Category Archives: Movement

Photographers: Deadline for the Crusade Engagement Grant is April 1st

CfA madmimi 2Photographers Have 2 Weeks to apply for the $10,000 Crusade Engagement Grant

New Grant logoThe Crusade Engagement Grant offers $10,000 to a photographer or group of photographers with the most innovative idea for increasing the artist’s audience and collector base.

This unrestricted grant is created to generate and highlight these innovations, and to underwrite the execution of the best idea.  Crusade For Art is looking for projects that focus on creating demand for photography and provide a concrete plan to create one-to-one connections between the photographer, the viewer, and the audience.

This is not about making work or exhibiting work – this is about finding an audience and engaging them.

Click here for the Grant Guidelines

Click here for the Grant Application

Applications must be submitted online and include a $20 application fee.  There is no limit to the number of project ideas an individual can submit, however each project must be submitted in a separate application.  The deadline to apply is April 1st.

Crusade for Art is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build artists’ capacity to create demand for their work.

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Get Ready for LA Puppet Fest 2014 April 1-13

Bob Baker's Rat, Jack, ChilieGia On The Move has been following a fair amount of companies who are masters in puppetry — in fact — we’ll be at the Broad Stage next month for a Midsummer Night’s Dream on April 3rd.  So when we received this announcement yesterday we got really excited! Plus some of our favorite small theatres in LA will be hosting these events. Very much for adults as well as children you will not want to miss this much fun.

LA Puppet Fest 2014, back for its second year, is a city-wide celebration dedicated to sharing and promoting the art of puppetry through performances and workshops.

Taking place from April 1 – 13, spanning from Santa Monica, West Los Angeles to West Hollywood and Hollywood, LA Puppet Fest promises to offer entertainment and educational activities with something for everyone.

Over 25 events are scheduled, many appropriate for children and families, as well as adult only programs. Participating in this year’s LA Puppet Fest are Puppet School; Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams; LA Guild of Puppetry; Little Stage Puppet Theater; Bob Baker Marionette Theater; Rogue Artists; Sock Puppet Theater; Beth Peterson; Leslie K. Gray; Gina Pavlova; Skirball Cultural Center; and more!

For more information please visit the LA Puppet Fest website at

Limited VIP packages with preferred seating and perks are also available. Events range from Free to $25 per person and may have age recommendations. LA Puppet Fest can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter @LAPuppetFest.


Here’s the schedule:

Tuesday, April 1, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.:  Opening Event – April Fool’s Puppet Ball - $15; adults 21+
, 8857 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood 90069
- Opening night party features Red Carpet Arrivals; DJ Eric de la Cruz; performances from Puppet School; Costume Contest with prizes; and a lot more! A fool is mostly defined by “someone that lacks good sense or judgment”, but can also be a person who enjoys something very much. Puppeteers are that kind of fools.

Wednesday, April 2:  Awesome Puppet Films & Filmmakers
Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, 
4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles 90027
- Presented by the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry & Handmade Puppet Dreams, and sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Enjoy an evening of short films featuring puppets of all kinds created by independent artists from throughout the U.S and the World. Screening two collections: one for families and one for a slightly older crowd (12 and up), courtesy of Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams, as well as offerings from local puppet filmmakers.

6 p.m.:  Heather Henson Presents Handmade Puppet Dreams, a collection of spirited puppet original shorts
- $2; $4 VIP; all ages

8 p.m.:  Screening “The Million Puppet March,” a work in progress documentary about the 2012 March on Washington, DC to show support for public media; the world premiere of “Heather Henson Presents - Handmade Puppet Dreams – Vol. VI;” Raymond Carr’s “Hitori;” and other HMPD-produced films.  (Priority seating at 7:15 p.m., Doors open at 7:30) A Q&A session with filmmakers will follow the 8 p.m. program. There will be puppet displays in the lobby areas. - $6; $10 VIP; ages 12+

Thursday, April 3, 10:30 a.m.:  Fun with Strings! - $15; $20 VIP includes behind the scenes tour; all ages
Bob Baker Marionette Theatre, 
1345 West 1st Street, Los Angeles 90026
- Join Jack Frost, The Snow Queen, Chili Dog, The Balloon Clown, and over 100 of Bob Baker’s whimsical creations as they lead you on a wondrous journey with many a magical stop along the way.

Friday, April 4, 8 p.m.:  Robin Walsh’s “The Devil You Say” Puppet Show - $15; $20 VIP; adults only
Elephant Stage’s Lillian Theatre, 
6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90038
- Simmering wars, violent revolts, manmade and natural disasters, cries of Armageddon. Be it the 15th, 18th or our own 21st century, such a religiously and politically charged landscape provides the perfect backdrop for the ongoing question: Who bears the responsibility – God? Satan? Someone else? In “The Devil You Say” Old Nick takes the stage, in person, to mount his defense – or to prove who is really to blame. All using words and sayings attributed to him by some of History’s greatest writers: Goethe, Marlowe, Byron, Punch and Judy.

