Friday, January 16, 2009

Interpretive Dance from the proto-hood (the Ghetto)

Image of a grotesque carved in marble in Venice.Dear Gentle Reader,

Some things have to be seen to be believed.

Like the image in the title shot.

Do you have any idea why this Venetian carving looks the way he does? 

Would you believe your humble scribe if he tells you that he thinks this might be a realistic carving, and not a fanciful grotesque?

What if he told you that there was a sewage drain underneath...

And anyone unfortunate enough to stand there for a photo, or for a painting, or a carving would end up looking like this...

Image of a normally superhumanly handsome man, posing underneath a carved grotesque, in marble, in Venice.

Likely or not?

Which brings up the issue of how difficult it is sometimes to show the observer everything through the limited realm of photographs. 

Sometimes photos are out of focus. Or they do not focus on the whole field of vision. Or their field of vision is too small. Or there are simply too few photos.

Which brings me to interpretive dance.

How I wish that someone else knew how to use the video portion of the point-and-shoot besides your wonderfully talented, humble, scribe.

This was the great interpretive dance piece of 2008.

I fear that most people missed it.

It may be hard to make out what it meant when you only have fragmentary glimpses of this monumental oeuvre.

It spoke of longing.

And desire. 

Of fears.

And hopes....

First image of a phenomenally handsome and elegant scribe dancing in Venice.Second image of a phenomenally handsome and elegant scribe dancing in Venice.Third image of a phenomenally handsome and elegant scribe dancing in Venice.Fourth image of a phenomenally handsome and elegant scribe dancing in Venice.Fifth image of a phenomenally handsome and elegant scribe dancing in Venice.Sixth image of a phenomenally handsome and elegant scribe dancing in Venice.Seventh image of a phenomenally handsome and elegant scribe dancing in Venice.Eighth image of a phenomenally handsome and elegant scribe dancing in Venice.

This dance, interpreted, said.... 

"These pants might not have holes, but I am cold."

"I want a hot chocolate. Venetian style."

"If we do not stop for one, I will continue doing this."

"I am a lawyer. Nothing will embarrass me."

"Oooh. This guide map says that this is the oldest Jewish ghetto in Europe.... True, the word ghetto was derived from the abandoned foundry that was previously here, in the Cannaregio region of Venice, and given to the Ashkenazi and Italian Jews in 1516. True, this area was called 'Ghetto', or, actually 'Gheto' as a result of the Italian word 'gettare' which means casting, which is what you do with the metal in a foundry. But this was not the first place or time in Europe where Jews were sequestered... It is simply where the name 'ghetto' originates from...which is etymologically cool, but not what the map implies. Where is truth in tourism?"

(Visual-dance-to-word transcriber's notes...the above section of interpretive dance was a particularly impressive series of steps, hops, combined routines, and superspins. Whirling dervishes couldn't beat this man... cameras could not adequately capture it either...)

"My blood sugar level is dropping. I am getting grumpy. Fabulous Venetian Hot Chocolate (that you eat with a spoon! A SPOON!) Now!"


And thus ended the dance.

Beautiful, no? 

And humbling for the professional dancers in the blogosphere, too.

Some people have it all. (Those lucky scribes. And modest, too.)


And what did your humble scribe receive at the end of his impassioned interpretive dance session? 

A threat of rabies shots.


And a kosher cappuccino. (This was the Jewish district, the Gheto...)




Who was that German Museum Director (Directorin?) who was so oblivious to the dance of the century occurring right beside her? How can anyone have a background in the history of modern art and dismiss this great body of work? (And that great body too...) ...


jjdebenedictis said...

Hee! This is a particularly great post--I loved the dance! How could anyone deny you a hot chocolate after that?

(You need a spoon for it? Really? Venice is heaven, apparently.)

Sepiru Chris said...

Heya OxyJen,

Yes, you really need a spoon for it. And the spoon stands up.

No kidding.

And I have still not produced any brilliant haiku to share on your site. Which I really want to do.

And I still have a package that has been meant to wing its way to your place for two years now, and counting...

Bad scribe.



In fairness to the two museum directors, the gourmet, and the Heroine, whom your scribe was traveling with, I probably could have had hot chocolate, but who knew what kosher cappuccino would taste like? Further, the Jewish history bookstore/café was prepared to serve it to me after 11am (how un-Italian)... So I had to try it.

I would have been better off with the hot chocolate, though. And a spoon...

Heidelweiss said...

I'm laughing so hard. Did the heroine take those pictures? She should be given an award for not running away!

Sepiru Chris said...

Hello Heidelweiss,


She did.

She should?


What else is left to say?


Cloudia said...

You are a wonderously delightful goof! aloha goofGuy!

Sepiru Chris said...

Dear Cloudia,

It has long been claimed that what you say is true. At least the noun. Your adjectives are welcomed gladly. (Hooray for adjectives!)

I still claim that I was simply trying to give Fatboy Slim a run for his dancing money.


Junosmom said...

Amazing that the people around you do not seem to be reacting to your dance. Is crazy dancing common there?

Sepiru Chris said...

Dear Junosmom,

The first part of your comment resonates deeply with me. I fear the sympathetic vibrations may bring down the sky, they resonate so well.

The second part of your comment; totally incomprehensible.

Where is the crazy dance? I see only grace and elegance in action...

I might, of course, be biased.

As to what the locals thought?

Not a clue.

Possibly they were wondering when Mikhail Baryshnikov had come to town, and what he had taken to regain the splendour of youth...


Barbara Martin said...

I noticed no one in the background were paying any attention to you. Wise choice on their parts.

Been years and years since I've been to Venice.

Junosmom said...

Ah, yes, Chris, I see it now, but do you see a man reading a book without looking up. You are right - you are like a swan.

Sepiru Chris said...

Hello Barbara and Junosmom,

Those people are not actually locals. They are part of the entourage.

They are two German museum directors (who will remain nameless) and a Gevevois gourmet (Fab) who came to spend New Years with us in Venice.

Fab was brave enough to be unconcerned by the spiders of the apocalypse in Hong Kong. Likely nothing fazes her, except maybe the current financial malaise.

So, presumably through prior contact, they are used to, or even inured to, my antics.

And, Junosmom, better a swan than an ugly duckling, although I strongly suspect that you were making that allusion in reverse...

You are back.

*I am so pleased.*