Author Archives: Leslie

REGISTER for International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley NOW!


Get your Early Bird discount by registering before May 7. IDF@SV 2018 has held on to prices from 2016. Sign up now for the best dance experiences anywhere. Send your check made out to The Lively Foundation to The Lively Foundation, 550 Mountain View Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94041-1941. Here are prices:

CHOREO-CUBATOR© $115 Early Bird  or  $125 regular (after May 7) Choreo-Cubator© offers dancers and other artists whose work involves movement space and time to make new work or to polish a work in progress. Supportive atmosphere. Opportunity to perform (not required but encouraged) in Showcase Performance, June 22. Working sessions for Choreo-cubator© meet on June 12, 14, 15, 19, 21, 22, at 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. ALL kinds of dance welcome.

PHYSICAL COMEDY WORKSHOP $30 for one person; bring a pal and  the second person pays $15. That’s a great deal for more fun than anyone could describe. Sun., June 10, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Megan Ivey, formerly of the world famous Ringling Bros., leads the Physical Comedy Workshop. Walk into walls! Fall down funny!

FULL DAY OF DANCE© Meets  from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 16. All five classes Early Bird $60; regular for all five classes $70. Classes include Pilates mat, Contemporary, Tap, Jazz, Line Dances. Five movement classes, back to back, all mixed levels. Early Bird: $20 single class, $18 per class for 2; $16 per class for 3; $14 per class for 4; $12 per class for 5. Regular (after May 7) $25 single class; $20 per class for 2; $18 per class for 3; $16 per class for 4; $14  per class for 5. BEST DEAL AND MOST FUN: TAKE THEM ALL!!

Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias (left) teaches and performs Tap; Etta Walton (right) teaches and performs Line Dances. Their classes are on Full Day of Dance© Their performance are on the Festival Concert, June 23, 3:00 p.m.

AFRICAN RHYTHM & DANCE: Meets at 11:00 a.m., Mon. through Fri., June 18 – 22. Early Bird and Dancers’ Group discount: $112.50; Regular is $125.

Keith Hames leads the Mon-Fri workshop in African Rhythms & Dance. He and his performance group, AKOMA, will perform in the Festival Concert, June23, 3:00 p.m.

DO IT NOW!!! Register for the best dance experiences available anywhere! Put the Heart Back in Your Art! Come Dance with Us!

PhotoFairs: Pictures Tell a Tale

PhotoFairs returned to San Francisco, February 22 – 24. The vast exhibition at San Francisco’s Fort Mason included works from 40 galleries from 15 countries and 26 cities. With offices in Shanghai, London, and San Francisco, PhotoFairs shows photography and moving image work it considers “cutting edge.” For this viewer, wandering through the almost endless display of photographs, the work that most attracted my attention included images which suggested stories. These were not specific narratives, but the onlooker could imagine, was even invited to imagine, what had happened.

Amikam Toren’s works, Replacing No. 1, 1975(bottom photo) and Replacing No. 2, 1975 (top) engaged my eye and thoughts. In each photograph, on the left there are broken pieces and on the right there is an object that has been made by putting the pieces together. One sees the cracks in the “finished” product and also some flaws which might mean that a piece is missing. Why was it broken? Why was it mended? Is the broken thing still the same thing it was before it was broken?

Replacing No. 1, 1975, Amikam Toren

Replacing No. 2, 1975, Amikam Toren

In these closer views does the title “Replacing,” mean that all the pieces have been put back in  place or that the broken thing now replaces what was once whole? Can Humpty Dumpty be put together again and still be what he was?

Robert Mapplethorpe’s work, Apartment Windows, 1977, invites as many stories as there are windows; actually, there are more possibilities than windows.

Apartment Windows, Robert Mapplethorpe, 1977.

