The MiNAPRESS Column

Where To Train. U.S. or U.K.? An Actor’s Dilemma.

Posted in acting, actors, arts, careers, drama, film, journalism, performing arts, stage, theatre, tv by MiNA on June 6, 2019
Mina Rios. Current as of May 2019

Mina Rios, Freelance Journalist, Sonoma, CA, U.S.A

Guest blog by Mina Rios  –  Originally published in May 2019 on U.K. blog page:


Georgia Tuohey

Georgia Tuohey, Singer, Actress, Writer, London, U.K.  Instagram   @georgiatuoblogTwitter@georgiamtuohey


Mesmerised by the young protégée’s powerful stage performance, the audience wept as he took his last breath. Praise every actor yearns for following an acting achievement. Such a capacity as an actor requires an abundance of natural talent, ambition, classical training, and a bit of luck. Typically, a serious aspiring stage actor pursues the best possible training available within their means. More often than not, the aspiring look to the U.S. and the U.K. for superior drama training. To choose between the two, knowing what distinguishes British drama training from training in the United States is important. While acquiring this information, it’s essential to note that current research on drama training is paramount, as the industry has evolved tremendously over the years and yesterday’s news does not necessarily apply today.

In the U.K. (and parts of Europe), classical acting techniques by actors/theorists Konstantin Stanislavski and Michel Saint-Denis are prevalent. British drama denotes action driven stage acting, style, and technique; and is associated with some of the finest actors of our time including the late Sir Laurence Olivier and Sir John Gielgud.

For a time, between the 1930s and 50s, Method Acting the emotion-driven technique developed for screen acting, fathered by Lee Strasberg and inspired by Konstantin Stanislavski’s techniques, was the primary acting methodology taught in American drama institutions. Still widely taught today, but not exclusively, in Method Acting, actors use remembered emotions to find their character’s truth, enabling the actor to “live” the character; often times incorporating improvisation. Some actors have even been known to remain in-character through the duration of a film or stage performance.

A variety of different acting techniques have emerged over the years, several of which are variations on Stanislavski’s System. Many drama programs and institutions teach multiple drama methodologies to provide actors with options in case one technique isn’t working for them. In fact, some drama students over recent years have conveyed certain frustrations with Method Acting – they say they find it limiting. Other popular acting techniques embraced by drama professionals and institutions worldwide include Stella Adler’s Method, Meisner Technique, The Chekhov Technique, Practical Aesthetics, and Theater Games – all of which are described briefly for further reference, at the close of this piece.

British drama does have its distinctions of course. Actors are primed for the stage with emphasis on control, precision, and memorisation of all lines – allowing the actor to bring the scripted character to life – thus eliminating any possibility for improvisation; a common liberty used in Method Acting. Drama programs in the U.K. also impart supplemental training skills in areas such as accents, singing, movement – i.e. period dance, stage combat, and more.

To remain competitive and meet public demand on a global scale, drama programs everywhere have integrated screen acting into their curriculum; a change that has unified more institutions as opposed to differentiating them.

Course work at leading University drama programs such as Juilliard in New York, Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, and Yale School of Drama in Connecticut, have become far more comprehensive than decades prior, drawing a closer parallel to U.K. drama training in such areas as voice, speech, movement, mask, clown, script analysis, theatre history, and other areas.

Admission into reputable drama institutions no matter where they are in the world (the U.S., U.K., or elsewhere) is highly competitive. Among the most prestigious U.K. based drama institutions are The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and Oxford School of Drama.

Some false generalisations by industry professionals over the years, infer that drama conservatories don’t exist in America when they actually do. There are simply fewer American conservatories in comparison to the U.K. and other countries abroad. Drama training programs in the U.S. are predominantly affiliated with 4-year colleges/universities. The idea is that the four year college degree provides graduates with leverage when seeking employment outside of their declared specialisation (acting); hence the reason two years of course work is spent on required general education.

A little known fact is – the early 1960s was a pivotal time for American theatre. The art form was becoming increasingly important to audiences. Theatre productions expanded from nightly engagements to performance seasons, opening doors for actors versed in international theatre repertory, ultimately leading up to the availability of conservatory training in acting within the U.S. 

A.C.T.’s founding artistic director, William Ball (left), and

Photo by Ganslen Studios; courtesy San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) founded in 1965, is a leading drama institution located in San Francisco’s theatre district. A.C.T. was the first American theatre to win a Tony Award for the quality of its training program and its productions. A.C.T. was also the first independent theatre in the nation to win academic accreditation and the authority to grant a master of fine arts degree in acting.

