Monthly Archives: January 2017


The Lively Foundation is recognized by the State of California and the Internal Revenue Service and a 501(c) (3) not for profit organization, since 1984. As a non-profit Lively has never taken a political position or used our programs to endorse any particular political program. Not once. Not even a little. Supporting the US Constitution, however, is not a political position as all American citizens and political leaders of every party are working to protect the Constitution and further its values. Therefore the following statement is not political speech at all; it is American speech.

From its inception, The Lively Foundation’s performers have come from myriad different backgrounds. Seldom, maybe never, have the dancers in the company had grandparents or great grandparents who were from the same continent, let alone the same country. Similarly, as Choreographer and Artistic Director, I have used ideas, themes, movement styles, and especially music from myriad sources: African; American folk, jazz, classical; Arabic; Chinese; various European classical, popular, and folk sources; Indian; South American; even more. I have worked with these gifted individuals and the beautiful, interesting, inspiring music and other resources because they are good, not to make a point, not to earn a grant, only because they are good.

Neither The Lively Foundation nor myself as its Artistic Director will ever limit our work to any one resource or style for our art or for our artists. It is impossible to dictate our creativity or with whom we will work. It is, in fact, Un-American, and neither The Lively Foundation nor I will stoop to align ourselves to someone’s requests or demands. If I had been willing to do that in previous circumstances The Lively Foundation surely would be better funded but it would not create such first rate art as it does.

Leslie Friedman, Artistic Director & Vice-President

International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley Announces 2017 Dates

The Lively Foundation is proud to announce plans for the 2017 season of the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley. This summer, IDF moves to June 19-July 1.

The opening week is devoted to the Choreo-Cubator© workshop, meeting 6/20, 6/22, 6/23, 6/27, 6/29, 6/30. The Showcase Performance will be on June 30.

The Full Day of Dance© will be on June 24

Physical Comedy workshop will meet June 25.

The Festival Concert will take place on Sunday, July 1.

ElisBowButter   Lively welcomes Elisabeth Kindler-Abali, German contemporary dance artist who was our Visiting Artist, summer, 2016. She will teach contemporary dance and also premiere a new work. In this picture she is taking bows after performing her dance, “Butterfly.” Ms Kindler-Abali will return to Berlin after the Festival.

Continue to watch this blog for more program details!

PHOTOFAIRS/San Francisco: International Photos at Ft. Mason

 FuscoFlagAn exciting new photography event opened in San Francisco, June 26, and runs through Sunday, the 29th, at the Festival Pavilion, Ft. Mason Center. Sunday’s hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12-$15. Anyone curious about what’s happening in the world of photography around the world will find much to think about, and art lovers enjoying the Marina on a Sunday afternoon will also find a lot of interest. PhotoFairs opened first in Shanghai, September, 2016. San Francisco is its choice for the American venue. It features galleries from fourteen countries, twenty-two cities, and says it presents “cutting edge contemporary photography on a global scale.” Its artist selection focuses on those “never before seen in the Bay Area” as well as some West Coast artists.


Paul Fusco’s photographs from the train carrying Bobby Kennedy’s body to Washington, D.C. for burial in Arlington Cemetery, June 8, 1968, made an arresting and engrossing series of 21 images selected from a vast archive of these pictures. Some thousand of them had been in the Library of Congress. Fusco stood on the train and continually snapped the pictures capturing the emotions of endless lines of Americans watching, saying good-bye. The boy displaying the flag of his country, shown above, is a detail of one of the photographs. Danziger Gallery also has a set of these photos available in a book or sold individually.

   Mali#2The work of Seydou Keita, photographer from Mali, showed a group of nine small photos framed separately in one large display frame. They resemble family photos without any obvious event that would have brought the individual pictures together. The individuals pose with serious faces. There is a man with two children. A little boy leans into the man’s shoulder; the little girl’s right hand is tucked under the man’s wrist in a touching connection. A woman in elegant dress is posed on a settee. The onlooker is peering into life somewhere else; it is hard to turn away from these people one is meeting without having met.

