Saturday, April 2, 2011

Thinking about performance...

I've been mulling over what the plan would be for my classes at studio 34 and I've come to the conclusion that we're going to deal with performance. Specifically, improv w/ contact in performance. We're going to deal with watching and being watched, making choices spacially and dynamically, and finding ways to remain invested in the dance.

So if you're tired of getting lost in your own performance, or if you're tired of seeing uninteresting improv in performance come to class this week and next at studio 34 (Sunday 3rd & 10th from 12:30 to 2:30) we're going to open up a discussion and work on building awareness and movement vocabulary to strengthen our improv chops with a creative mind towards performance.

Oh, and probably some handstands...

Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The arts in Philadelphia

Take the arts into your own hands- congress is short sighted - take your money and vote for the arts, go and see dance and theater and music, pay to see your friend's shows - don't rely on comps, show how much you value the people around you in your own arts community. Use your art to affect people and affect change, rise up with your art and be heard - get informed and make people listen - there are a ton of shows going on right now, this weekend, go and see as many as you can, then tell your friends how great or shitty the show was. Be real. Be proud to be an artist. Good art is hard work. It's a real job. Art and beauty don't just happen. Take the arts into your own hands. Now more than ever.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Unbelievably Good

Just a quick note about my impromptu Valentines Dinner out with my lovely wife...

I picked my wife up from work around 5:30 and on a whim we decided to have dinner at Han Dynasty( in Old City. Having heard good things about the and hilarious anecdotes about the web address and credit card tag (read Han dynasty as all one word = handy nasty), we stopped in for and early bird dinner. We were the first to arrive for the evening and we're greeted warmly and seated promptly. We ordered the Pork Belly in Garlic Sauce appetizer, The Dumplings appetizer, the Garlic Sauce style Shrimp, and the Hot Sauce style pork. Delicious does not begin to describe the levels of flavor we enjoyed. The Pork Belly, a cold spicy adventure. The dumplings were delicate and full of flavor. The Garlic style shrimp had, and I mean this in the most comfort-food deliciousness kind of way, a certain cool ranch Doritos flavor about it. I really need to be clear about the culinary heights of this dish, it was spectacular and not because it tasted like cool ranch, that was just an instant taste association I had with it. I don't know how else to describe it, perfectly cooked shrimp with a creamy, green oniony, sweet, tangy deliciousness. The silky Hot Sauce style pork hit all the right notes. One note that I think I would keep in mind next time, would be to order something that is explicitly note spicy. The spiciness was great and not in a painful way, just real depth of flavor. But everything we ordered had the heat. Maybe when the server asked "Are you guys okay with spicy?" we should have thought twice about our overall meal composition. Never-the-less, everything was and continues to be excellent - as I'm finishing eating the pork belly for lunch today.

So thank you Han Dynasty for a spectacular meal on a surprise Valentines Day night out.  

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sonata BYOB

So this will fall under the food portion of this on-again-off-again food and dance blog:

We took my mother out for her birthday last night to Sonata, a BYOB on Liberties Walk. This will be a short review, but I need to say, the food was excellent, reasonably priced for the quality of food. The decor was inviting and cozy, and left the real magical work to be done by the food. With 8 people, the table ordered a good selection of the menu (Pork tenderloin, braised short rib, seared salmon, bacon wrapped chicken, lobster "mac and cheese") and all plates were cleared. Speaking for myself, I started with an excellently delicate scallop crudo, my entre was the butter poached Lobster and cheesy pappardelle (the phrase lobster "mac and cheese" really doesn't do the dish justice) which was delicious, the lobster was cooked perfectly, and there was jsut enough of everything. I wasn't left wanting for sauce, lobster, or pasta. I capped my meal off with the whimsical fried apple pies. 3 mini fried pies with ice cream and caramel sauce were the perfect sweet cap off to a great meal.  I highly recommend Sonata. I look forward to eating more of Chef Mark Tropea's creations in the future.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Boom Bap Tourism

Makoto Hirano's Boom Bap Tourism

In the interest of full disclosure, I consider Makoto Hirano a good friend. That said, Boom Bap Tourism was a little piece of brilliance last night at the Painted Bride. An autobiographical journey of self reflection the carried it's way through with a consistent movement vocabulary, funny stories, artful staging, and a creative musical score. All of these elements combined into a compelling story of the man who Makoto sees himself as today. The use of lights and props was inventive and the music or silence stood guard as beat box, free style rhymes, and spoken word took us through the journey of his life. The duality of characters established at the beginning, framed the piece as a kind of "if I could talk to myself when I was that age, maybe I would have been different" story but without any of the usual regret or self pity that comes along with that type show. Maybe the only slip was in the performance was the full embodiment of young Makoto did not remain fully consistent past the opening sequence; however, his gift for story telling carried the spoken word through regardless.
The movement was inspiring. From fighting, to break dancing, to visions of Gene Kelly the dancing and choreography had a consistent beat and style that was characterized by swiftness of foot. Rarely did the movement feel under developed or over extended. The deftness with which Makoto went between break dancing, to modern, to delightful soft shoe shows a depth of dance talent that was as strong and the rhymes and stories they juxtaposed. The stories and imagery were hilarious (and not that bullshit, "look it's someone I know and their doing something I think is out of character "Philadelphia" funny"), genuinely clever and insightful stories that Makoto executed with charm and wit directly to the audience. I hope to see this show again, and look forward to more work from Makoto as his talent will no doubt continue to be showcased in Philadelphia and beyond.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


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Come see the show on Sunday @ Mascher @ 2pm