WWW. -WONDERFUL WINTER WORKSHOP/Schedule

Announcing the class schedule for WWW 1.0, our first Wonderful Winter Workshop of the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley. Take all 8 classes, one will be FREE!!

Classes on Saturday, Jan. 18: from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.    at the Mtn.View Masonic Center, MV,  12:30 DUNHAM TECHNIQUE, LESLIE ARBOGAST;1:30  SALSA, LEANNE RINELLI; 2:30 PILATES MAT, AMITY JOHNSON; 3:30 CONTEMPORARY, LESLIE FRIEDMAN; 4:30 LINE DANCING, ETTA WALTON. All classes are mixed levels. NO partners needed for Salsa or Line Dancing.

Classes on Tuesday, Jan. 20, from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Mountain View Masonic Center, MV, CA 94041

6 p.m. DUNHAM TECHNIQUE, LESLIE ARBOGAST; 7 P.M. SALSA, LEANNE RINELLI; 8 P.M., LINE DANCING, ETTA WALTON.

DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY TO GET OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT FOR 2015! DANCE AND HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME! THE ARTIST/TEACHERS WANT TO HELP YOU SHINE! information: contact: The Lively Foundation, livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.netEtta WaltonSmallLeslie angel

Pictures: Left: Etta Walton; Right: Leslie Friedman

 

 

 

WWW. = Wonderful Winter Workshop

"                               ""                               "mail-2The International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley presents WWW. a wonderful winter workshop. Open Master Classes led by beloved artist/teachers will help you to dance into the New Year! Classes will be offered on Sunday afternoon, January 18, and Tuesday evening, January 20. Artist/teachers are coming from around the country to participate. We welcome back Leanne Rinelli from New York and Leslie Arbogast from San Diego. All classes take place at the Festival HQ: the Mountain View Masonic Center, 890 Church Street, Mtn. View. All classes are mixed levels. A prima ballerina might be a complete beginner at salsa; a salsa dancer will love to learn Dunham technique. Do what you love; try something new to you. Classes offered will include:

Salsa – NO partner necessary; Line Dances – NO partner necessary; Dunham Technique – Katherine Dunham introduced Afro-Haitian & Afro-Cuban dance to the US; Pilates mat – no previous experience required, a great body tune up for Pilates lovers or newbies; Contemporary -technique & repertory.

The price per class reduces with each added class. For example, Early Bird fee for a single class is $20. EB fee for two classes is $36 ($18 X 2). The fees continue like that except for the fee for 7 classes which is $63. TAKE ALL THE CLASSES AND ONE OF THEM WILL BE FREE!!!!! WHAT A GREAT DEAL!!!!! EARLY BIRD fees available until Jan. 3, 2015. We are making this easy for you to come and dance: the two dates are not priced separately. Take one class on the 18th and three on the 20th and you get the rate for four classes. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to dance and have a great time. Contact: livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.net with any questions. Watch the news on this livelyblog and also on our facebook pages:

facebook/The Lively Foundation   –  facebook/international dance festival silicon valley"                               "pictures: above L to Rt: Leslie Arbogast, Dunham Technique; Etta Walton leading a whole audience in Line Dances; Leslie Friedman, Contemporary; bottom: Leanne Rinelli leading Salsa performance. Amity Johnson, Pilates master teacher.

All pictures from Festival Concert, Aug., 2014.Amity Johnson

 

