Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rehearsal (2)

The duet Fred and I are making is about distance in relationships. We thought it would be about long distances, about times apart. But when we got into the studio and started to work, we realized that the real distances are the ones that still exist between people no matter how close they are.

Luckily, we've got Szu-Wei and Mats in the room. Two great dancers who move honestly, with no faking. In this video, you see them creating some material for a section of the duet. Look closely and you can see Szu Wei silently singing. And in the background that's Fred, typing away.

Hamburg Marathon wrap

Sunday morning we got up ridiculously early and rode up to Hamburg for the marathon.

Spring was popping, the sun was out, it was warm, pretty much perfect.

Lily dipped out to the docks while I warmed up...

she took in the famous fish market...

Then she joined the (huge) crowds at the 10k mark... and the 17k mark, and the 41k mark... she beat me to every spot. My girl's got speed.

At 10k, I was relaxed and feeling good. In fact, everything went precisely according to plan... until 30k, when my crappy paper startnumber tore and started to fall off. I made a critical mistake in trying to re-attach it while still running. In the process, my gut cramped up. I spent the next couple miles trying to get it loose so I could breathe/run, because my legs still felt great, but every time I tried to get back up to speed, the cramping returned. Bummer. So I shuffled home in 2:48:48, about 9 minutes slower than my goal, but not upset about the whole thing. I ran the race I wanted to run on a beautiful day in a beautiful city. What can you do?

Videos of me in the race are available here.

Post-race, I snagged Lily and we dipped over to "The Park Slope of Hamburg" for a bite to eat among the baby strollers and pure breed dogs...

1:00 p.m., that magic time...

where beer meets coffee!

Lily and I both had crazy Hamburg envy.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Fred and I are collaborating on a piece for the Young Choreographers' Evening at the Staatstheater in June. I am choreographing, he is writing. Two amazing dancers, Mats Terlongu and Szu-Wei Wu, are dancing.

In this video, the dancers are improvising with some material we developed based on sleeping positions. (Thanks Maddy and Tamez for the inspiration way back when in Brooklyn). If you can use your imagination and hear the sound of Fred hitting the typewriter keys while they dance, you'll get a feel for how we've been working.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Translation - Sarah and Ron

Here are Sarah and Ron at the library in Stuttgart Wednesday night.

Translation - Christian & Uljana

Here are Christian and Uljana at the library in Stuttgart Wednesday night.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tall Hawaiian Invades Kassel

Hide your schnitzel, Kasslers!

The Fabulous Adam C. breezed through for a couple days from Rome via Hamburg (and on to Stuttgart... more on that over the weekend). We chopped it up about art, dance, expat living, the weak-ass dollar, the upcoming summer, coping mechanisms and cloudbursts. He sat through a rehearsal of the duet Lily's making on Mats and Szu-Wei, chowed down with Jason and Ekatarina, found a white elephant in a thrift shop, ate a monster plate of lamb cutlets at a Turkish local, sucked back a few alt beers at Lohmann, and somehow got the cats to declare a cease-fire. Bravo.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Trust the Germans to have a name for it. It's even in the dictionary: Springtiredness.

For that feeling creeps up some time between March and April. You know, when you don't want to go to work, but you don't want to stay home, no foods seem remotely appetizing, and the movie theater a block up the hill seems impossibly far away?

The Symptoms? Fatigue, Headache, Dizziness, Joint Pain, Apathy...
The Cure? Eat fruits and vegetables, Sunshine, Exercise, or.....

Get a Haircut

Yes, the shag is back, at Fred's request. I finally braved the hairdresser after 16 months here in Germany. "Ich will nur cool aussehen," was all I needed to say. And boy do I feel better.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Great Moments in Marathon Mustache History

Anybody who's seen me lately knows two things: 1) I'm scrawny as hell from all this running, and 2) I've got a... conspicuous... mustache currently leasing the real estate over my mouth. Well, before you go thinking I'm original, I'm here to give you a little background on the intersection of marathons and mustaches...

The first Olympic marathon, 1896, was won by mustachioed Greek marathoner Spyridon Louis.

Legend has it he stopped for a glass of wine on the way and still broke 3 hours... can you say that?

In the 1948 Olympics, Argentinian legend Delfo Cabrera rolled into London with a caterpillar on his upper lip and struck gold...

The first American running boom started with dashing man of letters Frank Shorter's win at the 1972 Munich games.

I don't think you get the full greatness that is "The Shorter" without a close-up...


All you Nike-heads might be asking "where's Pre?" well, Steve Prefontaine wasn't a marathoner. I'll give him a little shine for the effort:

but this is about marathoners.

By this point you're probably thinking to yourself, Fred, all this obscure old-school, b&w action is fine, but it's 2008, don't be so anachronistic. Mustaches aren't "now" in any sense of the word.


Haile Gebrselassie carried a kind of pubescent broom to the current world record (2:04:26).


And at the U.S. Olympic trials in New York last November, my friend Joao snapped this great picture of Brian Sell, who came from the second pack of runners, passing a cramping, clean shaven Dan Brown in the last two miles, to place third, qualifying for the Beijing games.

I have two words for that mustache: Checked Luggage.

In 17 days I toe the line in Hamburg, fully fit and facially fashionable.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Library of Babel

"Like all men of the Library, I have traveled in my youth; I have wandered in search of a book, perhaps the catalogue of catalogues; now that my eyes can hardly decipher what I write, I am preparing to die just a few leagues from the hexagon in which I was born."
-- Jorge Luis Borges

Yesterday I rode my bike down a street near my house. It was a route I don't usually take. I saw a little bookstore. I was in a rush, so I didn't stop, but I made a note to return. This morning I stopped in and asked the shopkeeper if he had any books by Hilda Domin - a Jewish German lyric poet whose work is simple enough for me to read. Leyla and I saw a movie about her last year at the documentary film festival.

"Follow me," he said.

"I say that the Library is unending."

He didn't have any Domin. I left with four other books. I have a lot of work to do.