Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sleeping Beauty by Matthew Bourne.

Recently I helped a dear friend with her website. To thank me for my time, she offered me to see the Matthew Bourne Sleeping Beauty at City Center in NYC. 15 years ago I remember loving his all male version of Swan Lake, not so much because it was all male, but simply for the originality in the interpretation, and for the solid vision throughout the piece.

Yesterday was the night we had agreed upon to see this extremely publicized version of Sleeping Beauty. With posters announcing a Gothic Tale, I was expecting "Interview with a Vampire" on stage.
You should know that I'm very familiar with Sleeping Beauty, as not only I've seen many ballet versions over the last 20+ years, but also, back in 2003, I was presenting my New York City third season of Saba Dance Theater, and it was no less than my own Sleeping Beauty.
So when the music began and the story unfolded, I was a little surprised by the bareness of the stage and the simplicity of the costumes. In Bourne's Swan Lake, the bare stage looked like a design choice, but in Sleeping Beauty, it looked like a lack of funds.
As a professional dancer I was told by the great Pearl Lang, that modern dance went against the repetitive of ballet by surprising the audience with sudden changes of directions, levels, speed, none of which happened on stage last night.
In Bourne's Sleeping Beauty, the dancers look misused and despite their great talent, are doing movements that a high school production could surpass.
Let's be clear, the dancers were fantastic. I just didn't think the choreography was good or interesting.
The highlight of the show was a baby puppet, and to my surprise, the puppeteers were not invited to the bows at the end of the show.
Am I harsh? I don't think so. I've given a great deal of my time to making costumes, choreographing, rehearsing and dancing to know, that this show is far from doing what Swan Lake has done. In fact, Sleeping Beauty looks as if it had been choreographed by a different person.
Some of the twists in Bourne's version were interesting and I appreciated the shorter version of the Tchaikovsky score, but I would not call it Gothic. A little black around the eyes of the dancers, some lace and candles doesn't turn a tame show into a Gothic show.
Whoever worked on this production was probably blinded by the craze of the publicity they received, and they couldn't speak their minds about the things they didn't like.
In any case, this is only my opinion and I'd love to talk to you if you see the show and absolutely love it.
Have a great day and keep dancing to celebrate life.

If you want a spoiler about the story, and a happier review to this show, read the New York Times' or any review really, as I seem to be the only person who didn't like the show.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


For the past few years, every time I came to France for "Vacation," I ended up working all day sorting things in my father's house and working with lawyers and such official people, resulting on a return to the States, totally exhausted and depressed. But this time...It's different.
I arrived in France September 5th, and though I did have a few meetings with officials, I didn't tell many people I was here, and therefore have been having a great time.
I'm staying half in Antibes at my old friend and professor of University, and the other half in Biot, at dear friends of mine.
Since April, I have been talking to a friend in Nice, about going to Italy and returning to my favorite city in the world, "Florence" (Firenze... I know, but...).
Saba and Freddo on the Duomo in Florence, Italy - 2013
So last Friday morning, Freddo and I left by car at 4AM, from Nice, in the French Riviera, and we drove a short 8 hours to Rome in Italy, and arrived around noon, perfect time to get our first Italian lunch. When in Italy, one must eat pasta and pizza, nothing else. Well, unless you're a carnivorus, in that case you must eat Italian meat and cold cuts.
My four days trip = 900 miles by car. I loved it!

