Shake Your Grove Thang
Thursday, May 18, 2000
Some merchants in Pacific Grove weren''t eager to display the fliers for Vin Marti''s upcoming dance workshop, "Dance Ugly & Drool." Although Marti is not particularly ugly and isn''t depicted on the flier drooling, the shopkeepers were reportedly unnerved by his credo.
Perhaps their hesitation is understandable: ugliness is un-PG and drool certainly can''t be good for business. The Pacific Grove Arts Commission, sponsors of Marti''s appearance, gently suggested the workshop be dubbed "Soul Motion," which they say is an apt description, but we''re confident that Marti knows what he''s talking about.
Marti, a faculty member of Gabrielle Roth''s Moving Center in Portland, has been teaching dance and movement for more than 25 years. His core teaching philosophy is that people need to approach dance with a sense of play instead of perfectionism. As he wrote in Alternatives magazine, "Dancing ''pretty'' is not necessary. People say, ''I don''t have rhythm, I''m a klutz.'' But that''s just mind chatter. The simple act of walking sets a rhythm."
Whether or not his fliers grace the windows of Pacific Grove''s businesses, Vin Marti''s workshops will be held this Friday, 7-9pm; Saturday and Sunday, 1-5pm, Chautauqua Hall, 17th and Central, Pacific Grove. Cost is $10/adults per session, $25 for all three. Seniors/students $5 per session. Call 656-0419 for registration and information.
"It''s important to put aside preconceived notions of what makes a dancer," says Marti. "It''s OK, even desirable, to Dance Ugly."
Before she joined the U.S. Air Force, Staff Sgt. Beth Schofill was a film student at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she and her husband ran an experimental film series. Her current digs, at the Defense Language Institute, are a bit more culturally drab, so Sgt. Schofill decided to liven things up. She wrote a proposal to "expose the language students to foreign culture through film."
The proposal flowered into DLI''s new foreign film series, which begins this Tuesday with Dersu Uzala, a Russian-language film directed by Akira Kurosawa.
Sgt. Schofill plans to screen films representing every language taught at DLI, although, she says, "some of the more obscure languages are kind of difficult to find." The June 18 screening will be in Persian Farsi; the July 16 showing will be from China, and the Aug. 20 screening is the French film Orpheus. (All films have English subtitles.)
The series is free and open to the public, although with only 236 seats in the theater, language students will be given priority. At the Presidio of Monterey Theater, Stilwell and 15th Infantry, Monterey, 6:45pm, 242-6768.
Tangoed Up in Blues
Tango is more than a dance--it''s a culture and a language, born of night, loneliness and passion. Some dances heal wounds; tango, it is said, opens them. In its purest form, tango is the expression of the melancholy Argentine soul.
Fernando Filippelli has been dancing the tango since he was a boy in Buenos Aires. He teaches weekly classes in salona and milonguero tango styles in Carmel (see Thursday, Best of Rest, for class info).
Filippelli is also the local ringleader of monthly milongas, or tango parties, that attract tangueros from around the Bay Area. Special guests at this month''s event are Marcelo Varela and Analia Vega. That''s May 27, 7pm, at the Scout House at Mission and 8th, Carmel, $10. Call 372-4062 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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