Dance

Sea Sights

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill
We are in the mid-stretch of the Olympic Games. Where dreams are gold in Rio. In the excitement of champions being made, Dream Team USA inspires a new generation. As Michael Phelps moves through the water like a dolphin in a speedo. Since 776 BC, when the Ancient Greeks held their first Olympiad, the games have been a part of human history. (Although it is believed the games were held earlier, the first written records of the ancient Olympic Games date back to 776 BC, when a cook named Coroebus won the only event of the games – a 192-meter footrace called the stade (the origin of the modern “stadium”) and became the first Olympic champion). Over the next 12 centuries, the Games expanded, adding other athletic events up until AD 393, when Emperor Theodosius I decided to shut them down. Just because he thought they were too ‘pagan’.

Of course, the Olympics did rise again. But, not until the late 1800s.  The first modern Olympics was held in 1896, in Athens, Greece. Thanks to Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France,who founded the International Olympic Committee.

Now, while the world was watching the Games in Rio last week, I was making friends with sea horses. I know that sounds a little odd – considering seahorses or “horse sea monsters” are mainly found in seagrass beds, estuaries, coral reefs, and mangroves, and not on city streets where my car likes to roam. I suspect any connection to the Olympics may appear a bit far-fetched to you too. However, as it turns out, seahorses are world record holders. They are considered to be the slowest-moving fish on the planet. Being that they are such well below average swimmers, they tend to rest a lot. Usually, at the bottom with their prehensile tail wrapped around a stationary object.  It is a bit of an odd fish – as fishes go. Read the rest of this entry »

The Marriage of Architecture and Dance

written by Robyn Wyman-dill

 

It’s Bastille week. When the flavors of France come out and dance in local bistros in celebration of Independence Day. Perhaps, it is the shared ideals of the French and American Revolutions and our common-colored flags – billowing in the wind with patriotic blue, white and red washes – that keep our French-American relationship evolving positively. And why the great portrait of Marquis Lafayette, a Frenchmen, has been hanging in the US House of Representatives chamber – since 1830. Over two centuries, the American-French cultural, historical and economic exchange has continued to get better.

Yes, indeed. The US has seen an immigration of the highest standard in terms of artistic enrichments from our French-speaking friends. Like Louisiana cuisine, Dijon mustard, French-trained chefs, exquisite French wines and Trader Joe’s pop-up sponges. While the lavendar fields of Provence cross the pond in soaps and fragances, the Tournées Festival brings contemporary French cinema to American college and university campuses every year so that more than 500,000 students can fall in love with French films. Oh la, la.

Lucky for Southern Californians, their weather seems to suit French creativity.

When Cirque de Soleil first came to LA, the company had just enough money to cover a one-way ticket for their performers. But, when Angelenos went to see them, they went wild. Their 1987 Los Angeles Arts Festival performance attracted the kind of critical attention that sent Hollywood a knocking. The French-Canadian powerhouse for theatre arts has been raising the bar on entertainment ever since. And then there’s dance.

If the gravitational waves could hear the sound of amazement rising in skies, it would be coming from audiences watching the dance company, Diavolo, founded by French Choreographer and Visionary, Jacques Heim. This company has been dazzling audiences around the world and re-envisioning modern dance in southern California for a quarter of a century. Read the rest of this entry »

Fade Into Maroon 5

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

FADE IN: July 22, 2011, CHULA VISTA, CA. Cricket Wireless Amphitheater, Maroon 5 with Kevin DeGraw. Tonight will be the night that shines pockets of light on me. I can feel it. It will be my first Meet and Greet and I’m excited. The occasion will also be my first Maroon 5 concert, which is kicking of their North American tour. It marks my second time sighting of Jesse Carmichael in over 20 years. First in this decade. (The primo tics have been provided by Jesse Carmichael, keyboard player and son of Director/Cameraman Bob Carmichael, who I had worked with in television commercials.) My twenty-something year old dates tonight are Miranda, who is my best friend’s daughter, and Miranda’s best friend, who shall remain anonymous. Because she is anonymous content, after all. Read the rest of this entry »

Hot to Trot Week

by Robyn Wyman-Dill

Another hotter than ever week trickles in, bringing humidity to southern California.  Much to everyone’s discomfort and surprise. Yet, according to the Christian Science Monitor, heat waves coupled with high humidity have been on the rise(in terms of frequency and intensity) for more than 20 years here. It’s just taken this long for everyone to notice.