One reason for me to return to Rome after many years, was that I always refused to visit the Vatican and give money to an already overly rich group of people, but my need to see the Sistine Chapel, took over my stubbornness, and after a speed walking through the museum, Freddo and I arrived in the chapel.
Within seconds, my brain changed its settings, and the hundreds of tourists around me, Freddo included, disappeared, to allow me to dive and swim along the paintings covering ceiling and walls alike. Here I was imagining the long, lonely hours, Michelangelo spent painting the ceiling, deprived of reason, good lighting and company. The voice on a microphone, yelling "Silence" took me out of my thoughts, but I still spent a long hour admiring the chapel.
Rome was also the Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Piazza Navona and many more incredible buildings and monuments around this incredible city.
Sunday morning, departure at 8AM, direction Florence. By 10.30AM, we were dropping our bags to our Pension, and left to our first coffee. I always drink too much coffee when in Italy and France, because they really know how to make it.
My absolute favorite place in the city, is the Fontana del Porcellino, a bronze statue of a boar, spitting a thin amount of water.
Saba at the Fontana Del Porcellino - Florence, Italy - 2013
Lunch was at the Porcellino restaurant for an authentic pasta dish.
Upon arrival, I found a jewelry store, selling beautiful rings of animal heads and other fancy designs. Finding one with a pirate skull in silver, I married Florence in an instant. (Florence was the name of the first girl I kissed, the French way...).
Between Sunday and Monday, Freddo and I visited the Acadamia with the authentic David, the Duomo of the cathedral, the Campanile (Bell tower), the Ponte Vecchio, and a long list of tiny streets and place around town.
Saba in front of the Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy - 2013
As we were about to leave, we returned to the jewelry store where I bought my skull ring to meet the owner and creator (Patrick Wandaël, French man living in Florence for the past 35 years), what a great man. Though we went there for a quick hello and goodbye, we spent over an hour and a half talking about jewels, art, dance, olive trees, Florence, France, America, life the way it should be. Eventually we said goodbye, and though I was tempted to purchase at least another few rings, I didn't as I promised to return just for that.
While entering our new direction to the GPS, someone knocked on my window, and here was Patrick holding a ring representing the Porcellino Fountain, telling me that now, I would have a great way to remember Florence.
Saba's rings from Patrick Wandaël Design, Florence, Italy
I was already in love with the fountain and the city, but now it's official, I'm married to it.
Thank you Patrick, for being such an extraordinary man, who follows his heart, and lives his life the way everyone should.
I am back in Antibes now, and during my morning walk at the beach this morning, I was going over my own life, and decided that I, too, should live my life the way I want it to be lived.
Thanks for reading and remember to live well.

Friday, September 6, 2013


I can't believe it's already September...I am sitting in my friend's living room in Antibes, South of France, French Riviera to be more precise, and I'm enjoying a nice little vacation.
Arrived Wednesday morning, and I will return to NYC on the 25th, it's time for me to slow down and relax a bit.
For the past four years, since my father passed away, every time I came back to France, I always had some paperwork, and unpleasant things to do at the house, such as throwing away things that belonged to my dad. But this time, I'm here without any agenda, and will go along with what life will bring me.
Yesterday, I drove with 3 friends to Bordighera in Italy, just to have lunch... Best lunch ever, Italians know their food.
Saba in Bordighera, Italy.
When I returned to Antibes, I picked tomatoes and eggplants that are cooking as I write, and will be eaten tonight.
This morning, I went for my first morning walk at the beach. Totally empty, it was myself and maybe ten people spread over 2 miles. FABULOUS!!!
Saba in Antibes, France.
The only other plan I have, is to drive to Florence and Rome, next weekend.
It's so strange to not have to refer to my calendar every hour, and to just take the time needed to live a good life. I need to do this more when I'm in NYC. Gotta go eat soon.
Have a good day, and remember that you are beautiful.
Saba's feet, getting wet.

Monday, August 19, 2013

International Indie Gathering Film Festival.

From August 16th to 18th, I attended the 18th International Indie Gathering Film Festival in Hudson, Ohio.
This year I won the an award for my feature screenplay "About A Week" in the comedy-drama category. Last year the directors of the festival had asked me to be in the Acting panel at the lecture, and I was fortunate to be aside the great Robert Z-Dar and shared some very special moments and had a lot of laughs.
When Kristina Michelle, one of the producers, asked me to be in the acting panel again, the screenwriting panel (since I won this year as a writer), and the directing panel I jumped on the opportunity. If you know personally, you know how much I like to talk about my passion. But the true reason I take these opportunity, is because, as a long time teacher, I know that you re-learn what you teach. And being in these panels, and having to inspire young film makers, has revived my flame even more.
Sitting along the great actor Joe Estevez, and director Gary Jones and other incredible talented individuals, I realized that regardless of what you've done in your career, we're all in the same boat.
Joe Estevez said: "Be positive...20 years ago, I change my mindset and noticed the changes in my career." Gary Jones, who was showing "Axe Giant," and in addition to his priceless contribution to the directing panel, spent hours chatting with me in the lobby of the festival.
People have said that I'm a passionate person, and seeing and listening to Gary Jones, made me feel good to see that he was as passionate as I am.
Talking about passion, last year I was approached by a charming woman, who introduced her 17 year old son and sought advice for college. We connected, exchanged numbers, talked a few times over the phone and emails, and upon my return this year, her son, Ryan Colegrove came to me and we basically spent most of the time watching the same movies, and attending the same lectures.
Ryan, who enters Columbia Chicago as a director, had to projects in the festivals, and won first place in each category.
After the Award ceremony, Ryan, his mom and I, spent another 4 hours chatting and realizing how much we had in common. What a treat it is to meet beautiful people, who share your passion.
Next year I'm gonna submit SNOW, and probably a bunch of other things.
Saturday morning I attended the monologue competition, and I took the 2nd place in my category. Not bad, but this was more for me to experiment this particular monologue. It was fun, and was glad to be a part of the competition.
Since we sent SNOW to 18 Film Festivals around the world, let's see what comes next.

