Florangela Davila

Lead Artscape Reporter

Florangela Davila  has been a journalist since 1992. For 14 years she worked at The Seattle Times where she covered both news and features. She's been freelancing for KPLU since 2008, reporting and producing as well as helping coordinate the station's "Looking Back to Look Forward" documentary project. She's also a lecturer in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. Florangela received her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and her Master's in Journalism from Columbia University. She's been both an arts consumer and an arts practitioner for as long as she can remember.

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Artscape
7:25 am
Sun October 16, 2011

New book looks at city's musical history 'Before Seattle Rocked'

David “Guitar Shorty” Kearney and band circa 1968. The band is one of dozens profiled in 'Before Seattle Rocked: A City and Its Music" by Kurt Armbruster.
photo by Ed Lee

Long before “grunge,” Seattle was home to big band musicians, immigrant choral groups and a seafood restaurant owner who sang folk songs about clams.

Those are only some of the stories  in Kurt Armbruster's new book, "Before Seattle Rocked: A City and Its Music" (University of Washington Press).

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Artscape
8:46 am
Sun October 9, 2011

At the UW, Chamber Dance Co. is resurrecting history

Chamber Dance Company dancers General Hambrick and Christy McNeil in Bebe Miller's "Cantos Gordos." The work, created in 1994, will be performed at the 2011 fall concert.
Photo by Steve Korn

The year 1994 might not seem that long ago to you. But in the world of modern dance, it's ancient history.

Or at least history, the year in which Bebe Miller choreographed her funky, athletic "Cantos Gordos."

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Artscape
8:10 am
Sun October 2, 2011

Go ahead and scream: New horror film exhibit at Seattle's EMP

Among the horror film props on display at "Can't Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film" at Seattle's EMP Museum is the infamous mask from "Friday the 13th."
From the Paul G. Allen Family Collection. Photo by Brady Harvey

What is it about horror films that makes our skin crawl?

EMP Museum's new  "Can't Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film" exhibit dissects the horror flick, ripping apart the hair-raising soundtrack and giving us an up-close view of various movie props: from the gory to the just plain eerie.

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Artscape
7:09 am
Sun September 25, 2011

Seattle author looks "Inside the Land of Ballet"

Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers Noelani Pantastico and Lucien Postlewaite in "Romeo and Juliet" by Jean-Christophe Maillot. Mounting the ballet in Seattle was fraught with injuries and all kinds of second-guessing by the PNB dancers.
Photo by Angela Sterling

Stephen Manes has been a TV writer, a children's author and a personal technology columnist for national publications. He's also co-authored a book about Bill Gates.

But he was a total outsider when it came to ballet.

He'd been a patron of Seattle's Pacific Northwest Ballet. But it wasn't until a behind-the-scenes tour of the company for donors got him thinking: How much do pointe shoes cost? What's it take to mount a season? What's it like to be an artistic director, a dancer, a dance student, a stager, a costumer or a member of the orchestra?

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Artscape
10:00 am
Sun September 18, 2011

Freehold teaches the art of theater to all who seek it

Amontaine Woods, Carl Kennedy and Christian Jenkins in "The Purification Process" by Malka Lee, performed as part of the 2011 New Play Lab Showcase at Freehold Theatre in Seattle
Scott Maddock

Twenty years ago, a group of like-minded theater folk felt there was something missing in Seattle. There wasn't a lab where actors could take classes and try out new things.

"In New York, people work all the time," says Robin Lynn Smith. "In Los Angeles, you study when you’re not working. Here we wanted to have an opportunity for people to have that option to keep challenging themselves to go further. And then for creating work, we needed a place for experimentation."

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Artscape
8:45 am
Mon September 5, 2011

On Beacon Hill, a house is both home and public art gallery

Klara Glosova runs NEPO House, an art exhibition space, out of her Beacon Hill home. Her living room is frequently transformed by artists, such as Troy Gua, who show their work.
Photo by Florangela Davila

What if your neighbors turned their house into a public art gallery?

That’s what a few artists are doing in Seattle. There's a house in Ravenna, a house in the Central Area and a studio on Capitol Hill that are all transformed into temporary art venues for an art-craving public.

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Artscape
8:30 am
Sun August 28, 2011

Seattle's Pinata Man creates happiness one whack at a time

The Ninja pinata under construction by pinata maker Alex Lopez. Its destination: a birthday party for a 17-year-old girl.

In Seattle’s South Park neighborhood, Alex Lopez has carved out a reputation as the go-to-guy for making unique piñatas.

Case in point: a 26-foot-long, 7-feet-tall, 6-feet-wide pinata in the shape of a bridge. It dumped 450 pounds of candy.

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Artscape
8:40 am
Sun August 21, 2011

Youth in Focus: A story that lens itself to art

Khatsini Simani is documenting downtown Seattle as part of a summer participant in the Youth in Focus program. The program empowers young people through photography.
Florangela Davila KPLU

A busy street with lots of cars, bikes and people rushing from one place to another. Except for that one person over there with a camera ... and that one over there.

They're students with Seattle's Youth in Focus (YIF) program who are documenting the area around Second Avenue and Cherry in downtown Seattle.

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Artscape
6:15 am
Sun August 14, 2011

The banjo in Seattle Opera's "Porgy and Bess"

John Patrick Lowrie holds the 1920s banjo he plays in Seattle Opera's "Porgy and Bess."
Courtesy of Seattle Opera

You don't expect to find a banjo in the orchestra pit at Seattle Opera. But there it is, getting warmed up by John Patrick Lowrie, a half-hour before showtime for "Porgy and Bess."

From the first day of rehearsal, Lowrie made an impression upon the orchestra.

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Artscape
8:00 am
Sun July 24, 2011

Book explores the phenomenon that is 'West Side Story'

Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood sing "Tonight" in the 1961 movie version of "West Side Story." The musical and movie are the subjects of a new book, "Something's Coming, Something Good: West Side Story and the American Imagination" by Misha Berson.
Photofest

When "West Side Story" opened in 1957 on Broadway, the audience's reaction was silence. Followed by applause.

"No Broadway musical ended with these deaths and this very sad young woman walking off the stage with her head bowed. That was just, 'Whoa!'" author Misha Berson explained.

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Artscape
8:10 am
Sun July 10, 2011

Recess Monkey is kindie-rock fun

Recess Monkey -- Jack Forman, Daron Henry and Drew Holloway -- perform at Auburn Kids Day 2011.
Photo by Florangela Davila

What inspires bands to make music? For Recess Monkey, it’s the lives of kindergarteners and grade schoolers.

All three musicians – Drew Holloway, Jack Forman and Daron Henry – in the band teach at Seattle elementary schools. And they're having anything but a sleepy summer: playing gigs and promoting their latest CD, "Flying" is on their agenda.

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Artscape
4:53 pm
Sun July 3, 2011

The trees get 'yarn bombed' in Seattle's Occidental Park

All 27 trees, 16 lamp posts and 57 bollards in Seattle's Occidental Park have been "yarn bombed" by artist Suzanne Tidwell as part of a summer art installation.
Florangela Davila KPLU

Seattle’s Occidental Park is a leafy oasis in the middle of the city. It’s now also the site of a whimsical installation where all 27 trees and 16 lamp posts and 57 short poles are dressed up in yarn.

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Artscape
8:14 am
Sun June 19, 2011

Now on stage at ACT: Romance and clashing cultures

Shanga Parker plays Musa and Carole Roscoe plays Sheri in "Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World," which is now playing at Seattle's ACT Theatre.
Photo by Chris Bennion

Seattle playwright Yussef El Guindi usually delves into heavy stuff: racial profiling and terrorism.

But his new play, "Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World," which is having its world premiere at Seattle's ACT Theatre, is a romantic comedy.

Musa is an Egyptian immigrant who picks up a woman named Sheri in his cab on a late night in New York City.

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Artscape
8:19 am
Sun June 12, 2011

The art of circus school

Anna Partridge of Mercer Island was one of the first students at The School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts when it opened in 2004. She'll be spending her summer as part of a children's circus troupe in Vermont.
Photo by Florangela Davila

There's a downside to hanging out at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA) and that is, you start to feel really boring.

There's Nickolai Pirak, an expert juggler. And Erica Rubinstein, who basically juggles people.

"If you can imagine a 12-foot-long bar that’s kind of like a beam and a trampoline, but supported by people. Our flier stands in the middle of the bar," Rubinstein says.

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Artscape
9:03 am
Sun May 22, 2011

It's movie festival time and these folks are film crazy

Mary Bond and her son Ira talk movies at their Seattle home. Bond has a Full Series Pass for this year's Seattle International Film Festival and she's become a movie resource for her son, who is also a film nut.
Florangela Davila

If you’re crazy about films, then this is the time of year when you’re over the moon. Over 25 days, the Seattle International Film Festival shows 450 movies at 20 venues in and around Seattle.
 
Among the ordinary festival-goer is a special type of film fan: those who don’t sleep, mow the lawn, or spend time with friends or family unless they’re with them at the movies.

These are the approximately 400 folks who have a full series pass, who may see around 100 films or so per festival.

A few tips if you wish to be this die-hard:

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