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Arts on the Horizon

By Rodger Skidmore

I don’t know the answer, what’s the question?

     The song behind the credits of the Netflix show Grace and Frankie is Stuck In The Middle With You. As of this writing, the Baltimore Orioles are stuck in the middle of the American League East – just one loss behind the Yankees. So, do you care? Actually, that’s not the question. The question(s) could be, Where will the Orioles be on May 10th – 11th and May 18th? Even more importantly, where will you be – relative to the Baltimore Orioles? For a heads up on the Orioles, check the Vegas betting line, it should give you a clue. But for you, you should be at Ed Smith Stadium – with or without the Orioles.

    If you are in the stadium on May 10 or 11, the Sarasota Orchestra will be there with you. They’ve finished their gig at the Van Wezel and have moved on into summer, playing the infield at The Ed like the pros that they are. I know that you all attended the Orchestra’s previous 5 annual concerts there but this one is different. The theme for 2019 is Women Rock. And rock they will, with Grammy-nominated Cassidy Catanzaro, Katrine Rose from The Voice, and that jazz vocalist from Broadway, Shayna Steele. They will be singing, and the orchestra will be playing, tunes made famous by Aretha Franklin (You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman), Tina Turner (Proud Mary), and Joan Jett (I Love Rock n’ Roll). There will also be tribute songs to Minnie Riperton, Janis Joplin, and Carole King.
Info at SarasotaOrchestra.org.

     In keeping with the musical theme, the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is having a ‘70s Soul Party at the stadium the evening of May 18th. And for a bit of trivia, Baltimore finished first in the American League East in 1970, ’71, ’73, ’74, and 79. Perhaps that’s why the WBTT is saluting the ‘70s, they are actually celebrating Baltimore –  and by extension, Ed Smith stadium and Sarasota. Hooray! And let’s hear it for Stevie Wonder (Superstition), Marvin Gaye (Let’s Get It On), The Jackson 5 (I Want You Back), and The Commodores (Brick House). Details at WestcoastBlackTheatre.org.

    The best ballpark franks will be at all events, along with beer and soft drinks. And, as always, each evening will end with a big bang – Fireworks Galore. Fireworks Galore is not the name of someone appearing at the Comedy Club downtown but is still a great way to end an evening.

It’s May and things are blooming – and booming

     Blooming, in that there will be a number of new dance works popping up at this year’s Sarasota Contemporary Dance festival held at the Cook Theatre, at FSU’s Center for the Performing Arts May 2 – 5 (3 evening performances and a matinee). As always, the theme, and name of this end-of-year event, is Evolving / Revolving. Revolving, or bringing back past shows that were judged to be the ones the audience loved the most. And Evolving, new dance concepts and creations that will push contemporary dance a few steps into the future.

     Booming, in that there will also be fireworks. Fireworks of the mind, where your synapses snap, crackle and pop with these old favorites and new works. Rachael Inman, FSU grad / co-founder of Fuzión Dance Artists (which became Sarasota Contemporary Dance), will be performing a new aerial dance piece, perhaps infused (infuzed?) with Middle Eastern movements. There will also be a piece by Gerri Houlihan who studied at Juilliard with Anthony Tudor and members of the Martha Graham  dance company. Ms. Houlihan also taught dance at FSU for ten years. Another FSU alumna is Pamela Pietro, currently on the faculty of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. One of her works will be performed as well. Seems like FSU is a central hub for dance in America, whether it be traditional ballet or modern dance – great choreography, teachers and dancers. Dancers  – alphabetically they are A, A, B, D, F, H, J, L, R, R, and, of course, S. Want their full names? go to a performance. You won’t be disappointed. Info at: SarasotaContemporaryDance.org.

Just say yes!

     Marie Kondo writes that you should unclutter your life – if something does not give you joy, just get rid of it. Couple of questions here. When you acquired that whatchamacallit, did it give you immediate pleasure or did you get some pleasure out of anticipating what you would do with it, and thinking about how much extra joy you would receive at some future date? If it gave you immediate pleasure, it probably was (depending upon your age) an ice cream cone or the first time you ever ________.  Either way, it doesn’t take up any space now (forget about your hips) and you can experience it again anyway (you hope). If it is a continuously tangible item and future joy has not arrived, Ms. Kondo says “Hasta la vista, baby.” But if you chuck it, you are also throwing out that future potential enjoyment. Remember, it’s not location, location, location but location, potential, availability. And what are you going to do with that space that just became available – buy something from Ikea? I think not. 

     So, what to do with those layers of textured colored vinyl tiles you’ve been hoarding since living in Greenwich Village? Throw them out or go to the Ringling Museum and see Natasha Mazurka’s exhibition of, guess what, textured layers of colored vinyl. Also, some of her paintings and embossings. Hey, in your garage, behind the three cans of paint thinner, aren’t there some things that need embossing? The point being, if you wanted to do something with something but haven’t gotten around to it – re-apply yourself. One way is to go to the Ringling and look at their art – they actually have quite a bit. And some of it keeps changing (they’re not throwing it out, it’s circulating from one museum or collection to another). Take a look at what some artist did and, if you think you can do it one eighth as well, go ahead and try. Another case in point is Wood block printing. Until May 5th (go now) there are prints from Japan in a number of styles. You can buy rubber stamps of bunny rabbits and stars and let your 5 year old granddaughter play with them, or you can get some balsa wood and carve/scrape some images on it, glue the result to a small piece of plywood and you’ve got your own wood block. Your 5 year old granddaughter, ink pad in hand, will have fun stamping it all over your dining room walls. But first, go see how the masters did it. Or take a course at Ringling College and create something better.

     The Searing Wing of the Ringling holds temporary exhibitions. Now through September 8th is an exhibition titled Interpolations: Artworks from the Ringling and Monda collections. Sort of more from the Ringling in that Keith and Linda Monda have promised some of their works that are on display to the Ringling. Nice for the Ringling – and later, nice for us. Details at Ringling.org.