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Other Festivals

The Journey Fashion Festival 2016

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On the last day of New York Fashion Week for the 2017 spring season, a new group show made its debut.

These were the Journey Fashion Festival shows at Mercedes Club on Thursday September 18th. Journey was envisioned as a new platform for  international design to gain further recognition in the US market. Five unique brands comprised of the Uwi Twins, Cristalle, Hightower, Makány Márta and Este & Chlo showed their latest designs at the impressive outdoor/indoor venue located at 550 west 54th st. on this auspicious date.


A trio of Latin dancers started off the shows performing to the theme of James Bond. The runway was choreographed unlike any other show this past season with the models crossing and walking in counter concentric circles on the extensive above-ground patio. It was a lyrical dance of gowns with over 60 models walking the runway of 3 levels. 



This season’s show included gorgeous gowns from well-respected brand Este & Chlo by creator of the brand Henry Picado, former head designer for Bob Mackie. Edgy design from talented but lesser-known brand Hightower was featured as well. An eclectic Hungarian flair was displayed on barefoot models during the Makány Márta show for the grand finale.




In between the different runway shows guests were treated to performances by dancers from the off-Broadway hit Stomp.

Journey is the vision of model and entrepreneur Malena Belafonte. The aim is to give high profile international designers the spotlight in the competitive NYC market during fashion week.



Creator of Journey, Malena Belafonte, modeling a political gown by Este & Chlo.

This past festival served as an incubator for a larger show coming this February. Look for more to come.

For further info on the upcoming season go to:

Celebrating The Performing Arts in January 2016

A convergence of 12 major performing arts  forums and public festivals titled  January In NYC, runs the 5th through Jan. 19th.

This annual two-week long celebration of a dozen major performing arts industry forums and public festivals  takes place this January 5-19 as performing arts presenters begin gathering in Manhattan for the 59th annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters global conference and marketplace (APAP|NYC 2016), January 15-19. This event draws 45,000 performing arts leaders, artists, professionals and avid fans of dance, theater, music and opera to New York City. 

These events include:




keynote speakers



programs for the public

More than 1,500 showcases and fully produced performance works featuring world-class performing artists offer a sampling of what’s new and on trend for industry professionals to select from and book in their communities in the coming year and beyond. They share their experience with audiences attending in New York City.

In date order, forums and festivals of January In NYC include the following. Locations not included below will be listed on each individual website.

Some events take place in multiple locations:

 COIL 2016, Jan. 5-17,

PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now, Jan. 6-17,

The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival (UTR), Jan. 6-17,

Chamber Music America (CMA), Jan. 7-10,

American Realness,Jan. 7-17,

New York 2016 ISPA Congress, Jan. 12-14,

American Dance Platform, Jan. 12-17,

NYC Winter Jazzfest, Jan. 13-17,

Wavelengths: APAP Global Music Pre-conference, Jan. 14-15,

Jazz Connect Conference, Jan. 14-15,

APAP|NYC 2016, Jan. 15-19,

globalFEST, Jan. 17,

 Performance venues, conference hotels and meeting rooms in more than 350 locations throughout Manhattan and extending into Brooklyn will host presentations, workshops, performances and showcases.

January In NYC grew organically as live arts festivals and professional events were scheduled around the annual APAP conference, building on the concentration of artists and presenters already traveling to New York. In January 2014, nine such organizations formed a deliberate collaboration to more effectively and efficiently serve the performing arts community. A dozen groups now comprise the consortium.

Details are available at the January In NYC webpage and individual event websites.


The New Yorker Festival 2014

The New Yorker announced this week that there is still time to get tickets to the 15th annual New Yorker Festival that will be held Friday, October 10 - Sunday, October 12. Authors, actors, activists, playwrights, muscicians and commentators will all appear for interviews, panels and signings. The box office will sell the remaining tickets to all events throughout the festival weekend.

The slate of speakers represents The New Yorker's iconic cultural digest of literature, entertainment, politics and commentary focused through a monocle that doesn't perch too high on the brow to examine the mainstream, popular, or even zeitgeist-y. Notable speakers cover the spectrum from GIRLS creator Lena Dunham (Friday, 10 PM, Acura at SIR Stage37 at 508 West 37th Street) and Outliers author Malcom Gladwell (Saturday, 10 AM, MasterCard® Stage at SVA Theatre 1 on 333 West 23rd Street) to Beijing-based artist and political activist Ai Weiwei (Saturday, 10 AM, MasterCard Stage at SVA® Theatre 2).

Sting gives a premiere performance of his Broadway show The Last Ship on Saturday afternoon followed by a panel talk (2 PM, Neil Simon Theatre, West 52nd Street). Director and screenwriter David O. Russel appears at The Directors Guild Theatre (110 West 57th Street) at 7 PM on Saturday to discuss his films, the last three of which — American Hustle (2013), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and The Fighter (2010) — have twenty-five Academy Award nominations between them.

Book signings will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 12 - 4 PM at Mcnally Jackson Books on 52 Prince Street.

