August 19th, 2007

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"MAYA" (Indian Dance)

Saturday night E and I went to see "MAYA", a bharatnatyam (Indian dance) fusion ballet by Padmashree Shobana and Ensemble.

The first part of the show was three separate pieces of dance set to a mix of world music (one featured flamenco). This was followed by a full presentation of an Indian legend/folktale concerning Rama, Sita and Ravan. Googling reveals that it was probably a good portion of the Ramayana. There was a intermission in the middle of this portion where one could go to the lobby and have some indian food (idli, samosa and cholay - yum!)

I hadn't seen Indian dance performed before. It felt like modern dance with very sharp, quick movements that at times had a sense of "hopping" to them. This was mixed with some very precise hand gestures and positions and very animated facial expressions.

The Ramayana presentation was different in that there was dialogue played during the dance and the dancers performed to the dialogue and integrated their dancing and gestures to it. It felt to me like watching people perform in sign language. The combination of dance, dialogue and gesture was something I hadn't seen before.

Overall, the show was very interesting and I rather enjoyed it. I think that E liked it, but she's thirteen and won't ever cop to liking something that isn't mainstream.
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nature (destroying) boy

Most of Sunday and a couple hours of Saturday was devoted to clearing out some of the overgrowth that has been taking over the back yard (we're not the most devoted gardeners).

The occasion was Neighborhood Cleanup Day (aka Junk Pickup Day) on Wed Aug 22, when the county brings large trucks and claw grabber machines around and takes everyone's junk they don't want.

The main effort was aimed towards getting rid of some of the awful (and large) privet infestations near the porch, the shed, and the garden. It was hard, physical, burly labor - pruning branches, sawing trees, hauling foliage from back yard to front, shearing and chopping the large pieces to fit into either the green waste buckets or into the outside pile.

It felt very good to be outside, working hard, shirtless, sweating like crazy and drinking liter after liter of water. Once done, the end result of the labor was very noticeable (big, clear privet-free spaces) and very satisfying.

High points were a red praying mantis, "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on the radio, and the end result.

The toughest part was near the garden, where there was a mix of privet, overgrown rose bush, and bermuda grass. That was not fun and was slow, careful, and at times difficult work. Luckily, I only have a few arm and side scratches and a small "pinch bruise" on a finger. But I am definitely worn out.