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Stuck in Vermont: 100% homegrown Vermont vlog about art, music, obsessions and outsiders

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May 2007

May 29, 2007

VT City Marathon [27]


Marathon_5About 7500 runners participated in the 19th Vermont City Marathon this past Sunday.   

The weather was perfect for racing, dark and dismal.  The crowds came out to support the runners despite the rain. 

In addition to competitors completing the entire 26-mile course through Burlington, the race featured half-marathoners, relay teams and a wheelchair division. 

The race is known to be good for beginners with beautiful views of Lake Champlain and the Church St marketplace.

Marathon_7 Eva talks to the spectators about why they turned up to cheer and to the runners about why they race and what this marathon means to them.

And what is that tub of vaseline being used for!? 


"Busy Bees" by the zesty Pretty & Nice (on MySpace) off their album Pink & Blue.

"Soft Rock Two" by our dearly departed Casey Rea off The Contrarian's album Soft Rock.  * Sniffle *  We will miss you Casey.

May 22, 2007

Black Fly Festival [26]

Blackfly_3 Adamant Vermont is a remote town nestled between Montpelier and Calais. 

During the early blissful summer months, Adamant is over run with menacing swarms of pesky, blood-sucking black flies.  Residents wear thick netting to avoid the red, itchy welts that appear post-black fly attack. 

Five years ago Cindy Cook decided to fight back creatively by organizing the Black Fly Festival. If you can't beat 'em, well, you can at least have a good time celebrating their buggy awfulness.

Blackfly_7 On Sunday, May 20th, the 5th Annual Black Fly Festival festivities included a Fellini-esque parade, a bug-inspired pie contest and a black fly anthem song writing contest.

Proceeds benefit the Adamant Co-op which is at the heart of the town (literally) and helps to bring the tight-knit community even closer together.

(And their two-seater out house does just that!  Someone mentioned as I exited, "With two seats in there, we could have sat together."  I think she was kidding.)

Adamant was once a quarry-town called Sodom but the name of the town was changed when the post office protested. Like most small towns, Adamant's history sounded a little different depending on who you talk to.  Beautiful Sodom Pond continues to breed black flies. 

Blackfly_9Local Ethan Allen impersonator, Jim Hogue led the parade on a stunning black horse and did his best to capture a black fly for me. 

Across the brooke is a music school which has brought new life to the town and above the co-op are the studios of local artist, Janet MacLeod who is also the current Adamant Co-op President.   

I learned how to say "black fly" in Abenaki and why the tri-cornered hat was invented (yes, two people just happened to be wearing them, go figure).

I also met a gaggle of local kids who obliged me with a horror movie re-enactment of a Black Fly Attack and some energetic farm girls who swatted flies and made wonderful faces.

The residents of Adamant are an arty, quirky, political hodge podge of good-hearted people who know how to throw a feisty Black Fly Festival.

PS While editing this vlog I got the distinct impression that insects were crawling all over my body and that I had itchy bug bites left over from Sunday.  Ethan Allen said that a black fly could hide under your watch band and then bite you two days later so it is possible that this happened to me as well.  More than likely though, editing a video about creepy crawlies makes one rather paranoid.

PPS Check it out, hopefully the compression on this vlog is a slight step up. I am working on it!

May 15, 2007

SpielPalast Cabaret [25]

Spielpalast_allTake a walk back in time to the seedy clubs of Berlin in the 1930s where women wore revealing lingerie and sang for their suppers and the entertainment was always sassy.

SpielPalast Cabaret has been performing around Vermont for 6 years and is a fluxuating family of dancers, actors, mimes, musicians, jugglers and performers. This year they alight at City Hall for two weekends of shows.

Which character are they playing tonight?  A peek behind the scenes of the secretive and sultry SpielPalast.

PS 5/21/07 I replaced the older version of this vlog with a higher resolution version. Can you tell the difference? Fewer crunchies!

May 08, 2007

Liminal Engagement [24]


Liminal_engagement_3_2 What do you get when you combine plastic cups, chain link fence, string and rocks painted brown? 

Dartmouth University art professor Soo Sunny Park's "Liminal Engagement" opened Friday, May 4th at the Firehouse Gallery on lower Church St.  The warm weather combined nicely with the Friday Art Walk and the downtown was crawling with art lovers. 

Some plowed through the interactive artwork, leaving tangles in their wake. Others felt the need to take the time to meticulously untangle the strings.

Liminal_engagement_11 This installation by Soo Sunny was inspired by Vermont, her visually stunning drives to Stratford and the snow peaks melting into the dirt.   

"Liminal Engagement" was assembled over the course of 2 weeks with the help of 16 Firehouse Gallery staff, interns and volunteers, and much coffee!

Is it a jellyfish, an underwater scene, clouds, snow peaks, honeycomb, a baseball field - come visit and you be the judge.
  Soo Sunny Park's installation "Liminal Engagement" will be at the Firehouse Gallery from May 4-June 2, 2007.

Music: "Air," Curling Pond Woods, Greg Davis, Copyright 2007 BMI

May 01, 2007

Urban Dance Complex [23]

Urban_3_2 Vermont and hip hop merge at Sarah Cover's new dance studio in Williston, Urban Dance Complex.

Says Sarah, "I ... am trying to create a Vermont that I wish I had lived in when I was 13."

In addition to hip hop steps, students learn what it means to be a dedicated and successful dancer.  Some move on to NYC and LA and others remain in VT keeping the dream alive.

Sarah Cover is a high-energy dancer and choreographer who moved back to VT after 8 years in NYC to share her love of hip hop with others.  She travels regularly, keeping her style fresh and exposing the girls to well-known performers and cutting edge moves. 

Urban_7 "Hard Knock Life" is a Broadway story told through hip hop dance, created and directed by Sarah and performed by VT Elements,  a cast of 16 of her best dancers. 

"Annie" is played by naturally red-headed Mary Jo ("MJ") Cahilly-Bretzin, a 14 year old dancer who was recently signed with an agent after impressing Justin Timberlake's choreographers.

"Sandy" is her "dawg" (friend) played by Lindsay ("Lu") Richardson.  Lu is graduating high school and plans to move to LA in July.  She began dancing with Sarah when she was 12 years old and hopes to have a career as a dancer touring with musicians like Janet Jackson.

"Ms.Hannigan" is played by the expressive Ali Zura, a dancer who also teaches at UDC.  After a brief stint in Canada, Ali is glad to be back in Vermont sharing hip hop with the masses and watching her friends mature and hone their skills.

Urban_9 Talking to these girls about their craft is inspiring.  They are young, talented, hard-working and they give Sarah props for pointing them in the right direction.  She is a teacher, taskmaster, friend and mentor to them.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for these dancers as they embark into the world with the skills they learned here. 

Meanwhile, the Urban Dance Complex continues to bring hip hop to the Vermont masses, exposing a new batch of new students to an urban culture which is becoming more common in VT.

"Hard Knock Life" was shot at Higher Ground in South Burlington.

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