Geary Theater circa 1980

The Geary Theater, 1980, San Francisco; courtesy of the American Conservatory Theater.

While more than half of the world’s most sought after drama schools are located in the U.S. and the U.K., several outstanding programs can be found sprinkled around other parts of the world. No matter where you choose to train among the institutions mentioned in this piece or any overlooked, yet comparable, the investment in training is sure to provide you with the necessary wherewithal to help you advance your career. What you should find out in advance is – what kind of networking opportunities does the institution provide with industry professionals? Further to that, ask whether mentoring is available to help you market your personal brand, as this is an area drama schools are gradually working on to improve. Best of luck! Break a leg.  

A.C.T.'s Geary Theater following the renovation in 1996

Backstage at the Geary Theater, 1996, San Francisco; courtesy of the American Conservatory Theater.




Acting Techniques

Stella Adler’s Method based on Stanislavski and Strasberg techniques; emphasising imagination in addition to emotional recall. The Stella Adler Studio of Acting has a 45-year partnership with N.Y.U.

The Sanford Meisner Technique based on Strasberg and Adler’s methods; emphasise that the actor “live truthfully under given imaginary circumstances.”

The Chekhov Technique – pioneered by Anton Chekhov’s nephew and star student of Stanislavski – Michael Chekhov – is a psychophysical approach to acting, focusing on mind, body, and a conscious awareness of the senses. Students of the technique include Clint Eastwood, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, and Jack Nicholson.

Practical Aesthetics is an action-based acting method developed by playwright David Mamet and actor William H. Macy; inspired by Aristotle, the Stanislavski System, and Meisner Technique, the method entails having the actor commit his will to the pursuit of an action based on the other actor.

Viola Spolin developed the Theater Games approach, focusing on directorial and improvisational exercises for the actor. It is considered to be a major contributor to the improvisational theatre movement in the U.S.


Leading Drama Institutions in the U.K.

Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London: Graduates: Ewan McGregor, Joseph Fiennes, Daniel Craig, Rhys Ifans, and Orlando Bloom.

London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) – among the world’s oldest drama schools; Graduates: Donald Sutherland, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Chris O’Dowd, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Oxford School of Drama in Woodstock Graduates: Catherine McCormack, Will Adamsdale, Claire Foy, and Anna Galvin.

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art RADA). Graduates: Peter O’Toole, Joan Collins, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Vivien Leigh, Clive Owen, and Tom Wilkinson.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Formerly Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) – Alumni: Alan Cumming, David Tennant, and Sheena Easton.

The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School – founded by Laurence Olivier in 1946: Alumni: Olivia Colman, Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, Greta Scacchi, Naomie Harris, Jeremy Irons, Sir Patrick Stewart, Mark Strong, Miranda Richardson, and Gene Wilder.


Leading Drama institutions in the United States & Canada

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco – Alumni: Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Winona Ryder, Nicolas Cage, Benjamin Bratt, and Elizabeth Banks.

Juilliard in New York – Alumni: Adam Driver, Mandy Patinkin, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Robin Williams, Jessica Chastain, Laura Linney, Viola Davis, and Kelsey Grammer.

Tisch School of the Arts at NYU – Alumni: Alec Baldwin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michael C. Hall, Jeremy Piven, Oliver Stone, and Martin Scorsese.

Yale School of Drama in Connecticut. Alumni: Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Paul Newman, Angela Bassett, Henry Winkler, John Turturro, Patricia Clarkson, Frances McDormand, and Paul Giamatti.

The National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. Teaches the classical Michel Saint-Denis Technique. Teachings include exploration, writing, studio presentations, imagination, improvisation, “the mask,” and audition preparation.


Leading Drama institutions in Australia

National Institute of Dramatic Art in Kensington. Graduates: Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchett, Judy Davis, Baz Luhrmann, Hugo Weaving, and Sam Worthington.

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts – Alumni includes: Hugh Jackman, and Frances O’Connor.


More Leading Drama Institutions Worldwide

Finland: Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

France: The CNSAD (Conservatoire national supérieur d’art dramatique) in Paris. Considered one of the most selective schools and foremost in the world.

Austria: University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

South Africa: University of Cape Town – Alumni: Embeth Davidtz, Richard E. Grant.


Useful Drama Resources


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….


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.


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;


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;

The Bay Area on the move. Let’s dance.

