Linda Novit, ENV Magazine
Whole Foods, yes they play a large role in our life.
My friend , Milagros Bernales Lavalle and I belong to the same spiritual home, the Johrei Center (see it online) The pillars of our faith are, spiritual healing (Johrei) Organic Farming, The Arts, Sangetsu(Japanese flower arrangements) and the creation of Paradise on Earth, one person at a time. Since we have no Organic Farm nearby (they have them in California, Brazil and Japan) we buy our foods from Whole Foods, where we know that what we buy will be 100% organic!
And now, let me tell you a little bit about a whole lot of woman,
Milagros Bernales Lavalle
Fine Artist, Sculptress, Poet, and with her pet project “Art on the Beach”, an online gallery, which brings artists who need discovering to the exhibits she produces in conjunction with the Johrei Center, Milagros is a woman on the move! She also creates beautiful Sangetsu flower arrangements, which we hold classes in, now and then at the center.
Today, ENV is interviewing Milagros (miracles, in Spanish)
ENV: Hello Milagros, you are as beautiful as your art! Where do you come from?
Milagros: From Valencia, Venezuela.
ENV: Tell me about your origins.
Milagros: Afro Peruvian, Italy and Spain. Bernales is a Sefardic Jewish name. Lavalle is my mother’s maiden name, it’s French. My mother is of a mixed race. My father is of a mixed race, and I’m the remix. The Lavalle’s are all musical artists. My mother is a singer. I’m the only artist that works with her hands.
ENV: So, you’re all mixed up!
Milagros: Not at the moment!
ENV: Tell me about your studies. I see in this book, “ 100 Contemporary International Artists” that there is an article about you. It looks as if you’ve studied just about everything, but I think we’ll mention scenography, interior design, color psychology, What’s that?
Milagros: Basically, it’s people’s reaction to a color. The human eye and brain capture each color in a different way. The color red is the most difficult for the brain to adapt to.
ENV: Wow! That’s interesting. But then, why is it that men seem to like “women in red”?
Milagros: Because red creates attraction. In the kitchen, it will make you really hungry.
ENV: And what colors do you like to paint?
Milagros: I like using warm colors, yellows, orange, terracotta, earth colors, I believe they are the colors that vibrate from my soul.
ENV: Milagros studied art at the Ateneo de Valencia, and then here in Miami, with the artist Eva Castell, from Argentina. Right, Miami. What brought you to Miami?
Milagros: I had a dream! I dreamed that I was on the top of a mountain, an enormous American eagle and I perceived that the eagle wanted me to mount it, so I did and it took me to America. Before that I wanted to go to Europe, but that dream changed my mind. I realized that I had to come here, I had a calling, and naturally it happened.
ENV: I heard that you have a funny bone. Is that true?
Milagros: I inherited it from my grandmother. She’s now 102. On her 100th birthday, she danced from five in the afternoon to five o’clock that morning. She was hilarious! She believed that a sense of humor helped one to survive. Besides that, she still believes in love.
ENV: Wow, you sure have an interesting background. I bet you have 100 stories. I think we’ll have to have another interview sometime. Now I think it’s time to view the reflections of your soul, your art..
“Jeanne Bresciani travels through the Realm of Ecstatic Dance through the Ancient and Eternal Legacy of her Muse Isadora Duncan”
Linda Diamond, ENV Magazine (all rights reserved)
Performance at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center Tivoli, N.Y. 5-11-13
“ISIS to ISADORA: The Ancient and Eternal
The Isadora Duncan International Institute Dancers Director: Jeanne Bresciani & Mary Di Santo Rose co Artistic Directors
In a celebration of the month of Isadora Duncan’s 136th anniversary of her birth in l877, Jeanne Bresciani brought a renewed flame of choreography in a program Isis to Isadora at the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, N.Y. On May 11.
In the words of Jeanne Bresciani: “Duncan has been termed a ‘prophet by generation of readers of her works and exponents of her dance…’ Duncan harnessed body and soul, mind and heart to conform to the demands of consciousness.”
This program included not only original works by Isadora Duncan but also new choreography in the spirit of Duncan by Jeanne Bresciani, which captured an ecstatic spirit that truly reflected the pioneer herself in tone and in content.
Dancers in the program were: Mary Beth Hraniotis,Yi-Hsin Lin, Laura Pravitz, colleen Quinn, Julie Lyon-Rose, Vicky Sloat, Sasha Lehrer, Laure Charnow, Salome Egas, Stefanie Goldberg, Glenna Joyce, Megan Killeen, John Li, Laurie Mlodzik, Victoria Ortiz, Celeste Royo, Mari Sakahara, Catherine Tsujui, Leandra Ziegler, and Rebecca Zuckerman.
In between each choreography was a voice over speaking quotes from Isadora as well as excerpts of prose and poetry by Rumi, Plato, Jhung, Ancient Egyptian papyri, Pindar, Longfellow, Mircea Eliade, Whitman, Sappho, Shelley, and Dylan Thomas.
