Smuin’s diverse dance program comes to town

Smuin Ballet has always been known for presenting eclectic and inventive programs. That’s definitely the case with its current “Dance Series 01,” which comes to Mountain View Center for the Arts Feb. 22-25.

It’s a diverse combination of works. “I like to think of it as three independent short stories that are on one program,” said Smuin artistic director Celia Fushille.

The program’s one connective thread is appropriate for Valentine’s month. “Each of the ballets has a reflection on love and relationships,” Fushille said, “but I love that they also showcase the dancers’ extraordinary abilities to master so many distinctive styles.”

“Serenade for Strings” opens the program. It employs the music Balanchine used for his renowned 1934 ballet, “Serenade,” but with a lively new interpretation by Garrett Ammon.

“It’s interesting for me to see a contemporary choreographer’s fresh take on the same centuries-old Tchaikovsky score,” Fushille said. “It’s using the ballet idiom, but with a little twist and lot more humor. It’s perfect for Smuin. It’s fantastic music and you see the athleticism and speed of the dancers. And I love that Ammon was able to add little whimsical gestures into his creation.”

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s acclaimed “Requiem for a Rose,” from a Schubert score, offers a different mood. Smuin presented the piece’s West Coast premiere last fall. It features 12 dancers portraying a dozen red roses. Ochoa’s costume design has the male and female dancers wearing full skirts to represent the flowers.

“I thought this would be a beautiful vehicle for us, as well,” Fushille said. “It was such an honor to get to do her work. She’s in demand all over the world. She doesn’t consider herself to be a typically romantic choreographer and yet this piece is in fact, very romantic. She was inspired by the question of, what is love and what …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


Bridge: Feb. 17, 2018

Tribune Content Agency

My “Simple Saturday” columns focus on improving basic technique and developing logical thinking.

A “safety” play is like an insurance policy. You pay a premium — you give up on taking the maximum number of possible tricks — but you protect yourself against a devastating loss.

At today’s six spades, South takes the ace of diamonds, discarding a club, and leads a club to his queen. West politely plays low. How should declarer continue?


If South leads the ace of clubs next (trying for 13 tricks), West will ruff and lead a trump. South will have two losing clubs but only one trump left in dummy, and the result will be down one. To insure against a 5-1 club break, South must lead a low club at Trick Three. If East wins and leads a trump, South wins, ruffs his last low club with dummy’s queen and wins the rest.

By the way, a trump opening lead, though it looks like a killer, won’t beat six spades. I’ll let you figure out how South can still win 12 tricks.


You hold: S Q 5 H A K 8 4 D A 7 6 5 4 C 8 7. After two passes, the dealer, at your right, opens one spade. What do you say?

ANSWER: A double is possible, but there are some strikes against that action. Your values are minimum. The queen of spades may be worthless for offense, and your partner is a passed hand. If he responded in clubs, your support would be inadequate (and if you ran to two diamonds, you would promise a much better hand). I would pass.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S Q 5

H A K 8 4

D A 7 6 5 4

C 8 7


S 7 6 3 2

H J 9 5 3 2

D Q 10 9

C 9


S 8

H …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


Horoscopes: Feb. 17, 2018

CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: Ed Sheeran, 27; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 37; Billie Joe Armstrong, 46; Denise Richards, 47.

Happy Birthday: Open your mind, body and soul to new endeavors. Learn all you can and face each day with optimism and the desire to do your best. What you offer others will bring you rewards beyond your imagination. Have faith in yourself and in those around you. Bring out the best in others and you will bring out the best in you. Your numbers are 9, 16, 22, 24, 36, 39, 45.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Think each idea through from beginning to end before you begin. Once you have everything clear in your head, move forward and don’t look back until you complete your mission. Don’t let an ex or an old friend disrupt your life. 3 stars

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Personal change will alter the way you move forward. Don’t feel guilty about going after your dreams. Set a course that will allow you to experience and accomplish what you want. Personal gain will lead to better connections. 4 stars

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Do your best to stabilize your financial situation. Do the best job possible and look for new ways to bring in extra cash. Cutting back or applying for a part-time position will help you gain momentum. 2 stars

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Channel your energy into something worthwhile. Day trips, visiting someone special or a romantic outing with someone you love will enhance your day and lead to future plans that encourage a positive lifestyle change. 5 stars

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Do your best with what you have. Spending money for the sake of boredom or trying to keep up with someone who makes more than you will end in disaster. Stop comparing and start …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


Word Game: Feb. 17, 2018

TODAY’S WORD — FLAMINGO (FLAMINGO: fluh-MING-go: A large tropical wading bird of pinkish color.)

Average mark 30 words

Time limit 40 minutes

Can you find 46 or more words in FLAMINGO? The list will be published Monday.

YESTERDAY’S WORD — SCOLDING scion scold sign silo sing slid sling slog soil sold solid song sonic cling clod clog closing coding coil coin cold cosign ling lingcod lingo lion logic loin long losing ding dingo disc disco doing doling dong dosing icon idol noil gild gold

To purchase the Word Game book, visit Order it now for just $5 while supplies last!


1. Words must be of four or more letters.

2. Words that acquire four letters by the addition of ”s,” such as ”bats” or ”dies,” are not allowed.

3. Additional words made by adding a ”d” or an ”s” may not be used. For example, if ”bake” is used, ”baked” or ”bakes” are not allowed, but ”bake” and ”baking” are admissible.

4. Proper nouns, slang words, or vulgar or sexually explicit words are not allowed.

Contact Word Game creator Kathleen Saxe at

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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