CityBeat
August 8, 2002
We tend to know dancers for their moves, rather than their words. But CityBeat’s Kathy Valin spent time over the past weeks visiting with several participants in the GALA OF INTERNATIONAL STARS that will be presented at the Aronoff Center on Saturday evening. Here’s a chance to eavesdrop on their conversations:
ALEXEI KREMNEV and ANNA REZNIK:
Last Saturday, sitting on a sofa at one end of the ballet tech ohio studio in rehearsal togs and sweats, dancers Anna Reznik and Alexei Kremnev talked about the Gala of International Stars and the works they are performing. They are billed as “Stars of the Russian Ballet,” and Alexei has just been named associate artistic director of ballet tech ohio performing arts association, where he and Anna will work with founder and artistic director, Claudia Rudolf Barrett. They are guest principal artists of the Northern Ballet Theatre in England. As we visit, Anna sits with legs crossed under her; Alexei often leans forward. They are obviously very much a couple, consulting, and finishing each other’s sentences, tending to speak in the third person.
CITYBEAT: When and how did you get the idea for this Gala of International Stars?
ALEXEI KREMNEV: I’ve had the idea since 1997. We wanted dancers from Europe, Russia, New York and so on, mostly principal dancers with established companies. Like us, they live for the art of ballet. Did you know Cincinnati’s Mayor Charlie Luken has proclaimed August 10 (to be) Gala of International Ballet Stars Day? The proclamation says the art of dance is a unifying force for all people. Also, it should be very good for the restaurants, hotels and so on downtown. We’ve tried for a very diverse lineup, lots of different, important styles and dancers. We’ve tried to keep the ticket prices reasonable [Editor’s note: They are priced at $35, $45 and $55]. In Vail, Colo., you can pay well over $100 for a gala like this. CB: What are you guys dancing on the program?
ANNA REZNIK: “Fade to Black” with choreography by Val Caniparoli. He’s our close friend, one of our favorite choreographers. He’s smart, intelligent. It’s nice to work with friends. We have tried to understand his style. This piece is French, lyrical, romantic, a love story. This is about love. You see people’s lives in it. Music is by Nina Simone and another famous French vocalist.
AK: “Three Preludes” is another pas de deux with choreography by Kasyan Goleizovsky. The music is by Scriabin. Every feeling and situation in your life has a color — black, blue, pink, yellow. The first part of the pas considers sad and tragic aspects (purple/blue); the second is lyrical, considering youth and hope (spring pastel colors); and finally the third part considers passion in life (red), and that complex emotion, love. In this work we have tried to transfer our personal feeling to the movement. Goleizovsky had a hard, hard life. By 1918-21 he was developing a modern style. By 1927-30 he was fired, unpopular, out of the public eye, his work seen as unsuitable and dangerous. Many years later, his reputation was reinstated.
CB: What’s in the future?
AK: We are currently rehearsing my new choreography (for ballet tech ohio with guest professional artists) “The Dances on the Rocks: A Story of One Delusion” for opening in October. It’s about the vision of one man told by three characters. In your life, your personality struggles — it decides to go right or left — you never know where you will go. The ballet is a story of delusions — in the twenty-first century there are so many distractions — TV, computers, just too much information — it’s hard to know just what you want, or understand everything. Kind of like a Tom Cruise character in a movie.
AR: But we’ll be in England then.
AK: Right. That’s why we are rehearsing the dancers now. We’ll be in England as guest principal artists of the Northern Ballet Theatre, doing a premiere production of Wuthering Heights. We’ve covered the next two months! We’ll announce other plans soon.
LAUREN ANDERSON, Principal, Houston Ballet:
My home line failed on my first attempt to call Lauren Anderson, a principal with the Houston Ballet. My cell phone wouldn’t even ring at her house, another private line. Finally we connected. After juggling my cell and pen for a few minutes, I said I missed my tape recorder. Anderson graciously said, “That’s OK, hone. You can call me back Wednesday after my rehearsal, so I did.” By then she’d figured out how to unlock her privacy code on her cell phone.
CITYBEAT: What’s this I read about your doing football forecasts on the radio?
