"Tonight we summoned spring"- Review for Boston Ballet's triple bill SHADES of SOUND.

by James Mahaffey


Recently I was invited by the Boston Ballet to review their triple bill Shades of Sound that features three distinct works: Chroma (choreographer Wayne McGregor), Episodes (choreographer George Balanchine) and Black Cake (choreographer Hans Van Manen). Summoning musical vibes from renowned greats like Tchaikovsky as well as modern day influencers like the White Stripes and boasting one of the “largest groups of Boston Ballet Orchestra musicians” ever this show is as much about sound as it is about dance. In order to paint a proper picture for fellow newcomers such as myself to the contemplation of ballet I would like to speak about what resonated with me.

Wayne McGregor - CHROMA  

I’m inspired by creative excellence, both the process and the end result, the artist and the song, film, painting or screenplay they create, regardless of the musical genre or creative discipline. When others flow and move with only the current, British choreographer Wayne McGregor swims with a tide of his own creation. He’s a force whose movements you’ve probably already experienced if you happen to like music, dance, film or visual art as this man’s work can be found everywhere and rightfully so. If you don’t believe me or the New York Times claim that McGregor is "doing some of the most exciting work on the planet" venture down this rabbit hole of awesome. Wayne McGregor is the choreographer for Chroma and this fact alone warrants a visit to the Boston Ballet. 

Image by James Mahaffey ©2015 

George Balanchine - EPISODES 

I’ve seen Episodes twice now and I have to admit the second time around I was prepared to not “get it” yet again. I was not looking forward to it. My first viewing was the dress rehearsal and I came away thinking the collective movement was too busy consisting of too many fits and jerks. This time it was completely different. Fits and jerks became rhythmic fits and perfectly timed bursts. I could not have been more wrong with my first interpretation. Episodes was in fact a presentation of dance where each performer displayed almost mathematical maneuvering and precise control of their body, literally not skipping a beat. It was during this energized performance, made even more fantastic by it’s musical score that I knew winter was ending and lost all worry it wasn’t.   

 

CONCERTO, OPUS 24 (Episodes)

Image by James Mahaffey ©2015 

Rarely an envious man am I, tonight my composure would be tested. Simultaneously embraced by five powerful women, experts in their craft, I have yet to be and here is where principal dancer Paulo Arrais found himself. Despite the initial appearance of this arrangement of bodies this short sequence was not necessarily about him and more appropriately about principal dancer Lia Cirio together with Maria Alvarez, Ji Young Chae, Corina Gill and Brittany Stone.

Image by James Mahaffey ©2015 

Quickly I surmised a suitable premise for this sight before me; playful troop occasionally grants a trusted friend to borrow their fellow sister in dance to earn his keep and then attempt to pay his way with passion rarely disturbing the troops pursuits. And in the time it took me to come to that premise the sequence was over. It was short, it was sweet, neither mishandled or overdone. It was perfect and I was filled with envy. 

Image by James Mahaffey ©2015 

Image by James Mahaffey ©2015 

Image by James Mahaffey ©2015 

Hans van Maren - BLACK CAKE

"ASHLEY's MARCH" (Ashley Ellis and Lasha Khozashvili) 

Ashley Ellis could be described as a spoiled kitty or unconquerable lioness when she marches across the stage overcoming Lasha’s resistance. Her hips twist precisely, each high step just as pronounced as the last, defiantly outstretched arms not to the sky but more deliberately risen just above the shoulders like an aggressive swan. This stance alone, this quick struggle for power should be posterized as the new symbol for the equal pay and gender equality movements and every young girl should see it in action.  

HANS VAN MANEN 

Perhaps thats why “In 1996 the Dutch COC awarded him the Bob Angelo Medallion for "the way in which he portrays men and women, human relations and sexuality in his ballets and photography… which can aptly be named liberating in every way”. It makes sense that displays of human strength can be found even within the playfulness of this mostly lighthearted exchange. For the moment let me assume choreographer Hans Van Manen determined that this spirit must make this journey, to assert herself and pitch her own ideas to a typically less welcoming board of male executives and against the wishes of her male colleague (Lasha Khozashvili).