   The Fall (VU à Paris)  The motion in Denis Darzacq’s photographs La Chute #15 and La Chute #2 (pictured here) catches one’s eye from across the hall. La Chute means The Fall. The French photographer went to Parisian neighborhoods where, in 2005, there had been riots. He captured young residents of the banlieus doing acrobatic feats and breakdancing in the streets. Suspended in an arc in the moment of the photograph, the man could be falling from a very great, mysterious height as much as performing an energetic dance in an otherwise deserted place. One cannot see the tops of the buildings; it’s impossible to know from what heaven, Eden, or twentieth story he might have fallen.

It adds up to a wonderland of imagery to wander through. The journey through the Festival Pavilion, situated right on the Bay, is rewarded by a cafe with places to sit and review the sensory impact with lunch or a drink. For this viewer, many of the “new” approaches to photography were not totally new, but for this viewer being totally new is not always a value in itself. The chosen theme for a central exhibit was that the photographs had been altered in some way so that they were no longer, you know, just photographs. An artist might puncture the image, glue other objects onto it, or combine it with other media.

In addition to the exhibitions, PhotoFairs scheduled public programs, panels and artist talks. For more information, see For online tickets: PhotoFairs will return to Shanghai and San Francisco, Sept. 2017, and Jan. 2018. Picture of lady reaching toward the train is a detail from Paul Fusco’s photographs; picture of man with two children is a detail of Seydou Keita’s pictures. Pictures shown here may not be reproduced or used for personal or professional/commercial purposes. They are the property of the galleries and artists. Picture of La Chute #2 is courtesy De Soto Gallery, Venice, CA. Seydou Keita’s work is represented by Danziger Gallery. Paul Fusco’s work is also represented by Danziger Gallery, New York.

42nd Street in Naples, Florida: ALL GOOD PARTS

220px-42ndStreetLPHave you ever heard someone describe reading a book by skipping through it for “the good parts,” or watching a movie by using the fast forward to see just “the good parts?” 42nd Street is ALL good parts; the greatest Broadway songs, the most amazing dancing. The dialogue lasts only long enough to set up a reason for the next dance. There are a couple of plots which are resolved in the songs and dances. This is a great show. Its run at Artis-Naples included six shows; two days had matinees and evening shows. How did the dancers do it? The high energy and extraordinary talent never flagged. Their performances in Naples opened their sixteen week, fifty city tour. Give yourself a gift; see it.


42nd Street was originally a novel by Bradford Ropes. In 1933, it became a successful, Busby Berkeley movie. Its original production as a Broadway musical was in 1980, produced by David Merrick, directed and choreographed by Gower Champion who won Drama Desk and Tony awards for the choreography. Gower Champion, tall, handsome ballroom dancer with his wife/partner Marge, became an multi-award winning Broadway choreographer and director. Life is more dramatic than theater would dare to be: Champion died the afternoon of 42nd Street‘s premiere. Merrick made the announcement at the closing curtain. Not even the ingenue dancer lead, Champion’s real life girl friend, knew it had happened.


The Broadway show was revived in 2001, ran for 1,524 performances, and won Tony awards including Best Revival of a Musical. The story: Peggy Sawyer, a young dancer-singer from Allentown, PA, arrives late to audition for the ensemble of the new show, Pretty Lady. She physically bumps into the producer, shows her dancing, and is taken into the ensemble. The leading lady, Dorothy Brock, a well known singer, suddenly cannot do her part, the other dancers suggest that Peggy is the perfect replacement, and she is. The producer, Julian Marsh, falls for Peggy. In this company, Peggy is played by Clara Cox, Dorothy by Kara Gibson Slocum, and Julian by Matthew J Taylor. They were sensational. The other actor-dancer-singers were also sensational, “triple threat” stars. The original music is by Harry Warren; lyrics by Al Dubin. 42nd Street the movie with Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell had the songs: 42nd Street, You’re Getting to be a Habit with Me, Young and Healthy, and Shuffle Off to Buffalo. The Broadway show includes more Warren and Dubin songs: Lullaby of Broadway, from the movie Gold Diggers of 1935 won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, 1936; We’re in  the Money was in Gold Diggers of 1933; I Only Have Eyes for You, was in the 1934 movie Dames. There are even more great songs, all by Warren and Dubin. When Matthew J Taylor sings Lullaby of Broadway, you will feel the audience catch its breath. It is a very great moment. The tour covers the country; for example, Wilkes Barre, PA; Buffalo, NY; Davenport, IA; Rockford, IL. Every cast member  deserved an ovation. As Julian Marsh says, “You’re going out there a youngster, but you’ve got to come back a star.” Don’t miss it. Artis Naples offers an outstanding Broadway series including Something Rotten! and Beautiful. See for more information.

