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Hampshire Life


Christina Svane in her Blue Guitar Dance Studio

Art maker: Christie 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 …

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 Inn is always warm and inviting, but especially at this time of year. The restaurant, …

Style Stop: Julia Mailloux

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Julia Mailloux, 19, of Westhampton, was making her way along Main Street in Northampton recently when the Style Stop team noticed her. Mailloux, who is studying to be a hairstylist at Marinello School of Beauty on Pleasant Street in Northampton, was dressed for warmth in a comfortable-looking jacket, accented by a sweeping scarf, …

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 …

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 …

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. …

Headliners: Dar Williams at the Calvin Theatre; Surley Temple at the Parlor Room

Friday, December 12, 2014

Back to the beginning It was 20 years ago that an obscure Northampton-based singer/songwriter named Dar Williams recorded her first album, “The Honesty Room,’’ on an eight-track tape machine in a Belchertown basement studio. “There was no music …

Art Maker: Caleb Ballantine | dancer

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Caleb Ballantine is still pretty young — 12 — but he already knows what he wants to do with his life: dance. He’s been dancing since he was just 2 or 3, he reports, when he was moved …

Marietta Pritchard’s Slice of Life: I know I’m old when ...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Some years ago, a good friend told me about the end of an affair she’d had. She was in her mid-40s, a dancer, teaching at a university, and she had fallen in love with a student. He was a handsome young man in his 20s and they’d had …

Kathleen Mellen’s Best Bets: Art sales at Easthampton City Arts+ and the Northampton Community Arts Trust; PVB’s ‘The Nutcracker’

Thursday, December 11, 2014

AFFORDABLE ART Easthampton City Arts+ and the Northampton Community Arts Trust each has a cash-and-carry art show and sale happening this weekend, obviously with holiday shopping in mind. ECA+’s — more than 140 works by some 75 artists — runs through Thursday, with a reception Saturday from 5 …

Laurie Loisel’s Best Bets: Westfield State University’s Night Owls; Valley Festival Brass Choir

Thursday, December 11, 2014

VOICE POWER In my mind, there’s almost nothing more joyful than a strong a cappella performance. When that a cappella group is an energetic college ensemble, all the better. Westfield State University’s Night Owls performs Friday on their campus. Around since 2002, they’ve had 12 years to hone …

Steve Pfarrer’s Best Bets: Dar Williams at the Calvin Theatre; The Surly Temple at the Parlor Room

Thursday, December 11, 2014

DAR WILLIAMS RETURNS Folkie Dar Williams got her start some 20-odd years ago in Northampton; her breakthrough moment came with the release in 1994 of “The Honesty Room,” a homegrown album that began to open doors for her, including invitations to open for Joan Baez and Ani DiFranco. …

Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: ‘The Great Rupert’ — a 1950s gem starring Jimmy Durante and a squirrel

Thursday, December 11, 2014

I noticed that in my vast morass of movies there are very few Christmas flicks. So on a recent shopping trip I purchased a “Christmas Collectors Set” of six movies, and then had to decide which was awful …