Remember, you are beautiful and life is beautiful.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Today, my dear friend and roommate Keith is celebrating his 50th birthday. So for a year now, I've been thinking of all the things I could buy, which totaled to a very short list, as I am a real starving and struggling actor.
When it comes to gifts, I could go for a DVD, an Amazon card, a CD maybe... A dildo, but then again how to choose the right size, it's delicate, this type of item has no return policy, so I decided to keep thinking.
What is it that would make it unique, special, and priceless. PRICELESS is the word everyone likes when it comes to a gift.
Now, I might be poor, meaning I've got no money.... But I'm the richest person on earth when it comes to creativity. My mind never stops, I sleep very little every night, and spend hours thinking about what I could do to make life a better life.
Back in January, Keith noticed that I was getting better at playing the guitar, since I was practicing for my feature film SNOW. I was playing Lola from the movie, when I joked about learning and playing "Don't stop believing" from Journey and play the song for his birthday.
I looked online and found chords, youtube tutorials, covers by all kind of singers, but I was too busy and put the song on the backburner, as SNOW was my only priority at the time.
A few weeks ago, I realized we were approaching Keith's birthday. My finance are at the worst they've been in a long time, so forget about the DVD and other cheap items... No, I had to come up with a plan.
SNOW was finished end of July, and for it, I had to cut a trailer using Adobe Premiere Pro software to edit. While doing that, I realized I knew the program quite well, since for the past 3 years I spent countless hours sitting with my editor, watching him use the program.
AND THEN, it happened... I was looking on youtube at "Don't stop believing" performed by Journey and was really impressed by how high his voice was, and then, right there on the right, I see a cover by a very good singer who uses split screen and sings all the voices and instruments.
That was it.
I had found the GIFT, and I was gonna make a video.
Next thing you know, is find a title, paperwork, twitter, design title, and here we go.
A FRENCH GUY NAMED SABA celebrates life and birthdays around the world.
So when you don't know what to buy, or what to give, make something as simple as filming yourself delivering a beautiful message of love for life.

Monday, August 5, 2013

17 years in the USA!

August 4th 1996, I came to the big apple for a 2 weeks dance workshop at the Martha Graham School. After a week, they offered a full scholarship to shape me into a Graham dancer in the hope I could join the Company. 17 years later I'm still in the USA and feel more American as time goes by.
At 24, I was already a workaholic and had achieved quite a lot in France, but here's 17 things I've achieved here.
1 - I learned English.
When I came, all I knew to say was: "One coffee please, thank you" (Read it with the thickest French accent you can imagine, and double it...).

2 - I became a Graham dancer and for five gorgeous years performed with the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble in over 30 States.

3 - As a dancer, I performed in the Pearl Lang Dance Theater, The Sophie Maslow Dance Theater and other less prestigious dance company, and that made me the dancer I am today.

4 - I became a faculty at The Martha Graham Dance School, Peridance Capezio Center, Ballet Arts, American Dance and Drama, PMT Studios, taught for 3 years at SUNY Purchase. I also offered modern dance workshop at Hotchkiss CT, UNICAMP Brazil, RYVERDANCE Mexico, Williamsport PA, among other exotic destinations.

5 - In 2001, during the biggest crisis I had experienced so far, I created the Saba Dance Theater.

6 - With my dance company, I created 5 New York Seasons, including "The Four Seasons" winner of the Best Performance in 2004 at the Bessie Awards.
Saba as the sun - THE FOUR SEASONS - 2004 Photo by Erico Narita

7 - Got my name in most major publications, including a full page in the Sunday Art section of the NYTimes, for my show called "3."

8 - From the press received in New York, I was invited by the famous photographer Lois Greenfield to do a photoshoot of my creations.
Rachel Sattler, Saba and Tomoko Muneto - 2005©Lois Greenfiled

9 - 3 of my Lois Greenfiled pictures have been used in her calendars, and even to represent her work in a NYC photo exhibition.

10 - I got a GREENCARD! Which in the words of the American immigration means that I am "Exceptionally talented." Whatever that means.

11 - In 2006 I realized I had a problem with alcohol, and joined a program of recovery, and I've been sober since March that year. This I consider my biggest achievement of all.

12 - I moved to Trenton, NJ. If you think that was easy, think again. Most people around me at the time thought I was crazy. It's been a wonderful experience.