Saturday, April 5,:  SWEET! Puppetry
SWEET! Hollywood, 
Hollywood & Highland Center, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Ste. 201, Hollywood 90028
Free or $15 VIP; children of all ages; VIP Ticket includes priority seating, a “Design your own chocolate bar” and/or “Create your own Sticky” (traditional hand made yummy), and a signed copy of “Sing Along with Leedo and Booey.”  A $30 value!
- Bring the whole family to SWEET! Hollywood for a day of puppetry and candy-making fun

  • 10:00 a.m.:      “Sing Along with Leedo and Booey” book     signing with  author Dr. Avrom Gart
  • 10:30 a.m.:      Rene’s Marionettes
  • 11:15 a.m:         Sing Along with Leedo and Booey Puppet Show
  • 11:45 a.m.:       Sticky Candy Bar preparation Demo
  • 12:00 p.m.:     Little Stage Puppet Theater with Emil Molho
  • 12:30 p.m:       Design Your Own Chocolate Bar Demo
  • 12:45 p.m.:      Rene’s Marionettes
  • 1:30 p.m:         Little Stage Puppet Theater with Emil Molho

A little puppet romance, via The Puppet Co. in Glen Echo, MD.

Saturday, April 5:  Intriguing Workshops, Roundtable and Masters of Puppetry Live!

Asylum Lab, 1078 Lillian Way, Hollywood 90038

12 p.m.:  Giving Puppets a Hand: Funding Your Puppet Project without Losing Your Mind - $15; ages 16+; Limit 40 participants
- You have a brilliant, crazy, furry idea. Trying to fund your project on your own could result in your loved ones only receiving lukewarm hotdog water as birthday presents next year. We’ll explore funding solutions that are particularly puppet-friendly. Learn how to build a funding campaign from the ground up, with the very unique world of puppets in mind; how to choose platforms; how to find the people who can help you (they sometimes hide in very odd places).  We will look at successful projects and projects that failed and, as a group, try to make sense of the available statistics and metrics to make your project a funding success!

Elephant Stage’s Lillian Theatre, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90038
2:30 p.m.:  Minimalistic Puppetry Workshop with Gina Pavlova - $25; all ages – Limit 20 participants
- Imagination becomes your puppet in Minimalist Puppetry. The Minimalist Puppetry approach is a way to create images, characters, and stories without the help of ready-made puppets, animated designs, or objects adapted for this purpose.  Students will discover a new way to see life, images and stories in everyday objects and materials; from two ends of a table cloth falling in love, to the evolution of man told through hula hoops. Additionally, there will be a demonstration of a professionally made story in Minimalist style by Nick Ivanov.

5 p.m.:  Masters of Puppetry Roundtable - $15; $20 VIP; all ages
- Moderator: Eric Lynxwiler. LA Puppet Fest is very excited to put together, for the first time, the most well known puppeteers in Los Angeles in a round table: Bob Baker, Rene Zendejas and Alan Cook. Together, they have more than 200 years in puppetry. These four incredible gentlemen will share memories of their carriers with tons of laughter guaranteed.

8 p.m.: Masters of Puppetry Live! - $15; $20 VIP; all ages
- The three masters and their through-the-years apprentices will entertain you and your family with their puppets.

Sunday, April 6:  Million Puppet Parade and Puppet Making - Free; all ages

3rd Street Promenade, starting just south of Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica 90401

- Join us in breaking the record for largest puppet parade in Los Angeles in this 2nd annual public participation parade. Bring your own puppet, buy a puppet at our festival’s table, or make one at the start of the parade route at our free puppet making tables. We then march down the full length of the Promenade. At the end of the parade route there will be a closing ceremony, raffle drawing for prizes and a puppet dance off. Hand puppets, finger puppets, marionettes, monsters, shadow puppets, multi-person puppets — all our welcome to join professional and amateur puppeteers for day filled with color.

  • 10:00 – 11 a.m.:  Puppet Making Workshop by Rogue Artists Ensemble and Sock Puppet Theater
  • 11:30 a.m.:  Parade with Grand Marshall Bob Baker
  • 12:30 p.m.:  Parade Closing Ceremony

Sunday, April 6, 6:30 p.m.:  Big Green Puppetzilla Puppet Slam
Bootleg Theatre, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles 90057
$10 in advance, $15 day of – tickets available at; ages 18+
- The L.A. Guild of Puppetry presents PUPPETZILLA Puppet Festival Slam for fun, edgy, subversive live puppet madness for adults. A little vaudeville, a bit of burlesque, and a dash of performance art – Puppet Slams cover the whole spectrum of puppetry styles. Rough and tumble works-in-progress or polished gems of art, you’ll see it all at a Puppet Slam! Puppetzilla Puppet Slam is made possible in part by a grant from the Puppet Slam Network.