LAUREN ANDERSON: Oh, it was originally meant as a spoof, because they didn’t exactly know. There was a University of Houston football coach who did radio forecasts. So then another radio station in Houston thought, let’s have a ballerina doing football picks. Well, they didn’t know that I was going to be serious about it, that I seriously watched football! I have a little catch phrase. At the end of the show I say, “Whether it’s football or ballet, keep on your toes!” It’s neat. We don’t always talk about football, you know. They ask what’s going on at the ballet. It’s good PR for the company, and the real reason why I started doing it.
CB: Do you still connect with Carlos Acosta (the young Cuban dancer who joined Houston Ballet in 1993 and went on to become a world star)?
LA: Yes, it happens all the time. We meet all over the world and dance together. He was my Houston ballet partner for years.
CB: Yesterday, you talked about the pas de deux from Cleopatra by Ben Stevenson that you’ll be performing in Cincinnati with Dominic Walsh. You said “Marc Antony comes to my barge, thinking I killed his mentor (Caesar) to kind of ask ‘what’s up?’ I respond ‘how dare you’.”
LA: Right. Marc Antony meets Cleopatra to confront her about killing Caesar. There’s propaganda out that I did it. But I’m pretty much not having it, and not having him speak to me that way — we kind of have an argument. But we actually end up falling in love. It’s kind of a long pas, not really long, but long enough for us to argue and then, you know, look into each other’s eyes, and feel something, and then for us to kinda, um, collaborate on that feeling (she laughs).
CB: When I talked with Desmond Richardson, he said he approaches a character from the inside out, trying to connect his gut feeling and that ultimately he felt a dancer was an actor. Kathleen Tracey said she felt she only had to do Balanchine’s steps in “Apollo,” then she would become the character; she didn’t have to envision or become that character, that the experience of performing was a little mystical. Could you explain how you approach a character like Cleopatra?
LA: Well, one thing I’ll say is when Ben was creating Cleopatra, and we got about halfway through, I started to ask “Well, what is she like, what am I feeling now?” And he goes “Well, we really don’t know who she is until we are done with the ballet.” That was interesting, and that was right. Cleopatra was a queen, and a politician in the hierarchy of Egypt. She does a deal with Rome, and has this “thing” with Caesar … but then in the second half of the ballet, you get to see her as Cleopatra the woman, because she falls in love. You see her become vulnerable, and then you see all her womanly sides come out. Then at the end, of course, she dies with dignity.
I understand the comment about Balanchine, because whenever I’ve danced Balanchine, the steps are all there is. In Cleopatra the steps are a major part of it, because it’s a different vocabulary than what you would usually use. But one thing with Ben — if he had three different casts with Cleopatra, he’d say, “Bring yourself to the role,” more than him telling you “what” it is. He’s relying on your skills as an interpreter to merge the role with your technique and your ability to convey it — absolutely. He gives us the idea of what’s going on, and then he just leaves it to our imagination to come through. If we make it a part of ourselves — well, we can’t help it. I love working with Ben.
CB: Yesterday you said, “He made me, he took a lot of chances,” about Stevenson making you the first black principal in Houston Ballet. I think he’d told you as a teenager that your body wouldn’t be right for a classical ballerina. (Editor’s note: Stevenson has said of Anderson’s talent “she’s able to do anything … she knows how to pull out all the stops. I believe that talent is the ability to work. As for being black in a so-called white world, if dancers are good and have what it takes, you believe in them, not their color.”)
LA: Yes, I was at home watching the interview on television. I never thought I would get in his company, much less be his premiere ballerina. But that’s what he was saying. Anyhow, long story short, he said something like “When I saw her at the age of — whatever, can’t remember — she fooled me. She fooled us all.”
CB: How did you feel, hearing that.
LA: Shocked and flattered. I mean, it was a surprise. I didn’t expect to be where I am, either. I was shocked a little, but it was cool the way he put it.
CB: Do you feel your portrayal of Cleopatra speaks to the black woman of today?
LA: I never thought about that. There’s definitely some things that we today have to deal with.
CB: Maybe to a woman’s strength and vulnerability?