HOUGHTON HALL: Portrait of an English Country House

HHallExteriorSybilSassoonSargent

gibbs_-_houghton_hall_-_interior_1-1 ChumleyVisiting the Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum is always visiting a very special place. Almost a world of its own, the museum sits at a distant end of The City on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the San Francisco Bay, and the Golden Gate Bridge.The site is so breathtaking that one’s attention could be turned away from the beautiful building. It was built to echo the Legion of Honor in Paris and to honor the Californian “boys” who had died in World War I. As it is just two days away from Veterans’ Day, it is worth remembering to remember. Now, until January 18, 2015, the Legion hosts an exhibition which re-creates another special place within the museum. In 1728, Houghton Hall was called “the completest, beautifulest” of all country houses. It is gigantic, full of treasures and history. It was the home of Robert Walpole, England’s first Prime MInister and a voracious collector. When he died, in 1755, he left an enormous debt. His family sold Robert Walpole’s collection of Old Master paintings to Catherine of Russia, helping to make her Great and their debts less. In an odd quirk of history, the family has been able to hold on to the property because no one would buy the immense house and its 17,000 acres. Lucky for us. The property passed to Horace Walpole and then to a grandson of Sir Robert’s daughter. A fortuitous marriage to the Chomondeley family of Cheshire further secured both families’ properties. David Cholmondeley, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley (pronounced “Chumly”) and Lord Great Chamberlain of England is now in charge of both. His grandfather married the exquisite Sybil Sassoon, a descendant of the Rothschild family who brought her personal elegance, devotion to Houghton Hall, and more financial stability. Speaking to a group of journalists, David Chomondeley reminisced of happy times with his grandmother. She introduced him to treasures and special places in Houghton Hall, including the grand staircase which she restored. Among many fine things in the exhibition are paintings by Gainsborough, Reynolds, Andrea del Sarto, Artemesia Gentileschi, and Hogarth. Visitors will be inside the library from which Robert Walpole ran England. This was the first house in England to use mahogany instead of oak. While building it, Robert Walpole took import duties off of mahogany; he put them back when the Hall was finished. There are also Sevres china rarities collected by George Chomondeley, the current Marquess’s grandfather, grand silver, statues. One gallery has portraits of Sybil by John Singer Sargent. The beautiful lady is now overseeing the visits of so many new guests to her San Francisco home. When you visit, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy an English tea being served in the Museum’s lovely cafe. Pictures, courtesy FAMSF: Houghton Hall exterior; Sybil Sassoon, Marchioness of Chomondeley, by Sargent; interior of Houghton Hall; Hogarth painting of Chomondeley collection.

San Francisco Opera: PARTENOPE

deNieseDavidDanielsAShraderARothCostanzodMackPSlyPartStairspartenope

The opera Partenope: 6 characters, 3 hours and 20 minutes, Baroque opera by Handel. Turns out it is a laugh riot. What 21st century music lover who is not totally up on Baroque could guess that? San Francisco Opera’s production of Partenope, performed Oct.15-Nov. 2, 2014, was originally created by the English National Opera and Opera Australia. It traveled well. An attempt at a summary of the plot: Partenope loves Arsace, the cad who abandoned Rosmira. Rosmira, convincingly dressed as a man, shows up at the house party. She/he claims to be in love with P., too. Shy Armindo is madly in love with P., but she can barely see him. Emilio arrives and offers to marry P. She refuses. E. threatens war. P. asks A(Arsace). to lead her forces. The other men and “man” have their feelings hurt. Ormonte observes. That’s just the first 20 minutes or so. The voices of all the performers were outstanding. Two of the men sang countertenor roles; David Daniels as Arsace and Anthony Roth Costanzo as Armindo. Those voices are higher than the voices of the two females; it’s just one layer of Handel’s satire of operatic conventions of his time. Daniels and Roth Costanzo were wonderful performers. Arsace’s emotions ranged from ardent suitor to dejected reject. Armindo, amazed by Partenope’s sudden declaration of love, breaks into a tap dance with top hat and cane on top of his nightie. Daniela Mack as Rosmira/Eurimene is conniving, passionate, heartbroken while in excellent voice. Danielle de Niese as Partenope, the Queen Bee to whom all the energy of the others is devoted, is more than an opera singer. She moves with the grace and assurance of a dancer thoroughly at home moving on stage. Her statuesque form plus her engaging presence showed that Handel was correct to make an opera all about her. It is a funny opera.Would we have missed the satire without the toilet paper? Director Christopher Alden packed the 200 minutes with sight gags including potty jokes. Emilio is interrupted by a sound; is it water? oh, no, it is a toilet flushing. Partenope walks out a door revealing a toilet. Emilio, sung by Alek Shrader with authority and a self-satirizing awareness, sings while hanging from the bathroom’s transom, makes hand shadows as though at camp, and executes a hilarious yoga routine. The set designed by Andrew Lieberman adds another star to the cast. The winding staircase in Act I is not only gorgeous but also gives Armindo an opportunity to show that he can fall down all the stairs–face down–and hang from the edge while still singing. A great addition to SFO’s repertory, it suggests one get out there to see more of Handel’s operas, maybe even this one in another production to see if Handel’s own humor is still there. Pictures: (L to Rt, top row)Danielle de Niese, David Daniels, Alek Shrader, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Daniela Mack(bottom row) Philippe Sly, staircase, Danielle de Niese.