Image by James Mahaffey ©2015 

Pair a vivid imagination such as mine with an impervious display of individual progression such as her’s and anything is possible. Isn't that one of the perks of the arts?  

The audience has the right, if they also possess the ability, to wander between narratives and context in the vast depths of their mind. To be inspired and entertained without disturbing their closest neighbor. We can interact with what’s presented to us however we choose and after an historic winter, trapping most of us indoors for the greater part of a month I recommend an act of spontaneity to anyone this finds.  

Why not visit the Boston Ballet instead of heading to a movie sequel, prequel or 4th installment of a franchise that was best served with one telling? We all fall into the same routine at times. I do it myself. After all I'm just a man who was invited to review a ballet and thank the heavens I was. I left the ballet relaxed, yet invigorated and creatively inspired. This began as a creative assignment and who knows where it will end. Shades of Sound is light and airy, rambunctious and intense and because of this well designed concoction by Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen on this night we turned our nose up to an historic winter. The company danced, the audience agreed and together we summoned the spring. You have exactly three shows between now and Sunday to do the same.

written by James Mahaffey  james@tangibletransmedia.com @Tgbl_Transmedia

Boston Ballet
Shades of Sound: Chroma, Episodes, Black Cake 

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SOLD OUT (9 DADS) ----"DAD & ME" WINTER 2015 SESSION 1

by James Mahaffey in ,


**WINTER SESSION 2 DAD & ME (0-6 MONTHS)3/8/2015 - 3/22/2015 Now open

REGISTRATION

CLASS FULL

Sun, Feb 1, 20159:30am 
Sun, Feb 22, 201510:30am

Congratulations you did it!  Well she did, but you were right by her side.  Now you’re all home and the real journey has just begun.  The first 3 months of parenthood can be extremely fulfilling, yet challenging at times for not only the baby or new mom but for new dads as well.  This class is an opportunity to:

-find your place in this new equation
-bond with your baby
-adjust to the ever changing reality of fatherhood
-find ways to help mom during this time
-decompress
-and share your experience in a fun, relaxed and supportive environment with fellow fathers and their newborns.

Nothing is off limits during these sessions.  We will discuss everything from swaddling to sleep deprivation, shared caregiving to career adjustments.  The role of the father is evolving right before our eyes and as dads we’re on the frontline of the most significant mission one could face -raising another human being.  So bring your bundle of joy (and noise) and let’s navigate this stage together.  We will learn, grow and be lead by our common desire to be the best father’s we can be.  Moms are irreplaceable.  Fathers are too.

 

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PRESS-2015- MASSLIVE.com -New MA law grants fathers paternity leave

by James Mahaffey


FULL ARTICLE HERE

Excerpts

BOSTON - When James Mahaffey, 37, of Boston, had a choice between renewing a contract with an investment company and starting his own media production company, he chose the latter. Part of the reason, he said, was he wanted time to spend with his newborn child.

Mahaffey, a father of two who co-founded a Boston dad's group and teaches classes for new fathers, said men he knows typically cobble together a couple of days of holiday leave or vacation time to take care of their babies.

Requiring companies to give new fathers time off, Mahaffey said, could have "substantial benefits to society as a whole."..

 

..Mahaffey said he hopes a cultural shift accompanies the new law, in which employers tell employees that it is okay to take the time off.

"One thing you'll have with men and fathers, maybe it's there, but it's unspoken or not really talked about enough that you should really take the time," Mahaffey said.

 

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Thank you Britax!

by James Mahaffey


These four walked away wiser and with free Britax car seats last night. Thanks Britax and Britax Child Passenger Safety Technician Sarah Tilton for the informative and candid conversation about the best practices for transporting our children safely.  As a city dad that occasionally uses taxis when traveling with my children I learned quite a bit on how to do so more safely and efficiently.  Thank you Little Lovage Club for hosting the Boston Dads Group! It's a great space.  #BritaxSafety #CityDads  

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Evening Workshop: Child Passenger/Car Seat Safety (Free Car Seats!)

by James Mahaffey


Does car seat installation frustrate you?  Have you ever wondered if your car seat was installed properly?  What is the safest way to transport your children in a Taxi cab? 