13 - In 2010, I created Cloudy Sky Films, my own film production company.

14 - I wrote, produced, directed and starred in my first webseries: SHERRY'S KITCHEN. This felt like going to college, majoring in filmmaking, but concentrate the program of 4 years into 1.
Saba as Sherry Cordial in Sherry's Kitchen, Ep 5

15 - I joined SAG (Actors union), and am now able to make tons of money for a day's work.

16 - In 2012, I won my first 2 awards in film making for ABOUT A WEEK, a short film adapted fro the feature screenplay that, in 2013, won an award as well.

17 - In July 2013, a week before my anniversary, I complete my first feature film, SNOW. I wrote, produced, directed and starred in it, like in most of my productions.

So here you go. If you still reading, you'll know that there's no way of knowing what the future holds for you. But one thing for sure, is that what happen to me, happened, because I made it happen. Along the way, I made friends with incredible people, I lost some friends, and I lost people that I loved so much. That's life.
Thank you for these wonderful years. If you're reading this, you are a part of my life, and I love you for it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


After a very hot sweaty New York City day, I found refuge with my friend Kelley Karel, at the Premiere of "VolleyGirls"directed by Neil Patrick Stewart, (NO not the one from the Smurfs). If someone told I was going to see a musical about volley ball, I would probably have watched something on Netflix instead. But what a wrong thing it would have been.
While entering the theater, in a first come first served seating, I found a spot on the side and realized that the venue had no bad seats. Anywhere you sit in the theater, you'll get a great view of the stage.
The stage, without a curtain, was set with what looked like sport risers, a couple lockers and a referee stand. Ten of the eleven members of the cast, were on the stage, while the audience entered the theater, and they played around with each other.
 Finally it's SHOWTIME!!!!!
After a couple numbers to introduce the characters, I was already humming some of the numbers while they were singing. Very catchy tunes, performed by an excellent cast. The six main volley girls, are six unique characters and actresses. Their difference make them so lovable, that you can't wait to hear their individual story. As usual, I won't get into details, will try to remain as positive as possible.
This is a show, I could see opening on Broadway in a few months, just enough time to revisit some songs, and perhaps use some of the male characters a little more. I would have loved to see the Latina Marisol (Gerianne Pérez) interact with the Russian referee (Charles Karel) in a song about what it is like to be different. Or perhaps, tiny Stretch (Dana Steingold) give some advice to the Flo Hartline (Jennifer C. Johnson), as I believe these unlikely to be couples, could blossom on the stage and bring the production to another level.
Kim Brindell (Susan Blackwell), was good most of the time and if she had faced the audience a little more, I could have seen her other then profile. Her voice is deep and warm when she acts and talks to the girls, but her singing left me wanting more, especially when Jennifer C.Johnson delivers a stellar performance from beginning to end.
I know, it was opening night, the show is new, I'm sure there's a lot of changes that could be made, but in the end, this is a show, I recommend, and I would love to see again.
Watch out Broadway for the VolleyGirls, they gonna play it Jabali.
Go see it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


It's been a while since I've written a blog, but guess what? I've been so busy out of my mind, I even forgot I had one...
So this week alone, this is what's happening.

To celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of my film production company (Cloudy Sky Films), we've organized a FREE screening of my first feature film, SNOW.      FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE
This Sunday, June 30th at 5PM.
At the Salvatore Capezio Theater
@ Peridance Capezio Center
128 East 13th Street.
New York, NY
Why is it FREE? well, because I want to make sure the 78 actors and the 100 people behind the cameras, get a chance to see it, and not have to pay to do so. I've had to ay to see movies I was in, and didn't really like the experience...
SNOW logo
Yesterday, we also launched our three weeks Indiegogo campaign, called SNOW Film Festival Fund.
Now that we completed the feature, the next step is to secure commercial distribution, so we can start working on another project. So here is the link to our campaign, and before you decide not to look at it, et me remind you that watching it is also a FREE thing. Not to mention the "Kooky" video (To quote a friend of mine), that presents the page.

Saba in the Indiegogo Campaign Video.
The last thing I've done this week, was cut a trailer for the movie, so people can get a sample of what they'll get Sunday at the screening. SNOW Trailer HD.

In addition to all this, I'm working with my staff on preparing the event, so everyone will have a wonderful experience. As my favorite "Mommy Dearest" quote goes: "If you can't do it right! Don't do it at all..."
Love to all.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I love you!