Posted in journalism by MiNA on April 26, 2017

BayAreaDance Week graphic        Dancers Group-logo

Greetings dance enthusiasts… Let it be known that we’re amidst the 19th Annual Bay Area Dance Week initiative from April 21-30, 2017. The founding organization of the annual event is Dancers’ Group – a thriving San Francisco based non-profit established in 1998.  Much like the grassroots movement that formed National Dance Week in 1981, Dancers’ Group serves as a vital resource for the Bay Area dance community — helping to facilitate collaborative and innovative programs and services to maximize visibility efforts.

For the remainder of the week, Bay Area Dance Week event highlights happening now through April 30th include the following:

Bay Area Dance Week  FREE DANCE EVENTS now through April 30

BayAreaDance Week2017program

Smuin Contemporary American Ballet – Thursday April 27, 11am 

Come see Smuin dancers up close in an open studio rehearsal in honor of Bay Area Dance Week! Observe our 16 dancers during a typical day in the studio, working in conjunction with our ballet master and various choreographers to perfect the Company’s new works for the stage. Don’t miss this behind-the-scenes look at our upcoming program Dance Series 02; featuring a world premiere by acclaimed choreographer Trey McIntyre, the return of choreographer-in-residence Amy Seiwert’s “Broken Open,” and a world premiere from one of Smuin’s very own dancers, Nicole Haskins. LOCATION: Academy of Ballet, 2121 Market St., San Francisco, CA, 94114

DZine And Amy Seiwert’s Imagery – Friday April 28 6pm San Francisco

Amy Seiwert’s Imagery performs at DZine in conjunction with the launch of the gallery’s show “Pure: Burning Bright.” Gallery opening from 6-9, exact dance performance times TBA. LOCATION: DZine, 128 Utah St, San Francisco, CA, 94103


AXIS Dance Company Friday April 28, 11:30am Oakland

Join AXIS Dance Company as they prepare to celebrate 30 years of innovation under the new artistic direction of Marc Brew. All abilities welcome for this company class geared towards experienced adult dancers. Following our 1.5 hr company class, we invite participants and dancers of all ages and skill levels to attend a sneak peek of Amy Seiwert’s work The Reflective Surface that will be premiered in October 2017. Participants are welcome to either or both the class (11:30am-1pm) and open rehearsal (1pm-2pm). LOCATION: Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice Street, Suite 200, Studio E, third floor, Oakland, CA, 94612

San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Dance Film Festival – Saturday April 29, 2:30pm 

In honor of Bay Area National Dance Week (April 21 – April 30) San Francisco Public Library in partnership with the San Francisco Dance Film Festival and the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library are pleased to screen selections from the San Francisco Dance Film Festival’s October 2016 Fall Festival. Schedule: 2:30pm: 2016 SFDFF Shorts Highlights 3:30: feature documentary”Kick, Ball Change” Kick, Ball Change – A glimpse into the creative, crazy, and inspiring mind of Maxim Kozhevnikov, five-time professional world champion in Latin ballroom dance. For more information about the feature documentary – visit: Visit: LOCATION: San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco , CA, 94122

San Francisco Ballet – Saturday April 29, 11:45am

Want to see the artists of SF Ballet up close and in action? Go behind the scenes with San Francisco Ballet, the oldest professional ballet company in America. Observe the dancers of SF Ballet in action in a Company class, led by one of the Company’s Ballet Masters, on stage at the War Memorial Opera House. Guests will enjoy open seating in the Opera House auditorium. LOCATION: War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave,
San Francisco, CA, 94102

Alonzo King LINES Dance Center – Saturday April 29, 9am

If you’re new to the Dance Center or you haven’t taken class with us for more than a year, come take any of our open classes FREE of charge. The number of free slots are limited so come early. LOCATION: Alonzo King LINES Dance Center, 26 7th Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94103

Mary Sano Studio Of Duncan Dancing Saturday April 29, 12pm 

Join us for our annual open studio event on International Dance Day! You can take a sample Duncan dance class (12-1 pm) and observe Mary Sano and her Duncan Dancers as they rehearse for the upcoming 20th annual Dionysian Festival celebrating the 140th anniversary of Isadora Duncan’s birth. (1-2 pm) Q & A Session (2-2:30 pm). LOCATION: Mary Sano Studio of Duncan Dancing, 245 5th Street, Studio 314, San Francisco, CA, 94103

Deborah Slater Dance Theater Saturday April 29, 11am 

Dance & Theater Workshop open to artists & creatives of all disciplines. Experiment using writing, moving & vocalization to create new material, gain specific, repeatable tasks to take home and use in your own creative process. How do you locate source material, transform it into your art form & translate it for an audience? Dive deep into your creative process and end up somewhere unexpected! LOCATION: 3435 Cesar Chavez, Studio 210, San Francisco, CA, 94110