Itzhak Perlman at Davies Hall: the Great Human

Itzhak Perlman performed an astonishing, wonderful recital at the San Francisco Symphony’s Davies Hall, January 16. That’s right, it was his usual: astonishing and wonderful. The packed to the rafters audience was entranced by his virtuosity, the graceful program choices, his presence. Seeking words for this article’s headline a phrase from Al Huang, dancer and  tai chi master, came to mind: the great human. That’s what Itzhak Perlman is for all of us.

Perlman-ItzhakItzhak Perlman

Rohan de Silva is the pianist who partners Perlman. He appears to be perfect both as musician and collaborator.

rohan-de-silva_175wRohan de Silva

Itzhak Perlman could play anything, so it is especially interesting to see his choices for this recital. In addition to being technically challenging for a musician, not for this musician but a musician, the selections projected a sense of balance. There were works of four great composers. Each one was a master who created the essence of his era.

Anonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)th-2 Vivaldi’s Sonata in A major for Violin and Continuo (1709), Opus 2, no. 2, is brilliant, quick, lively. It darts and skips yet always maintains its self-control, defining the early 18th century character. It was a time of conservative control pregnant with revolutionary change. It was bursting with creativity.  The program note said the sonata would be brief; it was over before one could be certain what had happened except the dazzling brilliance of the composer meeting his match.

81914355Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Beethoven’s Sonata in F major, Opus 24, Spring (1801) was a Beethoven masterpiece of the early 19th century. It is so lovely and full of delight that one can forget the extraordinary composer’s vision and musicians’ technique required to make this sound easy as water rolling over rocks. Beethoven took risks. In 1801, it was innovative for having four movements instead of three and for the more equal relationship between piano and violin. Beethoven did not give it the name Spring, but it fits. Its cheerful beauty is a pleasure and reminds the listener that great music can smile for us.

SchumannFantasiestucke for Violin and Piano, Opus 73 (1849) by Robert Schumann (1810-1856) has three “fantasy pieces.” Each has a different personality: “Delicate and with feeling;” “Lively, light;” and “Fast and with fire.” This work from the last part of Schumann’s short life is something unexpected. While Schumann was central in creating the Romantic idea in music, by 1849 he had begun to reexamine classical forms and style. Other musicians, including his wife the great pianist Clara Schumann, may have expressed dismay but also may not have fully appreciated Robert Schumann’s searching intellect. Impossible to know what this reconsideration and study might have led him to create, but we do have his late work to enjoy and move us.

StravinskyIgor Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne for Violin and Piano (1933) represented the 20th century. Stravinsky (1882-1971) took five movements from his Pulcinella, a ballet with Leonide Massine choreographer/lead dancer and designs by Picasso, to arrange as the Suite Italienne. Rearranged and published several times with the Italienne name, Itzhak Perlman and Rohan de Silva performed the final version. It includes the original five movements plus a Scherzino. This fascinating suite kept the listener’s attention with surprising rhythms and glorious sounds. Including a Tarantella, Gavotte, and Minuetto, it proudly embraced its origins in dance. The piano and violin definitely danced together and separately. Stravinsky credited Pulcinella as his “discovery of the past” which “made the whole of my late work possible.” Perlman balanced his program with two great composers, one known as Romantic, one as neo-classical, looking back into much earlier music for an understanding of where his own might go.

ENCORES: Anyone who has had the privilege of attending an Itzhak Perlman recital knows the encores are an essential part. He did not disappoint us. He took his bows with his partner, that extraordinary pianist. They left the stage, the audience continued to applaud, hope in every heart. He returned followed by Rohan de Silva and the page turner who carried a tall stack of music books. Not content with one sight gag, Itzhak Perlman then turned through pages clipped together. He told the audience that he keeps a list of the encores he has played in San Francisco. It goes back to 1912. He wouldn’t want to repeat something that someone who had been there in 1912 had heard, but then someone who had been there in 1912 probably couldn’t hear it anyway. He said he wouldn’t be able to remember and the audience could not hear, so he could play anything.