Sunday, April 6, 9 p.m. – midnight:  Live Band Puppet Karaoke - Free, ages 21+
Busby’s East, 5364 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 90036
- Break out the mesh crop top and leather pants; you’re invited to join a rock band!  Or a pop band, or a funk band, or whatever you want — you get to decide when you take the stage to sing with live karaoke band Casual Encounters.  With a catalogue of over 200 songs from Abba to Zeppelin, you’ll be sure to find a favorite song to serenade your adoring fans. And since this is a LA Puppet Fest celebration, we’ll have monitors set up, so your furry friend can release his inner Jagger and rock his rods off.  Drinks, music, and puppets — this event is sure to go platinum!

Monday & Tuesday, April 7/8, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.:  The Art of Bob Baker Gallery Exhibition - Free, all ages
Blue 5 Art Gallery, 2935 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles 90064
- This two-day exhibition provides a glimpse into the creative process of Mr. Baker. Curated by Nancy Larrew, archival drawings, photographs and intricate marionettes will be on display. Los Angeles based puppeteer and magic maker, Bob Baker, has been delighting children and adults for more than 75 years. Both a visual artist and performer, Mr. Baker, who recently turned 90, has over 3000 marionettes that he has created and entertained with at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater located in downtown LA.

LA Puppet FestFriday, April 11, 8 p.m.:  Tales of Longing and Belonging: The Losing, Finding and Making of Place,  an Evening of Puppetry and Song with Beth Peterson – $15; $20 VIP; all ages

Elephant Stage’s Lillian Theatre, 
6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90038
- Giant and tiny puppetry and live music for all ages including “Hue- the suitcase show” is a boy’s color filled search to find a place where he belongs; songs of Cu~nao explore the journey of history, loss and search for new place, and “The Nomad” features episodes from the life of Dominique Moody who creates new pieces and places from the shards of the past.  Shadow puppets, toy theater, a giant puppet or two, and storytelling combined with live music to bring these tales to life, courtesy of A One Grain of Sand Puppet Production.

Saturday, April 12:  Workshops, Round Table & Show

Asylum Lab, 1078 Lillian Way, Hollywood 90038

12 p.m.:  Exploring the Wonder of Shadow Puppetry with Leslie K. Gray - $25; ages 10+; Limit 40 participants
- Shadow puppets are an integral part of rituals and arts all over the world, but not so prevalent in Western culture. Come join theater artist Leslie K. Gray for a hands on workshop that explores the techniques of shadow puppetry, ancient and modern. Create your own shadow puppet presentations using light to create images from reflected darkness! This two-hour workshop is designed to be an intensive for ages 10 and up. If you are able to bring a pair of scissors, a pencil, ordinary sheets of paper (office recycled is fine), and any items you think might cast interesting shadows, you will be one step ahead in creating your own shadow puppet show!

Elephant Stage’s Lillian Theatre, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90038

2:30 p.m.:  Introduction to Puppet Sketch with Erik Kuska - $25; all ages – limit 20 participants
- Love puppets but having a hard time coming up with new ideas? Love sketch comedy but not really sure how its done?

Need help finding the ‘funny’ in your work, or just need some motivation to get some writing done? Well this is the workshop for YOU!

These sketch writing techniques apply to ALL writing, whether it’s a feature length script or writing a monologue to start your show. The idea is, better writing gives you better puppetry. So bring a pen, paper, and get ready take the next step toward being a better writer. We’ll examine sketch formats, discuss how to play to your puppetry strengths, and learn how to develop ideas more efficiently.

5 p.m.:  Future of Puppetry Round Table; guests to be announced. Moderator: Eric Lynxwiler – $15; $20 VIP; all ages
- Young puppetry professionals share their perspective about where the art form is going and what they are doing to help it advance their way.

8 p.m.:  Puppet Show “Minimalism Times Three Plus One” - $15; $20 VIP; ages 12+
- The show opens with a preview of “206 – The Church of Bones” written and created by Sean T. Cawelti and Morgan Rebane. An original multidisciplinary puppet and media performance exploring the relationship between death and consumerism based on true events spanning a 700 year history at a single church in the Czech Republic.

Following that are three pieces in the Minimalist style. Each one tells a different story with a single object. The goal of this limitation is to foster a high degree of creative thinking while at the same time unearthing the emotional potential of the most common of objects. The thoughts and imagination of the audience are directed towards the formation of new associations for everyday objects and materials. It is these associations that give birth to the fun and entirely original puppetry images typical of a Minimalist Puppetry show. A MUST see. VIP tickets include priority seating and meet and greet with the cast.