Margaret Jenkins Dance Company (MJDC)/Resist: a Conversation with Artists about Activism – Sunday April 30, 5:30pm

Margaret Jenkins will facilitate a conversation between Choreographer and Activist Larry Arrington, Performance Artist Dohee Lee, Dancer, Writer, and Equity Analyst Tammy Johnson and Afro Futurist Conjure Artist Amara Tabor-Smith. The discussion will center on the intersection of their work and social justice. Whether you are defiant in the way you make work or the way you make waves, all forms of resistance are needed. Join the discussion around activism and artmaking and leave the evening with new tools to utilize in both performance and protest. LOCATION: Margaret Jenkins Dance Lab, 301 8th Street, 2nd Floor, Studio 200, San Francisco, CA, 94103

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


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.

pacific-sun-10-26-16-cover3-lines-bfa-austin-forbord  2-lines-bfa_anniversary_emblem

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



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

Tagged with: , ,

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











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
2016 SRS Fest Banner


2014 salsa fest IMG_9239.JPG











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

25th Tattoo-Blue logo.jpg


  • “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 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 Ballet: Through the Years

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


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.


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


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 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.

2014 in Review

Posted in journalism by MiNA on December 30, 2014

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Posted in arts, events, film, freelance, journalism, journalist, news, tv by MiNA on July 8, 2014

Comic-Con International San Diego Convention Center

Greetings Comic-Con Enthusiasts……

With Comic-Con month now underway, the suspense is likely hard to contain for most. But contain ourselves we must, and divert that energy elsewhere, as things like wrapping-up final costume details and deciding how you’ll spend what limited free-time you’ll have is of the essence.

If you’re anything like freelance journalist Mina Rios, despite exhaustion from standing in line all morning/afternoon at the Con, by days end, the internal craving for further stimuli persists. For this reason, Mina takes time to recoup (and sort through media coverage from the days events) after Con hours at such preferred San Diego hubs as Mary Jane’s, Dublin Square, and Odysea.

This year, MiNA proudly invites Comic-Con enthusiasts to drop by MiNA’s Roundtable (starting at around 7pm-ish nightly) to share their Con experience(s) and get featured in an upcoming MinaPRESS column and YouTube video/slide show. Interested parties — please  RSVP by 7/21.


Mary Jane’s Thurs. July 24th / Dublin Square Fri. July 25th / Odysea Sat. July 26th
San Diego Hard Rock Hotel  Mary Jane's

San Diego Hard Rock Hotel
Mary Jane’s


For the curious — what on earth sparked an arts journalist’s interest in Comic-Con in the first place? Childhood influences include Charles Schulz Peanuts comic-strips;  re-runs of the original Superman and Batman TV Series; classic horror films; and fantasy motion pictures by the special effects master Ray Harryhausen, whom I had the pleasure of meeting during Comic-Con a few years prior.

Having grown up during a time when such iconic, pop culture films as Jaws, Superman, and Star Wars were first released, fascination with these films inevitably triggered a deeper appreciation for the cinematic art form — thus inspiring current practices in screenwriting.

San Diego Gaslamp

Dublin Square

As one who continuously looks for innovation in concepts/characters/and plots (for article subjects and inspiration), it’s impossible to overlook the extraordinary attention to superior writing for the small screen over the last decade. With such programs as BBC’s Sherlock and AMC’s Mad Men and Breaking Bad, the quality generating machine television has morphed into, often surpassing the writing excellence of mainstream film (for the big screen), it’s a marvel to watch and privilege to partake-in through Comic-Con.

Odysea Lounge

Odysea Lounge

While only hours remain before the complete Comic-Con Event Schedule is officially posted, based on event announcements thus far, MinaPRESS coverage will include:




Bates Motel, July 2013

Bates Motel, July 2013

 Bates Motel – Fri., Room 6A

Big Bang Theory – Fri., Ballroom 20

The Walking Dead – Fri. Hall H

The Hobbit / Gotham /The Flash / Constantine  / Sat., Hall H

Grimm/American Horror Story – Sat., Ballroom 20

The Following / The Strain – Sun., Hall H

#  #  #

                                              Until next time…. May the Arts Be With You.


Posted in crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, journalism, news, publicity, services, Uncategorized by MiNA on June 12, 2014

By way of the fundamental trial and error method, many of us have learned that there really are no simple shortcuts to monetary triumph in fundraising; particularly with regard to crowdfunding. With the constant surge in new crowdfunding efforts being added to the mix everyday now, this kind of fierce competition (which the world has never seen before), has made it virtually impossible to anticipate how well any campaign will do these days.


