The MiNAPRESS Column

Popcorn & Ballet. Tutu Good to Miss.

Posted in ballet, dance, film, journalism by MiNA on December 31, 2017
Pacific Sun 12.27.17 Issue

12.27.17 Issue. Ballet in Cinema | Stage on Screen article by Mina Rios – page 12.

Ballet in Cinema | Stage on Screen by Mina Rios is now available on Marin County newspaper stands through Jan. 2, 2018.

The article discusses both the ballet in cinema phenomenon as well as the 2017/2018 Bolshoi Ballet and Royal Ballet seasons scheduled live via satellite – in cinemas across the world.  (Link to article)

Due to space limitations in the printed article, certain quotes, facts, and photography did not appear in the 12.27.17 published piece. As such, the supplemental content can be viewed here. Read on….

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Provided courtesy of the Bolshoi Ballet. “Romeo and Juliet” photo by Damir Yusupov.

Bolshoi. Romeo and Juliet.

Provided courtesy of the Bolshoi Ballet. “Romeo and Juliet” photo by Damir Yusupov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bolshoi Ballet

Executive Director of the Lark Theater in Larkspur, Ellie Mednick confirms that Bolshoi Ballet in cinema attendance averages about 50 people. Though a fairly modest number for a 236 capacity theater – particularly when most operas sell out and live theater generates a three quarters full audience, comparatively – over the last three Bolshoi seasons, ballet attendance has increased. On an even brighter note, local ballet-students benefit with free tickets to help fill seats.

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Provided courtesy of the Bolshoi Ballet. “Lady of the Camellias” photo by Elena Fetisova.

Bolshoi_CAMELLIAS_photo_by_Damir Yusupov

Provided courtesy of the Bolshoi Ballet. “Lady of the Camellias” photo by Damir Yusupov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Bolshoi Ballet performances at the Lark Theater

January 21 & 23: Romeo & Juliet

February 4: The Lady of the Camellias

March 4 & 6: The Flames of Paris

April 8 & 10: Giselle

June 10 & 12: Coppelia

Lark Theater, 549 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur; 415/924-5111; larktheater.net.

 

The Royal Ballet

CEO of Trafalgar Releasing, Marc Allenby shares, “We regularly screen in over 60 countries. There is a dedicated core audience who buy into seeing the full season, in part motivated by the breadth of work and the curatorial balance provided by the Royal Ballet. In this current season the forthcoming Swan Lake will appeal to a wider audience and will perform on a par with the more commercial opera and theater shows in cinema. We have great respect for all organisations working in the ‘event cinema’ space and collectively are really pushing the boundaries in a virgin industry. Trafalgar Releasing are ambitious and committed to this space and expect to see more growth in 2018, we have just started setting up our US team to help develop the good work we have done here over the last 5 or so years and are exploring similar plans in other markets. As a distributor, Trafalgar Releasing is set up so we can be involved in a multitude of ways on a release… from financing, producing, marketing, physical distribution, cinema sales and box office reconciliation. We work very much in partnership with the team in Covent Garden to pool our expertise to achieve the best results.”

Head of Marketing and Enterprises at the Royal Ballet, Jeff Coventry shares, “We are currently in our second season working with Trafalgar Releasing and are very happy with how things are progressing. Generally speaking, opera and ballet are equally popular, but this does fluctuate depending on the production. Revenue is an important but secondary objective, bringing a new revenue stream to the organisation over the past five years. Cinema sales are growing both nationally and internationally.”

2018 Royal Ballet performances at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center

February 28: The Winter’s Tale

March 27: Bernstein program from Wayne McGregor, Liam Scarlett and Christopher Wheeldon

May 3: Manon

June 12: Swan Lake

Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth St., San Rafael; 415/454-1222; rafaelfilm.cafilm.org.

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On with the show. The column resumes.

Posted in arts, dance, events, journalism, music, performing arts, pr, public relations, salsa, sonoma, wine country by MiNA on February 24, 2017

Greetings from the MiNAPRESS news desk…. Since our last post, freelance journalist Mina Rios wrapped up 2016 with the October 26 issue/feature story “Refined Lines” in the Pacific Sun newspaper, commemorating the 10 Year Anniversary of Alonso King LINES Ballet’s BFA Program at Dominican University in San Rafael, CA.

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As we embark on 2017, the MiNAPRESS Column will resume with more regularity, as will published articles in print with a variety of media outlets. To that end, if you’re a professional artist/arts organization, a winery, restaurant, or brewery and have a unique story angle, contact Mina Communications for consideration in a feature story or review. Submit your query here.

In other news, Mina Communications proudly announces its partnership with Santa Rosa Salsa – serving as the company’s publicist/advisor. Santa Rosa Salsa is the pulse of Sonoma County – presiding at the helm of what is an actively growing Salsa community. Regular events and classes include:

  • LIVE Salsa at the Flamingo Resort. Monthly – every 2nd Saturday
  • Salsa & Bachata dancing every Sunday at the Flamingo Resort. 21 and older. Salsa dance lesson included.
  • Bachata dancing every Thursday at the Flamingo Resort. 21 and older. Bachata dance lesson included.
  • Salsa Crash Course w/Irene. Teaching the fundamentals of Salsa to get you confidently on the dance floor. A 4-week class series begins at the start of each month.  No partner or experience necessary. Location: 1808-B Empire Industrial Ct., Santa Rosa, CA 95403
  • Santa Rosa Salsa is also the presenter of the annual Santa Rosa Salsa Festival (projected for October 2017; location TBA) as well as Dancing Under the Stars at Francis Ford Coppola Winery (live musical guests to be announced). Summer 2017 dates include:
    • June 24
    • July 22
    • August 26
    • September 23

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Until next time. Live. Dance. And Prosper….

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MinaComm Pressing-on in 2016

Greetings Arts Enthusiasts!

Mina Communications has been keeping very busy since our last posting in July 2015. From article writing to new client generation, the work and results have been both steady and positive. Here’s what you’ve missed and what’s to come….

July 2015  – Pacific Sun – Restaurant Review: “Whip It Good” by Mina Rios

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October 2015 – San Diego Reader – Feature: “How Comic-Con Spectators Combat Hotel Wars. The Overnight Game of Woes.” by Mina Rios

 

December 2015 – Pacific Sun – Cover Story: “Cool Vines” by Mina Rios

12-9-15 PacSun Covr Pt. Reyes Wildflower. Heidrun Meadery

 

 

 

January 2016 – Santa Rosa Salsa client PR efforts for the 6th Annual Santa Rosa Salsa Festival
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February 2016 – Flamingo Resort client PR efforts for the 25th Annual Santa Rosa Tattoo & Blues Festival

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • “About the Music” Screenplay by Mina Rios completed. More details to come…
  • Mina Communications and New York City based Duvall Productions will be collaborating on various creative projects beginning in mid 2016. More details to come.

Thanks for your readership. As always – Live. Dance. And prosper.

