Thursday, 25 December 2008

Sunday, 23 November 2008


Yes indeed, first snow of the season has fallen today in Paris. Nothing much to celebrate as it has already metled and made the area even muddier. Otherwise, I'd say France was celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau last Thursday - the arrival of the youngest wine released to the market, has been put into fermentation just few weeks before bottling and releasing. It's more of a marketing thing than the taste actually. Yet I was wondering, why almost everyone is more happy this Thursday than usual.. Here comes the answer :) Last week I have been to this outstandingly boring show of modern dance in Paris' famous Centre Pompidou. Deborah Hay, this american choreographer by her show If I Sing To You managed to bore the audience to core. I haven't seen as much people leaving the theatre during the show ever, as much as this time. On top of that, a crowd started applausing before the spectacle was finished, to encourage the actors to leave the stage. A horrible sequence of weird moves, accompanied by some wild animal-like screams and yells from the throats of young women, acting as if copulating on Forum Romanum in the ages of paleolites. Absurd madness. Never seen anything like it - for TWO hours! I thought I'm a modern-thinker. But sorry, I guess I'm too traditional for such idiocity.
The positive thing about last week is at least the exhibition in
Musee du Luxemburg (very nicely situated in the Gardens of Luxemburg) of
Miró to Warhol. Quoting the exhibitions description: The seventy-four works on display in the Musée du Luxembourg correspond to five major artistic movements in the twentieth century: Surrealism (Miró, Dali, Ernst, Breton…), one of the strong points of the pre-1945 collection; abstraction from 1910 to the immediate post-war period (Mondrian, Tanguy, Arp…); Europe vs. America in the 1960s, with Nouveau Réalisme and Pop Art (Warhol, Klein, Soulages, Mitchell…) ; post-1945 plastic explorations (Riopelle, Schnabel, Stella…).

Thriving works, really well-organised exhibition, yet unfortunately just two works for each Miro and Warhol. Slight dissapointment in this matter.. but hey! - discounted entrance for 9 euros?! a bit too much?..
But then after all, what should we sponsor if not Art? :)

In the mood for: mo' horizons - yes baby yes

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Oud Mood

I have just arrived today from Egypt. I have been there for the past 2 weeks.
Time spent there was amazing. I happen to notice that as much as I go there.. and come back to wherever I live now - I love the country more and more.
Even though I can see all the negatives, I can't stop being sentimental. It grabs me. I find myself attracted to it's places, people, music, food, sounds, views, venues.. Most of all, I think I just left a part of myself there. More than anyone who left this country in search of a better life.
An old friend of mine, whom I met after years of abscence last week, told me once that there is something magical about the place. Even though you hate it, or hate whatever everyday in Egypt brings along.
My Egypt lives in the lyrics and sounds of Oum Kalthoums songs, Abdel Halim Hafez, Abdel Wahab, Farid Al Atrache and now I learnt to appreciate also Asmahan after listening to her for the 10th time :) - the sound of oud and tabla, the old black and white movies, the new ones done with dedication to matters that concern modern life in Egypt with all it's political, enocomical, religious and social problems.
I love the silence in the desert, the sound of the sea, the shadow of the million palms on hot summer days, the crowded Cairo and always late Egyptians..
I hope someday Egypt will love me back.

Something for my 'Oud Mood' :)
tell you why.
Thanks to Waleed, yesterday night I became a happy holder of this magical instrument - The Oud.

Enjoy Said Chraibi, even though he's not Egyptian :P - yet a master piece.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

I felt Paris

I decided to begin posting on this blog, when I'd feel I'm actually in Paris. I did for the first time this weekend...
I have been already out many times before, since I arrived here for my scholarship in mid September, yet it hasn't been yet rooted in my head that I'm indeed in PARIS. Yes, well it was quite a weird experience. After all it had passed more than one month since I'm in this town of "art and romance" as some people believe so.
Anyways, On Friday night I had a rendez-vous with my international group and the school's English teacher for a "spectacle" (performance) of modern dance and theatre in Centre Beaubourg. For those who don't know, it's Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou (National Centre for Arts and Culture of Georges Pompidou). Info about it on wikipedia.
This English teacher she doesn't teach us, yet she's very much into modern dance and she prepared for us a session of few performances to see in Paris.
This one was very interesting, I may say - as we still don't have much of this kind of performances in Poland and also in Egypt.
"Gustavia" was a show by two middle aged women, one French Mathilde Monnier and the other one a Spanish La Ribot. To read more about it click here.

As I was saying, when I was walking for my appointment with the rest of the group, I felt actually that I'm in Paris. These lights in the streets, people walking in everyway, others pausing for a moment to meet or to contemplate the lit fountain on Saint Sebastian's square. Yes, I was in Paris then.
It happened again yesterday night. We were all invited first to dinner party at a French friend's place that Marta and I met in Łódź last year. It was around 20 minutes on foot from our appartment in the 15th district of Paris. We knew only one person and the rest were new for us. But it was nice to get to know them. Normal parisian students :) A few of them were on Erasmus scholarship last year in Poland. Some in Łódź, others in Lublin and other cities.
Later on at night only Kasia, Eva and I we went to another party for a new flat of friends of friends we have never seen in our lives :)
It was a 120 square meteres appartment in the 3rd arrondisement (district) of Paris - a very posh area I may say. Four people share this place, it was really nicely finished, lots of stuccos on the walls and the ceiling, enormous mirrors, huge balconies, palace-like chandeliers and so on.. Amazing place. The theme of the night's party was colour. No black, grey or any of that kind. Kasia and Eva weren't too much colourful and so weren't friends of Eva who brought us there. Only I was wearing a rose dress, green tights, blue jacket and red shoes :)
The owner of the place opened the door in kind of a colourful towel, flipflops and this thing around his neck and arms that pharaohs used to wear. So he really looked like a pharaoh :) Anyways, he looked at everyone and said to the guys: "You guys came not in colour and brought with you people who wore colours for al of you"- and showed at me..

This point is important, because I have noticed that French people wear very classical clothes. It's like they use a poor palette of colours for dresses. Black, grey, brown, beige and white.
Also classical fashion clothes, like nothing more crazy not to be seen as different than others.
Ok, so back to the party. These people who afford to live in places like these, like the owner are for instance people from quite rich families, who have some chateau's in the countryside, these guys finished for example Law on Sorbonne University and got good jobs in La Defense because of their family's connections.
There was maybe 150 people in the appartment last night. Some were dancing in one room, others smoking on the balcony, others talking in another room, others dancing in yet another room with different music, lots of people in the kitchen (as usual at parties). Some were totally colourful, yet some not at all. Their ages varied from 22 to 35 maybe. Many people started talking to me because of my hair. I even got to know a guy who worked in L'Oreal Paris and looked like he'd see Elvis Presley live infront of him, when he saw me and my hair. Quite intereting encounter.
At around 2 am Policemen came. Music had to be put off, people had to leave because it was starting to be overload of them in one place and the neighbours couldn't get some good sleep.
Overall, it has been an interesting night. I met maybe around 200 people yesterday :) French people have this weird system of saying hi to others, even if they meet them for the first time in their life and even don't intend to talk to you anymore in their lives, but they approach you and kiss you on both cheeks. Hehe, quite stunning experience after you get a kiss from the fiftieth person on tha same night...
With this thought I'll leave for today.

Soundtrack for today will be very much different than the theme of crazy parties. A rather quiet everyday routine life of each one of us. Credits to Hilali for the vid.