Some windows are open, others completely closed. Some have just the drapes pulled together, some have shades and drapes. What is happening on the other side of the windows? The various approaches to open, closed, covered, partly covered invites speculation about the stories within each apartment. Who closed the drapes or pulled the shades all the way or part of the way down? Why was the choice made to cover the window rather than leave it open? When the window is open, it’s not just that someone outside could look in, but also that someone inside could look out.

Tang Feng Gallery of Miaoli City, Taiwan, presented photographs by two artists, one working in classic black and white and the other in color in a smaller format. The images are evocative, seemingly straightforward, suggestive of mystery. A man sits in a decorated cart; a pedicab driver, he is taking time to relax.  The photographer captures the moment from above, showing the man momentarily at rest.

The Native Gaze 0005, by Chang-Ling, 2016The Native Gaze 0006, by Chang-Ling, 2016

In Chang-Ling’s The Native Gaze 0006, something photographic is happening. A young woman turns to talk with someone we don’t see. Everyone else is focused on something happening beneath the arc of balloons. Its intense color, the light coming from at least three different sources, and the young woman looking a different way play with the onlooker’s ability to know what is happening.

The Old Man and the House He Built, 2014, Wei-ming Yuan

In The Old Man and the House He Built, the Old Man walks past a house that appears to be built of mismatched materials. How did he build something that could stay standing with these objects? There is a story behind that house, that man, and the equally old dog which might be following him. The onlooker cannot know the whole story or all the stories, but it is fascinating to wonder about it.

Tai Chi, by Wei-ming Yuan, 2005

The artist also shows images which become nearly abstract due to his closeness to the subject or the movement in the subject. In Tai Chi, he looks up through the rock of a slot canyon in the American West.

These selections are not the most “experimental” of the works shown, but they held my interest for the stories they might tell.

Photographs of the photographs by Jonathan Clark, Mountain View, CA

See  Hedgehog Highlights article about PhotoFairs, January 29, 2017

Notes on photos: Amikam Toren (Israeli, b. 1945), Replacing No. 1, 1975; Replacing No. 2, 1975;  Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco; Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1948-1989), Apartment Windows, 1977; Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation Estate; Weinstein Hammons Gallery, Minneapolis; Chang-Ling (Taiwan, 1975) and Wei-ming Yuan (China, 1948), Tang Feng Gallery, Miaoli City, Taiwan.




Choreography Contest: Apply to Perform!

The International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley invites choreographers, dancers, and other artists whose work involves movement to apply for the Choreography Awards at IDF@SV 2018. All kinds of dance are welcome.

Winners will perform on one of the Festival’s concerts: the Showcase Performance, June 22, 6:30 p.m., or the Festival Concert, June 23, 3 p.m.  These are both public, ticketed performances. There are also cash awards. This is an amazing opportunity to present your work to new audiences without having to do the many chores of self-production.

PLEASE NOTE: work may not be longer than 8 minutes. DEADLINE for application is May 7. We will not announce awardees until after the deadline in order to have time to review all applicants. Even if we love your work, we cannot announce until after the deadline to be fair to all applicants.

Applicants are advised to send their video either on a DVD by US mail to The Lively Foundation, 550 Mountain View Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94041-1941                                                             OR                                                                                                                                                                   send video by youtube to    IF YOU SEND BY YOUTUBE: Please send us an email stating that you are sending it so that we do not think it is spam. We prefer not to receive by dropbox due to spams.

Send the following for your application: Your name, name of the work, length of time of the work, number of performers and their names. Let us know if you need special technical effects or equipment. The performances are low tech. Please mail us your entry fee of $20 by a check made out to The Lively Foundation and mail to The Lively Foundation/550 Mountain View Avenue/Mountain View, CA/94041-1941 For more information, please contact

photo above: Elisabeth Kindler-Abali, takes a bow; Dancer/choreographer from Berlin, Germany, guest artist, IDF@SV, 2017 & 2016; photo by GKermode: Los Altos, CA

AFRICAN RHYTHM & DANCE! Classes with Keith Hames

International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley is thrilled to announce classes and performance schedules with Keith Hames, IDF@SV 2018. DON’T MISS THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY!

