Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Swan Lake


Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky
Swan Lake is a ballet composed by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky in 1875-1876. Despite its initial failure, it is now the most popular ballet of all time. It did not become that popular until Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov choreographed Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, in the early 1900’s, after the composer early death. I always sustain that when Tchaikovsky composed the Swan Lake, he was touched by the hand of God. It is a ballet in four acts with a prelude. The following is a sypnosis:

PRELUDE
Night. A palace terrace by a lake.
As his coming of age approaches, Prince Siegfried feels the heavy responsibilities of his rank. He grieves, too, recalling the funeral of his royal father that so overwhelmed him as a young boy.
ACT I
Next day. The palace gardens.
Marius Petipa
Amidst the busy preparations for the Prince’s birthday, his young friends, fellow officers, and ladies of the court, seek to distract him from his melancholy. His widowed mother the Queen arrives with the Chancellor, who has effectively ruled the kingdom since the King’s death. Four foreign princesses are presented by their ambassadors as potential fiancées for the Prince, but he seeks diversion in drinking toasts and dancing. As evening falls, he feels the familiar lure of the lake, with its promise of comfort in solitude.
ACT II
That night. The lake.
Siegfried is transfixed by the appearance of a swan, which changes before his eyes into the Princess Odette. She and her maidens are prisoners of the sorcerer von Rothbart, and condemned to be swans for all but a few hours of each night. Only a vow of true love and fidelity can break the spell. Entranced himself, Siegfried gradually woos Odette, and promises her his love: Odette gives him her heart, although she fears the elemental powers of the malevolent magician.
ACT III
The next night. The palace ballroom.
Fonteyn & Nureyev in "Swan Lake"
A great ball is in progress, and this evening a distracted Prince is expected to choose a future consort to reign with him. None are aware of his secret love for Odette. The festivities are interrupted by the arrival of von Rothbart and his retinue, which includes his daughter Odile. Strangely resembling Odette, the seductive beauty captivates Siegfried, who allows himself to fall under her spell, and to break the vow of fidelity. As von Rothbart triumphs, Siegfried runs from the palace in despair.
ACT IV
 That night. The lake.
Yulia Makhalina as "Odette" in Swan Lake
The swan maidens, now spellbound forever, have gathered to protect Odette. Desolate, the Prince begs her forgiveness, which she bestows, knowing that they must part. In desperation he drowns himself, but as von Rothbart gathers his body from the lake, the soul of Odette is released. Although she will remain a swan, she is free of von Rothbart forever.

Needless to say that Swan Lake is my favorite ballet. I have watched it over 50 times in person and over the Internet. I have listened to the music score over 100 times in my lifetime. I have never gotten tired of it. My favorite dancing duo is Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. They are considered the best duo of all time. The following link is to this duo performing the Pas de Duex from Le Corsaire: You will not see the "Pyrotechnics" from both until the last two minutes.


Nadia Muzyca as "Odile" & Juan Pablo Ledo as "Prince Sigfried" in Swan Lake from the Colon Theater

The following links are to:

Margot Fonteyn (Odette/Odile) and Rudolf Nureyev (Prince Sigfried) in Swan Lake with the Royal Ballet in Vienna
Yulia Makhalina as Odette/Odile with the Kirov Ballet
Svetlana Zakharova as Odette/Odile - Swan Lake/ Act II - with the Bolshoi Ballet
Nadia Muzyca as Odette/Odile with the Colon Theater in Buenos Aires

I was very surprised how good the Swan Lake production from the Colon Theater was. Nadia Muzyca is a top notch ballerina. However, Juan Pablo Ledo (Prince Sigfried) is second tier, in my opinion. If I did not say the above, most people won't be able to tell the difference.

Svetlana Zakharova as "Odile" in Swan Lake


Monday, May 18, 2020

Classical Ballet



"Two Dancers Entering the Stage" by Edgar Degas

"Odette" in Swan Lake
I am a devotee of classical music especially classical ballet. Ballet originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century. Noblemen and women were treated to lavish events, especially wedding celebrations, where dancing and music created an elaborate spectacle. Dancing masters taught the steps to the nobility, and the court participated in the performances. In the 16th century, Catherine de Medici — an Italian noblewoman, wife of King Henry II of France and a great patron of the arts — began to fund ballet in the French court. Her elaborate festivals encouraged the growth of ballet de cour, a program that included  dance, decor, costume, song, music and poetry. A century later, King Louis XIV helped to popularize and standardize the art form. A passionate dancer, he performed many roles himself, including that of the Sun King in Ballet de la nuit. His love of ballet fostered its elevation from a past time for amateurs to an endeavor requiring professional training.


