Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

Home · Articles · News · Art · Gallerie Medici
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Gallerie Medici

Mary Bevans Gillett - December 22nd, 2005
In the world of tango, a “milonga” is a social gathering where one can dance the Argentine tango and other Latin dances. Gallerie Medici brings milonga to Traverse City in a dance that weaves art, music and community in a tantalizing tango.
The art gallery is unique in Northern Michigan. It showcases original works while also offering a venue for dancers to meet and novices to learn. Paying tribute to the owner’s Italian heritage, it is named for the Medici, the powerful and influential Florentine family who were leaders during the Renaissance as patrons of the arts, architecture and philosophy.
Owner Cindy Carleton opened Gallerie Medici in early October in a stunning space in the 500 block of West Front Street in Traverse City. The completely refurbished building is tucked between Mary’s Kitchen Port and the Evergreen Gallery. Step inside the storefront and the first impression is of a striking yet warmly welcoming room. A vast wood floor sweeps through the space. Deeply hued red walls and high ceilings provide a dramatic backdrop to artwork created by a palette of local, regional and international artists. The room is open, punctuated by a skylight and flower filled table in the center, and a fireplace and cozy sitting area near the back. Music wafts through the air with a subtle fluidity.
The effect is peaceful yet mesmerizing. It’s a room with possibilities. The art, music and ambiance embrace all who enter. The lone gallery visitor is at home, while a large group of friends aren’t crowded. Strangers are comfortable. Dancers can gather. The seeds of community grow.

CHICAGO IMPORT
Carleton is pleased with the results and the response. She had seen a similar concept combining social dance and art at the Lake Street Gallery in Chicago, and sought to pattern Gallerie Medici similarly. During the day, the gallery is open but then transforms itself several evenings each week.
An accomplished dancer herself, Carleton teaches Argentine tango lessons each Monday evening. There is no set series. Participants pay each evening they attend at $10 per lesson, and then have the chance to practice their skills on Thursday evenings during free dance sessions. Skill levels range from the very beginner to more advanced. Age is irrelevant. Partners are welcome but certainly not required.
“I’ve never had a partner,” Carleton said. “It never stopped me from dancing or anyone from asking me to dance.”
Carleton began ballroom dancing five years ago as a young widow living in Wisconsin. Dancing offered recreation and exercise, then introduced her to the Argentine tango. Since then, Carleton’s love and expertise in the tango have taken her around the world as a dancer, teacher and student.
“Dance has enriched my life,” she said. “The world is much smaller now…I have met friends all over the world through dance.”
She hopes to share the joy that she enjoys in this art form with others through her classes, collaborations and workshops.

SALSA & FLAMENCO
While there will be a focus on the Latin dances, the tango will be complemented by salsa, flamenco and others as opportunity and interest arise. Carleton hopes to hold a workshop with guest instructors each month. A weekend Argentine tango workshop was held in early December while Tina Benayas will introduce the basics of Spanish Flamenco on December 17 and 18. She also plans to partner with local ethnic communities to raise awareness and celebrate other traditions. Also on the horizon are gatherings with musicians, songwriters and poets.
The gallery and its dance sessions have already begun attracting a loyal, friendly following, which Carleton hopes will continue to grow. Building community is an underlying theme at Gallerie Medici and hearkens back to the traditional milongas in Buenos Aires, where families,
friends and community would gather on a Sunday afternoon or Friday evening to dance and socialize for the love of the dance and the people.
“Dance is in our souls,” Carleton said. “There is a gorgeousness of emotion… a language that we share that is the essence of dance.”


Gallerie Medici is located at 535 West Front Street in Traverse City. Gallery hours are 11 am – 6 pm, Tuesday through Saturday and Noon – 4 pm on Sundays. Dance sessions are held Monday and Thursday evenings at 7 pm and as scheduled. For more information, call (231) 995-3633.
 
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