foto faves

foto faves

Thursday, February 4, 2016

a rainy night

seemed perfect for a night at the symphony... All About Mozart (with some Brahms thrown in)










a lovely way to spend a few less hours glued to the TV for the political news out of NH and the democratic debate...  every moment of respite is a plus to me!

Monday, February 1, 2016

totally bowled over!

So there I was - sitting at the first intermission of the Sarasota Ballet wondering if I should stay for the whole thing.  The first of the three ballets scheduled was Balanchine's Emeralds and it was fine, workman-like in some places with a few shining moments of  excellent work but it seemed somewhat flat, uninspired... never really got to the passion it could have. Little did I know what the evening had in store for me...

But let's finish Emeralds first -




like I said- very workman-like but no spark... I guess they were saving it up...

next up a completely fun, rollicking tale of the devil's seduction of Tom Rakewell in The Rake's Progress (an opera as well as a ballet - based upon the same Hogarth drawings of the fall of a young man from a wealthy family into lunacy and finally an ignominious death.)

 

this one was quite spirited - the rollicking scenes in the brothel and the gaming tables were very well choreographed and danced and the dance instructor from the second scene really caught my attention... the betrayed girl, danced by Victoria Hulland, was a truly excellent performance.


So by the time I got to the second intermission I was feeling much better about this company (which I have never before seen in performance) - but I was just about to be TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY---
by the final ballet of the evening In a State of Weightlessness.

This was hand's down the most amazing ballet I have been lucky enough to see- it completely lived up to the title - these dancers were the very essence of weightlessness- and it was amazing that they did it with seemingly no effort - which of course could only be done with both amazing technical skill and massive effort - making it look effortless and weightless! This thrilling ballet was choreographed by Ricardo Graziano - who is a member of the company and their resident choreographer.  In my opinion this man is absolutely brilliant!

The haunting Philip Glass score played perfectly with the movements of the couples who performed each of the sequences of weightlessness... I wish I was more eloquent in describing the amazing beauty of this performance.  I was mesmerized. I leaned forward in my seat - feeling the dancers "floating" through space... wishing I was able to do the same.  The dancers LIVED this performance.

Absolutely terrific - totally bowled over the entire audience who cheered and stood and shouted BRAVOS over and over! This is one you need to look for on ballet programs over the next few years and I will be looking for more of the brilliant Graziano!



So - the evening ended on a sky high note!!!  I am so happy I got to finally see the Sarasota Ballet despite the scarcity of tickets - I settled for a less than perfect seat on a night there was only ONE ticket available.... it was such a wonderful evening!!! This week- the symphony and a Mark Erelli concert and a lecture at USF- SM.... so always something to do here in Florida's cultural capital SRQ!

RUNA

The concert tonight was RUNA.  The venue was one of our very favorite- Fogartyville.  Here are some photos of the group from their website- (and this BTW was the order of the group onstage last night) percussion to the left and the guitar on the right...


here is the blurb from the promo the venue sent to advertise the group-

Quickly gaining recognition as one of Irish music’s new “super-groups”, RUNA has been enchanting audiences by pushing the boundaries of Irish folk music, since their formation in 2008.  Interweaving the haunting melodies and exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of bluegrass, flamenco, blues, jazz, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music.  The group has been honored internationally, winning Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and an Independent Music Award for Best World/Traditional Song



The male singer David Curley had several lovely numbers that I really liked,  Their instrumentals were excellent.  But they lost me when the female singer (center of the top photo) sang because I couldn't understand the words- even when Phil pulled up song lyrics on his phone I still could barely follow along her speedy pace made them a blur. I know that this sounds like the criticism of an old person who can't hear but I have excellent hearing (as did my mother until the day she died) and have no trouble telling Phil minutes ahead of the UPS truck arriving that is almost to our house... so it is not that.  When I had the lyrics in front of me I could see the words and also could see she left out a fair number of the words on the paper in order to reach the inordinate speed at which she sang.

so Phil loved the concert but I probably would pass on them the next time.  I may download the David Curley songs-one was called Black River but I wasn't prescient enough to note the other song when I heard it...

so here are a few less than stellar photos from my phone - and a short video clip -








they played to a packed house - both indoors and outdoors were sold out!


we will also be hearing Mark Erelli on Friday night coming up-



we heard Doug MacLeod last summer at SPACE and he was amazing- so we will be returning for that concert- and Phil says Aztec Two Step (named for a Ferlinghetti poem I hear) is also excellent - so our calendar stays full...


and finally the video clip-


tonight I am off to the ballet- my first Sarasota Ballet performance so I will let you know how it goes- as I said in a prior post I am very picky about ballet - keep your fingers crossed.  And stay tuned...

Sunday, January 31, 2016

another F&C weekend

so we met CBGB at Forks & Corks in the line out front.  They let us in around 11 AM and we went shopping first (get rid of the vouchers) and left the wine for pickup later.  Then headed in and grabbed a table for use as a home base.  The place was mobbed in almost no time bringing out my crowd phobia.  So we all took turns going for food and various tastes of wine. What I liked best this time in the food was a savory cheesecake from Euphemia Haye - with Gorgonzola and Parmesan cheese with bacon and scallion topping - that was a real winner - along with oysters which were terrific... but I don't know where they were from because one of the table mates brought them...

here are just a few photos because I have done very similar posts at the last F&C grand tasting events at these links where I had a lot of photos which look extremely similar to this event... LOL

http://blog.semifreelife.com/2015/01/the-main-event.html

http://blog.semifreelife.com/2014/01/forks-corks-weekend.html





there were almost ten solid pages of wines on the list and a whole book of participating restaurants... and the 1500 attendee number is the TICKETED number - not the people who come as part of the restaurants (who may or may not work their own booths) and the volunteers and the wine reps who pour etc etc .... this is a big deal around these parts and again this year I said the same as last- too many people - charge more and keep the number down like at the IPNC in Oregon (International Pinot Noir Celebration) limit the number and it can be a lovely time rather than having to fight a path to the food tables or the wine pourers.... to say nothing of those people who just STOP in the middle of the path/sidewalk/terrace.....

so while this event is a huge success - it is not my style...

but here are some really positive things about this year-
1. the weather was good
2. the wines were across the board better than in prior years
3. the food was again really terrific - especially given that they are basically cooking for 2,000...

so I always end up with a begrudging thumbs up on this one- I just wish it were fewer people.  The tickets sold out in three minutes and the organizers I am sure feel like they can't reduce the number since there is so much demand for them...

up next a concert tonight - RUNA - Celtic Roots Music


Quickly gaining recognition as one of Irish music’s new “super-groups”, RUNA has been enchanting audiences by pushing the boundaries of Irish folk music, since their formation in 2008. Interweaving the haunting melodies and exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of bluegrass, flamenco, blues, jazz, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music. The group has been honored internationally, winning Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and an Independent Music Award for Best World/Traditional Song. INDOOR SEATING AND PATIO SEATING IS SOLD OUT - so I guess we are lucky to have gotten tickets.

and then the Sarasota Ballet tomorrow..... will report back....