BATS!!! Dance for BRACKEN CAVE

texasBatsBatFrom 1990-2007, The Lively Foundation presented BAT TALES! annually in San Francisco and around the Bay Area. The program included premiere dances, theatre, original songs–all about bats. Most were based on legends about bats from many cultures; some based on legends we made up. Lucy & the Count: the Bat Ballet was choreographed for music by award winning composer, Jon Deak; Mine Bat, a two part solo dance was set to a story by Leslie Friedman and music by English composer Jonathan Harvey. Mine Bat was based on an article written by famed nature writer, William Stolzenburg. The article appeared in Nature Conservancy, the magazine of the international organization, the Nature Conservancy. Mr. Stolzenburg then wrote about Ms Friedman’s dance and story in another Nature Conservancy article. “At the time I first presented Lucy & the Count, with the Bat being the hero, no one paid any attention to bats. The whole program might have been considered wildly eccentric. Bats were only thought of as scary creatures getting caught in some lady’s hair,” says choreographer, Ms Friedman, “but now there is more consciousness of their beauty and their enormous contributions to human well being.” Lively’s annual performances contributed to the raising of that consciousness. Here’s the good news for all of us and especially for the bats: Bat Conservation International (based in Austin, TX) and The Nature Conservancy have managed to buy more than 1500 acres adjacent to Bracken Cave, near San Antonio. That land was going to be developed into many, many houses and other structures which would have meant curtains for the bats in Bracken Cave, home to the world’s largest population of Mexican Free-tailed bats. Millions of bats fly out of the cave at night to hunt insects. The bats are the most efficient pest control in the world. In the summer, the Bracken bats eat 140 TONS of insects EACH NIGHT. Throughout the US, bats save farmers about $23 billion in crop damage and reduced pesticide use. Three cheers for BCI, the Nature Conservancy and the BATS!!! It’s the best Halloween treat of all. Pictures courtesy BCI: Bats emerging from Bracken Cave, a bat visiting an agave. see also: www.nature.org  and  batcon.org  and   www.williamstolzenburg.com   and www.jonathanharveycomposer.com  and  www.jondeak.com

CLASSES@The Lively School

The Lively School offers classes for adults–older teens to any age adult (REALLY ANY AGE) in ballet, contemporary dance, dance workout, Yoga for Life, and Creative Movement & Storytelling for Children. Dr. Leslie Friedman, Artistic Director of The Lively Foundation, is an internationally celebrated dancer/choreographer/teacher who has won acclaim from audiences and critics around the world. She has taught technique and her original choreography to national companies in China, Russia, England, Poland, Korea, Romania, Spain, and more. In the US, she has been a guest artist/teacher at universities throughout the country as well as setting her choreography on companies across the US. She has taught adult beginners and children as well as professionals for many years. She is one of the very few acclaimed artists who offers private classes to adults whether beginners or pros. This gives the students maximum flexibility in scheduling classes. She also offers small group classes. Sign up now! The grace, strength, balance, flexibility of dance will add joy to your life! Contact: livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.net  or call 650/969-4110  Classes at: Mtn. View Masonic Center, 890 Church St., Mountain View, CA. Leslie angelLeslieF

Starbucks in Mountain View! Thank you!

StarbuckslogoThe Lively Foundation asks everyone to patronize the businesses which so generously help Lively in our work. Please stand and cheer Ashley Whitlock, manager of the Starbucks on Castro St., Mountain View, CA. She has donated coffee (and cream, sugars, cups, stir sticks) for the International Dance Festival-Silicon Valley in all three seasons: 2012, 2013, 2014. She also helped  The Festival of Lights, Dec. 2013, Lively’s Holidays concert. Ms Whitlock is a musician in addition to being a manager. She says she loves to help Lively help the arts. Thank you, Ms Whitlock! Dear Readers, now that you have stood up and cheered for her kindness, please stop at Starbucks on Castro@ High School in Mtn. View, enjoy a latte, a bear claw, a sandwich, and remember that IDF-SV 2015 comes soon. Here’s Ashley Whitlock:AshleyWhitlockSmall

