Tuesday, September 09, 2008

WALES, UK in photos!

We always appreciate and never take for granted somebody picking us up at the airport. But in Wales it was exceptional: Carmarthen theatre, where we were to perform that very evening has send his driver to Bristol ( it means, 2-3 hours car ride). Huw turned out to be much more than a driver. Not only is he in charge of three wanderful theatres in Wales, but also loves and knows a great deal about his land. AND WELSH! This is what I owe to Huw:
Thank you very much- Diolch yn fawr
Happy birthday- Penblwydd hapus
Marry Christmas- Nadolyg Llawen
Happy new year- Blwyddyn nedydd dda
How are you- Siwd I ti?
Lots of love- Llawr o gariad
Do you want tea/whiskey Wyt ti eistau te
What for food?- Beth sy am bwyd?
Whats the time? Beth yw’r amser?
Please- Os gwelwch yn dda
Longing, nostalgia HIRAETH

Everything in Wales, from the road signs to the electicity bills, is in two languages: English and Welsh. For those who are not linguistically minded, Welsh is not a version or a dialect of English, but it is a celtic language that you would not recognize a single word!

Our base and `our Welsh home` is Kidwelly, and old, charming town with its normal castle. When I saw the sign I had it clear: Gydweli it s a witchy town! Our hostess and Alma Mater of tango in Swanse matches with the town. But NOT THE WELSH WEATHER! Adriana could supply her inexhaustable energy to a whole county. Our first day was intense, but increadiby well organized. Well, it has not been for our super driver Huw, we would not have managed to make it from Bristol to Kidwelly, would not have had installed in Stephen`s Park Drive House, would not have eaten our first meal in Wales, not mentioning our siesta and would not have got to Carmarthen theatre by 6 pm. at 7 pm our programme began. Theatre window displays depicted multiplied A&V poster. Us, filling the 2 hour programme in the oldest town and renouned theatre in Wales???Here we go- the stage was ours, the public wanderful and eager to get their tango share, and our tiredness absolutely gone.Adriana, a profesional and a perfectionist, even arraged for the spotlight following us.But I will not ponder upon our so called glory in a theatre. It was a theatre, lovely and old. Not our first time. As about the fame, we never give a credit to it. We just dance our dance of life! But the next days venu WAS REALLY SOMETHING. UNBELIEVABLE. UNFORGETTABLE. SIMPLY MAGICAL. IT WAS A.................. CHURCH! OUR DREAMS OF DANCING TANGO IN A CHURCH CAME TRUE!It was a stone churche with old graves around. WOW!Not just a beautiful church with its stunning stained glass windows. THE FLOOR WAS A TANGO DANCER`s DREAM. ABSOLUTELY PERFECT WOODEN FLOOR! It`s really too much, un unexpected gift from Welsh. They could envy this dancing floor in big tango capitals of the world-Berlin, Istanbul, Paris.... We GOT IT IN SWANSEA, WALES! The surprises kept coming up. The friday Tango evening with our illustrated talk on Argentinean tango, our show and a demonstration class closed with ... Adriana putting ¨The Lord`s prayer"for us to dance to. We are in a church. In front of the altar. There comes the choral music. IT WAS A HIGHLY SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE and even though we have never danced it, I felt this music DANCED US! Thanks Adriana for challanging us like that! You had the best of Victor' s tango for that! But it was not the end of it... Aisha & Victor had to pass the test of TANGO VERSUS CELTIC MUSIC!TO the live music we danced absolutely moving celtic tunes:
1 La Botellita de Flaco Jimenez
2 Marche du Noce- from Brittany
3 Soir de pluie from Alstone S. Bessiere
It was also Adriana´s idea that the marriage of Celtic music with tango should WORK!
She got a hug making her look like a blissful cat... Some of the classes and workshops were carried in a church. I absolutely agree with a vicar, that GOD APROVES OF DANCING. And church makes the best dancing place.Swansea HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SWANS and the SEA. But I found them there, and I like to think it does.
Swansea waterfront is a most nostalgic, melancholic place I have seen. The wind is singing a tango, by all means!
However, our Wales`s favorite were the green hills with its patchwork, and a dramatic costline. This is what Argentina cannot claim: a beautiful costline. Cliffs and the sea. Green hills disappearing into the sea.

But the beaches are not made to lay down and sunbathe. It s a delight for the eyes, but on a day like that it blows your head away. The best way to admire the costline is... from the car window. We treasure those memories and contrasts ( with previous spot-Ibiza, with Argentina) and we thank Fanny for taking us for a special ride. On a misty, moisty morning, when clowdy was the weather....

This green Welsh landscape is drmatized with castles, or its ruins, most of them remoting to Norman times. "If you like the norman opression times, you` ll like the normal castles", our Welsh guide told us. We definitely LOVED THE CASTLE!

Dream for the next year: dancin in, or with the backgroud of this mysterious, melancolic place. It would make it perfect for tango! Well, we now know, we should be carefull expressing our wishes- THEY USUALLY COME TRUE! Fanny told us she had her accordeon concert combined with picknic in the yeard of one of the castles. Knowing the Dutch and Celtic powers of our Adriana, we have no doubt we can combine music, tango and a good fiesta with our Welsh students and friends. IN A NORMAN CASTLE!That`s a view on the Farryside, taken during our ride with Fanny. Wales has shown us her other face on that day. Fog, wind and a drizzle. Only for the visit of Kidwelly castle it brighted up for a while. We appreciate that experience! It`s ideal for the cosy evening in somebody s kitchen playing and listening to the music, dancing, chatting, eating Welsh cakes, drinking whiskey. The magical evening at Fanny`s castle. The pictures of the next blog`s chapter tell the story themselves.

Here goes a little gift from Heather, anxious to show us the beauty of the coast around Mumbles. The cold beauty though.

The cold weather is only triggering the volcanic warmth of Welsh people. We have totally charged our batteries and our luggages with plenty of wanderful memories, unforgettable experiences and faces of our new friends.

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