Sign-Interpreted 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

Sign-Interpreted & 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

Sign-Interpreted & 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

Sign-Interpreted & 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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Do I Knead a Bread Machine?

Bread.

The staple of life.

Now that I’ve gotten used to making my own fresh vegetable juice, I’m thinking of bread. I recall reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a few months ago and coming across a passage by the author’s husband (Steven Hopp) who makes a fresh loaf practically everyday.

He says, “I know you’ve got one around somewhere: maybe in the closet. Or on the kitchen counter, so dusty nobody remembers it’s there. A bread machine.”

A bread machine? Nope, don’t have one in the closet or on the counter or anywhere. I’m lucky if I can find a spatula in our kitchen. During a party this spring, I was talking with the host’s mother. She’s in her late 80s and makes her own bread. I told her I wanted to learn so I could make homemade pizza dough, whole wheat, pumpernickel, etc.

“But I don’t have a bread machine,” I said.

She practically fell out of her chair laughing. I guess if you really know how to make bread the old fashioned way, you knead the dough. By hand. For a long time.

“You have to feel the dough to make sure it’s right,” she said.

Call me crazy, but kneading dough by hand actually sounds fun. I think I’ll try it (although I have no idea what it’s supposed to “feel” like, so I’ll have to wing that part). In the meantime, I’ll keep my eye out at garage sales for someone else’s barely-used, dusty bread machine.

That Was Easy

I wanted to pop two pills.

After taking the summer off, I played tennis for nearly two hours yesterday and my legs ached from my hips down to my ankles. Also, I had a headache.

Oh, how I wanted ibuprofen to be the answer! Pop the meds, mask the pain, and let me go to sleep. But I decided to hold off. A few little thoughts floated around in my head: What is my body trying to tell me? Could yoga help?

The headache was probably because I was dehydrated. It was hot on the courts. I drank some water and then set the glass down on a table. Sitting on the floor, I raised my arms over my head, clasped my hands together, and turned my palms towards the ceiling. I lowered onto my back and squeezed one knee into my chest while keeping the other leg straight. Switched sides. I did a few spinal twists to remove the stiffness in my hips. Gentle, easy stretches. And I felt so much better afterwards.

That was easy. And it took less than twenty minutes – the time it would’ve taken the ibuprofen to reach my system.

Welcome, Loved One

A few weeks ago I was in Tulum, Mexico for a week of yoga, meditation and silent beach walks. I arrived at night after everyone else had gone to sleep. Inside my cabana two flickering candles revealed a comfy bed draped in mosquito netting with a welcome card on the pillow. I picked up the card and read what was written. Holding it next to my heart I smiled. Then I crawled under the covers and drifted off to sleep.

The next morning as I was journaling in my notebook, I thought about the card and scribbled down what it had said: You are worth loving. I had a funny feeling that what I wrote wasn’t quite right, so I went back to my cabana to double-check. Sure enough, I had misquoted the card. It actually read: I am worth loving.

Notice the difference?

Why is it so easy to believe others are worth loving, but so hard to believe it about ourselves? Why is it difficult to say? To know? To live?

This isn’t a narcissistic kind of love; rather, it’s a “love your neighbor as yourself” kind of love. Eating mindfully, treating ourselves with kindness, practicing yoga — these are ways we can love ourselves by being stewards of our body and soul.

I began practicing yoga years ago after watching my then-boyfriend (now husband) ease into a backbend with grace. To this day I still can’t do that, but it doesn’t matter because self-love is about accepting myself for who I am, not what I can achieve. I will be blogging about yoga twice a week for the Eat Wasa Feel Good team (my partner, Zandria, introduced herself yesterday as the vegan blogger).

So here’s a warm welcome to you, loved one, and an invitation to join me on this journey. Feel free to post comments, questions or ideas. You can also e-mail me or visit my personal blog, Roughly Speaking.

Oh, by the way, my name is Jenny. And I am worth loving.

Freedom

I was “birthed” into the world of yoga through the Iyengar style where precision and alignment are emphasized. My teacher would adjust our poses starting from our pinky toe (literally – she’d have us lift it up and try to spread it away from our other toes) all the way to the tops of our heads (which, she would tell us, should be lifting toward the ceiling, as if a string was attached to our scalp and someone was pulling).

I’m one of those follow the rules, read the directions, life is in the details type of girls, so I ate Iyengar yoga up. The fact that my hamstrings are tight, my shoulders are scrunched, and my hips are narrow make Iyengar a fitting practice because I benefit so greatly from the blocks and straps and blankets that are generously encouraged in that style of practice to help with proper positioning.

From time to time I’ve experimented with other yoga styles – this article describes various kinds – and recently I found myself in a session where the teacher was leading a flow with pretty much no regard to form whatsoever.

At first I was distraught.

“Beautiful!” the yoga teacher said when I moved into Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II).

“Oh, yeah, right,” I thought to myself.

In an Iyengar class, the instructor is always adjusting my Warrior II pose. I’m like a toy where you push one section in and another section pops out. If she moves my left thigh, my right knee tweaks to a different place. If she tilts my pelvis, my arms plummet. If she tells me where to fix my gaze – whoops – there goes my thigh again.

Anyway, I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t want to spend the entire practice mentally upset that this yoga teacher wasn’t going to focus on form. Other than calling out the pose, she was giving no instructions, and deep inside I knew that was okay. Because yoga really isn’t about form. Not at its core. It’s about being in a present state of mind. Finding a place where I’m not worrying about the future or obsessing over the past, even if those thoughts relate to yoga itself. As I continued the flow, I let go of the details and the precision and simply enjoyed the movement.

I felt warm and flexible and free.

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