ISIS to ISADORA by Jeanne Bresciani opened the program with music by Resphigi. In this work the choreographer melded both Grecian frieze influences in art with those of Egyptian style. As the goddess figure, the choreographer was imbued with an ecstatic and sensuous grace which contrasted with the group of dancers, representing a Greek chorus. Movement that flew across the stage in horizontal planes captured the altered state of the spirituality of ancient priestesses.
BALL WALTZ was by Isadora Duncan, accompanied by Schubert and gave the full spirit of Isadora’s style .
OLYMPIADE by Jeanne Bresciani was a playful interlude capturing the Olympic games in ancient times. Dancers in red costumes ran and leaped in a marathon with edgy playfulness. The music accompaniment was by contemporary composer Arkenstone.
Other works by Isadora Duncan included Roses from the South, which featured the accomplished dancer and guest artist Mary di Santo Rose, and Bacchanale, which were danced by the Isadora Duncan Institute dancers with true spirit and dynamics reflecting the soul of this Modern Dance pioneer.
Original works by Jeanne Bresciani included a powerful statement entitled STREAM of LIFE. This choreography began with three horizontal chiffon panels across the entire stage replicating a body of water and provided hypnotic pathways that evoked the passage of time, and journey of life. Punctuated by symbolic gestures of the dancers, a symbolic feeling emerged of letting go, loss, recapturing lost souls, and imagery of finding and losing something in life .
FORCES of NATURE by Bresciani with music by Grieg began with an ecstatic solo by Peter Hraniotis who waved a blue scarf, symbolizing the spirit of nature. This work emphasized the merging of nature and art upon which Isadora’s choreography and philosophy was founded.
As a prelude to the last work NEW ARTEMESION by Jeanne Bresciani with music by Vangelis, a voice over in the dark invited the audience to remember that we are “the children of the universe and the breath of the undying stars…”
This grand finale featured the entire Isadora Duncan Institute dancers, in a chorus of intricate dance phrases while Jeanne was center stage in sculptural poses that also were emblematic of future vision. The choreographer dancer, director brought ecstatic heights of an eternal spirit of the dance of Isadora in this last piece.
The evening of Isis to Isadora brought new dimensions of understanding of the great heritage to Modern Dance that has been shaped by a free spirit and renegade, who truly paved the way for innovation in the important cultural domain that we have received in our era. The fresh approach of new works in the spirit of Isadora, along with the in depth research and devotion of Artistic Director Jeanne Bresciani helped the audience see the links that continue to dance into the future.
The AMAS Musical Theatre in NYC presents
Elaine Bromka in a one woman show “TEA FOR THREE”
Linda Diamond, ENV Magazine (all rights reserved)
“TEA for THREE” is a one woman show depicting the changing roles of women through the First Ladies personalities backstage at the White House. Elaine Bromka is the leading and solo actress who also collaborated with Eric H. Weinberger in writing this unique play.
Refreshing in the personable format in which Lady Bird (Johnson), Pat Nixon, and Betty Ford speak to the audience directly , we are drawn into an intimate revelation of each of their characters and personalities. Beyond that historical events are woven into their personal reactions and concerns at the time.
Spiking humor into the dialogue, Elaine Bromka is a consummate artist who clucks at her jokes, and delivers her lines with great aplomb, sending the mixture of sadness, humor and personality quirks of each of the First ladies beyond the stage itself, melting all boundaries between actor and audience.
Underlying the main theme of the writers, that seems to be the reverse of the Feminist movement later has an ironic twist presented by the outspoken Betty Ford. Betty Ford, whose character is portrayed last, after the other two have had their say, represents a refreshing perky persona who couldn’t care less what others think of her . She mentions her brief stint in the Martha Graham Dance Company (second company group). Her artistic and whimsical outlook on events in the White House mark a break in the prim and proper manners and protocol that the two others speak of in their monologue with the audience.
The director Byam Stevens has delivered a fast paced informative and entertaining evening as the audience travels through the well researched historical events that punctuated important moments in American history through the eyes of the First Ladies, and namely Elaine Bromka. Cleverly inserting music of the Beatles, and other tunes of the times, in between costume changes provided the audience with nostalgic food for thought.
TEA for THREE is a most enjoyable, educational and thought- provoking play giving us insights into the role of the wives of the Presidents, as influenced by the times in which they lived.
SUMMER SHORTS-2013 GIVES DIRECTORS MANZELLI AND AMADEO, ACTORS ADJAN AND DURKIN A CHANCE TO SHINE IN DELIVERING COMEDY
Ron Levitt, ENV Magazine, Florida Media News
For most of its 18 years, City Theatre has lured South Florida theatre goers to its venues, promising and delivering small but laughable versions of comedy by ensemble casts — entitled “Summer Shorts.” This year, it follows tradition – with an 11 mostly comedic, roughly 10-minute -each collection of fun scripts performed by six talented actors.
