It’s Dance Time – afar and at home

If you talk to me about dance, you are ‘playing the piano to a cow’ (對牛彈琴) . In my college years, I skipped all dance parties simply because I was not good at it and I was too chicken to even try it. Besides, there have not been too many guys taller than me then and most of the guys do not have the guts to invite tall girls. I cannot dance, but it does not mean that I dislike it. I actually enjoy watching people on the dance floor. I think dance is a physical form of art that is orchestrated by music and body rhymes. It takes lots of skills and significant body coordination.
Why I am suddenly inspired to speak dance? What have I discovered this time?
On my recent Nordic trip, we took Flam Railway for a mountain train ride into Norway‘s high glacier region which is not less glamorous than the Canadian version. Absolutely beautiful green pastures are adorned with picturesque houses and waterfalls are shouting down the canyon. Kjosfossen waterfall is one of the Flam railway falls. It is only accessible by train. Its winding route and roaring water make it a distinctive tourist attraction.
Kjosfossen fall
Everyone got off the train and stood by the lowest section of the fall. Powerful gushing water was playing nature music while splashy mist entertained the spectators. Suddenly I heard music gradually rising from the background. It was not the sound of the fall, it is real music from a playing instrument. I saw people were moving around and more people gathered by the fence looking at the fall.
I followed their sight and discovered a blond hair girl dressed in orange-red dancing in the midst of a waterfall on a rock platform. Her choreography is graceful and somewhat seducing. Her appearance reminds me of a mouse or a fairy. Later I learned from our tour guide that ‘she’ is legendary in Scandinavia folklore. The dancing girls are from a local ballet school. I was impressed by the creativity of this tourist attraction. The image looks surreal. I wish I could come a bit closer and have my tripod with me….
Prior to my trip, I thought we would have a chance to see some Scandinavian folk dance on one of our tours, but that was not the case. I only saw Scandinavian dolls at the shops. I really did not get enough exposure to authentic Scandinavia culture which has always been very appealing to me.
Interestingly enough, I’d planned to go back to Oktoberfest at Mount Angels this year for photography and I did it last week. For reason, I kept thinking about Scandinavia folk dance. I have seen it at Oktoberfest a few years ago, but I did not take any pictures. This year’s dance event seems to come on a larger scale. Dance couples include little girls and boys, teenage guys and dolls, and even moms and daughters. Their costumes including dresses and hair wreaths are just colorful and beautiful. I can see the fine design mind and tremendous efforts behind the dramatic presentation.
These grade school kids are just so cute that I could not stop snapping. Unfortunately, there was a big crowd surrounding the dance area and I had no way to shoot anything without getting a very messy background. It is time-consuming trying to clean up the background and the work may not add much to the artistic effect. So I did a brief cutout and add some texture to the background to make them a bit more presentable.
These photos are not that much about photography, it is about my discovery at home (Mt Angels, Oregon) of whatever I was longing to see during my recent trip to Scandinavia, afar.
I have always said that I want to work till the last moment when I find myself unfit. But God has His plan and He grants me peace to pursue my love for photography and provides me time to spend with my family. When would I ever pay such close attention to these children’s facial expressions and their absolutely unpretentious performance if not for photography?

A few more photos with background:

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