Keith Hames

Keith will offer workshop classes, Monday – Friday, June 18 – 22, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. These classes are open to adults of any age and young people, age 12 and up. Participants in the workshop will learn a piece to perform in the Showcase Performance, June 22nd (performance encouraged but not required). KEITH HAMES and AKOMA, his performance group, will perform in the Festival Concert, Saturday, June 23, 3 p.m. Watch this blog for more information! Registration is OPEN.

SF Symphony & Boyreko: Entertaining and Enlightening

The San Francisco Symphony, led by Guest Conductor, Andrey Boyreko, February 24, created a world of exciting, entertaining music and deep, desperate music exposing the reality of Stalinist Russia. Boyreko showed that he was the master of the lyrical, dynamic, and challenging Bernstein works as well as Shostakovich’s Symphony. The program included Divertimento (1980) and Serenade (1954) by Leonard Bernstein. These great pieces were performed with verve, enthusiasm and tremendous musicality by the SF Symphony. Part of the salute to Bernstein in the year of his 100th Birthday, the performance proved that the artists of the SFS have wholeheartedly embraced Bernstein’s music and do a brilliant job of communicating it to their audiences. Divertimento has eight movements, each one completely different: from the Waltz and Mazurka to the Samba and Turkey Trot, and because it is Bernstein, the Blues. Sometimes fun or funny, always totally original, was a terrific example of Leonard Bernstein’s inventiveness and ability to make music of every kind.

Andrey Boyreko (Left), Leonard Bernstein (Right)

Vadim Gluzman, the Guest Artist, solo violinist, demonstrated why he is celebrated world wide. In his comments online, quoted from the music journal, Strad, he says that Serenade is about love. That sums it up. Bernstein uses the theme of Plato’s Symposium with each philosopher in attendance choosing to express a different kind of love: physical, mythic, dancing, dedicated. Mr. Gluzman truly captures the high spirited and loving feelings of what is actually complex music. His whole presence played with the characters of the music and the visions of Bernstein. If you have any chance to hear him perform, do not miss it.

Vadim Gluzman

The second half of the program was Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Opus 47 (1937) by Dmitri Shostakovich. It is interesting to me that I heard several times before the concert the “official” response from an unnamed, Soviet critic*, saying that the Symphony No. 5 was “a Soviet artist’s reply to just criticism.”

Dmitri Shostakovich

The problem is more with those who hear or read that without knowing what Shostakovich faced in his life or cannot imagine living in a totalitarian state. There were those who took that comment to mean that this enormous work by one of the greatest composers was somehow a step back from his true art. I cannot accept that idea. To hear this music is to hear protest in the rapid, almost rasping repetitions by the violins and the nearly ear splitting high notes that come again and again. It is a symphony of beauty and rage. Its militaristic sound comes to the audience as irony, making bitter fun of the militaristic regime which put poets and artists in the gulags to die and persecuted Shostakovich to the point that he would stand outside his house late at night so that when “They” came to take him away, “They” would not disturb his family. This brilliant, heart wrenching symphony is no step backward. It is a blatant, powerful act of resistance available to all who will listen. Guest Conductor Boreyko and the SF Symphony propelled this alert to all humans into alarming, moving, completely unique music. Lengthy, standing applause for Vadim Gluzman, Boreyko, and the Symphony demonstrated that the San Francisco audience got it.

*There are various theories of the identity of the critic. some believe Shostakovich himself put it out. If it did come from him, the irony runs deep.

African Rhythms & Dance at IDF@SV: Meet Keith Hames!

   The International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley is proud and excited to announce that Keith Hames, Founder & Director of Akoma Arts, based in San Jose, CA, will teach and perform in IDF@SV 2018. Students will experience African rhythms and dance. This is an amazing opportunity to work with a very special artist and human being. Sign up now! Join in the Festival, the only festival west of western Massachusetts and North Carolina to offer multiple movement forms in classes & workshops for movers of all levels, beginners to pros. Are you a ballerina? give African rhythms or tap dance or physical comedy a try. Are you just starting to explore movement? Come to Full Day of Dance© to sample the most delicious array of dance and movement. PUT THE HEART BACK IN YOUR ART! Come to IDF@SV 2018!

