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Hoppin’ in the Hills

by mana on February 28th, 2011

Noam Eisen, portrait by Jeremy Sutton

Register for Swing in the Spring in Los Altos Hills, CA  on Eventbrite
Happiness exists in simple details of life. It can be found in sounds and colors, the taste of food, and companionship. You can connect to music, to a painting or to a dance. You can connect to your partner, just sitting at your table, looking at each other and talking. Noam Eisen, pictured above, has been making people happy for over twenty years. Although he has degrees in Business and Physics, his greatest love is for music, especially jazz improvisation and swing. Not coincidentally, he is an enthusiastic dancer who excels at dances such as the Lindy Hop.

The Lindy Hop was a product of the Harlem Renaissance, a time of great musical creativity and innovation during the 1920’s, and it has remained popular ever since. It is an improvisational and social dance, offering expressivity and fun to both partners. It is a quintessentially American, vernacular dance that encourages interaction and invention.

Noam’s new swing quintet will be featured for the first time at Chez Mana’s Swing in the Spring event on May 14th.

Noam’s portrait captures his sunny nature and zest for life. Its creator was Jeremy Sutton, an accomplished San Francisco-based painter. Like Noam, Jeremy has a background in physics, with a degree from Oxford, in addition to an extensive education in the arts, including study at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art and the Vrije Academie in the Hague. As he explains,

My paintings evolve like improvisational dance. I sculpt in color and form, continuously transforming and remolding my image, like working with wet malleable clay. I am inspired by the masterful use of color by Claude Monet and André Derian, and by the expressive brush work of Vincent Van Gogh, John Singer Sargent and Joaquin Sorolla.

Jeremy Sutton, Summer Afternoon, pigment & acrylic on canvas, 38" x 63", 2005

Jeremy is also a fantastic swing dancer!

Vannina Malekzadeh comes from Corsican roots and  has recently moved to the Bay Area from France. She paints with acrylics on canvas and combines it with collages.  In her view, the two forms complement each other.  Acrylics give great freedom to play with colors and create something entirely new, while collage depends on the accumulation of small details.  Together, they present a striking contrast.  She also combines acrylics with digital imagery. She seeks to turn everyday life into a more textured reality. Effective use of color is one of her hallmarks.

Vannina Malekzadeh, Fly Away, acrylic painting and collage, 2010

Influenced by my childhood in the sun, I put the color in the center of my work. To me, It is synonymous with gaiety, pleasure and life. It allows me to give relief and fantasy to what surrounds me, to exaggerate my emotions and let my imagination run free.

Vannina says, “When people see my work I would like them to feel happy, just happy.”

The work of Sutton and Malekzadeh will be on display at Swing in the Spring and the artists themselves will also be present. To help the audience get to know them better, I will interview them briefly about their backgrounds and artistic goals, but of course, you will be able to interact with them personally, and maybe even dance together! I am hoping that these artists will be able to touch you in their unique ways. One thing that all three have in common is that they are trying to bring joy and happiness to all of us while savoring it themselves in the process of creating.

Often in our busy lives, we lose track of simple things. On May 14th, Swing in the Spring will give you an opportunity to reconnect and savor happiness in the company of Noam Eisen and his band, Jeremy Sutton, Vannina Malekzadeh, and you and your partner.

To book tickets please click here:
Register for Swing in the Spring in Los Altos Hills, CA  on Eventbrite

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