Author Archives: Leslie

Saluting Krystyna Chciuk

The Lively Foundation is very sad that Mrs. Krystyna Maria Chciuk passed away in September. She was a lovely person and a friend to so many. Lively and its Artistic Director, Leslie Friedman know how fortunate we are to have known her. At the age of 15, she was sworn in to the Polish Resistance. It was something of an accident because she was really too young.  However, she stayed and became a Laczniczka, a courier. She took guns and messages from one side of Warsaw to another and also led soldiers across the occupied city. She participated in the Warsaw Uprising, 1944, and was captured by the Nazis. She was forced into Prisoner of War camps.

Mrs. Krystyna Chciuk

In 1945 she was freed from the camps and joined the Polish Army in Exile, in London. She met Mr. Wladyslaw Chciuk, a pilot. He had been a Captain in the Polish Air Force and flew with the RAF in the Polish Squadron. He was a Prisoner of War in Germany, 1943-45. They were married in 1951. In 1952, they came to the US, first living in Milwaukee and then moving to San Francisco. While working full time and caring for her family of three daughters and Mr. Chciuk, she devoted herself to preserving the Polish language and culture in her new home. She was the founder of the Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble, teaching and directing the dances. She also was energetic in support of Polish Scouting and Polish Saturday language schools. As her daughters stated in her obituary, “we shared our mother with all of you more so than many people share a family member.” Pani Krystyna Chciuk contributed to the whole Bay Area through her integrity and kindness. She was always a shining light in our multi-cultural culture. She is greatly missed.

International Festival@Silicon Valley’s 10th Anniversary!

              The International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley
                            Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary
The Lively Foundation is proud to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley. This season the Festival’s Full Day of Dance© will take place on Saturday, November 13. All Full Day of Dance© classes will be offered over Zoom and will be free. See list of classes and schedules below. To register go to: https://forms.gle/dAd5DKho8sgFgPn8A
 
In addition to the Full Day of Dance© there will be classes offered during the preceding week days. For example, 30 minute Pilates mat classes will be led by Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias, 9 a.m. Pacific time, Monday – Friday. Weekday classes will be offered on a Pay-What-You-Can basis, suggested amount is $5 – $15 per 30 minute class.
(L to R) Etta Walton, Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias,
Starting in 2012, the Festival has offered classes in an amazingly wide variety: African, Afro-Haitian, Ballet, Bharatanatyam, Classical Chinese, Contemporary, Kathak, Korean, Line Dances, Manipuri, Mexican Folclorico, Salsa, Samba, Tango, Tap, Waltz, and even more styles. Participants learn from accomplished professionals and also see them perform. Winners
of the Choreography Competition present premiere works on Festival Concerts.
Artistic Director and Founder of the Festival, Dr. Leslie Friedman says, “Do what you love and try something new! A ballerina might discover she loves Tap. A ballroom dancer will find the Pilates mat to be just what he needs. Beginners get to fall in love with dance. Professionals in one style get to be beginners in something new to them. It helps to remember that dance can be fun.”

Lively Foundation Artistic Director Leslie Friedman

 The International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley’s innovations were ground breaking and have been adopted by other companies: presenting learning experiences in multiple forms, for participants of mixed levels of dance training (or no training), chances for participants to perform, and the exciting opportunity for the whole community to gain understanding and appreciation of dance by watching fine artists in concert.
Artist-teachers will include Etta Walton, Line Dances; Annie Wilson, Jazz; Megan Ivey Rohrbacher, Physical Comedy; Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias, Tap, Pilates mat. These artists have performed and taught in previous Festivals and all have devoted followers.
Full Day of Dance©
Pilates mat,              9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Jazz                          10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
Physical Comedy  12:30 p.m.-  1:30 p.m.
Tap                           1:45 p.m.-   2:45 p.m.
Line Dances             3:00 p.m.-  4:00 p.m.
Full Week of Dance© mini-classes
Pilates mat    MTWThF    9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Nov. 8-12
Line Dances  MWF           2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Nov. 8, 10, 12
Repertory:     TThF           4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Nov. 9, 11, 12
“Dances for Small Spaces
All Full Day of Dance classes are free, but we do request that you register.
All Full Week of Dance classes request registration and are on a pay-what-you-can basis. Suggested amount is $5 -$15.
TO REGISTER PLEASE GO TO:   https://forms.gle/dAd5DKho8sgFgPn8A
For further details please watch http://www.livelyfoundation.org/wordpress/?p=3586

Stanford’s Company of Authors: Butterflies Talk!

