May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets’ towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkey’s howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches where storms come and go as lightening clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you---beyond that next turning of the canyon walls. ---Edward Abbey (thanks Trudy Hall)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Contact Dancing in Santiago go go go

January 19—a long travel day started at 5AM.  I kept trying to figure out where cat Brisa sleeps, I slept very lightly.  After many #33 busses stopped to answer my question about going the airport, the correct #33 came and I was off on my first leg to Mendoza. 
Very young baby and Mendoza woman who helped me

I had 5-6 hours in Mendoza before the trip to Santiago, so I caught a bus (“micro” which is a funny name for an enormous city bus) into town with a young mom and 22-day old baby.  I had coffee, browsed the markets and walked around before waiting for the correct #63 bus to go by (after asking about 5 incorrect #63 busses).  About a ½ hour later, bingo!  But 10 minutes before we arrived at the airport, it caught on fire and we all had to get off.  I took a cab the rest of the way.  At the airport, I wanted to get on line, but no one could find the “\” symbol I needed to connect to my EWS email.  
"Garage" means the bus is on fire.  Get off!
LAN.  Please bring my bag!  (3 days!)
Dance Space

The plane was delayed, but not by a whole lot.  Upon arriving in Santiago, my luggage never arrived.  I spent a nice LONG time with the luggage processer, she helped me understand directions to the festival, and then after some time she asked me if I wanted $70 USD.  “Why?” I asked.  In case you need something tonight from missing your luggage: a taxi?  I said that I could buy a blanket to use as a sleeping bag, because I’ll need it to stay warm at night.  I got near the dance place (a funky place with a 2-sided old brick structure and hanging net for 2 walls.  There is a birdcage in the courtyard, classrooms, a small kitchen and bathrooms. 
Live musicians!
The place has mosaics all over and is brightly painted.  It feels good to be there.) with pretty intense hunger, so I stopped for a meal before going in.  They were in the middle of a class, and it was very, very dark.  Of course everyone had to greet me when I arrived; sorry for the distraction!  Fernando was teaching duet unison vowel sounds and then counterpoint.  Cristina asked for me if anyone could take me in for the night since I had nothing to keep me warm. 

Dancing space
Sirena and Family
Don Juanito the cat
A young energetic loving nymph named Sirena (mermaid) took me home.  (I ended up spending the $70 on groceries for the household.)
January 20- 23—Sirena, her sister and a nice cat named “Juanito” (I renamed Don Juano because we really hit it off.) share a place in a gated apartment near the dance festival studio She gave me everything I needed: towel, shampoo,
Wake up in pink PJ's and Bed
dance pants, a card to get me on the bus if I recharge it with pesos.  I realize that I had everything I really needed.  The only thing I missed was my ankle support.  The pack did not arrive the next morning, nor the next, nor the next, but still I felt like I was very well taken care of by Cristina and my new dancing friends.  On this trip I feel like sometimes I open my arms and fall.  Folks are there for support and a dance to assist the descent and send me in another direction.  It’s really beautiful.  …almost magical.  I was thinking about people with absolutely no money or connections and how hard it must be for them.  After phone calls, and back up phone numbers, they finally came and I was reunited with my things.  Meanwhile…
Fernando in the air taught sounding classes

The dancing was great.  I enjoyed watching and taking class and dancing out the lesson.  I let some of the Spanish wash over, and some I took in—right or wrong—and made the best of it.  The people were friendly, earnest and energetic.  Classes were small.  The festival people made some delicious $5 lunches.  There were classes taught by locals too, but I was always off to get a coffee and came back mid-class.  

Very cool house ornament

 Cristina and I spent a lot of time together.  We took the day off to ride bikes into the center of Santiago where we went to get the most delicious peaches I’ve ever had!  I-could-hardly-breathe; they were so flavorful.  Wow.  We saw street musicians, performers, puppeteers, a theater festival site, coffee, sculptures, and an art installation and finally went to a solo performance.  The beginning was my favorite, as we entered in the dark.  It was illegally dark—no exit lights or anything.  J. We were trying to guess if we were in the back rows or the front; in a big space or a smaller room; with actors talking around us or regular audience members; how many were we?  The soloist drew her shadow on paper in various ways.  Very quiet was her dance, and solitary.  Upon exiting, we saw a dancer from the festival who had just seen my friends’ company dance nearby.  Sara and Patrik were in town!  I forgot to get more info, and now I missed them! Augggggh. 
Javiera dancing in recital space
Cristina and I also went to a recital of one of the festival dancers who plays piano.  After the recital, the four of us stayed, and we danced in the little space with his playing.  Santiago is a happening place!  There were other dance festivals and lots of things for people to do in town.
Emanuel and Sirena with Mayan Calendar
Emanuel and Sirena told me what the Mayans thought of me by coordinating my birthdate with their calendar.  I am a galactic little dog.  I need to do a little more research to find out about the galactic part.  They said that “perritos” are faithful and full of love.  Funny: I’m also a “dog” in the Chinese calendar—a yellow one.

Cristina teaching class

January 24-25—I packed up and took everything to Cristina’s wonderful class that ended with a song and looking upside down at everyone with our heads way back lying on the floor.  A quick meal and goodbye (many kisses and hugs in the Chilean way), and Cristina, Sirena and I were off to the metro.  Cristina was my mom—taking me all the way to the bus and making sure I was snug in the first seat, giving me Argentine pesos to buy a coffee with in the airport, feeding me nuts and raisons on the way….   

Sara and Patrik and I found each other in the airport!
Tsveta in the place downtown

My coffee sock

When I checked in, I showed the counter woman both my tickets and asked if my bags could be checked through to Lima, as I won’t need them.  One ticket takes me on the return trip Buenos Aires to Santiago and back, and the other trip is my round the world trip, going from Buenos Aires through Santiago to Lima.  She said maybe I could arrange the ticket so I didn’t have to go to BsAs and back and just go to Lima.  So, yes, I will stay here until tomorrow.  THEN I got on line and started “talking” with dance friends Sara and Patrik whom I could meet now at the airport.  We had a splendid reunion, though I dominated the conversation with travel news and stories.  I was really happy to see them, and then they offered their room for me to stay in that night.  Back I went to midtown where there was an apartment with a small kitchen, huge loft with a big table on one side and a bed on the other.  One of their dancers that I meet by surprise every 4 or so years was there.  Tsveta greeted me in her usual bouncy way and we talked about the dancing she had been seeing.  She showed me the funky and beautiful dance studio space where they rehearsed and taught master classes.  What a coincidence that they were here and leaving in the airport and had this place…. Fantastic! 

Sirena and I went to see PINA in 3-D!

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