AUGUST 2012 Issue • 207
P E E BL
THE featuring CLASSICS ARE NEW AGAIN
WELL-STRUNG & COMPANY XIV BLEEP 1
n i p e ble inside
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ON THE COVER This isn’t your run-of-the-mill string quartet. More than Beethoven and Bach, these guys are mixing it up with a little GaGa and Rihanna. In Provincetown for the summer, we check in with the guys of Well-Strung. A REAL LIFE NEVERLAND
You know you’ve always dreamed of what it would be like to actually live in a treehouse in the clouds. Well we take you all the way to Costa Rica to show you where that dream can be a reality.
HER NAME IS NICOLE
THE BLEEP QUIZ
Nicole Rubendall may be relatively new to the art world but she’s got something to say and isn’t afraid to say it on a really big canvas.
The classical tradition of Baroque gets a new spin as Austin McCormick and his Company XIV take their Brooklyn stage and make it a playground for theatrics and new art.
Check out our BLEEP Quiz featuring Nicole Rubendall.
Photo by: Corey Tatarczuk
Letter from the Editor We live in a world of remakes. Last month, Hollywood felt it necessary to reboot and remake the Spider-Man franchise, a franchise where not even a decade has passed since the last film was released. Regardless of whether or not you liked Andrew more than Toby or Emma more than Kirsten, the fact remains: we live in a world that’s constantly being remade. In the case of another masked superhero, I’m fairly certain we can agree that Batman’s reboot has been met not only with legions of movie-goers, but also with praise for the artistic and creative merits of the three films. That’s the sort of reboot I can get onboard with. Mostly, remakes aren’t successful and it’s because we’ve seen it before. No matter how you feel about Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, the original Willy Wonka will always be far superior to the remake. But what happens when you take something stylistically old and make it new again? Some of the artists in this issue are doing just that, and rather than it being a stagnant rehashing, these artists are making fresh and exciting works. Well-Strung, the fun-filled (and pun-filled) string quartet on our cover has taken their love of classical string music and not only made it accessible to a wider audience but is infusing it with new life. Playing everything from Beethoven to Britney, they have taken their show on the road to do a sit-down engagement in Provincetown for the summer. Another group of artists are taking music from a similar era and transforming it into some of the most dynamic, engaging and stunning dance in New York. Company XIV has been taking classic baroque dance and music and re-funneling it into a completely new style and look that’s both modern and classic at the same time. I love when artists are able to take something that existed previously and repurpose it into something new. I don’t mean when a rapper takes an Imogen Heap or Janet Jackson chorus and inserts it into their song and pretends it’s alright to do so. I mean, when someone takes classic art and re-channels it in a way that both maintains the integrity of the art and makes it accessible to a new audience. That’s really cool to me. And I stand by my statement about Willy Wonka. As much as I love squirrels more than geese (this is an understatement), the original will always be superior.
Ryan Brinson Editor-in-Chief 4 BLEEP
BLOGGER WE LOVE
FRINGE FIRST LOOK
Once a year, New York’s downtown theaters are full of new works from playwrights from all over the world. In our special first look at the NYC Fringe, we’ll give you the a look at the new shows you should be looking out for. We also choose five shows we can’t wait to see.
This issue’s Blogger We Love hails from the Land Down Under. Check out this Aussie lady that’s got a killer fashion sense and is making a statement on her blog.
Dressing the part is a way of life for these three urbanites and they show how personality and fashion should be seemless.
Kerry Fitzgibbons and Josh Bywater in “Falling.” Photo by: Dixie Sheridan.
Another Ben Humeniuk cartoon!
Editor-in-Chief Ryan Brinson Editor at Large Julie Freeman Design/Decor Editor Lisa Sorenson • Culture Editor Rachael Mariboho Business & Audience Development Manager Sarah Rotker Cartoonist Ben Humeniuk Cover Photography by Ryan Brinson Contributors: Danielle Milam • Alex Wright • Charly Edsitty • Amy Stone Holly Renner • Colton Scally Featured Photographers: Colton Scally All articles and photos are the property of the writers and artists. All rights reserved.
P E E L bliPs B AMY LYNN & THE GUNSHOW
EDITOR’S NOTE: I HAD THE PLEASURE OF ATTENDING THE AMY LYNN AND THE GUNSHOW CONCERT. NOT ONLY IS AMY A FANTASTIC VOCALIST, BUT THE ENTIRE BAND CREATES AN ENVIRONMENT OF FUN THE THE BAND THAT BRINGS THE SONGS TO LIFE. BE SURE TO PUT THESE FOLKS ON YOUR RADAR. THIS IS A CLASSIC SOUND THAT’S BEING REINVENTED BRILLIANTLY.THEY AREN’T TO BE MISSED. 8 BLEEP
A first-time audience member will be unprepared for Amy Lynn Zanetto. Not only is she a tried-and-true vocal powerhouse, but she and The Gunshow make their quirky, lively and approachable show more than just about a diva belting. Led by she and husband Alex, the music infuses a horn section with a lot of heart and even a little humor. The songs are catchy and cleverly written. Together and apart, Amy and Alex have played all around the world gracing the stage with Duffy, St. Vincent, Lucy Woodward, Yo La Tengo, Spoon, The Radio City Orchestra and more. Saturday, August 18th at Joe’s Pub, Amy Lynn and the Gunshow will be coheadlining with Shayna Steele at 7:00. Tickets are going fast so make sure to get yours. And if you want to get your hear the music for yourself, make sure you check out www.amylynnandthegunshow.com for a free download of their song, “Clearly, It’s Me.”
ST 18TH U G U A , Y A D R SATU PUB IN NEW ’S E O J T A M P 0 7:0 YORK CIT Y. B.COM WWW.JOESPU FOR TICKETS.