On April 24, 2021, Leslie Friedman presented a talk about her latest book, The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View, on Stanford’s program, Company of Authors.

The speakers for the program were in groups of 3 or 4 speakers. The recording of the talks shows all 3 speakers in Leslie’s group.  Professor Paul Robinson introduces the first speaker; she speaks for about 4 min. 8 seconds. Then Prof. Robinson introduces Leslie. Her talk is about 8 minutes long (each speaker was allowed 10 minutes). After Leslie’s talk, Prof. Robinson makes a few comments praising her talk. Then, he introduces the final speaker, Professor Peter Stansky who talks about his most recent book, Twenty Years On, on modern British History. Prof. Stansky is the founder of Company of Authors.

Here is the link:     https://vimeo.com/546631058

Thank you for your interest!

 

BOOKS FOR THE BEACH! Butterflies & Gardens & 1967

Vacation time returns! Vaccinated and raring to go? Pick up beautiful books from The Lively Foundation to read and enjoy while out in the sun at home or farther afield. Lively books now on offer include The Dancer’s Garden and The Story of Our Butterflies, by Leslie Friedman with photos by Jonathan Clark & Leslie Friedman and OTTAWA: 1967, a collection of photographs by Jonathan Clark of the small town in Northern Illinois where he grew up.

OTTAWA: 1967 is an outstanding collection of photographs taken by Jonathan Clark, internationally renown, award winning photographer. Together these images capture the essence of lives in a time that is gone. The place is still there, but so much has changed. Published by Nazraeli Press, these images will light up your imagination and memory giving you an entry to what could be a foreign country though it is not so far away.

THE DANCER’S GARDEN, by Leslie Friedman with photographs by Jonathan Clark and Leslie Friedman. Comments on this book are full of praise: “I love it. It is a perfect book, in conception and execution. You are a marvelous writer, as I expected, and I am particularly fond of short essays. The scale and layout are just right…”Diana Ketcham, HOUSE & GARDEN, EDITOR (ret.), Books Editor, THE OAKLAND TRIBUNE (ret.) “There is so much delight and poetry and wisdom to be found in the garden and in your book!” S. Abe, CA Academy of Sciences (ret.)

THE STORY OF OUR BUTTERFLIES: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View, “This is a wonderful book and I look forward to sharing it with the rest of the staff here.” Joe Melisi, Center for Biological Diversity, national conservation organization, Tucson, AZ; “Leslie Friedman is an historian, a dancer and choreographer, and now a perceptive writer about nature….in a second splendid work she takes wing into the world of butterflies….One is grateful for this delightful book, so well written and illustrated.” Peter Stansky, Author, Historian, Professor Stanford University.

I WANT THEM! HOW DO I GET THEM?

OTTAWA: 1967 is available from The Lively Foundation. These books are from the artist’s own collection. Cost: $50 plus $6 for mailing. Please mail your check made out to The Lively Foundation to The Lively Foundation, 550 Mountain View Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94041-1941. If you need to use a credit card, please see instructions for PayPal below.

THE DANCER’S GARDEN is available from Bird & Beckett Books & Records, San Francisco, and from The Lively Foundation. Stanford Bookstore currently sold out of it. You can contact the Stanford Bookstore and request it. Cost is $42; $45 which includes mailing.

THE STORY OF OUR BUTTERFLIES: MOURNING CLOAKS IN MOUNTAIN VIEW is available from Bird & Beckett Books & Records, The Lively Foundation, and Stanford Bookstore. Cost is $29.95 plus $5 for mailing.

Bird & Beckett Books & Records, 415/586-3733; 653 Chenery St., SF 94131; eric@birdbeckett.com; Hours: Tues-Sun Noon-6 p.m.

Stanford Bookstore, 650/329-1217; Lasuen Mall/White Plaza, Stanford Univ. CA 94305; stanford@bkstr.com; Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri & Sat 10 a.m.- 7 p.m; Sun 11 a.m.- 6 a.m.

