“The relationship is more intricate than just a bunch of passive
women who let a man do whatever he wanted,” Aimee Graham Wodobode, a
dancer who plays a wife named Sewaa, said during a recent interview
with five of the wives, called queens, at a Midtown restaurant. “They
believed in his mission and were ready to die for him.”
Wilson, whose character, Najite, met Fela when she 14 and described him
as a combination father, mother and comrade in the fight for African
democracy, said, “These were women who stood for something, who spoke
out with Fela against the corrupt African government.”
Koomson, whose character, Funmi, a former dancer, is pregnant in the
musical and hangs back with the band, said: “Fela could not have done
what he did by himself. Afrobeat music really takes a community. What
it requires is polyrhythm, many different sounds. In many ways that’s a
metaphor for community, for the call and response of African music. The
queens are that sound, that affirmation.”
Rhythm & Motion dance studios used call their home here in San Francisco. I did work exchange here on and off, checking students into classes. I got my inspiration for starting Root Magazine from the mess of flyers all over the building, each colorful xerox competing with the next for attention. I bitched and moaned with the rest of the woman at the lack of changing rooms and old toilets. I got completely creeped out when venturing into the basement for some chairs and spotted the old dusty bar that seemed to be evidence of speakeasy days.
Before the studio moved into their new location in conjunction with the ODC Dance Theatre, this was a place many people considered home. The main dance studio, with its wooden vaulted ceiling and old stage had the space for upwards of 20 live musicians playing for a huge dance class. It had leftover room for those who snuck in as an impromtu audience. You can see the windows of the main studio ingulfed in flame in the picture above. Those windows would steam up like crazy and we'd crack them open breathing the cool air outside unless our teachers wanted them shut to keep extra warm!
The classes go on somewhere else in the city, but this building was a special place and it will be missed.
This online mag was never intended to be snarky or malicious but the amount of traffic to the site based on Marie Osmond's fainting spell was off the hook. YOU, yes you, asked for it! (quite honestly this train wreck is hard to resist.)
As usual, someone with little rhythm won Dancing with the Stars, but here is one for your viewing pleasure that really needs to be studied by a team of psychologists:
Before you pass an unfavorable judgment on Marie Osmond's bizarre performance on Monday night's Dancing with the Stars
finale, please remember that she's going through an extremely difficult
stretch in her life right now...
we really can't blame her for succumbing to to the enormous pressure of
making the finals by engaging in an act of self-sabotage in donning
that ill-considered baby doll costume and flailing limply through
"Start Me Up."
Ferry ticket info: Thursday, November 22,
2007. Ticket sales and boarding begins at 4:15 am. The first departure
from Alcatraz Landing is at 4:30 am with 5 additional departures
leaving Alcatraz Landing approximately every 15 minutes. The last
departure from Alcatraz Landing will be at 6:00 am. Boats begin
returning from Alcatraz Island at the conclusion of the Sunrise
Tickets can also be purchased by calling
415 981-7625 or at the Pier 33 Ticket Booth. The ticket booth opens at
4:00 am on Thursday, November 22, 2007. Tickets are $12.00 per person.
Children 5 and under are free.
I'm giving thanks for the Huffington Post. I will not watch Fox News because I'll be angry all the time. Thus I completely missed this new outrage until reading the Huffington Post today.
Its Native American History Month... and this is what they have to say? I'm dumbfounded.
In just a few short days, America will observe Thanksgiving, a
celebration of the most successful border incursion by illegal
immigrants in the history of North America, where pilgrims from
fancy-pants Europe came to America to perform all of the work that the
Native Americans weren't willing to do, like give each other smallpox
and kill off their own culture. It's a day for Americans to gather,
typically on the New Jersey Turnpike, and give an annual boost to all
the people who foolishly thought they'd get rich making cranberry sauce.
By and large, this is a holiday that most Americans seem to have
down, but Fox and Friends' Brian Kilmeade still doesn't think we know
the true meaning of Thansgiving - and so he took to the airwaves today
to tell the world about how the Pilgrims signed a "peace agreement"
with "his favorite Indians." He seems to think that those Indians were
something called the "Okawi" (they weren't: they were Wampanoag, also
known as Patuxet), but that's beside the point. They were "the good
Indians," Kilmeade says.
Yes. That's right. The "good" Indians. Wonder what they're thankful for this holiday season?
People power can win this. Burma's powerful sponsor China can halt the crackdown,
if it believes that its international reputation and the 2008 Olympics
in Beijing depend on it. To convince the Chinese government and other
key countries, Avaaz is launching a major global and Asian ad
campaign on Wednesday, including full page ads in the Financial Times
and other newspapers, that will deliver our message and the number of signers. We
need 1 million voices to be the global roar that will get China's
attention. If every one of us forwards this email to just 20 friends,
we'll reach our target in the next 72 hours. Please sign the petition at the link below -if you haven't already- and forward this email to everyone you care about.
