Dance

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Virtual Veils: Photos of Saturday's Remote Dance Performance

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 7:07 PM

My original plan for Saturday evening was to stay home and watch the live-streamed Arcata Playhouse Arts presentation Intersections, Where We Meet. The Playhouse's theater venue has been closed for months and I was intrigued by the potential of seeing more than 40 performers and eight pieces featuring dancers, classical musicians, storytellers, a clown, poets and artists from secret locations all over Arcata, a local beach and Southern California — all from home.
Isadora Sharon spun around while rehearsing "Veil/Re-Veil" on Moonstone Beach before sunset Saturday. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Isadora Sharon spun around while rehearsing "Veil/Re-Veil" on Moonstone Beach before sunset Saturday.

And then Mother Nature stepped in, offering a warm, wind-free late afternoon that took my wife and I out of the house with cameras in hand to watch the sunset at Moonstone Beach. There we came across our favorite dancer Shoshanna on the beach and she confirmed, yes, this indeed was the secret location for her improvisational dance performance for the Arcata Playhouse's virtual event. (See the slideshow of the sunset rehearsal and performance below.)

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Show Must Go Online: Dell'Arte's Virtual Season

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 6:46 PM

Despite the Mad River Festival being pushed back to September and a handful of scheduled performances canceled due to shelter-in-place orders, Dell'Arte International is not sitting idle. In a press release, Artistic Director Michael Fields says, "Uncharted times call for innovative creativity and collaboration." Sounds like a job for Dell'Arte. The theater folk in Blue Lake are putting together a schedule of Zoom-based artist talks with key Dell'Arte players, as well as releasing past performances on the organization's Vimeo and YouTube channels.
Donald Forrest in a scene from Radioman. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Donald Forrest in a scene from Radioman.
You'll be able to watch Radioman, Mad Love, Punctual Folly and Mary Jane: A Musical Potumentary from the comfort of your home. "In lieu of ticket sales for the online shows," the release states, "Dell’Arte is instead requesting donations to fund scholarships and the ability to keep the people at the heart of the organization." For details and the full schedule, see the press release below.

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Cue Blues: Redwood Coast Music Festival is Canceled

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2020 at 7:38 PM

With Humboldt County and the rest of the state of California under a shelter-in-place order, the board of the Redwood Coast Music Festival has announced that the 30th annual multi-day, multi-stage event that takes over Eureka every May is canceled.

Ticket holders can get refunds by emailing accounting@redwoodjazz.org but the board, which has already scheduled next year's event for May 6 through 9, is encouraging them to hang onto their passes for 2021. In a press release, the RCMF board says it's hopeful it will be able to bring back the dozen local acts and 40 touring acts already booked. "It’s going to be extra difficult for them, so while we may be upset about this inconvenience, we’re working to bring as many back in 2021 as possible." (Read the full press release at the bottom.)

Until next year, put on some swing to view Mark Larson's slideshow of last year's festivities and daydream of simpler times.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Photos: Mister Cister Wins the Mr. Humboldt Crown

Posted By on Wed, Mar 4, 2020 at 4:21 PM

On Saturday, Feb. 29, after a grueling rounds of Q&A, swimsuit, talent and formal wear competition, hosts Johanna Nagan and Andrew Goff crowned a new Mr. Humboldt: Mister Cister. The blue-wigged champion's costume game was strong, with an inflatable Squidward headpiece for the beach, a sparkly white evening gown and a series of layered outfit reveals in the talent portion. See the slideshow below for Mark McKenna's highlights of a night of chainsaws, tattooed lap dances, belly dancing and speedos, all under a near-constant hail of flying undergarments.
It's ... almost safe for work?
Newly crowned Mr. Humboldt winner Mister Cister holds the Big Wood award aloft. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • Newly crowned Mr. Humboldt winner Mister Cister holds the Big Wood award aloft.
Ultimately, it was the bearded drag queen's singing and dancing performance of "Sweet Transvestite" with an LED whip and rainbow feather boa that brought the house down and won wild scores from the judges (43 out of 10 from Mr. Humboldt 2019). Accepting the crown, Mister Cister encouraged the audience to follow their dreams: "Fuck it. Just go out and do whatever you want to do."

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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Swing Time Travel: Photos and Video from the Taiko Swingposium

Posted By on Sun, Feb 9, 2020 at 11:41 AM

Last weekend, the San Jose Taiko Swingposium Immersive Theater Experience's On the Road show transformed the Bayside Community Hall into a World War II-era dance hall in a Japanese-American incarceration camp. While under armed guard and having lost their homes, possessions and rights as Americans, those in the camps played music and held dances like these within their barbed-wire confines to maintain a sense of hope and community.
Members of San Jose Taiko brought ensemble Japanese drumming to the music/dance/immersive theater/living history event. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Members of San Jose Taiko brought ensemble Japanese drumming to the music/dance/immersive theater/living history event.

The "immersive" part of the show? Audience members and performers mingled and danced throughout the evening within a living-history portrayal of a teenage love story in the camp retold by actors playing prisoners.  Music for the three sold-out weekend performances was provided by the taiko drummers and the Humboldt State University Jazz Orchestra. See the slideshow and video below for highlights of the event.

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Trick or Treat: Photos from Arcata's Halloween

Posted By on Mon, Nov 4, 2019 at 6:10 PM

Parking was a premium for Trick or Treat on the Plaza in Arcata in late afternoon as easily more than a thousand children and adults showed up for the Halloween fun. The event, sponsored by Arcata Main Street, started off with the HSU Marching Lumberjacks, giant puppets and a bubble machine circling the plaza, followed by attendees lining ulp at storefronts and businesses around the plaza to collect the goodies.
The Bella Vita Fire Dance Company burns it up on the Arcata Plaza. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • The Bella Vita Fire Dance Company burns it up on the Arcata Plaza.
Additional entertainment included a zombie flash mob performance of "Thriller," a flaming performance by the Bella Vita Fire Dance Company, hay bale rides around the plaza and photo ops with a Halloween Fairy. See the slideshow below for highlights of the costumed fun.


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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Photos from Sunday at the North Country Fair

Posted By on Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 5:40 PM

Sunday at the 46th annual North Country Fair featured another splash of the popular rhythms and dances of Samba da Alegria's Samba Parade, along with the usual mix of live music on multiple stages, vendors of all types and — atypically for the season — occasional rain. See highlights of the parade in the slideshow below.
The flower blossom-strewn east side of the Arcata Plaza made a good dance platform for the Samba da Alegria dancers. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • The flower blossom-strewn east side of the Arcata Plaza made a good dance platform for the Samba da Alegria dancers.
Fortunately for the paint-daubed musicians and samba dancers in a mix of costumes symbolizing Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival, the weather cleared in time for their 1 p.m. performance in front of a packed house around the Arcata Plaza. After the Samba Parade left the plaza, fair attendees took shelter for a half hour or so of heavy rain and then returned once warm sunshine appeared for the rest of the afternoon's fair activities.

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Photos of the Fairy Frolic

Posted By on Thu, Jul 4, 2019 at 3:15 PM

A slow shutter speed allowed the colorful costumes of the belly dancing group Ya Habibi in front the Enchantment Stage to blur in the photo. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • A slow shutter speed allowed the colorful costumes of the belly dancing group Ya Habibi in front the Enchantment Stage to blur in the photo.

It was another "Frolick of Fairies" at the magical second annual Fairy Festival on the Arcata Plaza on Saturday. The large turnout of mystical fairies and other life forms for the costume contests, live music, belly dancing, a parade with a dragon, and other activities probably exceeded even the most optimistic expectations of everyone except Shoshanna Rose. She helped organize the fundraiser event, along with help from the Bureau of Fantastical Spectacles, the city of Arcata and Arcata Main Street, as a benefit for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

Attendees at the long afternoon and evening of entertainment had their choice of food and drink vendors, as well as face painting, airbrush or henna tattoos, book sellers and various clothing and jewelry vendor tables. See the slideshow below for fae highlights.

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Zombies Shake/Drag a Leg

Posted By on Sat, Oct 27, 2018 at 12:29 PM

Jared Robinson and Anthony Quinn pose after the zombie flash mob invaded the Arcata Plaza on Oct. 25. - PHOTO BY MEGAN MARTIN
  • Photo by Megan Martin
  • Jared Robinson and Anthony Quinn pose after the zombie flash mob invaded the Arcata Plaza on Oct. 25.

A gray-faced, dead-eyed army of zombies from Sunny Brae Middle School sprang to after-life for some vintage choreography to Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" on Friday, Oct. 26 at Murphy’s Market in Sunny Brae. Then, while Vincent Price's cackle still echoed in the aisles, the undead dancers made their groaning way to the Arcata Plaza for an encore before slinking back to the cursed ground from which they rose. Enjoy Megan Martin's slideshow of their creepy moves below. Happy Halloween, everybody.


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Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Papaya Lounge is Ripe for Comedy

Posted By on Sat, Feb 3, 2018 at 6:00 PM

Sarah McKinney as Velvet Q. Jones and Alyssa Hughlett as her dowdy, clumsy assistant Nancy. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Sarah McKinney as Velvet Q. Jones and Alyssa Hughlett as her dowdy, clumsy assistant Nancy.

The funny, bawdy and sometimes naughty comedy and music show The Papaya Lounge met its goal of turning the Arcata Playhouse into a seedy cabaret nightclub on Saturday, Jan. 27.

Velvet Q. Jones (Sarah McKinney) hosted the cabaret, billed as a music, comedy and variety show “with a fruity attitude.” The show was supported with excellent live music by the Fruit Flies (Tim Randles, Ken Lawrence, Mike LaBolle and Greg Moore). The very loose plot line involved the somewhat frantic Velvet Q. Jones’ efforts to fend off her creditors while being a catalyst in the transformation of her dowdy, clumsy assistant Nancy (Alyssa Hughlett).

The evening performance in front of a packed house was billed as a test run and afterward Playhouse promoter David Ferney said, “We are pleased with the reception of the show and plan to bring back The Papaya Lounge as a showcase of local talent on a regular basis.” See the slideshow below for highlights.

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