Saturday, March 2, 2013

The letters "F" and "G" for ABC (Saturday)

I will go for broke with a gallimaufry of "F" and "G" themes in an attempt to catch up with ABC Wednesday's meme.  But, to be frank, the genuine letter for this week is "G".

Fortunately, this self-portait of Carel Fabritius (1622-54), the artist I found, takes us directly..
to his most famous painting, titled Goldfinch.  He was considered to be Rembrandt's most gifted student, but I am also fascinated by the fact that he found his own style and groove, choosing lighter backgrounds and developing fine control over a heavily-loaded brush for paintings such as this one.  And, to top that off, his birthday is February 27th.  He died at the age of 32 when a gunpowder store exploded in Delft.  
On the weekend, Granville Island did a "Winterruption" event with a special activity called Pop-up Dance that I loved.  I took Black Jack for an outing on Saturday, doubting that we would be granted access to the dances, but thinking we might catch a bit of the atmosphere outdoors.  In fact, she was greeted genially everywhere we went.  Not only that but I was allowed to take photos!  On Sunday, I went back, this time with Bill.  He enjoyed it as well. Here are a few highlights from the Pop-up Dances.  
I was not able to find out the names of these dancers but loved their glitzy green costumes,
frolicsome expressions and multi-talented gorilla sidekick.
Kelly McInnes and Arash Khakpour did a fabulous dance.  It had the perfect balance of humour, tenderness and far-out moves.  It told a story that continues to bring a flood of pleasure every time I think about it.  I will definitely be watching for future performances by these dancers.  Here are a few of the photos I took..  enough, I think, for you to put the narrative together without captions.  

I also enjoyed Troy McLaughlin's tap dancing.  He had a team of excellent musicians with him.  I did not get all of their names but did learn that the bass player.. 
with the mischievous grin was John Howard.  I learned from the link that he is also a vocalist and trumpet player. There's that gorilla again, playing a mean saxophone (seriously).. 

and doing an excellent job of guiding the audience from one dance performance to the next. 
Carolina Liffmann and Lina Fitzner (Mabel and Agnes) were delightful in their genteel duo.  I couldn't find links to their sites, but I smiled when I looked at the photographs.  The young man behind them showed up in almost every shot.  I think he originally planned to.. 
walk on by but couldn't resist watching the full performance.
This is Harold (Aaron Malkin) changing his shoes and gawking through his thick glasses.
His dance partner, Gloria (Kat Single-Dain), helped him start and end the show with some comedic (and very impressive) antics.

The audience was grateful for the humour, the athleticism and the..