Tickets can be purchased in two ways: at the MasterCard® Stage at SVA Theatre box office, or at the door to the events one hour before start time (exceptions here). Either way, ticket purchases are cash-only and on a first-come, first-served basis. The free New Yorker Festival app, available from iTunes and Google Play, will send mobile alerts if tickets to sold-out events become available.

For more information, go to:

The New Yorker Festival
October 10 - 12, 2014

Acura at SIR Stage37
508 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018

Directors Guild Theatre
110 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

Gramercy Theatre
127 East 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010

MasterCard Stage at SVA Theatre 1
333 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011

MasterCard Stage at SVA Theatre 2

New York, NY 10011

Sheen Center
18 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012


Charming Charleston—The Spoleto Festival…and so much more

Fort Sumter (photo: Kevin Filipski)
The charms of Charleston—stemming from its dual role as a laidback southern city and bustling college town—make it the ideal setting for the annual Spoleto Festival, which presents dozens of concert, theater, opera and dance performances over two weeks each May and June.
The 39th edition of Spoleto Festival USA (May 22 to June 8) included operas by Leos Janacek, Michael Nyman and John Adams; theater from Ireland’s renowned Gate Theatre; various dance troupes; and concerts by Lucinda Williams, Bela Fleck, Michael Nyman and the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra.
Kata Julia LynnConversely, it was difficult to sit through Facing GoyaMichael Nyman’s unlistenably tedious opera that—via Victoria Hardie’s impossibly pretentious libretto—combined the eponymous 18th century Spanish painter of genius, Nazi eugenics and modern science’s ability to play God, garbled together to no discernible point. I felt sorry for the talented quintet of singers, especially soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird, who amazingly nailed some treacherously high notes; Nyman’s minimalist music, which can be quite diverting in the context of Peter Greenaway’s visually entrancing films, becomes unbearable when it pounds away unrelievedly for two-plus hours.
I sampled a recital from the Bank of America Chamber Music series, which is curated and introduced by the personable Geoff Nuttall. The hour-long afternoon program comprised Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio, George Crumb’s bizarre Voice of the Whale—which must be seen to be truly appreciated—and Ottorino Respighi’s lush setting of a Shelley poem, Il tramonto, beautifully sung by mezzo Charlotte Hellekant and sensitively played by the St. Lawrence String Quartet, with Nuttall playing the first violin part. 
I also caught an hour-long Intermezzi concert, consisting of Richard Strauss’s melodrama Enoch Arden: actor Stephen Brennan spoke the text to Tennyson’s narrative poem, accompanied by pianist Lydia Brown. Just getting the chance to hear Respighi’s and Strauss’s musical rarities performed on the same day at two splendid settings—the Dock Street Theater (built in 1809) and the Grace Episcopal Church (completed in 1848)—made attending Spoleto worth it by itself.
Rachel Julia LynnThe versatile Brennan was also onstage for the Gate Theatre’s thrilling dramatization of Daphne Du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel, which was as seductive as the eponymous title character. Shrewdly adapted by Joseph O’Connor and slickly staged by director Toby Frow, the drama kept its vice-like grip thanks to estimable acting across the board, led by Hannah Yelland as an Italian countess whose arrival at an Irish family’s estate won’t quash rumors that she was complicit in her husband’s suspicious death.
Checking out Charleston’s attractions was easy enough thanks to the layout of the eminently walkable city, whose narrow streets are lined by a ridiculous array of fine restaurants, high-end shopping, art galleries and historic buildings.
For a history buff like me, a visit to Fort Sumter was a must. Located three miles offshore in Charleston Harbor, the place where the first shots of the Civil War were fired can only be reached by boat, and Fort Sumter Tours provides several trips daily from two locations. I boarded at Liberty Square, right behind the Fort Sumter Visitor’s Center, and was treated to a leisurely ride and narrated tour of the area before reaching the fort, which—though only a ghost of its former formidable self—remains a treasured artifact of the inglorious War Between the States.
Named for James Shoolbred Gibbes, Sr., who bequeathed funds for its founding, the Gibbes Museum of Art (which opened in 1905, six years after Gibbes’ death) has a manageable and enticing collection of paintings, sculptures and photographs. Highlights are Italian sculptor Pietro Rossi’s stunningly detailed Veiled Lady, Childe Hassam’s voluptuous painting April (The Green Gown), and the gorgeous stained-glass rotunda dome, which looks like a gigantic Tiffany lamp hanging overhead.
Veiled LadyWalking through Charleston’s streets is also an immersion in American history, with historic houses everywhere—several are available for tours—along with remnants of the original fortifications of the Colonial era walled city, which date back to the early 1700s. Walking through the old Unitarian Church cemetery—whose many gravesites, some centuries old, are grown over by mosses, trees and plants of all types—is a ghostly but do-not-miss detour; a walk through another cemetery yielded the grave of one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution, John Rutledge.
For art, culture and history (as well as scrumptious food), Charleston has few equals

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