In fact, he played five encores. Each was fantastic in its own way. The unifying thread was the masterful, brilliant technique. He plays incredibly fast, he plays with a lyrical heart; it is all there. First was Tempo di Minuetto in the Style of Pugnani, by Fritz Kreisler. Aria des Lenski from Eugene Onegin, by Tchaikowsky followed. He played Caprice in A minor by Polish violin virtuoso and composer, Wieniawski. Any one of those pieces would be an admirable encore for which any audience should be grateful, but Mr. Perlman has spoiled us. We always want more. He played the theme from Schindler’s List, by John Williams, which he played for the movie. He ended with Brahms’ Hungarian Dance #1. It was the absolute right music to have whirling in my head as we left.

Itzhak Perlman radiates love for music and for his audience. He is now on tour of ten western cities in fourteen days including San Diego, Tucson, Costa Mesa. He could decide to play only for Queen Elizabeth II and select heads of state. He is at the pinnacle; he’ll still play for Mesa, AZ. He plays a Klezmer reunion concert, January 23, in Santa Barbara. His recital at Disney Concert Hall is January 24, Los Angeles. Do not miss a chance to hear him play. See FOR MORE HEDGEHOG HIGHLIGHTS ON ITZHAK PERLMAN, please see Ax & Perlman: Dynamic Duo of Music in San Francisco, Jan. 20, 2016, and Itzhak Perlman at the San Franciscio Symphony, Jan. 22, 2015.

American Impressionism at Baker Museum, Naples, Florida

The Baker Museum, part of Artis – Naples, Southwest Florida’s premier center of visual and performing arts, is showing the exhibition, In a New Light: American Impressionism, 1870-1940, until March 12, 2017.  It is a vast and varied collection of more than 100 American paintings and drawings from the Bank of America collection. It is well worth a visit or visits in order to take it all in. There are works by well known artists, and one of the great assets of the exhibition is exceptionally fine work by artists who are not now well known at all. The evolution of painterly techniques demonstrates the American artists’ interest in art in France: concern with light; looser, lighter brush strokes; work done outside, in plein air. What’s in the pictures, however, is assuredly American. The new light is not only the attention to light and the way it changes our perceptions but also the new perspective from America as it looked at its own world.

TrinityChTrinity Church, c. 1930, detail, Oil on Canvas painting by Guy Carleton Wiggins(1883-1962)

The exhibition is organized chronologically, reflecting the growth of artistic schools through nearly a century. The Hudson River School took notice of the great beauty of the American landscape, especially in upstate New York. For some painters, the astonishing sight of Niagara Falls was quintessentially American in its huge size and grandeur. If Americans could not take pride in the antiquity of their relatively new country, they had no need to worry. Their landscapes were more majestic and entirely different than the often painted beauties of Europe.

PartHassamOld House, East Hampton, 1917, detail, Oil on Canvas, painting by Childe Hassam (1859-1935)

There are fine examples of works by William Morris Hunt and George Innes. Hunt was instrumental in bringing the French Barbizon school to the US; Innes was greatly influenced by it. The Barbizon focus on the beauty of nature influenced the Impressionists. Among  American Impressionists included in the exhibition are Childe Hassam and Lilla Cabot Perry. Early 20th century artists such as John Sloan and George Wesley Bellows, and painters of the American Southwest including E. Martin Hennings, Joseph Henry Sharp and Oscar E. Berninghaus show the variety of people, experiences, and natural settings that make the US.

DMHFLooksProfFormer Docent at Baker Museum, studies painting in In a New Light: American Impressionism, 1870-1940

Felicie Waldo Howell’s (1897-1968) coastal landscapes and Frank Nudersher’s (1880-1959) paintings of New York and St. Louis allow American locales to project their personality as though a city sat for its portrait. There is energy in Guy Carleton Wiggins’ Wall Street, the flags above it and even the snow falling on it. The painting acknowledges it’s not the Champs Elysee while it uses techniques learned in part from the French. No, the work says, “It’s not the Champs Elysee, and hooray!”  For more information see