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Elvis Lives! and Here Is One of Them!

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ELVIS LIVES will appear at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on January 15, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. The show is an unforgettable multi-media and live musical journey across Elvis’s life featuring four finalists from Elvis Presley Enterprises’ annual worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. The cast members include Bill Cherry, Ben Klein, Kevin Mills and Victor Trevino, Jr., each representing Elvis during different stages in his career. The Elvis tribute artists will be joined by a live band, back-up singers, dancers, along with an Ann-Margret tribute artist, as well as iconic imagery made available from the Graceland archives.

Here we caught up with Victor Trevino, Jr. and ask him a few questions:
How did you get started in performing?

I would perform in school talent shows, play and musicals to get started. Then later on I began to perform in public musicals after high school. Such as Joseph and the amazing Technicolor dreamcoat where I landed the part of Joseph. Matt in the Fantasticks and also performed some Shakespeare to name a few. I also tried to build a rockabilly band but it would never stick. When someone suggested performing as Elvis I thought it might be interesting. So I entered contests and won some of them. Sometimes winning thousands of dollars. This also allowed me to grow a fan base and soon jobs started coming around. And before I knew it, I was working as an Elvis Tribute Artist as a full-time. Now I get to work with the best tribute company in the world, Legends in Concert.

What drew you to the music of Elvis?
I’ve always been into all types of music, especially older styles which I find myself listening to more often than modern styles. Plus, my favorite eras in music, fashion etc are the 40s-60s anyways. So of course I appreciated what Presley did for both music and society. Elvis was very unique for his time. While he was not the 1st rock n’ roller, he was indeed the most important. This man brought a type of music that was considered “bad” and took it straight to  the top of the pop charts. All because he loved it, he felt the music and made it his own. He dared to rock.

What is it about playing the young Elvis that is your favorite?
Of course I love rockabilly music etc. but showing a younger audience what Elvis was really like is great task. Many 20-30 somethings view Elvis as the stereotype of a “big drugged out guy”. Unfortunately, Elvis was given that reputation by cheesy performers ruining his name. My act has no cheese. When a person walks up to me after a show and says “I never liked Elvis until I saw you perform” That is when I know I’m doing something right. Elvis was raw and wild, yet classy and polished………and that’s how I like to portray him.
Have you ever visited or performed in Atlanta before?
Driven through Atlanta twice but never had a chance to stop. So I’m looking forward to my visit.

What can we expect from your performance next week?
You can expect a rocking good time! The cast, band, dancers and production team are all wonderful. Four actors will portray the role of Elvis Presley through out different stages of his life/career. Myself as 1950s  and army. Kevin Mills will play Elvis’s his movie career. Ben Klein will recreate the 68 Comeback Special. And Bill Cherry closes the show with the Las Vegas Concert years of the 1970s. Everyone involved in the show is an A act and each Tribute Artist had to be approved by EPE (Elvis Presley Enterprises) Graceland to be apart of this production. It’s a fun all age show that will have everyone on their feet right from the start.How old are you? Single or Taken?
27 years old. 10% away from being 30. I’m happily married to sweetest, prettiest girl to walk this earth.
What are you plans for 2012?
After this tour I return back to Las Vegas and continue performing at Legends in Concert at the Harrah’s Casino in Las Vegas Nevada. After that…. not sure. Maybe Myrtle Beach,….Maybe a cruise ship…..Europe…..Asia. That what I love about the entertainment business. The wind blows in so many different directions that you don’t know where you’re gonna end up. But one thing is for certain. I plan on this tour developing even bigger and setting sail again either late 2012 or early 2013.

Check out Victor as he shakes his hips this Sunday at The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center!

Art

Rain and Fire in Sedona

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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

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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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Dance

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

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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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