faultless timing of this pair.  
I don't know.  For a couple of old folks :) I could only wonder.. 
how many creaks and groans would accompany their morning routine the next day.  
One thing guaranteed, they are hilarious and mega talented!
I didn't get the names of some young gentlemen performing their own brand of antics that had nothing to do with Granville Island.  They were by a sculpture that I see daily as it is along False Creek and a two-minute walk from my apartment.  What I admired about them on Saturday was their grit and grace. The move you see below was clearly headed for failure.  I won't show the follow-up photo but the great thing was watching the skater smile (a bit painfully), pick himself up and go for the very same move again. 
This time, he achieved his goal.
Although I grasp nothing about the finer points of skateboarding, it seems to me that the element of speed not only grabs passers-by, but also makes the moves easier by virtue of momentum.  The steps where these athletes practiced are of varying height and they are also in a circular shape.  Everything happened in slow motion and that must have been a challenge.  I spoke to the young man below who was fine with my taking and posting pictures.  Since it has taken me some time to show them, he likely will have given up looking for them.  Note to him:  If by any chance, you see these pictures and would like the full set (about 70 shots), please leave a comment and I will put them in a facebook or dropbox file.
I mentioned in my last post that I was going to attend a rehearsal of Novo Ensemble to take some pictures.  Their concert is in six days and I can hardly wait. Just in case you are in Vancouver and looking for something to do on March 8th, here are a few of the reasons why I think this concert would be a fine choice: 
  1. reasonably  priced tickets ($15 general and $12 students/seniors) 
  2. free wine tasting at intermission
  3. art exhibit by Ranazart
  4. introduction to one of West Vancouver's own composers (Michael Conway Baker) 
  5. opportunity to hear rarely heard composers (Martinea and Enesco)
  6. excellent music making.  
Looking through my lens to catch a glimpse of their thought process while the music flowed all about me was a glorious experience.  Below, a gem when Bogdan Dulu gestures to explain a musical thought to Laura Vanek.
The moment below was another favourite.  Marina Hasselberg (on the right) had just responded to one of Bogdan's thoughts.  He had played a short passage with two interpretations, but for the second one, had concluded the final note with a little grin.  Marina told the group that the smile affected her response to the interpretation and the three of them laughed in unison.  Though Marina wasn't trying to make a profound statement, I have thought a lot about her observation.  I am one of those people who love to sit in the front row for performances.  It is not only the music (or the dance, or the theatre or whatever the art) that makes the performance unique for me.  Each expression - a small smile, a glistening of the eye, a moment of serenity - heightens my awareness and my pleasure and, along with the energy of the audience, is the reason I believe live performances are so important.
Marina was deep in thought and totally focused here.
Laura smiled graciously..
while Bogdan showed gleeful delight over a musical moment.
So much effort, practice, thought and yes, pleasure.  All to bring their art and that of the composers they have chosen to us.  I am grateful to have had a tiny part in the process.
This was the only posed shot that I took that day.  With each rehearsal, Laura, Bogdan and Marina draw closer to a connection of mind and musical intention that I know will be reflected in their performance on Friday.   
Bill saw every one of the cultural events I have shown here.  Sometimes (often), I think about that.  About how fortunate I am to have someone in my life who not only fathoms and grasps and "gets" the things that make life good for me, but who wholeheartedly and genuinely and graciously jumps in and becomes involved too.  He listens when I'm bubbling over with happiness and he helps problem solve when I'm discouraged.  His input, whether a response to music, theatre, dance or life is so valued, he "doubles the pleasure, doubles the fun" of every event we experience.  Thank you, Bill.  
 On the left, he sits in the rehearsal room, while I photograph Novo Ensemble.  On the right, he asks Harold for the name of his hair stylist.  That's the other point I wanted to make.  Bill is gut-bustingly funny!  He points out the humour over and over again in day to day life and that adds his own unique flavour to everything we do.  
The rest of the post is a frivolous grab-bag of fluky photos, catchup cultural events and fine-feathered friends in no apparent order or grouping.

Reflections in False Creek, with contrast and saturation heightened.  I don't usually like to fool around with an image so much, but I guess I could hang this one on my wall for a while.   
This one was taken around the same time and I see an admittedly far-fetched lower case "g" in the lower 2/3 of the frame :)
Bill and I saw completely different images in this one. I saw something near the centre that I also see near the top of the previous photo.  What do you see when you gaze at it?  
A recent giveaway sign of Spring is an increase in Cormorant activity around False Creek.  They have paired up and are working hard to prepare their nests under the Granville and the Burrard bridges.  I often see workers clearing the nests, but fervently hope they will leave them alone for the next few months.  The force of this cormorant's propulsion was something I had observed from front and side views, but hadn't noticed so much before from the back.  
I just missed the full shot of this one, but still enjoy the gleam in his eye.
I assumed "his" in the above shot because my camera followed him to this home under the Granville Bridge.  I believe "she" was waiting quite impatiently for him to arrive.  There were many similar dramas going on all along the girders.  It struck me as something akin to an apartment or condo living lifestyle :)
This grand view along Sunset Beach gussied up my day and so it made the "G" post too :)
That same day, two young (under six) children were working hard on this construction site.  Although I wasn't exactly sure what it represented, and English was the children's 2nd language so they could only explain with some confusing gestures, I loved their get up and go.  They indicated that it would be fine to take the picture but supervised me carefully to make sure I included every bit of the design.  Check out the small stones, fastidiously laid on the right wall.  Nothing was incidental in their plan.
I am slipping in a couple of cultural events here that I almost forgot.  I can't bear to skip them as this blog is my official place to review "happy memory" events.  By the next post, we will already have attended several new events, and so it goes. As Bill said this evening, we are just going to have to stop having so much fun.  (I'm paraphrasing a bit but that was the general idea :)  We saw the images below as they slipped perpetually across the back of the stage before a Wen Wei Dance performance called "Seventh Sense" at The Shadbolt Centre in Burnaby.  They were designed by David Raymond, a dancer I admire very much.  You can read about him and his wife, Tiffany, near the end of this post.  I will only say about this performance that the music was mesmerizing, the themes and symbolism complex, the dancing supurb, and I woke up the next morning wishing I could go back and see it again. 

