Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cuban Revue in New Bedford

The performance we saw last night has the featured picture on the Zeiterion's playbill, a dancer with a gorgeous red skirt flaring out and up. It was the first Block Party of the season, a special event which includes a tent on the street with a themed meal before the show, in this case, Arroz con Pollo, plantains and flan. A small tent without enough tables and food served in those trough-like paper bowls. Oh well.
Beautiful theater, great seats and seven live musicians on stage. Great show with fifteen beautifully trained young women versed mostly in the Ballet Hispanico, in heeled shoes instead of the French Ballet that everyone knows with those torturous toe shoes. They came out very impressively with their castanets. The Flamenco number included the long trains on the gowns making them look like peacocks or caterpillars. I missed the men who bring such fire to Flamenco.
Afro-Cuban dance was given a brief showing in long white gowns.
The reason I sprung for the tent tickets was for dancing after the show. Surprisingly, it was a Brazilian drum corps for music. The leader did a creditable job bringing the assembled older mostly non-dancers up to enjoy themselves on the tiny floor. "Hola, Hola, Hola!" "Put your hands in the air!"
Then a tiny, dark-skinned carnival dancer in a skimpy outfit with lots of fringe and a headdress appeared to lead us in some line dancing. The step she called Samba is very fast triple steps.
My daughter-in-law and I learned the steps and then I took notes.
Joe sat in the back wishing it were a Salsa band with partnered dancing.
Then the director invited the young performers to come enjoy the entertainment in their matching Listz Alfonso Troupe warm ups. They enjoyed the carnival style for about a half hour and when they left so did we.
40 minutes home, just like Betsy's Ballroom.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Baby steps

At the Portuguese American Association meeting, I saw an oblique mention of work I was involved in. "Plans are underway to refine some of the wording in the Bylaws in order to regain the 501(c)3 non-profit status."
I also talked to a local Portuguese American who said there had been a huge fight when the building was first built. Her ideas of how the building would be used did not jibe with the ones who ended up being in charge. I thought they were too polite to get anything done. Seemingly, there is a tendency towards infighting that I did not know about. I will stay on the edges, innocent of controversy if I can, happy not to be mentioned by name.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Allergic reaction

"Breaking out in hives" seems to be a common result of a shellfish allergy which can develop in adults such as myself after living on Cape Cod for 35 years and eating everything, now I have to be careful.
If I look like I do tonight, I won't need a costume for Halloween! I just hope it settles soon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not my favorite

Probably because I didn't like the whole Rock 'n' Roll theme, I was really bored by last night's show. The music they chose was just loud and frantic which has to be why they only danced Tango and Paso. The music continued loud and frantic with artists I never heard of. No interesting shorts. Audrina left, but I didn't care since she never seems to care herself. Do not give that woman a job on the soaps.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

DWTS Best of

So far I saw the end of last night's show and the opening, the viewers' choice, the 10 best all time dances on DWTS. Loved it!! Will have to save that tape!
Also, I am ready to buy a copy on whatever newest technology is most reliable.
I even liked the little notes posted on the side, though I did not appreciate the MASS lottery numbers appearing.
If Maks and Brandy were the top scorers, the rest of the show cannot be all that good.
The Rock 'n' Roll marathon showed the dancers leaving in the order I would have predicted, a foreshadowing of tomorrow's elimination.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Long ago, when we first moved to the Cape, I heard the phrase, "Mercury in Retrograde", a fascinatingly obscure sort of reference from astrology meaning that when that planet goes backwards or something, you can blame any number of mechanical catastrophes on it. But you still have to go through normal channels to fix them.
Our lights began to flicker again this morning, this after a major power surge fried a number of appliances last Monday.
Also I can't seem to download the last of the Flamenco videos I took.
And it's time to program the VCR to record tonight's DWTS!
Meanwhile, my New Age friends tell me Mercury is not at present in retrograde, so I can't blame that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekend choices

As a member of the Portuguese American Association, I will make pies this morning for the Harvest Dinner Dance Saturday.
At 1:00, I teach the dance and stretch class, then I drive off to Stockbridge to meet my sister for a work weekend dealing with our aunts' stuff that got shipped to the three-story mansion/storage facility.
Probably, I'd have gone to the Harvest dinner Dance, but I'd have left early because I'd have gone to the Stage Door Canteen at Camp Edwards for sure.
Home Sunday by 5 PM for Ron's foxtrot.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