The Nutcracker
By 1661, a dance academy had opened in Paris, and in 1681 ballet moved from the courts to the stage. The French operaLe Triomphe de l’Amour incorporated ballet elements, creating a long-standing opera-ballet tradition in France. By the mid-1700s French ballet master Jean Georges Noverre rebelled against the artifice of opera-ballet, believing that ballet could stand on its own as an art form. His notions — that ballet should contain expressive, dramatic movement that should reveal the relationships between characters — introduced the ballet d’action, a dramatic style of ballet that conveys a narrative. Noverre’s work is considered the precursor to the narrative ballets of the 19th century.

Svetlana Zakharova
After the Romantic ballet era, the next major development in ballet occurred in Russia. Russia had a long folk-dance tradition and in the 18th century, landowners had maintained serf dance companies. Dancing was also regularly taught in the military academies. 


The students at the Imperial Russian Ballet schools in St Petersburg and Moscow and the dancers of the Maryinsky (Kirov) Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet were highly privileged and regarded as members of the royal household.


Margot Fonteyn & Rudolph Nureyev in "Giselle"
The three greatest dancers in classical ballet history are considered to be Ana Pavlova (Russian,) Margot Fonteyn (English - Royal Ballet,) and Rudolf Nureyev (Russian.) One of the main reasons Nureyev defected from the then Soviet Union (Kirov Ballet) was to dance with Fonteyn; they are considered the greatest duo in history. They are also my all time favorites- a picture of perfection. Today, the ballerinas Yulia Makhalina (Kirov) and also Svetlana Zakharova (Bolshoi) have everything going for themselves. They are not only extremely talented - they can do anything with their feet, arms, and jumps, they are also beautiful. 

Marius Petipa
Marius Petipa

Classical ballet developed in the late 19th century when Marius Petipa was ballet master in St Petersburg. Classical ballet is a mixture of the French style of Romantic ballet, the techniques developed in Italy in the late 19th century, and Russian teaching. When most people talk about ballet they think of Petipa’s ballets, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty.


Yulia Makhalina
Petipa’s ballets were meticulously planned and he gave detailed descriptions to both dancers and composers. He worked closely with Tchaikovsky to create the music for Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. Petipa would specify exactly how many bars of music he needed for each section of the dance. Much ballet music was tuneful, simple and often repetitive.

Today, Swan Lake is one of the most famous and popular of all ballets, yet the first version in Moscow in 1877 flopped.  Now, Tchaikovsky’s familiar music is one reason for the ballet’s enduring popularity. Most versions today are based on the St Petersburg 1894 production, choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, which is regarded as the greatest ballet of all time.


The Swan Lake

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires


The present day Teatro Colon opened its doors, in 1908, with a stunning performance of Aida. Since it opened over 100 years ago, the Colon is celebrated for its countless world-class operas, ballets, and classical music. (Teatro Colon Official Website / Many Live Performances / The Swan Lake  /Artists that Performed in Colon)

The Colon occupies an entire city block. It is seven stories high and five stories down. The theater is rated as one of the best opera houses in the world for acoustics and overall comes in third after La Scala in Milan and Teatro San Carlo in Naples, according to National Geographic.

For a theater of these characteristics acoustic quality is an important virtue. The quality of the acoustic in the Colon Theater is owed to the technical knowledge applied in a form of a horseshoe.  As it causes reflection of sound it becomes an echo chamber. Additionally, the architectural properties of the room and the quality of the materials - the distribution of the wood, the tapestries, the curtains, and the carpets - maintain in equilibrium that contributes to the favorably acoustic conditioning. Pavarotti famously commented that the acoustics are so perfect here that it made him nervous to perform because any mistake was amplified.


 


The classical music pit has room for 120 musicians. The stage is slightly slanted to show better viewing and has a revolving disk to allow for slick changes. There are roughly 2,500 seats and has a capacity of 3,000 including those standing.

The Colon has specialized production workshops that are able to prepare all the necessary elements for staging a show, meaning that the majority of the curtains, stage designs, and customs are made in the same building.

In 1989, the Colon Theater was declared a "Historic National Monument" and between the years 2006 and 2010 the building underwent a renovation. Initially it was planned as an 18-month, $100 million renovation with 500 workers. It became a 3-year $400 million affair with 1,500 workers including 130 architects and engineers. In all 60,000 square meters (645,835 sq. ft) underwent updating, both inside and out.

The roof was replaced, a new air-conditioning system was installed, and a state-of-the-art computerized fire prevention sprinkler system - the biggest enemy of any theater is fire. The famous baccarat crystal chandelier was no longer being able to be lowered for cleaning. A new system was installed to allow to lower the 5-ton glittering chandelier. Furthermore, an infinite amount of tasks were done, too numerous to enumerate.  


Saturday, May 9, 2020

Probable Scenario for the Upcoming Presidential Elections.

I'm afraid that we are heading into a probable constitutional crisis if Joe Biden defeats Donald Trump in the upcoming Presidential elections, on November 2020. I believe that Trump would declare the elections null and void because he will assert that he was cheated out of his second term. He will state, in no uncertain terms, that he will not leave the White House come January 2021.

President Trump exhibits the traits of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD.”) In his mind, the only reason he would have lost his bid for re-election is because the Democrats would have committed fraud. Therefore, he would use the White House as his bunker. In my opinion, President Trump would call on his supporters to come and help him in his hour of need.

Hundreds if not thousands of his supporters would descend on Washington DC, fully armed, to defend their President. In addition, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Trump would issue an order to have the US Armed Forces to come in his defense by surrounding the White House with all available weapons not only to protect him but also his supporters.

President Trump will have no qualms in using his "personal" Attorney General, William (Dr. Faustus) Barr, to launch investigations of alleged widespread fraud to justify his claims that the elections were stolen from him.  

The White House is a fortress. President Truman rebuilt everything except for the façade. It is built like a high rise building with a steel frame and bullet proof windows. A tank or artillery round or rounds cannot penetrate the walls or windows.

In addition to the famous situation room, there is an underground bunker that is atomic bomb proof with food and water to last for over a year for him, his cabinet, and staff. This is where Vice-President Cheney and the White House Staff spent their day during the 9-11 terrorist attack. The commercial airliner that was brought down in Pennsylvania, by the passengers, was destined for the White House. If he hunkers down there, it is almost impossible to bring him out. In addition, he can communicate with the outside world, specially his followers.

 
Will the Chief-of-Staff of the armed forces obey Trump’s orders? I really do not know. We would be trans-versing a new territory. Come January 20th, when Joe Biden would be our new President, would he give the order to physically remove Trump from the White House and arrest Trump’s armed followers that are surrounding the White House? If so, who will carry out such an order and how? How will the Secret Service act or react? Will Donald Trump tell his followers to take up arms to defend his Presidency unleashing a massive revolt or civil war? I have no doubt that Donald Trump would do that! I hate to be an alarmist, but I see no other outcome from a person with such a severe NPD. We are facing the biggest threat to our democracy in the history of our country!

Only time will tell. The only thing I pray for is for me to be utterly wrong with my prediction!



Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Corona Virus

Covid-19 Virus
Wuhan, China
It is my opinion that Covid-19 (The Corona Virus) is a man-made synthetic virus that got out of hand in the laboratories of Wuhan, China. Let me emphasize that it is my suspicion only, since I do not have any proof to offer. The only question I have is wether China was doing it alone or with the help or in collaboration with the US. Again, it is my suspicion only.

A documentary in RAI, the Italian Public TV, a very responsible and reliable TV station, predicted in 2015, the current world pandemic. That documentary stated that China and the US were developing, the now known as the Covid-19 virus, in Wuhan, China

RAI TV
Up to day, the Coronavirus in California, my country, are:

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

I am done with US politics.

Tulsi Gabbard

I am done with US politics. I contributed over $2,000 for the Tulsi Gabbard's Presidential campaign, because I believe in her and what she stands for. Tulsi is a wonderful human being, extremely intelligent, an officer with a rank of Major in the Army National Guard from Hawaii, the only Hindu religion member of the US Congress, and has nothing but class. She is truly the Anti-Trump and would have made an exceptional President. However, the powers that control the Democratic Party, the military-industrial complex, the big pharmaceutical companies, and the financial companies that control our country conspired against her. She had to be destroyed. They used the main-stream corporate media to do so. The media blacked her out and completely ignored her. It is like the correspondents, news anchors, and talking-heads or so-called experts follow orders not to name Tulsi if they appreciate their work.

Fox is the only network that gives her exposure. However, she is a liberal democrat. Tulsi will never get any traction with the super-conservative and Pro-Trump audience.

The main-stream media won. Therefore, I'm done with US politics. I am a Californio who loves my country - California. I do not want to be part of any country that elects the antichrist for President. Hence-fore, the two things I want is for California to succeed from the imperfect Union and for Tulsi Gabbard to run for Governor of Hawaii.

