Presented by La MaMa..
Presented by La MaMa..
I wanted to contribute some words to commemorate your mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Trudy, who was a dear friend and fellow traveler for so many years. It has taken a few days for me to find something that could really say what is in my heart. As you know, she was a very special “force of nature”, and you are all fortunate to have had her in your lives. Sharing her with me and the wide world must have been a challenge at times, but it might also have been rewarding — hearing all of the vast stories of her travels and meetings along the way.
Trudy, was to me, a mentor, teacher, fellow traveler, surrogate mother, energizer, companion in late night giggling, lover of life, lovely dancer, musician poet extraordinaire, artist and project supporter, lover of peace, life coach and dear friend. We shared so many wonderful times together – watching performances, attending shules in Prague, visiting historic sites in Estonia and hanging out in New York City, where I live. Trudy hopped the bus numerous times to New York- where she would attend a performance I produced, or we would go to see something interesting together. Any time of year – she even came here on New Year’s Eve to see the Klezmatics (a founder, trumpetter Frank London was also a dear friend of hers), and got back on the 2am bus to DC.
I met her in the 1980s in New York. I have been trying to remember exactly when, but cannot find the exact moment. We shared love for two virtuoso performers Cecil Taylor and Min Tanaka – two extraordinary artists that I worked with as a producer. We saw them together in New York, at Jacob’s Pillow in Western Massachusettes and other wonderful venues. Trudy always had wise words of caution and encouragement, and she followed my work around the world, often flying to the location of a project to “help out.” Her presence was a joy to me and we shared some really crazy and fun times.
One time that I will relate – there are so many – was more recently in Prague in 2006, when she visited me there. We went together to watch Min Tanaka dance into the chilly Vltava River. (I covered the event for Dance Magazine) One year earlier, Prague had been inundated with a terrible flood. Trudy and I sat on the banks of the river as Min entered the cold water, keeping ourselves warm in the chilly autumn sunshine. Min’s dance was commemorating one year after the great Prague flood – and the reopening of Archa Theater, where he danced annually. (invited by Ondrej Hrab, producer)
Trudy always thought of the best way to support an artist on the road. In this case, she happened to have an instant ramen CUP NOODLE with her, the perfect food for warming up. She handed it to Min after he came out of the water and was drying off on the shore. It was such a brilliant cultural idea – and the exact food he needed to regain his body temperature afterwards. Min was very moved and pleased with her gift – an inexpensive but rich and smart gesture.
Another time, in summer of 2001, we were in Tallinn, Estonia, and the presenter who I was working with (Priit Raud of AugustTants Festival), organized for Trudy to stay at the ornate and exclusive presidential hotel, not an easy thing to do. The day after checking in, she left the palacial abode and moved herself into the Youth Hostel located in the center of Tallinn, declaring the Presidential hotel to be too fancy and “too far from the action.” Although Priit was surprised by her move, we quickly understood what she wanted and what she needed. She did not want to be far from where we were holding daily rehearsals, which she loved to attend and wanted to leave for a nap if she needed and return later in the day. She always gave me feedback about my production work, and kept me going strong. I loved her for that. We used to laugh so hard in the wee hours of the night on the internet together — me in NY and she in Maryland — telling each other stories that made me fall off my chair.
So many memories. I would need a book, and after reading the memories of so many others who were touched by her, it is clear that a book of memories already exists.
TRUDY MORSE (Moma Gila) , April 7, 1919 – August 21, 2013
May her memory be blessed for all time.Forever on my heart.
With love and care,Bonnie Sue Stein, Executive Director and Producer, GOH Productions/New York City
The world class impresario, Beate Gordon died peacefully in her sleep, December 30, 2012. She was 89 years old.
I worked for Beate from 1982 to 1988, at the Asia Society’s Performing Arts department in New York City. Six incredible years that carved my life path. As an impresario, she was schooled in politeness, always putting the artist first and as her assistants we learned the old ways of producing. None of us had degrees in Arts Administration, we learned on the job. There was a stellar team during the 80s that included some powerful, creative women: Paula Lawrence, Karen Haight, Marie Stella, Lisa Chan, Lynn Winters and one amazing guy, Somi Roy. She was like a mother to me, more than a mentor. We never got any work done, because her stories captivated us and distracted us from the tasks at hand. So we stayed late often, working on deadlines for press releases and promotion.
In 1985 our Performing Arts Department won an Obie Award, a Special Citation for sustained achievement presenting performing arts programs from Asia, including that year’s triumphant tour of the spectacular dancing drummers from Korea, Samul-Nori. Beate, or BG as we sometimes called her, was unlike any other cultural leader, and a dying breed. She spoke several languages fluently, was schooled in the proper etiquette of all the countries she traveled and was a fearless leader, championing artists and education about Asian performing arts through visceral experience. Every performance we presented had a pre-performance lecture/demonstration and a tasty tidbit from that culture’s food group.
Audiences loved these presentations. Finding samosa, dumplings or other tidbits was one of my jobs, as her assistant – a job I did with relish, literally. I also had to find scholars and experts to write about the performing arts we were presenting, as BG –knowing that the press community were not well versed in these art forms– insisted that each press release be accompanied by a monograph. So many firsts happened under her tutelage – traditional groups from Asia toured the USA including the first touring group from the People’s Republic of China, the premiere tour of dancers and musicians from the Silk Route (Uzkekistan, Mongolia, etc), Kathakali dance drama from South India, Samul-nori drummers from Korea… And contemporary groups – puppet troupe Kaze-no ko from Japan, butoh master, Kazuo Ohno, and our own US based Eiko and Koma – and more. A list would take up all of the space allotted for this brief highlight of a life well lived.
