Category Archives: Beauty

Classical & Hip Hop Fuse at the Arsht

By mimorg33

 

Decadancetheatre-2-Photo-by-Daniel-

Decadancetheatre-2-Photo-by-Daniel-

Brooklyn-based with Jennifer Weber at the helm, the Decadantheatre has been a staple of dance festivals since its inception in 2004. Made up of an all-female group of dancers from the US, France, Germany, Norway, Nigeria and Japan, the ensemble has toured across the United States, the UK and France. It has performed at the long-running Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, in The Berkshires; at B Supreme Festival of Women in Hip Hop, in London’s Southbank Center and at LEAP, in Liverpool.

Decadancetheatre will be featured as part of a special collaboration with Miami-based composer Sam Hyken and the Nu Deco Ensemble, a genre-bending chamber orchestra, in a unique classical music / hip hop dance performance.

Nu-Deco-Ensemble-Alex-Markow-Photography

Nu-Deco-Ensemble-Alex-Markow-Photography

 

Hyken has re-imagined Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in a piece titled The Vivaldi Project ‘4’ to be interpreted by Decadancetheatre and Nu Deco Ensemble; together they will also perform Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite. Nu Deco will play J. S. Bach’s Toccata & Fugue and Hyken’s Nu Deco Suite No. 1 – The B Sides.

This exciting fusion will be on stage Friday, April 28 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts’ Knight Concert Hall to cap the 2016-2017 Masterworks Season – Meidar and Alfi Family Foundation Classical Music Series.

The Vivaldi Project ‘4’

April 28

8 pm

Knight Concert Hall

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Alan Turing Speaks

By mimorg33

An especially poignant tribute to mathematician computer pioneer and WWII code-breaker Alan Turing is now permanently installed under Bishop’s Bridge Road in London. It is located near Sheldon Square and the Paddington station in the city of Westminster near the residential district of Maida Vale where he was born in 1912.
Turing who served with distinction during the war was one of hundreds of victims of the homophobia running rampant in Great Britain during the Fifties; as a result of which he was prosecuted, and found guilty of three counts of “gross indecency” in 1952 under what is known as the Labouchere Amendment of 1885. The first well-known victim of this nefarious statute was the writer Oscar Wilde back in 1895. Upon being found guilty Turing was given the choice of either prison or the “organo-therapy” he opted for. The treatment employed by the doctors at the Manchester Royal Infirmary consisted on the consumption of estrogen pills that not only caused him to grow breasts and left him impotent but also profoundly depressed him: he committed suicide on June 7, 1954 by eating a cyanide-laced apple; he was 41. The United Kingdom only decriminalized homosexual acts in 1967, a rather strong manifestation of atavistic thinking in that otherwise mostly forward moving nation.
Message From the Unseen World the Bishop’s Bridge Road permanent installation, is a collaboration between United Visual Artists, the group founded in 2003 by Matthew Clark, Chris Bird and Ash Nehru that specializes in large-scale temporary and permanent installations together with poet Nick Drake. The work was curated by Futurecity on behalf of Bristish Land, one of Europe’s largest publicly listed real estate companies. The piece consists of aluminum panels punctuated with holes that allow LED lights to shine through forming words from the poem that is Drake’s interpretation of Turing speaking about his life opening with the line: This is Alan Turing speaking… A Turing-inspired algorithm shuffles through the poem to form new versions of it that is unless you step back far enough to see it in its totality.

MESSAGE FROM THE UNSEEN WORLD
By Nick Drake

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This is Alan speaking
to you who pass by this bridge
in the enchantment of time
under the echoing arch
over the mirror of water
on your way to work or home
and to other places in the infinity
held in the secret dream cave
of your wonderful minds

This is Alan speaking
through this interface with time and space
I am the ghost in the universal machine
the one I dreamed as I lay on the grass
that grew in the green of lost time
of a meadow in Grantchester alone
thinking about whoever I was in love with at the time
and the unchanging truth of numbers
in their beautiful equations
and the enigma of human beings
in their infinite possible configurations –
I was puzzling the problem of the apple
of the knowledge of good and evil –
For on that day you eat of it
you shall surely die
but the winding snake
the only creature coded as a question
looked me in the eye and asked
in his intelligent high voice –

What’s wrong with this picture?
Why do starfish have five arms
and why are they fish not stars?
What connects stars and grains of sand?
What is the secret ciphered in a fir cone?
Why is the heart always on the left?
Natural wonders every child should know…

He smiled like the flickering pages of a book –
Christopher, my first true love, appeared
his beautiful fingers blue with ink
holding his telescope and the star globe
I made him as a present –
We lay side by side
looking through the window at the stars
naming the constellations
as they wheeled across the night
The maths brain lies often awake in his bed
Doing logs to ten places and trig in his head
When I woke in the shock of light
he was gone
and nothing was ever the same again

What happens to the dead
when spirit separates from matter?
Is time a river ever giving birth
in an endless wheel?
Why is loss always incalculable?
What is the heart’s square root,
its point and infinite recurrences?

This is Alan speaking
perhaps you wish to hear about the task
of deciphering the Enigma messages?
It was the impossible before breakfast
to imagine the unimaginable
the day after war was declared –
but a logical theorem says
you can deduce everything from a contradiction
so we imagined a cryptanalytic machine
an electric brain ticking away
to solve the insoluble
to sort the irrelevant from the essential
to discover the heart of the mystery
in thousands of meaningless signals every day
enciphered and sent by the enemy
in billions of different possible combinations –
like reading a poem written in random static
in wind and rain and dark
threaded with the dot and dash of Morse
encrypted transmitted transcribed
but there was one clue –
a letter was never enciphered as itself
so that was the starting point
to find the letters that made the only word
that helped to save ships and lives
in the middle of the Atlantic
and some say win the war –
We kept hush hush but I wondered

Could a machine be intelligent and if so how?
Could a machine be fascinated by another machine?
Could machines talk to each other?
Could a machine experience delight
and suffer fear and jealousy?
If a machine could dream what would it dream
in the forest of the night?
Could a machine fall sick or fall in love?
Could a machine imagine the future?

This is Alan speaking
we devised the Automatic Computing Engine
capable of calculating anything
quantified in an algorithm
and that was the basis of the future –
But how is it I found myself
a stranger in a room alone
a sequence of contradictory instructions
coded into my criminal heart?
Of gross indecency accused
I replied truthfully
Englishman atheist mathematician
Order of the British Empire
Recreations listed in Who’s Who
chess long-distance running gardening
(the last a kind of lie, I like wild flowers) –
Homosexual cryptographer
noble in reason or traitor in his bones?
Unable to say a word of what I knew
unable to speak the unspeakable
secret within the secret
I felt no guilt –
They offered me a choice
Prison or probation
with hormonal emasculation –
I made my decision
and emerged a different man

Why does nothing happen for a long time
Then everything suddenly changes?
Why does the rational give rise to the irrational?
Who is this man kissing me on the mouth?
Is he telling truth or lies?

This is Alan speaking
now as I could not speak before
to you who were unborn when I died –
Oh beautiful people of tomorrow
we are not fallen creatures
life is the only garden
the apple is love
two Adams, two Eves
in open celebration hand in hand
So I delight to watch you dance
in the enchantment of time
like angels in a forest of mirrors
but in the age of shopping
festivals and information consumption
the sign of the bitten apple is everywhere
and your lives are held in the beautiful devices
familiar in your hands –
So revel in your liberty
but read between the lines
you are becoming information
touch screen to touch screen
connected but alone
the algorithm of desires and dreams
end to end encryption held
in the infinite memory of the great ghost server

How did the zebra get its stripes
and the leopard its disguise of spots?
Why does a snail have a spiral shell?
Why do sunflowers follow not just the sun
but the Fibonacci sequence
in the structure of their beautiful faces?
How does a bud of cells generate your seeing eyes
and beating heart?

This is Alan speaking
I have been waiting a long time
puzzling everything and nothing –
I leave no note of explanation
but a mystery story
it is an ordinary summer evening
by the side of my bed is found
a half-eaten slice of apple
Dip the apple in the brew
let the sleeping death seep through –
I lie alone for the last time
at the edge of reality
my arms at my sides
like a badly-dressed figure on a tomb
looking out of the window at the sun
setting for the final night
a golden apple in the black branches
of a tree of shadows where the birds quibble –
until it disappears into the dark

This is Alan speaking
to you who pass by this bridge.

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Diamonds and flowers on my skin

By mimorg33

 

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Diamond Extreme Night Dual Treatment by the high-end skin care company Natura Bissé was not enecessarily what Marilyn Monroe’s Lorelei Lee had in mind when in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, she sang:

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A kiss on the hand
May be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend
The concept behind Natura Bissé’s latest skincare innovation ish a technology they are calling chronocosmetic. Innovative skincare is intrinsic to the DNA of this company founded in Barcelona, Spain in 1979; and in 1995 it took its first step towards globalization by opening a subsidiary in Dallas, Texas.
According to Natura Bissé their most recent dual treatment consists in fusing the pioneering technology with the most delicate human touch to counteract the natural aging process. Despite how complicated this might sound, I can tell you that after a stressful day at the office when I massage my face with the fast-absorbing Extreme Oil ($160.00) using the cool High Definition Massage Tool that improves microcirculation and penetration of active agents, a slight lavender fragrance impregnates my epidermis and I feel transported to a quieter place. The first step of the nightly ritual is then followed by applying a thin layer of the clear, silky and delightfully light Extreme Mask ($110.00). Voila! My skin feels healthy and supple as I head to bed allowing the nourishing ingredients to lovingly combine forces to make me glow when I arise. So much so that some folks have asked: “Chica, what are you doing, you look luminous? Is there a new love interest in your life?” At this juncture I attempted to sing a couple of lines from Marilyn’s ever so cute rendition of Diamonds are a girl’s best friend; mine is completely off key. Given that most of us are not exposing our skin to the elements at night our most extensive and protective organ is more open to being renewed. The formula comprised of retinol works on this aspect; niacinamide for hydration; copper peptides to increase suppleness; marine concentrates to act as a dermal shield; hyaluronic acid is a powerful moisturizer and Edelweiss, that beautiful white flower related to daisies and sunflowers that in its original habitat grows high in the Alps thus making it a bit risky to be picked, effective in slowing some aging signs.

Edelweiss on a rock and an approaching thunderstorm in the background

Edelweiss remits us to The Sound of Music  where Captain von Trapp sang about the national Austrian flower: Edelweiss, Edelweiss, Ev’ry morning you greet me, Small and white, clean and bright, You look happy to meet me… Exactly like my skin as it awakens after a whole night exposed to this superb treatment.

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The Magic of the Alpes Maritime

Oranges under the morning light.

One is first seduced by the light and immediately understands why so many artists flock to this sun-kissed area of the Mediterranean. Overlooking St. Paul de Vence from the terrace at Auberge Les Orangers, a lovely B&B my friend and travel sleuth Marilyn discovered online while she organized our trip to an area nearby Nice, I could only thank Mother Earth for her many blessings. Nestled among the hills, surrounded by trees and flowers, it was like stepping into a magic space: an oasis of calm that speaks of life in direct touch with nature. Awakening at dawn, I sat in the small terrace to bask at the panorama. The oranges shone under the early morning rays while birds chirped; the air was pregnant with the fragrance of rosemary, thyme and roses. Brewing coffee and freshly baked croissants from Thomas’ kitchen alerted my senses that breakfast was beckoning; my friends joined one by one to the rhythm of classical music in the background. I felt right at home.Les Orangers

Soon thereafter we left for our first day exploring the area: the Matisse Chapel I had tried to visit on two earlier occasions but had been closed. Hours are tricky but this time Marilyn was in charge. The chapel was an experience worth the wait particularly after having seen the sensational cutouts at a Tate Modern show in London. From there we headed to the exquisite Chagall Museum with the biblical themed paintings; there we caught an exhibition of his monumental tapestries but also saw the mosaic by the basin and, of course, the stained-glass windows surrounding the auditorium. Before entering the museum we had lunch at a small restaurant located in the Mediterranean style garden adjacent to it where I opted for a simple salade niçoise. In the early afternoon we strolled around Vence, stopped for gas and then discovered a huge Monoprix where we shopped for herbes de Provence, calissons (those heavenly morsels typical to the area) and other goodies. We got to Les Orangers in time to take a nap and get ready for an early dinner at L’Olivier Rouge were we had walked in the first night to a closed kitchen but they had provided us with a lovely repast. That second night we were warmly welcomed and I sampled a memorable ratatouille: so simple and difficult to make with this perfect balance. The house wine was clean and crisp and the desserts were also delightful including homemade calissons as macchiato accompaniment.

