Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil originated in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec (Canada). It is now based in the city of Montreal. From the 73 people who worked for Cirque du Soleil in 1984, there are now over 3,000 employees worldwide, including close to 900 artists.

This year Cirque du Soleil presented Dralion in Japan.
Dralion is the fusion of ancient Chinese circus tradition and the avant-garde approach of Cirque du Soleil. The show's name is drawn from its two main symbols: the dragon, representing the East, and the lion, representing the West. Dralion derives much of its inspiration from Eastern philosophy with its perpetual quest for harmony between humankind and nature.

Suspended in time between the past and the future, Dralion is a celebration of life and the four elements that maintain the natural order: air, water, fire and earth. Innovation soars to new heights as it defies the laws of nature. Dralion is a dynamic performance that transcends the boundaries of the imagination and leads us into a dreamscape with a new and sparkling perspective.

In Ballet on lights, presented for the first time in the world, seven young women, wearing pointe shoes, perform a ballet on light bulbs.

I couldn't believe this is physically possible!

Oh, by the way. If Cirque du Soleil is coming by your place, definitely you should take the chance and go and see it!

Free Hugs!

Free Hugs Campaign started a few years ago when Juan Mann went back to Sidney after several years in London.

This is the description of how it all started:

I'd been living in London when my world turned upside down and I'd had to come home. By the time my plane landed back in Sydney, all I had left was a carry on bag full of clothes and a world of troubles. No one to welcome me back, no place to call home. I was a tourist in my hometown.

Standing there in the arrivals terminal, watching other passengers meeting their waiting friends and family, with open arms and smiling faces, hugging and laughing together, I wanted someone out there to be waiting for me. To be happy to see me. To smile at me. To hug me.

So I got some cardboard and a marker and made a sign. I found the busiest pedestrian intersection in the city and held that sign aloft, with the words "Free Hugs" on both sides.

And for 15 minutes, people just stared right through me. The first person who stopped, tapped me on the shoulder and told me how her dog had just died that morning. How that morning had been the one year anniversary of her only daughter dying in a car accident. How what she needed now, when she felt most alone in the world, was a hug. I got down on one knee, we put our arms around each other and when we parted, she was smiling.

Everyone has problems and for sure mine haven't compared. But to see someone who was once frowning, smile even for a moment, is worth it every time.

Recently this campaign arrived in Japan, too! But this girl didn't really like this experience, as she started to cry just after a few minutes she arrived. Hugging people definitely didn't work well for her. Too bad.


Living statue in Harajuku.

Too bad there was too much wind, and this guy couldn't work at all.
Good luck next time, Kevin!

I dance alone

One of the most fascinating things about Harajuku over the weekend is the insane amount of people acting weird.

For example, this guy spent all the afternoon smoking and dancing by himself, completely ignoring all the people around him (and there were hundreds of people watching).

Were he a good dancer, it would have made some sense!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sakura 2007 - Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen was constructed on the site of a private mansion belonging to Lord Naito, a "daimyo"(feudal lord) of the Edo era. Completed in 1906 as an imperial garden, it was re-designated as a national garden after World War 2nd and opened to the public.

58.3 hectares(144 acres) in size and with a circumference of 3.5 km, it blends three distinct styles, French Formal, English Landscape and Japanese Traditional, and is considered to be one of the most important gardens from the Meiji era.