A FoodWISE moment: Organics, carbon, climate change, and the future of food

“Is organic food really better for the environment?” That was the title of a recent blog post recent blog by Anuradha Varanasi writing for Columbia University’s Earth Institute. This is a great question, and it refers to a study reported on in Nature in 2018  (See original article).   Dozens of commentaries have been published…

Pacific Northwest Ballet corps: Who I’m watching

  Cecilia Iliesiu. She danced briefly as a soloist with the Carolina Ballet before joining PNB in 2015. Since then, Iliesiu has danced as lead and featured performer in numerous PNB programs—and for good reason: she has a powerful stage presence, in part due to her huge extensions, coupled with reliably impressive balance. This was…

Pacific Northwest Ballet corps: Who I’m watching

Cecilia Iliesiu. She danced briefly as a soloist with the Carolina Ballet before joining PNB in 2015. Since then, Iliesiu has danced as lead and featured performer in numerous PNB programs—and for good reason: she has a powerful stage presence, in part due to her huge extensions, coupled with reliably impressive balance. This was especially…

European Dance Tour—and perfectionism

I saw a fascinating duet in Florence in July, 2020—a project of the First Commissions Australian arts. The choreographer was Jack Riley and on offer was challenging ideas around physical perfection—perfection as evidenced in the work of Michaelangelo and other artists. It was launched in the Accademia—where Michaelangelo’s David is housed (and revered). For more (with images), see here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8571851-university-of-melbourne-first-commissions/…

A Jonathan Porretta Tribute

Jonathan Porretta’s retirement this past June was significant—there are few principals who were promoted in Kent Stowell and Francia Russell’s time left in the company (actually, only one – Noelani Pantastico, others were hired by Stowell/Russell but promoted to principal by Boal). Porretta was an audience favorite because he was so fearless in each virtuoso…

Fall, light into dark: Michaelmas season

  We marked Michaelmas tide,  end-of-September, with a traditional celebration–a reenactment of a dragon-slaying and a festive eating of the giant dragon bread. Fall is here. WHWS, Bellingham, WA In the shadow of the Goetheanum, in Dornach, Switzerland, events in Waldorf schools are festive, too. But much of the dragon-exploration occurs in nearby woods. In…

Emotive and neo-classical styles converge in PNB’s opening program

September 28, 2019-October 6, 2019: Kent Stowell’s rousing Carmina Burana and George Balanchine’s complex Agon were monumental successes (yet again) with Seattle audiences.   (c) PNB, Angela Sterling Dancers Karel Cruz and Leslie Rausch in Agon Agon has quite a different feel. Dancers, in simple leotards and tights, are utterly exposed–there’s nothing and nowhere to hide. The…

Trailing of the Sheep Festival–Sustainability challenges in the wool industry

Trailing of the Sheep festival in Wood River Valley, Idaho: For some, it’s on the bucket-list, but for me—it’s just part of FoodWISE thinking and living. Attending the festival, I was able to do some research on the wool industry—while enjoying the sagebrush-covered rangelands, with their dramatic mountain-scapes. The festival is all-things-sheep, including a celebration…

Food as Culture (Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Wood River Valley, Idaho)

Mark Kurlansky’s led the “Food as Culture” talk on October 11 with a beautiful reading from several of his books. He spoke about the cherry-filled Basque cake and the enduring culture that created it, but also the need to dig deep into others’ cultures, to really understand where food comes from. His story about the…

gigi’s dance blog: Some Enchanted Evening — Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake at PNB

FEB 2018 It was quite thrilling to attend a full dress rehearsal of Pacific Northwest Ballet performing Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake (https://www.pnb.org/repertorylist/swan-lake/), on Thursday, Feb 1. The venue was the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall (https://www.mccawhall.com/home) in Seattle, the company was Pacific Northwest Ballet (www.pnb.org). The astute, unshakable Gary Tucker, media relations, warned that the dress…