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Feb 07th
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

Literature

Of Pups & Poetry

Of Pups & Poetry

Robert Sward’s new collection spans a lifetime of dogs, loves, losses and poetry

When asked how his poetry has changed throughout his six-decade writing career, award-winning poet Robert Sward replies, “I haven’t changed. I’m still writing about dogs.”
Indeed, his recently released collection, “New and Selected Poems 1957-2011,” is animated with the various canine companions that have graced Sward’s life. And his voice throughout the collection remains relatively unchanged, with a plainspoken, natural language that draws on the American idiom—as well as a quirky sense of humor.

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A&E

Dance Dance Revolution

Dance Dance Revolution

The Tannery’s breathtaking, new nonprofit dance center gives a global spark to the local scene

The vision of the Tannery Arts Center as a creative mecca of Santa Cruz is about to be realized. Artists and their families have already been occupying the Tannery’s 100 riverfront residential units for the past two years. But now, the second phase of the project is drawing near, with the renovation of two historic tannery buildings complete and slated to open in 2012 as the new Digital Media and Creative Arts Center. Among the individual artists and art cooperatives that will occupy the 28 working studios will be The Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for many years,” says Cat Willis, the new dance center’s founder. “Two years ago when I found out that the Tannery was coming to fruition I was intrigued by the idea that it would become a centerpiece for arts and culture in Santa Cruz.”

The Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center will offer children and adults classes in dance from cultures around the globe. Diverse styles will include Afro-Caribbean, flamenco, Bollywood, hip-hop, ballet, Haitian folk, modern, Congolese, Senegalese, contemporary, Afro-urban, street method, urban jazz, tango, and Polynesian. Body-awareness, strength, and alignment classes, such as pilates and Feldenkrais, will also be offered.

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Literature

Post-Modern Family

Post-Modern FamilyLocal author Thad Nodine views modern life in wry, compassionate 'Touch and Go'

There may be none so blind as those who will not see, as the old adage goes. But in Santa Cruz, author Thad Nodine's bracing debut novel, "Touch And Go" (Unbridled Books), there is also no one more perceptive than the blind narrator/protagonist, Kevin Layne. In a patchwork, largely dysfunctional, post-modern family related by need, not blood, on an ill-conceived cross-country road trip, blind Kevin is the one with the surest grasp on (and empathy for) the desires and compulsions that motivate the others' actions—motivations they often keep hidden, even from themselves.

It takes a certain amount of audacity—not to mention skill—for a sighted author to write an entire novel from a blind character's, er, viewpoint. For one thing, there are no elaborate visual descriptions to fall back on—interiors, city streets, the changing landscape on the road, not even the characters' faces. None of which daunts Nodine, who makes a vivid sensory feast out of everyday activities as Kevin relates his experience of the physical world. ("Footsteps spat across concrete at odd angles. A stroller nearly clipped me ... I blustered across alcoves as the heels of my Western boots echoed the recesses.") From Kevin's perspective, Nodine's descriptions of the other characters are so alive—the emotional pitch of voices, how a shoulder or elbow feels to the touch, a fleeting scent of perfume, or sweat, or chlorine, fidgety hands, intimate confessions—the reader may not even realize he doesn't know what they actually look like.

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Literature

The Poems of David Budbill

The Poems of David Budbill

Editor’s note:  In this week’s Poetry Corner we feature the work of David Budbill, who has had eight books of poetry published. He is also a playwright, novelist, gardener, blogger, children’s book author, and performance poet. Budbill’s honors include an Honorary Doctorate from New England College, an NEA fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in the Vermont mountains with his wife, painter Lois Ebey.

You Ask Me Why
Li Po said,
You ask why I live
in these green mountains.

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A&E

Walking for Peace

Walking for Peace

Local author finds a sense of purpose in her tennis shoes

The first words out of the obstetrician’s mouth were: “This child will never walk.” Donna Rankin Love was born with a congenital birth defect, where both of her feet were bent upward at an awkward angle, her tiny toes arcing toward her shinbones. This was 1927, before the days of corrective surgery or orthopedic shoes.

Still, the young mother grazed her fingers over the tips of her baby girl’s skyward-pointing toes and met the doctor’s gaze with three prophetic words: “You wanna bet?”

With nothing more than faith and determination, the mother went home and began the loving ritual of massaging her baby’s feet down. By 15 months, the child had taken her first steps. A lifetime later, the woman who had supposedly been born a cripple would celebrate her 59th birthday by walking more than 3,700 miles from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. on the 1986 Great Peace March for global nuclear disarmament. The following year, she would walk and bus from Leningrad to Moscow on the Soviet-American Peace Walk. Then, in 1988, she would traverse the U.S. once again in the American-Soviet Peace Walk from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco.