Sunday, April 13, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.:  Skirball Puppet Festival: A Family Celebration of the Wonders of Puppet Theater
Skirball Cultural Center, 
2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles 90049
$10 general; $7 Seniors/Students; $5 Children 2-12; Free to Skirball members; all ages
- Join the Skirball for its third annual celebration of the art of puppetry, featuring interactive puppet performances, shadow puppetry, live music, art making, spectacular strolling puppets, an interactive display from the Los Angles Guild of Puppetry, and more. This campus-wide, daylong festival brings together some of Southern California’s most talented puppeteers and artists, working in a range of cultural and artistic styles. A day of imaginative storytelling and innovation sure to amaze visitors ages 2 to 102!

Shop Local Today on November 30 – Small Business Saturday

Get on your feet today and exercise your dollars in the right way!


Wherever you are in the US or even abroad remember to help out your local small business owners buy taking your shopping lists directly into their stores.  Small business makes for strong communities and great friendships.

Check your local online directories & print papers for listings.

Wehoville Daily Fix here in West Hollywood, CA offered their eclectic assortment.  If we come across a few more, we’ll be posting on the Gia On The Move Facebook page.

If you have a list or are a local shop in your neighborhood that could use a little visibility this season, tell Gia about yourself by adding your info to the comments! Or Tweet it @GiaMedia3  We’ll pass it around for the rest of the month.  Don’t forget to add a link to your website so everyone can find you!

All we ask is that you are legit, are overall family friendly and are polite as heck on our website and to your customers.

August 4th #TwitterSilence

Caroline Criado-Perez.

If you haven’t been following the news, i.e. are some sort of troll (and yes I said that), there has been a direct attack on Caroline Criado-Perez a 28-year-old U.K. feminist activist and freelance journalist (above, far right), who successfully campaigned to make sure one non-royal woman would be featured on the redesigned British banknotes, the celebrated, much loved, 19th century, female writer, Jane Austen.

Everyone that I knew who read it thought, “cool.” And that should have been it.

Apparently, however,  there were a lot of  men out there who didn’t think so. And what is truly stunning is that because of this one small act, Ms. Criado-Perez subsequently began receiving death and rape threats about every minute for the next 48 hours.

Tomorrow, August 4th, 2013 is National Friendship Day.

To celebrate that, Gia On The Move has decided to stand in solidarity with Caroline not as a feminist, or as a hater of men (which I vehemently am not – get real, I love my dad, my brothers, my uncles, my cousins, my guy friends, who also coincidentally respect the hell out of me) but as a woman; a woman with a public voice and a woman who has the strength to stand up and speak, and who is being attacked along with all women who share her purpose of living with dignity.

Will you please consider joining and not tweeting tomorrow all day until after midnight except for the hashtag #TwitterSilence?

(Or if you feel you must, maybe take a cue from Catilin Moran who suggests that you just be super positive and nothing else.)

The original goal of the boycott: (directly taken from the article written by KAT STOEFFEL @ The Cut)
A “Report Abuse” button, conveniently located on a Twitter user’s page, that alerts the social network to users who violate its rules by threatening to rape and kill people, according to a petition that’s been signed by more than 120,000 people.

Did they get it?
They wanted it like a week ago. They got it Monday.

So then why is the protest still happening?
In short, the cynicism of all the smart-aleck, overwhelmingly male tech commentators saying a “report abuse” button is less important than the freedom of speech, and that rape threats are an inevitable form of speech, and women should just deal with it, block people, “not feed the trolls,” etc. Or so says Caitlin Moran, author of How to Be a Woman, and another prominent supporter of Criado-Perez.

And just because of the obvious:  It’s National Friendship Day!

Below is a video about the hot debate going on in England also taken directly from Kat’s article featuring Stella Creasy, MP who is also currently under attack.  I watched it.  It’s pretty serious stuff.  You might want to at least check it out. I hope you will.

A Whole New Shaq Attack — Wake Up America!

Shaq & Mom

Boys & Girls Clubs of America Kicks Off Back To School with Shaq & his Mom!

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move ~
Retired NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal and his mom Lucille sounded the morning alarm — literally — as part of one of the Largest Wake Up Calls on Thursday, August 1st in New York City. It was a signal to the start of a unique event where hundreds of teenagers competed in a creative obstacle course designed to dramatize the daily activities of all kids getting ready for their school day. But… they were challenged by difficulties, distractions and disturbances that made their attempt to get to school and receive that final diploma a huge undertaking.

Shaq and his mom know firsthand that by providing kids with a safe, constructive environment and dynamic after school programming, Boys & Girls Clubscan make a difference, especially for those most in need. As a kid growing up, the former basketball star often headed to the Boys and Girls Club to hangout with friends and talk with mentors about his future.

Shaquille O'NealShaq has said it was at the Boys and Girls Club where he learned to be a leader and not a follower.

The event is part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) national Tools for Back-to-School campaign, encouraging parents, families, and communities alike to support academic preparedness for our youth, especially those most in need, by providing access to necessary tools and resources, including Boys & Girls Clubs. As part of this event, JCPenney served as BGCA’S partner in raising awareness about the importance of academic preparedness and the BGCA’S after-school programs which help support kids ensuring they have the right tools to be successful this school year.

Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America

West of CenterMills College Art Museum Presents

West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977

June 12–September 1, 2013Opening reception: Wednesday, June 12, 6–8pmMills College Art Museum
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94613
Museum hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–4pm,
Wednesdays 11am–7:30pm. Closed on Monday

In the heady and hallucinogenic days of the 1960s and ’70s, a diverse range of artists and creative individuals based in the American West—from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest—broke the barriers between art and lifestyle and embraced the new, hybrid sensibilities of the countercultural movement. West of Center illuminates the unique works of these individuals through videos, photographs, drawings, ephemera, and other original and re-created objects and environments, which because of wider integration, have become the foundation for so much contemporary art and culture.

West of centerWest of Center, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, brings together a range of projects by groups and individuals including the Ant Farm Collective, San Francisco’s extravagant theater groups the Cockettes and the Angels of Light, former Black Panther Emory Douglas, Drop City commune in southern Colorado, modern dancer Anna Halprin, light show producers Single Wing Turquoise Bird, and the Womyn’s Lands of Southern Oregon.

West of Center is co-curated by Elissa Auther, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Colorado, and Adam Lerner, Director and Chief Animator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

This exhibition is supported, in part, with funds provided by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Go to the website for more information.

West of Center Opening Reception featuring Cockette Chaos! A Total Extravaganza
Wednesday, June 12, 6–8pm
Mills College Art Museum
Free shuttle service provided from the MacArthur Bart station. 

West of Center Screening: The Cockettes
Palace (1971), directed by Syd Dutton and Scott Runyon, 23 minutes
Elevator Girls In Bondage (1972)directed by Michal Kalmen, 57 minutes
Wednesday, June 26, 7pm
Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College Art Center
Followed by a Q&A with original Cockettes, Fayette Hauser and Rumi Missabou. 

West of Center Screening: Drop City 
Drop City (2012), directed by Joan Grossman, 82 minutes
Wednesday, July 10, 7pm
Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College Art Center

West of Center Screening: Ant Farm
Space, Land and Time: Underground Adventures with Ant Farm (2011), directed by Elizabeth Federici and Laura Harrison, 77 minutes
Wednesday, July 24, 7pm
Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College Art Center
Followed by a Q&A with original Ant Farm members Chip Lord and Curtis Schreier

West of Center closing reception
Wednesday, August 28, 6–8pm
Mills College Art Museum

West of Center Screening: Anna Halprin
Breath Made Visible (2009), directed by Ruedi Gerber, 82 minutes
Friday, August 30, 7pm
Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College Art Center

Body Dances with Anna Halprin
Saturday, August 31, 2–4pm
Rothwell Center, Mills College
10 USD (Free for Mills College students, faculty and staff)

Hollywood Fringe Is Here!


Get Your Tickets Today!

Hollywood Fringe 2013

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

You won’t want to miss this…  June 13-30.

Since it’s inception, The Hollywood Fringe Festival has just gotten bigger and better every year.  A brilliant undertaking that has not only brought so much more attention to small theatre in Los Angeles, but has, re-vitalized theatre altogether in this city.

New and existing playwrights, outstanding scripts and performances, from musicals to drama, comedy improv and one man/woman shows to dance, (there’s film too!) that would not normally make it to the stage at all, are showcased here to audiences desperate for edge, art, entertainment and roller coaster ride experiences.

And one of the most fun aspects of this endeavor is that The Hollywood Fringe has successfully brought people back to Theatre Row and got them walking – YES WALKING in LOS ANGLES!, curious, adventurous and enjoying the urban life of Santa Monica Blvd and it’s partnering streets, vendors, theatres and more.

I’ve got a ton of tickets already and am trying to cram in more.  But if I had one recommendation to give anyone all year round, it would be to come for the authenticity!  

In the meantime, because of the enormous expansion of the festival, they could use a little help.

Our friend Colin Mitchell at Bitter Lemons, posted a letter today by Hollywood Fringe Festival Director, Ben Hill, talking about what it takes to, in just three years, become the largest performing arts festival West of the Mississippi. And, why an extra donation helps the artists who participate to receive 100% of the box office from their shows.  It’s a win win all around.



The Model Critic Reviews: We Fall Down, We Get Up

We_Fall_Down_Reviewed by Carlos Stafford, The Model Critic


RG Dance Projects is a newish modern dance company with impressive dancers, headed up by choreographer Ruben Graciani, himself a dancer who performed with Mark Morris from 1994 through 1999.

Friday night, Graciani’s group of dancers presented to a sold-out house, three bold dances. The most impressive piece was the final offering of the evening, We Fall Down, We Get Up. Backed by twelve men and twelve women in a vocal chorus, Emily Craver, Jacob Goodhart, Stephen James, Emily Pacilio, and Leslie St. Jour gave an all-out passionate and focused performance of final redemption and salvation.

“This work is an exploration on one’s boundaries; both those we create for ourselves and those we inherit.”

