Wednesday, 28 May 2008

I could feel Cleo Parker Robinson's personality beaming through the phone lines during my interview with her on Saturday, May 24th. If you were listening to the show, I hope you that you, too, could feel her openness. This accomplished dance, choreographer, and award-winner shared her experiences growing up in Denver, Colorado where the artistic exchanges among people of various backgrounds flourished despite the presence of the Ku Klux Klan. From forming her dance ensemble and school, to assisting legendary, Katherine Dunham during the last years of her life (when it seemed she had been forgotten by the dance world), to her experiences with dancers Donald Mackayle and Alvin Ailey, Cleo Parker Robinson is a woman who had dedicated her life to dance. Through her master classes, countless others will benefit from those she has learned from as well as her original ideas about dance.

The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble will be performing at Harbourfront Centre's Enwave Theatre ( 231 Queens Quay West) May 29th -31st, and Robinson herself will be teaching classes for children and adults through Dance Immersion at the National Ballet School(400 Jarvis Street), June 2nd - 8th.

Tickets to Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble: $25 (student/senior) $30 Adults:416-973-4000
CleoDance Classes: $17 adults, $10 children: 416-203-0666

Reel Asian Spring Showcase
I'm being very self-indulgent by posting this picture of actor, Andy Lau. Reel Asian Head Programmer, Heather Keung, and I did not discuss the Spring Showcase's opening night film, A Battle of Wits (the screening had passed), but I can never resist anything that features Lau's face. Heather and I did talk about other films in the festival such as "Chinese Restaurant: Latin Passions" and the predominently silent, visually engaging film by Hou Hsiao-Hsien, "Three Times". Cheuk Kwan has been documenting the Chinese diaspora by means of researching Chinese restaurants around the world. What comes through in his films are portraits of families who have experienced varied and extraordinary things. In Latin Passions we meet, for example, a couple who left China by swimming shark-infested waters to get to Macau. They then made their way to Hong Kong and ended up in Sao Paolo, Brazil. For more information about Reel Asian visit

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