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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 …

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Jerrey Roberts’ photo gallery: Making a list, checking it twice

Thursday, December 18, 2014

How could a photographer not take a picture of Cat McGaffigan, of Florence, decked out in Christmas attire? She was looking for children’s names included on the “good list” while volunteering as one of Santa’s helpers Tuesday at …

ID: Rebekah Brooks

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rebekah Brooks is a jeweler with stores in Cambridge and Northampton. She says her upbringing in rural New Hampshire, in a house that resembles a sculpture, and her artist parents, provided her with a world of natural inspiration. …

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 …

Chef’s Best: Take comfort in an almost effortless onion soup

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Talk about a vegetable that’s everywhere. The humble onion is one the most common aromatic vegetables, popping up in so many ways across so many cuisines. And it’s not just for taste. The onion also happens to be …

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. …