Nritya Sangam: Kathak & Bharatanatyam in Mountain View

An innovative and powerful performance comes to the Mountain View Performing Arts Center, Sept. 28, 2:30 p.m. Shambhavi Dandekar, Kathak artist, and Parlmal Phadke, Bharatanatyam artist, perform together in Nritya Sangam. Both Ms. Dandekar and Mr. Phadke are well known and tour widely throughout the world. They have presented this concert in 40 US cities, China, and Muscat. “Sangam” describes the meeting of two rivers; the energy and beauty of these two classical Indian dance forms come together to create a new experience in this concert. It is also the meeting of the male presence in movement and the female presence in movement, an exploration of both traditional and modern form and content. For tickets and more information see www.sulekha.comShambSolopegParlmalphotos: Shambhavi Dandekar (L) Parlmal Phadke (R)

Posh Bagel Mountain View: THANK YOU!

PoshBTeamSmallGreat big thanks to The Posh Bagel on Castro St., in Mountain View, CA. For all three seasons they have supported the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley by donating many varieties of many, MANY bagels. We set these out all day for the Full Day of Dance© participants and before the Festival Concert and during intermission for the audience to enjoy. We are so grateful to Marie, the lovely and generous manager, and her team. Support our Supporters! Visit The Posh Bagel for a great lunch, morning coffee and bagels, special treats throughout the day. Here is Marie at The Posh Bagel and Marie with her team. They are all as talented as they are good looking!MarieCloseThe Lively Foundation says,”THANKS!”

Usha Srinivasan & Urmila Vudali Dance: Mother & Child

Usha&UrmilaThe San Francisco Bay Area is rich in artists devoted to classical Indian dance forms. There are performances throughout the year, especially in Bharatanatyam, yet, the concert, Mother & Child, performed by Usha Srinivasan and her daughter, Urmila Vudali, Aug. 24, 2014, De Anza College, Cupertino, stands out. They danced a full, classical program from the opening invocation Pushpanjali to an exuberant concluding Thillana. Clarity of movement and communication of deep emotions characterized the performance. It was beautiful and very moving. Themes of motherhood and a child’s relationship to her mother wereghungroos_bharatnatyam_gross4 expressed through stories of Krishna, Parvati, Ganesha, and others from the human realm. For example, in a Padam selection which called upon the performers’ dramatic skills, a mother questions her daughter’s choice of a boy friend. He has wild hair and his outfit is hardly Brooks Brothers. The daughter has fallen in love with Shiva. That match is far beyond exceptional, but the situation is universal in human families. The Varnum selection was a major effort combining three aspects of Bharatanatyam: Nritta, pure dance (abstract rhythmic movements), Nritya, expressive dance, and Natya, dramatic art. It was a premiere work drawing from an array of religious/mythological stories. It demanded focus and energy from the dancers, and they were more than equal to the challenge. In fact, Ms Srinivasan’s solo piece called out such emotional connection that this viewer felt tears come to her eyes. The program included musical compositions by M.S. Sukhi for the delightful Pushpanjali, the Varnum, Amba Stuthi, and the extraordinary Thillana. The music added extra perceptions to the event. Amba Stuthi was “an ode to Mother Amba, Goddess Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva.” The folk melody, Madu Meikkum Kanne, added texture to this well-rounded performance. The musicians, seated onstage in the traditional way, were outstanding: Sri Murali Parthasarathy(vocal), N. Veeramani(violin), M.S. Sukhi(mridangam), Navia Natarajan Menon(nattuvangam and also a dance guru to the artists). The joy obviously shared by this mother and child enveloped the audience. Eleven year old Ms Vudali has studied Bharatanatyam for five years. She danced with energy and precision. One must wonder where she goes from here as her dancing is already well formed artistry. Ms Srinivasan studied Bharatanatyam with her daughter. She proclaims herself an amateur. Being an amateur means she is a lover of this multi-layered, heart shaking art. So much of the dance, music, lyrics is devotional. It is appropriate: this was a performance suffused with love.ushaPhotos: Usha Srinivasan & Urmila Vudali, top & below, courtesy Ms Srinivasan; dancer’s ankle bells, file photo.