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Hampshire Life


Christina Svane in her Blue Guitar Dance Studio

Art maker: Christina Svane | dancer/choreographer

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christina Svane says she always knew she wanted to dance. Born in San Francisco in 1954, she came east for college, then moved to New York City where she danced professionally. She toured Europe with Steve Paxton, founder of Contact Improvisation, and taught at The School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Svane, who lives in Florence, moved …

Bruce Watson’s Slice of Life: 2014: Year of the frowny face

Thursday, December 18, 2014

This year winds down with a unique distinction. Congratulations, 2014. Your grim news, replete with plagues and bombs and occasional beheadings, has made you the first year in history to be forever written with an emoticon. From now on, this waning, woeful year will be written as 2014 :( But just before 2015! begins, let’s have a last cringe from all the events …

Kathleen Mellen’s Best Bets: Old Deerfield Productions’ ‘A Christmas Carol’; East Street Ballet’s ‘Winter Dances’

Thursday, December 18, 2014

SCROOGED! It’s been five years since Old Deerfield Productions presented Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and I, for one, am glad they decided to bring it back. That first production was a beast to pull off, says artistic director Linda McInerney, put pull it off they did. One highlight worth the repeat (and there are many) is the chance to see Hollywood veteran …

Laurie Loisel’ Best Bets: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’; ‘Sound of Music’ sing-along on ABC

Thursday, December 18, 2014

HOBBITS IN TOWN The long-awaited final Hobbit movie, “The Battle of the Five Armies” is now playing, bringing much excitement to the fans of the 1937 novel by English author J.R.R. Tolkien. Peter Jackson directed the three films based on Tolkien’s beloved classic. The fabulous Martin Freeman plays …

Steve Pfarrer’s Best Bets: Jazz pianist Miro Sprague at the Arts Block in Greenfield; ‘The Bully Pulpit’ by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Thursday, December 18, 2014

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO I finally got around to finishing a gift from last Christmas: “The Bully Pulpit” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It’s an expansive portrait of America a century ago, built around the story of Theodore Roosevelt, his friendship with William Howard Taft, and the rise of …

Tim Driscoll’s Barhopping: A side trip for a Sidecar

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I was feeling rather dapper in my black suit as I cruised recently down Route 91, so I thought to myself, “I’m going to take a little side trip to the Whately Inn.” The atmosphere at the Whately …

Book Bag: ‘This Park Prohibits Bicycles, Dogs, Balls & Romantic Gestures: A Mo Willems Sketchbook’; ‘Everett’ by Jenifer Ruff; ‘John William Ward: Am American Idealist; by Kim Townsend

Thursday, December 18, 2014

THIS PARK PROHIBITS BICYCLES, DOGS, BALLS & ROMANTIC GESTURES: A MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK By Mo Willems www.mowillems.com Cartoonist, children’s author and former TV animator and writer Mo Willems, who lives in Northampton, spent a year in Paris with …

Ken Maiuri’s Tuned In: Miro Sprague at the Arts Block Cafe in Greenfield and other musical happenings this week in the Valley

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pianist and Shutesbury native Miro Sprague has made the most of 2014. He graduated from the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA, joined with six of his fellow students to create the band Holophonor (which …

Headliners: Arcadia Players’ ‘The Messiah’

Friday, December 19, 2014

Silver and gold ‘Messiahs’ Bringing its 25th anniversary season to a close — along with the 10th anniversary of Ian Watson as its artistic director — Arcadia Players will present its annual performance of “The Messiah” Friday night …

Your Time: Choosing a Christmas tree

Thursday, December 18, 2014

At this time of year, folks are out in force, picking out their Christmas trees. Kathy Hayford and Nancy Cheevers and Cheevers’ son, Ryan Cheevers, for example, were at Chestnut Mountain Tree Farm in Hatfield where they’ve gone …

Movie listings

Thursday, December 18, 2014

These movies are playing locally. Check with theaters for times. AMHERST CINEMA 28 Amity St., Amherst 253-2547 amherstcinema.org Birdman (R) Citizenfour (R) Force Majeure (R) It’s a Wonderful Life (NR) The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (PG) The …

Movie Capsules

Thursday, July 31, 2014

ANNIE: A foster kid (Quvenzhané Wallis) sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Also stars Cameron Diaz, Bobby Cannavale. Rated …

New on DVD

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Good Lie: Sudanese refugees given the chance to resettle in America arrive in Kansas City, Missouri, where an encounter with an employment agency counselor forever changes all of their lives. Stars Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany. …