Of Dance and Video
New students are stepping up to dance — May 2014 looks like a good month in Utah and California. Our Salt Lake City studio is located inside the west gate of Downtown Sugar Space, next to their art gallery, running north to south, with a door looking out onto a cute patio between us and the gallery — it has a newly-laid sprung-wooden floor, and all the electricity and sound equipment we need for the workshop.
The Urban Art Gallery, located between the Rio Grande and Union Pacific depot buildings, showed Jimmi Toro’s portraits and innovative paintings on their walls while Porridge for Goldilocks created a series of improvised dances with as many as four musicians playing — led by drummer Wachira Waigwa-Stone. Many of the dancers used bicycles to get around that wet early-spring evening, and arrived in four discernible waves.
A simple event with a lot of talent on display — the dancers and musicians made art that only existed for the hour they were playing. Congratulations to the Urban Art Gallery for their guts and generosity!
I have been wondering if an audience would watch Dance Films for an hour:
On Monday, March 24, 2014 the modest Utah Dance Film Festival showed THREE back-to-back series of short-to-long Dance Films, lasting about an hour each, with 40% to 90% attendance in a comfortable, airy, and classy conference room. This all makes me confident that there ARE audiences for my own movie-length videos like Manson II at Orgelpark 2013:
I recently saw Cosmos‘ host Neil DeGrasse Tyson speaking about Human Values in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah, a building that was one of my haunts when I was a late-teen/twenty-something.
When Tyson talked about religion suppressing science, and the decline of US leadership in the field, he KNEW where he was and who was in his audience. He also made us laugh most of the time he was onstage.
At least one family took their children right up to Dr. Tyson at the end of Q&A. They exchanged jokes, hugs, pictures, and smiles with one another. I met him separately about an hour later in the autograph line, which wove across three floors and up four flights of stairs. We shared Cosmos stories, like the little cartoon-kid saying “Hell’s Bells” in the animated biography of Edmund Halley. This new series has an irreverent sense of humor quite unlike Sagan’s transcendental style.
Tyson was relaxed and friendly with everyone — initiated conversations and totally enjoyed meeting the wide range of Salt Lakers in that mellow line. Once I got to the top, I made a drawing of him, a sketch of Mickey Mouse’s dog Pluto, and well — got his autograph on a bookplate before I had a chance to finish either one. The line moved fast, once it started.
Since I was one of the last in queue, I stuck around to see how the event would end — finished his sketch-portrait, gave it to him, and enjoyed seeing the way he eagerly spoke to whomever he wanted for as long as the conversations lasted. Dr. Tyson interacted with young and old, smiling and joking all the while.
He handled his official handlers with polite ease — some of the U of U entourage were audibly fuming about playing fourth fiddle — behind line-jumpers and janitors. (Chuckle) Good going, Neil — You might be director at another building in New York, but you were one of us that night!
Ladies That Rock — February Darks & Lights
My stars — MiNX generously bridged the opening and closing acts with an electrifying concert that relied heavily on the brilliant songs from their MiNX 13 CD.
Local music legend Allison Martin played a fine piano, and recruited some fine help.
Juana Ghiani was an experience that went far beyond the bandstand. They have a familial tribal vibe going on that makes a fun atmosphere long before the music starts to play.
Once they get started, the music kicks into dance-time, with clean controlled rhythms and expressive singing. I’ve experienced these same Euro-Folk vibes in France, England, and Holland — with real Gypsies and without, but the inclusiveness and simple fun are impossible to beat. Congratulations to this wonderful group for doing it HERE!
Online Versions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom Novels:
REMINDER: Research this prolific author on ERBzine.
And thereby hangs a tale As good luck would have it As merry as the day is long At one fell swoop … (We’re stealing from Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre, like Shakespeare did.)
Read my very personal review of 004’s CD State of Affairs: HERE
Buy one through RAUNCH Records’ Facebook page!