Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Little Humpbacked Horse

This is a great DVD of the Russian Ballet:

The Little Humpbacked Horse

The primary role of the Queen-Maiden is danced by Maya Plisetskaya. The music is a refreshing score written in the '50s so it's not so heavily formal as classical music in the 18th or even 19th centuries tended to be. The composer Rodion Shchedrin is Plisetskaya's husband (what a life they must have together !).
The story is based on a Russian Folktale and features a pure, guileless proletarian hero and a bumbling, inept aristocracy. Just the thing for a politically correct '50s era Soviet production. Thankfully, the ballet is un-political and utterly delightful with such novelties as:
a dancing horse (the cute heroine Humpedback Horse),
dancing jellyfish !
dancing anemonies !

Plisetskaya shines in the role of the Maiden-Queen. She, like all great artists, has marvelous technique, but is able to transcend the physical to give us something that we get lost in as we are drawn to it.

Filmed in 1961, the DVD simulates the experience of going to the Ballet in Soviet Russia: starting with reading the performance announcement in the paper, going to the theatre, watching the ballet acts and wandering around the foyer during the intermissions and finishing with the curtain calls...

Nice and recommended !

from Video Artists International: www.vaimusic.com

Monday, June 8, 2009

2 weeks of Fury

Well, I've had this Honda Fury for 2 weeks now and it has been a phenomenal experience. I don't think that the marketeers at Honda in their wildest dreams could have imagined the reception that this machine is getting with the casual public. At practically every location that I park this bike at people are drawn to look at it and more than a small percentage of them want to talk about it. The casual public that I'm referring to isn't restricted to 'motorcycle enthusiasts', the appearance of the bike has touched the psyche of the non-motorcycling public as well. Perhaps the recent spate of 'chopper builder reality shows' has seeded minds with this aesthetic, I don't know, but the effects aesthetic recognition are there.
I have been a long time custom bike chopper fan, but the cost of obtaining one was always beyond what I am willing to pay.. a price of $30 to $40,000 or more is just too much for me to even contemplate. The idea of fabricating one myself holds a lot of appeal, but I don't imagine having the time to engage in a project like that till after I retire (if that ever happens !)..

So, along comes Honda who have decided to produce one. They wisely hired a team of AMERICAN designers who understand the genre very well and let them call the shots when it came to specifying the bike's style. Honda have proceeded to manufacture a mass production 'chopper' at a mass production price that I was willing to pay.

They've hit the mark dead center and as a result people just aren't leaving me alone when I park the thing.