SF Symphony Tonight! Boreyko, Bernstein, Shostakovich

The Hedgehogs are very excited about tonight’s performance at the San Francisco Symphony. Andrey Boreyko will conduct two exquisite pieces by Leonard Bernstein, Divertimento and Serenade, and the Symphony No. 5 of Shostakovich. Featured artist is Vadim Gluzman, violin.

Just a week ago, we heard Maestro Boreyko conduct his orchestra, the Naples Philharmonic, in Naples, FL. It was a memorable, outstanding performance. There he conducted Bernstein’s Serenade and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. As both Hedgehogs had never before heard the Serenade, we were delighted by the beauty, wit, and inventiveness of this work. Our wish to hear it again comes true tonight. The Naples Philharmonic, under Boreyko’s direction, presented a deeply moving, triumphant performance of the Mahler. Even Mahler lovers brought up by Michael Tilson Thomas could stand with hats off for this musical journey from pain to glory. Shostakovich’s Symphony No.5 is an enormous work which may present deeply coded messages about the Stalinist regime which often persecuted Russian artists, including Shostakovich. Though he won some approval for this symphony, his art was always a passionate resistance.

Pictures: Top: Leonard Bernstein, Middle: Shostakovich

CASANOVA: The Seduction of Europe at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor

If you have ever wondered about time travel, the ability to wake up and live in an entirely different era, the exhibition CASANOVA: The Seduction of Europe comes very close to letting you live surrounded by the greatest luxury in 18th century Europe. On view in the Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco, February 10-May 28, the paintings, decorative art pieces, furniture, period costumes, sculptures, plus your imagination may whisk you back to a luxurious era which may have seemed – to those who lived at the top tier of their societies – to promise to continue in an unchanging bubble of perfection forever. It did not, of course, as the century ended before its due date with violent revolutions in England’s American colonies (1776) and France (1789). However, it was gorgeous fun for those on top while it lasted.

Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798)

Giacomo Casanova was born in Venice to a family of actors. He left home when young to study in Padua and received his doctorate in law at age sixteen. He was an avid reader with a gift for witty conversation and the ability to fit in to ever higher classes of society. He became an autobiographer, writing an enormous multi-volume work that is as much an autobiography of the 18th century as it is of him;  spy; world traveler; gambler; and, most certainly, every bit the seducer-womanizer extraordinaire as he is most remembered. The exhibition is less about Casanova than it is about the world through his eyes. Max Hollein, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of SF said, “The cosmopolitan Casanova is a fitting guide to lead our tour of the glittering art capitals of eighteenth century Europe…” Casanova lived a quarter of his life in Venice, but he also traveled extensively in an era when getting around the globe took serious efforts. Casanova traveled to the Ottoman Empire, Russia, what is now the Czech Republic, and lived in Italy, France, and England. The idea of creating an exhibition through Casanova’s eyes originated with the Kimbell Art Museum, Ft. Worth, TX. The Legion of Honor and the Fine Arts Museum of Boston collaborated in creating the exhibition which features works on loan from many great museums.

Melissa Buron, Director, Art Division for Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco, and Museum Director Max Hollein discuss the approximately 200 art works of the exhibition.

The significant painters whose works are featured include Francois Boucher, Jean-Honore Fragonard, Canaletto, Tiepolo and William Hogarth. Canaletto’s works place the viewer within Venice’s unique city-scape of light and water.  As Melissa Buron pointed out, indoors, the world was lit by candlelight. Candles were expensive; one way to show wealth was to be extravagant with candles. In addition to the imprecise glow of the candles, an air of mystery characterized Venice. The Venetians, known for  masks and masquerades, often wore their masks from October to Mardi Gras. This enhanced their ability to change or hide their identity, a useful ruse for seduction.

