• Upcoming trips

    September 7 to 15 Tony and Jo will visit us from the UK

    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem

    October 31st - 11 November Caribbean cruise to break up the winter.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    August 2  I lined up on the geriatrics bench to get tickets for Christine and me at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park last week. I set out early and reached the bench  before 9.30 in the morning thinking that I would be among the first–I did not want a repeat of the great disappointment of the previous week when the last ticket to be given out at noon went to the man immediately in front of Susan and myself! But I was wrong again; the bench was already two thirds full of aggressive oldies and I was once again on tenterhooks until the noon distribution. I was joined by Christine’s friend, Barbara, who , with her husband, were to make a foursome for the event. Both couples brought a bottle of wine to enhance the evening.

    And what an evening it was! Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Nights Dream” has never been done better in my view. Absolutely suited to the outdoor theatre. The set included a fairy forest with changing colored lights which added mystery to the actors who passed in and out of it. The cast included a nightclub singer. The costumes, not confined to one era, included a modern suit and gown.

    The mechanicals were a child’s delight. Part fairy tale, part pantomime the action was played at a spanking pace and was continuously amusing. What is more, Shakespeare’s words came across wonderfully well.

             

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NYDay — The Dead have their Day

El Barrio Museum held its annual Dia de los Muetos (Day of the Dead) last Saturday. It is a celebration of the return of beloved ancestors to be honoured and to participate in the ritual feasting and gift-giving of the living. It is a custom which is thought to be more than 3,000 years old and, certainly, the Incas practiced their own form of it. The Mexican version includes ritual dancing and this was dramatically demonstrated by the folk group from El Barrio at the Dana Discovery Center in Central Park. I caught up with them there before the parade got under way. I wish I had had more time to learn more about the rituals beforehand.

Postscript: After putting up this post, I felt remiss in not even being able to mention the name of the very dedicated Dance group. So I went back to the museum and spoke to Ms Aurora Cerda who managed the Celebration of  the Day of the Dead. She, very kindly, gave me the name of the group.  It is called The Cetiliztli Dance Group. I did not find too much information about it except that it was founded in 1999 and its members come from all over the continent.  

Mother and Child

Chrysanthemums are a part of the ritual

The Dead cavort

Dead serious

Technology has improved communications with the other-world immensely!

The container this participant is holding is a rattle which imitates the sound of a moving skeleton

Happy dead

The Dancers arrive

The Dance begins

Serious offering

Skulls are a major part of the symbolism

. . . . and so are the nut shells which are used in the costumes as decoration

MC prepares the potions

Let the Dance commence

The beat picks up . . . .

. . . . . and reaches an exciting crescendo

After all these scenes of activity, here is a quiet moment: a view of Harlem Meer looking south:

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2 Responses

  1. What great pictures of “Day of the Dead” showing the happy side of death in the celebration of past lives.

  2. John and Ann. I had such fun taking those pictures. Everybody was openly friendly and was out to enjoy themselves to the utmost at the event. Next year, I will be better prepared.

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