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Posts tagged ‘dance’

“Visiting” Hungary at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

As if the 4th of July weren’t exciting enough in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian host the annual Folklife Festival that week on the National Mall.  Bringing together international musicians, storytellers and craftspeople, the Festival celebrates culture and the preservation of traditional arts throughout the world.  Every year, three themes are selected for the festival and usually include a country, region, or collective community experience.  This year the themes were 1) Hungary, 2) Endangered Languages and 3) African-American fashion.

The Hungarian Village section of the festival sought to celebrate traditional music, dance and crafts as well as the people who are revitalizing that culture today.  There were informative museum-like exhibits, artisan demonstrations and lots of concerts.  Ever the international traveler, I was so excited to explore the Hungarian portion of the festival!

Hungarian tower

The Peacock Tower designed by Transylvanian architect Gyule Szilegyi stood at the center of the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

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An American Watches Eurovision 2012

eurovision 2012

Walking home from dinner in Istanbul, I noticed the Eurovision Song Contest Finals being broadcast on a cafe TV and zipped back to the hotel to watch.  From what I can tell, Eurovision is a American Idol/Pop Idol combined with good-natured European nationalism.  I have some vague recollection of years past when the musical acts were either terrible, super avant garde or kitschy traditional music.  Always one to watch European countries compete, I followed eagerly, only to realize that I really don’t like European pop music!

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