DON’T MISS IT
Photo by Adam Jason Photography
Photos by Shervin Lainez
P E E L bliPs B TRIASSIC PARQ: THE MUSICAL
Brandon Espinoza. Photo by Carol Rosegg
Wicked is the biggest hit on Broadway right now and audiences can’t get enough of the back story of the misunderstood witches. Audiences downtown are loving the back story of another beloved film, except in place of witches, there are Velociraptors. “Triassic Parq: The Musical” is everything you would expect from a downtown musical that wowed Fringe audiences last year. It’s funny, it’s irreverent, there are entire songs dedicated to dinosaur genitalia...it’s also a sure bet for a good time. New York has become a playground for these sorts of shows. “Silence! The Musical” spoofed Silence of the Lambs brilliantly and now the Triassic team are taking a far less literal approach to the same type of spoofing. The cast of dinos are all gifted at both the slapstick and physical comedy of the show as well as capable vocalists that make the songs matter more than the punch lines. I’m one of those kids whose life was changed by Jurassic Park. It was goodbye superheroes and hello dinosaurs at that point. So for me, the nods to the dialogue and plot points from the film were carefully calculated and spot-on. Be sure to catch Triassic Parq while you can. This talented cast will lead you on a trip through the jungle that will make you howl with laughter and you’ll leave the theater so glad you hung out with Velociraptors. -Ryan Brinson
Above: Lindsay Nicole Chambers and Alex Wyse. Photo by Carol Rosegg
DON’T MISS IT
Above: Wade McCollum and the cast of Triassic Parq. Photo by Carol Rosegg
Olympic Special Edition
by Rachael Mariboho
Four years ago China put on a jaw dropping opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics, and commentators were not shy in suggesting that London had a lot to live up to. The general consensus by many was that it would be impossible for director Danny Boyle to create anything that could rival the over the top spectacle that the Chinese produced. But as we saw this past Friday, Boyle was not trying to rival the Chinese in scope and grandeur; rather, he created a uniquely British show that was heartfelt and magical, focused on Britain’s inimitable legacy of literature and music. It was a moving blend of the mythical and the modern, of the Dickensian and the Shakespearian, of Middle Earth and the Beatles. As Mary Poppins would say, it was practically perfect in every way. Here, then, are Bleep’s top five favorites from the opening ceremonies of the thirtieth Olympiad.
5. The opening montage
Beautifully narrated by Emily Blunt and Ewen McGregor, the short film that preceded the ceremony was a graceful reminder of Britain’s profound history and indisputable influence on western civilization.
4. Literary Tributes: Kenneth Branagh recites Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling reads Peter Pan
Danny Boyle stated that he turned to the great works of British literature for inspiration in creating the opening ceremony, so it makes sense he would pay homage to Britain’s literary history in some way. And he did. Known for directing and starring in some of the most acclaimed film adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, Kenneth Branagh was a natural choice to recite Shakespeare with the fitting monologue from The Tempest. Boyle’s tribute to children’s literature was delightfully whimsical with many highlights—one favorite was when the Mary Poppins’ defeated iconic children’s literary villains. But the superlative moment was J.K. Rowling reading J.M. Barrie’s classic story. It was a thrill for fans of the Harry Potter series and a reminder to all of the continuing excellence of British literature.
3. The Emergence of the Industrial Revolution
While the agrarian set at the start of the ceremony was idyllic, it was the set change to the industrial revolution that provided an awe-filled moment as we watched the advent of the modern era come to life.
2. James Bond and the Queen
This video had everything needed of a blockbuster film—an iconic character, a handsome movie star, action, surprises, that cheeky British humor, corgis…and the queen of England. It was an ingenious way of introducing her majesty.
1. The Forging of the Rings
In a moment reminiscent of Tolkien, a gold ring forged in the middle of the arena during the industrial revolution section slowly rises to the top of the arena as four other rings join it to form the Olympic rings. Bathed in a glow from the fireworks that lit up the rings, the formation of the rings was pure magic and provided perhaps the most stunning moment of the ceremony.
Addendum: The Best Moment You Did Not See
Choreographer Akram Khan created a a beautiful tribute to the victims of the July 7, 2005 bombings in London with a gorgeous lyrical dance number set to Scottish Singer Emeli Sande’s haunting rendition of “Abide With Me.” It was the most moving moment of the entire ceremony, only NBC decided not air it. Many people are questioning why this entire segment was cut out in favor of Ryan Seacrest interviewing Michael Phelps. Of course Phelps is one of the premier athletes at these games, and we are all interested in the outcome of his races, but was it necessary to show this interview during one of, if not the most important as well as deeply personal, moments of the ceremony to the people of the host country? Is NBC that desperate to give Ryan Seacrest prime airtime? Were they unwilling to broadcast a part of the ceremony that featured an overtly religious song? Or did they not want to draw attention to the very real terrorist fears facing the world? Considering how sacrosanct we feel about honoring the victims of terrorist attacks that have occurred in the U.S., it seems indecent that NBC 12 BLEEP would not give the same consideration to a memorial for terrorist victims in the U.K.
