Saturday, October 30, 2010

il Risorgimento - At Sea

As the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy approaches in 2011 more and more exhibitions are opening up around the country celebrating il Risorgimento (The Resurgence), the long fight that led to a United Italy. Monuments to the various battles, leaders and heroes of the struggle to bring together the diverse areas and every shifting boundaries of the Kingdoms that had until then made up the peninsula are being restored or spruced up. And the calender for the coming year is filled with concerts, parades and public displays to commemorate the event.

Already in my own neighbourhood a site of one of the major battles for the city of Rome and the Papal States has been beautifully restored (photos to follow shortly) and slightly further afield a new exhibition celebrating Giuseppe Garibaldi has opened up at Castel Sant'Angelo.

Many of the works in that exhibition were rather generic in their iconography if at times just down right sentimental in a cloying way; however one particular painting caught my eye in its simplicity and subtle power.

Piero Guccione's Studio per l'autonomia, il muro de mare (Study for the Autonomy, the Wall of the Sea) created to celebrate the Autonomy of Sicily after the war. (Click for a larger view) A master of the seascapes of his beloved Sicily, his waters always appear untroubled but beneath them there is a tension that is the harbinger of things to come. Out of the mists a boat appears, its sails the colours of the Italian flag - the historic arrival of Garibaldi at Marsala in the controversial unification which was to bring about the autonomy of Sicily.

30 ottobre - San Marcello di Tangeri

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Friday, October 29, 2010

But Are They Lined With Plaid?????

Okay let's get one thing very clear, if I said it once I've said it twice: I am not becoming a shoe fetish. Its just not easy to ignore footwear in this country. As I was strolling through a very high end shopping arcade in Bologna last week I stumbled upon this rather startling display of, I guess you'd call it "punk", footwear.

What made it even more startling was the store window they were displayed in. This is not exactly a brand name I'd associate with cutting edge or even things with edges that cut!!!!

Any guesses?

29 ottobre - Sant'Ermelinda


My good friend Cathy mentioned very briefly the other day that I have been slightly remiss in postings lately. And as the end of October roles around I must admit that I've been less than prolific in much other than posting other people's videos.

My only excuse is that I was entertaining a guest during the middle of the month but that is more an excuse than a reason. And its not if though I haven't had several ideas - in fact the number of drafts begun and left unfinished is mounting. And its not if though I haven't been doing things - Parma for the opera, the Santa Cecilia season has started and things are humming along.

So time for some regrouping, time to get these fingers on the keyboard again, comment on the things around me and even use the much hated Photoshop Elements - they did not believe me take the best of Photoshop and make it accessible to the average user but lets not go there - and the slightly more friendly iMovie to highlight a few of the things that I've enjoyed or hated over the past few weeks. Though looking at a few of those drafts I should maybe say past few months!

*Missing In Blogging

29 ottobre - Sant'Ermelinda

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lunedi Lunacy

At 3 Jonathan has a lot more skill than a few stick wavers I've seen in the past few years. He reminds me of Daniel Oren except Jonathan has more control - over both his orchestra and his movements.

It does go on a bit too long but this young lad is remarkable - and he's not being smart-alecky, he enjoys it!

25 ottobre - I santi Crispino e Crispiniano

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mercoledi Musciale

While thumbing through the little book of Nerman sketches I was surprised to come across a drawing of Zarah Leander, the Swedish actress-singer. Her life and career have been the subject of much controversy because of her work in Germany during World War II. But that is not what surprised me - it was her association with that most gemütlich of operettas The Merry Widow. I have a hard time imagining her voice which verged on being baritone singing Vilija!!!!

My first memory of hearing her would have been on one of Otto Lowy's early radio programmes singing Cole Porter's Wunderbar from Kiss Me Kate. It become a bit of a signature piece for her after the war and I remember my mother wondering who that man was singing.

She continued to perform - as did many of those incredible European women who became household names in the years between, during and after World War II - as late as 1975 appearing as Madame Armfeldt in a production of Sondheim's A Little Night Music and reprising the role in the 1978 Stockholm production. It was during that run that she suffered a stroke and was forced to retire from the stage at the age of 71. Here she is singing, the most known number from that musical or any other of Sondheim's works for that matter.

Perhaps its is her age, perhaps her circumstances that give this version an added poignancy. She had come a long way from the light hearted widow that Nerman captured back in 1931.