DWTS 11.5

Season 11 week 5 is now over.
I had some electric problems and the VCR had only a Vague Chance of Recording, so I saw most of the dances on the jumpy feed.
Good for me they had Maks and Brandy show their top-scoring Quickstep again. It was jumpy even without a digital feed. He looks better without the beard, and she seems to be handling him well, a nice girl.
Jennifer Grey showed her nervous side, but danced well again, to good scores.
I also saw Bristol confused by the Jive, dance pretty well.
Rick Fox was hard to judge online since his smoothness is part of his appeal.
Kurt Warner still lets his head drop and they don't say anything. Maybe an injury?
Kyle Massey got penalized for all of Lacey's disco moves in the Foxtrot.
Audrina wasn't going to look sexy since she looks vacant, so the eat-an-onion deal was not necessary, but it is the thing I am going to remember forever. I remember Tony as one of the competition dancers in the Richard Gere movie, Shall We Dance.
Finally, thankfully, Florence and Corky are gone. I believe they stuck Rick and Jennifer up on stage with them just to soften the blow. I would have compared her dancing with Bristol and Kurt, but she has comparable 'star power' to those two.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Harvest Ball at WHOI

Although the flyer said open to WHOI people and guests, really the event was very welcoming to dancers with few Woods Hole connections.
Awesome band - Dave Richardson outdid himself in getting in some snazzy musicians. He is now at the Buzzards Bay Tavern instead of the Trowbridge.
His website:
Beautiful tent with heaters and sides, plus a very nice floor for dancing.
The grad student dancers made good use of it, though they don't know at their age how rare a good floor is.
Bringing Sam and Ali made us late, but putting the granddaughter to sleep nicely makes the next day so much better. Ali had a wonderful time. We all did.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

West Coast Swing Movie

"Love N Dancing" came out and didn't even hit my radar - maybe West Coast is too far out of the mainstream. Plot: A deaf guy decides to try for the US Open Swing championship with his amateur partner. Both have to disentangle themselves from other people. From the trailer, I have to say Tom Malloy is no John Travolta. Anyway, Linda Succi (another new name) is showing it in Cranston, and I'll try to get hold of it somehow - not the library.

Friday, October 15, 2010

3 is enough

1. Dance & Stretch at 1 PM
2. Flamenco at 7 PM
3. CCBD in Yarmouth as soon as I get there.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Scathing review

The New York Times dance reviewer does not like So You Think You Can Dance, especially the show on tour.
The young dancers are "vapidly appealing", the choreography appalling.
It's fun to read such an excoriating essay, and to know that I will not be spending any money on it, not that I thought I wanted to sit through such a show. The audience is young and adoring, she says.
We are going to our first Broadway show, Fela, the musical about the Nigerian musician activist, with consistently excellent reviews.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bye Sitch

Boring results show.
I went to my favorite TV commentary website to try to identify the singers.
Kim Reed says, "We'd rather have seen Florence eliminated, but Sitch has been released back into the wild for more fist-pumping antics by the beach."
She also said, "It was supposed to be the Tango, not the Lift-go."
So, I miss not getting to see it tonight.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

busy night

With the night off from teaching, we went to see The Social Network, very well done movie, realistic, historic, a bit upsetting to see young people behaving badly. Good for discussion, and I read two New Yorker articles, one about the man, another about the movie.
So - from my tape of DWTS, I saw Jennifer Grey rock the acoustic stage in the round with a brilliant Argentine Tango. Now I believe in her as the winner. Derek must also be a great teacher, though if I magically became DWTS material, I would personally choose Tony.
Audrina focused her eyes much better, but the music was "Somebody to Love" for the Argentine Tango. Why do Jefferson Airplane songs acoustically?
Brandy seems to be working on her comfort zone with Maks, and looked great, though you could hardly see her body with the diaphanous chiffon drape.
Rick Fox's little South American mustache had me convinced when he walked on stage.
Kyle Massey's foot work showed up nicely.
I suppose they want to keep Florence Henderson, but surely they could hire an older dance teacher instead of Corky the ham actor.
Karina calls her partner 'Sich', and she still can't stop laughing, but she said, "He would do anything to keep me safe in a lift." And he did.
I guess the judges are tired of Kurt Warner because they marked him rather harshly.
My choice to leave, looking at the show from a Disney point of view.
Or maybe Bristol Palin who is still uncomfortable.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Local events