Love is the Cure: On Life, Loss, and the End of AIDS by Elton John Danielle Milam
5 out of 5 positive signs “My family and I held no hatred for those people be- transmitted. I grew up in great school districts, with cause we realized they were victims of their own igno- great teachers, and loving parents. How did I not rance.” Ryan White learn about HIV/AIDS? This is the same question John asks. How is it that Don’t let the cover deceive you. This is not a book people are not only misinformed but also live in a about one of the world’s most iconic and well-known state of fear when it comes to HIV/AIDS? Where’s the pop superstars. This is a book about love, about compassion and love that allow people with HIV/ educating the ignorant, about preventing and curing AIDS to live with dignity? Where’s the cure? a disease unlike any other. This is a book about AIDS. John criticizes just about everyone for not doing John’s style is evocative and personal from the first more. He rails against the media for creating a stigma page. He openly shares about his own struggles with about AIDS. He condemns the drug companies for not addiction and bulimia. He earned my trust as a reader lowering their prices for their buyers in developing by sharing his own emotions so candidly. I found countries. He denounces the governments for myself listening raptly to his message with a heavy blaming their sick citizens. He reproaches religious heart yet with an open mind. institutions for condemning contraception. He guiltily John describes the boy with AIDS, Ryan White, accuses himself for being a gay man in the 80’s who who gave him the strength to change his life and get did not cry out for better treatment of AIDS patients. involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS. All throughout There is hope, though. John rallies the troops by the book, he weaves his own personal narrative with sharing a vision that could, one day, be attainable. It the facts and statistics about HIV/AIDS that plague is a vision of love, acceptance, medicine and dignity our world. for those living with HIV/AIDS. He states that it is I must admit, I was possible to educate people about AIDS and provide humbled to learn how the medicine to every HIV+ person to prevent the ignorant I have been spread of HIV/AIDS. about HIV/AIDS. I was This disease can be eradicated but it’s going to born in the 80’s when take everyone. Perhaps this is where it starts; with the disease was first conversations about a book. identified and then I grew up in southern Must read for: Anyone wanting to make a Texas where the issue difference in this world. of AIDS wasn’t talked about. AIDS was that disease in Africa, or so I Want more book reviews? foolishly believed. I had Check out www.daniellesviews.blogspot.com been wrongly educated about how HIV/AIDS is BLEEP 13
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FIRST LOOK 16 BLEEP
The cast of “Independents.” Photo by Dixie Sheridan.
ebbie Does Dallas, Dog Sees God, the current OffBroadway shows, Silence! The Musical and Triassic Parq, and the Tony Award-winning musical Urinetown all have one thing in common. They were all part of the New York International Fringe Festival. Then they became hits on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theaters all over the world. The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC), the largest multi-arts festival in North America, will present the 16th Annual Festival August 10 - 26, 2012. FringeNYC is showcasing 190 of the world’s best emerging theatre troupes and dance companies in 20 different venues in Lower Manhattan and with an audience of more than 75,000 people, FringeNYC is one of New York City’s largest cultural events. In 2012, many of New York City’s most prominent downtown performance venues, including SoHo Playhouse, Cherry Lane Theatre, Players Theatre and La MaMa will host productions from around the globe. A complete lineup of shows is available at www.FringeNYC.org.
FringeNYC shows run 2pm - midnight weekdays and noon - midnight on weekends. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door available at www.FringeNYC.org or 866-468.7619. Discount passes for multiple shows will also available. For more information visit www.FringeNYC.org 1
Right: Kevin Kash in “Dark Hollow: An Appalachian Woyzeck.” Photo by: Louis Chan. Above: 1. Carolyn Myers and Terry Baum in “A Coupla’ Crackpot Crones.” Photo by: Liz Payne. 2. Patrick Martin and Dan Johnson in “Alice & The Bunny Hole.” Photo by: Robert A. Terrano. 3. Brandi Bravo in “Women of Smoke.” Photo by: Dixie Sheridan. 4. NY2Dance in “Oasis.” Photo by: Astrid Riecken.
WITH 190 PRODUCTIONS IN THE FRINGE, THERE’S NO WAY TO FEATURE THEM ALL. WE HAVE THREE WE’RE ESPECIALLY EXCITED TO SEE THIS AUGUST. INDEPENDENTS
An original folk-rock musical by Marina Keegan, Mark Sonnenblick, and Stephen Feigenbaum “chronicles nine friends living and working on a Revolutionary War-Era tall ship in 2012.” Involving historical reenactment, smuggling marijuana and a captain that’s disappeared, independents tells the story of friends stuck in transition. An entire generation right now can probably relate.
Written and directed by Larissa Wise, this play had a threemonth sold out run in LA last year. Now the dark comedy will take New York audiences on this “Wonderland-like journey into the poetic sickness of love.” Wonderland on Broadway didn’t exactly pan out, so we are excited to see something a little more fresh.
Right: James Fluhr in “Our Lady.” Photo by: Our Lady Below: The cast of “Love Sick.” Photo by: Lindsey Borchard. Bottom: 1. Scott Baker in “Bang! The Curse of John Wilkes Booth” Photo by: George Koury 2. Chris Salvatore in “Pieces.” Photo by: Rick Simone. 3. Tom Morf and Sara Hendricks in “The Importance of Doing Art.” Photo by: Angela Cardenas. 4. Jeff Seabaugh in “We Crazy, Right.” Photo by: Dixie Sheridan. 5. Lavi Zytner and Benjamin David Elder in “Dogs by TheaterCan of Tel-Aviv, Israel.” Photo by: Gadi Dagon. 6. Laura Kaldis, Sean Hefferon, Nastasha Strang and Hayes Dunlap in “FriendAndy.com.” Photo by: Rosemary Bencher. 7. Phoebe Silva and Michael Criscuolo in “Decompression.” Photo by: Hunter Canning
We’ve been hearing about James Fluhr’s play for some time now and he’s bringing his one-man-show to the Fringe. The story is his own, fused with elements of fairytale and theatrical fantasy, and was born in the wake of the string of teenage suicides in America. Not only is this supposed to be visually enticing, but heavy with meaning as well.
With the courtroom drama still the reigning format on television, we are excited to see what Pieces does on stage. The show explores the aftermath of a killing that leaves pieces of the victim’s body all over Los Angeles, but beyond the Dexter-like premise, this is a look at a culture fighting against itself and the struggles of personal identity.
DARK HOLLOW: AN APPALACHIAN WOYZECK
Different than most of the other shows we’ve read about, Dark Hollow is a musical about Frank Woyzeck, a soldier haunted by apocalyptic visions. This story of struggle features the sounds of the earliest American roots music and is one of the shows we are most excited about.
