The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Monday, July 28, 2014

Guelaguetza in Etla - 2014

Today is the last Monday of the month and so ends the two week celebration known as the Guelaguetza.  Really, there is a lot more to the word, but in this case we are talkin' about dance.  Dancers from all over the state descend on the city and simply dance up a storm.  There is something everyday, but the main events take place on the last two Mondays of the month.  The biggie is in the city, but I love the small versions that take place in several of the outlying villages.  Last week it was the one in Reyes Etla and this week it was in nearby Etla.  Etla is kinda my home base for all things food.  My favorite restaurant, Comedor Colon, is there and I always shop at the market where I know many of the vendors.  But today it was all about dancing and a crowd of about 750-1000 people thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  It was a great day!
This year, the dance floor was not covered and the sun periodically beat down, but then a nice breeze would cool us down.  However, I am sure the heat was tough on the dancers, but what the heck, the light was great for photographers.

I love, love, love this jarabe, always danced by a couple.  The woman always looks like a mariposa.
I cannot stress enough how nice and friendly everyone is.  One walks away exhausted, but very content, knowing that we have shared something very special and "shared" is the key word there, because that's one of the basic concepts behind guelaguetzas.
The ladies who danced the Flor de Piña dance deserve some serious props here.  First, those are very large piñas.  I know, because I received one as a gift after the dance and it was heavy.  I can't imagine dancing with one on my shoulder, but they did and their energy was infectious.  They always are a crowd favorite and people cheer and go crazy.  It's wonderful.
Also, in the city, the flor de piña dancers are always young and gorgeous, but in the smaller venues, ones sees dancers of all ages, each equally gorgeous in their own unique way. 
And man o man, the pride is always palpable.
I will post more in a bit.  I am way behind on things, but "Whew," what a coupla weeks. ..... Now's the time to catch up... after a siesta.