The dance begins with the dancers rolling, tumbling, crawling onto the stage in a simulated desert landscape. The singers are delivering a wall of celestial, religious chanting that underscores sympathy and salvation for the burden of the human condition. All is heavy and weighty for the dancers–they stumble and help each other.  A red ribbon is strung across the stage in various ways symbolizing prisons and barriers that confine the dancers. Images of squalor, dust bowl-suffering, depression era poverty in the Deep South is echoed in another country bluesy tune–Everything I Got I Done and Pawned.  The dancers get up and fall down, struggle and wilt to the floor– sometimes a bit too long and bit too much. The chorus re-enters with spiritual fervor.

This continues in duets between man and women, man versus man, until in a resolution of wild and harmonious freedom, Indian tabla drumming and sitar strings release the group from their oppression, and ecstatic moments of flying, represented when Emily Pacilio, climbing upon crouched bodies  hurtles through the air with confident liberation, is caught, and repeats the move three times; it increasingly becomes a powerful moment of triumph. Ms Pacilio danced with passion and committed energy here, as well as in Swing and Miss.

“This work is an exploration on one’s boundaries; both those we create for ourselves and those we inherit. I am thinking about how much control we have over the expression of our identity, if some of identifying markers are more or less inherited and permanent.” Graciani.

All the dancers gave their utmost with great energy and conviction. Art isn’t easy–getting an idea conceptualized in movement as metaphor requires the luck and inspiration of a great poet.  There are so many gestures, leaps, twists, turns, and falls symbolizing an idea, that putting it together in a dance is truly difficult. Seeing a piece only once is a challenge, since pieces grow in color and depth as you closely observe.  Rapture, the second dance of the evening wasn’t as successful. The elements were there, the back projection of emotive images, water, clouds, lovers on a wharf, but the choreography didn’t convey the intense message the title suggests. In the Westbeth space, your vision was drawn more to the images on the wall than to the dancers on stage; the dancers became obliterated. Also, the choreography had the dancers strangely chaste, while those on screen were engaged.

Swing and a Miss spoke of the vagaries of love.  In a speedy piece, the choreography was in a classical modern dance mode that had clean and precise lines with first, four dancers in a group, pairings of each man and woman, and lastly, a piece for two women.  Wary approach, wary avoidance. Another peek, another retreat. Love is dangerous, love has pitfalls. The costumes were fun in fiery red and yellow unitards that conveyed robustness, ready and reporting for battle.

Falling_Down_11We Fall Down, We Get Up
RG Dance Projects
Graham Studio Theater at Westbeth, New York, NY


May 17th @ 8pm and **May 18th @ 3pm & 8pm

Edward Villella, The Boy Who Could Fly: Words on Dance

prodigalson-nycb-edward-villellaWords on Dance
Edward Villella
The Paley Center for Media, New York
In Conversation with Crista Villella
On March 11, 2013 this year, the Paley Center hosted a very special conversation between legendary dancer Edward Villella and his daughter Crista Villella (ballet mistress of Miami City Ballet).
Carlos Stafford, The Model Critic was there to share in the history of one of Dance’s most golden boys, his personal struggles and his ultimate triumphs with dance…
Edward Villella is a true legend in 20th Century American Dance. It all began in Bayside, Queens where the scrappy kid was taken from the streets unconscious after some hard knocks and rough play with the local kids.  His mother had seen enough, and put him into ballet where he reluctantly followed in his sister’s footsteps, and was given a full scholarship at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet.  Embarrassed to be there, he would dress in his baseball uniform to go to class, in case he would be spotted by any of his friends. He was ten years old, and was soon called, “the boy who could fly.”
His father was a truck driver in the garment district, and was never pleased with his son’s involvement in dance, so in 1952 when Edward was sixteen, both he and his sister called it quits to ballet, and Edward enrolled in the New York Maritime Academy and soon graduated with a B. S. in Marine Transportation. While there, he lettered in baseball, and was welterweight boxing champ for three years.
He returned to SAB in 1955 and in 1957 was invited to join the New York City Ballet.  Two weeks later he was a corps member, and then Jerome Robbins soon created a principal role for him, Afternoon of a Faun.
He was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1960, and was best known for his roles in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Harlequinade, Jewels, Bugaku, and The Prodigal Son.
Remarkably, he was the first dancer to perform with the Royal Danish Ballet, and the only American to ever have an encore performance at the Bolshoi.  He performed at Kennedy’s inaugural, and danced for President Johnson, Nixon and Ford. He received many honors and awards in his career, and went on to found the Miami City Ballet, where he nurtured, directed, and choreographed for twenty-six years. Now back in his hometown, he has truly become the prodigal son. As he himself said, you can go home again! He will be chairing the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi in June of 2014.
Villella spoke on the rigors the art of ballet imposes on dancers. A television clip of him doing Rubies at NYCB shows exactly what the demands are graphically, as it follows him through his exuberant variations of intense, quick jumping combinations; his entrances and exits, and his collapsing backstage in between. Robbins choreographed Rubies to match his abilities, and apparently got the best possible effort. Villella underscored that ballet is not only tough physically, but mentally, and then moreover, artistically. He always referred to himself as the neophyte, and it seems for good reason. As has been said before, Balanchine didn’t teach so much as inspire, so when Edward came raw to NYCB and was given a role he barely was coached or rehearsed properly. Roles were run through quickly at first, and then dancers were left to figure out meaning, intent, and in Edward’s case, in A Midsummer’s Nights Dream, mime. Balanchine would give clues occasionally, but no coaching as we think of it today. Dancers had to be intelligent and dig into their roles to discover and perform correctly.
He also spoke of the toll ballet takes on ones body.  He said that his own background in sports, in general, didn’t prepare him for the specific demands of ballet. In those days the companies had no physio-therapists available like today, and Villella always suffered from cramping with his fast and explosive technique. Villella always needed a long barre, but Balanchine only took fifteen to twenty minutes, so he started taking from Stanley Williams from the Royal Danish because it suited his body better. Balanchine held no grudges.
In his long and influential career, the most important thing that was taken away from this interview, was that a dancer’s stage live is ephemeral, that as a art form, ballet is like any other art form in that it is handed down from generation to generation; that the exchange of knowledge and wisdom must be transferred to the next group telling them everything. This he did in Miami for his stewardship there.  In Paris, where he took his company after years of work and development he filled houses to 97% capacity for three weeks, and received a warm French welcome. This, for Villella, was the highlight of his extraordinary career, that in many ways no one will ever be able to quantify; he opened the doors to male ballet dancing in America through his great athleticism, unique dedication, and intelligence.
Edward & Crista Villella

