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by Estifanos (age 6), of California, U.S.A.

Yesterday, and last Sunday, I went to the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival at the San Francisco Opera House.  The theatre had golden decorations on the walls, and comfortable cloth seats. We saw eighteen music and dance performances, from: Peru, Hawaii, Cuba, Japan, Philippines, Iran, China, Mexico, India, Spain, Congo, Mozambique, Brazil, and Tahiti.  My favorite dances were the ones from Brazil, Mexico, Tahiti, and the Congo.

The Brazilian dancers (Fogo Na Roupa Performing Company) did a lot of gymnastic jumping and kicking moves.  Their costumes  were very bright, with patterned colors in red and yellow and gold. And there was a kind of parade with a king and queen and a giant umbrella. The music was very loud.

The dances from Mexico (Ballet Folklorico Mexico Danza) were folkloric dances that seemed to tell stories about what it was like in the Mexican Revolution.  The costumes had many, many bright colors, like yellow, blue, red, and green, and they had pretend guns and swords.  Some dancers also had stuffed costumes that looked like pretend horses that they were riding. The part that I liked most about the Mexican dance was the men and women in costumes dancing with big skirts and tuxedo tails.

The Tahitian dance (Te Mana O Te Ra) had a lot of women moving their hips really fast, in circles, around and around, and back and front. They wore yellow grass skirts with black stripes that swayed when they danced. How do they do that?! Imagining it makes me feel dizzy!

The dances from the Congo (Bitezo Bia Kongo) started with drumming. Four men were drumming on hand drums bigger than me, that were hanging between their legs, from shoulder straps. They looked heavy. The drummers even danced while they were drumming! Then, the dancers came out. They jumped a lot, and played other small percussion instruments. They also moved their hips like the Tahitian dancers, only slower. If I could, I would like to learn to drum and dance like the men from the Congo!