After decades of military dictatorship, the people of Burma are rising – and they need our help.
Marches begun by monks and nuns snowballed, bringing hundreds of
thousands to the streets. Now the crackdown has begun, but the protests
When the Burmese last marched in 1988, the military massacred thousands. If the world stands up and supports their struggle, this time they could win. We're in a race against time-- targeting the dictatorship's main backer China in a global advertising campaign, delivering the petition to the UN secretary-general and sending the Burmese our support via radio.
French broadcaster and critic Jacques Chancel joined the pr
aise: "He spoke in
silence. And what is amazing is that - while so many people speak and
manage to say nothing - for him it was the silence that brought a whole
melody of language."
PARIS (AP) — Marcel Marceau, whose lithe gestures and pliant facial
expressions revived the art of mime and brought poetry to silence, died
Saturday. He was 84.
Wearing white face paint, soft shoes and a
battered hat topped with a red flower, Marceau — notably through his
famed personnage Bip — played the entire range of human emotions
onstage for more than 50 years, never uttering a word. Offstage,
however, he was famously chatty. "Never get a mime talking. He won't
stop," he once said.
A French Jew, Marceau escaped deportation
during World War II — unlike his father, who died as Auschwitz — and
worked with the French Resistance to protect Jewish children.
biggest inspiration was Charlie Chaplin. Marceau, in turn, inspired
countless young performers — Michael Jackson borrowed his famous
"moonwalk" from a Marceau sketch, "Walking Against the Wind."
performed tirelessly around the world until late in life, never losing
his agility, never going out of style. In one of his most poignant and
philosophical acts, "Youth, Maturity, Old Age, Death," he wordlessly
showed the passing of an entire life in just minutes.
"Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?" he once said.
Minister Francois Fillon praised Marceau as "the master," saying he had
the rare gift of "being able to communicate with each and everyone
beyond the barriers of language."
In recent decades, Marceau took
Bip from Mexico to China to Australia. He's also made film appearances.
The most famous was Mel Brooks' "Silent Movie": He had the only
speaking line, "Non!"
"France loses one of its most eminent ambassadors," President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a statement.
Marceau's former assistant, Emmanuel Vacca, announced the death on France-Info radio, but gave no details.
was born Marcel Mangel on March 22, 1923, in Strasbourg, France. His
father Charles, a butcher who sang baritone, introduced his son to the
world of music and theater at an early age. The boy adored the silent
film stars of the era: Chaplin, Buster Keaton and the Marx brothers.
the Germans marched into eastern France, he and his family were given
just hours to pack their bags. He fled to southwest France and changed
his last name to Marceau to hide his Jewish origins.
brother Alain, Marceau became active in the French Resistance. Marceau
altered children's identity cards, changing their birth dates to trick
the Germans into thinking they were too young to be deported. Because
he spoke English, he was recruited to be a liaison officer with Gen.
George S. Patton's army.
In 1944, Marceau's father was sent to Auschwitz, where he died.
Later, he reflected on his father's death: "Yes, I cried for him."
he also thought of all the others killed: "Among those kids was maybe
an Einstein, a Mozart, somebody who (would have) found a cancer drug,"
he told reporters in 2000. "That is why we have a great responsibility.
Let us love one another."
When Paris was liberated, Marcel's life
as a performer began. He enrolled in Charles Dullin's School of
Dramatic Art, studying with the renowned mime Etienne Decroux.
a tiny stage at the Theatre de Poche, a smoke-filled Left Bank cabaret,
he sought to perfect the style of mime that would become his trademark.
Bip — Marceau's on-stage persona — was born.
once said that Bip was his creator's alter ego, a sad-faced double
whose eyes lit up with
child-like wonder as he discovered the world.
Bip was a direct descendant of the 19th century harlequin, but his
clownish gestures, Marceau said, were inspired by Chaplin and Keaton.
Marceau likened his character to a modern-day Don Quixote, "alone in a fragile world filled with injustice and beauty."
in a white sailor suit, a top hat — a red rose perched on top — Bip
chased butterflies and flirted at cocktail parties. He went to war and
ran a matrimonial service.
In one famous sketch, "Public Garden,"
Marceau played all the characters in a park, from little boys playing
ball to old women with knitting needles.
In 1949, Marceau's newly
formed mime troupe was the only one of its kind in Europe. But it was
only after a hugely successful tour across the United States in the
mid-1950s that Marceau received the acclaim that would make him an
Single-handedly, Marceau revived the art of mime.
have a feeling that I did for mime what (Andres) Segovia did for the
guitar, what (Pablo) Casals did for the cello," he once told The
Associated Press in an interview.
As he aged, Marceau kept on performing at the same level, never losing the agility that made him famous.
you stop at all when you are 70 or 80, you cannot go on," he told The
AP in an interview in 2003. "You have to keep working."