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"Leela and Ellie are two of the finest clog dancers to ever tap a toe!"
-- Neil Gaston, musician
"Dear Paul and Win,
just have to write to tell you all about Leela & Ellie's
performance last night in West Plains [Missouri]. First of all, though I am
glad Ellie is feeling better, I was a tad disappointed that I didn't
get to take her place as I had quite the little dance routine worked
out in my head that I was going to do with Leela. We won't even
mention the sparkly little outfit waiting in my car that I was going
to wear. Sigh...
performance, as always, was amazing! The audience loved them! They
got a standing ovation at the end and did an encore. I was sitting
right next to a group of people that obviously were friends and they
were talking back and forth between themselves, in awe of the girls,
asking questions aloud like "Are they twins?", "Hey
that move looks like they're killing ticks!" (remember, this
WAS West Plains), "They should have an answer and question
time.", "Think one of them would go out with Bob?"
and on and on until I couldn't stand it because Leela and Ellie were
getting all the attention and I was just a nobody in the dark.
maybe I shouldn't have, but I couldn't help myself, and I spoke up
and told them that I was the girls slightly older sister. They were
all excited and wanted to know some family stories, so I HAD to come
up with something, you understand, I'm sure. I mentioned that time
Ellie got lost in the Grand Canyon and the time Leela let the pigs
loose accidentally on Grandpa's farm and how you two used to tie the
three of us together when we were at a crowded festival so we
wouldn't get lost and that time on Father's Day when we tried to
cook Paul breakfast and set the kitchen on fire... I tell you this
because should any of these stories arise in conversation next time
you are in West Plains, I ask that you just be vague about them, OK?
loving and slightly deluded 'daughter' [OK,
Win added that part in, but the rest is pure Judy.], Judy"
from ace musician Judy
Domeny Bowen about Leela & Ellie's 6/15/02 performance at
West Plains, Missouri's Old Time Music Festival
impressive is the fact that Leela Grace is already writing songs
that hold their own with the traditional and contemporary ones, such
as "In the Cradle of the Moon" with evocative, non-cloying
nature imagery, and "Song of Harriet Tubman."—
Dave Beltane, Review of Dance Upon the Earth in Dirty
was an outstanding contribution to the Westchester Philharmonic’s
Exploring New Worlds: Music of the Americas program. She is a
walking, talking (not to mention singing and dancing) resource for
American folk music. In elementary school classrooms, Leela
presented songs, stories, dances, and activities that were engaging,
age-appropriate and packed full of tangible educational content.
Leela adapted well to different classroom situations and charmingly
entertained the students to such an extent that they didn’t even
know how much they were learning! In concert, Leela’s clear talent
and professionalism as a performer were accented by her luminous
personality and down-to-earth rapport with the students. Leela is
just the person to get your students fired up about music and the
context through which it is created.”--Marney
K. Makridakis, Director of Education & Community Outreach,
Westchester (NY) Philharmonic
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