Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Can a Mongolian, Bulgarian, Russian-American and a Czech dance together?

I have been taking Bulgarian folk dancing lessons at the language school. Our teacher Rositsa (Dew), is incredibly passionate and knowledgeable. She has studied folk dancing since the age of 5 and brings great skill to her teaching. We went to a folk dancing concert at the National Palace of Culture, which completely blew my mind. The dancing, costumes and music were great. The performers were skilled and the Bulgarian Horo is a fitting dance for the kind of communal lives people in the villages live to this day.
It is the kind of Cultural Capital that cannot be measured in lev or euro.

video
I thought I would show a few steps to our 5-month-old daughter and she picked it right up.

video

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Disarmament

Walking through Borisova Gradina I came upon the Mound of Brotherhood with two freezes on either side.
They looked like standard soviet era sculptures until I noticed a hand seemingly signaling for help between two figures.
I climbed up on the base of the monument and found a woman’s figure hidden behind the rest of the sculptures.
Looking closer at the figures in the sculptural group I saw that they were missing either limbs or weapons.
I assume someone has been hacking them off one by one in the middle of the night to sell them to the recycle yard for a few lev. On the other hand maybe an artist who creates bronze sculpture has found an abundant supply of her favorite material. Or maybe a peace lover who is sickened by all the gun toting decided to disarm the figures to promote his pacifist views.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Borisova Gradina


I have been walking in this beautiful park on my way to Bulgarian language classes. It has an abundance of busts of famous Bulgarians. The busts are in various states of grace or disgrace, based on their political affiliations I suppose.

Hristo Botev


Bulgarian poet and revolutionary

Idiot of Idiots