Luck arrived this week in the form of free tickets. Tam won two at work, and then our friend Michail provided two more free comp-tickets he had scored through his work (a transport company that among other things moves around sets for opera companies).
So Saturday afternoon we were off to the radio Tarana-sponsored Bollywood Dance competition, as part of the Diwali (festival of lights) celebrations. That afternoon was 3 hours of dancing from the intermediate and advanced groups. We were entertained b y quality dance routines to seriously adrenaline-pumping Bollywood music (left my ears ringing for an hour afterwards). The hall was large (TSB areana), and quite full. I think we had most of the south-asian community of Wellington in there with us. We disagreed with the judges over the first place and runner up in the advanced section. Having watched (and participated in) plenty of dance performances in the last 6 years, I have strong opinions on the matter now, and the runner-up’s were robbed. They had a high and consistent skill level, a kick-ass choreography, and most importanly- they could all perform.
I also had to respect the group from Upper Hutt college. That group was mainly kiwis, where most of the troups were exclusively south-asian in descent. And when asked about their preparations for the show, they admitted they only took one week for everything- choreography, costumes and practice. I hope they keep at it, as given a bit more time and experience they could be quite good.
After a quick dinner (Indian food, of course!), it was off to the Opera. Turandot, the last opera of Puccini. Executions, insane oriental potentates, a suicide, all you could ever want from the opera. The stage directiion was wacky, with only one person in period costume, but it worked for me. Ping, Pang, and Pong in their color-ccoded fur-trimmed “pimp jackets” were a hoot. The mug-shots of all the people executed (a list that gets added to during the performance) was also very nice.
So after all that culture on Saturday, what do we do Sunday? Clip alpaca toenails. But that was a worthy job, and entertaining in its own right. We also took more photos for the coming web page. Today is a beautiful fine and sunny day, the first in about a month. Hopefully that warm weather will get the grass growing, we have the moisture, now we need the sun.