20 ottobre - LGBTQ Spirit Day

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Longevity - Bologna Style

Books of “Secrets” were popular in the Renaissance; mostly written by quacks and charlatans they contained everything from soup (food recipes) to nuts (the use of ground walnut shells to rid the body of parasites). They allowed the common herd to share the “secrets” of the Venetian cloth makers for scarlet die, the Borgia's poison antidote and a famous courtesan's formula for turning her hair blond. And of course many of them gave the formulas for eternal youth or longer life. In most cases most of the ingredients - ambergris, powdered silver etc - were beyond the pocket book of the average Joe or Joan.

But some of the "secrets" were yours for the simple cost of the pamphlet; such as this piece of advise given by an Anonymous writer in Bologna in 1617.

Mangia poco e bevi meno
Alla lussuria pono freno
Dormi in palco, e stà coperto
Lunga cura non ti pongo
Se vuoi havere tua vita longa

Eat little and drink less
Curb lust
Sleep on an upper floor and cover up
Don't subject yourself to long cures
If you want to have a long life
Il nuovo, vago e dilleterole giardino
The New, Lovely and Delightful Garden (of Secrets)
Bologna 1617

Sounds like pretty sage advise even today!

19 ottobre - Santi Giovanni de Brébeuf, Isacco Jogues e martiri canadesi

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lunedi Lunacy

All Hollow's eve is a very Anglo holiday and though it is slowly making inroads here in Italy there are still few trick or treaters and if children are going to wear fancy dress it is normally for Carnival in February or March. Having said that it does not stop the pastry shops and toy stores from pushing the North American concept of goblins and ghosties and things that go bump in the night.

My friend Jenn has two little goblins to dress up this year and I'm not sure what evil thoughts she had in mind but she had a rather disturbing link on Facebook last week. Probably the only thing worse than people who dress up their defenceless pets for Halloween are people who dress up their even more defenceless babies.

One thing you will never find on a restaurant menu here is Spaghetti and Meatballs - I mean why would you mix your primi and your secondi???? But this kid's parents had obviously been brought up on cans of Chef Boyardee. Well at least they didn't cover him in tomato sauce.

Just click on the photo for 49 more of the Creepiest Baby Halloween Costumes. For my money #35 and #34 are pretty creepy but #13 takes the cake.

18 ottobre - San Luca evangelista

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday Night Pranzo

Any faithful reader will have looked at the title of this post and arched an eyebrow: Pranzo? Saturday Night? No, that doesn't sound right! After all the posts were you've prattled on and on about Sunday Lunch (pranzo) being the big meal of the week? How can you have Pranzo on a Saturday Night? Or is this sort of like Sunday morning mass were you can go on Saturday night?

No you're right, you can't have pranzo on Saturday night - or any other night for that matter, unless you're watching a little gem like Pranzo di Ferragosto (Lunch on August 15) which is what I did a week ago Saturday evening. The HFH and I snuggled up on the couch - Laurent was in Athens with his dad - and spent 75 minutes in the company of an elderly Italian lady, her put-upon son and three unexpected guests.

Director-Writer-Actor Gianni Di Gregorio (right)had just come off working as one of the screen writers on Matteo Garrone's Gammorah, the harrowing cinematic version of the best selling expose on the Mafia in Napoli. Back in 2000 he had written a screenplay about his own experience as an only child with an elderly mother but no producer would back it because it was about very old people and it involved old actors. He showed it to Garrone who agreed to produce it and shoulder most of the €500,000.00 budget.

Di Gregorio made a few risky decisions. First he didn't want to use professional actresses - possibly knowing that vanity would get in the way of what he had intended to do; next he decided to shoot the film not at a studio but on location in his own home; and then when the actor he had planned to use in the role of the son didn't seem to have much chemistry with the older women he took over the role himself. All three decisions are what makes this film the charming comedy it is.

Now I'm not talking side-splitting, rolling on the floor comedy, I'm talking gentle, smile inducing comedy on a more human level. And I cringe to think of what will happen if Hollywood decides, as they did when La Cage aux Folles became The Birdcage, to make an adaptation of it. Let's hope that doesn't happen and Di Gregorio's little comedy remains the sweet little jewel it is.

