Saturday, August 27, 2011

Red Chair Affair Rehearsal

As I approached the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center the sun was beginning to set, illuminating the clouds a deep crimson red. The guard at the stage door asked if I was a performer. I decided to say, "Yes". She pointed me to the dressing rooms. I wandered the back stage halls searching for any sketch opportunity. Stage hands raised and lowered two shrouds which I suspect will be used by an Orlando Aerial Arts acrobat. I tried to stay clear as curtains were raised and lowered. The director John Di Donna offered me a seat on the front of stage right. After listening to the director's notes I now finally have stage right and house right straightened out in my mind.

A woman in a sleek black dress kept tapping the stage with her toes listening to the sound difference between the main stage and the temporary stage built over the orchestra pit. It turned out she was a Flamenco dancer and she was one of the first to perform. Her bright red shawl was removed from her neck as she danced. It fluttered to the ground. When her performance was over, John walked up to the cameraman seated in front of me and said, "I loved your close ups on her feet as she danced."

I sketched the Orlando School of Cultural Dance. The school's director, Julie Coleman lead the singing. Drums set the beat to an African Rhythm. Young children danced to the beat pushing themselves in a vibrant dance. Eric Yow introduced his dance company, Yow Dance saying, "Rhythm is the one constant in life." His dancers moved to the strumming of an acoustic Spanish guitar piece. Emotions Dance performed a piece called 5th Avenue which was about materialism in modern society. Larissa Humiston, the company's founder and choreographer hoped the dance might spark discussion. She also pointed out that, "Art brings people together."

The Red Chair Affair is a great way to see what is happening in the Orlando Arts and Culture scene all in one evening of non-stop performances. The Affair is happening TONIGHT at the Bob Carr. The doors open at 7pm and the stage show starts at 8pm. General admission is $22, students and seniors are $15. There is still time to get tickets, call 407-872-2382. You can also get tickets at the Red Chair website.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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