Small town…big culture!
One of the wonderful things about living in a university town is the cultural exchange that takes place. I posted early this week so have had some extra time to work on a few other photos and also spend some extra time with my daughter. My daughter is a dancer. Seven classes a week. So through her interest in dance and my interest in her, I have been exposed this past week to Pao Bhangra, the annual Indian dance festival at Cornell.
This is three hours of high energy traditional Indian dance performed by teams of dancers from Cornell, NYU, VCU, Northwestern, GWU, Columbia, and SUNY Geneseo.
The dance is beautiful, inspiring, sometimes acrobatic, great fun to watch. Each number lasts ten to fifteen minutes and is a testament to the physical stamina of these performers, yet you can see from their faces that they totally enjoy this expression of music, movement, and traditional culture.
This program draws over two thousand attendees every year and for a small town, is a fantastic view of art from the other side of the planet.
Then within the same week I had the privilege of attending Cornell’s annual Native American Pow Wow and Smoke Dance Competition. People from regional tribes come every year to meet, celebrate, and dance.
There is traditional food served, vendors selling crafts and jewelery and musical instruments. Flute playing and drumming, singing, and of course, lots of dancing by performers in fantastic costumes of feathers and ribbons and bead work. Traditional dances are performed honoring veterans and women and the Creator.
Audience members are encouraged to join in and dance as well. It’s meant to be a social gathering after all. It’s an inspiring weekend of Native American culture and beauty.
We are so lucky and honored to be presented with these wonderful opportunities on such a regular basis. Ithaca is a big city atmosphere with small town charm. A center of spiritual energy and natural beauty. It’s home.
All images are copyright © George Cannon / All rights reserved.