Dance & Shoes or Dancin’ Shoes

I love to dance and I love shoes, so this Louis Vuitton video is right up my (tango) alley!

Here’s to happy feet!

(Louis Vuitton is at 2, Avenue du Suede in Nice)

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Le Square Dancing (Country)

It’s been years since I’ve seen or even thought about square dancing, although I do love to dance.  So,  I was very curious to see a local town’s square dance demonstation, fully aware that country dancing is very popular in France.

The first thing I noticed was that the dancers were all ages, not just middle-aged, making up about 8-10 foursomes. And, the caller sang all the group dance moves and was decidedly did not a French accent. As I listened to calls of “promenade,” “a la main left” and “dos-a-dos” I became even more curious about the history and “language” of square dancing – maybe it is French after all!

A square dance is a dance for four couples (eight dancers) arranged in a square, with one couple on each side, facing the middle of the square. Square dances were first documented in 17th century England but were also quite common in France and throughout Europe. They came to North America with the European settlers and have undergone considerable development there. In some countries and regions, through preservation and repetition, square dances have attained the status of a folk dance.

The Western American square dance may be the most widely known form worldwide except dances from China and India, possibly due to its association in the 20th century with the romanticized image of the American cowboy. Square dancing is, therefore, strongly associated with the United States of America. Nineteen US states have designated it as their official state dance.

Calls/Language:  From Allemande German, originally from Latin allemanus, + Left NOT “a la main” (so much for that theory!)

Are there any other differences in the videos – French vs. American square dancing?

AMERICAN:

FRENCH:

May Day – Celebration in a Medieval Village

This year’s Fête du Travail (Labor Day) was extra special for two reasons:

  • the local Cercle des Amis was celebrating their 140 year birthday, known for playing “boules carrés”   (video link)
  • the main village square’s six-month long renovation had just been completed & in the nick of time!

Flowers were proudly displayed throughout the village, as people (and the local mayor) partied and danced in the (medieval) streets!

Festival:

Village Square Before (2 smaller photos), During,  & After:

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See Fête du Travail 2012 here

The Electric Slide – The French Way !

If you know how to do the line dance, The Electric Slide, then you already have 99% of the French version of this dance under your belt feet – of course, the French one has to be a little different, n’est-ce pas?

The French version is called the “Le Madison” and is an in-line dance, with its signature song,as well, and was popular in the 1960’s; however, it is still danced at weddings and social events.  I recently attended a “diner dansant” (dinner and dancing event) and filmed a group of French people doing this dance.  The difference between the two dances isn’t much – can you tell the difference(s)?

Fairies of the Forest: A Royal Ballet

Seeing that the Le Ballet des Fees de la Foret de Saint-Germain was being held at the Versailles Royal Opera during my recent trip to the area, I thought it might be fun to attend and watch a little classic ballet (read Baryshnikov).  I love baroque style decor, and this is the place where Queen Marie Antoinette performed – I was very excited!

The Opera was dimly lit and bigger than I imagined, although not huge, as I was escorted to my ground floor seat.

Stage curtain

The orchestra music began, with works right out of the time of Louis XIV and Molière, and I felt transported back in time.  The cast acted out a theatrical play, including Cirque de Soleil-type acrobatics and entertaining feats. What an absolutely delightful surprise – it was so well done and truly entertaining! (videos below)

Video clips:


CASSE-NOISETTE (The Nutcracker)

CASSE-NOISETTEThe ultimate Christmas must-see. This breathtaking ballet performed by St. Petersburg Ballet company will certainly get you into the Christmas spirit.

December 4th at 8.30pm

Nice Acropolis

Entry fee: 40 – 57 euros

Photo credit: http://www.nice-acropolis.com

Source:  Riviera Times

Tango Festival: Concert-Spectacle-Danse

Photo: Tourism Office

See my previous post for the setting for this event, as part of the “Côte d’Azur Festival International.” The orchestra was “Tango Spleen”, with professional dancers from Argentina, Jose Manrique & Natalia Pombo and Alejandra Zavala & Carlos.

The show went on for about 90 minutes: music, dancing, and singing. The band members were from Italy and Argentina. Especially entertaining was the piano player, who was very animated and dynamic. Enjoy the video snippets below of the concert and of the dancers: