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January 16, 2006

Dance Linkage

Via my friend Lynette from London, Trooping drag ballet in Iraq. As she succinctly put it, "No, really."

I'm also going to drop in here an article from the UK periodical Prospect that she emailed me months ago and I've been meaning to read more carefully to discuss but before it can no longer be read for free on the site, I'll link to it. The magazine looks erudite and wildly eclectic; this article is by Michael Coveney on the current marginalisation of theater criticism in England. He drops a few bombshells in there.

If you haven't been to Marc Haegeman's For Ballet Lovers Only, drop by. The most recent photo gallery, Light, Colour and Movement is just lovely. I knew Marc first via his photos (and his appreciation for Belgian beer coupled with a loathing of his native cuisine), but he also does interviews and reviews specializing in Russian ballet. A good reason for me to pump him for all he knows before I go.

My favorite story involving Marc and myself is only tangentially about either of us. Marc, his friend Viviane and I were all walking towards the train station in Bruges on a beautiful night about two years ago. A couple came past us on a tree-lined path, speaking in what sounded like a Hispanic tongue to me. I turned to Marc and asked him what language they were speaking. He stopped to listen for a while, then said it was certainly none he knew - he is a native Flemish speaker and is fluent in several other languages. Viviane burst out laughing, and then said what they were saying to Marc in Flemish. "They're speaking Flemish, but it's the local dialect and you can't understand them!" Marc lives in the next large city only about half an hour's drive away. This story wouldn't surpise anyone from England, where accents can change in a few miles, but it takes a lot more distance for that to happen in the U.S.

Posted by Leigh Witchel at January 16, 2006 8:03 PM

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