The reality of how one can have any handle on their campaigns financial gain isn’t a shiny new sexy strategy, but rather plain-old straightforward (and constant) networking with people of common interests and stable financial means; and advance planning of how one will go about promoting their campaign.

If your campaign (like many) started out without a real plan and you’re fast approaching the bitter-end of your campaign — your only real option at this point is to extend the campaign deadline by a few weeks; give your campaign content a facelift; then begin promoting your effort with a fresh new approach like there’s no tomorrow.

If you’ve yet to make social media outlets and blogs your best friends, it’s time to get friendly and put on that pleasant friend-face to make it so.

Tell the world about your project/cause; and do it well. Short on ideas? See what others are doing right; visit campaign pages that know what success looks like up-close. For inspiration — check out some of the million dollar campaigns on Indiegogo that have more than doubled their goals in record time.

Paying it Forward to an in-direct campaign competitor you admire (one that’s in a different campaign category from yours), by sharing some positive feedback on their campaign comment section, could lead to good things; i.e. an encouraging or validating reply that yields a boost in morale; possibly even a financial contribution.

Commentary that’s simply not cool to post on other people’s campaign pages are messages from amateurs claiming to offer effective publicity services to help promote your campaign, in exchange for a cut from your hard-earned funds. Don’t fall into this trap.

The overwhelming growth in crowdfunding that’s rapidly turned into a groundbreaking phenomenon, pretty much guarantees there will soon be a slew of start-up companies offering publicity services catering specifically to crowdfunding efforts. Not surprising — there already are a handful of small business entities offering these services; despite this, be a little weary. Given that crowdfunding publicity services are a relatively new trade, thorough investigation of their legitimacy is yet to become public record, therefore caution is advised.

Now after reading this, if you’re feeling a little inspired — even a little generous, take a look at the Soul of a Blue Butterfly campaign on Indiegogo and see what a unique project in need of support looks like. Then ask yourself — what exactly makes a crowdfunding campaign fund-worthy? Can a small production with clear potential matter to enough people to make a difference? One can only hope.

The IndieGoGo Tap Dance Continues……..

Posted in journalism by MiNA on June 1, 2014

Good news! The perks just keep getting better… While efforts to make the Blue Butterfly campaign/crowdfunding tap dance with Indiegogo a crowd-pleaser — remain an ongoing objective, to help stimulate interest and support for the presentation of Soul of a Blue Butterfly in NYC on June 17, 20, 22 — we wish to butter-you-up a tad further.

Most people recognize that by nature, the art of dance (particularly ballet) is back-breaking work; making chiropractic back adjustments an essential part of a dancers existence. To that end — Alive & Well Chiropractic, located on the upper east side of Manhattan, wishes to reward contributors of all levels ($5 and above) with a FREE-dom ticket to spinal therapy wellness.

Quite the generous offer from the house doctor (the official chiropractor of the Blue Butterfly artists), it’s our way of extending our thanks for your support toward this very important campaign/production.


Show your support, and the reward of back pain relief is yours. IndieGoGoGo.…. 


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).


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.


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



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

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.


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.

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.

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 2007

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.



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) /

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


ONE SHEET/POSTER ART: Soul of a Blue Butterfly

Posted in journalism by MiNA on May 13, 2014

ONE SHEET/POSTER ART: Soul of a Blue Butterfly

A new tragicomedy from Duvall Productions
701 Fort Washington Avenue / New York, NY 10040
JUNE 17th at 8:45pm / JUNE 20th at 9pm / JUNE 22nd at 2pm

The Return of BalletMina/MinaComm

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







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.


Los Angeles News and Video for Southern California


A great site


Conscious Thought: Driven by Intelligent Awareness

American Princess

A love story based on real life events!

Sonoma County Literary Update

Literary Newsletter and Calendar for Sonoma County


A great site

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

The Growing Stone of Hope! Each Click makes a difference!

You click on the video & we add a stone!


An Alternative Cultural Daybook

Attenti al Lupo

Odette's Ordeal

A Site for Sore Swans & Serious Ballet Fans in San Francisco - Featuring Teri McCollum as "Odette"

AMZ Creative

AMZ Creative LLC, enhancing the human experience.

The offbeat Chronicles of a TuTu with Tea

“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.”- Chaim Potok

Sky Life Media

Sky Life Media, Artists Supporting Artists

San Diego Craftsman Home Tinkerers

Just another site

AXIS Dance Company

Redefining Dance!

%d bloggers like this: