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Friday, May 30, 2014

Folk Dance


 Russia is known for having exquisite dance performances.  I'd been dying to see one so I carefully selected a folk dance show.  I've seen the Russian Ballet perform the Nutcracker back home, so maybe that is why a different type of dance appealed to me or maybe it was because folk dance tells the stories of the everyday people.
 Many regions of Europe and Asia were highlighted.  The footwork was amazing and the costumes were delightful.  As I watched I thought about how much of folk dancing is done in a community to celebrate life.  They did it at village gatherings and weddings.  So many of the dances were filled with joy and fun.
 Other dances told stories.  History is preserved in this unique form that is passed on from generation to generation.
The best story of the evening for me though, had nothing to do with the dancing but rather with a particular woman we met.  When we came into the performance center we were a bit disoriented with all the shows going on, coat check and where to go.  A batty little old woman approached my husband and asked if he had an extra ticket.  We actually did have an extra ticket with us as one person in our party cancelled at the last minute.  She was probably a bit surprised when he handed it to her.  I'm assuming she comes every performance and tries to get a free ticket.  She shuffled off and disappeared around the corner.  We hustled in forgetting about her as we figured she had walked outside the theater to sell the ticket.  Halfway through the first dance the bent-over woman made her way up the stairs.  Transformed she was now wearing  an old knit dress and some bright orange beads that matched her bright orange, thinning hair.  She carefully carried her pocketbook with one hand as she gripped the railing with the other.  She settled in next to Chad and gave him a big smile as if he were her prince charming.  Throughout the show she proceeded to chatter very loudly to Chad in a mixture of English and Russian.  She was a true lover of the arts.  She enjoyed the performance and my gracious husband gave her all the attention she craved.

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