Monthly Archives: September 2016

Dance Festivals…Alive and Well in Albuquerque



Well Done Shift Dance. What a treat your Shift Dance Festival offered for the dance aficionados among us. We Albuquerqueans are privy to so little contemporary dance in our corner of the wild west making this event …well…an EVENT. The Festival opened last night (Thursday) and runs through Saturday night at the North Fourth Art Center and it is a professional presentation of the first order. The whole production, at least what we’ve seen so far, is polished; the PR is obviously good, attested to by a full house last night; the programs looked slick; and, best of all, the four dances were strong in themselves and complimented each other perfectly. The mood of the evening’s work ranged from somber to sexy and the dancers showed off the considerable talent available on the local scene.

I am not a dance critic and besides would never be able to critique these dance friends impartially. We all have our favorite pieces of art of whatever genre but the important thing about the Festival is that it’s a chance to see enough dance to even have favorites. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week. Good Luck Shift Dance.


The Curtain Goes Up and Dancers Appear



You may have noticed that I’ve paid slight attention to dance since 2013 when Global DanceFest was put to bed. After focusing on contemporary dance much of the time for 25 years or so I was so through—not however because I no longer loved my dancer friends or the art itself. I just couldn’t prostrate myself to one more grantor or worry about one more half full house or have one more person tell me how much they appreciated the brilliant dance I was bringing to Albuquerque when they’d only been to one performance in the past year! There. Promise. That was my One Long Whining sentence. (Trump is going to make more people ashamed of whining—as the disreputable master of the act—than all of our mothers ever managed to do with their stern admonishments against the nasty practice.)

Enough about me—except for the part about how I’m regaining some interest in and pleasure from Dance. This is about dance—or about how the next few posts will be about dance. The Shift Dance Festival is about to happen—the curtain is going up tonight at the North Fourth Art Center. I’ll write more about the artists and the work later but for now it feels good just to say I’m excited about the next three nights of dance.

Shift Dance is a company of young dancers who have banded together to bring some excitement back to the Albuquerque dance scene—which right now does not exist at the local level and certainly we are invisible at the national and international level. So Shift wants to fix this sad situation. Great Good Luck to Them.

Here are a few photos from a couple of nights ago when Allie Hankins from Portland was rehearsing; I watched for awhile and am happy to report that she is a most fascinating performer…I say fascinating especially because she made me curious, wanting to know what was coming just around the next moves, the next words, the next shift… And that’s all I ask of artists really…just please make me curious. Allie is performing Friday night, so be sure and come to that if you’re here in New Mexico, and definitely come tonight and Saturday night as well…IT’S ALL GOOD.





Just can’t do that daily thing can I? Making goals I pretty much know I cannot attain keeps me forever a failure…in which case I try harder, right? Or just eat more doughnuts and drink more wine. Here are the highlights of the week so far:


Sunday Pork chops at Steve’s, brilliant sunset on way home (to which my smart phone camera doesn’t do justice but it’s better than a photo of a pork chip), and last but most certainly not least… I. Finished. The. Good. Wife. Done. Seven seasons in under one year.

What an ending. Harsh. Whatever happened to happy music and waltzing into the arms of your great love? Instead Alicia starts down a long drab hall, slumped and rumpled, but as she walks her stiff upper lip persona comes to the fore, she straightens up, shoulders back, pulls her suit into place and you just know her lips are pressed tightly together, eyes flinty, stray wisp of hair whisked off the forehead…yeah, you just know she’ll be okay though always deep-down sad. Will really really really is dead dead dead, the investigator’s disappeared, but Alicia’s still got Peter to whip into shape, and Eli has her running for high office, and she needs to slide the firm out from under Diane’s pissed-off nose. So Just Do It, Hil….I mean Alicia.’

Maybe when Hillary is feeling down…is saying to herself, ‘Screw it, who needs this grief,’ she calls Julianna and says, ‘Okay tell me again how this all ends.’


Monday.  Work.


Tuesday. Womaned the front desk at Hillary Campaign Headquarter this morning. Almost everything’s on line now so there’s none of the bustle of olden times…ample bumper stickers, yard signs and free t-shirts are also a thing of the past. It’s all happening on social media except for a few elders like us down here manning a desk, calling a voter, who remember how gloriously hectic and crazy these last weeks could be.

I did not watch the debate because Sensible battling Sleaze cannot be a pretty picture but I was most happy the Hillary’s calm smart amused demeanor apparently carried the day.


Pollyanna and Frank Sinatra


I miss blogging when I don’t do it. Since I seem to have blogs for all seasons and reasons—travel, books, my New Mexico environment and even documenting each ordinary day, it should be very easy to post something of some minor interest often. But then life happens and writing get pushed into its back corner and attention focuses on the stuff of renewing auto tags and carrying out the garbage and stopping at the store for milk and driving down the hill to work! There’s the more worthy competition for my time too—studying poetry or Buddhism or the Islamic or Arctic worlds, and hanging out with friends, and netflixing and the gym and….

Blogging stands out among good things though because it is first of all writing and secondly the perfect opportunity for each and every one of us to become brilliant amateur photographers. Instead of scribbling away at my back-bedroom desk and dreaming of a future book, I can, by clicking ‘post’ hurl my deathless prose and ever so brilliant photos into cyberspace for the pleasure and edification of Everyone in the Whole Wide World…or at least my FB Friends and the relatives I’ve coerced into subscribing.

Each of my blogs has its place in my personal blogosphere; sometimes appearing dead, only to spring to life again. Now seems like a good time to revive Today—a good time because ‘if taken correctly’ Today can perk up flagging spirits. Here’s how that happens. If I set out to capture a highlight of my day, I have to find that highlight first and it must be picturesque in some odd or interesting or scenic way. To do that, I must look at the upside, the bright side, the pluses of my ordinary days. In other words, it requires at least a modicum of optimism and a lot of Paying Attention to the hours and minutes as they approach and then pass. And, in those hours and minutes, finding an okay image of a better-than-okay moment in time.

Maybe Today is one of my prescriptions for finding ageing a not-unpleasant process—it makes me Pay Attention. Ignored hours can’t be snatched back and repaired. Childhood, youth, middle age, done, checked off. So, invoking Pollyanna and Frank Sinatra… You see, when you’re hunting for the glad things, you sort of forget about the sad things, Pollyanna said. (Much as I loathed Pollyanna when my mother used her as an example, I’m now seeing the value of her philosophy—otherwise in this election year I would go mad). And can’t you hear Frank singing, “…Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few/September, November/And these few precious days I’ll spend—Paying Attention to my World. Anyone referencing Pollyanna and Frank Sinatra in the same paragraph is obviously old old old. Such a nice hour I’ve spent writing this though. Paying attention.

Sorry for all these words in what is basically a Photo Blog…it’s Saturday morning…a glorious Saturday morning because I have 48 hours ahead to write and think and read and do a little Ancestry detective work and have a lemon garlic pasta and red wine lunch and take a nap and possibly work in an episode or two of the five I have to go of The Good Wife (but that’s not allowed until Sunday night).

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