Gianni (Di Gregorio) is a 50ish bachelor who lives with his 80 year old mother Valeria (93 year old Valeria De Franciscis - left) in gentile poverty in their family flat in Trastevere. They are 3 years behind in the condo payments and bills are mounting up at the local enoteca. When the condo manager offers Gianni a way out if he'll look after his mother Marina (Marina Cacciotti) over Ferragosto (the August 15th holiday), he has little choice. But the manager forgot to mention that his Aunt Maria (Maria Cali - Di Giorgio's real aunt) is also part of the package. When a doctor friend implores him to look after his mother (Grazia Cesarini Sforza) he finds himself playing nurse maid to four old ladies when everyone else in Roma seems to be off enjoying the holiday. Not much really happens in the short 75 minutes but a great deal occurs.

Had I not known better I would say the situation was a bit far-fetched but with the little knowledge I have acquired of life here over the past three years I can say that not only is that scenario in the realm of possibility but also that of probability. The woman in the apartment below us has not paid her condo fees in over four years and I do know men (and not necessarily gay men) in their 50s and 60s who still live with their mothers. And indeed at Ferragosto the city is deserted and trying to find food becomes - particularly in the neighbourhoods - a major chore. And Di Gregorio has said that the story is based - loosely - on something that happened to him a few years ago.

What is striking in all this is the treatment of old age - the camera does not shy away from catching the liver spots, sagging skin or multiple wrinkles of the still elegant Signora De Franciscis or the other women but out of it all comes a sense of the nobility and resilience of age.

In an interview after winning the Best First Feature award at the London Film Festival Di Gregorio said "Though I have a family of my own, I lived with my old, widowed mother for many years (being her only child) so came to know well the reality of being old. I was struck by their vitality and energy but at the same time by their vulnerability and the fear of loneliness they have. I thought then that it would be fair to show these two aspects, though during the shoot I realised that their positivity and desire to live prevailed."

And in this charming funny little film I think he has more than achieved what he set out to do. And I, for one, would love to spend a pranzo at ferragosto or any other time of the year with such delightful company.

17 ottobre - Sant'Ignazio di Antiochia

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Wonder As I Wander

Rome is a city where you find yourself constantly looking up at the wonderful architecture and down to avoid stepping in doggie do - which will be the subject of a rant for another day - either way you are often confronted by strange sights that set you to wondering.
And I am wondering what these perfectly good pair - and notice they are a matched pair - of shoes was doing on the sidewalk on Via Mazzarino at three in the afternoon? There appeared to be nothing wrong with them - the heels were fine, straps intact and they even looked to be clean and recently polished. So why were they left there? It almost looks like some one had simple stepped out of them. And it did lead to a very bad Italian pun - Suole Abbandonate!

16 ottobre - San Gerardo Maiella

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Top of the World

My friend Bev seems to be constantly on the move these days - well even more so than she was in the past which is saying a great deal. When I heard from her yesterday she was in Bhutan having come there from Nepal. Her flight out of Kathmandu took her through the Himalayan range and past the highest point of earth: Mount Everest.

Coincidently I was reading a chapter in Jan Morris's A Writer's World - Morris was on the expedition and the one who broke the story of the conquest of Everest in 1953 by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepali sherpa Tenzing Norkay - when Bev sent out these pictures. Morris ends the chapter with an amusing aside about a formal celebratory dinner in London.
When we returned to London from Nepal we were invited to a celebratory dinner at Lancaster House, the government's official place of entertainment. I found myself sitting next to the major-domo for the occasion, a delightful elderly courtier of old-school charm, while opposite me sat Tenzing Norkay, away from Asia for the first time in his life. The old gentleman turned to me half-way through the meal and told me that the claret we were drinking was the very last of a particularly good vintage from the cellars of Lancaster House, and possibly the last anywhere in the world. He hoped I was enjoying it. I was most impressed, and look across the table to Tenzing, who most certainly was. He had probably never tasted wine before, and he was radiant with the pride and pleasure of the occasion - a supremely stylish and exotic figure. The lackeys respectfully filled and re-filled his glass, and presently my neighbour turned to me once more. 'Oh, Mr Morris,' he said in his silvery Edwardian cadence, 'how very good it is to see that Mr Tenzing knows a decent claret when he has one.'
Jan Morris - A Writer's World
Faber and Faber Limited - 2003

15 ottobre - Santa Teresa d'Ávila
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Job's Wife

Back in July my friend Elizabeth wrote a startling and moving poem on the old Biblical tale of Job and the Trials visited on him (Left is one of Gustave Doré's illustrations to the story). But she wrote it from the point of view of his wife; when I read her The Book of Job's Wife I was stunned by the shear emotion of it. Perhaps knowing some of her background gave it special resonance but even without that it is an highly charged cry of a wounded soul whose lose has been ignored in the telling of the tale.

