Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Cultural? Saturday

I'm watching Hitchcock's North by Northwest (Yes, I'm a multitasker, guilty as charged, I blame my mother...I inherited her genes of 'I can't sit still and just watch a movie'). I love this movie; I've seen it many times over the years, and it's always held a certain fascination for me. Granted, the older I've gotten, the cheesier the "hanging off the cliff" end of it becomes, and yet I still enjoy it!

***

This afternoon we spent a few hours at Silver Dollar City. Chris and I bought season passes to SDC this year; we don't normally splurge on them, but it's a fun park to enjoy. This time of year, they have a something called World Fest with lots of groups from all over the world that come to perform, and lots of tasty food to go with it all. It's my favorite festival that they hold at SDC. The nice thing about season passes is that we can just go for a few hours and always go back another day to catch anything we missed.

The first group we saw was a children's
choir from Uganda. Very cute. Especially the little girl in the front, left who was very into her performance!















The next group was fascinating to watch: Acrobats from China. I had to laugh because some parts of the performance were just so, well, Asian. It reminded me of many performances I was involved in back home. Homesickness hits at the oddest of times.

Anyways, always an implied story can be found interwoven in most Asian performances- however loosely (confusingly and sometimes apparently pointlessly); in this case, creatures in some type of forest? thing? crawling around on the ground and possibly courting? chasing? girls. Any ways, a story of some sort combined with over the top costumes, lights, music, sometimes with a rather startling affect. But the acrobats themselves were amazing.

The first group that came out did all sorts of stunts involving two poles. Throwing themselves around, 10-15 feet off the ground; I always find simultaneous gasps from the audience an amusing experience! The strength of those men/boys is breathtaking. And yes, the one on the right in the middle is suspended by the neck off of the neck of the guy hanging upside by his feet.















The second group were supposed to be caterpillars? worms? Something involving what looked like green garbage cans with bold ends cut off. Again, fascinating tricks despite the rather odd set-up!

















There was another group of women doing acrobatic tricks on bicycles...very cool.















But the best part, from the point of view of a dancer of course, was the ballerinas. Well, acrobats first, ballerinas second. But phenomenal none the less. Look closely at the picture. Yes, she is in pointe shoes on his - HEAD! (Children, don't try this at home!)














And then, just to complicate everything...they added a second girl!











The last group of the day that we saw (having briefly passed by the Yodaler, the Russian children's orchestra - which frankly sounded frightening, and I'm hoping we just caught it at a weird time in their performance - and the Ecuadorian musical group) was an Irish group.

Singing,harp playing, dancing and playing with fire.






I love the beat and rhythm of Irish music; there's something about it that just gets into your blood and its hard to not either be driven to dance or to tears depending on the tune...

However, the true entertainment of the show was the rather large (please take that in all ways possible), truly classical, Ozarkian hick family sitting behind us. As everyone was sitting down for the show, the harpist came out and began to play. And, to the best of my recounting abilities, this was the, mostly in total serious, conversation they had.


Father: "What does a harp have to do with Ireland?"

Daughter (rather a bit of a know-it-all, "duh" sort of attitude): "Well, harps were used by the Celtics (pronounced Selts) and all that."

Father: "The Selts were the ones who believed in ghosts and witches and superstitions."

Daughter; "Yeah, you know, Druidic things."

Brief moment of silence.

Father: "Well, why the harpest? Must be casting a curse on somebody."

Daughter: "Doesn't look like a mean witch. Must be a happy witch."

Another short silence.

Father: "Halloween started in Ireland."

Daughter: "Oh yeah, something to do with those druids in the Catholic church."

And Chris and I sat there, shaking with silent laughter from drinking in this deliciously enlightening conversation, and not daring to look at each other for fear of laughing out loud so hard we would insult (and even worse, break up) the conversation! of the ones behind us.

It was, all around, a most educational experience!

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