Sunday, February 28, 2010


Ilya and Zoya Gaft

That's where he usually sits when teaching the class.

Zoya has always made the costumes for all the stage performances. Some are really georgous.

A new shoot is in the works. But I'll be honest I'm not totally feeling it these days and there's just so many things going on..... blah blah.

Anyway I wanted to post a few pics I took of Ilya Gaft. He's the owner of the New York Ballet Institute. Ilya's life story is long but in a nut shell he was born and raised in Russia. He spent his life studying ballet and pretty much devoted his life to ballet. He entered the famous Kirov ballet school in Saint Petersburg where he became a principal dancer and later a choreographer. Later he left Russia with nothing and started all over again in the US (with some stops in Europe). He worked for many years in NYC with his own theater company that he ran with his wife Zoya who was also a dancer (and opera singer). After suffering a heart attack he decided to settle outside of the city where today he still runs his own school. He is now 75 years old and teaches ballet everyday. He still moves amazingly well and it is astonishing how he comes up with routines on the fly, often I think his mind works better then mine. He lives and breaths ballet. The most fascinating thing to me is how emotional he is. When he is in a bad mood or a good mood you can always tell because it will reflect on his routines. Sometimes he closes his eyes and makes us listen to a particular part of a song because it is so beautiful. He puts a lot of emphasis on understanding the emotional side of dancing not just the technical side.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Postcard Art Benefit

4"x6" birch wood postcards
Medium: colored pencil, micron pens and glossy varnish.

Here are my two pieces for the Brownstones to Red Dirt Art Benefit, the deadline is tomorrow. I'm not happy with the scan, they just don't look quite right, and they don't show off the gloss varnish. I tried scanning them a few times but couldn't get them much better. As mentioned all the postcards will be for sale on Ebay on March 6rd. All the money from the benefit will go to the orphans in Freetown, Sierra Leone. I'm actually very excited about the auction and am hoping to get my hands on some of the original art works. I've got my eye on Jeremy Geddes, Olivier Tossan and Dermont Powers pieces........... so stay away from those :)!