Five things worth knowing this week
1 – Dancing, dancing, dancing!
These are the four happiest people on the island this week: Emma, Elouise, Claire, and Joleen were awarded their pointe shoes! A well-earned “congratulations” to these lovely ladies!
Leaping for joy on our new dance floor
If you were in the audience for The Nutcracker, you heard Ms. Vadne’s appeal to give a few dollars to help the Friends of the Blue Heron build a proper dance floor in the downstairs studio. With an anonymous match and the generosity of our Nutcracker audience, we now have our new floor and it is divine!
Saut de Chatby Sophie, Freja and Katherine
After months of working on their own personal dance pieces, students showed up on Tuesday for the second audition of Original Works. While dancers waited and watched and supported their peers, the panel was blown away with how many great pieces were shown, the level of professionalism displayed, and the creative works of these young and talented dancers. We are now working on polishing things up and putting together a great show!
You won’t want to miss this fabulous production! Original Works will be performed March 22, 23, & 24th. Tickets go on sale February 1st!
Penelope Boyes in Original Works 2018, Photo by Andy Dunncliff
1.5 – Wonka
We’re moving from sweet-to-sweeter over in the Blue Heron!
Fresh from VCA’s Musical Theatre production of Mary Poppins, directors, Elise Ericksen, Marita Ericksen & Christopher Dawson are gearing up to bring Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr. to the stage!
A Spoonful of Sugar to a river-full of chocolate…
Golden tickets! Everlasting Gobstoppers! And Oompa Loompas . . . that advice-loving chorus of candy makers always ready to pounce! The color and costuming of this ridiculously fun production will satisfy your sweet tooth. And so will the songs—our cast members JUST had their first taste of those numbers this week with new song books and audio files. Which means . . . your student still has time join this wonderful crew!
Willy Wonka Jr. classes begin NEXT Wednesday, January 23rd—sign-up online HERE or call the Blue Heron (206) 259-3005 to register.
2 – Loving our land (part 2)
This week the loving continued. Kathi Ray continued to work away at removing what shouldn’t be there and Shelby Middling (of Greentree Dozing) brought us four truckloads of chip for mulching in our newly planted plants and taming the growth of invasive bits around the beneficial plants we’ve put in the last couple of years.
Just to pause here for a second, Phil Middling and family have been great supporters of our projects this past year, helping clear the way for the fabulous piece of public art Ela Lamblin did last year, clearing blackberries and undergrowth in our field, and now bringing us a massive pile of chip. Thank you, Phil and Shelby!
Bonus note: We’re looking for cardboard boxes we can cut up and place around our young trees prior to spreading mulch. Please let me know if you have some. We need the kind that have little to no printing on them, the bigger the better. You can reach me via email here. Or drop them by during the week from 10:00 am to 5:00 or 12:00 to 5:00 on Saturday.
3 – Amazing Russian pianist in the house
We seem to be on a Russian roll these days.
If you have yet to take in the stunning images by Roman Zlobin on display in our Joy & Chai Mann Gift Shop . . . well, all I can say is you still have time. His “I can see Russia from my House” show of his images from in and around Vladivostok are just terrific.
But wait, there’s more!
Our resident music history maven, Mike Tracy, helped us secure a night with the spectacularly talented Russian pianist Vyacheslav Gryaznov. This video will give you a taste and a clue the caliber of his talent and what’s on offer on Saturday, February 2nd.
Known as Slava, he is noted as the author of more than 30 concert arrangements and transcriptions. His works have been performed by Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Ghindin, Nikita Mndoyants, Tomoharu Ushida, the Messiaen-Quartet, the Moscow State Chamber Choir, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, and by many other musicians and collectives.
Join us for what promises to be a standard-setting performance of Rachmaninoff, Debussy and Ravel. Slava will give a pre-concert lecture on the Rachmaninoff Six Moments Musicaux, the Ravel Gaspard de la Nuit, and his own transcription of Debussy’s Afternoon of the Faun. The lecture is included in the ticket price.
Buy your tickets in advance to enjoy special pricing.
4 – And on the seventh day, there was bass
Longtime island residents will remember Jason Everett, some for his work as Executive Director for Vashon Allied Arts, some for his work saving lives and buildings, and some know him as Mr. E! Mr. E?
Indeed, the well-traveled Mr. E has built quite a reputation for his skillful embrace of unconventional time signatures and his penchant for unusual basses. His eclectic musical journey has brought this multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger into the orbits of jazz musicians like Spyro Gyra’s Kim Stone as well as Indian music stars like V. Selvaganesh.
And on Sunday afternoon, February 3rd he will be joined by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra on our stage to explore connections between Indian classical music and Flamenco. The program will also feature selections from Everett’s newly released CD, which was a Jack Straw Artist in Residence project.
Guest musicians will include: Fareed Haque, Trey Gunn, and Radhika Iyer.
Here’s an example of Jason at work.
The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, now celebrating its Tenth Anniversary Season, is known for distinctive programming that reaches out to diverse new listeners of all ages. SMCO creates unique musical experiences through a mix of music for chamber orchestra and small ensemble representing all eras, with a significant presence of works by women and composers of color. The ensemble is dedicated to exploring the future of music by performing pieces that transcend genre, premiering new works, and crafting performances that tell the story of the human experience.
Get your advanced sale-priced tickets here.
5 – Field Trip to SAM
Paul Martinez is a great friend and supporter of VCA (a former Board Member) and one of the great Exhibition Designers at Seattle Art Museum. I’ve been to SAM many times but today was a first.
Paul hosted me and our Gallery Business Manager, Lynann Politte for the dream tour of any art geek’s dreams . . . the one behind the scenes and below the galleries; the one where you get to see the workshops, bins and bins of bits and pieces, schematics, scale models, mockups . . . basically, all the cool stuff the professionals use to design and ultimately use to install a major show at a major gallery.
An amazing experience and our notebooks are full of ideas for how to up our game in how we show, label, and sign art in our galleries. We have work ahead of us!
6 – Finally, and this is a sixth thing
File this under the “guilty pleasure” category. I stumbled on a clip of Billy Joel being interviewed by Stephen Colbert. It’s amusing enough, but the bit that caught my attention was the question Colbert put to Billy Joel . . . “What are the songs you would want Billy Joel to play if you were in the audience at your concert?” Or something like that.
I would have bet money I had that list nailed, but I got one out of five. So showing my age and betraying my affection for a musician I heard live in St. Louis in 1978, here they are in reverse order . . . the best of Billy Joel as selected by Billy Joel.
Number 5: Vienna
Number 4: And So It Goes
Number 3: You May be Right
Number 2: She’s Right on Time
And Billy Joel’s number one pick: Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
Why “Fish Wrap”? Years ago, living in San Francisco, I became a devotee of a legendary journalists named Herb Caen. While he may not have been the first to use the phrase in connection with “yesterday’s news,” he is the one I remember. Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish wrap. Maybe it’s a generational thing. At any rate, we call our Friday wrap up, The Friday Fish Wrap . . . Five things worth knowing about VCA this Friday.