I have many interests and passions:
  1. Photography
  2. Egyptology (See next message)
  3. Philately - I collect stamps from Argentina, the country I was born.
  4. I am a devoted fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  5. I am passionate about soccer. I'm a die-hard  fan of the Barcelona football (soccer) team. It was my team since I was a toddler - I'm a Californio with Argentine-Catalan DNA. My grandparents were from Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca.  In other words, Catalunia. My surname means Carpenter in Catalan.
  6. Needless to say that my other football (soccer) passion is the Argentine National Team at all levels: U-15, U-17, U-20, U-23 (the Olympic team,) and the main National Team.
  7. I love Classical music.
All the above enumerated interests will keep me very busy for the rest of my life and I have  all the time to pursue them since I'm retired and widowed. In addition, I would like to take a cruise from Los Angeles to Los Angeles, once a year with my cameras. I'm going to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan, this coming March, on the "Carnival Panaroma" for seven days. Therefore, I have withdrawn from US politics even though I have a Bachelors Degrees in History and Political Science - my true passion in  life.  I'm done! Finito!

Did I mention that I have four dogs? Zoe (Golden Retriever,) Cleo (Rottweiler,) Bella (Havanese,) and Rosie (mixed breed that looks like a smaller version of Cleo - the Rottweiler.) They all sleep with me or better said, I sleep with them in their queen size bed - they are totally spoiled. 😊
Plaza de Mayo, Bueno Aires - Argentina

Sunday, February 9, 2020

ET Built the Pyramids

Pyramids of Giza
The passion of my life is Ancient Egypt.  I have spent many years studying this fascinating civilization and thus consider myself to be a  scholar of Ancient Egypt.  This is my first post regarding the greatest of all civilizations. I will start by answering who built the Pyramids of Egypt, how many people it took to build them, how long it took to build the  Great Pyramid of Giza (Cheop's Pyramid,) and why they were built.

To answer the first question of who built the Pyramids is easy. An "Army of ET's" built them.  By "Army of ET's, I mean a workforce of ~ 22,0000 "Egyptian Terrestrials" 😎 and not "whoo...hoo" extraterrestrials  👽 like so many ET "whoo...hoo"💀 scholars have suggested.

Greek historian Herodotus wrote in his book of travels that the Great Pyramid was built in 30 years by more than 100,000 slaves. Herodotus must have been deeping into the good low-alcohol Egyptian beer when he made those comments. Ancient Eyptians drank a lot of beer.  It was a safer and healthier alternative than water, then.

We know that it took around 20 years to build the Great Pyramid and ~ 22,000 workers. Twenty two hundred were masters builders that worked year-round. They were supplemented by ~ 20,000 farmers about 3 - 4 months out of the year when the harvest was finished. The Egyptian government used to employ idled farmers to supplement their income. It was like a welfare program.

Pyramid Complex How It Looked When Built
One more question about the pyramids remains. "Why did Egypt spent so many precious resources to build the pyramids." It can be summarized in three main reasons:
  1. For the Pharoes, a Demigod, to achieve immortality in the afterlife.  The Egyptians wanted their Pharoes to be demigods or gods. Only Gods could talk to the Gods in behalf of the Egyptian people. If they achieve immortality in the afterlife, they can continue to work in behalf of the Egyptians.
  2. For the Egyptian civilization to also achieve immortality. Only the pyramids survived the rigors of  time. They are the only one of the seven ancient wonders that have survived. We are interested in the Egyptian Civilization because we are fascinated by them and want to study the civilization that built them. The Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest and largest building ever erected by men until the 20th Century. The Egyptian Civilization did achieve immortality! 
  3. The infrastructure and "pyramid industry"needed built the nation of Egypt making it the greatest civilization ever. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

The antichrist

The antichrist  is someone recognized as fulfilling the biblical prophecies about one who will oppose Christ and substitute himself in Christ's place.
The term (including one plural form)  New Testament, The antichrist is announced as the one "who denies the Father and the Son."
The similar term "false Christ" is found in the Gospels. In Matthew (chapter 24) and Mark (chapter 13), Jesus alerts his disciples not to be deceived by the false prophets, which will claim themselves as being Christ, performing "great signs and wonders".
The antichrist is usually referred to a very popular world leader that will save us all. This leader usually refers to himself as the “chosen one.’
I am the chosen one,” Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday. He looked up to the heavens as he said this, CNBC reports, so perhaps he truly believes that God anointed him to win a trade war with China, which he also started. He also saved us from a war with Iran that he almost started, etc, etc, etc. In addition, Trump mocked and disparaged Jesus Christ's Sermon on the Mount, a blasphemy of unspeakable proportions,  to us Catholics, 

An old wise man once said: “Satan walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Satan is devious, and his works can be found anywhere.” Trump could indeed be his agent, and that would make him the antichrist.


