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

Saturday, July 27, 2019

More Guelaguetza from Reyes Etla

As everyone gets ready for the next guelaguetzas on Monday, it makes sense to share a few more shots from last Monday's performances in Reyes Etla.  Always a favorite, the wonderful embroidery of Santa Maria Tlahuitolepec.
As I said, there are lots of villages presenting their own versions of annual celebration of traditional regional dances with the dances performed by local folkloric troupes.  And they can all really dance!
And every guelaguetza is different, although there are many common threads, like the trajes or clothing.
And smiles all around.
There are some fun parts like this, when the women trip up the men, they show no mercy.
One of the high points was during this dance, that I'm pretty sure depicts a chicken seduction.  When they finished and got up, there was an egg, which the guy immediately cracked and ate raw.  And the crowd went crazy.
And mock bull fights.
So many swirling colors.
And simmering looks...
Enough for now.  It's time to run into the city for the second desfile or procession of all the dancers for Monday's official presentations.
Party on...

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Guelaguetza in Reyes Etla

More and more villages are presenting their own guelaguetzas, but the one in Reyes Etla is one of my favorites and I go every year.  And every year, it is a bit different and more people attend, but it still remains a wonderful and more intimate version of this important traditional celebration of indigenous culture and dance. 
A local folkloric group of dancers presents most of the dances, but there are always a few additional troupes.
Of course, you know the setting from the film Nacho Libre, with a round dance surface surround by mountains.
I am always caught up in the beauty of the moments...
One after another.
After another.
And the feeling of joy...
Everyone so happy just to be there...
Quiet moments as well.
And all pure Oaxaca!
More mañana!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Festival de los Moles - 2019 Edition

Where to start?  And how could I possibly savor the over twenty moles offered in yesterday's Festival de los Moles held, once again, in the Botanical Gardens?
We've been to this gastronomic event every year and learned, simply, you can't try them all, not even close. The best approach is to take small spoonfuls of a few to get started and then, for the next round, listen to people as to what they are raving about and try those.... and that just about does it. 
There were just too many to ever sample them all.
Then live vicariously by shooting other peoples laden plates of deliciousness.  It was almost as good as eating.... almost.
Like this amazing mole amarillo with lobster.
Everything looked so good, but I was very nicely sated.
You can see it was easy to get carried away.  My mother always said, "Your eyes are bigger than you stomach."
And these friends from Teotitlan del Valle who made thousands of tortillas for the festival and have for the last five years.
Of course, there's always room for nieves!
Another wonderful gastronomic experience! ¡Viva Oaxaca!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Art of the Dance....

It is always a challenge to shoot dance of any kind.  Does one try to take in the whole or focus on individual details? With the danzantes de plumas in Teotitlan del Valle, it is easy to do both. 
This new group of dancers is exceptional, already very tight with the choreography of maestro Javier Gutierrez.  They are more than ready for another appearance in the official Guelaguetza in the city.
A classic shot of one of the subalternos.
This shot of Doña Marina, Jimena Vicinete Lazaro, looks like something from a different time.
La Malinche, Yaretzi Bazan Ruiz, twirling with El Pecacho in the background.
A wonderful beginning to their three year commitment.  If they are this good already....
Things are looking up.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

All smiles.....

The convites in Teotitlan del Valle are always a wonderful combination of serious solemnity, pride, happiness and joy and you can see it in the faces of the participants....
The look in those eyes...
And those smiles...
And don't forget those baskets are heavy and catch the wind as they walk the almost five km.
And of course, it is always such a joy to see one of ours favorites, Beatriz Ruiz Lazo.
Back for the danzantes today....

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Old becomes new again...

Convites, the processions of unmarried women and girls in Teotitlan del Valle, are always uplifting and beautiful events.  They are always filled with happiness and pride, as the participants join in this traditional celebration.  And yesterday's was no exception..... 
In the last few years there has been a return to trajes, outfits, woven from natural colors. 
I wish I knew more about their emergence, but they look great and nice to see the very young wearing them as well as several others, maybe fifteen out of 200.
As always, beautiful weaving....
And quite a departure from the other traditional look.
¡Vive le differance!