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A&E

The Poems of Len Anderson

The Poems of Len Anderson

Editor’s note:  In this week’s Poetry corner, we feature the work of poet and retired physicist Len Anderson, the author of “Invented by the Night” from Hummingbird Press, one previous collection of poems: “Affection for the Unknowable” (Hummingbird Press, 2003), and a chapbook “BEEP: A Version of the History of the Personal Computer Rendered in Free Verse in the Manner of Howl by Allen Ginsberg.” Anderson is a co-founder of Poetry Santa Cruz and serves as secretary-treasurer.

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Theater

Green Piece

Green Piece

Embrace all things amphibian in Shakespeare Santa Cruz’ and the UCSC Theater Arts Department’s new offering

Move over Kermit, there’s another famous frog in town for the holidays. But instead of a motley muppet, this one is based on a character from the beloved children’s tales, “Frog and Toad.” Though officially the winter production of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the local theatrical powerhouse has teamed up with the UC Santa Cruz Theater Arts Department to produce a Broadway-endorsed musical treat.

Based on a series of children’s books written in the 1970s by Arnold Lobel, the “Frog and Toad” stories outline the adventures and misadventures of a friendly frog and a cantankerous toad as they negotiate the ups and downs of living a woodland life. A loveable assortment of forest creatures join them on occasion to create a panoply of engaging characters that entertain as well as teach various life lessons. The effect is that the story creates the perfect opportunity for adorable little animals to sing Disney-esque show tunes. But it wasn’t until 2002 that Lobel’s daughter Adrianne, saw the characters’ musical potential, that she commissioned the production. Thus, “A Year With Frog and Toad” was born. The peppy, G-rated musical quickly became a hit, finding its way to Broadway and becoming nominated for not one, but three Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in 2003. Since then, the production has remained a family-centric favorite in regional theater circuits across the country.

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Literature

The End of Capitalism as We Know It

The End of Capitalism as We Know It

Former Economic Hitman John Perkins discusses the role of economic violence in global capitalism and the need to change the system

Poverty is the worst form of violence.” Gandhi made this observation 50 years ago, when the modern art of economic violence was in its infancy. This form of control has since been perfected by Economic Hitmen (EHM) like John Perkins who have gone to countries like Panama and Iran to strong-arm governments into taking huge loans from financial institutions like The World Bank.

In the book, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” (2004) Perkins revealed his spy-like lifestyle and how he was recruited to be chief economist for a consulting firm that served as surrogate for the National Security Administration (NSA). He realized the loans he was pushing caused poverty and not prosperity in developing nations, benefiting only the ruling class of those countries and the United States contractors hired to complete projects like building dams in South America. As the old story goes, the rich got richer. Perkins is the author of seven other books including “The World is As You Dream It” and his latest, “Hoodwinked,” which offers a blueprint for a new form of global economics.

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Theater

The Reason to Be

The Reason to BeLocal Jewish Theatre company connects people with the Jewish experience

Every time they stage a new play, she’s remembered. Liliana Moraru, in many ways, was at the forefront of getting Santa Cruz’s Jewish Theatre launched, along with renowned local director/teacher Wilma Marcus Chandler and Claire Cameron. In 2009, Chandler gathered a group of actors and crewmembers, many connected with Temple Beth El in Aptos, and asked if they would be associated with putting together large-scale productions at the temple. However, the temple’s schedule wasn’t able to accommodate mounting major theater productions.

The next year, in 2010, the fledgling group morphed into a legitimate company with its first major production, “Crossing Delancey.” Moraru was supposed to be a part of the project, but sadly, she passed away before seeing the play. The company, now on its feet, knew its official name—The Liliana Moraru Santa Cruz Jewish Theatre. From there, the community theater group has been performing and producing steadily, with work that is either written by a Jewish person or has at the heart of the play a topic important to Jewish life.

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Theater

The World Accordion to Al

The World Accordion to Al

He’s lampooned hernias, morbid obesity and surgical catastrophies. Now Weird Al shows us the lighter side of the apocalypse.

It’s tempting to read between the lines of “Skipper Dan,” a Weezer-esque pop-rocker off “Weird Al” Yankovic’s latest album, Alpocalypse. Here, the veteran musical satirist sings from the perspective of an actor who starred in every high school play and graduated first in his class at Juilliard, only to end up as the tour guide on the Jungle Cruise ride at a Disney Park: “Now I’m laughing at my own jokes, but I’m crying inside … I should’ve listened when my grandfather said, ‘Why don’t you major in business instead?’” In light of Yankovic’s own academic creds (after scoring straight As throughout high school and graduating as valedictorian at age 16, he earned a degree in architecture at California Polytechnic State University), could this song be a veiled confession that he’s fed up with playing “My Balogna” and “Eat It” night after night?

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On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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