29 August 2010

People Spotting outside the Cathedral

After failing to remember that I had, long ago, told her all about Catalonia's famous dance, J suddenly discovered La Sardana for herself. Of course, then we had to immediately find out where we could watch it being performed. This was info that I already knew and had hinted at going to see some months ago, only to be met with a, "hmmmm", and scant acknowledgement - she didn't even look up from her computer. Did someone mention lukewarm enthusiasm?

Every Sunday, people gather in the square in front of La Catedral de Barcelona (aka La Seu, or officially La Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia) at around noon to dance. My Googling also indicated that later on the same day at around 6pm, La Sardana is also danced in Plaça de Sant Jaume in front of the Generalitat.

A year ago, on an August Sunday last summer, we caught the metro into the city to go watch La Sardana. Arriving bang on mid-day, we sat in a large crowd on the cathedral steps and waited to see what would happen. Nothing did. No locals arrived en masse, and no band arrived to play. Which is probably just as well because it was stinking hot, (as it is again this year), and as the dance is performed largely by older members of the region, we could imagine that there would have been a lot of people suffering from the heat if they had danced under the boiling Catalonian sun.

Instead, we sat for an hour or so and people-watched which is a favourite past-time of mine, and listened to 2 guys on guitars who were very good, but on closer inspection appeared to be just stroking their guitar strings while playing a CD. They knew the chords, but it seemed unlikely that the rich, strong sound we could hear coming out of their amplifier would come from the light touches that they were applying to the strings. They were making some good money from the large crowd, as well as selling a lot of their CDs!

I stuck my 70-200 on the 5D2, dropped the aperture (wide open = shallower depth of field) and took photos. The good thing about living in Barcelona is that we can go back on any Sunday to see if La Sardana is being danced. Good things take time - no hurry - we haven't been back yet!

Click on the images to enlarge them

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5 comments:

Macthomson said...

Precious! The slogan on the shirt of the girl in the last shot... I LOVE CUTE GOYS!

Touching, the guy in the wheelchair with maybe his daughter, juxtaposed with the very modern tricycle.

Great stuff, girls!

Jean said...

Michele - such simple photos but they tell 1000 words!

nzm said...

Malcolm: Thank you. We do get to see some strange English printed on clothing - especially in Asian countries! It was so much fun just to sit on the cathedral steps and watch these people go by, so engrossed in their own actions and purpose.

Jean: Thank you! Jen and I had a great time watching these people. It's hard not to make up stories about them at the same time, but I bet that we'd be wrong a lot of the time if we did!

Pandabonium said...

I like the pic of the guy in the wheel chair too. The pigeon is a nice element in that.

Interesting how you can play with the pic to show some subjects in color against a sepia like background. Makes for some stunning photos. Good work.

Nice people watching.

Word Verif: destrung - a naked guitar?

nzm said...

Thanks PB. I did these a while back and, looking at them now, I overdid the vignetting! Would process them a bit differently now - given some newer applications that I've recently acquired.

Word veri: elloggic - an allergy to a woman's commonsense!