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hris Marchant believes you can find beauty in any form of music. He’d been playing the violin since he was nine-years-old but didn’t fall in love with theatre until the end of college. After spending time playing in regional gigs and on tours, Marchant moved to New York and began tossing ideas around for a string group with, who would become the group’s manager, Mark Cortale. “Mark and I tossed a bunch of ideas around and what started as the idea of a solo show changed into the concept of a group, which is so much better,” Marchant said. They set to putting Well-Strung together. “At that first concert, the question was if people were going to be interested,” Daniel Shevlin said. He was the first to join Marchant in the group. “We really enjoyed our arrangements and hearing how they sounded. When we added the vocals, it was scary at first. Nothing was memorized in that show and it was risky. But it worked.” Shevlin has been playing the cello since he was young. He was living in Denver when Marchant called and asked him about joining a quartet he was forming. “For the first time in a long time,” Shevlin said, “I feel
like what I’m a part of is mine and no one else is really doing it. I feel like this group is going to be successful because it’s new and fun and current.” Marchant and Cortale didn’t want the group to be just another string quartet. If beauty could be found in any music, then why not take current Top 40 music and arrange them for a classically-trained string quartet? Why not play Britney and Rihanna as well as Bach? Once more, why not remove the decorum and make an exciting stage show where the musicians are dynamic rather than sitting in a chair staring at sheet music? Edmund Bagnell thought it sounded like a good idea. “I was looking for more long-term gig and this seems like something new and exciting,” Bagnell said. “I love playing classical and mixing it up with the pop. I love that we get to interact with the audience and interact with each other. I think it’s very new and fresh.” Trevor Wadleigh moved to New York to get his Masters. His history of traditional classical music gave him doubts that he’d be a good fit for the group, but being a part of Well-Strung has broadened more than just his musical scope.
“Being in the group has been a great stretch of my personality and has made me do things I’ve never been asked to do before in performing,” Wadleigh said. Ten days after all four members of the string quartet Well-Strung were assembled, they were standing on stage giving their first concert. “The biggest question about that first concert was defining what it was that we would be delivering,” Wadleigh said. “Is what we’re doing theatre? Is it a concert piece? Is it performance?” The answer was that it was all three. “The idea of this group really combines all the things I’ve done artistically in my life,” Shevlin said. “There’s a lot of flexibility in what we can do with our voices and in the music.” After their show at Joe’s Pub in the spring, the band began working on tightening their act to prepare for a sit-down engagement in the summer. “Since those shows, we know each other as players and performers now. We have things memorized and we know what we’re doing,” Bagnell said. “Memorizing the material let us interact with each other and the audience and move around the stage. We’ve now made it our own,” Marchant said.
The group has been playing their show multiple times a week in Provincetown, MA, and will continue throughout the summer. “It’s great because we are able to spend the whole summer making adjustments to our show,” Marchant said. “We are all in the same place for the entire time, making new arrangements, learning new songs and replacing old ones.” “We have the opportunity to create music no one has ever done before and to develop a unique style that’s our own. That’s really exciting to me,” Wadleigh said. After their Provincetown shows are finished at the end of the summer, the group has a series of concerts in New York during the fall and have begun to explore the option of touring. “I’ve been thinking about this group for so long and have so much personal hope invested in it,” Marchant said. “More than just having fun playing, I think this is an opportunity to say something artistically to anyone that sees us. We’re different. I think we can really say something meaningful.”
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compan Mixing an old artform with new technology, Austin McCormick and his Company XIV are bringing Baroque to Brooklyn.
Photo by: Steven Schreiber
Photo by: Steven Schreiber
ORIGINALLY FROM CALIFORNIA, AUSTIN MCCORMICK’S FIRST TRAINING IN DANCE WAS BAROQUE, THE STYLE OF DANCE THAT EMERGED UNDER LOUIS XIV. TAUGHT BY A FRENCH DANCE HISTORIAN, HE BEGAN STUDYING CLASSICAL BALLET BEFORE HEADING TO JULLIARD. THERE, THE CONCEPT FOR COMPANY XIV BEGAN TO TAKE SHAPE.
“My second year at Julliard, I really decided I didn’t want to dance for a professional company,” McCormick said. “I wanted to create my own work. I started pursuing forming a non-profit when I was in school. I’d been training my whole life to be a professional dancer so that was a really hard decision to make. I felt momentum though and I wanted to do it then.” In 2006, McCormick founded his Company XIV and began merging classical texts, Baroque choreography, burlesque, eclectic music and theatrics to bring his 36 BLEEP
pieces to life. “Austin puts together this creative tension between music and design and then allows us to work in the world of dance and theatre performance,” founding company member Laura Careless said. “He really makes the pieces for the people he’s working with. We aren’t just filling a spot. We are creating the work with him.” “Every show is always a different collaboration between different art forms,” company member Sean Gannon said. “It’s really cool that we get to do that.” Something that sets Company XIV apart from other dance companies is the way McCormick has also integrated technology into his shows. “When I was in school, during our summer break, I would take Julliard dancers and make dance films,” McCormick said. “I would use pieces I made live and remake them for the camera. I realized how much you can focus the eye so much more than in a live experience. I love a multifaceted experience in theatre.”
