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they cheerfully danced on through

You can't have a rainbow without rain first. So it goes.

"Just at the moment when fall blows in with the strength of its rain showers, gusts of wind, and fallen leaves -- hundreds of amateur dancers from schools and studios all over South Holland dance through the inner city of den Haag. The blasts didn't surprise them; under the protection of umbrellas and ponchos, lively and colorful companies cheerfully danced on through." From the paper last Sunday.


I hid under the roomy porch roof of the Royal Academy of Creative Art since my cam had more raincoats than I did. We watched them slosh by. Not all of them were protected. But their age range was awesome, babies to grandmas were included, and they certainly were colorful, like this company of Indian performers:

There were space aliens moving through some very non-space rain:

And the littlest ones sat safely on their UFO-truck [the crew mounted a plastic waterfall where the black panel is showing... it fell down]:

Hunters and big cats, I was hoping they kept a good grip on their bows pointing at meeee:

And dancers circled in white webstraps pulling against each other:

Girls costumed as chrysalises opened to free their new bug-lets, who went running through the puddles in blurs:

At the end of the parade the skies really opened into a carwash. Half an hour later there was an open-air concert scheduled, darned if friends and relations didn't clamber up into the wooden bleachers which were way too soggy to sit down on: they just stood there patiently with their umbrellas being blown open by the wind. The dancers were inside rehearsing. Slate is slippery when wet. And that's what the Plein is covered in -- cracked slate at that. I'm sure if the dances went ahead, they went ahead CAREFULLY :) [The newspaper photographer didn't stick around, either.]

So I slopped on home and it took a day to dry my stuff out on the radiator. Dunno how lively or colorful I was afterward, but the cheerful part -- sure!

After all, if the rain is forever, so are the rainbows.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 10th, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
Managing to stay out of the rain, mostly!
Yep, things are okay --- and sometimes even better than that ;)

Then again, no snow yet. Just this liquid sunshine.
Hope you're remembering to stay out of strange cars; strange car accidents, that is?
Nov. 15th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
My last reply sounded a little snarky. I don't wish any car accidents on anyone, not even jokingly! What I intended to ask is whether you're into any interesting translations these days...
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 18th, 2009 01:12 pm (UTC)
Then please make time for that too!
Nov. 13th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
You always seem to post about these awesome street performances/art, and so I wonder: are they as common over in the Netherlands as I am starting to think they are or do you just happen to stumble upon them out of luck? I'm loving the rain. I would totally be out there dancing in it, too.
Nov. 15th, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
So in your case the rain would have to be very white and very hard? :)

This year is special: it's the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Netherlands Dance Theatre, which has grown to international fame. So there are a lot more street festivals than usual.. and parents (everywhere?) are fanatics about their little danseurs and ballerinas so they will stand through any kind of rain, it seems.

So that's part of it.

den Haag is also one of the capitals of the Netherlands and the Queen lives here (and there, in a number of palaces around town.) So a lot of art is laid on to impress her. Right outside the city library is this humongous plaza that accommodates all kinds of art performances, and the community strongly encourages that, not in the summer but all the time, I guess. And there are the Royal Theatre, the Royal Art Museum, lots of institutions like that. Many museums are anything but dark and dusty, they're hands-on and encouraging kids (of all ages, heh) to get involved.

Plus: a lot of the theatre lighting design I did in the US was for performances of dance companies of one stripe or another, so here I'm lapping all this up...

You would totally be one of those dancers who would splash in *all* the puddles and have thrown off her raincoat blocks before the reviewing stand! (Actually, you are probably right there in some of my photos, in a different form perhaps!)

I bet you'd even leave puddle-footprints... :)
Nov. 15th, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
Also forgot to mention: there is ***massive*** public funding available for art performances and creations here, from the Royal Family foundations right on down. Totally unilke the US of A :(
Nov. 15th, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
White, hard rain indeed. We got about half a foot of it overnight and there's more too come. I don't think I could live in a place where it didn't snow. And you're right, I would totally be splashing in every puddle. When it rained when I was a kid, that's what I would do--until my mom called me in when lightning came. I would have preferred to take my chances witht the lightning and play in the rain for longer.

That's great that there is so much funding for the arts over there. It's a shame here when we're in a budget crunch and the first thing to go is the arts, especially when money would be better spent funding arts than whatever project it is going to instead *cough*like building a rock-climbing wall in a perfectly good student recreation center*cough*. And maybe it's my bias, but sciences always seem to get cut back, too (except for, understandably, medical sciences). Ugh, we have our priorities messed up here in the US.
Nov. 18th, 2009 01:12 pm (UTC)
Taking chances with the lightning and playing in the rain for longer. YES !! !! !! !!

I can remember swimming in a pool during a thunderstorm and watching how cool the lightning looked from underwater, all very reflective and over me, under me, all around while I was weightless... Everyone was screaming at me to get out except the instructor, who just calmly said her insurance didn't cover me. As if I cared!

I wish the funding gurus over there could get their butts over here and see how vital it is to get their priorities straight. Arts are just as vital as tracking hares.

Well maybe that goes a bit far, but you get my point, I'm sure :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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