Below are the four musicians in a Chris Davis ensemble who gave a superb performance at the St. Andrew's Wesley Jazz Vespers concert.  We went directly there after our Granville adventure and it was the perfect way to conclude our day.

Below, Nino DiPasquale savouring the moment.

I missed the names of the bass and guitar players so will have to come back to fill this in, but must mention the affect of one of the most mellow trumpet sounds I have ever heard.  I found myself taking a deep breath, closing my eyes and finding harmonic bliss in the moment.

James Anagnoson and Leslie Kinton accompanied Vancouver Cantata Singers for a performance of the Brahms Requiem in the Atrium of the Life Sciences Institute at UBC.  We arrived early and were rewarded with a pre-show rehearsal that galvanized our appetites for more.  Canadian soprano, Monica Whicher, and Vancouver-based baritone, Andrew Greenwood, were also first-class.  I find it especially notable that Mr. Greenwood is also employed as a full-time firefighter.
This was a first-ever concert held in the Life Sciences building, and something of an adventure.  The normal goings-on of a university building were somewhat curbed, but nevertheless, there was much for the staff and the artists to learn about union rules.  In the end, I think the space worked but there were some very funny stories, including one about the pianos being assembled in a storage room only to discover that they couldn't make it through the doors to the atrium.  The dress rehearsal had to take place in that storage room so the true feeling of performing in the space only happened on the evening of the performance.  We sat, as we love to do, in the front row and thoroughly enjoyed the concert.
Well, just a few more "fine-feathered" friends to finish up this gigantic post.  This hummingbird was sitting by the beach a few weeks ago.  I loved the pattern of branches..
and the opportunity to see one of my favourite critters.
Whoops.  I almost forgot Black Jack!  Everyone knows she heads my list of favourite critters. Here, she is about to propel herself toward me after a successful "sit-stay." I think this photo shows off her gleaming eyes and keen energy beautifully.
She, like many of the funambulists we watched, seems to have comedic,
frolicsome and.. 
flirtatious sides to her personality.
Crows sharing a personal grooming moment just warmed my heart the other day.  First one..
and then the other did the inspection.  I was fascinated to grasp a new word to help grow a few new brain cells :)  The preening of one individual by another is known as allo-preening.   
Thank you so much for sharing in my "f" and "g" fun good times.  (Sorry, all brain cells used up.) For more thoughts about the letter "G" check out the ABC Wednesday blog meme.


  1. very talented gorilla. :)

    lovely reflections! i like that construction of whatever it was!

  2. You two are so fortunate to enjoy so much together. Harold looks absolutely hilarious!! His partner and him really do look like they put on a spectacular show. Glad your catching up with ABC Wednesday. Have a great Saturday.

  3. I didn't give up! I found your blog and the pictures are great!

  4. LOVE those Persian lamb coats with mink collars! My mother had a grey one way back when. And the reflections in False Creek are GORGEOUS! You get to see a lot living down in that area. Lucky you.

    abcw team

  5. Hi BBNB! I enjoyed your post today very much. Your little Black Jack is such a honey. I too like to sit in the first row for events. It's such fun to see all the communication that goes on with very few words. The reflections were lovely! Have a good one!

  6. I would love to see Kelly and Arash live. They look to be very intense in their work.
    The reflections are wonderful, I am partial to reflections for some reason.
    Lot's to think about here Carol. What a vibrant life you three are living. How nice that BlackJack was allowed in the audience.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  7. Bill is your soul mate and you are so fortunate to have him in your life. I suspect we wouldn't be able to see all of this beautiful world from both your POV's + BJ too.

    Thanks Carole! BILL and BJ!

  8. must say I really enjoyed the GORGEOUS dancers

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  9. It is tragic about a talented young artist leaving this world early due to an accident. But nice to see his work is still alive. Even then firearms were a problem! Oh gosh … wonderful to see these dance moves captured moment by moment. Those “old” folks have got to be younger than they look. I so enjoyed the spontaneity and abandon of all the amazing and talented people. Black Jack seemed to get into the act, too, and was particularly expressive in these photos. Thanks as always, Carol, for sharing the joy in your world.

  10. An excellent series of photos, fun dance moves, exquisite.

  11. Holy crap, that was a post and a half, looks like an enjoyable day you had at your bay and all pooped out, no wonder with that gorilla all about. Have to chase him.

  12. My dear that was maGniFicent. Your enthusiasm shows in your wonderful post. I really loved the water reflection photos. The dancer images were pretty cool too. Thanks for stopping by my place. See you again soon