(Left) Franceso Guardi (Italian, 1712-1793) The Ridotto of Palazzo Dandolo at San Moise with Masked Figures Conversing ca. 1750. The ridotti were state sponsored gambling rooms, sometimes places of music and dancing. Everyone was required to wear masks which made it easier for thieves and prostitutes to mix with the elite. (Right) 18th c. Sedan chair which belonged to Alma Spreckles, founder of San Francisco’s Legion of Honor

CASANOVA: The Seduction of Europe offers a look at the intimate, erotic and sensual arts which stirred passions in 18th century nobles as well as the opportunity to see the grandeur of porcelains, silver objects, fanciful and exquisite snuff boxes which were all part of the matchless luxury of palaces from St. Petersburg to London. Especially useful for those visiting the exhibition to aid time travel are three tableaux vivants — displays of life size mannequins dressed in richly embellished period costumes. The one representing Venice shows a man visiting a convent where he will have an assignation with a young woman he desires. The Parisian tableau, described by Martin Chapman, Curator-in-Charge of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture, presents an aristocratic woman sitting by a small table covered with vessels to “make her toilette,” cleanse and make up her face and hair. Nearby a male caller who faces the lady is holding hands with the lady’s maid. In London, there are elite gentlemen gambling; one has just discovered the other is cheating.

(Left) Parisian tableau. (Right) Nathaniel Hone (Irish, 1718-1781) Kitty Fisher, 1763. Kitty Fisher was London’s famous courtesan. Outrageous accounts or her life appeared in the 1750s. She was determined not to be an ordinary prostitute. She secured her fame when she posed more than twenty times for three portraits by Joshua Reynolds.

Visiting this exhibit is a rare opportunity to enter another world through its art. The last gallery has paintings and sculptures of great individuals Casanova met: Catherine the Great, George III, Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire. Walking through the door on the far end of that gallery, one might feel the balance of the 18th century slip.

See for more information.

All photographs by Jonathan Clark


The San Francisco Symphony has a great program coming up, February 8, 9, & 10, Davies Symphony Hall. Herbert Blomstedt, Conductor Laureate of the SF Symphony, will lead the SFS and pianist Garrick Ohlsson in Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto and the SFS in Stenhammar’s Symphony No. 2. The concerto is so exciting, one sometimes feels not just on the edge of one’s seat but on the edge of one’s seat on a roller coaster. There is an exultant, thrilling sense to it which makes audiences embrace it. Ohlsson is well known for his mastery of Chopin’s perfect piano jewels; the Emperor concerto will reveal him in Beethoven’s expansive energy.

from left: Beethoven, Herbert Blomstedt, Garrick Ohlsson

Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871-1927) is considered by many to be Sweden’s greatest composer. He was also widely admired as a great pianist.

Wilhelm Stenhammar

Herbert Blomstedt, Music Director and Conductor of the SFS from 1985-1995, has led San Francisco audiences to discover and love the works of other Scandinavian composers, Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius. While Stenhammar began his music studies in Stockholm, he continued in Berlin and became attached to the works of Richard Wagner and Anton Bruckner. After writing his Symphony No. 1, Stenhammar decided to “free” himself from late Romantic German music. His later work, such as Symphony No. 2, leans toward a more classical style. He was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony, Sweden’s first, full time, professional Symphony. He died very young, age 56, of a stroke. However, February 7 is his birthday. This is a great opportunity to hear his work and celebrate this great Swedish artist.

Klimt & Rodin: Gold & Bronze at the Legion of Honor

In a few weeks it will be the 100th anniversary of Gustav Klimt’s death. He died aged 53, in 1918, due to the deadly influenza of that year.* Gustav Klimt’s work never really went away. Posters bearing the images he created were popular throughout the 1960s, for example, and a movie about the remarkable painting, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, an image unmistakably Klimt’s, brought back his art for a vast audience.  San Francisco’s Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum is the perfect place for the gorgeous Klimt exhibition which will be on view through January 28. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (1907) (not part of this exhibition)

The Legion of Honor was built to honor the California “boys” who died in World War I. It is a site which will always be in harmony with early 20th century visions.