LA: Kinda like that. This is a tragic story in a sense, but also a triumphant one. Cleopatra doesn’t give them what they want: She dies with dignity. Very obviously, she loves Egypt, and she wants the best for her country. Wow. I never really though about that.
CB: How do you gear yourself up to perform in a tour situation.
LA: Experience. Focus. It’s important that you feel you are only as good as your last show … but like any show, you make the most of it no matter what the hype is. I also feel like, for a one-night program, it’s an opening and a closing show. This is the first time you are gonna get to see me, and also, I’m gonna leave a lasting impression. All that balled up into one show. A gala like this makes it even more exciting. One more thing: I get to connect with artists from all around the world. There’s definitely a (backstage) connection — you get to meet a lot of wonderful people.
CB: So will you be watching the others during dress rehearsal?
LA: Absolutely. Because I’ve got to keep learning from us all.
KATHLEEN TRACEY:
I asked Kathleen Tracey, soloist with the New York City Ballet, about the role in “Apollo” that she’ll perform in Cincinnati. We also talked about aspects of her life as a dancer and how she relates to Balanchine, and manages to bring herself fully to a guest role for a one-night stand.
KATHLEEN TRACEY: I was born in Colorado. CITYBEAT: You first went to School of American Ballet (SAB, the official school of New York City Ballet) in 1983. You must have been a fairly accomplished dancer by then?
KT: Well, I wouldn’t say accomplished. I would say I had raw talent in order to get into that school. I had decent training (at Ballet Theatre of Pueblo), and with most programs there is an audition process, usually in months like January. The top schools hold auditions in cities like Denver, New York and San Francisco. You just go and do the audition class. That’s how it happened for me. Actually, my sister (Margaret is a principal dancer for New York City Ballet) was already in New York. The next audition was in Denver with Karin von Aroldingen. With another SAB dancer, I was accepted into a cultural exchange program in Denmark with the Royal Danish Ballet, but it was cut in half. That was disappointing, but it was because we were accepted into the company. We were like, “We just got a job!”
CB: Where is your sister now?
KT: She just retired from the company in February. She’s living about half an hour upstate from Manhattan. But we are still going to tour together in September to Beijing. That’ll be exciting. So she still continues to dance here and there, but her life is more focused on raising her three-year-old son, which is a full-time job! I’m looking forward to a family at some point. I’ve been married one year, a lovely year.
CB: When did you first see “Apollo”?
KT: I’d seen it done dozens of times: It was a beautiful, simple, emotional piece with an amazing subtext. But you don’t have to go into it, you can just look at it. In 1992 I was Polyhymnia (one of the three Muses of Apollo). It was a great honor. I even said to a friend, I don’t care if I do the stool Apollo sits on, I just want to be part of it. I learned it from Sara Leland, the ballet mistress for “Apollo” at that point.
CB: What makes a Balanchine ballet so special to you as dancer and to the audience?
KT: From the audience’s viewpoint? There’s always something to see. It makes sense: It has a flow, a beginning, middle and end. I’ve read that Balanchine once said, “If you don’t like what’s going on onstage, you can at least close your eyes and listen to the music.” In a Balanchine piece, there’s always something that piques your interest. The thing I always walk away with is that it’s a natural progression through his ballets: You always walk offstage feeling as if you have accomplished something. But even if I’ve done a role for 10 plus years, there’s always something to work on. You never master it! It’s not that you don’t feel good about it, just that there’s always something to learn from it.
CB: What’s the method you use to approach a characterization?
KT: For this and any ballet of his that I’ve done, it just lends itself naturally to your personality coming out. Maybe it’s because I feel suited towards this particular part that it feels natural to do it, so I don’t feel like I have to do anything different than what the steps are. It sounds funny, but I feel like it’s an abstract ballet with a story. If you do the steps and you relate to the other people onstage, then that’s when it really gets pulled together. I think “Apollo” is about the relationships between the people themselves, not necessarily capturing how does this character, my character, do it? I just feel as if Balanchine kind of knew who I was.
CB: A mystical connection?
KT: Yeah, that’s true. In a strange way, I’m just like, OK, I feel like I’m one of his members.
CB: What role are you doing here?
KT: “Terpsichore,” the muse of dance and song, I’ll carry a lyre. I’m doing “Calliope” in Vail two days before that. So I’m movin’ around! But that’s part of the beauty. You could do anything in his ballets: You do have to approach it a little differently, but it’s not like in Sleeping Beauty doing Aurora as opposed to the Lilac Fairy. And “Apollo” is the most beautifully calculated ballet.
CB: How do you manage to fly into a city, do a rehearsal then jump onstage in a role convincingly?
KT: Part of it is the years of experience doing it. And the way New York City Ballet works is that we do a different program every single night of the season, so we’re kind of used to that “flying by the seat of your pants” feeling–take it and run with it, you know? I actually really enjoy the excitement of bursting onto a scene quickly. Maybe it’s like that Nike phrase “Just do it.” I like that. I like the excitement of raw theater. You go and put your all into it, and then you are done. I still have performance anxiety — without that I couldn’t do it. How big is the theater in Cincinnati?
CB: I think (the Aronoff Center’s Procter & Gamble Auditorium) is almost 3,000 seats. It’s a relatively new downtown venue.
KT: I asked Darius Crenshaw (a dancer from Cincinnati, now with New York City Ballet) about (the theater), and if he would be home then. He didn’t know. He’s a great person, one of the nicest people I know.
CB: I remember him from one of the first stories I ever wrote for CityBeat (in 1995) on the School for Creative and Performing Arts. He was on the cover!
Desmond Richardson:
Having seen Desmond Richardson twice onstage as a guest soloist in a Cincinnati Ballet program and meeting him briefly backstage, I was a little nervous about interviewing such a famous, amazing performer. Surprise! He was extremely polite, very friendly, and so young sounding and ebullient: laughter fairly rippled through his comments! Richardson is a solo performer this weekend, but two members of the company he co-directs, Complexions — Christina Johnson and Donald Williams — will also perform.
CITYBEAT: What pieces will Complexions be doing?
DESMOND RICHARDSON: They’ll be doing “Ave Maria.” I’m not sure what I’ll be doing just yet (he chortles). It will be a solo of some sort. I’ve done a couple of solos in Cincinnati, I want to do something a little new. Dwight Rhoden (Complexions’ co-director) is the choreographer.
CB: I’ve read that as a kid you did street dancing. I wonder how you merge it with all the styles you learned since — ballet, modern, jazz, and so on. I’ve also read you believe dancers are actors. I’d like to find out from you how you so effectively compile the gut feelings of street dancing with all the technique you’ve learned and the idea of acting.
DR: That’s a cool question. Can I just jump in? Let’s go back to the first thing — how I began and a few thoughts on different styles. I’m sure a lot of the materials about me say I started in street dancing, which is true. And from there I was just encouraged to take classical dance, and then jazz and things like that. I never tried to forget that, because it’s a more natural thing for me, and so I tried to encompass it and then put it into my everyday thing, which is my classicism. My teachers always told me, “Your classical training is your base.” You need to have that. Actually, it will help you do everything. You’ll be cleaner, you’ll be more articulate, you’ll be clear. People will be able to understand what you are trying to say. Basically, your work will be acceptable (he laughs at his own emphasis). Or accessible. Because it’s clear and concise instead of muddied and mediocre. So, that’s what I have been trying to do.
CB: Which teachers, specifically?
DR: Well, it was definitely the New York High School for the Performing Arts where I got my formal training . . . and we had to do it — everything was basic, basic, basic. They didn’t care how amazingly talented you were, they felt they needed to teach you your basics. Once you became a senior and you were working, then you were able to go take other classes outside the school. I did it at the Alvin Ailey Dance Center school. I investigated other dance forms and got more information from master teachers. I was strongly encouraged at that time, I was told dancers had to do a lot of things . . . “Des, you are going to be a versatile dancer, that’s going to be your thing.” I was always searching for those people that could show me and help me to achieve my diversity. I thought, if I’m gonna be diverse, I’ll be really clear in my mind. Because when I’m doing ballet, I’m really doing ballet, if I’m doing jazz, I’m really doing jazz. I don’t try to emulate the style: I encompass it. And that’s one reason why I say that I do a little bit of acting. Dancers are actors, I believe, those who are good. It’s about the passion. If I don’t believe it, the audience is never going to believe it. They’ll feel like looking at it like TV, you know, they can do that at home with the remote. It’s all about people coming to the theater and getting an experience. Having an experience, a magical experience. Because that’s the way it works for me! (After seeing other dancers) I went, “Whoa! Oh my God! How can I do that? How can I make that happen?”
It’s imperative for young dancers to be cognizant of how they are doing things and why. You can’t imitate dance, you have to really live it. Because, you know, it’s inside. You have to start from the inside out. Get your base and all those good things, but that doesn’t mean you have to be spiteful in your approach.
Oh my God, it’s like my mom said, “Normal people, the lay people, don’t really know what a fifth position is, or a first position.” We do as dancers because we train in that sort of thing all the time, how to articulate those movements, but they don’t know what that is. It is movement for them, and it is expression, and if you do not know how to speak clearly with your technique, you are not doing your job.
And now, talking about the physical prowess of it. Yes, I started in sports, all of that. So my body kind of came, I was used to training it in a certain way, very visceral, using my muscles in a certain way. So, I needed the muscularity in my body, but taking dance allowed me to lengthen my body out, to make it more linear without using the muscles. They’re not bulky now, they’re linear and lithe.
CB: I read that you saw some girls at the Ailey school and had an epiphany, saw them “moving from the gut with real passion,” like you found in sports or street dance. How did you figure out how to combine that sort of passion with your dancing?
DR: It was very much by seeing what was in front of me, I was like “oooh, you have to come from the inside out first, it’s gotta be like that.” For myself I just noticed that a lot of men didn’t concentrate on that so much. If they were technicians, they tended to be only technicians. Many men I was very fond of: — Mel Tomlinson, Rudolf Nureyev, Baryshnikov — those are dancers’ dancers. They are dancers with good technique, but that’s not the only thing they have, they have passion in their art, they dance from the inside out first. That’s what makes for magical performances. Even when they take class, it’s there. When I take a class, maybe it’s not my area of expertise, but you “log it in,” and when you need to use it, use it, make sure you have honed it well.
CB: Do you have an interest in choreographing?
DR: I do, I do.
CB: But your time is so full now?
DR: Yeah, but what’s been so great for me is that I’m able to work with a genius — Dwight Rhoden. This is someone in our generation who is quite amazing, you know, coming from Dayton, Ohio, starting in Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. The work and the range this guy has! He can choreograph pas de deux, solos, big group works. He’s always stretching himself. That has taught me a lot. We’ve worked together for the past 12 years. I’ve learned so much about movement approach, like actually being more relaxed when you have to articulate something that’s quite fast. I think his ability is a real gift, and he’s been encouraging me to come up with movement in the studio. I always call myself a poet, more of an interpreter. If the choreographer says to do something, I’ll say, “OK, how about this?” He’ll say, “Well, create something, and I’ll use it.” So, it’s been coming to me that I’d like to try myself. There are certain times we get in the studio, and I’ll set a move on the company members, and they are like “Did you do that?”
CB: How do they know?
DR: Because mine is usually more gestural and more fast-paced, and into the floor. I love in and out of the floor work. And they like it. So it’s really cool.
CB: You’re happy, doing what you love, you’ve got the venues, the companionship. Anything you are still looking for? Do you take time off?
DR: Absolutely. Oh yes, I am really a firm believer in when you are dancing, really dance, but when it’s time to live life, really live it. I mean, once I walk out the studio, it’s Desmond time. Everything else but dancing. I love to sing. I love to write music. I’m always writing something or just visiting a friend. I’ve picked up the guitar recently, that’s been quite interesting, and I play the piano, too.
CB: Thanks for your time! See you in Cincinnati.