Austin McCormick. Photo by Sean Gannon
That multifaceted experience is exactly what McCormick is creating on stage. By collaborating with a projection designer, Company XIV shows include video projections, not onto a big screen behind the dancers as is seen on concert tours, but on the actual stage itself, on the walls around the stage and on the props. Sometimes it’s pre-recorded and sometimes it’s a live feed. “I’m always drawing inspiration from classical text or story of some kind,” McCormick said. “The baroque esthetic is just a part of my sensibility. The mission of the company is really to unite all of these mediums together. The design, the costume, the lighting, the projection, the choreography and the music. Everything has equal importance in my mind.” This collaboration is something that’s admired as much by the members of the company as it is by the audience that experiences the works. “I can’t imagine what it’s like to be inside his head, but I imagine he has a vision of every element,” Careless said. “I feel like before he even gets to work,
the piece is so three-dimensional already in his head that he can fold more ingredients into the mix because they’ve been there since the inception of the piece.” Three vocalists from the Morningside Opera performed with the dance company in their most recent show, “Judge Me Paris,” and as opposed to being separated from the dance, they became a part of the show. “Having live musicians and singers fundamentally completes the experience for me,” company member Jeff Takacs said. “When you use a track, it’s always going to be the same but this, with the live musicians and singers, it is always going to be a little different. It really makes it a thoroughly live theatrical event.” The theatrical nature of the art that’s being created in Brooklyn both inspires and challenges the dancers in Company XIV. More than just executing moves like in a ballet, these dancers have to be interested in character and acting. “For me, growing up in dance,” company member BLEEP 37
Photo by: Corey Tatarczuk 38 BLEEP
Photo by: Corey Tatarczuk
Marisol Cabrera said, “I came from a place of technique and your own artistry. In Austin’s work, he encourages us to really embody a character and try to connect to someone that you’re portraying. That, for me, was challenging because that’s not how I have been trained.” For dancer Laura Careless, taking on the characters in the shows has stretched her more than just as an artist, but as a person as well. “The work has made me a more compassionate person, able to understand people more,” Careless said. “Austin always come from the point of view that as human beings, we have the potential to be any shade of light or shadow that we choose to be. Having explored so many characters in such a physical way, I think we start to embody that principle. I think I would be a very different person if I didn’t have this opportunity.” For Marisol Cabrera, being a part of the productions has brought her a sense of belonging. “Growing up, I was always an individual performer 40 BLEEP
and I feel like I’m living the dream. Being a part of Company XIV, I’m on a team,” Marisol Cabrera said. “I feel like we are one big family and I’ve always wanted to be a performer that belongs to an ensemble. Being here allows me to feel that.” “The whole experience of working with these people everyday has been the most beautiful experience,” Sean Gannon said. “As a performer I feel completely different than I did a year ago. There’s always a new talent and a new thrill. I just love being in this world so much. I feel like that comes across in my performance every night.” One thing the company members and McCormick will all say is that the art emerging from Company XIV is both unique and relevant to today’s audiences. “I think what we have to offer is our ability to reimagine these classic sources for a younger audience,” McCormick said. “I think someone that’s never seen opera, baroque dance or ballet can come to our show and find it accessible and interesting.”
Photo by: Steven Schreiber
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IN AN AGE WHERE AN IPAD APP ALLOWS YOU TO CREATE ‘WORKS OF ART,’ NICOLE RUBENDALL IS PROVING THAT THE EMOTIONAL CONNECTION MADE THROUGH AN ACTUAL PAINTING IN A GALLERY CAN NOT BE REPLACED. SHE’S READY TO TAKE THE ART WORLD BY STORM, ONE ABSTRACT AT A TIME.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Redding, Penn.. It’s about 40 minutes from Philadelphia.
York because I didn’t think there was a better place to go for art than New York. I was actually a doublemajor with Communications and Art.
When did you first start getting interested in art? I think I’ve always been interested in drawing. My junior year of high school, I knew it was something I needed to keep doing and that it would be more important to me than just a hobby.
Why did you double-major? I thought I needed more than just an art degree to make it through life. At what point did it switch from drawing to painting for you? When I discovered oil paints. Acrylic didn’t do it for me and water colors were never really my thing, but oil paints, the way you can blend the colors and work with it can be really challenging, but it’s something I connected with really quickly.
When you were young, what did you draw? Cartoon characters I was watching on TV. The first time I had an a-ha moment with art was when I was on vacation with my family. I remember sitting there and drawing random shapes and shading them in different variations. For some reason, that got me into drawing. What are you doing now? I live in New York. You have to do what you have to After high school, how did you continue pursuing do to survive here. So I work a few different jobs and I art? try to keep the creative juices flowing however I can. I went to a liberal arts college and I opted for New 46 BLEEP
How do you keep the creative juices flowing? The paintings are big. I want them to take over the When I don’t have time to paint, I do freelance space you’re in. I don’t want you to see what’s left or design work. So that keeps me going. I always have a what’s right. You’re forced to look at it and have that sketchbook with me and I’m always sketching. feeling. The further you look into the painting, the more you’ll see. What inspires you? People. It comes from the fascination with How intentional is your work? communication. People just fascinate me with their I have a slight concept and general shape I know I’m emotions and the way they adapt to society. It shows going to create, but it’s really about what feels right in my work. at that moment. If I think there needs to be a bit of red there, I will. And if not, I can change it. That’s the What is your favorite thing to paint? beauty of the oil paint. When it’s right, I feel it and I’m Colors. Just abstract colors. My paintings usually done. draw on the emotional connotations that I’ve learned and it creates this moment. Right now, it’s typically Who’s work do you admire? two main colors and they are fighting. Sometimes the I can appreciate everything and I think every period colors work with each other and sometimes they work and artist has something to offer. One of my biggest against each other. It creates this moment of feeling inspirations, not that he even resembles my work uncomfortable for the viewer and they’re not really whatsoever, would be Umberto Boccioni who was a sure why. It’s something more than just the color on a futurist painter that made very moving, very colorful canvas. It’s deeper than that. paintings. BLEEP 47
How is your art progressing now? It’s a process finding time, finding resources, etc. I’m taking every opportunity to let people know what I do. I had a solo exhibition my senior year where I got to take over the gallery and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Being in New York has shown me new ways of engaging people in a new way with art. How so? You walk down the street, you go to Madison Square Park, there’s an outside exhibition every time you’re there and it’s always changing. You ride the subway and you see artwork. It’s really inspiring. What’s your dream? I would love to be able to paint and work with other artists and get to the point where I can help other artists start because it’s a struggle. The term starving-artist doesn’t exist for no reason. It’s hard. So getting myself to the point where I can have a good living and help other artists is what I’d like to do.
