All posts by Ian Grieve

Ramayana Ballet

The most spectacular dance-drama on the island of Java, Indonesia, is held on an open-air stage at the Prambanan Temple near Yogyakarta. The ballet is a contemporary abbreviated version of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, unfolding over the four nights to tell the story of Prince Rama banished from his country to wander for years in the wilderness. More than 100 dancers and players in gamelans (percussive orchestras) present spectacles of monkey armies, giants on stilts, and clashing battles. The rich carvings of the Prambanan temple complex in the background are spotlighted by the moon. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Casu Marzu

A traditional Sardinian delicacy, casu marzu is pecorino cheese that has been intentionally infested with live cheese fly larvae. The cheese itself is soft, having been partially decomposed by the larvae. It is readily available on the black market in Sardinia, where it is considered an aphrodisiac and served with red wine. Some choose to cover casu marzu with one hand while eating it, as the larvae can leap up to 6 in (15 cm). Resistant to human stomach acids, the larvae can do what when eaten? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

International Festival-Institute at Round Top

This teaching institute and music festival was founded by world-renowned pianist James Dick in 1971 to establish a center where talented student musicians could make a smooth transition to a professional career. The emphasis is still on pianists, but there is also instruction in strings, woodwinds, brass, chamber music, and orchestra. The faculty is composed of internationally known musicians who also perform as soloists at the concerts given there. Round Top is the smallest incorporated city in Texas; just north of the town square is the scenic 200-acre Festival Hill grounds. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Panspermia

Panspermia is the hypothesis that life originated elsewhere in the universe and spread to Earth, and perhaps other places, on objects like asteroids. Astrobiologists, who investigate the possibility of life in space, point out that some microorganisms can, in fact, survive in space but that the long distances between planets would make surviving an interplanetary trip quite difficult, even for extremophiles. What tiny invertebrate was sent into orbit and survived exposure to the vacuum of space? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Charlottetown Festival

The Charlottetown Festival is devoted entirely to musicals by Canadians. Held from June through mid-October on Prince Edward Island, the festival presents three full-scale musicals every year. One of these is always Anne of Green Gables, a story about rural life on the island at the turn of the century, written by island-born novelist Lucy Maud Montgomery. The festival also offers plays for children, Sunday evening pop concerts, and a series of short plays and musical events.

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Xinhai Revolution

Beginning with the 1911 Wuchang Uprising and ending with the abdication of China’s last emperor in 1912, the Xinhai Revolution ended China’s Qing dynasty and established one of the first Asian republics. The revolution was motivated by frustrations with foreign intervention and a weak and corrupt government, and its leader, Sun Yat-sen, is considered a Chinese hero. The “Anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution” is celebrated in mainland China, while “Double Tenth Day” is celebrated where?

Source: The Free Dictionary

Israel Festival (Jerusalem)

This three-week festival, founded in 1961, is primarily dedicated to Israeli arts and culture, although guest conductors and performers from other countries are featured as well. There are symphony and choral concerts, opera, ballet and modern dance, theater, jazz, folklore, films, and art exhibitions at several locations in Jerusalem. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has performed with guest conductors like Zubin Mehta and Leonard Bernstein, and Israeli dance groups offer both traditional and modern programs. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary