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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Arts
5:05 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Playing at Lincoln Center: Ballard High, 2 other Seattle area schools

Members of the Ballard High School jazz band, which is one of 15 finalists in the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band competition.
Photo by Florangela Davila

The most prestigious high school jazz band competition begins today in New York City.  And among the 15 finalists are three local competitors: Roosevelt, Mountlake Terrace and newcomer Ballard High School.

"I think we surprised a lot of people," says Ballard's jazz band director Michael James, about being a finalist in the Essentially Ellington jazz band competition. "But I knew if we were able to get into this festival it would put us on people's radar and say, 'Hey, what's going on at Ballard?'"

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Artscape
4:42 am
Mon April 23, 2012

At Seattle's Balagan Theatre, a rock musical about the trials of teendom

Bryan Gula, center, and cast sing "The Bitch of Living" in Balagan Theatre's production of "Spring Awakening."
Pamela M. Campi Photography

Three months after a sell-out run, “Spring Awakening” is back in a production at  Seattle’s Balagan Theatre.

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Artscape
5:03 am
Mon April 16, 2012

A 'dog' narrates the story in a new play at Book-It Theatre

David S. Hogan plays Enzo, a dog, and the narrator in "The Art of Racing In the Rain" at Book-It Theatre

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” tells the story of a wannabe race car driver living in Seattle. The story, though, is told through the eyes, ears and nose of a unique narrator: an especially philosophical dog.

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Artscape
4:55 am
Mon April 9, 2012

At Pacific Northwest Ballet, an old 'Apollo' teaches a first-timer

Principal dancer Seth Orza (left) rehearses "Apollo" with artistic director (and former New York City Ballet dancer) Peter Boal at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle.
Photo by Lindsay Thomas

The ballet “Apollo” features four dancers in a story about the Greek god of music and three muses.

It was a signature role for Peter Boal when he was a dancer with New York City Ballet.

Now he's staging the ballet at Pacific Northwest Ballet, the first time since taking over as artistic director in 2005. And Boal is teaching the ballet to four male dancers who'll be dancing the role for the first time.

He says he's been waiting all these years for the right time as well as the right dancers.

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Artscape
4:58 am
Mon March 19, 2012

In Victoria B.C. artist Bill Blair creates whimsical, kitschy art

Artist Bill Blair with one of his one-of-a-kind paint-by-numbers guitar shrines at home in Victoria, B.C.
Photo by Florangela Davila

There's the type of art that hangs in museums, roped off to the public and well-guarded.

Then there's the kind of art that someone like Bill Blair of Victoria, B.C. creates. Art that's whimsical, kitschy, and suitable for places as distinguished as your home Tiki bar.

Exhibit A: His series of photomontages about fish, created after he became fixated with salmon puns.

"There was everything like 'Salmon-40-salmon,' a giant salmon with a nose cone of a Boeing 747.

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Artscape
5:55 am
Mon March 12, 2012

A wedding and chaos behind the scenes? A musical at Village Theatre

"It Shoulda Been You" tells the story of a Catholic groom and a Jewish bride. Pictured here is the "bride" and her family: Leslie Law (Judy Steinberg), Mara Solar (Rebecca Steinberg), John Dewar (Murray Steinberg), Kat Ramsburg (Jenny Steinberg)
Photo by Erinn Hale Courtesy of Village Theatre

"It Shoulda Been You," the new musical at Issaquah’s Village Theater, is for anyone who has been part of a wedding. There's joy as well as bickering; second-guessing and sometimes, suffering.

The bride’s Jewish. The groom’s Catholic. The parents don’t like each other and wish their children were marrying someone else. And an ex-boyfriend also shows up.

The musical is the first collaboration by composer Barbara Anselmi and lyricist and librettist Brian Hargrove.

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Artscape
5:00 am
Mon February 27, 2012

'Listen, Whitey!' book/CD looks back at Black Power music

Huey Newtown, co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, holds a record by Bob Dylan in an undated photo. The Panthers were big Dylan fans, author Pat Thomas notes in "Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power, 1965 to 1975."
courtesy of the publisher

There's a new book and CD that looks back at the potent soundtrack of the Black Power Movement. Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power, 1965-1975 (Fantagraphics) is the first book by Bay Area-transplant and Seattle author Pat Thomas.

"It's a book about how the music inspired the movement and the movement inspired the music," he said.

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Artscape
8:27 am
Sun February 12, 2012

At the Frye Art Museum, a very quiet, very human work of art

Susie J. Lee. Still Lives: Exposure, 2010. HD video portrait in framed, matted LED monitor. Courtesy of the artist and Lawrimore Project.
Photo by Ryan K. Adams

What does 30 minutes in a person's life look like?

Artist Susie Lee asked and answered that question while spending time at the Washington Care Center, a long-term nursing facility and rehab unit.

What she created is a series of  highly-composed video portraits that are sometimes so quiet, you think they're still photos. The videos are silent. They last 30 minutes long -- real-time; there is no editing. And they feel so intimate, it can make viewers uncomfortable to watch.

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Artscape
8:55 am
Sun February 5, 2012

A mini-opera about the Everett Massacre of 1916

A "Wobbly," or member of the Industrial Workers of the World, circa 1914
Photo by Bain News Service Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

The bloodiest event in Pacific Northwest labor history, the event that left 7 people dead and many more seriously injured, is the subject of a new mini-opera by Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb at Seattle's ACT Theatre.

Called "Smokestack Arias," the work tells the story of the events of Nov. 5, 1916 when two boatloads of Industrial Workers of the World -- "Wobblies" -- arrived from Seattle to Everett.

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Artscape
9:52 am
Sun January 22, 2012

The majestic, four-legged performers of 'Cavalia'

"Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Human and Horse" combines equestrian and performing arts as well as live music and more than 40 horses.
Courtesy of "Cavalia"

There’s a village of white tents that look like a castle rising from Redmond’s Marymoor Park. It's home to both arena and stables for dozens of horses, the stars of "Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Man And Horse," which has been billed as "equestrian ballet."

Created in part by one of the people behind Cirque du Soleil, the show is a spectacle featuring acrobats, aerialists, musicians and, of course, riders. But these are riders who do stunts like ride standing up (picture "watersking" on a pair of horses galloping in a circle) or riding while doing the splits.

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Artscape
7:19 am
Sun January 15, 2012

At the Seattle Rep, a personal play by a priest about family

Tyler Pierce (as Bill Cain) and Linda Gehringer (as Mary Cain) star in the world premiere of Cain’s "How to Write a New Book for the Bible" at Seattle Repertory Theatre.
Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

The latest play at Seattle Repertory Theatre is called "How To Write A New Book For The Bible." It's about a priest who comes home to take care of his dying mother.

It’s a true story, written by Jesuit priest and playwright Bill Cain.

Which partly explains the play's title. Cain says the play "is about sifting through the presence of God in the reality of family."

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Artscape
8:55 am
Sun January 8, 2012

More than Bing Crosby: Spokane's punk rock scene exposed in film

"I wonder what Bing (Crosby) would think about this film. He was a pretty hep cat so he might dig it."

Thirty years ago, Spokane was home to a small, passionate group of punk rockers. Artist David Halsell was part of that scene. (Studded leather jacket. Mohawk. Member of a band that threw up on people).

Now he and several other ex-punk rockers have made a documentary based on interviews with 30 musicians about that alternative music scene in their hometown.

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Artscape
8:54 am
Sun December 25, 2011

Empress hotel adds artist-in-residence to luxury accommodations

"Pastry Chefs," an oil painting in a series of work by Judy McLaren, the artist-in-residence at the Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria, B.C.

The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C., has all the features you’d expect to find in a fancy hotel: luxurious accommodations, fine dining and a spa.

But the city's landmark hotel also has its very own "artist-in-residence." She's painter Judy McLaren, who typically paints commissioned portraits, scenes of the sea as well as landscapes.

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Artscape
8:16 am
Sun December 18, 2011

At the Seattle Art Museum, listening to old records is the show

Installation shot of Theaster Gates: The Listening Room at Seattle Art Museum. Courtesy of the artist and Seattle Art Museum.
Photo by Robert Wade

The newest show at the Seattle Art Museum features thousands of records, a DJ booth made out of an old church pew and a hands-on record player.

The installation is called "The Listening Room" and it's the latest work by Theaster Gates.

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Artscape
8:28 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Gingerbread Village is a sugary work of art

The Gare du Palais in Quebec as a gingerbread house, one of six molasses marvels on display at the 19th Annual Gingerbread Village at the Seattle Sheraton.
Florangela Davila

Forget about sugarplums dancing in his head. Architect Eric Drivdahl is drooling over cookie staircases, pretzel fences and a giant Rice Crispy treat mountain covered in 100 pounds of white chocolate.

"Look at this whole building, it's made out of candy," he says.

He's in the lobby of the Seattle Sheraton hotel, the site of the annual Gingerbread Village. This year's theme is "Holiday Express," with all six gingerbread marvels replicating world-famous train stations.

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