Gustav Klimt and his Cat (Katze), photo by Moritz Nahr

The Legion’s exhibition has paired Viennese Gustav Klimt’s work with that of Parisian Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), great master of early 20th century sculpture. At first, it might seem an unusual pairing, but it turns out that the artists met each other, in 1902. Their meeting was at an exhibition organized by the Vienna Secession movement. Rodin gave the exhibition his enthusiastic response. Klimt was a leader of the Secession which he helped establish, in 1897. He stayed with the movement to 1908. The movement’s goals were to provide exhibitions for young, unconventional artists and bring the best foreign artists to work in Vienna. It was an inclusive movement which did not limit itself to a narrowly defined style.

On left, Klimt, The Kiss (1907-1908); right, Rodin, The Kiss (1881-1882)

The Legion of Honor has one of the best, most extensive Rodin collections. Roaming through the galleries of this exhibition, seeing the paintings and sculptures close together, can give a feeling of being a time traveler suddenly able to see even familiar art works as gloriously new. In a gallery corner, there is a letter from Loie Fuller, the groundbreaking, creative dancer whose combination of light, timing, and movement opened the eyes of artists and scientists. Ms Fuller’s contacts with Rodin and Alma Spreckles, museum founder, were responsible for the beginnings of San Francisco’s great Rodin collection.

Left: Klimt: Portrait of Ria Munk III, (1917) detail; Right: Rodin: The Age of Bronze, (1877)

A relationship between the works of Rodin and Klimt can be found in the insightful portraits that are so important to each, the attraction they each felt for allegory, and especially the expressive representation of the human body. There is no self-censorship in approaching the erotic. Klimt’s Nuda Veritas (Naked Truth) shows that the naked woman’s body, not just her face, is her portrait. Klimt’s portraits involve overall designs of shapes, colors, and gold. Does the person emerge from this dense, colorful aura or is the overall patterning expressive of the personage? Or is it all design? His landscapes themselves become overall patterning whether a stand of narrow trees growing so closely together or a distant house seemingly overwhelmed by exuberant, thick growths of flowers. Rodin’s work always has drama in the power of the individual’s presence in The Age of Bronze;  the physical strain visible in the Burghers’ of Calais, or the eroticism of The Kiss. This is a Must-See exhibition. The Legion of Honor has added hours for Jan. 27 & 28, the last weekend. Experience Klimt & Rodin soon.

Klimt, The Virgin, 1913

Klimt & Rodin: An Artistic Encounter, Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco, through Jan. 28, 2018. Legion’s hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., Tues – Sun; SPECIAL KLIMT & RODIN HOURS: 9;30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 27 & 28. Timed entry tickets needed (also for members but no charge to members). Tickets to the Legion include same day entrance for the de Young Museum and vice versa. 24/7 Call 888/901-6645 or, for members, 800/777-9996.

photo credits for pictures of Klimt’s The Kiss, Rodin’s The Kiss, Klimt’s Portrait of Ria Munk III, Rodin’s The Age of Bronze, Klimt’s The Virgin all courtesy Klimt & Rodin: A Pictorial, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco: Legion of Honor

  • The Department of The More Things Change (The More They Stay The Same) Klimt was born, 1862, in town just outside of Vienna. While I have read that Klimt became interested in using gold leaf from the art he observed while visiting Venice and Ravenna, it must have also been important to him that his father, who came from Bohemia, was a gold engraver. Gustav grew up in poverty as his father did not find much work, and it was an economically difficult era for immigrants.
  • Here we are in 2018 with another influenza sweeping the world. Can we know which artists we might lose from North America, Africa, Asia, anywhere?