Based on the documentary A Well-Founded Fear and true stories from real-life refugees, Take Me America examines the plight of refugees seeking asylum in America through the lens of musical theater. Audiences sway to melodies by Bob Christianson and lyrics by Bill Nabel as seven refugees from China, Sudan, Haiti, and other countries realize their destinies depend on the actions of three American agents. Projections immerse viewers into the story with globetrotting visuals, propelling them across national boundaries without the hassle of bringing their theater snacks through customs.
Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses.
During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.
Onlookers gasp as the graceful figure tumbles to earth in a slow-motion plunge. Her strong legs twist and spin down a billowing swath of deep-red fabric like a spider expanding its web. It is awe rather than fear, however, that draws the crowd's gasps, as the elegant descent is performed as a demonstration by one of Emerald City Trapeze Arts’ skilled instructors during a silks class. A dedication to teaching students of all ages and abilities the skills necessary to capture both the beauty and athleticism of the circus arts is the studio's main mission, upheld by a cadre of circus-grade instructors and a friendly staff.
Below the soaring ceiling of exposed old-growth beams, students leap and balance on well-maintained circus apparatuses as their instructors correct their form and ensure their safety. The staff welcomes aerial enthusiasts to experience the sky-splitting thrills of all manner of circus specialty, from the flying trapeze to acrobalance to hatha yoga performed on the top of an elephant's stiletto. Along with high-flying classes, Emerald City Trapeze Arts’ crew celebrates the circus arts via dances and parties held within the whimsical-yet-rustic venue, from merriment-packed Halloween festivities to energetic performances by staff and students.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The experienced instructors at LaVida Dance and Yoga Studio believe dancing can have a positive physical and mental effect on people, whether they?re learning the steps to a wedding dance or burning off calories in a high-energy Zumba class. LaVida Dance and Yoga Studio teaches all levels of dancers how to tango, salsa, and ballroom dance, as well as relax and stretch in yoga and have fun with movement in classes designed to be enjoyable and accessible to everyone, including those with two left feet.
Something strange happens as soon someone steps through the gates outside of Camlann Medieval Village. The past seven centuries of human existence instantly disappear, and that same person?who once existed in a world of smart phones and talking fire hydrants?now finds his or herself in living history museum of the medieval era. A narrow street winds through a rural village, where villagers make their artisanal goods in full view.
Another attraction inside Camlann Medieval Village is The Bors Hede Inne Restaurant, which keeps its doors open year-round. An innkeeper greets guests and welcomes them into the dining room, which is usually warmed by a roaring fireplace. There, glasses of mead accompany rotating monthly entrees made using authentic recipes right out of the 14th century.