N I Y P O N A C N E D D I AH
A C I R A T S O C LE MILA M L E I N A D Y B S OTO STORY AND PH
HIGH IN THE CANOPY OF THE CLOUD FOREST IN MONTEVERDE, COSTA RICA IS A COLLECTION OF TREEHOUSES BLENDING PERFECTLY INTO THEIR SURROUNDINGS. UNSEEN BY THOSE TRAVELING THE COMMON ROAD, THERE IS, UNEQUIVOCALLY, NOTHING QUITE LIKE THE HIDDEN CANOPY TREEHOUSE BOUTIQUE HOTEL.
happy?” she burst into tears. Jenn was successful, but miserable.
Jennifer King was a successful businesswoman in the States. She’d made a name for herself in the tech industry and worked her way up during the dot-com bubble. She lived the day-to-day grind in sales and marketing, occasionally inspired, but mostly just working for the paycheck. So, there she sat for 15 years - part of the mainstream work force - good at her job, and comfortable in her life. Yet, when a close friend asked her, “Are you
Jenn initially traveled to Costa Rica for a two-week intensive Spanish course that turned into a monthlong venture. After that month, she felt like she hit a wall with the language. At her teacher’s suggestion, she began traveling around the country to become more comfortable with her Spanish. As she traveled, Jenn found herself drawn to Monteverde, Costa Rica. She would leave, but there was energy in Monteverde that kept calling her back.
With the undeniable realization of her unhappiness, Jenn visited her friend and career counselor for the third time in seven years. She was told to do three things: Travel and experience different ways of life; Create, cook or build; and nurture by creating a nest to nurture others. These are the same things she had been told each time she had seen this counselor. The difference was, this time she was listening.
She found herself befriending the staff at a hotel and watching the way they operated. Slowly, she became instrumental in helping them with public relations, being one of the only people there who spoke both English and Spanish. One day, Jenn walked up a hillside with picturesque views of the cloud forest and discovered a farm for sale. That energy she’d felt calling her to Monteverde emanated from this hillside. Unwilling to let the opportunity pass, Jenn bought the farm with only a vague understanding of how that land would become her nest. Returning to California to sell her half-acre home to buy thirteen acres in Costa Rica, Jenn’s friends found the entire situation surreal. They sat around one night, drinking a bottle of wine when inspiration struck. “Jenn, you live in the freaking trees! Why don’t you build treehouses?” The next day, Jenn bought or ordered every book she could find on building treehouses. Of course, there were no books on building treehouse hotels. This was unchartered territory. Once back in Costa Rica for good, the challenges of the journey had only just begun. Jenn was still learning Spanish as well as technical construction vocabulary. She found herself surrounded by a culture unaccustomed to females in leadership roles and worst of all, she was being told it couldn’t be done. Her workers thought she was crazy when Jenn started deconstructing the house on the property board by board. Why not just bulldoze it? Jenn saw potential in that wood and it was used to build her first treehouse. When she took her initial sketches for the main house to an architect, he hated them and drew up entirely new designs. Again and again Jenn had to keep persuading others to see her vision. Once she 52 BLEEP
refused to back down, they started seeing. Finally, with construction of the main house under way, Jenn could turn her attention to her treehouses. She had learned her lesson with the architect and wouldn’t let anyone touch her designs. These treehouses would be completely hers. It wasn’t as easy as simply handing the sketches to her builders, though. Jenn had to consult with land and wildlife experts to ensure she wouldn’t damage the forest. She had to consult tree experts and create a sewage plan. Taking the local terrain into account, Jenn rerouted a river for water and began planting native foliage to see if it would grow. To this day, she has cut down only two or three living trees. She believes in harmony with the surrounding nature. Nature didn’t have to make way for her dream. She joined with the land to create a unique beauty. I saw evidence of this conviction during my stay when a Hercules beetle wandered into the main house. Instead of screaming and throwing him out the window, as was my natural reaction, Jenn simply picked him up, showed him off to all the guests, and then put him on a tree near the window so he could leave on his own. The windows always remained open so butterflies would flit in and out landing on the furniture specially made from petrified trees perfectly melding the beauty of the “natural” in nature and the “constructed” in manmade design. As the main house is Jenn’s residence, it comes complete with her books from childhood, her special nick-knacks and her three cats. While the thought of opening my house to complete strangers makes me cringe, Jenn simple chuckles and says, “I’ve always loved nesting and sharing my nest with folks.” As tourists drive up the hillside next to the main
house, they would often stop the car and get out to take pictures of the view. Jenn would run out and invite them in. “Oh no,” they would say, “This is someone’s house!” “Yes. It is my house. Come in and get the good shot. Would you like a cup of tea?” So it began. Word began to spread about this nice woman opening a bed and breakfast with the great views of the cloud forest. Hidden Canopy opened unofficially in December of 2008 with only two treehouses and one room in the main house. By the time the hotel opened officially in July, all four treehouses were open. They’ve run practically full ever since. Jenn’s even opened two more guest rooms in the main house and is building another treehouse. Jenn not only offers a unique place to stay but also impeccable service unrivaled in the area. It was evident in the way she personally took my breakfast order or booked my tour with one of the two guides who are on call specifically for her, that serving her clients comes first. She believes in taking care of people and it brings her joy. I witnessed Jenn rallying the community to help care for an ailing friend. Even though I had only known her a few days, I got the distinct impression she would have done the same for me. That’s just the kind of person she is. Jenn’s service makes Hidden Canopy unlike any hotel. Recently, she discovered it was the birthday of a 15-year-old boy staying at the hotel with his parents. Her staff baked a special birthday cake and she had all the clients sing to him. When he and his family were out for the day, they filled his room with balloons and streamers. This idea of above and beyond service has trickled into the daily workings of the staff as well. The boys carry the laundry up the hill for the girls while the girls cook lunch for the boys. They’ve learned how to work together to provide the best environment and experiences not only for the guests but also for each other. Jenn is currently building her 54 BLEEP
fifth treehouse, which she hopes will accommodate larger families and she already has visions of a spa on property as an alternative activity on rainy days. I walked with her as she explained her plan, showing me where the Jacuzzi and yoga house will be. “How about a two story massage house there so that you get a massage overlooking the cloud forest?” Jenn mused, her excitement infectious. Even though the other four treehouses are complete, she keeps tweaking them to make them better. To Jenn, Hidden Canopy will always be a work in progress. I can see myself traveling to Hidden Canopy again and again. There’s an atmosphere of excited anticipation that surrounds my thoughts of returning. Will I see toucans fly from the picture windows in the main house? Will the white-faced monkeys come up to the treehouses and throw the patio furniture around? What changes will Jenn make while we’re gone? While I don’t have the answer to these questions, I do know this: when I go back, I will feel like I’m coming home.
