Friday, October 30, 2009

New Dances/ Edition 2009

Choreographers Larry Keigwin and Andrea Miller previewed their work this week. Andrea's work was inspired by a recent stint in Israel, where she was deeply moved by the mandatory military experience. Her selections were manic and aggressive; people in the front row were scared they would be plowed over by the vehement choreography.

Where Andrea's work was spontaneous and bombastic, Larry's work was controlled and collaborative. He worked with older dance students, and the pieces we observed were full their mature, controlled voices.

images via and

Bar Boulud

Tasty meal at Bar Boulud near Lincoln Center- beet salad, scallops and Tartere de Boeuf. Loved it!

image via

Noble Attitude and Thrilling Voice

Juilliard 4th year actors performed George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man this past week. The lovely Vivienne Benesch directed the production and led a behind the scenes event revealing the actors' process from script reading to stage. Benesch pointed out how Shaw's scripts were extremely language heavy and showed a couple of exercises the actors used to work through particularly challenging passages, including a hilarious game where the actors perform scenes speaking entirely in gibberish. Image the scene below, only completely indecipherable:

image via

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What is the What

A few brave souls tackled What is the What, by Dave Eggers in book club this month.

This "fictionalized memoir" described the harrowing journey of Valentino Achek Deng, one of Sudanese refugees called "The Lost Boys" who traveled through their war torn country, battling soldiers from various political factions, armed bandits, not to mention lions and crocodiles to set up new communities in Kenya, and later, the US.

One of the objectives of our book club is to challenge our normal reading lists, forcing us to branch out to read titles we wouldn't normally attempt. This month's selection certainly fell into that category for me, and I'm glad I read it and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to put a human face on the horrific stories that have come out of Sudan and Darfur.


My darling friend Liza visited New York this weekend and invited me along to Saturday night dinner with her family to enjoy some delicious Korean fare at Don's Bogam.

I ordered sesame leave and bulgogi bibimbap and it was soooooooo tasty. I loved all of the accouterments like kimchi, seaweed and a funky fruit salad. Thanks Liza! xoxox

Making Life

"I wanted to be a torch singer," says poet Lorna Goodison. "Sarah Vaughn, Nina Simone . . .their voices are in my work."

Thus, the selections that the award-winning Jamaican writer chose to share at the reading I attended last week where heavily influenced by music. Poems like "I Saw Charles Mingus" and "Apollo Double Bill" celebrate the jazz and R&B of the late sixties but also describe her experience as a woman in her twenties living in New York City, good AND bad.

She also read some very moving poetry dedicated to her son. My favorite lines came from "My Will," in Selected Works.

May you like me earn good
but just to be sure,
love books.

image from a printed review of Goodison's memoir, From Harvey Road, via

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Real Deal Diva

Renee Fleming conducted a master class as part of the re-dedication of The Peter Jay Sharp Theater at The Juilliard School last night. She was amazingly gracious with the participating Vocal Arts students, offering thoughtful advice and guidance while still engaging the audience in a really meaningful way. Not to mention she looked insanely gorgeous (those cheekbones!) and was immaculately dressed.

Fleming's next gig starts this Thursday, October 22nd at the Metropolitan Opera in Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier.

photo via

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Red Hot Chili

Perfect Sunday night meal to warm us up!

Chili, corn bread mini muffins, hearty green salad.

Creepy hot

Devendra Banhart is a weird dude, but some part of me finds him strangely attractive. Plus his tunes are wicked appropriate for the chilly, rainy, dark and spooky fall weather that has rolled into New York this past week. Perfect Halloween tunage.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Waffley Good

This past Sunday was the first quiet weekend morning we've had in a long time, so we celebrated our downtime with a yummy breakfast. We listened to Dr. Dog and made waffles with the Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake and Waffle mix, picked up at LeRoux Kitchen on Commercial Street during the last Portland trip. The waffles were topped off with some strawberries and real maple syrup. And then I went into a sugar coma.

Greene with Envy

After driving past The General Greene a million times on our way to the Brooklyn Flea, we decided this weekend it was time to stop by and check it out. The space was rustically pretty and the menu was chock full of artisnal dishes. My lunch buddy and I split two sandwiches- roast beef with blue cheese slaw and a smoked trout melt. Both were delicious.

Plus, they played Patsy Cline the whole time we were there. Sweet!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cello Students

Sarina Zhang, an extraordinarily talented young cellist AND pianist, performed as part of an event I produced this week. Her first piece (on cello) was composed by George Crumb, a contemporary American composer who writes atonal and complicated work. Sarina's take on the first movement of his Sonata for Solo Cello (which Crumb wrote while still a student), was playful, raucous and full of her 13-year-old energy. The audience was charmed beyond belief.

I was so taken by her performance that I went online to find other recordings of the Sonata. Youtube found me a clip of the piece played by Italian cellist Umberto Clerici and I was shocked by the performance contrast. Clerici's take is very masculine and aggressive, as opposed to Sarina's buoyant and light interpretation. Check it out for yourself:

Short and Sweet

I love short stories, and not just because of my criminally teeny attention span. I feel like short stories are more potent, since writers are forced to be concise and pack as much punch as they can into a few pages.

I picked up The Dictionary of Failed Relationships, edited by Meredith Broussard, from my local library and devoured it. There are some heavy hitters who contributed, such as Lucinda Rosenfeld and Jennifer Weiner. My favorite stories involved an ex-stripper and an ex-yuppie. I think we could all write our own versions of this book, oy!