Let’s talk about the weather. Heat waves come in varieties. Southern California has two.  A daytime heat that tends to be dry and a nighttime heat that holds onto the high humidity throughout the day.  It’s the nighttime heat that gets you every time.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem to affect the festive spirits here.  Because, during all this oppressive heat, there are happy feet dancing ‘moderne’ at the Laguna Dance Festival, models strutting their stuff on the catwalk at Style Week OC and the finest horses jumping fences to win the ASPCA Regionals at Blenheim Equisports Park. I coined it, ‘a hot to trot week’ for obvious reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

OC FASHION WEEK

 

 

 

 

 

photos by Robyn Wyman- dill

September

blog by Robyn Wyman-Dill

September is my favorite month of the year in the western hemisphere. This season, the changing tides seem to be headed for the better with California on the verge of becoming the first state in the nation to enact the one-use plastic bag ban!  The California Senate has voted 22-15 in favor of just such a bill which is expected to be approved by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown this September. Coming to supermarkets soon, the measure – – will ban grocery stores from handing out single-use grocery bags with purchases and provide money to local plastic bag companies to help them retool their wares to make heavier, multiple-use bags that customers can buy.

Now considering more than 10 billion plastic bags are used in California each year(According to an estimate by Californians Against Waste, an advocacy group supporting the bill.), this is exciting news. For more in-depth chatter about plastic see http://rjwdcreative.com/blog/2014/08/15/the-plastic-wrap/.  Meanwhile some 3,000 miles – that’s about 1350 kilometers – away, two albino lobsters made a rare appearance off the coast of Maine.

Little did I know lobsters come in colors. Like calico, blue, yellow, red, albino and split-colored. Read the rest of this entry »

You Should Be Dancing

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

Express yourselves. Shuffle to the left. Slide to the right. Shake, shake, shake.  Yield. Push. Tilt.  Shake, shake, shake. Shall we arabesque?  Under curve.  Shake, shake, shake.

It’s a dance renaissance.  Made possible by the genius of Reality TV.  With shows like Dancing With the Stars(see our post  http://rjwdcreative.com/blog/2012/11/16/a-slice-of-ballroom-dancing-with-the-stars/) and So You Think You Can Dance. Followed by spinoffs like –  Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition and Dance Moms. Dance has tapped into an international TV audience.  Who have roots in popular culture. An audience suddenly eager for artistry and the avant-garde in classical, modern and ballroom dance.

Now hear this.  Year after year, world-class dance companies come to the southern California shores and perform their programs with charisma.

Read the rest of this entry »

On Point In Orange County

blog and photos by Robyn Wyman-Dill

While I am waiting for my friend’s recipe for chunky guacamole with cilantro, chopped red onions and lime juice(It is also made with green onions.)a plane with 239 passengers ‘went missing’ over the Indian Ocean. Bringing lots of tears and fears and uncertainty to everyone. To temper the terror of the unknown, I step into a darkened room full of strangers. My movie of choice is Gravity in 3D.

Suddenly, I am at one with the stars looking down on earth.  In awe of my new perspective. As I leave the theatre, I feel authentically high on the universe.

There is still no sign of the missing plane with 239 passengers on earth. There is also no email in my inbox with a recipe for guacamole.  There is an invitation to OC FASHION WEEK, however, and it looks inviting.

I’m just in time to catch the last three show events of the five days. So, beam me up Scotty, ‘cause I’m headed for Prowl, House of Style and Couture.   Read the rest of this entry »

The Upside of Ukelele Music

Blog by Robyn Wyman-Dill

 

Photos courtesy of www.taimane.com and jakeshimabukuro.com

 

Like water, happiness is a natural resource.  Vital to the health and well-being of life. Poets like to say it makes the heart sing.  Causing a warmth to well up inside you.   For example…

 

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Off the Beaten Track – Santa Monica’s Local Color

by Robyn Wyman-dill

 

Anyone who loves to travel likes to feel part of the local color – even if it’s momentary.  To find it, we decided to set our course – far from maddening crowds and tourist traps – deeper into the soul and heart of Santa Monica.   Here’s what we found. Read the rest of this entry »