Archive of Contributed Content

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Post image for Menlowe Ballet’s fall season highlighted by new Michael Lowe cultural ballet premieres Nov. 8

Menlowe Ballet’s fall season at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center features contemporary, classical and cultural ballets including the world premiere of Artistic Director Michael Lowe’s Legend of the Seven Suns, which brings to life a traditional Mongolian folktale. Also included are Dennis Nahat’s In Concert and Lowe’s Plague. Performances are Saturday, Nov. 8 at 2:00 and 8:00 pm; Sunday, Nov. 9 at 2:00 pm; and Saturday, Nov. 15 at 2:00 and 8:00 pm. Tickets range from $28 to $49 and can be purchased online or by calling (800) 595-4849.

Lowe traveled to Mongolia to research his new cultural ballet. The ballet’s characters include gods, mortals, a menagerie of engaging animals, and Mongolia’s vast, rugged landscape. “Mongolia has a rich heritage of tales related to humans and their relationship to the natural world,” he said. “These stories give me the fuel I needed to tell a great fable through dance.”

Michael Lowe Mongolian directorLowe spent part of his time “on the land” with the Terlij Villagers (top photo). The second half of the trip was spent in Ulaanbaatar with the Director of the Great Khan Theater, D. Dashlkhagva (pictured with Lowe right), and his dancers teaching Lowe traditional Mongolian steps.

Lowe reflected on his experience:”… I had chosen to embark on a strenuous tour that would take me out of Mongolia’s capital city into rugged, remote terrain where I would experience the tastes, sounds, smells, and realities of the nomadic way of life which was to be the setting for my new ballet.

“As the only senior amidst a group of adventurous, brave, twenty-somethings, I slept for a week bundled against bitter cold in a tent-like ger, with no shower or running water, and only a river to bathe in; chopped wood to keep a fire burning through the night; subsisted on meat from a freshly slaughtered goat; traversed hours by foot up a vertical mountain; travelled elsewhere by oxcart; rode wild, just-tamed horses; and survived a terrifying, yet exhilarating trip, carrying all of my gear on the back of a local’s motorcycle as he precariously navigated rivers and rutted muddy roads in order to get me back to the city.

“Upon returning home, I began planning how I might make this fable come alive through dance. The night before the first day of rehearsals were to begin with my company, I noticed a feeling of trepidation within me similar to what I had felt prior to leaving on my trip. Upon reflection, I realized that this anxiety is present in me each time I embark on a new choreographic project.

“Walking in to face a studio full of expectant dancers who are all looking to me to give them steps and characters to inhabit is a daunting experience. As a choreographer, I don’t go into every rehearsal knowing exactly what I’m going to do. The act of creating art often involves intense preparation paired with a willingness to allow spontaneous ideas to take form. The important thing is to take the initial step and begin the journey into that very process. For me, it’s always been that first step through the studio door onto the dance floor, or off of the airplane onto foreign ground, that has allowed the magic to begin.”

Based in Menlo Park, Menlowe Ballet is a professional ballet company dedicated to bringing dance to audiences in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 2011, the company performs works ranging from cultural to contemporary, while honoring the tradition of classical ballet. In addition to its artistic mission, Menlowe Ballet provides performing opportunities to aspiring students from its official school, the Menlo Park Academy of Dance.

Photos courtesy of Michael Lowe, Menlowe Ballet

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Menlo Park Atherton Education Foundation plans various holiday-related fundraisers

The 5th Annual Menlo Park Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF) Gift Boutique at Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park on Thursday, November 13, and Friday, November 14. Twenty percent of the proceeds benefit Menlo Park City Schools. You can preview the vendors here. The community is invited to shop the boutique, and attend one of MPAEF’s signature events: Thursday, […]

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Wolf and elk diseases at Yellowstone is topic of Oct. 30 USGS public lecture

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The talk will be give by Paul Cross, USGS Research Wildlife Biologist. He examine such topics as: What can diseases of wildlife tell us about the emergence of human pandemics? Why is a bacterial disease expanding to animals beyond the Greater Yellowstone area? How are diseases affecting Yellowstone wolves? The lecture, which is free and […]

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Local author Herschel Cobb to speak at Menlo Park Library on Nov. 1

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Local author Herschel Cobb will talk about his book, Heart of a Tiger: Growing up with My Grandfather, Ty Cobb, during a free program to be presented by the Menlo Park Library on Saturday, November 1. Ty Cobb, “The Georgia Peach,” played 22 years as an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers, setting set 90 Major […]

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Menlo College hosts forum for Atherton City Council candidates on Oct. 29

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A forum featuring the four candidates for the city council of the Town of Atherton City Council will be hosted by Menlo College on Wednesday, October 29 at 7:00 pm in the college’s Russell Center Great Room, at 1000 El Camino Real, Atherton. The event is free and open to the public. Four candidates, including two incumbents, […]

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Café Scientifique examines brutality of contact sports – and its lasting damage

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Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard is both a book and the topic of the next Café Scientifique  on Tuesday, Oct. 28 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at SRI International in Menlo Park. The event is co-produced by the Bay Area Science Festival. Widely regarded as the toughest man in the NHL, […]

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Church Songs of Ireland concert offered by Nativity Church on Oct. 26

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Enjoy a concert of Irish hymns and songs covering the seasons of the year from All Saints and All Souls, to Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day, to Easter and summer, celebrating Irish saints through music and Sunday, Oct. 26 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm at Nativity Church, 210 Oak Grove Avenue, Menlo Park.. Featured will […]

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Fleet Feet Menlo Park training group celebrate finishing Nike Women’s Half Marathon

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Editor’s note: InMenlo contributing photographers Irene Searles and Laura Hamilton ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon last weekend. Irene trained with Fleet Feet Menlo Park. Last night the training teams gathered for a celebration party. Fleet Feet co-owner Lisa Taggart shared some thoughts: We had 156 people registered through our class. There were 135 race registrations […]

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Halloween Hoopla takes place in downtown Menlo Park on Saturday, Oct. 25

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The City of Menlo Park Community Services Department proudly presents the 2014 Halloween Hoopla on Saturday, October 25, sponsored by the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce and Cheeky Monkey Toys. Come in costume and participate in the annual parade to Fremont Park starting at 11:45 am. The parade will start in the Maloney Street parking lot […]

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It all started with the Loma Prieta earthquake 25 years today for two fire fighters involved in search and rescue

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Editor’s note: The Loma Prieta earthquake struck at 5:04 pm on Oct. 17, 1989, recording a magnitude of 6.9.  Menlo Park sustained little damage, but the quake did prompt lasting changes to local search and rescue procedures as chronicled below. Twenty five years ago, Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief Manny Navarro was off duty when […]

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Peninsula Volunteers presents sixth annual Baubles Bangles and Bags on Nov. 3

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Over 150 beautiful new, gently used, and premier designer handbags will be available at Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.’s sixth annual Baubles Bangles and Bags luncheon to be held on November 3, 2014 at the Menlo Circus Club. An entertaining presentation on fashion by Babette Pinsky of Oakland (pictured) with boutiques across the country including, San Francisco, […]

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