Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Throughout the ages buskers or street performers who rely on donations from the public for their performances have added to the character of some cities. Often they appear daily in the same location, put out their hat or other container for "tips" and creatively entertain passersby for short periods of time. The cities of Sevilla and Malaga were places where I enjoyed seeing them in their daily routines.
The performance artists I came across during my stay really varied between the two cities. Sevilla had accordionists, guitarists, singers, and dancers. Those who I saw in Malaga often dressed in costume and acted as living statues. What they held in common were creativity and a sense of bringing joy into the sometimes mundane lives of people who stopped their daily routines for a short time of spontaneous enjoyment. I was glad to share that experience.
Thank you for visiting, please come again. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable. Do take time to experience the unexpected, you'll rarely regret it. Thank you performance artists, everywhere!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
One of the memorable experiences of my recent trip to southern Spain was the night we went to a flamenco show in Seville. It was a performance, not a flamenco in the true sense of the word, but it was full of beauty and a celebration of life in all of its aspects. The true flamenco, said to have its origins in Seville as part of the Gitano culture, is personal, spontaneous, emotional and private from outsiders. Some say that a cultural equivalent of the flamenco is the blues of African-American origin. Traditionally, there was singing with no dancing involved and women played a very minor role. The traditional flamenco artist bared his soul in his performance. The staged performance that I saw was reputed to be as close to authentic as seen by outsiders. It involved both dancing, vocalists, and musicians. The role of women in the Spanish culture of today was reflected in the important roles of the women performing. The evening, with its accompanying tapas and wine, was unforgettable.
The photos in this blog are different that those which I usually post for two reasons. First of all, they focus on people not place. As this was a paid performance, I felt that I could freely capture images without being intrusive. The second difference was the way in which the photos were taken. So as not to take away the viewing experience of others, I used the camera of my Sanyo Zio cell phone. On the whole, I was happy with the results, and even made a couple short video recordings.
Do you think that photographing a cultural event takes away part of the photographer's appreciation of the performance?
(I have mixed thoughts on the subject and I am curious as to your opinions.)
Thank you for visiting, feel free to stop by again. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Hola, everyone! I'm still in Southern Spain for a few more days and I thought that I'd share some images with you. All of what you see in this post were taken on a Sunday in Seville. Seville is now on my list of "favorite cities". It is a vibrant, interesting city with many warm people. On Sundays, friends and families go into the streets and parks in order to enjoy each others' company. These are some of the scenes that I saw.
Those of you who have been following this blog over the last couple of years know that these images are different than my usual. I have struggled to capture the essence of a place while not be intrusive. These photos were taken in a way that did not interfere with the activities of the people who have been captured in their daily lives. I seem to be finally learning how to do this.
I hope that you have enjoyed your visit. Thank you for stopping by. Until the next time, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
I'm having a wonderful time in Southern Spain. The last three days have been based in Sevilla (Seville), a vibrant and colorful city full of fine people. While I'll eventually have many photos to share and stories to tell, I thought I'd give you some images of my first day here. These photos were taken with blurry eyes as I did not sleep on the plane, so it was more than 24 hours after I had last slept. Still, the day was good, enhanced by sunshine, greenery, and high octane cafe solo (the small, but potent espresso coffee you see in the photo).