Monday, April 2, 2007

The carnival is over

The mad month of cultural stuff in Adelaide has sadly come to a close.

It all started in the beginning of March when WOMAD set up shop, bringing lovely and talented folk from all over the world to entertain and enthrall. The highlight for me was Yasmin Levy, an Israeli singer of Ladino, a Judeo-Spanish form that dates from the 15th cenury. It sounds much like flamenco - very emotive and beautiful. Other tasty aural morsels were provided by: The Gotan Project, Mahotella Queens, Lila Downs, Augie March and the Fado singer, Mariza.

Yasmin Levy

Huun-Huur tu - throat singers from Tuva, Russia, near Mongolia

Lila Downs jamming with legendary jazz drummer Bill Cobham

The only bad thing was the Hades-like heat on the Saturday. It was 40 degrees plus in the shade -and the shade was rapidly claimed and guarded by the quicker hippies. This, combined with a 2 year old drought, northerly winds and the stampeding feet of 80,000 people, whipped up a dusty tempest leaving thousands coughing and reaching for their tissues. Next year I’m going to set up a stall to sell face masks and anti-histamines.

At the same time, the first annual Adelaide Fringe began. Annoying timing really – there aren’t enough Adelaideans to go around to keep two big festivals ticking along at the same time. However, as the dust settled on WOMAD, the Fringe picked up and, according to the organizers, became a big success. The highlight for me were those high-kicking, ceiling-dangling, contorting Burlesque girls from La La Parlour with a reprise of their ever-popular Tarnished show.

However, Adelaide will now revert to a city of tumble-weeds and serial killers until the Cabaret Festival reaches our shores in June.

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