I was then a little surprised to find that almost three months later she received a comment on it from someone who, to my mind at least, is an ignorant, self-righteous coward. Ignorant in their lack of knowledge of the book they brandish in people's faces, self-righteous in their judgment and too cowardly to sign their name. Fortunately Elizabeth was not at a loss for words in her response. The sad thing is that who ever it is that wrote the comment will probably never read it - people like that tend, in the tradition of cowards, to be hit and run.

Bravo my darling Elizabeth on a remarkable piece of work and a thoughtful and honest reply to someone who knows little of the true love of God.

14 ottobre - San Callisto Papa
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mercoledi Musciale

I can only join with so many others in celebrating the life of the great Joan Sutherland. Hers was a remarkable voice that I consider myself fortunate to have heard both live, on recording and in video.

I recall her first appearance in Toronto was a concert scheduled the evening that John Kennedy was assassinated. However she was to make later concert appearances and debut a few of her later roles with the Canadian Opera Company. I only wish I could have seen more of her live as I had almost all of her LPs at one point. But as well as her performances what also sticks in the mind was her incredible sense of humour and at times self-effacing manner in interviews and a few very memorable opera quiz round tables. She led a rich and very full life and saying goodbye should indeed be a celebration of all that she was and gave.

Dearest Joan may those Bright Seraphim greet you in their burning rows and may their voices be uplifted in glorious song as they welcome you.

My dear OC up in Milano wrote what I think is one of the most loving tributes to La Stupenda found in the last few days: The Time Traveler's Wife.

13 ottobre - San Teofilio di Antiochia

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lunedi Lunacy Ma Martedi

The British cabaret trio Fascinating Aida has been entertaining audience around the world - sadly never in Canada????? - since 1983 when the group was founded by Dillie Keane. Though personal has changed over the years and the group has gone into retirement several times they've once again appeared on the cabaret scene to take on the world and its vicissitudes.

Anyone who surfs the Net knows the (short-lived) joy of discovery when that really cheap flight shows up to our chosen holiday destination.

They got that one down pat!

Many thanks to my friend Maureen for this one.

12 ottobre - Nostra Signora del Pilar
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family!

Thanksgiving this year is quieter than normal; Laurent is in Greece with his Dad - at this point they are in Santorini - so festivities were limited to the Canadian Club of Rome annual lunch yesterday afternoon. This year it was held in a very hard to find but great Trattoria di dui ponit out on the Via Flaminia. I was glad my cab driver wasn't the only one who got lost - most of us (even old Roman hands) went around in circles for 20 or 30 minutes (not hard to do when the street numbers suddenly jump from 278 to 858) which meant a glass of wine was called for immediately upon arrival.

What followed was a wonderful Thanksgiving menu with an Italian twist:

After salami, fried vegetables and grilled olive oil soaked bread we tucked into a very untraditional primi. Because of my gluten thing the trattoria did a corn pasta with fresh porcini mushrooms (its that season again) for me.

Though turkey (tacchino) is popular here it is mostly in scallops, legs or breasts - roasting a whole turkey is not a done thing- most people don't have an oven that would be big enough. I'm sure its only me but I find poultry here has a moisture to it that back in Canada seems can only be achieved by brining. Mind you it could also be that our turkey yesterday was cooked in a huge wood burning oven. And what would Thanksgiving turkey be without cranberry sauce - straight from the can, just like mother use to make!

And to round off the meal - pumpkin pie! Pumpkin (zucca) is better known in Italy as a cooked vegetable. It often shows up as a ravioli stuffing or even better in the Ghetto lightly battered and deep fried. Put in this case we had a torte di zucca - and nothing canned about that filling.

So though it would have been a better thanksgiving if Laurent had been here - I may be mistaken but I think this is only the 2nd one we missed together in 33 years - it was still a great chance to see friends, share a meal and give thanks that we seem to have the best of both worlds.

And as I have done in the past I listened to a few of the old Harvest Hymns that we sang back in my church going days. My own particular favourite, which I've posted on here before,


Again to all my friends, family and loved ones absent the happiest of Thanksgivings - we do have much to be thankful for.

11 ottobre - Giorno del Ringraziamento

Friday, October 08, 2010

Food Fail!

When I look over recent postings I realize that I really have become obsessed with food. But it is so difficult to live here and not be. And though many of the things I once regarded as exotic have now become everyday I am constantly discovering new tastes and ways of preparing things.

And once again I stress the seasonality of things - Kaki are now back in the market, those great orange, squishy balls of custardy goodness that I will gorge myself on until late October. And just last week watermelon or anguria season was here and I discovered a wonderful Sicilian desert while having tea with my friend Simonetta and our Ballet magazine publisher Alfio. We had stopped in at Dagnino, the place to go for Sicilian sweets and goodies. As we cast our gaze over the incredible array of cannoli, cassati, biscotti and torte my eye was caught by a pinkish coloured desert flecked with bits of chocolate. At the same time Simonetta let out a delighted, "Oh look they have Gelo ri Muluni!" "What the hell is Gelo ri Muluni?" was my immediate response. "Its Sicilian for Gelatina di Anguria," she replied in a tone that suggested that anyone who could translate the latest reviews for Ballet2000 should really have known that.

Watermelon jelly? Hmm this didn't look like any watermelon jelly I had seen in those canned fruit studded moulds so beloved of the ladies at Alderwood Presbyterian Church dinners. Or the wobbly, shinny cubes of sugary day-glo stuff they fed us at the school cafeteria. It was shiny but had a creamy look to it and definitely wasn't going to glow under black lighting. So as Alfio and Luca indulged in Cassata we tucked into our Gelo ri Muluni.

And it was wonderful - so wonderful I bought several to take home for after dinner that evening. Then, even though it was going to possibly involve gelatin, that most difficult to work with ingredient, I went searching for a recipe in several Italian cookbooks but without success. A quick search on the Internet turned out one recipe and ... no gelatin! Over at Sicilian Cooking there was a recipe that was pure simplicity itself.

The ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs watermelon (without skin)
1/2 lb sugar
1/2 cup chocolate shavings or chips
1/2 cup toasted pistachio nuts
1/3 cup corn starch
1 pinch of cinnamon

Not a gelatin leaf in sight, just some things everyone has laying around the kitchen. So I got everything together and thought I'd try my hand at making some with an eye to including it as a dolci at Thanksgiving (Canadian) dinner this weekend.

What's that you say? There's an ingredient missing! Oh you mean the watermelon! Well yes, you remember how I keeping going on about seasonality? Well guess what? Watermelon season is over and there's not one to be had in any of the markets!

The Gods do like their little joke don't they?

But here's the recipe anyway just in case there is still watermelon in your part of the world: Gelo ri Muluni (Watermelon Jelly). And I shall arise bright and early tomorrow morning and head to the market just in case there is one - even one - left for ready money.

08 ottobre - Santa Reparata di Cesarea di Palestina

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Mercoledi Musciale

It seems every time I look at a news report another star from my misspent youth has passed away. When I say "star" I mean "star" and not what lamely passes for a "star" today - I am still trying to figure out who half these people are on "Dancing with the Stars"?

I'm talking about performers whose names went above the title, whose movies or plays or concerts you went to see because they were in it. Performers that you willing forked over your hard earned - making a bed can be onerous work for some - dime at the movies to see because you knew the minute they appeared you were going to be treated to the best.

Norman Wisdom was one of those "stars". His Pinewood films were what in Hollywood would have been labelled "B" movies and were meant to fill the bill in those days when for your 10 cents you got a travelogue, the news of the day, a cartoon, a western or thriller and a comedy plus the Trooping of the Colours with the National Anthem to end the afternoon's programme. His films were predictable but they were sweet, funny and had the little guy coming out on top. What more could you ask?

Norman always wore the same outfit - cap, slightly too small suit, rumbled shirt and tie - and ultimately the same big smile. He bumbled, stumbled and crumbled his way into the hearts of some lovely English rose and drove the same gang of upper crust snobs to distraction time and time again. And at some point he showed that he had a wonderful voice and a way with a song; as he did in Trouble in Store, his first film in 1953, singing what was to become his theme song: Don't Laugh At Me.

Despite his heartfelt plea we did laugh at Norman. His agility and brand of slapstick certainly appealed to our juvenile sense of humour at Saturday matinées. Sure the routines were as old a Plautus and maybe even older but Norman knew how to sell them and make them seem fresh. But I remember that my father loved his movies to - was it the little guy winning that made them so popular with a generation that had just come out of a war? Better not to over analysis but just sit back and enjoy.

