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Photo of dancer dancing in large clear plastic bag:The Happiness Project runs through July 21, at Jacob's Pillow; photo by Grace Kathryn Landefeld.
The Happiness Project runs through July 21, at Jacob's Pillow; photo by Grace Kathryn Landefeld.

Dance Review: Umanoove and The Happiness Project

By Robin Catalano

Happiness is tricky. It’s something we all want, but it often feels just out of reach—that if we do this, buy that, go there, we’ll find it, wrapped and waiting like a birthday gift. The fleeting, often elusive quality of happiness lies at the center of The Happiness Project, a 2016 work by Dutch-born choreographer Didy Veldman, whose company, Umanoove, makes its U.S. debut at Jacob’s Pillow this week.

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5 Wits before Wits’ End

My son is a slug. If he were left to forge his own life choices, I think many of those choices would involve reclining—specifically, reclining in front of a video game. Like a lot of kids, he rejects every alternative I throw at him: How about practicing karate in the living room? Taking the dog for a walk? Playing basketball in the schoolyard? Going for a bike ride? No, nope, no thanks, nuh-uh. Occasionally I can talk him into a stroll if I slap five dollars into his palm and tell him to treat himself to ice cream along the way, but my parental conscience tells me that negates the point of walking.

On the other hand, when I drag him away from the screen and insist that he do something that causes him to use a few voluntary muscles, he becomes a ball of kinetic energy. Everything is a party. It’s not unusual for him to have a fantastic and memorable time at the grocery store. The grocery store. He’s like a party waiting to happen.

But the reclining.

Recently on a quest to find a new and unusual activity that he would get excited about, I did a search on escape rooms, thinking that he might enjoy the challenge of using his noggin. I came across 5 Wits in Albany and read that it’s less of an escape room and more of an immersive experience. It seemed like the best of all worlds: high-tech video game appeal combined with the kid getting off his keister. His birthday was the perfect excuse for giving it a try.

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FEATURED EVENTS

July 2019 Music in the Park

1:00 PM Wintergreen with Lawrence Spatz & Alice Spatz 2:15 PM Melissa A Brinton and Fanny Pack 3:30 PM Lindsay and the Four One Trio with Michael Duffy

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Shatford Park, 14755 NY 22
New Lebanon, NY 12125 US
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KID69 Book Release party

Come celebrate the release of my new book 'KID69". Cash bar and food available. I'll be there to read a little (out loud), and answer questions (second door on the right).

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Gateways Inn & Restaurant, 51 Walker St
Lenox, MA 01240 US
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Pop-Up BBQ

We are super excited to host Jim Benson's world-famous JBQ Pop-Up! What is JBQ? JBQ is traditional wood-smoked BBQ with only 3 ingredients: smoke, time, and love. Starts at 5, while supplies last. MENU Pulled Pork, Squash Casserole, Braised Greens and Beans! BBQ condiments (pickles, onions, sauce and bread) JBQ Pop-up Plate Sale - $20…

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Dream Away Lodge, 1342 County Rd
Becket, MA 01223 US
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Arts & Entertainment

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Food & Drink

Franz Burnet-Gocht receives his farmers market coupons from Marion Quinn-Jowett; photo by Sheila Velazquez.
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Farmers market coupons distributed to Williamstown seniors

WILLIAMSTOWN — Elders lined up bright and early on the first day coupon books became available at the Williamstown Council on Aging’s Harper Center. Each book contains ten coupons valued at $2.50 each, which can be used to purchase fruits, vegetables, and honey in markets across Massachusetts. Keep Reading

The aptly named burger, "The Balder," bravely adorns itself with lettuce, roasted tomatoes, and onions, allowing it's brave flavors to shine through. Highly recommended side item? The hand cut wedge fries; photo by James Kennedy.
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Unsung Eats: Valhalla, Adams — mythic taste, priced for mere mortals

Here at Unsung Eats we usually have to search out the rare gems for great food at a good value but in this particular case the eatery found us.  We kept hearing, “Hey, have you tried Valhalla yet?” and when the Greylock Glass ran its Greylock Nation’s Greatest: 2019 readers poll, it was Valhalla Eatery… Keep Reading

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Phoenix Rising — 48 Hours in Portland, Maine

If you've never been to Portland, Maine, you'll be amazed at how this just-right sized city hums with activity in the arts, dining, entertainment, and (of course) miles and miles of gorgeous views.

The City of Portland, Maine rises above the waters of Portland Harbor, which is filled with sailing vessels and pleasure boats. The landmark Time and Temperature building can be seen, reading 5:39; photo by Benjamin Williamson. Keep Reading

Will Call #1 — Jim Shaw at MASS MoCA

Wedding of the Ear
Jim Shaw, Wedding of the Ear, 2013; courtesy the artist and MASSMoCA

Wedding of the Ear
Jim Shaw, Wedding of the Ear, 2013; courtesy the artist and MASSMoCA

We are thrilled to be “Entertaining Doubts” here on this, the first episode of “Will Call.” This podcast is a production of the Greylock Glass, and is a media collaboration with the Greylock Independent.

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The Top Left Corner, Episode 2, Farm CSAs, Environmental Justice

We talk with Berkshire Grown about CSAs
and The Berkshire Environmental Action Team about Environmental Justice.

6¢ City Park. Prevention of Pollution 1970
6¢ City Park. Prevention of Pollution 1970

Well, you might think, listening to this week’s episode, that something was way up with the audio on the Top Left Corner. You might think that I forgot to hook up the doll. That’s exactly what happened: I forgot to hook up the doll. Working on it. Working on it.

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Introducing The Top Left Corner—Eph’s 300’th B-day and Makers’ Mill Get Cranking

So, we know that springing The Greylock Glass on an unsuspecting Berkshires population was risky. We are just as aware that launching The Glass’ official podcast, “The Top Left Corner,” a mere two weeks later is downright reckless. We think you’ll thank us for it later.

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Demographic Vitality in Berkshires Population May Be Ebbing

Gold Point, Nevada, Abandoned Town
By Vivaverdi (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Survey seeks to understand population decline among Berkshires young adults

Gold Point, Nevada, Abandoned Town
Gold Point, Nevada; photo by Vivaverdi CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is calling for participation in a survey, launched today, that targets 18– 39-year-olds. While the Berkshires aren’t yet a collection of ghost towns, ongoing data collection draws the outlines of a worrying picture of population trends. The online questionnaire, “Survey on Young Adults in the Berkshires,” can be accessed at:

http://berkshireplanning.org/events/announcements/survey-on-young-adults-in-the-berkshires/

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Fourth Annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival Opens Next Week

Eli Merritt Sculpture, "The Drake," for the Ten Spot Art Show at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts
Eli Merritt Sculpture, "The Drake," for the Ten Spot Art Show at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts

Eli Merritt Sculpture, "The Drake," for the Ten Spot Art Show at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts
Eli Merritt Sculpture, “The Drake,” for the Ten Spot Art Show at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts

The Berkshires Only Winter Contemporary Arts Festival to be Held February 12-22, 2015 in Downtown Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District

(Pittsfield, Mass.) The City of Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District has a sure cure for cabin fever this February: the fourth annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival featuring a lively array of music, art, theatre, dance, comedy, film, fashion, magic, a bonfire and fireworks and more from February 12-22, 2015 in the hub of the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

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