Today is World Water Day – Don’t Forget to Turn Off the Tap

World Water DayAccording to Wikipedia, World Water Day has been observed on  March 22, since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared  March 22 as World Day for Water.

This year Danielle Nierenberg,
Co-Founder and Co-President of, the Food Think Tank, decided to share some vital water statistics and also offer some tips for how Americans can save water. Danielle has spent the last two and a half years traveling to 35 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, conducting research on environmentally sustainable ways of reducing hunger and poverty.

Over the last fifteen years she’s had op-ed pieces published in hundreds of publications around the world, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, the Houston Chronicle, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Seattle Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and dozens more. Her research has been featured on National Public Radio, Voice of America, ABC, and CNN.  In other words, you probably should listen…

Celebrating World Water Day by Reducing Water Use in the United States

by Danielle Nierenberg, Co-founder of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank (

The United States is one of the world’s biggest users of water—many Americans use as much water as approximately 900 Kenyans. As a result, water resources in the U.S. are shrinking. In the last five years, there have been water shortages in almost every part of the country, including the worst drought in at least 25 years, which hit 80 percent of the country’s farmland in 2012. Even worse, the damaged land won’t fully recover this year, and at least 36 states are expecting local, regional, or statewide water shortages, even without drought.

The Natural Resources Defense Council expects water scarcity to affect the American South, West, and Midwest the most. Fourteen states in these regions already have “extreme” or “high” risk of water scarcity. Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, and Texas face the most danger because they are expected to see some of the largest increases in population by 2030. Water scarcity is about more than lack of water, it’s about lack of drinkable water. It is estimated that as many as 53.6 million Americans have contaminated tap water.

But as eaters and consumers, we can profoundly reduce water waste and water consumption through the food choices we make. Recent research from the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) shows that a healthful diet and environmentally sustainable diet can go hand in hand.

Here are five steps to save water in the United States:

eat less meatEating a little less meat. Switching from a meat-centered weekly menu to a diet rich in vegetables and grains could save 2,500 liters of water a day! And eating grass-fed and locally-raised meat, eggs, and dairy products can also save water.

steamed vegetablesSteam veggies instead of boiling. In general, steaming vegetables uses less water than boiling, and according to a study in the Journal of Food Quality, it is more nutritious. For example, boiling corn on the cob in a large pot may use 6-8 quarts of water, whereas steaming only uses 1-2 quarts. If you must boil, save the water for your garden, soup stock, or use it to clean pots.

local farmers

Rachel and Ben of Clay Bottom Farm

Provide support for small-scale, family farms. Agricultural subsidies in the United States disproportionately support large-scale agribusinesses over the small-scale producers who are more likely to be engaged in sustainable food production, and may be challenged by drought or commodity price fluctuations. Changes in government support services could reduce this deficit and improve food and water security.

