Barbasol Waiting in the Wings

I not sure what that red star over towards the east is. Betelgeuse? Maybe no star at all but the planet Mars. Probably I could make a fairly quick ID from one of my star guides or off the internet. But the fact is, that distant point of red light wasn’t so much on my mind as I was unloading my groceries tonight as was its chromatic opposite. Sirius, the dog star, burning bright in a chilly blue tone like a magnesium flare set off on a midnight glacier…on Pluto. I’m getting tired of this cold weather. I had been led to believe it’d be a fairly sunny and warm day. But, dammit, I don’t think it got over 65. And there was this ghastly haze hunkering down over the city all day long. After taking in my purchases from La Fiesta, I walked down the driveway and took my clothes off the line. I hung them up seven hours ago, but they’re still damp, and now cold and clammy. That was when I saw this warm-looking red star. But as I turned away, by gaze crossed Sirius, the antithesis of warmth. Fucking winter!

Earlier this evening I spent some time working with Seme on the dance piece she’s doing for the W-I-P the week after this. She’s got the choreography down solid, but because we want to add an additional level of projected video, there’s still a fair amount of work to do. I need to build a six minute prerecorded video/audio file and put it on a DVD. Much of the information Seme wants are words, in motion, coming up, doing their thing, transitioning into other words, all in accord with her dance movements. She’s suggested some video images as well, and I’ll have to come up with a fun range of short clips that will fit the theme of the piece. For the meeting tonight, I had set up my laptop, projector, and video camera. When I asked if maybe she could give me a bare bones run-through of the piece, she said no problem and did some stretching warm-ups as she told me about her weekend in Dallas with her husband. And then I hit play on the music she’d emailed me and I video-taped as she danced. It’s a cool piece; very much modern dance, but with some elements of hip-hop. I always get a charge out of watching competent people dance. Seeing a beautiful body in motion is something I can’t take my eyes away from. And, because I’m really not that much different than other people, I’m perplexed why there seems so little interest in dance as an art form.

Other than her serious chops when it comes to dancing and choreography, Seme Jatib brings this wonderful open-minded creative optimism. She’s full of great ideas, and when I mutter something about how this or that might be a bit over-ambitious, she just shrugs. Perhaps the idea could be modified…or perhaps the resources needed to make the original vision could actually be wrangled. And, really, if anyone could make these larger things happen, it’d be Seme. She possesses an abundance of charismatic pleasant persuasion. And it’s quite infectious.

Keep your eyes and ears open. Seme. I think she’s going to get some great things done. Let’s hope she calls San Antonio home for some time.

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I spent the morning online reading about Burkina Faso, a landlocked West African country. Back in December–whilst researching that library of African books at the auction house where I temp–I found myself fascinated by regions of the continent which I’d never before given thought. The area where Burkina Faso resides is one of them. Through some serendipitous internet searching I came across FESPACO, an incredible African film festival held every two years in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. It’s being held this year, in March. No way could I make it. I think I need to be there in 2012. This city, in this forgotten and impoverish African country, is a powerhouse of filmmaking. Yes, that’s right. Not only do they honor African films with screening them, but there are some serious and well-respected filmmakers in Burkina Faso. I was watching clips from some of those film via YouTube and Google video. Maybe one day the city of San Antonio (along with the government of Bexar county) will get the message–people come here for the unique culture. What could be a better way to exploit and explicate this culture than through movies?

But, I dunno. America’s seriously fucked. Once I get my passport I might just chuck it all and head off to sub-Saharan Africa. (It’s gotta be warmer there than here.) I hear they love making movies and watching movies, especially if those movies explore their own culture. That’s pretty cool, yeah?

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Here’s a picture I took right after I bought my new camera. I went back in the archive. It looks pretty cool.

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I think I see Barbasol waiting in the wings.

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