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  • Michael Rooney, the choreographer on the Muppets by Aleksi


    Exclusive Interview with Michael Rooney- Disney Muppets by Aleksi of Style Music TV

    Questions

    How did you get hooked up with Disney and the Muppets?  
    The director James Bobin was pretty familiar with my work and he liked my choreography in the movie “500 Days of Summers”. And he called me into his office and we had an interview and hit it off and I was hired in the next couple of days.  But it was James Bobin that pretty much brought me in.

    How was working on the Muppet Set?
    I was so excited because again this was going to be human dancers, also working with the Muppets and the puppeteers.  I was very excited. I had a couple of weeks of prep that they gave me at Universal Studios and I had to work out the logistics of making the Muppets hands move in time with the dancers. Keeping in mind that most of the movements of the Muppets had to be from their waist and up and lots or arms and dealing with their limitations.  So that was challenging and fun. I think the best thing about working with the Muppets was making them come alive.  Just not making them dance but come alive with their facial expressions and making them feel like one of the living human bunch. So it was fun!  

    What was the difference between working with human dancers and and puppets dancers? What were the challenging and exciting parts?
    To expand on my last question and to answer your next question- if you visualize your hand, like a sock puppet, like your fingers tapping, hitting your thumb back and forth- that is what most of the puppeteers do- they have their hand inside the puppet- so I had to at some point, go ahead and choreograph my fingers and my thumbs, clacking together and going left and right and around especially for the chicken number that we did, for the clucking number.  So that was the first time I did “Hand Choreography” like that.  It was a bunch of “Hand Choreography”.

    Where do you get your creative inspiration?
    Well, what I do is listen to the piece of music over and over again, as long as I can, and I try to think in big, broad strokes. So, as oppose to doing syncopated small movements, which I think confuses the viewer-I work in really broad, broad strokes. I try to stay more on the solid counts and the less syncopated counts and that seemed to help with the puppeteers as well.  

    --Industry Questions--:

    Advise for aspiring dancers- that are just starting in their careers?
    Don’t ever be disappointed by the word “No”- because no just means not at this time or maybe it wasn’t your turn to get the job.  Take nothing personally.  Don’t ever, ever let “No” discourage you. Always, always have tenacity, move forward and see where your luck and chances lie. But never be disappointed by the word “No”.



    MICHAEL ROONEY (Choreographer) is one of the most innovative choreographers of our time.  Always on the cutting edge, Rooney takes each project and twirls it into the best of the best. Rooney approaches each job like a tailor, designing the choreography to suit the project. He is a contemporary visionary with the creative genius to transcend time, moving from one era to another with ease and perfection, giving each project award-winning style. Rooney is currently working on ABC Family’s upcoming movie “Elixir” (working title).

    Lauded by critics and viewers alike, Rooney's work with directors has been turning heads and moving feet over the past decade. He is the only choreographer in history to have won five MTV Awards for Best Choreography. Rooney has assembled some of the most original staging and conceptualization for the entertainment industry and its major celebrities. Rooney’s “come to life” dance sequence in the smash hit film “500 Days of Summer” kept the film fresh and alive; his hard work behind the scenes with the animators of “Shrek 4” helped bring the film to greater heights.

    Rooney continues to be successful because he has the artistic ability to see the script and design the choreography bringing the story alive, as seen in his most memorable videos for "Fatboy Slim" (starring Christopher Walken), Gnarls Barkley’s “Run” (for which he won his 5th MTV Award for Best Choreography) and Kylie Minogue's sexy and controversial piece "Can’t Get You Out of My Head",

    Rooney worked with Spike Jonze on numerous MTV award-winning music videos that have been seen by millions of viewers. Rooney/Jonze have also worked together for the funny dance sequence in the feature film “Jackass 2.” Rooney and Jonze first teamed up for the now infamous Bjork video “It's Oh So Quiet.”

    In addition to his film and video work, Rooney has acquired a long list of commercial credits, including his work with Queen Latifah and Taylor Swift for CoverGirl, Target commercials featuring John Legend and a huge campaign for Nike featuring Charles Barkley. Other commercial work includes GE, Ford, Old Navy and McDonalds.
     
    The son of Mickey Rooney, Rooney inherited his father's genius for musical comedy.
     
    ABOUT THE MOVIE
    On vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world's biggest Muppet fan, his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets' former stomping grounds. To stage a telethon and raise the $10 million needed to save the theater, Walter, Mary and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their separate ways: Fozzie now performs with a Reno casino tribute band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a Santa Barbara clinic for anger management, and Gonzo is a high-powered plumbing magnate. With signature celebrity cameos, Disney’s “The Muppets” hits the big screen Nov. 23, 2011.




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  • Bortolomiol Prosecco Announces Launch of “Giuliano Bortolomiol: Dreaming of Prosecco,” A Biography Honoring Company’s Iconoclastic Founder

    NEW YORK, June 29, 2011--Bortolomiol Valdobbiadene, a family-owned boutique winery, today
    announced the launch of “Giuliano Bortolomiol: Dreaming of Prosecco,” a newly published
    biography of the company’s iconoclastic founder.  The book, written by acclaimed journalist Ettore
    Gobbato and published by Veronelli Editore, will be available in the U.S. in the fall.  The book,
    translated into English, debuted at a special event at the Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City.  
    Featuring a Prosecco tasting by Elvira Bortolomiol, a Prosecco expert who is continuing Giuliano’s 
    Prosecco-making legacy, together with her mother and three sisters.