DANCE IN CINEMA. MiNA Recommends: “First Position” (Part II)

Posted in arts, ballet, cinema, dance, film, reviews by MiNA on July 3, 2015
Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Continuing our two-part review of director Bess Kargman’s extraordinary 2011 documentary feature First Position about youth ballet competition, we resume with coverage of Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) competitors Michaela de Prince and Aran Bell; and introduce dancers Rebecca Houseknecht, brother and sister Jules and Miko Fogarty, and Joan Sebastian Zamora.

Following Michaela de Prince’s costume mishap/dilemma (in Part I) de Prince sparkles on stage during the 2010 YAGP semifinals, giving a powerful performance that advancers her to the NYC finals. Immensely proud, her Dad states, “Tonight’s performance was perfect. She was in total control.”

Michaela de Prince pictured. Photo by Yaniv Schulman. Provided courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Michaela de Prince pictured. Photo by Yaniv Schulman. Provided courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Only three days before the NYC finals, de Prince develops swollen tendons. Torn over whether to compete or not, de Prince decides to press forward. Nursing her injury until the very last moment, de Prince shares, “My teachers know that even when I’m sick or injured, I won’t stop.”

Injured and all de Prince delivers yet another flawless performance. After the fact however, she admits, “I was in so much pain afterward.”

Photo of Aran Bell with friend Gaya. Courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Photo of Aran Bell with friend Gaya. Courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Once 11 year old Aran Bell arrives to the YAGP European semifinals in Sicily, he is pleasantly greeted by his enchanting young friend (and competitor) Gaya from Israel. Passionate and full of life, together these young dancers bring an adoring quality to the screen that’s as compelling and irresistible to watch as their dancing. Tremendous performers — are these two dancers, both of whom deservedly receive standing ovations; securing their spots in the NYC finals.

For 17 year old Rebecca Houseknecht of Odenton, Maryland dancing professionally is more than a pipe dream. She shares, “I started dancing just for fun, but now it’s much more than that.”

Photo of Rebecca Housenecht. Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Photo of Rebecca Housenecht. Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

In her final year of high school, Houseknecht admirably juggles ballet with academics and an active social life — all while coping with lingering pressures at home.

Despite fears over an uncertain future (post high school), during a discussion with her parents, Houseknecht puts on a convincing face to assure them they will get a return on their investment in her ballet training.

Once YAGP semifinals are underway, Houseknecht makes some first-hand observations. “People size you up as soon as you get there, especially in the dressing room,” she says.

During Houseknecht’s performance, nerves get the better of her, resulting in a near complete loss of focus. Afterward, Houseknecht admits with a smile, “it was horrible.” Then adds, “No one sees the hard work you put into it.”

As dance mentor Michelle Lees consoles her pupil, Lees recalls, “She was absolutely prepared for this competition.”

Fortunately for Houseknecht, YAGP judges see past her flawed performance and recognize what potential she has; ultimately letting her advance to the final round in New York.

Proud of her student, Lees assures, “She will do much better in the New York finals. ”

Miko Fogarty pictured. Photo by Nick Higgins. Provided courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Miko Fogarty pictured. Photo by Nick Higgins. Provided courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Photo of Jules Fogarty with mother. Courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

From the Bay Area, we are introduced to brother and sister Jules (10) and Miko Fogarty (12). Adamant about the proper balance between ballet training and childhood, Miko states, “Those that say I’ve missed out on childhood, I think I’ve
had the right amount of childhood and the right amount of ballet.”

Encouraging Miko’s dedication to her art is her ballet teacher Viktor Kabaniaev, teacher/choreographer with Diablo Ballet. So that Miko can devote “more hours to ballet,”  Kabaniaev recommends homeschooling to her parents. With parents in full agreement, the family also decides to move to Walnut Creek, where she can be closer to the Diablo Ballet studios.

“Miko is exceptional student,” says Kabaniaev in a heavy Russian accent. Yet with Miko’s brother Jules (J.J.), Kabaniaev says with less confidence, “I don’t see that Jules is the same case.”

While favoritism toward Miko are clear case points, Kabaniaev does little to help instill confidence in his other impressionable pupil Jules. Instead, Jules demonstrates how painfully self conscious he is around other peers by confessing, “I don’t tell any of my friends that I do ballet because at my old school, I told them and then everyone started teasing me.”

In a later conversation between brother and sister about food, Jules jokingly calls Miko anorexic. Dismissing her brother’s accusation, Miko says, “I love food,” yet with some insecurity she adds, “There’s people who say I’m too skinny and I should start fattening up, but you have to be skinny to do ballet.”

During semifinals, Miko takes a fall and her mother blames herself for rushing her daughter. After Miko is given a second chance to perform, she sways both audience and judges and advances to the NYC finals; as does her brother Jules.

In time, Jules’s mother finally asks her son whether he truly enjoys ballet. To her disappointment, she discovers he does not share his sister’s passion. An understandably difficult conversation between mother and son, yet one that’s far past due.

Joan Sebastian Zamora pictured. Provided courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Joan Sebastian Zamora pictured. Provided courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Originally from Colombia, 16 year old Joan Sebastian Zamora, of Queens, New York, is an ambitious ballet student of mentor Flavio Salazar, whose hope is to one day join the Royal Ballet.

Inspired by his mother, a former ballet dancer, Zamora states in broken English, “My dream is being a professional ballet dancer.” He then adds, “So many dancers would like to have a career but very very few succeed. Ballet is very, very expensive.”

While Zamora speaks long distance over the phone with his father, he is reminded of certain harsh realities back home. “There’s nothing for you to do here in Columbia,” says his father, referring to the widespread poverty and work shortage.

As a teenager under the obligation of having to help support his family back home, the amount of pressure is inconceivable. Despite this, Zamora admirably demonstrates his maturity and commitment by doing what’s in the best interest of his family.

Focused on what he must accomplish at the YAGP semifinals, Zamora puts on a flawless performance; making his family and mentor proud, Zamora advances to the NYC finals.

Following the semifinals, Zamora returns home to Cali, Columbia. As we are introduced to Zamora’s mother, we learn that ballet is an unusual pursuit for most boys, yet his mom insists that ballet was a means of keeping her son off the streets.

Joan Sebastian Zamora at home in Columbia. Provided courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Joan Sebastian Zamora at home in Columbia. Provided courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Now a role model himself, Zamora is honored to serve as his younger brother’s inspiration to dance one day.

Easing his little brother into ballet, Zamora teaches him first position; one of the film’s most endearing scenes, when Zamora leads his brother into plié, in turn out.

During YAGP finals at the New York City Center judgment looms. While some dancers from around the globe give spectacular performances, others shed tears and endure inevitable disappointments.

To get a sense for what some judges are looking for during the competition, one judge states, “We’re looking for that hunger and need to dance; talent that will be exceptional 10 years from now.”

Once the final results are in, competitors (by division) are asked to take the stage.

From the 9-11 year old division, Aran Bell receives highest honor with Best Overall while his friend Gaya receives a Bronze Medal in the Women’s category.

From the Women’s 12-14 year old division, Miko Fogarty receives a Bronze Medal, while Michaela de Prince receives a scholarship to the ABT/Onassis School.

Though Rebecca Houseknecht does not place in the competition or receive a scholarship, two months following YAGP finals however Houseknecht is offered a position with the Washington Ballet.

As for Joan Sebastian Zamora, he is the proud recipient of a Royal Ballet scholarship and becomes the first Colombian student to attend the Royal Ballet school. Relishing his accomplishment he says, “This is my dream. My life’s gonna change.”

Inspiring and thought provoking on so many levels, “First Position” stands tiers above the bar —in the dance film genre. If you’re a dancer or a parent of an aspiring dancer, this is essential viewing. Even if you’re not a dancer — prepare to be both entertained and enlightened.

Courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Courtesy of Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Until next time – Live. Dance. And Prosper.

DANCE IN CINEMA. MiNA Recommends: “First Position” (Part I)

Posted in ballet, dance, film, journalism, performing arts, reviews by MiNA on May 9, 2015
Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Among the most notable independent dance films of recent years – was a film so well-received during its premiere at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival, the award-winning documentary continued its surge across the globe well into 2013.

Director/former dancer Bess Kargman calls her debut feature film “First Position” a work she – “always wished had existed.” Shot in North and South America, Europe, and Asia – the 95 minute feature provides an inside look at youth dance competition – touching on some of the ballet world’s most sensitive topics including: peer pressure, injuries, eating-habits, and stereotypes.

Six contestants are documented – three male and three female, as they prepare for the world’s largest ballet scholarship competition – the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) from 2010. Immensely competitive, the annual competition enables supremely talented youth age 9 – 19 an accessible means to entering the profession. Few advance to the end to reap the extraordinary benefits, which in some cases include contracts with professional dance companies.

Aran Bell pictured. Photo by Nick Higgins. Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Aran Bell pictured. Photo by Nick Higgins. Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

First introduced is 11 year-old Aran Bell from the US, living in Naples, Italy with his parents – where his father is stationed in the military. Dancing since the age of 4, Bell explains his adoration for ballet, then casually demonstrates the proper use of a foot stretcher; a torturous looking device which Bell innocently admits “hurts a lot.”

Voicing a common concern of parents, Bell’s mother confides: “Kids who are pursuing ballet as a career give up a lot of their childhood” – a position where mother and son differ, but has not interfered with the youth’s long-term goals; this is evident through Bell’s parents’ willingness to commute two hours from Naples to Rome, to ensure their son receives the best training available.

Aran Bell with mentor Denys Ganio. Photo by Nick Higgins. Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Aran Bell with mentor Denys Ganio. Photo by Nick Higgins. Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

In Rome, we are introduced to Bell’s ballet teacher Denys Ganio. Bell describes Ganio as “Strict, but not mean strict, he’s nice strict – and funny;” a deeply moving scene as we observe the mutual fondness and respect shared between mentor and protégé.

Michaela de Prince pictured. Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

Michaela de Prince pictured. Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

In the compelling story of 14 year old Michaela de Prince of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we learn that the normal life she currently leads, might never have been, had she not been rescued by her adopted parents. Orphaned as a child amidst South Africa’s civil unrest, de Prince’s birth parents were horrifically shot down by rebels during her early youth.

In studying ballet at the Philadelphia Rock School, the art form has served as an invaluable means of expression for de Prince. Under Stephanie and Bo Spassoff’s tutelage, de Prince has found strength and determination through her art. Making certain she always remembers her roots, de Prince vows to play a key role in helping to abolish racial discrimination in the ballet world.

Michaela de Prince pictured. Bess Kargman, First Position Films, LLC.

With the competition fast approaching, all seemed in order until de Prince’s mom discovered a problem with her daughter’s costume. Concerned that the light nude colored bodice beneath her daughter’s corset might be too glaring against Michaela’s dark skin, she feared judges might get distracted. “They only come in flesh color – for white people,” said Mrs. de Prince. Instead of leaving matters to chance, Mrs. de Prince remedied the situation by removing the bodice from the corset, dying it a darker color, then reattaching it.

While Mrs. de Prince dealt with the issue with her daughter’s bodice as best she could, the subject she brings up about nude colored dance undergarments not being made for dancers with dark skin merits further discussion. For this reason, our focus will now shift to the topic at hand; while the review will resume in Part II.

In response to the question as to whether dance undergarments are made for dancers of all skin colors – the surprising answer in these modern times is – yes and no. Research shows that a few product lines offer some dark skin color undergarment options, however variety is still limited. One must still scour the internet to locate these costly hard to find products.

Considering we’re talking about product demand from such a sizeable demographic, where the potential for capital gain is substantial, why such a basic product isn’t already available through most major dance apparel manufacturers is a good relevant question for today.

Ultimately someone will catch-on and make a fortune. It’s just a matter of whom and when. If that investor happens to be you on account of this column, you’re welcome; just don’t forget where you got the idea. I’ll be awaiting your reply.

Stay tuned… Part II of this review will feature dancers: Rebecca Houseknecht, Joan Sebastian Zamora, Miko Fogarty, and Jules Fogarty.

Until next time – Live. Dance. And Prosper.

Bolshoi Live on Stage and On Screen

Posted in arts, ballet, cinema, dance, performances, reviews by MiNA on March 20, 2015

BOLSHOI LIVE ON STAGE IN 2009

Bolshoi Ballet LaBayadere

Photo provided courtesy of Zellerbach Hall on behalf of the Bolshoi Ballet.

Over the course of the Bolshoi’s restoration project, one of the company’s greatest gifts to its global audience was their extended world tour that began in the US in June 2009. Under the artistic direction of Yuri Burlaka, Bolshoi’s first stop in the US was in the San Francisco Bay Area; where I had the privilege of seeing Yuri Grigorovich’s full-length version of “La Bayadere,” live on stage at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall.

A seldom performed ballet within the US, the Sunday matinee on June 7, featuring the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and Bolshoi conductor Pavel Klinichev, was at full capacity.

Utter silence blanketed the auditorium in anticipation, until first notes of Ludwig Minkus’ intoxicating ballet score filled the room.

As the male lead Solor, Alexander Volchkov was superb. Commanding and majestic, the audience gasped the moment Volchkov soared through the air during his powerful grand entrance.

Impossible to not notice was the abundance of male dancer roles; each one exuding extreme masculinity — very typical of Russian ballets.

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Nadezda Gracheva as Nikiya. Photo by Damir Yusupov. Provided courtesy of Zellerbach Hall on behalf of Bolshoi Ballet.

As the female lead Nikiya (the temple dancer) and Solor’s love interest, Nadezda Gracheva was radiant; as was Ekaterina Shipulina dancing the role of Gamzatti, Solor’s betrothed — by arrangement.

One slight faux pas during Shipulina’s first solo — which could have gone terribly wrong, was her foot becoming tangled in her long veil. Showing not even the slightest hint of concern; Shipulina simply went about her sparkling tour jetés and grand jetés, as if nothing had happened.