When I first came to America in 1996, I was lucky to find an apartment in New York City. Before coming, I had never thought of ever moving to the US. I didn't even speak English. But once here, one of the things I had to do, was to go to a Mass in Harlem.
It was within my first three months living here, that I gathered the courage to go to the famous Abyssinian Baptist Church, on 136th Street. All my friends at the time told me not to go to Harlem on my own, but being me, I went.
The Mass was spectacular, though my English was very basic, I grasped everything I could of the sermons given by different people (Sorry I'm not a Church goer, so I don't know the titles).
At one point, something happened, and even though I was new to this, I got it. Everyone stood up, and placed their left hand on the person next to them. then together, we had to say: "I love you, and there's nothing you can do about it."
This was my revelation, my light, my joy.
I have since, applied my "Love your life, and Life is beautiful" motto, throughout my life. In my dance classes, I always remind people to love themselves, and to see the light.
Here is a little something I would like to share with my friends.
Watch the video, and download the app, if you have a smartphone.
The app is basically a messaging app, that will begin all your messages with "I LOVE YOU."
I LOVE YOU - Call me!

Not sure who came up with this, or why, but what I'm sure about, is that at the end of the day we all want to be loved.
So what the video, ( ) share it with your friends, and remind people how much you love them.
My dear readers, I love you and there's nothing you can do about it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

7 years of sobriety...

Today is one more day in the reality of sobriety. That ONE more day adds to 7 years... It freaks me a bit to think of it as so much time, as over the years I know the only way I did it, was to think of TODAY.
In a way it comforts me to know that all I have to do, is think of staying sober today only. Once tomorrow comes, I'll deal with it.
I used to drink to get into oblivion as fast as possible. It wasn't about the glamour of holding a glass of champagne, of savoring a good glass of red wine. OBLIVION was the only requirement.
My last glass black-out began gently while guests were attending my annual "Academy Award Party." After the Awards were given and the guests were gone, I was left finishing a cheap red wine in a plastic cup...
The next day was my last hangover, my last time cleaning my wino smelling apartment and my last time puking bile...
Saba as 'Speaks' in "The Sneaky Boa Brothers" -  2013

Since then, I have had a relationship with a great guy, ended the relationship, stopped teaching dance, started teaching dance...again, lost my adopted father, moved to Jersey, created a film production company, won two awards, produced, wrote, starred in many movies, and yet all I see is ONE MORE DAY.
No matter how long it has been since my last drink, and no matter what I do, I look at my sobriety as the most vulnerable and the most valuable possession I have.
TODAY, I realize that if I approach everything the way I approach my sobriety, I should get where I want to be.
They say ONE DAY AT A TIME, but if the day gets too long, I go one hour, one minute, one moment at a time.

Thank you for being a part of my sobriety and a part of my life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2013 here I come!

2012 is over, and we survived the end of the world, hurricane Sandy, the elections and a bunch of terrible movies. Apart from a cold, I even escaped the flu...
January is always an interesting month for me, as of December 21st, the Winter solstice, the days are getting longer. The few more minutes of light we get everyday, really make me feel good. I love the fact that I wake up early and watch the sun rise every morning while doing Yoga and meditation. And since I'm a night person, I love that it gets dark by 6ish.
January 1st is always a special day of meditation for me. Where most take resolutions that they'll brake within weeks, I, for the past ten years, sit in front of a big erasing board and write my goals for the year.
The way to do it, is simple. You take a piece of paper, and on the top of it, write GOALS 2013.
Then you need to think of the things you want. For example, become famous, be rich, healthy, happy, travel, find a lover, buy a new pair of crazy expensive boots, have diner at "Le Cirque" in New York City...
The hard part, is doing it, with the belief, you can get what you want. The secret, is to want it, to know you'll get it, but you don't have to know how...
This is the most important part of it, if you want to be famous, most likely you're already some kind of artist, or doing something in your life that can get you famous, so all you have to do, is continue what you do, and believe you will be famous this year. Knowing how, would not help, it would only stress you out. Just believe it'll happen.
                                     Saba - Photo by Lois Greenfield©2005                                  Just jump, the landing will happen for sure   .
Every year, I do it, and every year the list grows to more goals, and on average 70% of my goals are achieved.
One advice, is to be precise. The universe (Or God as you know it) is listening, and sending you what you want. There's no limit to what you can ask.
One more thing... The list must be in a place you can and will read everyday. The goal list is a reminder of what you want, so read it and visualize the goals.
On my second year I switched from a piece of paper to an erasing white board and I added, magnets and things that I like, sort of a temple of my life.
So try it, have fun with it, the year is young and belive that all your goals can happen.
Peace and love to all.