Sunday, May 17, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

Yesterday morning I took the subway downtown to Union Square, planning on finding some beautiful fresh asparagus at the Farmers Market.

What a fabulous surprise to discover the arrival of ... the Dance Parade!  I'd no idea that such a special event was taking place.  I'm glad that I had my little camera with me and am now able to share some of the Parade with you all.  You must imagine the music.


This was the first float of the parade.  I realized that my asparagus mission would have to wait.


Lots of skilled drummers kept the beat.  Beautiful costumes from many parts of the world were in motion.


You all can see that parts of these blocks of Union Square West are paved smoothly and some are cobbledy irregular.  This was a challenge for some dancers' foot gear and also for some portable sound systems, but everything was fine.


A quick shower and the the sun came out again.


Parade observers kept smiling and did their own little subdued dancing as the procession continued.


Many Central American dance groups performed.


It was not always very easy to take photographs that would actually convey the dancing.


The famous choreographer Paul Taylor's dance school's students danced their way downtown.


It was fun to see the reactions of children watching the children dancing in the Parade.  Perhaps those watchers will be in next year's Parade.


Also fun to compare the fashion on the sidelines to that of the dancers.


These young senoritas heels are about to encounter cobblestones.


Can you all see the bells on his boots?


 Many professional photographers were covering the Parade.


Pretty parasols.  I cannot remember what sort of dance these folks were doing.


Nor these.


The costumes are lovely, and you can see a bit of NYC architecture, too.


Lots of red was part of the event.


Fabulous hats!


Plenty of precision along with sparkling face paint.


Every so often there would be a longish break between the performing units, and I took advantage of a pause, to find my asparagus.


Lots of sweet lilacs were also available.


Cheery geraniums brightened this stand.  I found my asparagus and some apples, and hearing more music, returned to the Parade.


Beautifully graceful silk clad ladies, dancing along to the beat of some fabulous drummers.


Many of the performing units made use of very amplified sound systems, but I truly preferred the natural drums.


Tutus and tiaras in motion.


Lovely.


Funky on wheels.


Uncle Sam.


This is not the only hula hoop I saw.


I loved the wit of these tee shirts worn by folks who'd volunteered as Dance Police to complement the numbers of actual NYC Police on duty in their usual blue uniforms.  The Dance Police were there to keep the dancers moving along at a steady pace, in line with the official hours of the parade permit granted by the city.


Balloons overhead signalled a party on its way downtown.


Get in the groove.


Smiles all around!


Don't stop!


And then, a quick tempo change as the American Swiss Ballet arrived.


More young dancers.  Many of these dance school groups included dance teachers who were helping to direct the young folks in their moves.


And then another tempo arrived on the scene.


The heat of the day was having a wilting effect on some of the gentlemen wearing these elaborate outfits.  Carrying the hats was more comfortable, and lots of bottled water was being swallowed.


The young ladies are still wearing their hats.


Here's a close up view of the intricate hairstyles worn by many dancers.


Hats off!


Ahhh, Brasil has arrived!


Golden samba reigns!


There is no way to capture this joy in a still photograph.


More joy!


With feathers.


Please take a bow, gentlemen.  You are the heart of the samba.


Brasil was followed by a complete change of mood.


Celtic dancers in black t-shirts and kilts.


The Dance Police had asked these folks pick up their pace, which they did with style and grace.


I was standing just behind two NYC Police officers when this group came dancing by, and do not remember what sort of dancing they were doing.


I took another detour back into the farmers market, and saw more flowers.


It was difficult not to take some of these lilacs home.


It's also nasturtium season.


This fellow was considering ranunculas.  I am not sure what sort of flowers were already in his backpack.


I returned to parade side in time to see more dancing children.  The pretty little girl in the purple t-shirt to my right was truly enjoying the parade, applauding her favorites.  Her little brother seemed less interested.


Those blue boots are amazing.


Here's a close up view of costume details.


I am hoping that you all are not getting weary.  There is still a bit more Parade to come.


Another hoop, and neon hues.


The lady with the pink headband and Red Nose Day nose was performing for the little girl in the purple t-shirt.


These dancers were great fun.


I am guessing that it was unusual for them to be doing their dancing in sunlight.


The destination of the Dance Parade was Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, where a huge dance party would take place.


Everyone was invited.


Everyone!


Keep dancing!


Don't stop.


What a great atmosphere.


Here's a magic blue bus.



Another youngster, with a bit of a scary friend.


Blue bus was followed by pink bus.


And more dancers.


Driver of the pink bus.


Mascot at the back of that bus.


Lots of folks my age dancing on this float.  Some were barefoot.


And then another mood change, with the arrival of this color-coordinated precision dance group being directed in their steps.


No direction needed for this lady.


This group had been rehearsing for ages.


More gorgeous textile work on display, along with the fine dancing.


Swirly skirts filling the space.


No, it's not John Cleese.  This fellow was able to do very, very high kicks while making his way down the street.  My camera clicks were never quick enough to catch the full elevation.


Just dancing along with the breeze.


Almost there.


Almost.


We gave a final round of applause as the final group of dancers passed by us.


And those of us on the sidelines, still smiling, agreed that we'd had a fabulous time, and that we'd be back next year.

Thank you all for joining me at the 2015 Dance Parade.  Wasn't it fun to see these city views!