I first saw Hansuke Yamamoto as the Bluebird in San Francisco Ballet's 2006 presentation of Sleeping Beauty. He leaped out from stage right and at such height that it sparked an audible gasp throughout the War Memorial Opera House.
This is a ballet to which I would take anyone who is new to the art form. Most of the dancing takes place in the sun-filled village square into which Don Quixote and Sancho Panza wander, on a (live) horse and mule, in their quest for adventures in chivalry.
The unintentional devastation of India's vultures is well-known. Yet here we see Spain ready to distribute and use veterinary diclofenac. Even minor usage of the drug on livestock may well lead to a collapse of Europe's wild birds of prey.
The artist known as Cryptik doesn't want you to focus on the idea of the cult of personality, rather the message that we are all a united people, a collective consciousness of peoples moving in similar paths intertwined for purpose.
There are times these days when Secretary of State John Kerry seems like Don Quixote, tilting at windmills in trying to teach Russian President Vladimir Putin diplomatic manners and get right-wing Israeli leaders to accept a peace deal with the badly split Palestinians.
Perhaps, Hillary Clinton, as crafty as Jael, will swoop in after 2016 and rescue Israel and the U.S. from the questionable leadership we are seeing now. In the meantime, she too, like Iran, will have to wait it out.
Spain and Portugal are like fresh sangria and old port. They are different tastes. And while the Euro has helped to remake these countries in some similar ways, the two are like neighbors who roll their eyes at the shouts and spicy smells that drift from next door.
Never have Santo Loquasto's elegant designs looked so perfect as in this glittering, yet intimate, setting, and the opening night audience seemed to take feisty Cuban ballerina Xiomara Reyes to their hearts.
Two Armstrongs, two heroes. Both had dreams that others thought were impossible. Both faced negative odds that most would not bet against. Both tilted at windmills... but with diametrically opposite outcomes.
A caper film whose biggest thief is actually the inexorable flow of time, Robot & Frank is a terrific character study that offers the always-captivating Frank Langella the opportunity to stretch out a little bit.
Maybe TAB's dancers just needed to forget for a moment that they were ballet dancers, subject to ballet's oppressive standards -- because it was when they put on face paint and body paint, loincloths and headdresses, that they looked most like a world-class ballet company.
In a particularly affecting moment, Susan Roemer, held in a tight clinch by Jonathan Dummar, dove head first toward the floor from the height of a lift, her body inscribing a circle in the air in slow motion as she descended.