During Act II, the engagement celebration, the highly anticipated dance of the Golden Idol was a smashing success. Covered in gold body paint, Denis Medvedev’s athletic and charismatic performance was extraordinary.

Only on one occasion during the program was the music timing slightly off with the dancing; not necessarily the fault of the dancers, as it’s the job of the ballet conductor to ensure the music is precisely synchronized with each movement.

Act III — the Kingdom of the Shades was a transcending experience. To hear the familiar adagio live as the glowing corps de ballet perform the famous port de bras that repeats across the stage, was to be transported into a dream state. At the close, Volchkov and Gracheva’s pas de deux was breathe-taking, triggering a thundering applause that saw no end.

BOLSHOI LIVE ON SCREEN IN 2014

To see Bolshoi live on stage in one’s lifetime, it is simply a must. Although when live performance is beyond one’s means, there is at least one alternative. Thanks to local independent cinema and advancements in digital technology — the big screen is the next best outlet for viewing live stage performance. Now in its fifth season, Bolshoi LIVE is a cinematic experience no dance enthusiast should miss.

More than a cost effective means of captivating new audiences, dance in cinema is one sure way for companies to reduce their annual tour cost; a likely reason why Bolshoi’s 2014 tour to the US was limited to Washington DC and New York City only.

Under the current artistic direction of Sergei Filin, Bolshoi Ballet has become a leading presenter within the dance in cinema genre.

Bayadere-photo by Damir Yusupov

Photo by Damir Yusupov. Provided courtesy of By Experience on behalf of Pathe Live and Bolshoi Ballet.

On December 7, 2014, Pathé Live  presented Yuri Grigorovich’s “La Bayadere” via distributer BY Experience; a pre-recorded production from the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, digitally streamed to cinemas across North America.

For the local presentation of the ballet, I attended the December 10, 2014 evening performance at the Sonoma Wine Country Rialto Cinema in Sebastopol, California.

An eager, culturally diverse audience turned out for the 2 hour/45 minute performance featuring new costumes and set design and such renowned artists as Svetlana Zakharova (Nikiya), Maria Alexandrova (Gamzatti), and Vladislav Lantratov (Solor).

The scene opened to a foreground filled with towering exotic tree limbs and male slaves dancing about the sacred fire; after which, Lantratov (Solor) leaps on stage like a graceful Gazelle.

As the striking prima goddess herself entered, Svetlana Zakharova (the temple dancer Nikiya), wearing pantaloons, a simple midriff top, and worn toe-shoes (perhaps for sentimental reasons), all eyes were fixated on her.

LA BAYADERE ©Damir Yusupov

Photo by Damir Yusupov. Provided courtesy of By Experience on behalf of Pathe Live and Bolshoi Ballet.

The portrayal of undying love between Lantratov and Zakharova was convincing in every way, as the dancers brought life to their characters with every heartfelt movement.

Also dancing impeccably was Maria Alexandrova — as Gamzatti — the perfect foil to Zakharova’s Nikiya — showcasing her wonderfully explosive grand jetés.

During Alexandrova’s time on stage, one slight deterrent stood out; the young entourage that accompanied her. No doubt these students were highly skilled dancers; what was unfortunate was the galumphing choreography and unflattering costumes given to these youth who would likely have preferred simple boring choreography to the simply embarrassing movements they were given.

In Act II, costumes seemed to take-on a more Egyptian appearance than Indian. And the dance of the Golden Idol, though technically spot-on, charismatics fell short.

One particularly spectacular highlight was Alexandrova’s furious fouettes, without question — the fastest I had ever seen.

Act III was pure magic — start to finish. As Solor turned to Opium-infused dreams and 32 corp de ballet dancers appeared as mirror images of his beloved Nikiya, time stood still.

At the close, a tutu perfect pas de deux (down to Lupkhova’s shiny new pointe shoes), prompted that ever so glorious and distinct Russian applause from the Moscow audience. As contagious enthusiasm spread to onlookers within the wine country cinema, satisfied spectators left the theatre with smiles upon smiles.

Coming Soon

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Equal to the cost of an average rush ticket, ballet enthusiasts throughout North America have the opportunity to view another Yuri Grigorovich classic at their local independent cinema:

“Ivan the Terrible” (Live in Moscow) — Sunday, April 19, 2015

To learn more, visit: BolshoiBalletinCinema.com

Bolshoi Ballet: Through the Years

Posted in arts, ballet, dance, journalism by MiNA on March 18, 2015

BACKGROUND

Grand as its name implies — the great neo-classical Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow is a spectacle whose glory and rich heritage spans over two centuries. Home of the premier Russian ballet company, the Bolshoi Ballet is one of the largest dance companies in the world, employing more than 200 dancers.

While Bolshoi Ballet’s talent lineage is far reaching, so too is its link to controversy over the last few decades; dating back to the 1980s Cold War, during which Soviet artistic director Yuri Grigorovich was at the helm. Rumors of corruption over matters varying from casting and compensation to bribery and coercion raged; creating political divide between Grigorovich loyalists and dancers and teachers favoring that he step down — which eventually occurred in 1995.

THE BOLSHOI DECADE

First intentions to begin company reform began with artistic director Alexei Ratmansky (2005 to 2008), whose credit includes leading Bolshoi into its golden era — artistically. Following Ratmansky’s resignation in 2008 (due to lingering internal corruption), Yuri Grigorovich returned to assume a directorial role within Bolshoi (where he remains today) to oversee revivals of his ballets; meanwhile — three different artists have held the artistic director title since Ratmansky — including: Yuri Burlaka (2009 -2011), Gennady Yanin (2011), and Sergei Filin (2011 to the present).

Dedicated to instilling further positive change within the company, Filin’s directorial contribution thus far includes introducing contemporary European ballets to the company’s repertoire and recruiting dancers from outside of Russia; i.e. David Hallberg.  Sadly however, scandal in January 2013 cost Filin to nearly lose his eyesight after a soloist, unhappy with the way in which Filin was running the company, ordered an attack on him. Since this near tragedy, the company remains under a fine microscope.

While 2005 marks the beginning when administrative restructuring and efforts to combat impropriety within the Bolshoi Ballet became objectives within the institution, this period also marks when Bolshoi Theatre’s massive reconstruction project began.

Lasting through 2011, the Bolshoi Theatre sustained a thorough interior/exterior overhaul from the foundation up, resulting in the restoration of its original architectural design and legendary acoustics lost during Soviet occupation. With new spaces added, new state-of-the-art technological equipment, and an expanded orchestra pit for up to 130 musicians, the complete grandeur of the Bolshoi has now been fully restored.


Wrapping up the 2014/2015 Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema Season, the next MinaPress column features:   REVIEWS OF “LA BAYADERE” LIVE AND IN CINEMA

Provided courtesy of By Experience for Pathe Live

Flavors That Dance – with Chef Patricia Williams

Posted in careers, dance, food, health, journalism by MiNA on January 3, 2015

1-photo-002Seasoned professionals from all walks of life have found sanctuary in the increasingly popular culinary arts trade; retired dancers among them. A movement in the making for decades now, dancers turned chefs have impressed upon spectators, their take on kitchen choreography – creating exciting new flavors that dance.

