Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend of musical extremes

Chennai is the heartland of Tamilian music culture. (Tamil being an Indian ethnic group, much like the Luo to Kenya.) Or at least, so we've heard. A couple friends and I set out to check out said musical culture for ourselves a few weekends ago. Little did we realize the extremes we would experience.

Friday night, we went to a traditional Tamil dance show. It was pretty amazing. Two dancers, dressed in unbelievably ornate costumes complete with bells on the wrists and ankles, played out a long and intense story. I can't remember the details now, but there were some journeys and some family values and some strife, like any good story.

The visual effects were incredible, and the dancers' facial expressions were especially intriguing (I guess this is a characteristic of traditional Tamil dance). They were accompanied by a cute little band seated cross-legged on the side of the stage playing an assortment of drums and stringed instruments that I couldn't pronounce if I tried.

Saturday night, we went to the other end of the spectrum. A music school called the Unwind Center was hosting its 10th annual "June Rock Out" concert, which happened to be on the way to a party we were attending later in the evening. Turns out it was a day-long festival of amateur rock bands from around the country, playing everything from their own songs to covers of Coldplay, and wearing everything from 80s hair band fros to Iron Maiden t-shirts.

I was one of approximately five females in the audience. My friends and I were undoubtedly the oldest people there. But hey, who complains about a cover of Snow Patrol when they're living in India?

(I had a video to put in here, but it took waaaayy too long to upload.)

All in all, a pretty culture-filled weekend.

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