TO DATE, PEOPLE FROM 49 COUNTRIES AND 40 STATES HAVE STAYED AT HIDDEN CANOPY ALL ROOMS HAVE WATERFALL SHOWERS WHICH ARE INSPIRED BY THE TIMES JENN WAS TRAVELING AROUND COSTA RICA AND ACTUALLY SHOWERED IN WATERFALLS JENN CREATED ALL THE LANDSCAPING ON THE PROPERTY HIDDEN CANOPY CURRENTLY OFFERS 4 TREEHOUSES AND 3 MAIN HOUSE ROOMS JENN BUILT THE MAIN HOUSE AROUND A FIG TREE JENN’S GRANDMOTHER MADE ALL THE RUGS IN THE TREEHOUSES THE PLASTIC PATIO FURNITURE IS PRACTICAL – THE WHITE-FACED MONKEYS THROW THE CHAIRS AGAINST THE WINDOWS AND PLASTIC DOESN’T BREAK THE GLASS. BLEEP 55
Personal style and fashion blogger Lauren Hernandez is taking the blogosphere by storm. Based in Sydney, this graphic designer, blogger and self-confessed shutterbug brings her love of vintage clothing, Campos coffee and The Jezabels into her polished and professional blog.
R E G G O L B e v o l we BLEEP 57
Where are you from? I am based in the land down under, Sydney, Australia. What do you do for a living? I work as a full-time designer at an advertising agency called Onepartners. (http://onepartners.com. au) Juggling a design job and blogging can be difficult at times, but I think both of them compliment each other rather nicely. I see my blog as a creative outlet, something I can call my own. When did you start blogging? Why? I started blogging in early 2010. I was living out of home and trying to find my place in the world again. Being a blog reader myself, one Saturday afternoon I decided to give it a shot and well, that’s how it all began. Blogging soon helped me realise what I truly like, what I enjoy, what type of people I want to be around and basically who I am and want to be as a person.
really about much more than that. What do you consider your blog to be about and how do you decide what to post about? I have always been interested in fashion, being a creative and visual individual I see clothes as an extension of one’s self. Working in graphic design, you learn to communicate information visually and I see fashion doing the exact same thing via different mediums. I see my blog as a reflection of my personality, somewhat an online diary detailing my personal tastes and a place of inspiration. I don’t normally have a guideline as to what to post and what makes it on the blog. If I like it, I’ll post it. If I find it relevant to current trends and it reflects my “personal style” I’ll share it.
What niche have you carved out for yourself in the blogosphere? I’m not sure if I have carved out a niche for myself, but I think it’s important to stand by your personal style and keep on it. I would describe my style as eclectic, vintage-inspired, sometimes edgy, colourful At first glance, your blog is about fashion. But it’s and playful. I don’t wear head-to-toe designer labels 58 BLEEP
but instead mix quality staples with unique vintage finds or fast-fashion bargains. Building a visual identity is important for people and other readers to recognize you and your “style”. My uniform usually consists of my Marc by Marc Jacobs chronograph watch, layered collar/ sweater combo, a statement necklace and anything black. It’s funny when fellow bloggers or readers say “Oh my God, that is totally a ‘black swan’ piece!” What’s the purpose of your blog? My purpose of my blog has and always been for myself. It is my creative outlet where I have complete control over and I guess a place where I can unload my thoughts and express myself, even if it is through ‘fashion’. Lately I have been going through my archives and reading old posts. I think it’s great that I can still do the same 20 years from now and re-visit memories or recall what life was like ‘back then’. How did your blog get its name? Throughout my teenage years, I earned a lot of nicknames - as you do. ‘Black Swan’ was one of them that represented a few things; the girl who stood out amongst her group of friends, the one who always liked to wear black, my undeniable split personality of a true Gemini and then the 13 years I practiced ballet. ‘Black swan’ made sense at the time and the name just stuck. Why are bloggers important? I think bloggers are a strong indication of what’s become of the fashion world today due to the influence of social media and ‘going digital’. Blogs are easy to access and provide instant, dynamic content that cater for the immediacy and “see now, want now, eat now, shop now” attitude people experience today. What’s your dream? My dream is to continue my design career and hopefully come across a role where fashion/ photography and design combine. I would like to get more involved in creative, collaborative projects and meet new people from all walks of life. I want to travel as much as I can, see the world and hopefully witness a sunset over Santorini. www.youronlyblackswan.com
All images from WWW.YOURBLACKSWAN.COM
Silk Blouse, Silk Pants, both at AshleeBrooksCollection.com. Jade Necklace, Jimmy Choo Pumps, both at Ditto Boutique Dallas. 62 BLEEP
LEADING You can tell a great deal about people based on the things with which they choose to surround themselves. Dressing the part is as important as being the part for these three trendsetters. A model, hipster and artist give us a sneak peak into their weekday wardrobe and the lives they lead.