Many thanks Norman, I laughed at you but you were nobody's fool.

Given how much Albania has figured in our lives the past three years - and believe me though I haven't written about it, it has - I was surprised to see that Norman Wisdom was one of the best loved stars in that previous isolated country. His passing is being treated as a national loss and tributes have come from all levels there.. Funny old world isn't it?

06 ottobre - San Bruno di Colonia

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Ramblings of an Addlepatted Old Theatre Buff

Fifty years ago this week the O'Keefe Centre (now the Sony Centre) opened in Toronto - it was the performing arts venue the city had lacked and needed for many years. Though the wonderful Royal Alexandra Theatre (I grew up in the nose-bleed inducing second balcony) was used for touring shows it couldn't house some of the bigger attractions. As I mentioned not so long ago in those days the Metropolitan Opera, The Royal Ballet, The Bolshoi Ballet and even Maria Callas appeared in a makeshift theatre set up in a hockey arena. Finally we had a "theatre" where the big names and the big shows could shine.

The opening production was the world premiere of Lerner and Loewe's Camelot with Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, Robert Goulet, Robert Coote and Roddy McDowell. It was one of the most eagerly awaited events of the North American theatre season. The first night lasted over 4 hours though by the time I caught a matinée two weeks later it had been cut down to 3 1/2 hours - as one critic said almost as long as a Wagner opera but not half as funny.

The rest of the year was chock-a-block with theatrical delights - My Fair Lady (just to prove that Lerner and Loewe knew what they were doing), Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, The Metropolitan Opera, The New York City Ballet, The Royal Ballet and the list went on. I saw most of them: matinées because I was 13 at the time and the hour long ride back home - two street cars and a bus - was not considered a good idea at eleven o'clock at night. Though I was allowed to go to the first performance the Met gave at the new Centre wearing a white dinner jacket my mother had made for me and given the money to take a "gasp" taxi home.

And a less starry summer season was arranged with amongst other things Stars of the Paris Opera Ballet and Carol Channing in a revue called Showgirl. This was Carol Channing's pre-Dolly days. She had come out of revue theatre and gone on to fame in Wonderful Town (replacing Rosalind Russell) and then as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In those days she was known for her uncanny timing, the siren call (in both senses) of her vocals and her ability to do some very funny impersonations. To this day I recall her Brigitte Bardot as Lady Macbeth in the Sleepwalking Scene - I only wish it were available on video.

One of the classic numbers she did in that particular revue and performed off and on for the rest of her career was the sad story of a silent cinema star: the great but forgotten Cecilia Sisson.

Sadly much of Channing's talent seemed to have gotten lost over the years under a layer of camp and mannerisms to the point where she almost became a parody of herself that often bordered on impersonation. Interestingly she has returned to the stage at 85 with an act that reveals her uncanny ability as an impersonator which featured so prominently in Showgirl. I tried to embed her Marlene Dietrich however it has been disabled - you might just want to click on the Carol caricature at the right and it will take you to one of the slyest take-off's I've ever seen on the eternally youthful Frau Sieber.

05 ottobre - San Placido monaco
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Monday, October 04, 2010

Lunedi Lunacy

Sort of says it all does it?

Click to enbiggen!

Click to enbiggen!

From Doghouse Diaries

04 ottobre - San Francesco d'Assisi

Friday, October 01, 2010

That Swan Again

I began the week with a Lamentation of Swans - though it could have also been a Bevy of Swans depending on which collective noun you favour but given we're talking dying swans here I'll go with my first choice - so I thought I'd hit the week's end with the same theme.

I have always been more a classical ballet fan than that of contemporary dance - I recall one very embarrassing incident with members of the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers during the Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato where I really let my prejudice show. However the more I read about what is happening in modern dance the more I am intrigued by the possibilities of mixing styles.

This performance by LilBuck aka Charles Riley is an improv to the music that began the week - The Swan by Saint-Saëns. Apparently he listened to the music for the first time 20 minutes before he went on stage and (you should excuse the expression) winged it from there.

A remarkable sense of movement and feeling for music that is the basis for any great dance career no matter what the form.

Many thanks to my friend Simonetta for introducing me to this video

01 ottobre - Santa Teresa di Lisieux
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