“Would you be so kind”…was how BG began nearly every request. It was a sure way to get us to do anything that needed to be done. I learned that type of politeness could open doors and motivate action. Beate was like a mother to me, to all of us. She led the crew and we followed happily and diligently, supporting the groups of artists that traveled from all corners of Asia to New York City and around the country.
FEATURING A MELTING POT OF THE BEST MUSICIANS AROUND!
Poster by Mike King
EAST VILLAGE DANCE PROJECT, LA MAMA MOVES! 2012
MAY 20, 2012
by R. MacKenzie
My cousins and I used to call it “getting washing-machined”. That’s when you misjudged how the wave was going to break and either didn’t catch it nor dive through in time, and so ended up getting smashed down into the hard sand, salt water going up your nose, sand in your bathing suit and at the mercy of the water’s ferocious strength. That was just one of those recognizable moments in Martha Tornay’s concert of her students of The East Village Dance Project. That dance, Soaked to the Talking Heads Same As It Ever Was, was set on 9 children, one in a concert of 10 dances ranging from classical pointe work to authentic jazz in the East Village Dance Project’s annual concert presented by the LaMama Moves! Dance Festival and GOH Productions on East 4th St on May 20th, 2012.
She had those kids looking like waves rolling in and out, side to side, then suddenly they were a fountain, then a river, then somehow the little boy gets to dive in and surf right there in front of our eyes. Costumes included swimming goggles, bathing suits, and wonderful hoop tutus made of aquarium print shower curtains. This piece is really fun: The first time I saw it I laughed, the second I cried, the third, I laughed and cried.
This delicious program included a huge range of dancers in age (4-18), dance styles and skill levels, but the key to its sheer quality is the sure direction of Ms. Tornay. The dancers showed some excellent technique and they have obviously been encouraged to make individual choices and contributions. Then they have been set up within a structure that leaves them the freedom to shine at all levels. Martha provides rocking and elegant musical choices, bright and fitting costumes, but most importantly, the kids have been given permission to have a lot of fun. The teen company developed a piece over 8 months with completely original choreography, exploring in directions and making choices entirely their own, producing Alienation Affect which was accompanied by electric guitar played by a young man named Jack Lazar.
Trained with Mme. Gabriela Darvash, amongst others, Ms Tornay has taught and danced at Bates Festival for many years, but her crowning jewel is the amazing group of dancers she teaches year round in their lovely new home at #55 Ave C Studios. Her choreographies are surprising, human and entertaining, appropriate to the children’s skill levels and so charming! Lucas Rollings-Page, Victoria Roberts-Weirzbowski and Kiva Dawson, as well as the Teen Company, all made dances, every one a little gem. Lucas’ musical choice was a lovely ballad by Bobby Womack with the refrain of “If you don’t want my love, If you don’t need my love,…Give it back to me.” The girls in his dance were delicate, gentle creatures who I imagined barely discovering the tragedies and thrills of love. The girls in Ms. Dawson’s dance were skilled, sassy and frisky in the humorous jazz number Hot Honey Rag. Don Q-ish, music by Leon Minkus, was the first mini ballet on the program, a redux featuring Safouane Chestnut, our surfer from Soaked, as the prince and a sweet girl, earnest and committed, Gianna Bernard as his partner. The costumes and choreography were excellent, the dancers joyous, (India Rogers has a radiant smile in both Don Q-ish and Bal-led) the variations charming, especially when it’s the gang of really little ballerinas with giant velvet flowers to offer, dance with, jump over…
The second ballet Bal-led, to all tunes by Led Zeppelin, was a great original idea. After seeing it I wonder why Martha isn’t already world famous and doing this season at the Joyce. The piece glides through several of your favorite classic Led Zeppelin songs with group variations, marvelous duets with Afinatou Thiam and Chloe London partnering Bailey Edwards and Lucas Rollings-Page (who each take rocking percussive solos), the incorporation of a love-seat, quartets and, towards the end, a magnificent solo by Talia Vilaplana that takes one’s breath away. Students in EVDP, from tiny to graduates, are variously stunning, graceful, elegant, self-possessed and even at times funky, but I’ve never seen a dancer who lives the dance in such a way that it is like a part of her skin like Talia does. This girl is destined to always be a stunning dancer, her technique, musicality and emotional commitment all add up to be so very magnetic.
2012 EVENTS listed below. For updated events, please visit POLLITALU
Dance Workshop for Women
Cornelia Freise (Germany) May 22-24
Kundalini Yoga Intensive
Marika Blossfeldt (Estonia/USA) June 13-14
Dancing Beauty and Majesty
Cornelia Freise (Germany) June 26 – July 2
An Evening of Dance for Women July 1
Cornelia Freise (Germany)
International Kundalini Yoga Retreat July 8 – 14
Marika Blossfeldt (Estonia/USA)
Delicious Nutrition Wellness Retreat July 30 – August 5
Marika Blossfeldt (Estonia/USA)
KUNDALINI YOGA Intensive August 15 – 16
Marika Blossfeldt (Estonia/USA)
Green Aesthetics Workshop August 21 -23
Awaken your Perception for Natural Beauty
through Tai Chi
Leon Miller (USA/Estonia)
Whole Foods Cooking Intensive Sept. 26 – 27
Marika Blossfeldt (Estonia/USA)
Kundalini Yoga Intensive with sauna Oct 2 – 4
Art in Odd Places 2011: RITUAL features a wide variety of actions, participatory performances, theatrical presentations, public installations, and small and large-scale interventions all of which revolve around the concept of ritual. Happening from October 1 to 10, along 14th Street in NYC. Come and visit the sites and see performances and art installations!