Please join us for a relaxed, informative, and FREE evening workshop for members of the Boston Dads Group, featuring Sarah Tilton, BRITAX Child Passenger Safety Technician.

Expect to walk away as an expert when it comes to your child’s car-seat safety and safely transporting your children in and outside the city.  When the learning ends, we hope you’ll stick around and hang out while enjoying a few beverages 

Refreshments will be served + Car Seat Giveaways  (FOUR Dads will be going home with brand new car seats!)

What: 

Social Media Event Hashtag:  #BRITAXSafety

Workshop Time: 7:30pm - 8:45pm, Hang out/Beverages to follow until 9pm

Location: Little Lovage Club in the South End. Special thanks to Little Lovage Club (LLC) for hosting this evening discussion and Britax for sponsoring it.

Cost: FREE  

RSVP   



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#FitnessDayBoston at Microsoft

by James Mahaffey


Microsoft is hosting #FitnessDay all over the country and we are invited to celebrate to #FitnessDayBoston at their store in the Prudential Center.  Microsoft wants to help us get a head start on our family's health and fitness goals by staying active and fit through various fitness activities and games in the store including the chance to try Kinect and XBox One. Kids are welcome!

Prizes will be given away throughout the day (hint hint, some of them are going to be BIG!)

The fun will be going on from 12PM to 6PM, I will be there around noon if you want to join us and possibly later around 5:00.

RSVP here



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Happiness

by James Mahaffey


Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
— Buddha

 

 

 

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"Dad & Me" quickly becoming a new dad's best kept secret.

by James Mahaffey


We just finished up our second session of Dad & Me at Little Lovage Club and Lovage Babyblends and I'm sad to see it end. This is one of those situations that you never expect to become such an integral part of your weekly routine but it quickly does. It's therapeutic, it's honest, it's laid-back, it's informative and adds perspective to a situation that us dads previously went through alone (in some ways). Technically, I teach the class but I assure you I got just as much out of it as anyone else and I couldn't have asked for a cooler group of guys to hang out with these past few Sundays (hence our decision to continue to meet). Even second timers like me could stand to benefit. So if you know of any dads (and babies) that are looking for some sort of outlet or dedicated dad/baby time, or a mom looking for a few sunday mornings to herself check out the link and register for our next session. http://ow.ly/CHlTO    -reporting from the #frontlinesofFatherhood

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Fun for dad & toddler.

by James Mahaffey


One parent/caregiver participates in the class to best support each child. Urbanity's classes for our young movers are a combination of yoga, music and dance. Sessions are designed to help children develop strong, limber and healthy bodies while having fun and meeting other children. This unique combination increases focus, concentration, teamwork, musicality, balance and coordination.

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Parker J. Palmer

by James Mahaffey


New leadership is needed for new times, but it will not come from finding more wily ways to manipulate the external world. It will come as we who serve and lead find the courage to take an inner journey toward both our shadows and our light—a journey that, faithfully pursued, will take us beyond ourselves to become healers of a wounded world.
— Parker J. Palmer

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For the sandwiched generation.

by James Mahaffey


Recently The Boston Center for the Arts featured contributions of local adults from the Ellis Memorial Adult Day Health Program in the South End.  This is just another example of how Ellis helps it's clients, their families and our community thrive by keeping the great depth of wisdom and energy of these respected community members active and accessible to all.  

Our Adult Day Health Program (ADHP) is a medically based community health model for elderly and disabled adults. It is designed to enhance the quality of life for the individuals we serve and keep them living with their families or in their own homes in the community.

"The Sandwich generation is a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich_generation

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Wellness Development (for fathers and men) ..+infants, toddlers

by James Mahaffey


Thank you to all those who have expressed interest in the upcoming season of dad/men's classes.  The fall and winter schedules for "Becoming a Ninja/ Frontlines of Fatherhood Wellness Development (for fathers and men)" as well as our other classes for active dads, infants and toddlers (all taking place here in the South End of Boston) are currently being finalized.  Email me directly at james@tangibletransmedia.com or subscribe to the blog to be the first to know about the fun journey we'll be taking together.  

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