Monthly Archives: February 2013

Great on the street, great on the stage: artists create a flash mob

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The country I work and live in at the moment is modest in cultural events. Premiers are rare and are usually met with moderate enthusiasm by the public. And it’s a pity, as local artists would probably be the winners of ‘most devoted’ category in an Oscar’s world.537090_265622570238085_1474290529_n

So I wouldn’t have left the flash mob created by local actors unnoticed. Look at these pictures! What do they tell you?… Is it how much colour a person can bring to a dull afternoon in the middle of an apathetic crowd? Or how much devotion artists may demonstrate by going to the public instead of waiting for the public to come to them in one of poorest countries in Europe, where the salary of an actor is about 200 Euro/month and the most expensive theatre entry ticket is about 6 Euro? …

548692_265622603571415_1781967754_nI wish there were interviews with actors and people who witnessed the flash mob to gather its effects. I would have been ecstatic by such a close contact!

These pictures made me pushy on all my local friends urging them to go and see the play. And praise the artists, the play director and the author for persevering with the mission of enriching hearts and souls of an apathetic crowd, which does not know it needs the love and devotion of these humble servants of art perhaps even more than artists need it.

The play is called “Invisible photographs and clowns” by Val Butnaru. It’s the story of a betrayal, disappointment and emotional investment in a profit-free industry (Photos by Aurel Obreja).

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Martha Argerich: when music talks

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I love to talk about non-lady-gaga people of our times. Sorry, Lady Gaga, nothing personal.images

Martha Argerich is one of greatest pianists of the 20th Century. I “met” her at my gym, on the screen of one of those treadmills connected non-stop to Euronews. It was one of her rare interviews. She is charismatic when she talks, with her fingers painting in the air. She is even more charismatic when she plays piano. She seems to become part of the piano. Or is it the piano that becomes part of her? The critic Alex Ross put it best in a 2001 article about Martha Argerich for The New Yorker : “her unerring naturalness of phrasing allows her to embody the music rather than interpret it”.

I wondered what is her native language, as she did the interview for Euronews in German, just to realise a minute later that music is her language.

She was born in 1941 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A cancer survivor, her belief is „music makes sense only when shared’.

Same goes for writing, my take.

Enjoy! Ravel Piano Concerto:

Eat me: Love, Sex and the Art of Eating, by Alexandra Antonioni

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41bOae7AO0L._SL500_AA300_If you are looking for a light week-end or vacation reading this is the book. It’s funny and spiritual. You’ll get rather sensible views on women-men relations. It’s a book with bonuses: it comes with a dozen of fine recipes and titles of melodies to accompany each stage of romance.  So, go get a pen. Or rather not, if it all sounds familiar 🙂 :

The Beginning: magic, attraction, first date, crazy love, seduction dinner, aphrodisiacs, pink cloud, Sunday mornings, room service, mini vacation, indoor picnics, see you after work – bring your tooth brush, food for crazy passion, two simple words, first fight, the beginning of the end.

The Middle: the seventh haven, we get invited, the nick name, friendship for life, domestic happiness?, soul-mates, I hate Mondays, welcome to Lola, La famiglia, home alone, for better and worse, is it true? check it out. Want to impress La Famiglia? They will find you irresistible after a chocolate and raspberry roulade (recipe included in the book).

The End: thunders and lighting, the end is approaching…, one more time, the last dance…, food, superb food, the seven stages of the end, ouch…it hurts…. Cigliege sotto spirit0  (cherries in alcohol) and Survivor by Destiny’s Child are on the suggestions list for this stage.

“All you need is love”, the author’s choice of ending the book, made me repeatedly return for more.

this book might be a surprise gift for non-cooking friends. At first they might look at it with a raised brow. A friend of mine who touched no kitchen ustencil in 30 years, started cooking and baking to everyones, hers included, amazement and delight, after this book landed under her Christmas tree last year with my note “Enjoy it!” Attached to it. I feel her personal life s also about to embark on a delightful journey she will enjoy.

African Laughter by Doris May Lessing

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My “To read all Nobel Prize in Literature” project brought me to Africa, Zimbabwe. Doris Lessing got the Nobel Prize in 2003.51EMG2HNSAL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_

This book was published in 1993. You get to see Zimbabwe through the eyes of one of the finest writers of this century. Doris Lessing was raised there after her family moved to Africa from Iran. Being banned for twenty-five years from her homeland, for her opposition to the government of what was then white Southern Rhodesia, she returns to a country she both knows and wants to get to know.

A combined diary, reportage and memoirs writing style keeps the reader entertained. Which is a must, given its 442 page richness.

If you are interested in development studies and history of the region this is a highly enlightening book. Everything from war, regional dimensions, politics, inter-racial relations, class relations, poverty, economics, agriculture, environment, infrastructure to colonialism, aid, education, local traditions, family and inter-personal relations, love, class and personal attitudes, roles of verandas are illustrated in their entire splendor and decadence.

Back to its title, my favorite part in the book is “And he shook with laughter, the marvelous African laughter born somewhere in the gut, seizing the whole body with good-humoured philosophy”. Made me want to share more good laughs with friends and family. Enjoy reading and laughing!