Sunday, July 19, 2009

beautiful ballet

One of my friends invited me to come to her ballet performance in Northern Japan, and I ended up having a special day off work so I decided to go check it out. I am very naive regarding the classic arts, both western and asian so I was looking forward to educating myself a bit. The exhibition hall was a bit out in the countryside faraway from Tokyo. So I took a bullet train as far North as it would take me, and then hopped on a local train. From the station to the culture center, I walked about 10 minutes in a soft, warm, summer rain. The countryside was fresh, the mood vibrant.
The performance itself was fascinating. I kept in mind that this was an old art, that first came to prominence in a more conservative era. With that said, the dresses of the female dancers were clearly designed to be titillating, the moves provocative. And even the male dancers simply wore a tight leotard on bottom (so tight that it etched the butt cheeks) and a clearly stuffed cod-piece. Not all the dancers were professional, some were a bit young and wobbly. But when a group of ballet dancers got into a synchronized movement there was something highly mesmerizing about it. Almost as if a group of flowers , lacking words, had animated themselves on stage and began to try to communicate with symbolic movements. Hands arched, bodies twisted, all conveying some sort of narrative that went beyond words. It was truly art, movement for no logical reason; half way between a vigorously abstract dream and the dawn of functional reality. My friend was amazingly talented too. Dancing as if she was putting no effort into it, each move perfectly executed like a robotic feather. It was amazing.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

odd people

Our world is filled with odd people of all sorts. Here are some people I think are odd.

I live on the Yamanote train line. I see people rush to get on the train, running full force. And if they miss the train a dark cloud crosses their faces, as if they failed at life. Come on people, the trains on the Yamanote line come litterally every three minutes! Missing a train is no big deal.

Sometimes people get mad at me for things I have no possible way to change. I was drinking with a Japanese friend and she started to get upset because I was genetically American. Genetics are something that are fixed in stone. Get angry about it all you want, but its not gonna change.

Often when I'm in a public restroom stall people come up and knock on the door to 'check' if I'm inside. How could the stall be closed and locked if I wasnt inside? Don't get it, but I guess maybe they are saying hurry up. But I still think its odd.

Friday, July 10, 2009

switched on

I've mentioned in to my friends, and in a few other places online, but it's bubbled to the top here too--- my broken camera is inspiring! Because the display is broken, I treat it something like a cheap holga film camera. I just point and shoot a few random shots each day. I usually end up with random blurry crud, but sometimes I get shots that are more exciting in their random framing. I also get more excitement from it than a normal digital camera. I have to wait until I get home and put the SD card in the SD card reader, excited to see what I ended up with. Because of this I have 73 new photos on my photo album site. And it's only going to grow, I've been inspired by most of what I see around me. Almost as if I am surrounded by a whimsical sober melancholy.
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