09 février 2015

Still playing.

                   On January 24th, we had our Annual Fest-Noz. With capital letters. It's a huge and terrifyingly-organized evening centred around Breton music and dancing, it needs so much work put into it that there is only one per year (compared to several per week in every region of mainland France) and it attracts a disproportionate number of people of which about a fifth come from Brittany. This year, it was held in a room which is half covered by roof, half exposed to... [Lire la suite]

10 février 2014

Dancing Nyota

           There's been a folk-dancing workshop for the last few years here. It started the year I arrived in Mayotte, and was under the name of the Bretons de Mayotte association. Now, it's led by a man who has lived all over France, travelled all over Africa, speaks eighteen languages such as Indonesian, Malagasy, Bislama, Dioula, Wolof, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil, Fulfulde and Quechua along with English, French, Italian and Portuguese, and who seems able to do anything from plaiting leaves to make... [Lire la suite]
Posté par calligraphy à 02:07 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , ,
28 octobre 2013

Wedding Dances

         Last Saturday, something rather exceptional happened. The Blue Mango, my music group, is followed around by the Dancing Lizards, who are a group of folk dancers who come to all our concerts to dance. One of these dancers is a Comorian lad called Halidi, nicknamed Tony to make him sound Western. And on last Saturday, he invited us all to his cousin's wedding. Weddings in Mayotte aren't as exclusive as weddings in Europe. Generally, the whole village is invited, and each guest is free to invite... [Lire la suite]
Posté par calligraphy à 03:06 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
23 septembre 2013

National Horse Day.

              Yesterday was National Horse Day. No, I hadn't heard of it before either. The one and only horse-riding club in Mayotte had put balloons up everywhere and was having a field day, showing off its good pupils and taking kids for rides on small ponies. It's quite a big place, actually, with a big paddock and apparently ten horses, of which we saw four. All the kids who were going anywhere near a horse had helmets, jodhpurs, boots and whips, which surprised me for Mayotte. Then again,... [Lire la suite]
Posté par calligraphy à 04:50 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , ,
22 juillet 2013

The Blue Mango Strikes Again

           On Friday, the musicians had a party at one musician's house including all musicians and dancers. I think everyone had a good time, there was certainly a lot of dancing going on. On Saturday, we planted ourselves in the middle of the monthly farmer's market to play together. The reason for these photos and festivities involving the Blue Mango was the departure of Laurence, our violinist, who has finished her 4-year contract and who is now on her way to Angoulême, where she will be a... [Lire la suite]
Posté par calligraphy à 03:58 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
Tags : , , , , , , , , , , ,
10 décembre 2012

Mont Combani

          The day P left, we had a concert planned in the evening at the Gîte du Mont Combani. We were all rather shattered, as we'd all had fairly long days, but we got together in the late afternoon and went up to the gîte together. It's quite a trek, even in the car, because the track is particularly bumpy and muddy. Francis, Laurence and I went together in his car, Franck followed on his motorbike until the chain came off in the bumps, then we made him go ahead to supervise him for a bit. We arrived... [Lire la suite]
Posté par calligraphy à 03:12 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
Tags : , , , , , , , , , , ,

03 décembre 2012

Saying Goodbye to Philippe

            Before P left, we had a party with the music group and the dancers to say goodbye. Every two weeks, the main dancer holds a dance workshop at his home, where anyone who so wishes can turn up and learn a few traditional dancers. Usually, a couple of musicians from the group turn up as well - whoever's available, really, not usually P and I because it's a bit far away. This time, we rescheduled the workshop so that everybody could be there. We played the pieces we felt like playing, rather... [Lire la suite]
Posté par calligraphy à 04:35 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , ,
12 novembre 2012

Dancing on Tanaraki

                     The friends we had over during the holidays were a girl my age and her mother, both of whom we'd met while doing a musical exchange between our Poitiers folk group and theirs, near the Puy du Fou in the Vendée region. So to keep them busy, we decided to take them dancing one morning. At 9 a.m. By 30°C, on a beach called Tanaraki. We met up with Francis and a few dancers on the beach and started playing for them. The dance leader didn't seem to take... [Lire la suite]
Posté par calligraphy à 02:34 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
Tags : , , , , , , , ,
15 octobre 2012

The Second Annual Folk Ball

                           We held our Second Annual Folk Ball in Mamoudzou at the end of September. Good fun, and much better organized than the first time. The first time we tried to do this, there were three different groups : Philippe and I, called "Philem", the group I showed you a while ago, called "Folkylang", and a group composed of various musicians from all areas, called "La Mangue Bleue". We played one after the other, danced quite a bit, but didn't do... [Lire la suite]
Posté par calligraphy à 02:51 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
30 janvier 2012

All Golfed Out

           Last Sunday, P and I were invited to a "Grand Golf Initiation" organized by my new friends the Bretons of Mayotte. As P likes golf, and as I don't, we were asked to bring our instruments and at least play those. We ended up playing both golf and music. First, we learnt to "putt" the ball into small fake holes made of floppy metal cups, then to lob the balls across the green so that the people opposite didn't have to go and fetch theirs, just catch ours as they hurtled... [Lire la suite]
Posté par calligraphy à 13:17 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , ,