Tuesday Tunes: Michael Flatley!

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

 

 Today is the final day of our St. Patrick’s Day

celebration and what better way to end it than with…

 

 

The Lord of the Dance: Michael Flatley!

 

 

I will be a dancer until the day I die

 

Flatley is a native of the South Side of Chicago.  He is of Irish American background, being born to Irish parents. He began dancing lessons at 12 and, in 1975, became the first non-European resident to win the World Championship for Irish dance. He is a trained amateur pugilist as well as a proficient flautist, having twice won the All-Ireland Competition. In dance, Flatley was taught by Dennis Dennehy at the Dennehy School of Irish Dance in Chicago, then went on to produce his own show. After graduating from Brother Rice High School, on Chicago’s Southwest Side, he opened a dance school.

Flatley created and choreographed the original Riverdance and led the show to great success as the intermission act in the Eurovision Song Contest on April 30, 1994. Flatley then starred in the full-length show that was developed from the seven-minute number.

After the show’s first run in London, Flatley left Riverdance in late 1995 due to problems over creative control. He then produced, directed, and choreographed Lord of the Dance, which played mostly in arenas and stadiums instead of theaters. He also put together a dance production called Feet of Flames in 1998. He later went on to produce another version of that show with around 50% different numbers from the 1998 show. Titled Feet of Flames: The Victory Tour, he toured Europe in 2000 and the U.S. in 2001.

In December 2001, Flatley became the first recipient of the Irish Dancing Commission Fellowship award, an honorary degree in Irish dance, and was simultaneously made a Fellow of the American Irish Dance Teachers’ Association. Irish America magazine named Flatley Irish American of the Year in March 2003. In 2004, Flatley received an honorary doctorate degree from University College Dublin, and that same year received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in New York.

Flately’s latest Irish dance show is Celtic Tiger, which opened in July 2005. The show explores the history of the Irish people and Irish emigration to the U.S., fusing a wide range of dance styles, including jazz. The show also includes popular elements from his previous shows, such as Flatley’s flute solos and the line of dancers in the finale.

In 2007, The Freedom of the City of Cork was conferred on Flatley at a ceremony in Cork’s City Hall. In 2008, he was conferred with the Freedom of the Borough of Sligo at a ceremony in Sligo City Hall. The Variety Club of Ireland presented Flatley with their Entertainer of the Decade Award in 2008.

In the fall of 2007, Flatley and a troupe of male dancers performed on Dancing with the Stars in the U.S. In 2008, he appeared as a guest judge on an episode of the show, filling in for Len Goodman. Also in 2008, he performed the solo “Capone” from Celtic Tiger on the show. Flatley was also the host of the 2009 NBC series Superstars of Dance.

Flatley returned to the stage in 2009 for a limited run of the “Hyde Park” version of Feet of Flames in Taiwan. His return was met with multiple standing ovations and the run of shows had to be extended to meet the demand for tickets.

In 2010, he returned to headline the Lord of the Dance show, with performances in arenas across England and Ireland, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Lord of the Dance 3D, the film of the return tour, debuted in theaters worldwide in 2011.

Also in 2010, Flatley launched The Garden of Music and Memory in Culfadda, County Sligo, the village his father left to seek a new life in America. The ceremony included a speech and an impromptu performance of one of his father’s favorite tunes.

In 2011, he was inducted into Irish America magazine’s Irish America Hall of Fame.

Flatley released a flute album titled On A Different Note in 2011. The 25 tracks include airs and tunes he has played in his shows, other traditional tunes, and new compositions.

 

 

Rivedance! Seven minutes that started in all at the 1994 EuroVision Song Contest

 

Feet of Flames Solo 1998 London

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWZAuMhRp1A

 

Dancing with the Stars 2008
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-btZEPuH88

 

Fun Facts About Mr. Michael Flatley 

 

Flatley was the first American to win the World Irish Dance Championships and he also won numerous All-Ireland Flute Championships.

From 1978 to 1979 he toured with Green Fields of America, and in the 1980s he toured with The Chieftains.

He received the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship in 1988.

In May 1989, Flatley set a Guinness Book world record for tapping speed at 28 taps per second.

Flatley was named one of National Geographic Society’s Living Treasures in 1991 for mastery of a traditional art form by a living person – the youngest person at that time ever to receive this accolade.

Flatley broke his own record for tapping speed in February 1998, by achieving 35 taps per second.

Flatley also received Guinness Book recognition in both 1999 and 2000 for being the highest paid dancer, earning $1,600,000 per week and for having the highest insurance policy placed on a dancer’s legs at $40,000,000.

MFA Mondays

MFA Mondays

MFA right

 

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Framers!

