National Museum of American Indian Celebrates Hawaiian Arts and Culture
Hawaiian arts and culture will be featured May 24-26 at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. during the 2013 Celebrate Hawaii Festival.
This week Hindus around the world celebrated Holi, the Festival of Colors. Holi is a popular springtime celebration observed on the last full moon of the lunar month. Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike as they celebrate the arrival of spring, commemorate Krishna’s pranks, and allow each other a momentary freedom — a chance to drop their inhibitions and simply play and dance. Gathered here are images of this year’s Holi festival from across India.
[Images: AP, Reuters, Getty]
Philly arts fest opens with ‘time travel’ theme
The city’s newest arts festival has returned with a month of music, dance, theater, visual arts and family activities, all loosely based on the topic of time travel.
The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts kicked off Thursday and runs through April 27 at locations around the city.
The theme is “If You Had a Time Machine.” More than 50 events, installations and performances from local, national and international artists are exploring a wide range of questions related to time travel, many looking at historic events in a novel way or imagining what the future will bring.
The festival’s marquee names include Tony Award-winning choreographer and dancer Savion Glover, who is launching the festival’s opening weekend with “Dance Space,” a world premiere he says will take audiences back to the beginning of the universe.
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright will pay homage toJudy Garland’s 1961 Carnegie Hall performance with his show “Prima! Rufus! Judy!” on April 21, while Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer Danilo Perezon April 26 will use multi-instrumental jazz improvisation to commemorate Balboa’s discovery of the Pacific Ocean in 1513.
On April 12, Baltimore-based electronic musician Dan Deacon celebrates the first email, sent by inventor Ray Tomlinson in 1971, with an event that will allow audiences to participate in the performance with their smartphones.
The festival’s core exhibit in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is an imaginary time machine, actually a 100-feet-long corkscrew spiral that visitors can walk through and experience changing sights and sounds. Free performances are happening on most nights around the time machine, from a musical production called “Flash of Time” to a comedy troupe presenting the pitfalls of time travel with a show called “Shut Your Wormhole.”
A group of trapeze artists promise to fulfill the festival’s theme “in honor of the spunky women who first sported the raised hemlines of the 1960s” and will sell tickets for public trapeze lessons nearly every day of the monthlong event.
Also on the schedule are concerts by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philly Pops, as well as smaller musical and theatrical performances inspired by events including the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the first moon landing in 1969, the founding of the Works Progress Administration in 1935, the emancipation of Puerto Rico in 1873 and the birth of Benjamin Britten in 1913.
The event culminates April 27 with a five-block stretch of downtown Broad Street closed to traffic and transformed into a daylong street fair with food vendors, a Ferris wheel, live music and street performers.
The inaugural PIFA festival in 2011, which had a Parisian theme, attracted more than 400,000 visitors over its 25 days of events. The closing street fair was attended by nearly 200,000 people.
Cape Town, South Africa: Revellers take part in the Holi One festival.
The event is inspired by the Hindu Holi spring festival of colour which originated in India
Piornal, Spain: people throw turnips at the folkloric figure of El Jarramplas – a ritual believed to symbolise the expulsion of everything bad – as he makes his way through the streets beating his drum during the Jarramplas festival.
Tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims are now descending on Allahabad, India, joining an estimated 8 million already there for the Maha Kumbh Mela. Held every 12 years at one of four places in India, the Kumbh Mela lasts nearly two months and is considered to be an especially auspicious time to bathe in the holy river for purification from sin. In 2001, the last time the festival took place, more than 40 million people gathered in an area smaller than 20 sq km (7.7 sq mi). This year, the predicted number of visitors tops 100 million. Collected here are images from the preparation and first days of the Maha Kumbh Mela, with possibly more to come in the next few weeks.
Read more. [Images: AP, Getty, Reuters]
Hot colors light up frozen sculptures at the Harbin ice festival
(Photo: Diego Azubel / EPA)
People slide down an ice slide at the 29th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China, on Jan. 6. The annual festival features hundreds of activities related to snow and ice. Picture made available Jan. 7.
India lights up ahead of Diwali festival
(Photo: Piyal Adhikary / EPA)
Buildings decorated with electric lights on the eve of Diwali, the Festival of Light in Calcutta, India, on Nov. 12. During Diwali the entire house is cleaned and new clothes are purchased for the whole family. This is followed by lighting oil lamps around the house and setting off firecrackers.