WHOI Harvest Ball this coming weekend sounds like fun - food by Chef Roland, Dave Richardson Band with a vocalist, lots of people I know. Maybe too small a dance floor, but what the hey. Plus a good cause, Cape Cod Center for Women.
Ralph Stephens has offered to be the WHOI employee whose guests the dancers are.
Then, Friday November 5, 7PM Rock Against Cancer at the Landfall in Woods Hole features blues rocker Commander Cody Band. "Special light fare available." Food to go with your beer.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Always fun

I'd like a poll of dancers at the Conservatory last night - Did I seem edgy?
The evening moved faster than usual. Plus we ran out of food.
Jay, the guy from the Vineyard, has been studying. I did more Viennese than ever before. My teacher only covers left and right turns. He used whisks, hesitations, a point step, a Very Quick turn, and something else that I didn't recognize but kept going anyway.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Another place - Rhodes

In August, we went to the Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet ballroom in Cranston, RI, the most beautiful ballroom I know, though sometimes hard to find, for the Cavalcade of Bands, and the Providence Federation of Musicians is having another one Tuesday October 26.
It was crowded with social dancers, and a few ballroom dancers were there, too. For $10 advance tickets, it's a bargain - 5:30 to 11 PM.
Inspiring - a battle of the bands is a good idea.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Never heard this word before - means stupid in Brit-speak, from the old Norse 'gaurm' for attention. "That TV show features a bunch of gormless twits."
I never heard of 'ceiling eyes' before either - denoting the tendency to stare off vacantly, sometimes at the ceiling, similarly showing lack of attention. Our 'star', Audrina Pattridge is a prime example, as I read in the DWTS review. There was that clip of her pro, Tony, asking her what was going on and her reply that she just needs to focus. There are rumors it is a medical condition, also affecting Paris Hilton for whom the word was coined. Not an endearing trait, but perhaps forgivable in a dancer.

Monday, October 4, 2010

3 in a row

Another successful evening!
Our studio party did very well with high praise for the lesson and time to visit with old friends and new.
The number of people at the lesson was perfect, and they all could already dance, so they appreciated a nice new step put into a combination.
A "utility step", Ron called it, useful in all the "Latin Motif" dances, so I played the other rhythms for people to work it out. It seemed more like practice time than the dance atmosphere I get at the Conservatory.
Ron stayed to dance with the students, which was just plain nice.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cuban Revolution Restaurant and Bar

The Providence venue was featuring my son's percussion teacher, the Dominican Jesus Andujar and his band, and I had the first Saturday of the month off, so I packed us up for a visit to the always fascinating granddaughter and her parents. After dinner, we went to 60 Valley Street with printed directions - do not visit Providence without a map and or directions, certainly not with a GPS.
We found the converted warehouse space with the band in full swing (not 2 hours late as some Latin bands are). Terrific keyboard, a drummer in addition to Jesus with five congas, and a flautist who took up shakere, guiro and clave at times. They riffed on "Toma Chocolate" before the break. Afterwards, Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" slid briefly into "On Broadway" for fun.
The food was cheap and varied though a bit dull in the spice department, as our son had said. We shared a sandwich in order to keep the alcohol under control, and to try it out. I got a flan to go because I felt sorry for the waiter - too quiet for a Saturday night. Their downtown location gets the crowds.
Joe pointed out to me that there were three attractive women sitting alone, which is unusual. He still surprises me when he notices stuff like that - typical guy, but mostly they wouldn't tell their wives.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

JazzFest Falmouth

Torrential rains in the afternoon tapering off in the evening kept attendance at Falmouth's JazzFest Stroll minimal.
I stayed with Livio Freitas in Puritan throughout except when he took breaks. Mwalim was not at Eight Cousins because his basement flooded. I'd have bought something there.
Next door, the Inkwell bookstore is gone leaving an empty space with a dance floor in front, only a couple of offset pillars. We should have a benefit dance there if the landlord would donate the space for an evening. A trio of teen jazz musicians were there - not danceable.
Then it was onward to Grumpy's where George Gritzbach was part of the JazzFest. The beleaguered town manager was there with a young girlfriend, living it up. I like his ex-wife. An independent candidate for Delahunt's seat was campaigning, but we just danced until the floor got too crowded.
Tonight we will check out a Salsa band in Providence. The leader teaches at the Conservatory. I wish Jon Baptiste best of luck in the recital hall, and we'll be there next week.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sell out

A new initiative brings people in, so we sold out Ron's lesson followed by dance at the Cape Cod Dance Center.
It remains to be seen if it works monthly.