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Friday, July 28, 2017


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Swing dance group stomps on Eastside Eastside Stomp swing dancing group gives back to community

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Ben White, owner of Eastside Stomp, swing dances during a recent event in Redmond.


t all began with an old VHS dance tape from a Goodwill in Spokane. This is how Ben White, owner of Eastside Stomp, first got interested in dancing. “I was probably 18 years old,” he said. “My friends and I decided to learn off of the dance tape and then we started traveling. We found Lindy Hop and moved to Seattle to do more.” After moving to Seattle, White met Peter Flahiff, a swing dance teacher from Los Angeles who was looking to open a swing dance venue on the Eastside. “He saw a need for people to be themselves and dance on the Eastside,” White said. “He needed someone who was fired up enough to promote it for him, and he pulled me in as his promoter guy and we started it up.” Eastside Stomp was launched in 2008 and is held at the Aria Ballroom in Redmond. Since then, it has developed a large following of people, from those who are professional dancers to those who are beginners.

Photo courtesy of Eastside Stomp


The Don’t Miss List By Carrie Rodriguez


Village Theatre’s 17th Annual Festival of New Musicals continues the theatre’s dedication to the development of new work. This year, the festival’s five readings will include “Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat,” an electronic pop musical about one of the world’s greatest inventors; “Hart Island,” a look at social justice and the people society has forgotten; “Afterwords,” a tale of art and love; “Howl’s Moving Castle,” based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones and animated feature by Hayao Miyazaki; and “ZM,” a hilarious romp through a zombie-filled future by

the authors of Urinetown. For more information, visit WHEN: Aug. 11-13 WHERE: Village Theatre, 303 Front St. N., Issaquah


Kirkland Summerfest is the city’s premiere summer festival of art, music, food and family fun on the waterfront. Kirkland’s largest festival features three days of visual and performing arts, more than 50 performances, spectator sports, family rides and entertainment, more than 150 vendors and food trucks on downtown streets. Bring the family for the day, and then dance the night away at the beer garden stage. For more information, visit

WHEN: Aug. 11-13, times vary WHERE: Various locations in Kirkland


This delightful play includes all your favorites from the White Rabbit to the Mad Hatter. The show includes actors of all ages and is suitable for the whole family. Enjoy family theatre this summer with the classic tale. This play has three casts. If you are coming to see someone in the play, ask the box office which weekend they are performing. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 425-452-7155. WHEN: 7 p.m. Aug. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19; 2 p.m. Aug. 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20 WHERE: Bellevue Youth Theatre, 16051 NE 10th St.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Happy Hour

Start your weekend early with these happy hours on the Eastside By Raechel Dawson Assistant editor

It’s 5 p.m. on a weekday and you’re so close to the weekend you can almost taste the barbecue, see the pool floaties and feel the sweet breeze of freedom from the hectic work week. Well, why wait? Start your weekend early (and save a few bucks on drinks) with these happy hours* around the Eastside:


Happy Hour: 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday Address: 3720 Factoria Boulevard SE Contact: 425-644-2781 Website: www.facebook. com/pg/sidelinefactoria


Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. and

9 p.m. to close, every day Address: 700 Bellevue Way NE, Unit 130 Contact: 425-452-3275 Website:


Happy Hour: 2-5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close Monday through Friday, and 3-5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close Saturday and Sunday Address: 10146 Main Street Contact: 425-450-0520 Website: 520barandgrill. com


Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. every day Address: 430 106th Ave. NE Contact: 425-502-6292 Website: www.purplecafe. com/purple-bellevue


Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close Monday through Friday, and all day on drinks and after 3 p.m. for food Saturday through Sunday Address: 2441 76th Ave. SE, Ste. 150 Contact: 206-232-6676 Website: www.the-islander. com


Happy Hour: 4-6 p.m. every day Address: 1084 NE Park Drive Contact: 425-369-1181 Website: www.siprestaurant. com

Many patrons enjoy Sideline Sports Bar’s happy hour in Bellevue.


Happy Hour: 4-5:30 p.m. every day Address: 38 Front St. N Contact: 425-369-4772 Website:


Happy Hour: 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday Address: 1025 NW Gillman Boulevard, Ste. E-7 Contact: 425-392-6356 Website:



Happy Hour: 4-6 p.m. every day, and 8-9 p.m. Monday, 9-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10-11 p.m. Friday, 9-10 p.m. Saturday and all day Sunday Address: 9749 NE 119th Way Contact: 425-242-0280 Website: www.brixwinecafe. com


mamish Parkway NE Contact: 425-654-5588 Website:


Happy Hour: Address: 7330 164th Ave. NE, Ste. E255 Contact: 425-881-4400 Website: www.schwartzbros. com/locations/spazzo/ * This is a sampling of happy hours on the Eastside and is not meant to be a comprehensive list.

Family isFamily why Family we do is is why Family is why we do itwhy all. we we do it all. do it all. it all.

Happy Hour: 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, all day Saturday for cocktails Address: 3310 E Lake Sam-

Kathy Johnson, Agent 240 NW Gilman Blvd Issaquah, WA 98027 Kathy Johnson, Agent Bus: 425-392-2224 240 NW Gilman Blvd

Raechel Dawson/staff photo

We all feel the same commitment to care for our We all Helping feel the same families. you meet commitment to care for our Issaquah, WA 98027 your insurance needs is part Bus: 425-392-2224 families. Helping you meet of my to you. Kathy Johnson, Agent We all commitment feel the same your insurance needs is part 240 NW Gilman Blvd Like a good neighbor, commitment to care to foryou. our of my commitment Issaquah, WA 98027 State is neighbor, there. Bus: 425-392-2224 families. you meet LikeFarm aHelping good CALL MEFarm TODAY. isneeds part yourState insurance CALL ME TODAY. of my commitment to you. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. CALL ME TODAY. ®


Park in the Public Parking Lot, located at 7451 Leary Way NE, corner of Bear Creek Pkwy and Leary Way NE

Find your favorite Happy Hour location at



State Home Farm, Home Bloomington, State Farm, Office,Office, Bloomington, IL IL

170726 Movies in the Park Scene Mag 9.83x12.75 f.pdf

Friday, July 28, 2017



3:36 PM


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Summer drama camp teaches lesser-known Indian history By Nicole Jennings Staff writer


There are some famous rulers — usually from the western hemisphere — that we’ve all learned about over and over again, through schooling, books and portrayals in movies: Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Henry VIII, Louis XIV. But how many of us can name any facts about — or, for that matter, have even heard of — Shivaji Bhonsle, king of the Maratha Empire in India from 1674 to 1680? It is this heroic warrior who takes center stage in the East Meets West Cultural Summer Camp, Sammamish resident Archana Sunil’s Indian culturefilled summer drama camp for kids, now in its fourth year. And this year, for the first time, participants not only acquire knowledge about the fundamentals of acting — they also get a lesson in Indian history. In the span of one week, the young thespians, aged 8 through high school, learned

a script about the life of Shivaji and had it ready to perform by the afternoon of Saturday, July 22. While the main focus of the camp is theater, participants also get a taste of Indian culture through different artistic and athletic activities, such as basket weaving, sculpting, games of cricket and musical performances on Indian instruments like the santoor. “It’s an overall enriching camp,” Sunil said. “The goal is to share Indian culture with the community.” Sunil, who was born and raised in India, writes every play that the camp performs. It’s a task that usually takes around half a year to complete, as Sunil does meticulous research to make sure she has every detail correct. This year’s play chronicles the battles between the teenage Shivaji and the Mughals, who ruled much of India from the 16th through 18th centuries. “When [Shivaji] was born, India was under Mughal rule for centuries,” Sunil said,


explaining that being conquered by this foreign dynasty was causing India to lose much of its culture. When Shivaji was just 15, his mother Jijabai “inspired him to take his country back from the invaders,” Sunil said. The intrepid young warrior triumphed and gained considerable land from the foreign power, forming the beginning of the Maratha Empire. Shivaji remains a prominent figure in India, with his image gracing statues and commemorative postage stamps. The Mumbai airport was even renamed the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in the 1990s. Despite his legacy, Shivaji is mostly absent from the history books of the American educational system, as is much of Indian history. This, said Sunil, is exactly why she wanted to call attention to the important and inspirational young ruler. “For some reason, India is not included in the textbooks,” Sunil said, noting that studies of Asia tend to focus more on China. She finds this unfortunate and ironic, since the population of Indian immigrants in the U.S. has grown in recent years. “On the plateau,

[the Indian population] is so big, yet we don’t see much learning about the culture,” she said. However, it is not only American schools that leave Shivaji out of the curriculum. Growing up in India, Sunil said that she never learned about the royal warrior. She believes the reason lies in the political climate. “He was a strong force against the Mughals, who were Muslim,” Sunil explained, adding that it is not considered politically correct to teach any part of history that paints Muslims in a negative light. “Politics is what drives history books,” Sunil said. “Whatever is convenient is what we’re taught.” Sunil doesn’t intend to let any sort of politics dictate what she writes. She already has come up with the for next year’s We Wehelp help people people age age theme play, starring Lachit where where they’re they’re most most Borkuphan, another century military comfortable. comfortable. AtAt home. home. 17th man who fought the Since Since 1996, 1996, we’ve we’ve helped helped thousands thousands of of Mughals. And after people people receive receive thethe personal personal carecare and and that, the men can step companionship companionship theythey need need to stay to stay in in aside in favor of some their their own own homes. homes. SeeSee if we’re if we’re the right the right girl power — Sunil choice choice forfor intends to write about the warrior queens Seattle/Snohomish Seattle/SnohomishCounty: County:206.545.1092 206.545.1092 who fought the MuBellevue/Eastside: Bellevue/Eastside:425.455.2004 425.455.2004 ghals. Tacoma/Pierce Tacoma/PierceCounty: County:253.761.8019 253.761.8019 “Given that the camp is usually mostly AAWashington WashingtonState StateLicensed Licensed Home Home Care Care Agency Agency

Friday, July 28, 2017

Nicole Jennings/staff photos

In the span of one week, kids learned and performed a play about the Indian king Shivaji Bhonsle, complete with sword fights, authentic costume pieces from India and even a Bollywood dance number. Pictured here is the June 21 rehearsal, one day before show time.

girls, I think that would be a good one to do,” she said with a laugh. Not only is the camp mostly female, but it is also mostly comprised of children from Indian families. Sunil wants to change this in future years, so that kids of many different cultures can mingle and share their traditions with one another. “It’s a wall I’m trying to figure out how to break,” she said. Sunil had been dreaming of creating an opportunity to share her culture with her community for years, but it was not until her husband, on a visit to India, witnessed a school badly in need of funds that Sunil knew she had to do something to help.

She came up with the idea to form a summer drama camp to spread knowledge about Indian culture, and send the proceeds back to India. All proceeds from the camp go toward the Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Foundation, which funds medical care, poverty relief and education in India. And the camp allows Sunil, who has been writing scripts since she was a child, the chance to live out her theatre ambitions, though she insists that it is the children who are the real stars. “It’s simple storytelling — I let the kids tell the story,” Sunil said. For more information, visit http://

Friday, July 28, 2017



White described the swing dance community as “one big happy family.” “The swing dance community has a really unique thing where you can go to any country in the world and as long as you want to dance, you’re going to have a couch to sit on and a group of people that are excited to see you,” he said. “I’m really excited to help teach other people about that and include them in that family.” Members of the swing dance community view Eastside Stomp as one of their favorite venues. “I love the casual atmosphere, that you can dress as informal or formal as you like,” Marissa Johnston said. “The people are incredibly friendly and are very willing to help new dancers. There’s such a wide range of beginning to experienced dancers. As a natural introvert, it’s a great way for me to meet new people who already have a mutual interest in swing dancing. And it’s probably my most fun way of getting exercise.” Aleah Bright agrees. “I really appreciate how laid-back and fun the atmosphere is,” Bright said. “There is no pressure. It’s good old-fashioned fun and gives you a taste of what life was like in the 40s. It’s my kind of place. No matter your age, dancing isn’t bound by time. It’s

a mix of all ages having a great time. I think it’s really the best thing to do on a Friday night with friends.” After nine years of doing regular Friday night social dances, classes and private lessons, Eastside Stomp is becoming a nonprofit organization called Syncopation Foundation. The Syncopation Foundation will help children be able to learn and access dance in their schools. “It’s really exciting to be able to access kids who would not have this experience, to those who may not find that VHS tape,” said the executive director of Syncopation Foundation, Amanda Miller. Eastside Stomp will still be the name of the venue and will still host its weekly dances and lessons, but Syncopation Foundation will be the overarching name. Syncopation Foundation is set to go live within the next few weeks. “The contributions that are given to the classes and the dances not only are supporting the teachers, the venue and the musicians, but also supporting an overall structure and giving back to the community,” Miller said. “They’re going to be the very first investors in something truly special.” For more information on Eastside Stomp, visit For more information on Syncopation Foundation, visit www.eastsidestomp. com/syncfound.html.

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Nicole Jennings/staff photo

The exhibit seeks to increase one’s awareness of their surroundings and explore the relationship between different moments in time.

New exhibit explores time through ceramics By Nicole Jennings Staff writer The Kirkland Arts Center Gallery premiered its new exhibition for the summer on the evening of July 21. “Contemplari,” created by artists Amanda Salov and Kristin Schimik, uses ceramic sculpture and installation art to explore the links between different moments in time. The exhibit’s name comes from the word “contemplation,” and is meant to encourage us to slow down, pay attention and observe. “Through gently and repeatedly constructing elements for an artwork,

a clear and empty space can arise, providing a heightened awareness of the beauty of materials and relationships between them,” states the gallery’s description of the show. “Embracing contemplation and deep listening, the artists in Contemplari work slowly and deliberately to create a range of sculptural forms.” The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The exhibit runs through Sept. 23. The Kirkland Arts Center is located at 620 Market Street, Kirkland. For more information, call 425-822-7161.

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theEastside Scene - August 2017  
theEastside Scene - August 2017