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Cavalia Odysseo




Ever since my first exposure to Cirque du Soleil, I have been fascinated with their many different themed shows. First of all, calling them shows is actually an understatement. I’d say that more realistically, it’s an experience! Now in comes Cavalia, which debuted in 2003, making it to Atlanta in 2009. The idea of horses being involved in anything acrobatic has always been intriguing to me. I really need to let you all know that Cirque du Soleil and Cavalia are two separate companies and experiences. They are appreciated in different ways. I love them both the same.

When I received the opportunity to go to Cavalia’s newest production Odysseo, I was ecstatic. I am a horse lover and have always wanted to own my own stable with my own horses. One day! However, every time I get a chance to, I want to hang out with these majestic beasts! Right from when I came out of the parking garage and laid my eyes on this MASSIVE tent, I was already in awe! Later finding out it’s the largest tent in the world. Amazing! After the show we went down to the stables, which I’ll get to later, this is when I saw the enormity of this colossal tent. Literally hundreds of concrete blocks stacked up in order to build up the ground to level out the tent. I was mesmerized just by the undertaking it must have been to get this up and operational and then to think they travel with this from city to city! How many trucks? How much time? How many people? Are just a few of the questions that bombarded my mind all at once. I was already entertained and hadn’t even seen the show! LOL

The show was nothing short of impressive! One thing I thoroughly enjoyed was the interaction between the horse and the person. The trainers were so gentle and with the slightest hand gesture, the horses responded. At one point in the second act, one of the horses went rogue and was running around in circles just doing its own thing, hamming it up for the crowd. One of the trainers stepped in front of it and with her hand calmed the horse and brought it back into alignment with the other horses.  A real life horse whisperer in action. That right there gained more respect from me of this outfit than the rest of the show. They treat the horses’ right; they take care of them and act as if they are family. Beautiful and daring acts of these trainers acrobatic prowess was displayed throughout the evening from climbing around the body of the horse while in gallop, jumping from the ground over the horse to the ground and back onto the horse, hanging from the side in full gallop, to standing on two horses. The training it must have taken to get these horses to respond to these different tricks is mind-boggling! I wouldn’t know where to even begin. As the scenes changed, different sets of horses would come out and demonstrate their talent. The scenes covered every situation in nature from jungle scenes to desert scenes to lush tropical water fall scenes. As you are transported to and from some of nature’s greatest wonders, the stage is transformed into many different situations including a hill where the horses appear from behind as if they are coming over the top of this hill after a long journey and down into a valley. Fantastic artistry and stage design was revealed as it enveloped you more and more into this wonderful story of humans and their horses.

Another favorite for me were the acrobats. It made me dizzy to watch them flip and tumble across the stage at sometimes such a high rate of speed, I thought they were going to splat on the ground at one point! What characters they were, sometimes the comic relief and sometime integral parts of the different scenes, they kept you in the story.

As the show was coming to a close a reflection starts to grow on the stage floor, to my amazement, they were flooding the stage floor with water. WHAT?! This was by far the most perplexing thing to me. How and what was holding the water in? How were they going to get the water out in time for the next show? The billboards you see around town with the horses running through water, it’s true and those pictures are accurate. I was just completely satisfied with this experience, all but wait there’s more. I was honored and privileged to be able to now go meet these beautiful, talented horses up close. They were gorgeous, with some of them having braided manes and some of them just having such a beautiful color to them. ALL OF THEM where healthy and kept clean! Can you say even more kudos and more respect! Not to mention, as you all know, I LOVE music. A full LIVE band accompanied the event and where creatively displayed in the tree tops both stage right and stage left for the whole audience to enjoy. Anything with LIVE music, I am most certainly going to like, especially if they are good. Well these musicians where nothing short of the crème of the crop, able to flow with the scenes and ad lib if they needed to (remember the rogue horse I told you about?) The brilliantly navigated that scene and almost made you feel as if it were part of the act. We found out later it wasn’t, sometimes the horses like to let off steam and they have never had two shows turn out the same. One BIG family on wheels, horses and humans together.

As I told you in the beginning how awed I was at this entire undertaking, now I was even more blown away. A total of 71 horses from 11 different breeds and 6 countries made up the equestrian side with 54 acrobats, aerialists, dancers, musicians and riders/trainers of different nationalities where able to coexist and incredibly all spoke horse.  An incredible undertaking and one show NOT to be missed. I certainly do not want to end this article without thanking Tara Murphy of 360 Media. She is the one to contact with any marketing, PR, and advertising needs. The 2,200 seat bleachers where filled on a Wednesday night! MAJOR KUDOS!!!!

For ticket information, show dates and times, please visit or call 1-866-999-8111.


– Eric Newcomer, Artist Advocate


Rain and Fire in Sedona



Ange Alex

A rainy day in Sedona? What are we going to do. Everything we have planned is outdoors. I am pretty sure that is why people come to Sedona, for the beautiful OUTDOOR activities, like hiking, biking, Jeep tours, viewing the red rocks and photography. 

What to do, what to do.

Oh, I know. I had the privilege of meeting some great artists that work in fire and glass! The perfect indoor activity when your outdoor plans are washed away!

The Melting Point in Sedona, conveniently located across the street for the Whole Foods (two birds with one stone, yeah!), is a group of artist focusing on creating and teaching others how to create as well.

When we entered the facilities, it was like entering a fine arts gallery. So many beautiful works of glass art. Jordan Ford is the general manager and one of the Artists. He came out of the workshop and told us the rules, then brought us into the fold. 

We were about to become glass blowers! 

Jordan had a love for the natural world from a very early age. He went on to study geology in college but that is when he discovered glass. He currently has Bachelor’s Degrees in both Earth Science/Geology and Visual Arts/Glassblowing.

Jordan says , “It’s the process of blowing glass that drives me. I find the physical act of making glass so overwhelmingly fascinating. I approach most of my work with a consideration for the more classical techniques – it’s the framework that I use as a jumping point for experimentation.”

Not only is Jordan incredibly talented, he is really personable and extremely funny. He made everyone in the room feel at ease and we all often irrupted in bouts of laughter.

Another artist that was helping us is Austin Littenberg. Austin became interested in the art of glass blowing at age 16 after watching a documentary. He spent over 12 years developing his craft and learning the technical precision needed to work at this level.

Austin views the many ways Art presents itself and is in tune with it all, and it shows.

Clearly these two artist love what they do, and I for one am grateful for their expertise and their willingness to show the world their art.

They worked with us to create a beautiful cactus, complete with three flowers, one for each kid, and a Sedona rock like base. We loved the patience they showed and the skill to make us feel at ease. We never felt like  we were about to do something we just couldn’t. It felt like we had been doing this before. That is the measure of a true instructor. 

Our work of art was complete and we left there feeling accomplished and quite honestly, amazing! 

Both Austin and Jordan have remarkable skills but also wonderful comedic timing. They were a absolutely pleasure to meet and I look forward to keeping up with their art in the future.

If you find yourself in Sedona and want to meet some really wonderful people, stop by The Melting Point and say hello! While you’re there, blow some glass!

How could I forget one of them most important things; They have a studio dog! Austin brings his sweet baby girl to work with him and she is an angel! We loved her! Make sure you give her some love when you visit!

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Artists to Watch

Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando



Ange Alex

I owe him a poem:

Here’s a story of a sad clown who one night in February was traveling through O-town. 

He brought a suitcase and a lot of gum, he brought music and videos and tons of fun.

He sang high but mostly he sang low, and he put of one hell of a good show.

He gave a bearded guy a cupcake and danced with a lady, a wolf he would make

There is no doubt he is a boss sir, he even got love from Kevin Costner.

Fans filled the plaza for a night of delight as the 7 foot clown gave us some real insight.

He sang Bowie and Queen and even some Who, also Cash, Lorde and “Let it go” too

Videos played of pets and babies crying, also beautiful artwork and people smiling.

Last night Orlando was anything but mad as we showed much love for a clown that is sad.

Ok, I’d cry too after that poem. Here’s some more info:

If you haven’t been to see a Puddles Pity Party show, you are missing out. 

The show had me smiling and laughing so hard my stomach hurt, but I was also moved so many times by the range of Puddles voice. True entertainment never gets old and I have a feeling he is going to last forever.

I loved the interaction he had with the crowd. He pulled numerous people up to help him on stage and all of them were good sports, one man even singing the entire song, “All by myself” karaoke style! The show was so well thought out and planned but with room for some hilarious improv. Especially at the end when he pulled the 3 fans from the audience dressed like clowns. At the end of them performing together, Puddles suddenly remembers that he is scared of clowns! Genius! 

Hands down one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.


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“20/20:Visionary”: Looking Back, Looking Forward



Photograph by Charlie McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet.

Last weekend (March 18-20) the Atlanta Ballet gifted the city with “20/20: Visionary,” three pieces, including a world premiere, presented at the Cobb Energy Center.

The world premiere, “Playground,” by British choreographer Douglas Lee, belied its name by being a shadowy piece danced between upright, rolling chalkboard set pieces. Prepared for a lighthearted, joyful expression of childhood, I was surprised that the work instead exposed the darker side of childhood memories. There were some light moments, such as the towering billboard inscribed with multiple lines reading, “Jackie must remember the steps” – clearly a humorous aside about Jackie Nash, one of the most capable company members and perhaps the quickest study in rehearsal. There were some easily-seen choreographic devices–a lot of theme and variation, even more pushing around of set pieces–but there were a few exceptional moments as well, including intricate, slow-motion manipulation of a dancer’s body by another dancer.

Pen-Yu Chen & Tara Lee in “Boiling Point.” Photo by C McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet.

The opening work, “Boiling Point,” by Darrell Grand Moultrie, was playfully performed at breakneck speed. Dancers are often told to “make it look easy,” and the company took that concept to heart. Highlighted against the men in black costumes, the women wore bits of metallic fabric, providing splashes of intense color and exposing powerful bodies with long muscles. The piece began with the stage space open almost to its fullest, and the dancers running across like a rushing river. They rolled, twisted, turned, and slid like water itself. The choreography juxtaposed synchronicity with counterpoint, traditional with innovation. There was a gargouillade, rarely seen even in classical ballets. The lines of the bodies were critical to the piece, and often layers deep. The flow was almost nonstop, with only an occasional flick of a wrist or toss of a head to provide momentary stasis. The standout was Christian Clark, who sometimes nearly managed to integrate himself into the group but then something distinctive and powerful in his dancing drew the eye to him again.

“Red Clay” from “Home in 7.” Photo by C McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet.

“Home in 7,” a work by Amy Siewert, closed the concert. A portrait of Atlanta, the ballet was a rich tapestry woven from music, spoken word, and movement. Performed in 7 segments to a libretto written and performed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and an intriguing, haunting string score composed and performed by Daniel Bernard Roumain, the dance, too, was a poem, shimmering like summer moonlight on the Chattahoochee. John Welker opened the ballet with tiny explosions of movement “Secrets.” Perhaps the most enchanting segment was “Home of the Braves:” 5 men using baseball imagery, holding their formation as they slid precisely between pitches and catches. “Red Clay” evoked August nights, intolerance, and redemption—Atlanta history, a story familiar to many. I first saw this ballet in 2011, and it has grown in depth as the dancers have matured technically and emotionally. Atlanta loves its ballet company, and never more than when it showcases its home city.

John McFall is ending his tenure with the company at the end of this season. For newcomers to Atlanta Ballet offerings, this will have been a dynamic performance. For long-time supporters, it will have been an opportunity to reflect on his legacy. There are a couple more opportunities to see the company under his watch, and then he will pass the torch to Gennadi Nedvigin, the company’s fourth artistic director. Stay tuned!

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