Saturday, January 20, 2018

Day 263 Pittsburgh Dance Council-Grupo Corpo- Contemporary Brazilian Dance Company/Breezy and Fiery

I  love the ballet so  Grupo Corpo,  an internationally acclaimed Brazilian dance company that mixes ballet with other dance forms like samba, bossa nova, and modern dance peaked my interest. Pittsburgh Dance Council recently brought this company to the Byham Theater. The company preformed Suite Branca, a monochrome white dance piece and  Dance Sinfonica. This contemporary melting pot of dance styles  was a new visual experience that I would describe as cool and breezy, and then hot and fiery!
Suite Branca 

Suite Branca (White Suite) choreography by Cassi Abranches, with all white costumes against a textured white back drop reminded me of the beautiful winter snow scenes that resulted from the US Arctic Blast this past week. The motion often seemed breezy and layered like the snow with multi leveled movement of floor rolling, jumping and lifts above the  shoulders, that crossed the length of the stage (watch here).

The  dance embraced  a variety of isolation movements initially to the sound of a base, symbol, and drums.  At times the music seemed to resemble something in the pop genre and at other times it seemed whimsical, especially when the dancers formed in a line pattern.  The constant athletic motion and the continual  weave of isolation dance techniques were both mesmerizing and beautiful just like a new snow on a windy winter day.

Dance Sinfonica
In contrast, Danca Sinfonica choreography by Rodrigo Pederneiras,  was warm as it popped with glowing red and black dress against a backdrop of over a 1000 snapshots of the companies 40+ years, and red velvet curtains.  In Dance Sinfonica  the movement was often  paired as in a ballet to the sounds of orchestra stings. There were injections of drum beats  and what  resembled  “tribal dance”  movements as coupled dancers  squatted across the stage (watch here).

Grupo Corpo in the shows, Suite Branca and Dancea Sinfonica, produced a unique mixture of dance and music which as I see it, emulated  snow and fire or the feeling of being cold and hot, yet both  brought the almost sold out theater to their feet!

The contemporary dance programming  by the Pittsburgh Dance Council will be something to keep in my survival tool box. For upcoming shows go to

Spiritual Reflection
Praise the Lord from the earth,
you creatures of the ocean depths,
fire and hail, snow and clouds,
wind and weather that obey him, (Psalm 148:7,8)

Other Sources

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Day 262- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra-The Firebird and More

The Pittsburgh Symphony 2018 session opened this weekend with Juanjo Mena conducting. I have ventured to the POPS in the past but I was now ready to experience the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) in the more "classical sense".  I love the ballet, The Firebird  (I even saw the movie), so I  was ready to enjoy the flight in Stravinsky's composition for his first ballet in 1910.  There also was a lot more to this program and I was excited to also experience my first flute concerto with Principle Flutist Lorna McGhee in this classical musical evening.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Day 261 The Frick-“Undressed” -An Underwear Exhibition

In this empty- nest period, I have made experiencing art a staple in my life (see Days 88 and 188) but I never  envisioned that I would be viewing undergarments as the subject of an art exhibit! The Frick Art and History Center always brings interesting art shows to this town and Undressed, about the design of underwear, seemed too unique to pass up especially when The Frick Art and History Center is the exclusive North American venue for this exhibition organized by London’s Victoria & Albert Museum!   When you think about it, an undergarment is the closest thing to our body and wearing "granny panties" or "a lacy something" from Victoria Secret says something about you, so why wouldn't  the evolution of underwear design say something about our society?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Day 260 -Pittsburgh Broadway Series -Love Never Dies-Look With Your Heart

The story and music from the musical, The Phantom of the Opera, brought me to tears about 20 years ago The new musical, Love Never Dies, is a sequel to that show and continues the story of the Paris Opera Phantom who now  in  1907 orchestrates the music behind a burlesque/freak show, Phantasma, on Coney Island in New York City.  He continues to long for his  love and to hear his protegee opera soprano, Christine Daae', sing again.  I was excited to experience my first sequel to a beloved musical and hear Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new composition telling the unique story of love between two people bonded by the beauty of music and not physical  aesthetics.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

January Preview of Events and Posts

Since this blog is  all about keeping a forward trajectory in midst of change and reaching your personal best, I wanted to preview some of my planned experiences in  the hope  that it will inspire some to join in. As Dale Carnegie once said, "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." Let's all get busy!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Day 259 Cirque Dreams Holidaze

I  experienced the glitz of Cirque Dreams Holidaze last year. The show is back with it's 10th Anniversary Tour on December 29 and 30th.

My blog inspiration book, Little Golden Books, reminds us that, “Christmas is a time to go all out.” That is just what Cirque Dreams Holidaze is all about-going all out and celebrating  everything  “Holidaze.”  I thought that after Christmas day, this show would keep the energy going.  It did that with  jazzed up variety and circus acts plus a lot of  glitz.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas to all and blessings into the new year! Hoping that you enjoy this day with people that you love and spread that love to others. As the Pope and other spiritual leaders (oh and Charlie Brown Day 150), remind us not to be intoxicated with consumerism and to remember the simple birth of a child who was born to save the world -the greatest gift!  

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Day 258 Home For the Holidays-Local Talent

One of my blog inspiration books reminds us that at Christmas, “make time for family and friends” and as we do, we often come home for the holidays (from Everything I Need to Know About Christmas I Learned From a Little Golden Book). Home for the Holidays was all about our local musical talent coming home to Pittsburgh and celebrating and sharing their  music of  rock, blues, and soul, with all of us.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Day 257 Nutcracker and Holiday POPs-Pittsburgh Traditions

I have seen the Nutcracker  before (see Day 90) and I love the Pittsburgh Symphony POPs. Many people make going to these shows a holiday tradition. I was excited to make these two shows mine this year and experience the beauty of the Nutcracker with the  peacefulness and brilliance of Tchaikovsky’s score, and the Holiday POPs with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn Choir, and vocal soloists for an explosion of holiday cheer.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Day 255-Midnight Radio: A Christmas Story-Bricolage Theater-Don't Shoot Your Eye Out

It’s a Christmas tradition for my son and I  to watch  the 1983 iconic movie, A Christmas Story that takes place on Cleveland Street, Indiana in the 1940’s. We laugh every year at Ralphie’s quest for a Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot BB gun for Christmas and his father’s acquisition of the “major award” leg lamp.

I try to put a little "Christmas Story" action into my holiday plans every year (see Day 148  and Day 221). When  I heard that Midnight Radio: A Christmas Story was a recreation of the movie in  a 1940’s radio show format, I was ready again to experience the hilarious scenes and laugh at that classic advice -"You'll shoot your eye out"!