terpreted and Captioned Events at the Kennedy Center

Concerts for Young People by Young People, Classical Series with Niv Ashkenazi, Emerald Quartet, and Kristina Winiarski

Millennium Stage in the Terrace Theater

terpreted & Captioned: Wednesday, February 2 at 6:00 PM

Classical violinist Niv Ashkenazi, winner of the 2010 American Protege International Piano and Strings Competition, had his Carnegie Hall debut at the Weill Recital Hall in March 2010. Mr. Ashkenazi has won numerous competitions including the Culver City Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. Mr. Ashkenazi was also the recipient of the 2007 VSA International Young Soloists Award.

Concerts for Young People by Young People, Non-Classical Series with The Ransom Notes, Leo Manzari, and Amy K. Bormer

Millennium Stage in the Terrace Theater

terpreted & Captioned: Friday, February 4 at 6:00 PM

The Ransom Notes, a group of talented young musicians from Denver blend Classical, Celtic, Bluegrass, and Gospel music in a way like no other. At 22, Amanda plays violin/fiddle, mandolin, guitar and provides vocals for the group. Michael is 18 and primarily plays the cello (an instrument unique to the world of bluegrass music), as well as a little mandolin, and also adds his fair share of vocals to each performance. The youngest member of the trio, 16 year old Amelia, plays violin/fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and a host of other instruments. They recently performed on Capitol Hill as part of the 2010 International VSA Festival.

Scott MacIntyre

Millennium Stage

terpreted & Captioned: Saturday, February 5 at 6:00 PM

Since captivating the nation as a finalist on Season 8 of American Idol, singer-songwriter Scott MacIntyre, a 2008 VSA International Young Soloist Award recipient, has continued his successful career trajectory.

Druid: The Cripple of Inishmaan

Eisenhower Theater

Captioned: Friday, February 11 at 7:30 PM

Famed Irish theater company Druid and New York’s Atlantic Theatre present The Cripple of Inishmaan, written by Academy Award winner Martin McDonagh and directed by Tony Award winner Garry Hynes, the first woman to win a Tony Award for Best Direction. Set in rural Ireland in 1934, this dark comedy depicts the impact that a Hollywood film crew has over the local residents when it shows up to document the tiny island of Inishmore. When a young, orphaned “cripple” named Billy Claven is selected for a part in the film, his dreams of escape take flight.

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The other day, I was in a “blah” mood due to my seasonal affective disorder (self-diagnosed). To snap out of it, I came up with a list of ten activities that are fun. Not just enjoyable, but playful and lively. The kind of activities that make me happy, happy, happy.

10 Fun Activities
1. Rollerblading (I can’t help but grin like a fool whem I blade – I absolutely love it more than just about anything)
2. Dinner out with my husband
3. Waterskiing
4. Downhill Skiing
5. Watching a good romantic comedy
6. Tennis
7. Jumping on a trampoline
8. Throwing a Frisbee with my dog (she can leap in the air and catch it)
9. Riding rapids in a river
10. Snorkeling around coral reefs

Reviewing my list, it dawned on my how many were linked to physical activity – things that get my blood flowing. (Yoga isn’t on there because while I do enjoy it – love it, actually – I think of it as more of a calming practice.) I don’t know where the trampoline came from – that one just popped into my head. Well, I’m so getting a mini tramp for my bedroom. When it’s cold and windy and rainy I’ll get some physical exercise and make myself laugh while I’m at it.

Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Š

Good Vibrations

I’ve been in Downward-Facing Dog for awhile. My legs and arms are starting to shake. I’m always a little embarrassed when this happens.

The teacher walks by my mat and slows down.

“Feel that shaking?” she asks.

“Uh, yeah,” I say.

“That’s good,” she says.


“It’s your body’s energy.”

I stay in position and think, My body’s energy? Nope, I’m pretty sure it’s just my muscles on the verge of collapse!

“You may have the urge to try to control the shaking,” she says.

Yes, I think.

“Or you may feel the urge to let go and shake uncontrollably,” she says.

I nod upside down. Giving in and letting the shaking take over sounds even better.

“Find the balance between the two. You don’t want to block it, but you don’t want to over-indulge it.”

She talks more about the body’s energy, and I’m not sure I completely understand all she’s saying. But as my body stretches, strengthens, balances, and shakes, I stay with it. I stay true to the moment, sensing the balance between control and lack of it. Suddenly the shaking doesn’t feel so embarrassing; it actually feels kind of good.

Dance of the Warrior

As few weeks ago, we had a substitute teacher in yoga class. He had us do a series of poses where we moved from one warrior position to another to another then back to the first one. And so on.

The Dance of the Warrior, he called it.

The dictionary defines warrior as “one who is engaged in or experienced in battle.”

The battle in yoga, I suppose, is with the anxious, unstable, and not-so-Zen side of myself.

Can I learn to stay centered in the face of fear?
Can I find my balance when life seems to be throwing me in loops?
Can I take action with insight and compassion?

In other words, can I find the way of the peaceful warrior?

As I moved through the series, my muscles trembled, my body wobbled, and my breath labored. At least, part of the time it was like that. At other times, I was calm(er) and stead(ier) and moving in rhythm. Slowly, I’m learning the dance.

Finding Flexibility in Inflexibility

Week 2 of my six-week stint at a newspaper is coming to a close. Four more weeks to go. It’s a blessing, as a freelancer, to have the opportunity to be a part of these projects (steady work! money! live interaction with creatures other than my dog!). But man, the corporate life wipes me out.

I get home from work about 7:30 p.m., make dinner, eat, and plop into bed by 9:00 p.m., exhausted, where I drag my laptop on my lap and spend another couple of hours swaying between vegging out and trying to keep up with my other assignments. The evening yoga class I’d planned to attend? Skipped again.

The other night during one of my zombie-like states, I was flipping through Yoga Journal magazine. The question of the month just so happened to be from a reader who wants to dedicate more time to a yoga practice but finds that work leaves little time or energy to do so.

The yogi who answered the reader question suggested three options (1) back off of a less fulfilling activity and replace it with yoga; (2) spend less time working and more time practicing (which probably means adjusting your standard of living since you’ll presumably make less money if you cut back on work); or (3) make yoga a priority in your free time.

For now I’m choosing option three — switching to a weekend yoga class instead of trying to cram a class in after work when I’m tired and hungry.

Do you have an inflexible schedule that makes practicing yoga more challenging? How do you adjust?

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