Monday, 29 February 2016

Exhibition "Valmiera svin!"

For march´s month along with "Vidzeme" photo set there is "Valmiera svin!" exhibition, both sharing a same gallery.

The exhibition is quite simple and small but anytime you go to the culture centre take a little of time (you can complete the visit in just 10 minutes) and check this exhibition and each of the works, where here all of them are registred.
Also, there´s the photo set too, where you can see the main folk groups and other groups as well in their best galas giving life to the town.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Flamenco concert: Carmen (Karmena).

Yesterday (vakar) there was a quite particular concert in Valmiera´s Culture Center, not only for me I say, as the so many public that came to the event (I don´t remember the terraces were so full in previous events) proved the attractive of the event too. There was a show about flamenco, the most popular dancing in Spain. Not only that, as the orchestra was of spanish origin! (Andalusia to be precise); the value of this visit is, of course, worth to assist it and see it.

Here we have a general shot of the members of the orchestra. All them spanish, so you could expect something authentic. And, indeed, it was.

And then here comes the flamenco dancers, making their number and showing several performances. In this case, making a play with shawl, the shawl used by flamenco dancers is a Manila shawl (mantón de manila in original language), a shawl used in other Spain´s folk dances by the female dancers. The attire in, all of the cases, was correct. I think, as I´ve got to mention, I´m spanish but not from Andalusia but from the upper north of Spain, where the flamenco it´s not so popular (and if you go to my neighbors, The Basque Country, you better don´t ask about flamenco).

But the female attire is correct. Better than some others I found in a Riga´s bar time ago, ahem.

The main musician (maybe "el maestro" of the orchestra?) playing with the tap

And the main singer leaving clearly he was spanish. I mean, because I could clearly hear him speaking correctly, well, in the correct andalusian I mean.

The "castañuelas" made an act in one of the performances...

...and the staffs too. Yes, staffs. As you use shoes to dance tap here the staffs made rhythm and melody with the coordination of the hits. I didn´t know about that the staffs are used for flamenco dancing, and actually I´m not sure that officially they are used. But hey! I´m not the professional, those were in the scenary!

And the stars waving.
Ok, I´ve got to say but I really liked the concert. I was doubtful at first about the fidelity of it and that it would fall in the kitsch style. But no, it wasn´t like that. The flamenco concert was accurate, pity of the place, however, that scenario is not the fitting one for flamenco. Flamenco is danced in a more particular area called "tablao", but that place is THE place to dance it, but obviously not every corner of Spain has it so it´s ok a theatre scenary.
People clapped and enjoyed it, I´m sure of it. As in several times the public started to clap supporting the songs and in cohesion with the melodies that were being played. Well, actually public was VERY coordinated clapping all the time. When the show finished it looked like the claps were fused altogether at once...I couldn´t see that in my country, right.
Of course, there were several pop moments. Some songs curiously had a techno-beat on it (particular but in these contemporary times it´s not rare) and others were very popular, such "Volare" from Gipsy Kings or Paco de Lucía melodies.
There was the most particular case, and less good we could say, where a french song was played while in flamenco dancing...not very fitting, really. But for the rest, it was quite interesting. I hope this spanish orchestra had a great time in Valmiera and enjoyed the time here!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Carnival in Latvia

You probably think that in northern countries, specially Baltics, they don´t know how to have a great and fun party celebration, aren´t you?
You probably are right in most of the cases.
But! this weekend there was the celebration of the carnival. Carnival is a very popular festivity among the arts field and they always, anywhere, give more spoil than any other places. Here in Latvia the same. A great Carnival party took event in the Art Academy of Latvia, iconic place for artists and arts in the Baltics. Music, costumes, concerts, colours, more colours and more alcohol took over the area!
I will describe how was the atmosphere. The whole academy became in something like a big disco-party place where each classroom had different concerts playing on, and different scenary too. The theme of this year (yes, every Carnival in LMA -The Art Academy acronym for Lavijas Mākslas Akadēmija- has a theme) was about digital world...althought always things go to free will.