Colton Scally Writer | Photographer Juan Lerma Creative Director | Fashion Stylist Amrel Styling Company Jerrad Trahan Hair Stylist | Makeup Artist Jerrad Trahan Beauty Kait Ri Model | The Campbell Agency Adam George Model | Wallflower Management Lailani Model | The Campbell Agency Cassandra Willis Fashion Assistant Joshua Hargrave Photography Assistant BLEEP 63
Left: Alice and Olivia Bow Top, Gucci Skirt, both at Ditto Boutique Dallas. Hypnotic Ring, Turquoise Drop Earrings, both at CoutureRocksOnline.com. Center: Monet Peplum Top, Monet Skirt, both Edgar Gomez Couture. Christian Louboutin Cork Daffodil Pumps. Right: Christy Moto Jacket, Shawna Shirt, Bonnie Bracelets, all at Club Monaco Dallas Galleria.
Bailey Dress, Shalini Scarf, Carissa Belt, Nancy Fedora, Bangles, all at Club Monaco Dallas Galleria. Shoes, Stylists Own.
Model Dallas-based model Kait Ri, is a full time model with The Campbell Agency and models internationally. Raised in Fort Worth, TX, and having spent a year of her childhood traveling around the United States with her mother and four brothers, she has camped in nearly every national park in the US and loves the outdoors. Kait was homeschooled and spent most of her days in dance and tae kwon do classes. She’s a black belt and “once knocked a girl out for the gold.” While not modeling and kicking ass, Kait mentors high school girls and is a youth leader at her church, Crosstimbers. She enjoys wake-boarding, long-boarding, rock climbing, reading, thrifting and cooking for her boyfriend.
hipster Dallas-based-model Adam George spends his time both in front of and behind the camera. “For love I am a creator. I follow my instincts.” His instincts lead him to St. Edwards University in Austin to study photography. He also uses his experience as a model and photographer to create short films. He also loves graffiti, but chooses chalk over other more permanent media. He spends his spare time flying kites, womanizing, doing yoga and hanging out on or below bridges. “I really just enjoy anything and everything that reminds me I am alive.” His favorite accessory? A bolo tie. “They remind me of my roots and my grandpa.”
Brendan Sweater, at Club Monaco Dallas Galleria. Cut off shorts, Belt, Shoes, Necklace, Models Own
Left: Pineapple Chinos, Tricot Tank, Ben Leather Belt, all from Club Monaco Dallas Galleria. Bolo Tie, Shoes, models own. Right: Justin Pineapple Tank, Jorn B Trouser, both from Club Monaco Dallas Galleria. Hat, Necklace, Shoes, models own. 70 BLEEP
Left: Hacienda Montaecristo Necklace , at Grange Hall. Orange vintage top, Shorts, Sandals, Models own. Right: Ben leather belt , at Club Monaco Dallas Galleria. Sculptural bracelet, at Ditto Boutique. Natalia Brilli Leather Bracelet, at Grange Hall. Vintage Tshirt, Red shorts, Shoes, Models own.
Leather and Silk Gown, AshleeBrooksCollection.com. Spiral Earrings, Squid Ring, both at Ditto Boutique Dallas. Melanie Georgacopoulos Necklace (worn as belt), Natalia Brilli Starburst Clutch, both at Grange Hall.
artist Many of the greatest artists are remembered through a singular name. Following in the footsteps of her favorite models and other visionaries, Dallas-based model Lailani is on a quest to make her singular name stand out. She's an up-and-coming model with The Campbell Agency and knows what it means to be an artist. She views the study of the fashion industry as an art form and makes it a point to stay on trend with the happenings in the greater world of fashion. While her edgy look complements haute couture and futuristic designs, Lailani looks to the past for inspiration. Etta James and The Temptations are among her favorite musicians.
Romeo and Juliet Dress, Maskowitz bag, Sculptural Necklace, Spiral Earrings, all at Ditto Boutique Dallas. Shoes, models own.
Edward Casual Shirt, Korrin Stud Belt, both at Club Monaco Dallas Galleria. Denim Skirt, at BarronandJ.com. Spiral Earrings, at Ditto Boutique. Jewelry, shoes, and leggings, stylists own.
Leather and Silk Gown, AshleeBrooksCollection.com. Spiral Earrings, Squid Ring, both at Ditto Boutique Dallas. Melanie Georgacopoulos Necklace (worn as belt), Natalia Brilli Starburst Clutch, both at Grange Hall. 78 BLEEP
Byblos Top, Spiral Earrings, Combat Wedges, all at Ditto Boutique Dallas. Eloise Lambskin Vest, at Izavel.net. Silk Skirt, AshleeBrooksCollection.com. Beavaldez Handbag, at Grange Hall.
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bleepquiz Nicole Rubendall
Artist & Communicator
I am...who I am. I’m here because...I have no reason to be anywhere else at this moment. What makes me happiest is...when I can put some music on and spend the next few hours painting. The color that best represents me is... crimson. What I hope to accomplish today is...something fun. I don’t know what that is yet, but everyday should have some fun in it. My best friends are...all unique and bring something different to the table. I can’t live without...my sketchbook. Sometimes I just need to put a pencil to paper and see what comes out. Between an Olympic champion or an Oscar winner, I’d rather be...an Olympic champion. If I wasn’t me, I’d be...bored. I like it best when you...can laugh at yourself. God is...planning something. I’m hungry for...my Mom’s pasta salad. (I hope she gets the hint for the next time I visit.) I cry…when I laugh too hard. Style means…confidence. Or shoes. Never underestimate the power a good pair of shoes can have on a person. I want to go...everywhere. I just want to go. Period. The most obnoxious sound in the world is...negativity. Life is too short. What makes me weak is...a good cappuccino. I can never turn one down. At this exact moment, I’m passionate about...creating something. I crave... the beach, preferably on an island where my only decision is what time to get ready for dinner. My inspiration is...life. BLEEP 81
BLEEP's August issue features Well-Strung, Company XIV, the art of Nicole Rubendall and many other talented people who are making a mark in...