What makes this year’s summer theatrical funfest so alluring are the distinguished approach of two of the directors and the special acting skills of two of those actors whose performances can only be described as “stand out.”
Four directors shared responsibility for the 11 “shortlets.” –John Manzelli, Antonio Amadeo, Margaret M. Ledford and Mcley France. And, they all manage to provide perfect timing and imaginative productions, but Amadeo’s work on IZombie by Kendra Blevins and Manzelli’s’s deliverance on The Gay Agenda, written by the brilliant Paul Rudnick are particular theatrical moments. Ditto for their combined effort in co-directing the amusing comedy about a married couple, Feel the Tango by Susan Westphall.
At the same time, credit must go to the six professional actors – with special notice to two of them. Irene Adjan is a standout in her monologue in The Gay Agenda, in which she plays a conservative Mid-West housewife who says she is not prejudiced but shows in every spoken word just the opposite. Adjan is masterful, perfectly attired by costumer Ellis Tillman.
And, the brilliant usually – dramatic actor Todd Allen Durkin shows a flair for comedy, as well, Durkin –in several roles – proves he can take on any role, even silly ones, and make them unforgettable. As several of the Summer Shorts characters, Durkin provides fascinating portraits and steals the spotlight.
The rest of the cast also delivers characters designed to keep the audience amused – Ken Clement, Renata Eastlick, Vera Varlamov, and Rayner Garranchan, aided by a group of college student interns.
Along with Rudnick, Westphall and Blevins, other playwrights in Summer Shorts 2013 include Rick Park, Holly Hepp-Galvan, Steve Yockey, Matt Hoverman,Sheri Wilner, Leslie Ayvazian, Nina Mansfield and David Bar Katz. Some of the plays are hilarious, some are outright silly and some seem like they are looking for a reason to exist or scream that they are works in progress. Even a short play can seem unfinished!
But, overall, watching how these shorts play to an audience is a pleasure.
Summer Shorts runs through June 30 at the Carnival Studio Theatre in the Arsht Center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House in Miami. Call 954 462 0222 for ticket information.
They will be followed up by an adults-only presentation– Shorts Gone Wild at Fort Lauderdale’s Empire Stage August t 8 –September 1.
LOCAL AUDIENCE GETS TO KNOW 1937 BROOKLYN FAMILY IN BROWARD STAGE DOOR’S BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS
Ron Levitt, ENV Magazine, Florida Media News
CORAL SPRINGS, FL — When you go to the Broward Stage Door theatre to see Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs – and you should – focus your attention on the second floor bedroom on the left of the magnificent set designed by Sean McLelland.
That’s where two young actors beautifully re-create the 14 year old Eugene Jerome (Josh Lerner) and 18 year old Stanley (Alex Salup) – brothers who bring us back to 1937 Brooklyn. It is in this location in which – through action and dialog – where they go through the trials and trepidations of growing up. They discuss topics such as whether their father (Matthew Korinko) ever masturbated, what their lovely teenage cousin Nora (Mary Sansone) looks like naked, how their mom (Merry Jo Cortada) and widowed aunt Blanche (Elizabeth Simmons) treats them, how the asthma of their 12 year old cousin Laurie (Hannah Wiser) affects the household. In fact, it is in this shared bedroom where they recount almost everything from the risks of gambling to the fears of a world war.
This coming-of-age comedy focuses on Eugene, a Polish-Jewish American teenager who experiences puberty, sexual awakening, and a search for identity as he tries to deal with his family. Simon’s realistic writing provides the audience with the feeling they are eavesdropping on an entire family.
Director Dan Kelley has put together an excellent cast. The entire ensemble – both veteran actors like Cortada, Korinko and Simmons are praiseworthy,
And, so are the younger actors, particularly Lerner (a high school junior at Boca Raton’s American Heritage), who recites Simon’s zingers so well they seem real, Also kudos go to Alex Salur who is a college senior. His portrayal of the older brother is prize-worthy. He has the handsome looks and know-how of an actor waiting to be discovered.
Congrats, too, to the technicians on this production compiled by director Dan Kelley – costumes by Larry Baumann, lighting by Ardean Landhuis and particularly for the nostalgia-recalling two floor set created by Sean McClelland.
However, author Simon is the star hovering atop this show. It is his words which allow the audience to retreat back to 1937 where mom dominates, dad provides the wisdom and brothers learn from and lean on one another. Most of all, it is about the importance of family!
Brighton Beach Memoirs is a semi-biographical play by Simon, the first chapter in what is known as his Eugene trilogy. It precedes Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound. This production will make you want to see the others! Let us hope Broward Stage Door’s producers Dee Bunn and David Torres put more Simon’s plays on their “upcoming schedule.”
Brighton Beach Memoirs runs through June 30. For tickets, call 954 344 7765.