Prone to dazzling New York City audiences, acclaimed chef Patricia Williams, formerly with New York City Opera Ballet (NYCB), is renowned for her inspired culinary emulsions and warm table-side charm.

Drawn to the cinematic effect of “The Red Shoes” in her youth, dance was chef’s first true love. Steadfast determination served her well – conceding favorable results that led to early entrance (by age 15) into her chosen profession. From Houston Ballet, Williams danced like the wind in an eastward motion – toward the coveted city of dancers – NYC.

By age 30, dance injuries led to Williams having to step-away from the ballet barre, a hard truth to embrace, yet a reality she knew necessary. Traveling overseas to experience where life would steer her next proved a wise decision. In Aix-en-Provence, France – revelation struck. Captivated by the art of cuisine, Williams resolved to learn French culinary technique. In finding a seasoned chef mentor willing to pass-on their secrets of the trade, Williams found her next career calling.

Chef Patricia Williams

Chef Patricia Williams

Now a celebrated chef herself, Williams follows a distinctive produce-first approach in her style of kitchen choreography. Chef Williams explains, “Vegetables are far more exciting than just any protein. I build a dish on the accompaniments not on the protein.”

As executive chef of Smoke Jazz & Supper Club in Manhattan and curator of “10 Chairs” – chef’s personalized dining experience – hosted one evening a week (by reservation) from her NYC flat, Chef Williams has attained what some chefs would consider pretty sweet gigs; given Williams is able to devote a majority of her time practicing her art rather than running a business.

Chef Williams shares, “10 Chairs is all about: great food, great wine, and the feeling of belonging. Everyone invites you in as a friend and partner in conversations that are positive, unpredictable, and riddled with laughter.”

10 Chairs 047

10 Chairs course

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10 Chairs course

Those intrigued by Chef Williams’ “10 Chairs” dining concept/experience will be pleased to learn they too can be among chef’s guests at her NYC flat; simply inquire via chef’s Facebook page or website 10ChairsNYC.com. For further indulgence, please enjoy the delicious healthy recipes and stimulating food for thought chef has shared. Bon appetite….

Mushroom Minetrone Recipe (Serves 1)[Note: no photo available]

“Mushrooms can add intensity to a soup or salad without any extra calories. I love to mix and match items. Here’s to cooking and eating wonderfully fresh food that nourishes your body and feeds the inner dancer in us all.” — Chef Patricia Williams

Amount Measure    Ingredient — Preparation Method

——–  ————  ——————————–

1/2      dried mushrooms

1              lb  cooked white beans

10            plum tomatoes peeled seeded and dices

3             onions diced

2           bunches of fennel diced

2              quarts shiitake tops

1/2       quart sliced trumpet royale mushrooms and assortment of vegetables

4          garlic cloves – diced

1              pound – cooked d’Itallini

Saute 10 shallots and 10 sliced garlic cloves. Add dried porcini to 1 gallon of water; cook for 25 minutes, then steep for 30 minutes and strain.

Saute onions and diced garlic cloves. Add fennel and remaining mushrooms. Add mushroom broth and tomatoes. Keep pasta, beans, and vegetables separate. Finish with basil pesto, red russian kale and the beans and pasta

Per Serving: 636 Calories; 2g Fat (2.2% calories from fat); 44g Protein; 115g Carbohydrate; 29g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 27mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 7 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT from Chef Patricia Williams

“As a dancer, my diet was not good. I maintain a much healthier diet than when I was a dancer. I know what’s in season and how to coax flavor out of food without cream or butter. A squeeze of lemon, lime or orange can brighten the flavor of a simply grilled shrimp (see photo) it is simply grilled with pureed herbs and a little olive oil.”

“I am a huge fan of fruit desserts. Making sure they are ripe is the key. The old fashion way of placing them in a paper bag to ripen is still the best way. In the winter, citrus is at its height a combination of honey bells, tangelos, Meyer lemons can make a spectacular dessert with the addition of a little Greek yogurt (or not).”

 

Sangria Granite Recipe (from MasterCook – Serves 1) [Note: no photo available]

“Beautiful ripe fruit is always my choice. Sounds difficult but not nearly as hard as that perfect tendu.”

Amount Measure    Ingredient — Preparation Method

——–  ————  ——————————–

1-1/2        cups  red wine

1-1/2        cups  ruby port

1000        grams  water

510         grams  rasperries pureed in a blender

510         grams  fresh figs quartered

2          lemons  cut in 8ths

250         grams  sugar

750         grams  orange juice

Pour wine and port into a pan and simmer to ignite. Once the flames have died, add the water, raspberry, figs, lemon, and sugar. Simmer for 20 minutes Take off the heat and add the orange juice. Let cool and strain into a baking dish. Freeze overnight.

Per Serving: 1560 Calories; 1g Fat (1.0% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 334g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 270mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 6 Fruit; 17 Other Carbohydrates.

Kitchen Choreography

Posted in arts, ballet, careers, Chef, culinary, dance, florida, miami, new york, tv by MiNA on December 18, 2014

1-photo-001Truth be told that a dancer’s creative appetite sustains an everlasting pirouette motion; hence the reason why a continuum in artistic practices during one’s post dance career, remains all the more important for mind, body, and soul to thrive.

Little known fact, but there’s a particularly sweet second career path in which former dancers can mindfully indulge their inner artist with the forbidden fruit of yesteryear while savoring delicious long-term benefits. Perhaps one of the best-suited post-dance career trades around, kitchen choreography — or rather — the culinary arts have a bountiful many parallels to dance.

While teaching dance and choreography are traditional À la Seconde career outlets for many former pros, alternatives to the norm will forever reign in demand. The proof is in the existing numbers of dancers who have long surpassed their culinary taste tests and blossomed into some of today’s most esteemed chefs.

Dancers intrigued by this revelation need not worry about culinary proficiency upon entering the trade. As long as there’s a clear commitment and earnest desire to learn, aspiration can transform reality.

Whether an aspiring chef de cuisine (executive chef) or pâtissier (pastry chef), it’s the swift and the disciplined who make it into the kitchen spotlight, exercising their supreme creative potential.

Photo by Simon Hare

Chef Michelle Bernstein. Photo by Simon Hare.

The kitchen — though a vastly different stage setting – similar binding ingredients (to dance) impact culinary performance; ‘tis the amalgam of talent, coordination, and choreographic innovation (in cuisine) which yield the coveted enthusiastic audience reaction.

Dancers turned chefs with the natural ability to create flavors that dance, are more of a rare breed however, as they represent the extraordinary — those twice graced with the gifts of supreme dance and culinary talent.

