The reception for New Hope: In Character was Friday night at the New Hope Arts Center and we had a large and very responsive crowd. Besides the local luminaries, many…
We’ve caught a bit of a weather break in Lijiang, in western China. What a beautiful area this is! In the foothills of the Himalayas, it’s one of the gateways to Tibet, and it’s being promoted heavily as a destination for Chinese tourists by their government.
Here, the lives of acceptable ethnic minorities like the Naxi and the Mosos are celebrated (as opposed to the minority in the T-word country, which as you know, is not being celebrated).
Yes, tourism is king here. I used to joke with my brother Gary, a writer with whom I’ve worked on countless stories, that if we had a nickle for every hotel folklore show we’ve sat through, we’d be millionaires.
But as jaded as I am in that department, nothing prepared me for the 500-man spectacular show called Lijiang Experience. It is the mother of all folkloric shows, and was directed by the same gentlemen who directed the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics.
Gadzooks! I knew I was being fed a company line on the way all minorities get along together, but just like the Coca Cola Disney (thanks to reader Peter for pointing out the error in sponsorship attribution) “It’s a Small World After All” exhibit did at the New York World’s Fair in the early ’60’s, this show just captivated me. What can I say?
Sometimes, despite the 45-or-so years that has passed since I saw “It’s a Small World” out in Queens, spectacular visuals still sway me and help me overlook glaring script inaccuracies. I guess that’s why I’m a shooter and not a writer!
But, despite the slickly-packaged tourism product available in Lijiang, we did manage to capture some slices of real life, including photographing a couple Dongbas, or holy men, doing their thing. To see a few of them, plus a few more of the show pix, hit the jump.
It was the second aborted landing that really put my heart in my throat. In the best of conditions, landing at the short strip of Paro Airport, the only airport…
Cold, fog, and rain greeted us in Jordan, but the atmosphere was warm and welcoming at dinner the first evening. These musicians did a lot to warm up the reception when they broke into a traditional dance, complete with flourishing cutlasses (I’m glad they liked us).
The next day, though, was clear and sunny and most of our group headed off to the magnificent Petra. Having seen it before, I opted to go out to Wadi Rum.
Wadi Rum looks for all the world like the Cathedral Valley in Capitol Reef National Park in southern Utah…..except that it has camels and bedouins. like these guys below, serenading us with music and song in their tent while we took a break from the midday sun.
For a couple more pix and a quick discussion of the flash technique for the top picture, hit the jump. (more…)
Greetings from Jordan! Where the weather is wet and foggy and internet is GLACIAL. I'm just preparing a blog entry about our visit to Egypt and the remote Siwa Oasis,…