Here´s the hall of expositions transformed in the big concert part.

Tea served properly, of course!

Yeah, there were some activities to do, but mostly you had to pay.

Oh, yeah...it´s Carnival, so everyone goes dressed...except me.

DJs in one of the several scenarios spread across the whole building (remind it´s a two level building...plus the third one which was closed for this event).

The anatomy class served as a place were several animation shorts were shown!

As I said, people went dressed!

Barrier to prevent people to going to forbidden areas. I heard like probably anti-riot police will use them in the future too.

Also, there were videogames; but as things furniture started to dissapear as the night progressed I wonder if the remote of the console (and the console itself) disappeared too.

And also there was theatre. No, it´s not a dressed up person drunk up, no. It´s a show.

Oh yeah. The photos are not the best resolution of the world due that the security staff avoided you could enter with a camera so I had to made the photos with my ultimate mobile phone.
And well, the party was a wiiiild event full of fancy people, music and lots of funny stuff. Something really special! yay! that´s why this is the second time I came there!

Friday, 12 February 2016

"Keksi" Concert

This friday in the culture centre there was a 50s rock style concert that, despite everything, remind me a lot to the concerts that play in the local festivities in each spanish village, called "verbenas". Well, it´s a bit critic to say this because a "verbena" in Spain is something common and not a hihglights concert level. But anyway, this is feeling I got from this event where 50s Elvis style rock is mixed in Latvia. But, hey! it wasn´t bad at all and gives more variety aside from the folk and dancing elements in most of the other concerts!

Here you can see the main integrators. Varying in ages. As a note, most of the public was up to 50 years old (which made me feel more like in staying in a "verbena")..

  At the end things got moved. Check how the public moved from their seats and started to be more active, to say it.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Carnival concert in Senior Centre

As supposedly you know, this week is carnival and St.Valentine´s. In most of the world...at least in Latvia, yes. Well, in the Senior center of Valmiera there has been a special event for the venerable men and women of said centre. The bes difference I saw (and I always see) is that here they give a good fact to the seasons, as they usually represent them; I remind that Christmas for Latvia it´s more like "celebration of the winter" rather than the common christian root, or when summer arrives, Latvia will have a big celebration of the coming of summer. Here some photo testimony:

Basically the event was split like this:
-Concert with chorus and orchestra.
-Dancing performance.
-Concert again.
-The dancing.
And so on.

Instruments were saxs, an electric keyboard and the human voices, so you can get the picture of the music. Normal 3rd age music but in latvian, exactly.

We had a particular guest here! and it was me who opened the door (accidentally).

The first performance. Dressing in white and being winter this cannot mean another thing, right? yep, "ziena" dance.

And you can see the snowman surrounded by the rest of the winter.

And here is the public. The room is a small one. After all, it´s a performance in a local Senior house, not Riga´s opera!

This one is a couple dancing actually, with the rest of componest making a guided company.

White is getting clorful, cause it´s dissapearing.

Now winter gives place to a warmer thing and the dancers are more colorfully clothed...and some of them dressed for carnival. But this is more like in the last performance.

And the last performance I could stay (I had to go to another demands)! It was like the previous one but about animals, wearing the dancers animal hats, mostly farm animals. That was the funniest part actually due a more interaction with the public and being more random such some dancers doing the sound of its respective animal, being it more like a theatre (a random one) rather than a dancing but still.
As I have been asked of being more subjective in my articles I will give an opinion about the event...althought I consider myself as someone who already gives enough opinions...but anyway here it goes. It´s fine to give to the oldest people, or at least those who reside in the residence, some event occasionally taking advantage of different and marked dates. Althought simple, it´s still fine to give them some good time. The only setback is that it was soon (10:30), well, couldn´t be at the afternoon? I think 3rd age people would prefer it...ok, I would prefer it! but anyway, as they actually wish, maybe the elder men and women like it better at morning, but I´m just wondering.
Ok...I think I gave sufficient open opinion.
Ok, finish it!