One such chef-extraordinaire whose mastery in both art forms has earned her place in the limelight is renowned Chef Michelle Bernstein of Miami, FL. A familiar face indeed — chef is also a former dancer with New York City’s Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Quite the impressive resume, Chef Bernstein’s culinary undertaking began with the study of cuisine at Northern Miami’s Johnson & Wales University. In developing her own cooking style, Chef Bernstein established her own definitive form of kitchen choreography rooted in chef’s Argentinian and Jewish heritage. While Latin flavors drive her cuisine, an occasional twist on Jewish delicacies and Moroccan inspired dishes get mingled-in now and again.

Well-recognized throughout the culinary world, career highlights include the opening of chef’s acclaimed restaurant Michy’s Miami; followed by her winning of the 2008 James Beard Award, and publication of her cookbook “Cuisine a Latina” in the same year. Chef Bernstein has also appeared on such programs as Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters,” and Food Network’s “Iron Chef,” where she defeated the acclaimed Bobby Flay in cooking battle.

Specially chosen for readers — for their tasting pleasures, Chef Bernstein has selected a recipe comprised of healthy seasonal ingredients, with one worthwhile splurge of fromage (cheese) for protein. Bon appetite…

A Recipe in Kitchen Choreography: Roast Root Vegetable Salad (serves 4)

Chef Michelle Bernstein Food - Dishes for MicroSoft

Chef Michelle Bernstein’s Root Vegetable Salad

Ingredients:

12 asparagus

1 butternut or acorn squash, peeled and cut into 2 inch long, ½ inch wide pieces

2 cups small cauliflower florets

8 radishes

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 cup grated manchego cheese (protein and calcium rich)

salt and black pepper

Vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons extra virgin oil (countless health benefits)

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

salt and pepper

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400F. Toss the veggies with the oil, rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Cut the asparagus in half, radishes in quarters. Toss with vinaigrette and mix-in the cheese.


More recipes from Chef Michelle Bernstein and her culinary team:

Moroccan-Chickpea-Soup – published by TheLatinKitchen.com

http://thelatinkitchen.com/recipe/michelle-bernsteins-moroccan-chickpea-soup

Tajine of Seafood Chermoula – from a collection of recipes for the James Beard Foundation

http://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/tajine-seafood-chermoula

INDIE GO-GO-GOAL

Posted in arts, ballet, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, dance, events, news, performances, publicity by MiNA on May 27, 2014

GOOD DAY ARTS ENTHUSIASTS!…. Announcing as of this date — 20 days remain before the world premiere of Duvall Productions’ Soul of a Blue Butterfly in New York City. With great optimism, we bring you word of two affordable support options that have been added to the Indiegogo campaign — both of which come with perks!

Image

Dancer/choreographer/story creator Anna Duvall

$5 Contribution/Perk: See your name in BLUE! For your contribution, we’ll add your name (in blue) to our list of Indiegogo campaign contributors on the official Soul of a Blue Butterfly website.

$10 Contribution/Perk: See your name in-print!…. in the performance program!…. and in BLUE…. on our official Soul of a Blue Butterfly website.

A small investment by a large group of contributors can go a long way. Help make it happen. Make it real. Share. Support. And feel good about your good deed for the day….

Thank you for your attention. Live. Dance. And Prosper.

TEAM BLUE BUTTERFLY

FROM THE SAN DIEGO NEWS DESK

Posted in arts, ballet, dance, film, journalism, lifetime, network, news, tv by MiNA on May 26, 2014

San Diego’s best-known Sugar Plum Fairy of California Ballet, Jennifer Curry Wingrove — hasn’t had enough on her plate with thriving constants in her professional life – like teaching and running Pilates on Park and flying through the air (as an aerialist) with the Los Angeles based Luminaro Ballet; no Wingrove had to throw in a “make it work” maneuver for Lifetime TV too. Yes, the Tim Gunn “make-it work” advice did work its magic in Wingrove’s case during her Lifetime production shoot, but we’re actually not talking about a “Project Runway” episode – something else, actually a bit more suitable (pun intended) for a dancer. As of late February 2014, Wingrove began shooting scenes for “Petals on the Wind,” the film sequel to V.C. Andrews’ “Flowers in the Attic;” set to premiere tonight (May 26) at 9pm Pacific on the Lifetime network.

Produced by A+E Studios in association with Silver Screen Pictures for Lifetime TV and starring Heather Graham, Ellen Burstyn, Rose McIver, Dylan Bruce, and Will Kemp; with teleplay by Kayla Alpert (“Flowers in the Attic”); Wingrove says, “Unlike the book, the film will jump 10 years ahead from the events of ‘Flowers.’” She adds, “I also love that this movie is being directed by a woman;” actress/writer/director Karen Moncrieff – who made her directorial debut in the feature film “Blue Car.”

With choreography by the highly sought-after Kitty McNamee, artistic director of the Los Angeles based Hysterica Dance Co., the dance sequences alone, aught to cause a little hysteria (the good kind of course).

Image

During “Petals on the Wind” film shoot. Photo by Jennifer Curry Wingrove.

Story Synopsis (courtesy of Lifetime)

A decade after Cathy (Rose McIver, “Masters of Sex”, “Once Upon a Time”), Christopher (Wyatt Nash, “Pretty Little Liars”) and Carrie (“Bailey Buntain,” “Bunheads“) escaped from their grandparents’ attic at Foxworth Hall, “Petals on the Wind” continues to follow the twisted plight of the family as they attempt to put their sordid past behind them, but soon discover certain secrets can’t be left behind. When Cathy finds herself in an abusive relationship with a fellow dancer, Julian (Will Kemp, “90210”), Christopher and Cathy are forced to face the forbidden feelings they developed for one another while coming of age during captivity. But when tragedy strikes the Dollangangers once again, Cathy returns to Foxworth Hall to confront her grandmother and seek revenge on her mother with a plan to seduce her husband Bart (Dylan Bruce, “Orphan Black”). When Christopher runs to Cathy’s side, the two are determined to start over again – together.

Other recent project’s Wingrove has had her hand-in; collaborative efforts as choreographer, aerialist, and dancer for Luminario Ballet’sTrails” – a multi-media dance/aerial production on the subject of climate change in California, featuring scientific advisory from NASA.

YOUR TICKET TO THE PRODUCERS CIRCLE AWAITS

Posted in arts, dance, events, music, news, performances, publicity by MiNA on May 20, 2014
Photo of dancer Jennifer Chicheportiche provided courtesy of Duvall Productions

Photo of dancer Jennifer Chicheportiche provided courtesy of Duvall Productions

PRESSING ARTS NEWS.

For Your Eyes Only Darling…….

The MiNAPRESS Column

Wilcommen. Bienvenue. And Welcome….. Duvall Productions proudly announces — Soul of a Blue Butterfly is now casting for the roles of “Production Contributors.” Come partake in the launch of an artists dream by playing the role you were destined for. Semi-controversial in context — this important theatrical dance production is a rare quality piece which cries-out for your funding assistance; enabling this modest stage production to metamorphose into the international theater sensation it’s predestined to become. Earn a place with your name in the performance program with a contribution of $25 or more and make a visionary’s life work become realized.

