Friday, November 18, 2011

Enart festival, day 1

18 November 2011

Tonight is the beginning of a local festival called ENART, which celebrates the local gaúcho (cowboy) history and culture. When Brazilians say "gaúcho", they mean the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, which has evolved its own very distinct culture.  The main focus of the festival is the competition between various chapters of a local historical preservation society, which includes various dances, instrumental and vocal music.   The video on the official website is really beautiful.

In the main hall, I was just in time to see a dance which paired amateur dancers with a group of developmentally disabled adults. They performed beautifully and the audience was very supportive, cheering loudly at the end of the dance.  (Watching this performance I felt a little misty-eyed, remembering the DD adults I used to assist with horseback riding more than twenty years ago, each of whom touched my life in their own special way.)
 The next group was quick and athletic, dancing with ribbons like rhythmic gymnastics.
 There is motion in every picture...
Decided to try some video of the next group to perform and it turned out pretty well, as the camera's automatic light adjustment for videos works great in low light. (Be careful, the sound may be loud!)

I watched for a while, then wandered over to another venue which was smaller and offered a closer view.
You have to imagine the jingling of the spurs with each step.
 Here is one photo without the night flash, which if you peer at it closely enough, will show more details of the traditional costumes.
I like this image.

Since the videos turned out so much better than my photos, I took several more.  (Be careful, the sound may be loud!)

And another crisp image without the night flash.  What a lovely dress.
 Movement in rainbow colors.

A video of the rainbow colored group performing too:

And last but not least, a group in which the gentlemen were wearing a slightly different style of costume.
And my final video.

I'm sure glad I am not a judge of this kind of competition because they all look wonderful to me!  I stayed for a couple of hours tonight, but since the festival will run all day Saturday and Sunday, I decided to call it a night.

With any luck, there will be a little more light in the event halls during the day, as the low light photography is something I have yet to master.

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