Matisse's home

Our final day took us to the Maeght Foundation, the modern art museum and sculpture garden with several strong pieces by Joan Miró and Giacometti among others. It’s located on Colline de Gardettes overlooking

Saint Paul de Vence, the walled town with cobblestone streets that we visited later; it’s a fun artsy town packed with tourists, galleries and boutiques. If you take the time to locate its tiny cemetery, look for Marc Chagall’s tomb with its simple white structure where many leave their message of love written in simple stones. Time after and again I pay my respects.

Les Alpes Maritimes is an area of the French Provence I never tire to return.

 

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Clarins: a brand & philosophy.

If you see me on the street, you won’t usually see me with make-up, and I’m usually dressed rather casually.  I probably won’t come across as superficial, and I tend to be quieter.  And I doubt you’ll think my looks are too important to me, but you’ll be wrong.  Although I really don’t pay too much attention to the brands of clothes I wear or the kind of car I drive, I do care about what I ingest and what I apply to my skin.  So, imagine my delight when I was invited to the view the latest skin advancements that Clarins is rolling out for Spring.

First, let me say this company’s philosophy encompasses quality in all areas: excellence in the ingredients chosen, giving back to the world, being environmentally conscious, and practicing compassion towards its clients and employees.  Imagine that — a company that cares all around!  So, just like the foods I eat — I want to know that the products I apply originated from a positive environment, with good karma all around.

Clarins is a pioneer in anti-pollution skin care.  They actually observed the impact that pollution was having on steel buildings and thought of the impact on a woman’s delicate skin…and they created a line that includes anti-pollution components throughout “125 Clarins daytime skin care and make-up formulas”.  Now onto their Spring line

1. Total Eye Concentrate – smoothes out crow’s feet and wrinkles (starting to need it here so thank you!), reduces dark circles and puffiness (thank you so much!), and instant lifting of eyelids.  By the way, 94% of the women they tried it on were convinced within 7 days!

2.  UV Plus Anti-Pollution with SPF 50 – fights free radicals, UV rays, and pollution — I’m on board and I love the white tea and sanicle and cantaloupe melon extract!

3. The Everlasting Foundation with SPF 15 – 18 hour hold! matte finish, fights against free radicals, UV rays, pollution and it’s non-oily — lovely texture!

4. Garden Escape Spring Colour Collection –

  • beautiful array of Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector that almost act like mood rings for your lips (so yummy!),
  • a beautiful Blush Prodige, Crayon Khol in a gorgeous green,
  • (my favorite and it’s a Limited Edition!) the Garden Escape 6-Colour Eye Palette  WET or DRY!
  • Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil — nourishing, not sticky, and love the Honey, but it’s a Limited Edition so you gotta try it
  • Joli Rouge Perfect Shine Sheer Lipstick – wonderful, natural looking shades

The prices are reasonable, a little bit goes a long way and you’re feeding your skin quality products produced with good karma in every step.

I’ll sum it up in the words of Christian Courtin-Clarins: “It is essential to think that whatever we do today, we do for the future of our children.”  I think that’s good karma from a brand that demonstrates excellence on all levels.

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Mani/Pedi Groupon Adventure at Matisse Hair

Now this is the thing with Groupon, it’s always an adventure.  This Groupon adventure begins with the fact that I desperately needed a manicure and pedicure after weeks of hiding my toes in ballerina flats.  I had just returned from NYC where you can get a mani/pedi for $15-20, and I stumbled upon a promotion by Matisse Hair, which is conveniently located within my beloved Coconut Grove.  The promotion was: “Essie/OPI manicure and pedicure with pressure point foot massage” for $25, so I bought one for myself and another for my kid because I really wanted to check out this massage part.  I called ahead of time, spoke with the owner, and she told me that the massage would only be a minute and it was to promote their pressure point foot massage.  1 minute?  Try not at all.  We went and the manicurist, Ildeña, was lovely, she did a great job on my manicure and pedicure (it involved a great massage chair and a cool callous removing power tool that looks like a sander).  I chose a snazzy medium to dark blue from some obscure brand that has lasted a week already (I will find the brand and report back), but my daughter used a mint color from Dare to Wear which barely lasted 24 hours (Ildeña had forewarned me that this might happen with this brand).  The place has a great vibe, they have cool beds where they wash your hair if you’re opting for hair services.  They are reasonably priced.  As far as the massage, well, when I sat down, Ildeña told me that she’s not trained to give pressure point foot massages and does not do them.  So I got over that and enjoyed the rest of my visit, which has allowed for my toes to go public once again!

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Cynthia, the Hair Guru

Good, meaningful relationships take work, sacrifice, communication, hugs, love, and yes, a couple arguments peppered in.  This rule doesn’t just apply to good and meaningful relationships with significant others, children, families, and friends.  Oh no, I’m here to tell you that this rule also applies to the often under-appreciated heroes in your life: your plumber, electrician, gardener, cleaning lady, and yes, your hairdresser.  I would also like to remind you that your hairdresser or hair guru, as I refer to mine, often has to deal with you when you are not in tip top emotional OR physical shape.

Take my hair guru, Cynthia, I sent her some crazed text message at 9 p.m. a few days ago telling her “I need to change my hair because my roots are driving me nuts and I feel old”, she laughed and scheduled me immediately.  I walked in with a blah mood after a tough morning, she gave me a hug, offered me tea, and confessed how happy she was that I had finally come around (I was being a little stubborn hoping that my hair would naturally become like Rogue’s from X-Men, but it was beginning to look more like Adela, the grandmother from ¿Qué Pasa, USA?).

An hour later, I walked out in a much better mood, and with a youthful, vibrant, healthy head of hair — she’s magical (ask my family and friends – they’ll tell you I was looking a little crazy)!

About Cynthia: she has a great eye for color and highlights, she is an artist, demonstrates enormous professionalism, and her prices are more than fair (if you have long hair, as I do, you may possibly incur an extra charge, which is fair so get over it).

You can always find another girlfriend or boyfriend, but a good hair guru, well, that’s tough to find!

Here’s Cynthia’s information: (305) 753-2001, she can often be found at Paul David salon, which is next to Duffy’s (great burger and beer, but that’s another blog) on SW 57th Avenue & 19th Street.

 

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Are you sisters?

Yes, I have a 16 year old daughter, BUT many people confuse as sisters.  Do I argue?  No, I send them flowers to their workplaces.  Can I take credit for looking younger?  Probably not, but I will anyway.  Aside from that whole genetics/DNA thing — like my grandmother and mother looking great and being nearly wrinkle-free, I do actually take care of my skin.  It is a learned behavior — we saw our moms do it when we’re young and we mimic them, and that hopefully becomes part of our daily regimen as adults.  Now, what we use will always differ.  My grandmother used Ivory soap her entire life to wash her face and barely ever wore make-up.  My mom has always used the best of the best on her skin and barely ever wore make-up.  So what do I use?  Throughout my life there have been several brands that I loved and here they are:

  • As a kid and teen, I swore by Johnson & Johnson’s Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash                             
  • In my twenties, I switched to Origins and started developing a regimen; I became aware of the importance of using SPF to protect my skin from the sun.  I alternated between Checks & Balances and Never a Dull Moment face washes,  A Perfect World skin serum (protects your skin from free radicals), Have a Nice Day moisturizer with SPF (discontinued), and Night-a-mins face lotion.                                                                                                                                                        
  • Then, a few years later (please notice I stopped dating myself after the twenties remark), I began using Dr. Weil Night Health Bedtime Face Cream, Ginzing Eye Cream, and the best make-up remover ever, Clean Energy (I still use these, especially Ginzing and Clean Energy!)                                                                                                                                                
  • And now…I just love Clinique face products, make-up (the two times a year I actually wear any), all of it. Highlights: Even Better Essence Lotion, Repair Wear Laser Focus serum, Super Defense eye cream with SPF 20, Youth Surge SPF 15 moisturizer and my favorite: Turnaround Overnight Moisturizer.

A few other notable mentions:

  • Cetaphil Face Wash (the CVS brand does just fine)
  • and any of the face products from Neutrogena, especially the moisturizer for acne-prone skin!

Oh, and like my grandmother and mother…I barely use make-up, so you figure out what the real secret weapon is against aging!

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