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Entertainment (97)

Center Stage: Bill Viola’s art slows time to create mindful contemplation

Bill Violas The Fall into ParadisePerformers John Hay and Sarah Steben take part in Bill Viola's video art piece "The Fall into Paradise," part of his exhibit "The Moving Portrait" now featured at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. COURTESY PHOTO

WASHINGTON D.C. — Moving pictures meet portraiture. Video, a popular media form used for almost any purpose, is rarely utilized for slow, perceptual contemplation often achieved in paintings or music.

Bill Viola’s work “The Moving Portrait” does exactly that. His work is more akin to portraiture rather than narrative stories often seen in video. His work focuses on facial language and slow-motion to allow a calmer, meditative attention to his footage.

These videos focus on the physical actions of his subjects rather than the promise of a narrative climax or conclusion to maintain interest. Examples include “The Raft”, a high-definition video projection of nineteen people suddenly hit by a high-pressure stream of water.

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It’s a game of musical chairs at Second Story Books

xSecond Story Books-Allan StypeckAllan Stypeck of Second Story Books. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

In their own version of musical chairs, those gathered on the ground floor of Second Story Books in Rockville on the last Saturday of each month continually move to the next chair. They reach their goal when it’s finally their turn to meet with the used bookstore’s president, Allan Stypeck.

Stypeck, who has spent 40 years appraising books and other documents, carefully handles all books, checks their conditions, scans the pages and pulls from his memory a wealth of history and recollections. Often that is enough to say what the book is worth. If not, he knows the right internet sites to determine the book’s value.

On a recent appraisal day, Stypeck examined a first edition of “Cujo” by Stephen King and immediately knew when it was published. He also reviewed a book that had an authentic signature of a few of this country’s founding fathers and another one written in German that was mandatory reading for those joining the Nazi ranks.

There can be as many as 200 people who show up to the monthly event, which has occurred at the Rockville bookstore for the past three years. Stypeck also has a used bookstore in Dupont Circle.

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Paul Schwartz provides his "View" on today’s issues in “A Citizen’s Perspective”

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Montgomery County Sentinel columnist Paul Schwartz’s opinions and perspectives regarding racism, misogyny and xenophobia are collated in his new book titled “A Citizen’s Perspective.”

The book is a compilation of his weekly opinion column "Paul's View" for the Montgomery County Sentinel.

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Center Stage: Olney’s “Fickle” does commendable nod to French theater

xFickle photoPerformers in the production of “Fickle," now playing at the Olney Theatre. COURTESY PHOTO

OLNEY — An amusing production of “Fickle” is running at the Olney Theatre based on the French play “The Double Inconstancy.” In the play, a prince, his servants and countryside peasants interact together in a series of comical twists.

“Fickle” begins when a prince falls for for a peasant girl named Silvia (Kathryn Tkel) and kidnaps both her and her husband, Harlequin (Andy Reinhardt), bringing them to his castle.

The Prince, played by Christopher Dinolfo, is a naïve fellow who enjoys wearing costumes and thinks that impersonating others is the way to win over Silvia’s heart. Meanwhile, Harlequin as the starved peasant is played for laughs since he is obsessed with eating cheese throughout the play.

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“All the world is a stage”

And this theater group teaches local youths how to become empowered as players

Theater group 2Traveling Players Ensemble founder & director Jeanne Harrison. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER

MCLEAN, VIRGINIA – Students who joined a theater program with the intention of learning to act said they received more than they expected.

Maereg Gebretekle, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School junior, and Jeremy Wenick, a Walt Whitman sophomore, said they had wanted to acquire theater experience outside what their high schools had to offer.

“It’s given me a lot of theater experience that I never thought I would get,” Gebretekle said after a rehearsal Friday. “I didn’t know theater was run this way because I only did one show and it wasn’t even that big of a deal in middle school,” she said, remembering her school play.

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Center Stage: An astounding “Avenue Q” at Montgomery College

ROCKVILLE — Absolutely astounding. Two words to describe Montgomery College Theatre’s production of “Avenue Q” last week.

It was intriguing to learn that “Avenue Q” was an homage to “Sesame Street,” and the opening seconds of the show were mindblowing.

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Rockville looks for police chief opportunity

New Rockville City Manager Rob DiSpirito said he intends to seek input from the Rockville community about police in the city prior to a national search for candidates to fill the vacant police chief position.

DiSpirito said he intends to become familiar with the interests and needs of the city, including residents, police officers and city employees, so he can be informed on what needs the chief should be able to address.

“I need to take time, as any manager would,” DiSpirito said.

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Juggling and ballet at Strathmore equal harmony

Screen shot 2017-02-08 at 3.16.16 AMGandini Juggling performed both ballet and juggling in their act. COURTESY PHOTO

BETHESDA — At Strathmore, Gandini Juggling, a British juggling group held a performance titled “4x4: Ephemeral Architectures.”

Juggling and ballet, two traditionally separate art forms, were combined to create a performance of both balance and precision as a live orchestral ensemble timed music to each movement.

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Bethesda business hosts ‘A Toast to Art’ showcase

BETHESDA — Two entrepreneurs held an open house art exhibit in their own Bethesda office entitled “A Toast to Art” on Tuesday.

Sean Saidi and Sabine Roy helm Saidi-Roy Associates, or SR/A, a private business that is partly architectural and partly interior design.

SR/A is contracted to design new multifamily homes and renovate old ones in the area. Saidi and Roy’s art exhibit showcases local work from artists they know personally.

“We talk to local artists to help Bethesda because there’s not enough exhibits, and the ones available are very expensive,” said Saidi.

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BlackRock features political and social art of local artists

blackrockOne of the artworks presented at BlackRock. PHOTO BY REECE LINDENMAYER  

GERMANTOWN — The BlackRock Center for the Arts opened their first day of the year with an art exhibit featuring the work of three local artists.

In the Kay Gallery, the work of Linda Colsh and Julia Dzikiewicz is on display. Colsh’s work, entitled “Seeing the Unseen” focuses on elderly subjects, whom she believes are marginalized in society.

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