• • • computers

So you've got your personals profile all set to post online—the Ph.D./world traveler/Manhattan penthouse pitch—but you still haven't figured out how to paste your head onto Tom Cruise's torso. Cooper Union (353-4195; offers "Introduction to Photoshop and Illustrator" (four sessions, Feb 21-Mar 14) for $390. Oh, and I'm sure it'll be useful for a few other things in multimedia design.—Ariston Anderson

• • • cooking

Offering an array of food workshops on international cuisine, light cooking, and wines, the New School (229-5690) caters to most tastes. Classes range from the practical ("Quick Italian Sauces") to the elaborate ("A Hong Kong Feast") to the supersweet ("Great American Pies"). Wine drinkers can enhance their senses with classes like "The Educated Nose," or learn how to answer arcane questions like "Wine and Chocolate: Can It Be Done?"

In addition to advanced cooking degrees, the Institute of Culinary Education (847-0700; runs a large, hands-on program for those new to the kitchen. Courses teach you all the steps of cooking, so you hone your knife skills and find out what to do with a salmon steak and (filed under "Do Yourself a Flavor") how to cook with beer. Scavengers, remember your doggie bags: You can take the class leftovers home with you.

There's nothing wrong with eating cheesecake three times a day, but if you want to add some nutrition to your diet while learning to cook at home, the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health (645-5170, ext. 4; offers small, easygoing classes like "The Limitless Bean" and "Oodles of Noodles." —Michael Miller

• • • dance

The sweaty chest hair, the Celtic belt, and (oh!) the green velvet capris: If Michael Flatley didn't capture your heart, give Niall O'Leary (former Ireland and world champion) a chance to teach you the history and show you the moves of Irish dancing at the Learning Annex (371-0280) on March 20 ($39).

They coalesce in the open fields of Punjab, celebrating the wheat harvest, increasing their fury as the music steps up, stomping their feet, whirling and clapping. . . . Elsewhere, in New York gyms and basement clubs, the dance appears as Masala Bhangra, the Indian-dance-inspired routine accompanied by dhol drums, flutes, and tablas—synthesized! Lotus Music & Dance (628-8789; Mondays at 8, $11 a class.

Perhaps no other movement best expresses the passion of love than the Argentine tango, a secret danced by two. In this one-day workshop you'll learn the intoxicating steps, how to lead and how to follow, ready to take your new groove out into the city's tango salons. At the New School Continuing Studies (229-5690;, Feb 9. ($75.) —Ariston Anderson


So what if your "To be or not to be" sounds like it's coming from an Alabama preacher? "Acting Shakespeare" aims to take on the Bard with an American approach, while going to the heart of his character relationships. Do the man proud at the Acting Studio (580-6600;—12 Sundays, beginning Feb 4.

What's Beethoven's favorite fruit? Ba-na-na-na. Is this thing on? But seriously, folks, if you're interested in a stand-up career, Scott Blakeman at the New School (229-5690; www. will show you the art of writing and performing comic monologues, as well as give you a rundown of the economic realities of the business. The course ends with you auditioning at one of New York's leading comedy clubs. So don't let me down, hotshot. Six Monday sessions begin Feb. 4. ($205.)

If you can't tell your Brecht from your commedia dell'arte, then it's time you got to the Columbia Acting Lab ( Act now and for a limited time you'll get Chekhov featuring theories of Stanislavsky and the politics of naturalism. But that's not all. Call and you'll also get avant-garde, monologue, and scene work perfection via Beckett, Ionesco, and Stein. —Ariston Anderson

• • • fashion

It may not have anything comparable to Paris, but with its fashion schools Manhattan churns out its fair share of aspiring designers. In recent years their grads have been going boldly to fashion's final frontier, where critical acclaim meets commercial success. Want to be one of those who envisions an original design, creates an innovative business model, or expands upon a new idea? Join the Parsons School of Design's workshops (

Not so long ago one of France's top designers fashioned garments for about 5500 clergymen present at a Catholic-sponsored International Festival of Youth. Well, you may not want to specialize in church fashion, but at the Katharine Gibbs School (973-4954) you can get the skills you'll need to make a splash in any other branch of the fashion industry. The Fashion Design & Merchandising program's topics include fabric printing and print design, sketching for the designer and illustrator, industry-standard pattern drafting, and showroom and retail sales. —Ioana Veleanu

• • • film

The screaming clowns, the eels sliding through a tight shirt, an endless drive through a dark forest. For those too big for the silver screen, it's on to the galleries. With the New School's "Film as Installation and Performance" ( you'll learn ways to break down the uni-image through multiple projectors, colored gels, film loops, mirrors, prisms, and mylar. You'll also get to look at the work of the innovators themselves, such as Barbara Rubin, Stan Vanderbeek, and Kathy Rose, and you'll venture to Millennium Film Workshop and Anthology Film Archives. The New School Continuing Studies, 13 Wed sessions, beginning Feb 6. ($705.)

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