Sunday, May 29–Seattle


Hyatt House



I had one of my breakfast drinks before doing my exercise walking on one of the treadmills this morning.

Today I had planned on trying to attend three major programs/showcases, with wandering around in between.

I was about 5 to ten minutes late for the first program I wanted to go to this morning, which I should have remembered is always very well attended when it starts, but people do start leaving a couple of performances into the program. The program was this year's version of the very long running Hawaiian showcase, which I usually tried to attend whenever I was here. This year it featured the musicians and students from four different hula schools, and had performers ranging in age from very young to possibly late sixties and seventies. It got very emotional at the end of the set for one of the halaus (hula schools) when the leader and head teacher gave what seemed like her final performance after many decades of teaching and performing, from what I could hear of what she said.

I had decided to not take my pack with me today but to put what I thought I'd need in the pockets of the rain jacket I wanted to wear, because the weather had been bad while I was using the treadmill and was a bit drizzly on my way over to the hula showcase. Shortly after I got there I realized that one thing I hadn't brought with me was a spare battery for my camera–I had two of them back in my room, so after the showcase I walked on back and and got one. I took some pictures on my iPhone during the show so I'll see how they came out after I send them to myself via email after I get home,

The hula showcase ended at 1:30 and it was after 2 before I left my room again. I had wanted to go to part of the Slavic vocal music showcase from 3-5 PM but still wanted to get some lunch. The little Greek place around the corner was closed today, so I went back to Folklife and got some Hawaiian finger food I could eat while standing up out of the way somewhere.

The next program I wanted to see was the Tahitian showcase, which for some reason isn't quite as popular as the Hawaiian program although quite frankly I think the Tahitian show is usually more exciting and not just because the women and girls wear less full costumes. They also had three male dancers who were also in very good shape–which was pretty easy to tell since I don't think they wore shirts at all.

The Tahitian program ran from 4 to 6 PM, and then they cleared the hall out until fifteen minutes before the next show at 7, so that gave me a bit of time to wander around a bit and find something to eat and if possible somewhere to sit and eat it. I had some very good mac & cheese with barbecued pork.

The 7 PM showcase was the Persian, Arabic & Central Asian dance program, which was excellent as usual. This included, of course, a lot of what we think of as belly dancing although for many of the numbers the performers wore the traditional dresses appropriate to the dances. All of the dancers were very good, including the beginners and intermediate students. The most charming number was their youngest student who did a routine with her mom. Many of the dancers were also gorgeous and beautiful as well as beautiful dancers.

I left the program a little early, before it ended at 9 PM. By then I was up by entrance to the laser shows at the Pacific Science Center. When I went on Thursday night I had purchased a ticket for tonight's 9:30 show (for a grand total of $5.00). I almost decided not to go because my knees and feet were bothering me and I was feeling a little tired, and the walk down and around to the actual entrance to the Laser Dome is annoying but I stayed anyway.

I'm rather glad I did–not for the music, of course, but because it was another beautifully designed and run show, with quite a few effects that were different than Thursday night's show, which had the same operator. The only thing she did the same was when she used the smoke effects and some effects that look like she's somehow projecting an image behind the surface of the dome itself.

The music was OK–it featured Led Zeppelin. I can't remember the names of any of the LZ's personnel, and would have said I couldn't recognize or name any of their songs but I did recognize three or four of them including "Stairway to Heaven". I've never understood what that song's about but apparently I'm not the only one.

Tonight's show actually lasted close to an hour–by the time we got back upstairs to street level the clock in the ticket booth said 10:30. The weather then was the nicest it had been all day. I thought about using my Space Needle ticket then but decided to wait until tomorrow, when things should be closing up a bit earlier than they did tonight.

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