Each week, we’re asking different writers, artists and others to share some of their current favorites and obsessions. This week we feature picks from Reena Shah, a multi-disciplinary artist — actress, dancer, choreographer, voice-over artist, musician, visual artist, activist, and singer. She was the speaking voice of Sita and roto-scoped dancer in award-winning animated film Sita Sings The Blues. She appeared opposite Ajay Naidu in his directorial debut, ASHES. Watch her in comedic skits with Conan O’Brien and in Anurag Mehta’s American Chai. She narrated the PBS documentary A Dream In Doubt. Reena portrayed real-life gang rape victim Mukhtar Mai in the documentary play Seven. On stage, she’s opened for Sunny Jain’s Red Baraat, Funkadesi, and DJ Rekha as a solo dance-artist leading interactive Indian dance workshops. She taught Bollywood dancing to Marisa Tomei, Jimi Mistry, and Heather Graham for Universal Pictures’ The Guru. Reena is also recording a collection of songs she’s written on her ukulele. Look for her on the film festival circuit in short Small Delights by Hena Ashraf. Currently, Reena performs in pop-rock duo My Pet Dragon with husband Todd Michaelsen. Their song “Moonshine” is in a national tv ad. See My Pet Dragon perform on February 13 at 10 p.m. at Rockwood Music Hall in New York. Visit her website: www.dancingreena.com. Find her on Twitter at @DancingReena and Instagram @DancingReena.
1. Traces of You by Anoushka Shankar featuring Norah Jones
I’ve always been a fan of world music + jazz music. This beautiful collaboration between Anoushka & Norah completely moved me. I had the opportunity to see Anoushka perform live last year in NYC while she was on tour promoting her album. She plays the sitar with her heart and soul. Both women rock so hard and continue to inspire me! They have taught me to be fearless in my own songwriting and music.
2. Bombay Sandwich Co.
I met Shiv Puri when I was at NYU. He’s always been a man of vision and focus, whether he is playing the drums or cooking at his newly opened restaurant, Bombay Sandwich Co. located in Manhattan on 27th Street and 6th Avenue. Shiv and his lovely wife Shikha Jain have created a delicious, diverse menu that is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free. My favorites so far… the French lentil bowl, the coco-cocoa organic shake, kale and hearty salad, and the organic quinoa salad. I always ask them to make me a mix of half masala chai and half cardamom coffee. Definitely check this place out. Its healthy, fresh food made with so much love!
My first visit to Bombay Sandwich a few weeks ago:
3. Society 6
I find myself drawing free-hand illustrations and creating digital art all the time. There were many years when I was just creating it and not sharing it with the world because I never found the right platform to present my artwork, until I found this fabulous website called Society 6. I upload my original drawings, illustrations, photography and digital art to the site, where they create cool and funky products for my art fans to purchase from prints, tote bags, wall clocks, cards, mugs, hoodies, onesies, tank tops, and iPhone and iPad cases. Here are two of my favorite pieces from the site:
4. Collaborations of Todd Michaelsen of My Pet Dragon & Karsh Kale
I’ve been listening to the music of Karsh Kale for many years. He respects all genres of music and has always been breaking new ground with his collaborations. I was excited when Karsh approached my husband, singer-songwriter Todd Michaelsen about teaming up with him on a new track he was working on for his Broken English album. Todd got the instrumental version and began writing the lyrics inspired by our very first time at the Burning Man Festival. The track titled “Dancing at Sunset” has become a favorite in my permanent playlist. Todd’s vocals shine — his lyrics are magical and Karsh’s music fills my inner spirit with bliss. This song makes me want to dance every time I put it on. When Todd and I finished recording the song “Flow” for our My Pet Dragon album Mountains and Cities, we asked Karsh to do a remix for us. He starts the remix with my vocals and builds it up from there. Have a listen and let it FLOW!
My good friend web developer and tech entrepreneur Atul Ohri aka DJ Zakhm introduced me to POPURLS.com. The site serves as a real-time reference to what is happening and trending on the world wide web from new stories to photography to art designs. I love the simplicity of the design layout, which makes it very easy to navigate.
6. Wynwood Walls — Miami, Florida
I was in Florida a month ago and my best friend recommended I spend time at the Wynwood Art District in Miami. The outer layers of every building are canvases for some of the greatest street artists in the world. Todd and I parked the car, started walking around, and found the famous Wynwood Walls. I was in awe of all of the art we saw there.
In Miami? Don't miss the Wynwood walls pic.twitter.com/2gHlhL5gb1
— theartmarket.ca (@theartmarket_ca) December 7, 2013