The Wrath of Trump

One of the traits of a person with Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD) is: "Extremely vindictive and not only lashes out but also persecutes with all available means perceived enemies." The "Wrath of Trump" already started after one day the Trump was acquitted.

1. Lt. Colonel Alexander S. Vindman was fired and police escorted  from the White House. His "crime" was to tell the truth, under oath, when subpoena by Congress. His twin brother was also fired, also a LT. Colonel, from the White House. His crime was being Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman's twin brother. 

2. European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who contributed one million dollars for Trump's inauguration ceremony, was fired today. He dared to tell the truth, under oath, when subpoena by Congress.

The "antichrist" of Trump, because he mocked and disparaged Jesus Christ's Sermon on the Mount, a blasphemy to us Catholics, already insulted and disparaged Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelozzi, Mitt Romney, and others.I will keep updating this post when the antichrist fires more people. Oh, yes! From now on, Trump will be known, in my blog, as the antichrist.In one of my posts, I asked the following question: "Is there anyone left in America that Donald Trump has not insulted, criticized, affronted, slighted, disrespected, offended, snubbed, belittled, disparaged, demeaned, rubbished, decried, derided, denigrated, ridiculed, dishonored, scorned, mocked, slated, slammed, denounced, chastised, degraded, reviled, spurned, rebuffed, despised, banned, or fired?  Yes: himself! "

There are many other reasons regarding the antichrist.  I will enumerate them in another post.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Blacked Out

Tulsi Gabbard
The Main Stream Media (CNN & MSNBC) has completely blacked out any good news about Tulsi Gabbard. They only report very bad news about her. The main reason is that Tulsi is against any needless regime change wars. Therefore, she goes against the military-industrial complex that rules our country and she cannot be controlled by them. For example:
125 people demonstrates to include Tulsi in town halls
  • CNN has invited seven Democratic Presidential candidates to participate in their New Hampshire townhalls with the exception of Tulsi Gabbard who was polling in fifth place in New Hampshire.
  • Hillary Clinton called Tulsi a Russian asset and a stooge. Tulsi Gabbard just sued Hillary Clinton for defamation of character. It was not reported by the main stream media.
  • Hillary Clinton made disparaging comments about Bernie Sanders and his followers. When reporting Clinton's remarks, the media does not mention that Hillary also made disparaging remarks about Tulsi.
  • The media keeps talking that the four Democratic Senators that are running for President had to leave their campaigns for a week to attend to Donald Trump's impeachment trial. However, the media never mentions that Tulsi Gabbard had to leave her campaign for three weeks to serve with her National Guard unit in Indonesia. In addition, Tulsi trains with her National Guard Unit, in Hawaii, one weekend every month. She has the rank of Major in the US Army.
  • The main stream media keeps reminding us about Pete Buttigieg tour of duty in Afghanistan, as a Lieutenant intelligence officer, for seven months. The same media forgets that Tulsi served two tour of duty in Iraq and Kuwait for four years.
  • The main stream media keeps telling us that Pete Buttihieg is the youngest Democratic Presidential Candidate. That is not true; Tulsi Gabbard is. 
  • The main stream media never mentions that Army Major Tulsi Gabbard is the only member of Congress in active duty serving in the Army National Guard.
  • The main stream media has the temerity and audacity in questioning Tulsi's patriotism, a Major in the US Army who served two tours of duty in the Middle East. Why other candidate is still an active member of the National Guard. Tulsi has too much class.   
  • Tulsi had the valor and moral courage to vote "Present" instead of voting for impeachment of President Trump because she believes that impeaching Donald Trump would never lead to removal from office and it is very divisive in an already divided nation. 
  • Robert F. Kennedy once said: “Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change the world which yields most painfully to change. Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues and the wrath of their society. And then I understood by that measure just how rare moral courage is. Real political courage doesn't come from disagreeing with our opponents, but from disagreeing with our friends and with our own party because it means having to stare down accusations of disloyalty and betrayal; you are a Democrat or Republican in name only." Tulsi Gabbard represents  that "Moral Courage" in thoughts and actions.
  • I do not care if Buttigieg is gay, straight, or crooked.  That is his business. However, when he travels with his husband, kisses his husband in the mouth, dances with his husband, and calls his husband the love of his life. All of the previous in public, he crossed the proverbial bridge. What if Bush, Carter, or Clinton did the same thing with their female lover, if they had one, and not their wives? It would have been a scandal. The press is in love with Buttigieg. What is the main stream media trying to do? Deliver the election in a platter to Trump? He would make mince meat out of Buttgieg in the 2020 general election! 
Robert F. Kennedy