Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Everyone would like to learn dancing but when it comes to people like me (with two left feet) it’s a difficult task.  
Attended the workshop for Salsa (conducted by Justine’s Dance Academy) and I decided to be behind the camera to catch the action.

As mentioned in the previous blog, the workshop was organised by the Art Hop (in association with Pune Mirror)

By the time I reached the location, Rajesh (the guy who was conducting the class) was already on the floor with an appreciable number of ‘students’ eager to learn the Salsa.

The twists and turns were a bit difficult for the new comers but I saw that they took it in their stride.

I picked up some words that are used in Salsa like when you say “Dame” it means you switch over to the next follower.

I heard Rajesh say that in salsa there is a leader and a follower.

The music was fast paced and the rhythm was perfect.

Basically it was fun and that made the whole thing light and easy. I think if you have a look at the video you will understand what I am trying to say.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Odissi Dance recital

Had been for the Art Hop in Pune yesterday.  Been reading about it for some time in Pune Mirror and I thought I should take a look.
To visit 30 workshops in 14 locations is a challenge and I am sure none could have visited all the location in a day.  I managed to have a glimpse of most of them and if anyone asks me “What did you like the best?” I would say The Odissi dance at Oakwood Senses.

It was really mesmerising. I thought I would click some pictures along with some video clips (for my blog) and move on to the next location, but once the performance started I just let it roll and finally captured all the recitals that they had to offer.

I liked the way they went about it with one young lady explaining the meaning of the dance recital

and another dancer enacting what was being said.

Then came the actual performance by Ms Aparna and Ms Varda.

The stamping of the feet and striking a pose is clearly visible in the video  which is the special characteristic of this dance (known as the Bhangas -stance)  It was a pleasure to watch their synchronised movement.

The applause at the end of each recital was not as loud as it should be, probably because of the thin crowd (due to the distribution of people over many locations) added to the fact that many were holding a camera (like me) 
Was not very happy with the lighting, but then the light engineer had to show his "skills" I suppose.

At the end of the performance it was nice to see the audience come over and congratulate the duo.

In the morning I saw the same group practice and give a demonstration at the Oakwood Bistro

Am attaching the videos that I compiled on them. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Keukenhof III

A mention should be made about the dedicated bus (route No 858) which runs from Schiphol station to the garden.

In fact it is easy for any tourist to find their way to the place as there are proper sign boards everywhere (like this one at the Schiphol railway station)

As you approach Keukenhof, the roads too have a dash of tulip colours.

The tickets are reasonably priced at 23 Euros which includes the to and fro trip + entry to the Garden. (a distance of 22 kms one way)

The fountain that you see when you enter the main gate:

These young Dutch ladies, dressed in their traditional dress were willing to be photographed with the tourists.

Further down there is this big enclosure (something like a greenhouse) with varieties of Tulips. It is named as Willem Alexander.  I must confess that I could click only about 30 % of the flowers in it, and what I am putting up here is only about 3% of the 30%

Oranje Nassau is another enclosure where you get to see some of the indoor flower arrangements.

Its interesting to observe some of them done artistically like this one with twigs tied together:

Time for some more flowers from Willem Alexander:

 I spend the whole day at Koekenof and must admit that a day is not enough to see the entire garden and all that they had to offer.

                           Tulipa Mutant Holland queen

On my way out at the entrance, I noticed that people were still lined up to get in. I really pity them as they were going to miss out a lot as sunset was not far off.

Before I sign off from this post can you guess what is in that canopy in the picture below?  
While you keep guessing I will start writing for the next post - Keukenhof – IV

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Keukenhof II

Within Keukenhof garden there is a small farm house. A good way to get children (and adults) familiar with the farm animals. The animals are very docile and don’t mind the kids petting them. In fact the zoo itself is called “petting zoo”

A glimpse of the Dutch Cheese over here - and you can buy them too.

Some artistic arrangements with the same theme. An used tyre from one of the farms as the flower pot.

We have a pair of clogs and it has found its place in our  loft, but now after wifey sees this flower arrangement I know that pair is going to see the daylight (in our garden)

In fact its how you place the flowers and where you place them that makes the difference.

OK, as it is Keukenhof, it is time for you to see some flowers:

I like these tricycles placed at strategic places for the sale of the ice cream.

Landscaping is an art and I was fortunate enough to get some good photographs of them as I happened to be at this part of the garden in the evening which created those long shadows:

OK its time for some more flowers:

I grabbed a bite from the cafeteria and proceeded with the exploring. I should not call it a cafeteria as it was a full-fledged eating place, better than a high class restaurant.

At the entrance of Orange Nassau there is a huge Classified list and international register of Tulip names. I clicked this picture at an angle by which the names look tiny but the Indian Actress Aishwarya’s name is on the top line (its alphabetically listed)

Those who are interested in the history of the flower, there is the Historical Garden 

For those who are not interested in smelling the flowers – a chess board to while away the time – king size.

Time for more flowers:

Tulipa 'Roze Leen'

Tulipa 'Yellow springgreen'

I think all are getting an overdose of flowers . . . .  . . . so we continue in the next post - Keukenhof part 3 

 The earlier post had a mention about the Windmill at Keukenhof.