Representing what a true crowd-funding effort is supposed to be — supporting independent artists with limited financial means — your participation via Indiegogo is respectfully requested.

Photo of dancer Jennifer Chicheportiche provided courtesy of Duvall Productions

ABOUT Soul of a Blue Butterfly….

The true story of a young Swedish woman en…

View original post 334 more words

YOUR TICKET TO THE PRODUCERS CIRCLE

Posted in arts, dance, events, music, news, performances, publicity by MiNA on May 19, 2014

Wilcommen. Bienvenue. And Welcome….. Duvall Productions proudly announces — Soul of a Blue Butterfly is now casting for the roles of “Production Contributors.” Come partake in the launch of an artists dream by playing the role you were destined for. Semi-controversial in context — this important theatrical dance production is a rare quality piece which cries-out for your funding assistance; enabling this modest stage production to metamorphose into the international theater sensation it’s predestined to become. Earn a place with your name in the performance program with a contribution of $25 or more and make a visionary’s life work become realized.

Representing what a true crowd-funding effort is supposed to be — supporting independent artists with limited financial means — your participation via Indiegogo is respectfully requested.

Photo of dancer Jennifer Chicheportiche provided courtesy of Duvall Productions

 

ABOUT Soul of a Blue Butterfly….

The true story of a young Swedish woman en route to Jerusalem to discover her roots, finds unexpected love. Upon being asked to marry, the Synagogue Rabbi declares Lavana (the story’s heroine) not Jewish enough for an Orthodox wedding. As despair ensues, the struggle of a lifetime begins.

Set in the 1940s, this tragicomedy – elevated by an original music scoreperformed live by Swedish composer Elin Palmer; a lighthearted Charlie Chaplin mime motif; and breathtaking aerial theatrics by former Cirque du Soleil artist Sara Joel, is a rare theatrical feast for the senses for all generations.

GOALS:

  • To compensate our artists for their hard work and commitment
  • To generate positive/effective media coverage
  • To generate strong patronage for three performance dates
  • To establish our brand and continue building a national and international presence

NEEDS: $5,000 USD

  • STAGING/TECHNICAL: Lighting, sound, stage management, photography/filmography, venue space, rehearsal space, costumes, sets, and props
  • CAST/CREW: actors/directors/musician(s)/admin salaries; transportation; lodging
  • COLLATERAL/PROMOTION RELATED: programs, flyers, website maintenance, advertising/publicity

CONTRIBUTOR PERKS In addition to having your name featured in the performance program, your contribution of the below listed amounts include:

  •  $25 USD – Contributors receive an autographed Soul of a Blue Butterfly poster
  •  $50 USD – Contributors receive a CD of the soundtrack (original score by Elin Palmer/music sample: http://elinpalmer.com/music/) and an autographed Soul of a Blue Butterfly poster
  • $100 USD – Contributors receive a tee-shirt, a CD of the  soundtrack (original score by Elin Palmer/music sample http://elinpalmer.com/music/), and an autographed Soul of a Blue Butterfly poster
  • $1000 USD – Contributors get to meet the cast and receive a tee-shirt, a CD of the  soundtrack (original score by Elin Palmer/music sample http://elinpalmer.com/music/), and an autographed Soul of a Blue Butterfly poster

Support the Blue Butterflies of the World via http://igg.me/at/blue-butterfly/x/7497377


TICKETS

Thespis Theater Festival / Cabrini Repertory Theater / Washington Heights

701 Fort Washington Avenue / New York, NY 10040

JUNE 17th at 8:45pm / JUNE 20th at 9pm / JUNE 22ndat 2pm

Tickets $20 + minimal fee (no discounts) http://bit.ly/1nZ4CnN /

 

A TRUE-LY BLUE JERUSALEM LOVESTORY

Posted in arts, dance, journalism, music, news, publicist by MiNA on May 13, 2014

ARTS NEWS


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Photograph by Howard Schatz ©Schatz Ornstein 2009

Former Cirque du Soleil artist Sara Joel. Photograph by Howard Schatz ©Schatz Ornstein 2009

CONTACT  Jasmine Rios, publicist

619.851.3920 PST minacomm@outlook.com


New York, NY – May 13, 2014 – Coming to Manhattan’s Cabrini Rep this June – Soul of a Blue Butterfly; the true story of a young Swedish woman en route to Jerusalem to discover her roots, finds unexpected love. Upon being asked to marry, the Synagogue Rabbi declares Lavana (the story’s heroine) not Jewish enough for an Orthodox wedding. As despair ensues, the struggle of a lifetime begins.

Set in the 1940s, this tragicomedy – elevated by an original music scoreperformed live by Swedish composer Elin Palmer; a lighthearted Charlie Chaplin mime motif; and breathtaking aerial theatrics by former Cirque du Soleil artist Sara Joel, is a rare theatrical feast for the senses for all generations.

Scarred by her parents’ divorce during childhood – Lavana adopts a nomadic lifestyle as an adult – schlepping ridiculous amounts of baggage wherever she goes – until unanticipated events raise self-question. An eternal optimist at heart – sometimes to her detriment; Lavana’s world begins to crumble when she learns she must enter the lion’s den of the country’s enduring civil unrest – to undergo spiritual conversion in Jerusalem’s most Orthodox Judaic schools. A conquest of both courage and devotion – while inevitable challenges surmount, a test of the couples’ commitment comes into question – opening a gateway to self-discovery and ever-changing self-transformation.

BIOS

CHOREOGRAPHER/STORY CREATOR/Anna Duvall is an artist by design in numerous capacities; graphic designer by day, choreographic visionary by night. Having danced professionally with Colorado Ballet, Ballet Nouveau, and California Ballet; and staged works before Denver, Manhattan, and Jerusalem audiences, Duvall’s keen eye for theatrics is a marvel worthy of notice. Duvall was among the first Americans invited to study at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy; a story which garnered news coverage from CNN and the Moscow Times; and was a full-scholarship student with the Bolshoi, San Francisco Ballet and Colorado Ballet; as well as an invited guest to perform, teach, and train in Japan. Constantly achieving – beginning this fall – Duvall will be attending NYU on scholarship to partake in American Ballet Theatre’s Pedagogy Master’s Program.

COMPOSER & MUSICIAN Long time hipster crush, Elin Palmer of the Lee Lewis Harlots, has finally broken out with her own heart fluttering solo project. Born in Värmland Sweden, her music roots stem back to the folk music of Sweden. Typically hired for her precision with the violin and Nyckelharpa (an ancient Swedish instrument) she is more of a “multi-instrumentalist;” even rocking out some guitar for the newest album. http://elinpalmer.com/about/

DIRECTOR/Ben Sargent has performed in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Boston, Connecticut, New York, Baltimore, and Montreal; and is a 2005 MFA graduate from the Moscow Art Theater School. Since 2008, Sargent has been directing original theater such as the Gogol Project, I Heart Chekhov, La Cueca, and Doroga; and has taught at the Lee Strasberg Institute; New GeneRussian; and Studio Six at the Moscow Art Theater, where Sargent is the founder. http://cargocollective.com/bensargent

CAST MEMBER (Lavana) Jennifer Chicheportiche trained in France with Veronique Chicheportiche; the Joelle et Danielle Besso Ballet School; and the Int’l Dance School of Rosella Hightower – where she later joined the company. Outside of France, Chicheportiche has danced with Italy’s Balletto Teatro Di Torino; the UK’s Opera North of Leeds and the Ensemble Group in Scotland; and Teatro Di Merida in Spain. During transition to the American stage, Chicheportiche performed with a variety of companies; among them — Momix Dance Company, where she remains a current cast member.

CAST MEMBER (Caterpillar/Blue Butterfly) Sara Joel is a known choreographer/aerial contortionist throughout New York and beyond. Trained on scholarship at the Martha Graham School and a BFA recipient – earned with honors from Colorado College – Joel joined Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas as an original Zumanity cast member from 2003-2006; during which her own choreography was showcased. Joel has also been featured in Cirque du Soleil’s series Solstrom, shot by Bravo for Canadian television. As a muse for Howard Schatz’s brilliant photography, Joel was inspired to produce the underwater dance film Rapt (co-directed by Jody Oberfelder) which was presented at the Dance on Camera Festival in 2007http://aerial-contortion.com/sara

CAST MEMBER (Guard/Rabbi/Grandfather) Sergey Nagorny is a Cum Laude BFA graduate of St. John University’s TV & Film Production program. Further theatrical training includes New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts and a Master Class with Angela Mickey. As a steadily working actor, Nagorny has built an extensive body of work that includes stage, film, and television experience. On the New York stage, Nagorny  has performed in such plays as Refuge, Ask Joseph, Jackson Heights 3AM, The Creadeaux Canvas, Дoroga, Covers and Saida; and has appeared in the short films The Cellar (2011) and J-1 (2012), as well as Season 2 of the FX television drama The Americans.

CAST MEMBER (young Lavana) Makara Tunstall-Runge is a rising young talent whose performance repertoire is more varied than most her age. Tunstall-Runge has performed with the Rocky Mountain Conservatory Theatre; the Moscow Ballet during their Nutcracker season, as well as half-time shows for the world famous Globetrotters and Denver Nuggets professional basketball teams. Supplementing Tunstall-Runge’s current dance training with the Denver School of the Arts, she is a current member of the pre-professional Assembly Line dance company.

CAST MEMBER (Lion) Brian Wicker is a trained dramatic actor of Texas A&M Corpus and San Jacinto College South. Versed in Shakespeare as well as song and dance, Wicker is a versatile thespian whose talents have led him to perform with the Equity Regional Theatre and on the New York City stage. Wicker has also been cast in principal parts for commercials, and played the role of Hunter Storm in the television pilot Polltakers by AMZ Creative. http://www.brianwicker.com/

BlueFinal

THESPIS THEATER FESTIVAL / CABRINI REPERTORY THEATER / WASHINGTON HEIGHTS

701 Fort Washington Avenue / New York, NY 10040

JUNE 17th at 8:45pm / JUNE 20th at 9pm / JUNE 22ndat 2pm

Tickets $20 + minimal fee (no discounts) / http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/637295

http://www.soulofabluebutterfly.com/

GET INTO CHARACTER! Come Dress the Part – in your 40s Best – for entry into our Special Prize Drawing

 

The Return of BalletMina/MinaComm

Posted in arts, consulting, dance, journalism, journalist, music, news by MiNA on March 2, 2014
ELEMENTary

ELEMENTary

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings friends… Just checking-in this day to relay that regular Mina Posts will resume starting this month — March 2014. Why now after so long? Long story…. In short — since the Luscious Noise ensemble went on hiatus in 2012 — MinaComm’s publicity project efforts have gravitated more toward journalistic endeavors.The closure of San Diego’s beloved downtown supper club Anthology (Luscious Noise’ home theatre) was a major blow to the community; as no other venue — just about anywhere — could ever replicate it entirely. For this very reason, Luscious Noise remains on an indefinite break; until otherwise announced.

In other news — in January 2014, MinaComm transitioned its website domain from .com to .org; an ambitious undertaking, yet one worthwhile.

Has MinaComm turned non-profit? Well — no not exactly — at least not yet. The subject is under review however. Once confirmed, timely announcements will be made.

As business culture today becomes increasingly dependent on the internet, the phenomenon now necessitates that business professionals of every trade, invest a substantial amount of their time in expanding their knowledge in IT (Information Technology). In becoming increasingly techy in social media and website development —  I find the parallel between being found online and surviving amongst the digital universe’s fierce competitors, closely exemplifies what Darwin’s “Survival of the Fittest” theory is all about. As such, MinaComm will be integrating occasional IT and social media news coverage to keep readers in the loop about the most relevant technological issues today.

Until next time. Live. Dance. And Prosper.

LUSCIOUS NOISE

Posted in arts, dance, performances by MiNA on January 7, 2011


“The future of live classical music” returns to Anthology on Sunday, January 16. The Luscious ensemble featuring members of the San Diego Symphony will commemorate Twenty Eleven with….

…live dance to the music of Bach
…live music by Vivaldi, Ravel, and Messiaen
…and Rachmaninov’s “Vocalise” performed by soprano Diane Alexander

… also featuring a film excerpt from “Wings of Desire” and footage of baritone Albert Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

Sunday, January 16, 2011 at 7:30pm
All ages welcome. Space is limited.

Anthology · 1337 India Street · San Diego, CA 92101

Tickets $10 – $20 · Call 619.595.0300

http://artists.anthologysd.com/classical/luscious-noise-january-16-2011/

2009 DANCE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN/INITIATIVE

Posted in advocacy, arts, dance, Uncategorized by MiNA on May 4, 2009

adam-logo-red-outline1

Mina Communications is proud to announce San Diego’s 2009 Dance Awareness Campaign/Initiative.

The effort was established in August 2008 to help create more dialog in the San Diego Dance Community, educate the public about the various challenges that exist in the local dance community, and help stimulate year-round dance performance patronage.r

A primary goal of the Campaign/Initiative is to generate enough sponsors to:
• Support the cost of print materials for the dance awareness initiative; i.e. posters, flyers, etc.
• Cover the overhead production cost to produce dance-related public events in August 2009 and beyond
• Finance the Advertising campaign to promote these events

Play a part in the 2009 Dance Awareness Campaign/Initiative
• Become an Advisory Board Member.

• Share your ideas.

• Volunteer. Help create, coordinate, promote, and/or host dance events.

• Help generate sponsors. Earn a commission for your efforts.

Questions/Comments contact Jasmine Rios at minacommunications@gmail.com

To learn more about Mina Communications, visit www.minacommunications.com

To learn more about Dance Awareness, visit http:www.minacommunications.com/www.danceawareness.com

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