 

Confessions of an MFA: Day 1

 

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about connections in dance and the dance community.  I’ve come to the conclusion that, really, the relationship between a dancer and company, a teacher and school, an artist and product, all follow the path of a romance.  First, there’s a honeymoon phase – everything is exciting and new, every word spoken is brilliant, every action is appealing.  Then you stumble upon your first fight.  Suddenly, those parts that were once so endearing are now incredibly irritating and need to change right now.  Finally, you settle into a comfort with each other, knowing and accepting the quirks and, hopefully, making each other a little bit better.

Such has been the nature of my relationship with dance.  It feels as though there are constantly parts of me in each phase of the relationship, continuously cycling between fighting with each other and comforting each other.  We break up and get back together.  It’s a messy and confusing relationship, and perhaps not always the most healthy one.  But when it’s good, it’s so good, and so I can’t let it go.

About six months ago, I made a decision that, many days, feels like the craziest one I have ever made.  Without a job or a plan in place, I packed up an oversized Uhaul, attached my car to the hitch, and drove across six state lines to move from the Bay Area to Denver, Colorado.

For many people, this would be a big deal, you probably should have done it sooner situation.  For me, the queen of planning, organizing, and budgeting, this was an epic, earth shattering life change, one which I did not handle particularly gracefully.  There was a great deal of time spent crying into a blanket, staring longing at a bottle of wine and realizing it was only 1 pm on a Tuesday, and so opening it was not acceptable.  I think I probably said “I’m getting on a plane back home tomorrow!” at least ten times.

In this haze of tears and wine (although it didn’t get opened at 1 pm, it certainly was opened eventually), I started to reflect on what exactly it was that I was missing so intensely.  Of course I missed my friends and family and knowing my way around.  But what truly lay at the core of my sadness was that I felt so alone.  I no longer had a community of any kind that I belonged to, and that was something I hadn’t ever experienced.

As an artist, our community is my inspiration.  The work that my friends, colleagues, and mentors are doing is what motivates me to do the work that I am doing.  Without being a part of that community in a new city, I felt completely devoid of stimulation, devoid of creativity.  I felt alone with my tumultuous relationship with dance.

I came to the realization that the dance community is my web of well-being.  They are the people that I go to when I want to sing the praises of dance and when I need to vent on how dance has treated me.  They are, for lack of a better description, my girlfriends.  And even though our community may not always be in the honeymoon phase, I think we always reach a place of comfort and support.

Slowly, as the months have passed, I am starting to find my dance community here.  It’s certainly not something that can be forced, but something that I can keep trying to build and develop.  It’s a new relationship and I just hope to hold off our first fight for as long as possible.

 

—————————

Mary Grimes is a dancer, choreographer, writer, teacher, and working artist living in the Bay Area.  Since receiving her MFA in Performance and Choreography from Mills College, she has started working as a dance writer and critique, writing for such magazines as Dance and Dance Studio Life.  She has had to opportunity to work with accomplished choreographers including Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, Molissa Fenley, and Marc Bamuthi Joseph.  Her choreographer has been presented nationally.  In the future, Mary hopes to continue her work as a dance writer and is excited to see where this path will take her.

Free Events Thursday

Free Events Thursday

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

Enjoy nature trail, bird watching, wildlife and forests at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. Calm your senses with a leisurely stroll through our 155-acre nature sanctuary with 5 miles of beautiful hiking. Located just 4 miles west of Downtown Houston.

  • Spring Native Plant Sale (Saturday, March 15 – March 16 and Saturday March 22 – March 23 at 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) 

 

How I See It: Houston Architecture

March 13, 2014-April 18 at 5:30 pm

Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capital,

Discover Houston architecture through the eyes of high school students in this Opening Reception of “How I See It: Houston Architecture.” This juried exhibition of local high school photography is for FotoFest 2014.

Price: FREE!!!

 

Relax With Yoga

Every Saturday, 9 am

Discovery Green

1500 McKinney on the Grace Event Lawn behind The Grove Restaurant.

This yoga class brings together elements of tai chi, kung fu, balance techniques and energy building poses. No pre-registration required.

Price: FREE!!!

 

Gaze At The Stars 

Reservations begin February 26

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center

Humble at 20634 Kenswick Drive

Learn about the planets, stars and other celestial bodies at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center’s Stargazing event.

Price: FREE!!!

 

“These Birds Walk” Houston Film Screening

March 13, 2014

River Oaks Theatre
2009 W. Gray St, Houston, TX 77019

Sundance Nominated film “These Birds Walk” by Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq may be FINALLY coming to Houston. The film follows the life of runaway street children in Pakistan and the samaritans like Abdul Sattar Edhi who seek to care for them while living amongst them.