The Lively Foundation, livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.net, 650/969-4110, 550 Mountain View Ave, Mountain View, CA 94041- to buy with a ccard from Lively, please go to the landing page of this blog, scroll down to see the PayPal logo, click on that to pay with ccard. Please add $1.15 to credit card purchases. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Book at Bird & Beckett & Stanford Bookstore

It’s spring! The flowers are blooming and the butterflies are flying. Weather is now warm enough to facilitate their flight. You did not know that butterflies require a particular warmth to be able to fly? Time for you to read THE STORY OF OUR BUTTERFLIES: MOURNING CLOAKS IN MOUNTAIN VIEW, the wonderful new book by Leslie Friedman. It is available at the Bird & Beckett Bookstore in San Francisco, the Stanford University Bookstore at Stanford, and through The Lively Foundation.  The story begins when Jonathan Clark, award winning photographer and husband of Leslie Friedman, sees a butterfly laying eggs on a pussy willow tree. Jonathan and Leslie clip the twig, keep it inside in a container with willow leaves, and then a bigger container, and then in an outdoor butterfly house. They feed the always hungry caterpillars, wait for the chrysalises to open, and then release more than 125 butterflies in nature preserves.

Book cover: front is close up of Mourning Cloak wing and back shows caterpillars on willow leaves. Photos by Jonathan Clark. The book has many full color pictures by Jonathan Clark & Leslie Friedman.

The book also explores the deep cultural ties between butterflies and humans as seen in Chinese legends, Italian operas, Shakespeare, American pop music, collectors, and artists. The amazing Appendices include the story of the caterpillar which is the insect equivalent of the Groundhog for predicting winter, the plight of the Western Monarch Butterfly, the murders of men protecting the Butterfly Biosphere in Mexico, and the destruction of private property and the National Butterfly Refuge, sacrificed for a border wall, in Texas.

Butterflies, though endangered, symbolize HOPE to many individuals and cultures from survivors of genocide to families in San Jose, CA, who supported a mural showing butterflies flying out of books on the wall of an elementary school.

Visit these bookstores! Stanford is open for browsing from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. daily and also takes orders over the web or phone. You can pick up your book anytime or have it shipped. Bird & Beckett is open noon- 6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, at 653 Chenery St., SF 94131, 415/586-3733. It is located in the wonderful San Francisco Glen Park area.

Please see http://www.livelyfoundation.org/wordpress/?p=3477 for Butterflies Released! and how to buy from The Lively Foundation.

 

Stanford’s Company of Authors: Saturday, 4/24

Lively is proud to announce that Stanford’s Company of Authors program will feature Leslie Friedman to talk about her new book, The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View. In 2020, Company of Authors presented Leslie talking about her book, The Dancer’s Garden. She was immediately invited to return.

The program runs from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time with a short break in the middle. There is no charge. Leslie’s 10 minutes is scheduled 4:55-5:05 p.m. The Stanford Bookstore will offer a 10% discount on all of the books discussed on the program. Speakers all have a relationship to Stanford as professors or alums.

The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View, cover: close up of a Mourning Cloak wing front, caterpillars eating on back

Shown below is the link to registration and the Zoom link for the program and other delights. A flyer displays the schedule for all the presenters and their books.

AUDIENCE ZOOM LINK (to share)

Friends and family can sign up for the event online. They’ll receive all pre- and post-event emails, including when the recordings are available to view.

Event Zoom Link: https://stanford.zoom.us/j/98719373201?pwd=NmE5UWVZN0YrMGE5WW5qWEZFSXVsUT09

Passcode: 813691

Encore! The Exhibitionist Returns

The Lively Foundation is delighted to announce that The Exhibitionist, the one-act play by Lively’s artistic director, Leslie Friedman, will be presented in another online reading. This encore performance will be on Thursday, Feb. 11, 11:15 a.m. Pacific time. Once again Jonathan Clark will read the role of Danny, and Leslie Friedman, will read the role of Lily. This will be the third reading/performance of The Exhibitionist in a week and a half. The first encore presentation was Wednesday evening, Feb. 3. This time the program was only The Exhibitionist. Reactions to the play were so enthusiastic that Leslie’s undergraduate classmates decided to present it so that more of their class and others could see it. To watch The Exhibitionist, please email The Lively Foundation to receive the Zoom link.