    The book, which is the first to honor a Prosecco maker, chronicles the life and accomplishments of
    Giuliano Bortolomiol, who transformed what was once a simple local wine into an internationally
    acclaimed sparkler.  Giuliano was the first to use the Charmat method to create Proseccos in a brut
    style.  This was controversial at the time, but was later widely adopted.  He also spearheaded the 
    region’s efforts to attain the DOCG designation.  It is part of the “Bold Series” by Veronelli Editore
    that spotlights men and women who valued the lands in which they lived and worked, were able to
    influence people’s behavior and, through their work, changed the status quo.

    “We are honored to have my father’s life documented and celebrated,” said Ms. Bortolomiol.  “He
    was a man of action who was passionate about making Prosecco a true star.  He was also very
    modest and personally shunned the spotlight.  I think he would be very proud of this sensitive and
    insightful depiction.”

    Ms. Bortolomiol showcased and poured three different Proseccos, Brut, Banda Rossa Extra Dry and
    Superiore di Cartizze Dry, which are renowned for their finesse, complexity and distinctiveness. 
    While Americans have in recent years come to appreciate Prosecco as a fun and lively aperitivo,
    these Bortolomiol Proseccos, with their DOCG designation, will introduce them to the highest level 
    of quality.  Classic Italian dishes, prepared by the chef of the Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel, will
    accompany these exceptional Proseccos.  Ms. Bortolomiol discussed the scenic Valdobbiadene
    region as one of Italy’s increasingly popular travel destinations and signed copies of the book, which
    was given to all attendees.

    About Bortolomiol Valdobbiadene
    Bortolomiol Valdobbiadene is a family-owned, boutique winery with the winemaking roots that date
    back to 1760, when Bartolomeo Bortolomiol began cultivating vines on the hillsides of 
    Valdobbiadene.  The company itself was founded in 1949 by Giuliano Bortolomiol, who 
    revolutionized how Prosecco was made and elevated it to a worldclass bubbly.  A master of the 
    Charmat method, he created the first Prosecco in the brut style in 1960.  Today Giuliano’s
    daughters--Maria Elena, Elvira, Luisa and Giuliana--together with their mother, Ottavia, carry on
    Giuliano’s legacy by producing award-winning Proseccos.  For more information, please visit
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  • ByuTi new salon opening in Brentwood by Jordan Landes-Brenman

                                          My ByuTi Brentwood hair journal

    My byu-ti hairstylist Stacy Ellis gave me a  initial consultation. She gave my waist length hair some long layers, and then used a hair dryer and roundbrush to blow out my naturally wavy hair. Stacy then used a Hot Tools curling iron to create curls, which she then brushed out into soft waves. I loved the results! All products are by Redken and Pureology.

    It is a gorgeous salon and the staff was very helpful and knowledgable. I met with the owner Natasha and we talked about the great promo where anytime a guest comes and gets a service they get something in the mail within days after their appointment which includes 3 items: 20% off their next appointment, 20% off any product, and a gift certificate for a complimentary service for a friend to use to get a service at their salon. Byu-Ti is very into giving back to their customers, their community and really places a high value on customer service.

    ByuTi’s new salon opening in Brentwood is located at 11740 San Vicente Boulevard, floor 2, Los Angeles California 

    Here are my photos.

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  • Project Runway’ Star Debuts Fall Collection in Coveted 9 PM Opening Night Slot

    EDGE Magazine Celebrates Start of Third Year by
    Sponsoring Designer Irina Shabayeva at Lincoln Center Event

    ‘Project Runway’ Star Debuts Fall Collection in Coveted 9 PM Opening Night Slot

    (New York, NY — February 22, 2011)   Who said the magazine business is dying? Among a handful of thriving regional publications is New Jersey-based EDGE Magazine, which started turning heads when it burst onto the scene in 2009—and made a major statement in the fashion world as the presenting sponsor of Irina Shabayeva’s Fall Collection at Lincoln Center in New York.

    EDGE secured the key 9:00 pm slot on Opening Night of Fashion Week presented by Mercedes-Benz for Shabayeva, whose work first won acclaim on Project Runway a year and a half ago. The celebration moved downtown to the James Hotel, where the 29-year-old designer was feted at an after-party held at celebrity chef David Burke’s rooftop nightclub, Jimmy’s.

    “What EDGE magazine has accomplished in two years is frankly astonishing,” says Shabayeva. “It’s an honor to be associated with a publication that connects with its readers the way EDGE does—and which brings fashion to their doorstep.”

    The relationship between magazine and designer began in the summer of 2010. HBO True Blood star Rutina Wesley offered to model fashion for EDGE and fell in love with one of Shabayeva’s dresses. The stunning shot made the cover of EDGE and triggered a surge of interest in the magazine—in New Jersey and online, where the EDGE web site (edgemagonline.com) quadrupled its hits overnight.

    EDGE is a smart, sexy suburban lifestyle magazine with a circulation of 80,000, primarily in Central New Jersey. The glossy oversized publication hits newsstands six times a year and features an eclectic mix of feature editorial, arts, food, travel, health & wellness stories and celebrity interviews (ranging from NBC’s Brian Williams to soul diva Gloria Gaynor to fashion icon Norma Kamali). In two years its page count has doubled, to 100.

    EDGE distinguished itself in a challenging marketplace by shooting its own fashion each issue. According to managing editor Mark Stewart, it’s a gamble that has obviously paid off.

    “Our investment in fashion has made people take a serious look at everything we do,” he explains. “What they find is consistently surprising and challenging ideas, sometimes with a raised eyebrow, sometimes with a knowing wink, but always with an EDGE

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