For those of you haven’t heard of Abdul Sattar Edhi, he is a guy who has been working for and living amongst the poor of Pakistan since 1947 to create rescue programs for over 20,000 abandoned infants, rehabilitation programs for over 50,000 orphans, training programs for over 40,000 nurses, and hundreds of food kitchens, shelters, and clinics for the mentally handicapped.

Price: $11 

 

Architects of Air

March 15, 2014 – March 23, 2014

Discovery Green
1500 McKinney Street, Houston, TX 77010

Back by popular demand, Britain’s Architects of Air returns to Discovery Green with Miracoco, a one-of-a-kind stunning new luminarium! Inspired by the Lotus Temple in India, the monumental, inflatable structure is a dazzling maze of winding paths and soaring domes designed to generate a sense of wonder at the beauty of light and color. Rising almost 30 feet in the air and occupying half a football field, Miracoco can be appreciated by people of all ages, cultures and abilities.

The line will close when the number of people already in line exceeds the number that will go into the structure by 6:30 pm. Admission is limited to 80 people in the luminarium at one time.

Price: $10

 

Battleship Texas Centennial Celebration

March 15, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.

3527 Independence Parkway South
La Porte TX 77571

This event is a celebration to honor the Battleship TEXAS, her legendary history and the men who served on her. The festival will be held on the grounds surrounding the Battleship TEXAS and will feature educational exhibits, a World War I and World War II historical zone, ship tours, a children’s activity zone, concessions, shops and live entertainment throughout the day including Robert Earl Keen, Reckless Kelly, Charlie Robison, and Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis. The day will end in a celebratory fireworks display.

Price: $20

 

6th Annual Festival “Russian Spring Celebration”

March 16, 2014 at 3:00 – 6:00p.m

2349 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005

It becomes our tradition to invite Houston public and visitors of the city to celebrate the end of winter in style of Russian folk holiday. We offer delicious home-made bliny or Russian pancakes, which symbolize the sun. Also on sale will be another traditional Russian food – savory piroshky. The guests will have a chance to purchase original hand-made Russian souvenirs.

“Flying Balalaika Brothers”, the popular group from Austin, will provide the entertainment. The group plays various music: from Russian folk to bluegrass, country and rock. Their lively performance would leave no one unmoved. This year we will introduce to our guests a folk choir “Sudarushka”. Vadim Angerov, the well-known Houston musician will accompany them on the button accordion. There also will be special activities for children.

Price: $10

 

Come Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at The Flying Saucer

March 17, 2014

15929 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX 77479

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Flying Saucer Sugar Land will be selling pints for $3 all day.

Price: FREE!!!

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Tunes: Jean Butler

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

 

 

It’s March! Tuesday Tunes is all about Irish Dancing and its most famous dancers!

 

           Jean Butler

 

 

 

Jean Butler was born in Mineola, New York. Her mother, Josephine, is from County Mayo in Ireland. She has an older brother, Michael, and a younger sister, Cara. She started ballet and tap classes at the age of four. She eventually quit both. She began Irish dance lessons at the age of six, which she quit promptly. “I hated it,” she says. “They made me stand with my arms at my sides for two hours. So, I left. I was too young.” She tried Irish dance again at age nine, this time with a different dance teacher, Donald Golden, whom she considers to be one of the most influential people in her life. About a year into Irish dance, she became very serious with it and quit the soccer and baseball teams.

Jean has performed with Green Fields of America and Cherish the Ladies. She debuted with The Chieftains at Carnegie Hall at the age of seventeen, and toured with them on three continents. In England, Butler met Irish dancer Colin Dunne and they performed together in Mayo 5000 in 1993.

In 1994, under the invitation of producer Moya Doherty, she performed in a seven-minute intermission piece at the Eurovision Song Contest entitled Riverdance. The piece was co-choreographed by Butler with Michael Flatley. The response was so explosive that it was extended into a full show, starring Jean Butler and Flatley. The show toured for about a year. Flatley then abruptly left the show over creative control; six months later she was joined by Colin Dunne. They then danced at the famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York. This was later put on DVD. After a long and extremely successful run with the show, Butler also eventually left Riverdance.

She and Dunne (who had by then also left Riverdance) collaborated again to create the show Dancing on Dangerous Ground, which was based on the ancient Irish legend of Diarmuid and Gráinne. It opened in London in 1999 to critical acclaim, and then in New York.

She premiered “Does She Take Sugar?” on 12 April 2007 at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin.[10] With Colin Dunne and George Hook she is a judge on the Radio Telefís Éireann reality series Celebrity Jigs ‘n’ Reels.

She retired from active dancing in 2010.

In January 2011, it was announced that she had designed and released her own jewelery line. The collection was launched at Showcase Ireland at the RDS later that month.

 

Riverdance 1995: The Countess Cathleen

 

The Late Late Show: Tribute to Michael Flatley 1998

 

Andy’s Bar  byKila