Season’s Greetings to All !

My best wishes to all who visit this site during this holiday season and the year to come! I hope that you have enjoyed your stay at this site and will visit often. Have a great winter season, stay well and safe. -Chas

The food gifs have been made by the talented cinematographic artist Daria Khoroshavina who is based in Moscow, Russia. Her project Kitchen Ghosts is about food, drinks and other little precious moments of life captured and looped in live photographs.

The Kitchen Ghosts project has been noticed and loved by many brands which led to successful collaborations with Pepsi, Martell, Blue Angel vodka, Schweppes, Amazon, Samsung and others.

Represented by:
Kari Anderson

Hubert Julian Stowitts

The Photographs and Artwork of Hubert Julian Stowitts

Born in Rushville, Nebraska, in June of 1892, Hubert Julian (Jay) Stowitts was an American painter and ballet dancer. Raised in the Lakota Souix area of South Dakota, he moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1911. Upon his arrival, Stowitts enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, where, as a gay student, he became a successful college athlete, captained the university’s track team, and acted in several student theater productions. 

Captivated by a ballet performance seen in San Francisco, Stowitts decided to begin private dance lessons. He became an accomplished dancer and performed both on the public stage and at private parties for  San Francisco’s upper class residents. Stowitts kept his dancing secret from his parents for much of his college years; he graduated from the University of California in 1915 with a degree in Commerce. 

In the summer of 1915, while dancing at the Greek Theatre, a large amphitheater owned by the University of California, Julian Stowitts impressed Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who was in attendance. He accepted an invitation to join her dance company and dropped plans to attend graduate school at Harvard. Stowitts, the first American to star with a Russian ballet troupe, traveled as a successful dancer for six years throughout Europe and the Americas. Leaving Pavlova’s company, he moved to Paris and started a solo career with performances throughout Europe, including a starring role with the Folies Bèrgere in 1924.

During his solo career, Stowitts executed choreographies for other dance companies, designed sets and costumes, and continued  his painting. In 1925 at the age of thirty-three, he retired from dancing and pursued a new career as a painter and occasional film actor. Stowitts traveled through the Far East in the late 1920s, where he lived and painted  in Java for a year. After a stay in Indonesia, he lived in the southern part of Asia for several years and, during this stay, created a series of one hundred and fifty-five canvases entitled “Vanishing India”. After his return to Europe in 1931, Stowitts’s  painted depictions and scholarly studies of traditional Indonesian and Indian dance and costume enjoyed wide popularity in the 1930s.

For the art exhibition at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Julian Stowitts presented a series of fifty-five paintings depicting American male athletes in the nude, which caused a sensation among the attendees. While in Berlin, he assisted German film director Leni Reifenstahl on her “Olympia”, released in 1938 as the first feature film documentary of an Olympic Games, later used by the Nazis as a propaganda film. Due to her fame and influence, Riefenstahl was able to protect Stowitts from persecution for being gay; but his exhibition was closed by the Nazi regime because of their objection to the manner in which Stowitts depicted Jewish and African-American athletes. 

Returning to California in 1937, Stowitts struggled financially as his artwork began to lose public interest. He found, with the assistance of friends, some security with employment as a house caretaker in the Los Angeles area. Stowitts continued to lecture on Indian and Javanese culture and to paint privately for the remainder of his life. The last of his painting series, uncompleted due to illness, was “The Labors of Hercules”, in which actor and body builder Steve Reeves served as the model. Hubert Julian Stowitts died in San Marino, California on February 8, 1953.

The papers of American dancer and painter Hubert Julian Stowitts, including biographical materials, correspondence, and exhibition and performance related materials are available for research at the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley. 

Matthew Bourne: “Swan Lake”

Matthew Bourne, “Swan Lake”

Craig Schwartz, Matthew Bourne’s “Swan Lake” (Dance Troupe), 2019

Johan Persson, Bourne’s “Swan Lake” (Matthew Ball and Liam Mower), 1995

English choreographer and director Matthew Bourne was born in Hackney in 1960. Leaving full time eduction in 1978, he received employment at routine positions in the arts field; in addition to this work, he directed various amateur dance companies. Bourne enrolled, at the age of twenty-two, in London’s  Conservatoire of Music and Dance, formerly the Laban Centre. For his final year, he danced with the center’s Transitions Dance Company, and at end of term in 1985 received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Theater. After graduation, Bourne spent two more years dancing with the Transition performance company.

In 1987, along with friends and fellow dancers Emma Gladstone and David Massingham, Matthew Bourne established the dance company Adventures in Motion Pictures, where he was AMP’s artistic director from 1987 until 2002. He  also became a charter member of the all-male dance company, The Featherstonehaughs, formed in 1988. Bourne danced professionally for fourteen years, including in his own productions, until his final performance in 1999, when he appeared as The Private Secretary in the Broadway production of “Swan Lake”. 

As a choreographer and director, Matthew Bourne’s work includes “Spitfire”, a highly colored mixture of the 1845 ballet “Pas de Quatre” and men’s underwear advertising, and “The Infernal Galop” which toys with British illusions about lower-class Parisians, both choreographed during the 1980s. In the early 1990s, he produced “Town and Country”, a humorous exploration of life on a small island,  and “Deadly Serious”, a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock films. His revised production of the “Nutcracker!” premiered at Sadler’s Wells in 1992, and returned the following year for a second sold-out season. In 1995, Bourne met and became partners with dancer and choreographer Arthur Pita, who has become a frequent collaborator and is a principle dancer at AMP.

Of Bourne’s work, some of the most acclaimed pieces are those updated from classical ballet’s repertoire, and often infused with contemporary themes. His groundbreaking 1995 “Swan Lake” was a contemporary ballet, based on the Russian romantic work, which became the longest-playing dance production in the history of London’s West End. The ballet took Tchaikovsky’s music and a broad outline of the plot and paired them with an all-male dance company. Bourne’s 1995 “Swan Lake” received over thirty international awards including the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production and  Tony Awards for Best Director, Best Choreography, and Best Costume Design.

In the 1995 “Swan Lake”, the roles of the white swan Odette and the black swan Odile, traditionally played by females, were danced by male performers and explored the issue of homoeroticism..Although the traditional story was changed for Bourne’s production, the central theme, the doomed, forbidden love and a protagonist who wishes to transcend conventional boundaries through that love, was still present. That theme had strong ties to the life of the ballet’s composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, whose homosexuality, although kept private, caused a number of complications in his life.

In 2002, Matthew Bourne founded the production company “New Adventures”. The first success of the new company, “Play Without Words”, premiered in 2002 and won the Olivier Awards for Best Entertainment and Choreography. The play was inspired by the 1963 film, “The Servant” in which the class system is chanllenged by the employer;s servant. Bourne’s revised “Nutcracker!”, also in 2002, received critical acclaim and embarked on a world tour. A Tenth Anniversary edition of “Swan Lake” in 2005 reached new audiences and its success led to an extensive international tour. These productions were followed in 2005 with a choreographed production of “Edward Scissorhands”. and revivals of classical musicals including: “My Fair Lady”, “South Paacific”, “Mary Poppins”, and “Olivr!”, among others. 

Matthew Bourne has worked with England’s Royal Shakespeare Company and the London’s National Theatre. He was knighted in the Queen’s  2016 New Year Honors for services to dance, and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award, one of the most coveted honors in the world of dance, in recognition of his outstanding services to the art of ballet. Bourne was presented the Special Award at the 2019 Olivier Awards, in recognition of his extraordinary achievements in dance. This Special Award makes Bourne joint holder of the most ever Olivier Awards, alongside Judi Dench.

Top and Bottom Insert Images:  Johan Persson, Matthew Bourne’s “Swan Lake” (Matthew Ball and Liam Mower) . Middle Insert Image: Johan Persson, “Liam Mower”, Photo Shoot