Moscow hosts 34th International Contemporary Music Festival
On Wednesday, October 31, the 34th International Contemporary Music Festival “Moscow Autumn” opens in the Moscow Composer House. The festival’s motto is “making contemporary music more accessible”.
Outstanding Russian composer Edison Denisov called this festival the most advanced composer event as it has always provided an opportunity for composers working in different styles and different manners to express themselves. In particular, the festival welcomed many Russian avant-garde composers, whose music was successfully performed abroad but almost never played in Russia. It was at this festival where many pieces by Edison Debnisov and other outstanding nonconformist composers such as Alfred Schnitke and Sofia Gubaidulina were performed for the first time. Performing only new compositions has always been the festival’s main principle, Oleg Galakhov, head of the Moscow Composer House, says.
“There is no other festival where only new music is performed. At least there is no other large scale event like this with the same concept. The festival covers all the genres of contemporary music, different styles and methods of music writing. In order to be included in the program of the Moscow autumn festival a music piece must contain elements of a path breaking work, of an onward movement towards unexplored areas of music composition.”
There 235 music pieces in the program of the current festival ranging from symphonic music to jazz, from compositions for the choir and Russian folk instruments to electro-acoustic music and multimedia projects. However this year the festival is focused on opera marking the 100-anniversary since the birth of the outstanding Russia opera director Boris Pokrovsky. The Moscow Chamber Music Theater that he founded is to present a one-month program of contemporary operas. All 40 years of its existence the Chamber Theater has had strong affinity with contemporary music, Oleg Galakhov says.
“More than 50 operas by contemporary composers were staged in that theater though those were mainly Moscow composers, many of whom wrote especially for this theater. But all those productions were just brilliant.”
The history of the “Moscow Autumn” as an international festival began in 1994 when an outstanding French composer of the Greek origin Iannis Xenakis attended the festival. Since then, visits of foreign composers have grown into extended concert programs. This year program includes foreign sets called “Finnish visit” and “Italian visit”. Another long awaited event is the Russian German cross-cultural program in which Russian composers will present their music based on German themes and visa versa.
Fun and Frolic: Montreal First Peoples’ Festival Brings Aboriginals and Non-Natives Together
Drumbeats echoed, dancing filled the Place des Festivals, and children frolicked in the fountains. Once again, Quebec’s summer-festival capital of Montreal was suffused with the colorful sights and rhythmic sounds of aboriginal culture during the first week in August.
(click-through for full story)
Scotland is book-festival capital of world
Scotland has more literature festivals per capita than any other country in the world with more than 400,000 people attending book events in past year, according to research released today.
Bookfestival Scotland, a partnership funded by Creative Scotland and Scottish Borders Council, said the growth of book festivals north of the border was “phenomenal” with events ranging from the prestigious annual Edinburgh International Book Festival, which begins today, to smaller events in Shetland, Islay, Collonsay and the Borders.
Others include St Anza in St Andrews, focusing on poetry, the Scottish International Storytelling Festival and Bloody Scotland, celebrating crime novels. The report, which involved a survey of audiences throughout 2011, showed 424,889 people attended book festivals. There are currently more than 40 established book festivals in Scotland with two more in the planning stages.
(click-through for full story)
Krishna, the eighth of the 10 incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu who is considered the preserver of the universe, is one of Hinduism’s most popular deities and his birth anniversary or Janmashtami is celebrated all over India.
Native American Playwright Festival a great success
“Bringing the Reservation to the stage, by bringing the stage to the Reservation.”
PICTURED ABOVE: An Ayacucho artist painting a horse figurine, one of the many cultural highlights of the Kaypi Perú festival
Kaypi Perú Festival celebrates Peruvian culture
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Embassy of Peru present Kaypi Perú, a festival highlighting the South American nation’s rich and diverse cultural heritage and traditional arts, Wednesday, July 25, through Monday, July 30.
Kaypi Perú ,which means “This is Peru” in the indigenous language of Quechua, includes an art market, music and dance performances, hands-on activities for kids, short films, photo exhibitions of Machu Picchu and the Inka Road, traditional plants, as well as Peruvian Paso horses and alpacas.
(click-through for full story)