JJonathan Clark, better known as a photographer and fine art printer, will read the role of Danny. Leslie Friedman, better known as a dancer/choreographer, will read the role of Lily.

Leslie’s Play THE EXHIBITIONIST on Sunday, 1/31

It is very exciting to announce that the play, The Exhibitionist, written by The Lively Foundation’s Artistic Director, will receive a reading on Sunday, January 31, at 2 p.m. Pacific Time (4 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Eastern). Play by Play, a theater organization in Berkeley, CA is presenting the program. In addition to The Exhibitionist, another one act play, Not Too Kosher, by Judith Offer will also receive a reading. Both plays are about 15  minutes long.

The Exhibitionist is a two person play. Jonathan Clark takes the part of Danny, and Leslie Friedman portrays Lily. They are re-meeting after a long time.

Jonathan Clark – best known as a photographer with work in distinguished museums such as the Getty in Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art in New York – reads the role of Danny.

Leslie Friedman – best known as a dancer- is the playwright of The Exhibitionist.

The presentation is free. Please remember that this is a reading, not an on-stage performance. All San Francisco Bay Area theaters have been closed since March, 2020. Play by Play, the readers, and playwrights welcome you! To receive the Zoom codes, please email The Lively Foundation.

Shambhavi Dandekar: Online Classes!

Shambhavi Dandekar, the brilliant and beautiful Kathak exponent and founder of SISK school announces that SISK has begun a  Distance Learning Program in Kathak. The program began just three weeks ago. This is an amazing opportunity for dancers who wish to learn Kathak. It opens access to dancer and guru Shambhavi Dandekar’s knowledge and technique to those who wish to learn no matter where they are. Currently, the program is for beginners.

Shambhavi Dandekar

Here are some of the details about the Distance Learning Program in Kathak. (1) Every video class will be taught by world renowned Kathak exponent, Shambhavi Dandekar. (2) Students will learn one class per week at any time convenient to them. (3) Students will experience Gurukul style one-on-one learning. (4) SISK Distance Learning Program will offer a “Nuance Class” every other month to practice with Shambhavi Tai and adjust nuances. (5) Kathak certifications will be available from time to time. (6) This is an ongoing course. Students will graduate to the next level every two years.

FOR A DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAM Q & A SESSION: https://youtu.be/7ShFE3Ox3Rg

SISK sends this message: This is your chance to learn this beautiful dance art form from any corner of the world. The Distance Learning Program brings the Guru-Shishya together by overcoming the physical distance and time barrier.”

Shambhavi Dandekar looks forward to hearing from you! For more information kathakshambhavi@gmail.com

OTTAWA, Illinois: 1967 – Review from Photo Metro

This review appeared in the magazine PHOTO METRO, in San Francisco, April, 1992. Selected photos from the book are below the text.

The little girl leans against the rail and the carnival ride whirls past her. In Jonathan Clark’s photograph, “Reverie: Carnival,” this image encompasses a sense of time, immediacy and distance that characterizes Clark’s collection, “Ottawa: 1967/1990.” Clark took these photos on a family trip to his hometown in northern Illinois when he was fifteen. He printed them in 1990. The results are a stunning revelation of what was once ordinary life and now lives most in memory and myth: the mid-western American small town. The images are precious for more than his­torical documentation. They speak of the moment the present becomes memory. The girl is still; the ride moves on. She stays in Ottawa; the carnival will travel beyond.
The presence of the black edge of the neg­ative bordering the prints and a white, enor­mous sky emphasizes the encapsulation of time. The artist acknowledges his medium. The frame creates the effect of looking through an old photo album and becomes a window. This is a picture of a very par­ticular place in this instant of time. The vast white space of Illinois sky, however, answers with a contradictory impression as it appears to reach out of the frame forever.
In “Cornhusker,” a man in jeans, workshirt, and cap appears out of a structure and breaks into the perfect whiteness. His irreg­ular form emerges from the line created by the nearly white symmetry of the top of the structure. He is rumpled, real, maybe better than monumental. Gazing past his work, he looks immobile.
“Ernie” is a farmer whose face is the only close-up in the collection. The astounding details of the print show the lines and creases on eyes and mouth, the salt and pepper stubble on cheek and chin, the bits of hay dust on cap and coat, and his dry, worker’s hand. The bill of his cap also juts into that white distance. Ernie is a man entirely of the present moment but with a far-away look in his eye. Neither he nor the cornhusker give clues as to what they are seeing.
“Barn” has multiple surfaces and some secret story. A profusion of underbrush—leafy, flowering, feathery or spiky—climbs a small hill toward the weath­ered boards and broken glass of the aban­doned barn. The artist has achieved a white-on-white contrast of church-like roof and empty sky.
The technique in the entire collection is advanced far beyond either what one might expect from a fifteen-year-old with a half­-frame, 35 mm camera or the current pho­tographic scene and its focus on mixed media and body parts. In that context, this is like leaving a heavy metal performance and walking in on a concert of Bach.
Each image is rich in textures and design. The “Service Station” man creates an immense, heroic diagonal diagram with his arms. A fence made of smaller slats of wood marches up the hill alongside the “Barn.” Its boards are flattened on a differ­ent plane, and a row of ferny growth beside the fence echoes these lines showing both the lightest weight and the darkest value.
The rich growth appears again as the grass between the girl and the carnival ride. The spinning machine has been plunked down on top of the native grass. In “Tractor in Cornfield,” one senses the shape and weight of each lump of earth, the rows of young plants, and seemingly every leaf on the distant trees around the field. The minute detail within a larger design calls the onlooker to wonder at reality, the here and now of the world of these pictures
A philosophy of seeing emerges from the contrast of that cornfield with “Shale Pile.” A bare tree trunk has fallen across a barren black pile with a pitted, rough surface. Its upward curve, cut twice by the angles of dead tree trunks is crowned by a glimpse of a leafy, frilly tree top. That living prize is beyond this pile; the picture promises that it exists, but where is not revealed.
In Ottawa, there is a lot of watching and waiting. The artist, essential onlooker, shows others suspended in their own activ­ities. A woman waits for a tire change, lit­erally suspended in the jacked-up car, and there is no suggestion that anyone but the viewer knows that she is there. A couple looks in a sweet-shop window; a child gazes out of a train window; two men, pro­tected by backyard shrubbery, sit calmly watching a barbecue. The artist captures himself in a self-portrait-with-camera in a rear-view mirror. This is the only reminder that this world is also autobiography. Time is not pushed by the inhabitants of these frames, nor does it ruffle them.
The world from outside Ottawa is represented in the carnival pictures. Two of them present side-show billboards for the viewer to read. Both describe the aftermath of Hiroshima. One proclaims a two-headed baby; the other issues a warning about atomic radiation: “Geneticists State Mutations So Produced Will Go Down Hundreds of Years.” If the denizens of northern Illinois see this as the best the other worlds have to offer, what advantage to corn and hogs?
The effect of us watching them watching and waiting is underscored by the artist’s appearance in the mirror. He is there but at a distance. Now part of the world away from Ottawa, his experience of coming home again is as a reflected reality.
Real time is still in this presentation of Ottawa. It is as though the people, usually alone or in pairs like the two hogs in the “Illinois Landscape,” could hold their breath and, being still, still be there. The artist shows us his “Grandmother’s Window” Through it we see her cut-glass bottles and plants, but not her. The beauty of these objects, glass window lighting glass and reflecting back, tells something about the woman who selected them, but they are still, and she is gone.
In this collection, Jonathan Clark reveals himself as an artist with an eye for the smallest forms of life who is yet not afraid to present such images in the largest world. The Cornhusker enters that vast white sky just as voluptuous leaves of corn break the emptiness with their arching growth. The magic of the here and now within these black-bordered frames is the power to pre­sent a true moment and the promise that these images are solid and real. We can watch like the people in the pictures, but we can never wait long enough to get those moments back. The honesty of the presen­tation, however, also suggests that to have the real is to have real loss as well.
All photos by Jonathan L. Clark. Top row, L to R: Barn, Corn; Lower row, Landscape, Ernie