COMING SOON: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MARVEL GENTRY DAVIS

July 28, 2010

August 14, The Gala of International Dance Stars again takes the stage at downtown Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center. Recently, Producing Artistic Director Marvel Gentry Davis gave me the scoop on this year’s exciting lineup. I know you will want to read this insider glimpse at the annual gathering of wonderful dancers from all over the world, sponsored by ballettechcincinnati (yes, you can go to ballettechcincinnati.org right now if you can’t wait to learn more).

TUESDAY TRAGEDY IN OTR

July 28, 2010

Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park was the location of a tragedy resulting in the death of Joanne Burton, 48, today. She was apparently run over by a Cincinnati police cruiser driving through a grassy area of the park.  The incident is still under investigation. A vigil at the park’s gazebo was organized by Greater Cincinnati’s Coalition for the Homeless.

A TRIP TO FINDLAY MARKET, YUM!

July 27, 2010

Today is Tuesday, and a trip to Findlay Market resulted in a satisfying harvest of fresh veggies from local vendors. OTR locals will have noticed the large lot on l/4 acre of re-purposed land on the corner of Liberty Street and Elm Street, part of the Market’s CHEF program (Cultivating a Healthy Environment for Farmers). One vendor is Megan Hill, whose market stand is sourced from the veggies she cultivates there  (brussels sprouts, kale, collards, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant, edamame, flowers, carrots and leeks), which she has dubbed Lorax Gardens. I came straight home with bagsfull of healthy freshness (including a large bunch of basil, which is perfuming my kitchen from its anchor in a glass of water). First task at hand: rinse tomato, chop, dress with a dollop of Hellman’s mayo, fresh cracked pepper and salt.

Yum!

Followup will include further conversations with Megan, who shares an interest in African cooking. For me, visiting the market is part of summer cooking in its most pure form:  assembling meals from what is freshest and looks most beautiful.

HOT ART

July 25, 2010

DECORATIVE METAL PRESSED INTO HOT TAR ON REPAVED STREET BY GOETZ ALLEY IN OVER-THE-RHINE, CINCINNATI OHIO 

Goetz Alley July 24, 2010

ANYONE UP FOR A LAST MINUTE SHOW?

July 21, 2010

I’ve just heard from my friend graphic wizard and musician Margaret Weiner, who may be known to some of you as a member the Cincinnati-based alternative rock/folk band The Seedy Seeds. Margaret has booked a “last-minute” show tomorrow night (Wednesday, July 21) at The Southgate House opening for Cameron McGill & What Army (Chicago) in the Parlour. Doors open at 8, tix $8 advance; $10 day of show. Margaret is flying solo on this one. She says you can see more about her solo work on “framework” demos posed at myspace.com/margaretdarling. I’ve posted two pix with this post – hopefully, you will be able to distinguish Margaret from Carmeron.

Margaret Weiner performing solo.

Cameron McGill & What Army.