Monday, March 11, 2013


……this 8th annual sold out event was held at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA and was produced by Jamie Nichols, Violet and Jessica’s dance teacher extraordinaire!


To present accessible concert dance as a leading art form to the diverse Los Angeles population.

To inform, educate and entertain audiences of all ages.

To present work by professional and veteran dancers, choreographers and companies.

To introduce the work of emerging choreographers and dancers in a professional environment and provide a venue for developing the artists of the future.

To offer debut and premiere performances of companies from outside the Greater Los Angeles area.

To offer dancers, choreographers and companies the opportunity to create new work, develop new audiences, network with other artists and be presented in an artistic environment.

But first, Kelly (on the left), Violet and Jessica  met me at Far Niente, that wonderful Italian restaurant just a few doors down from the Alex.


Can you believe I didn’t take photographs of the food?  That’s a first….guess I’ll have to tell you.

Everything was for the table:

Ceasar salad, Fried Zucchini, Fritto Misto (a medley of fried seafood… Yummy!) Bianchi e Neri Faraci (black & white pasta with calamari & peas in a spicy tomato sauce)….. and Veal Piccata.  Great ordering job Violet & Jessica!

On to the Alex


The poster for the show, also used for the program.


Jessica to the left, Violet & Kelly, my wonderful Brush painting students.  I’m so proud of them!


O.K., me too….


the dramatic entrance to the Alex


Violet & her dance teacher Jamie Nichols, producer of this amazing, always sold out  annual event.


Jessica & Jamie, excited to see one another.045

Jamie Nichols in animated discussion with her students  Jessica & Violet.


The one & only Jamie Nichols….. Congratulations!!!


Start the Show


All contemporary ‘modern dance and all wonderful!

Heartfelt thanks to you Violet for this wonderful treat and to you, Jessica & Kelly for the delicious dinner.  I am greatly honored.


HUMAN FLOTATION DEVICES: Lux Aeterna Dance Company

OOH CHILD: Jazz Antiqua Dance Ensemble

IDENTITY THEFT: Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company

THE WALK WEST: SoleVita Dance Company

ENKINDLED: Nickerson-Rossi Dance

AFTER IT HAPPENED: Invertigo Dance Theatre

LITHIUM: Lydia Zimmer + Dancers

CONCENTRIC HARMONIES: Colabo Youth Dance Collective

KUDO’S to Jamie Nichols!!!


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There is no avoiding the pull of the internet, the blogs, the YouTube imaginings. It's as if we're all 'On the Road' with Jack Kerouac each in our own world of meanderings. When we tell someone to 'get a life' it might be a bit difficult when you're dragged into other people's 24/7.

I've come to realize two foundational principals, there are no accidents and everyone has a purpose. More and more I'm desiring everyone to come into a full realization of their purpose as we all find our way on this little jewel of a planet.

For me, as a professional 'Western style artist', I stumbled into Chinese Brush Painting after a trip in 1980 to Monet's home/garden. Seeing all of his collection of Japanese woodblock prints was an ahh haa moment for me and when I returned to the States I started painting in the Chinese manner and never looked back. The first year was extremely painful for me as I felt that I should be able to master the technique since I was a 'trained' artist. Not a chance ... that just gets in your way.

Now, after teaching close to 3,000 students and having my book 'The Ch'i of the Brush' published by Watson Guptill, I can say that every one of my students does better their first day than I did my first year! Why? Because I insist that they leave their critical parent outside and just enjoy the journey, respecting the work that they do. I never let anyone throw anything away because that just ingrains frustration and defeat.

We really only begin to learn when we stop and figure out how to 'save' a painting. It works every time.I am so proud of my students, their receptivity and eagerness to express themselves is a continuing blessing for me.So, back to finding your purpose. Perhaps it starts with realizing 'it's not about me'. It so easy to want our needs met and to filter everything thru this attitude. When we realize that we're here to be of benefit to every life that we touch the universe really provides the ways and means.

The best part is that it's really exciting to not have yourself on your mind all the time!I'm re-reading a wonderful book about authenticity and in my next meandering I'll tell you about it. In the meantime I'd love to hear about your journey and am here to answer any and all questions about Chinese Brush Painting.