Plant a California Native GardenStreamline water use in home gardens. During the summer months, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that nearly 40 percent of household water is used for watering lawns and gardens. National Geographic suggests incorporating native plants into your garden that are adapted to the local climate and often require less water. Manually watering plants, instead of using automatic sprinklers, cuts water use by 33 percent, according to a report by the EPA. Consumers can also buy self-watering planters, or construct rain barrels that can save you up to 1,300 gallons of water.

food wasteReduce food waste. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reports that nearly one third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted throughout production, storage, transportation, consumption and disposal. Learn about your food’s shelf life and how long you can store food in your freezer. Other ways to reduce food waste are only buying what you plan to eat, using leftovers to create new meals or donating food you can’t use to soup kitchens.


Green Egg Shopper app222 million tons food app


It’s more important than ever that this World Water Day Americans find ways to save every drop.


Welcome to National Proposal Day!

social media newly weds

Did you even know there was one?  Well, this was a first for me.  And it seems that according to the below “newly unveiled stats,” the social media bride and “I do’s” have officially become digital – from live-stream Facebook weddings to Pinterest boards to Skype-ing the dress fitting!

The “What’s on Brides’ Minds” 7th Annual Survey Shows Brides Strive to be Social Media Stars on the Big Day

Social Media Bride on SkypeDavid’s Bridal, the nation’s leading bridal and special occasion authority, says the new tools of the trade are a smart phone or a computer instead of a wedding binder.  The 2013 bride will plan, chronicle and culminate all of her wedding details with the help of social media to do things as simple as assemble an inspiration board to making it possible for family and friends that can’t attend the wedding to be part of the festivities.  Instagram and Twitter enable the creation of special hashtags for guests to photo share during the big day.

The average newlywed couple will broadcast their wedding to the world in what’s becoming a prominent industry trend. Last month, held the first-ever live-streamed, crowd sourced wedding, and Brides magazine is following suit with an upcoming live-streamed Facebook wedding. Companies like I Do Stream and Marry Me Live even offer webcasting services to couples looking to go “live” on the big day. What might have seemed “over the top” years ago, is now becoming a common practice as brides look to say “I do” in unique ways and on multiple platforms.

“Going digital is the new norm for brides and we’re seeing it firsthand.”

Here are the 2013 stats from David’s Bridal for The social network of wedding planning:

pinterestBrides are pinning, posting and texting their way to the altar!

  • The online bride: 59 percent of brides say online resources like Pinterest, Facebook and blogs are the best places to find wedding inspiration.
  • Pinterest dibs: With Pinterest celebrating its third anniversary this month, it has quickly become the ultimate tool for brides-to-be. Nearly half of brides (46 percent) wouldn’t use an idea they found on a friend’s Pinterest board!
  • Fittings on your phone:  Dress shopping isn’t confined to the fitting room anymore!  In fact, 68 percent of brides use technology during their fittings, from texting pictures to family to posting videos on a social media site.

RSVP’ing for the Skype wedding…with a plus one


Can’t make the wedding? No problem! Just pull up a laptop and watch from there.

  • Virtual wedding guests: Now trending, nearly half (49 percent) of all respondents say they would consider “skype-ing” their wedding.

Social media should come with a handbook

Wedding guests beware! Think twice before hitting send on your mobile!

  • Digital rule of thumb: 56 percent of newlywed women think it’s important to have social media rules at the wedding.
  • The dress is off limits: 61 percent forbid their bridesmaids from uploading pics of the bride donning her dress before the ceremony
  • My wedding, me first: 52 percent say the bride and groom must be the first to post a picture of their wedding to a social media site.

Status update: Sue Smith went from being “engaged” to “married”

So much for waiting for the paperwork to go through! Brides want their “friends” to know they’re hitched – pronto!

  • facebook-weddingsFacebook official: Up 11 percent from 2011, 59 percent of brides will update their acebook status to “married” or update their new name within a day of walking down the aisle.

Visit David’s Bridal website for wedding resources, notably the new “My Event” wedding planning app, a social media tool for brides-to-be.

Ed Walks A 3,000 Mile Conversational Journey by Foot

edwalksnewsOn May 15, 2013, Reluctant Habits Managing Editor Edward Champion aims to walk 3,000 miles across America over the course of approximately six months, starting in Brooklyn and ending in San Francisco. It will be an extraordinary, digital age, oral history project that will unfold in real time in the spirit of Studs Terkel, Peter Jenkins, and Charles Kuralt, talking to many people along the way and visiting many overlooked towns across twelve states (and possibly more if you’ve got a couch and are willing to host).

Writing dispatches as he makes my his west, his goal is to forge an unprecedented chronicle of American life in 2013.

“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process; a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.” – John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

Think of this as a microbudget Federal Writers Project for the 21st century.

A six month project like this requires financial resources, which will be devoted to food, lodging, technological services, and equipment that will keep him transmitting communications from the road.

GOTMLA donation

So Ed has started an Indiegogo and being so inspired by this daunting yet exciting journey Gia On The Move has decided to help get him started.

Ed Walks CampaignHelp make this project possible.

You can donate to the Indiegogo page.  But if you can’t donate, spread the word and let other people know how one person can start a movement!