Thursday, June 22, 2006

Illustration Friday – DANCE

I haven’t participated in a while but my sister in Hong Kong sent me an anecdote this week that put a picture in my mind that fitted this week’s topic.

This is what she wrote

I was on the way to the MTR and spotted a small old fashioned Chinese grocery shop. No airconditioning, just a sleepy ceiling fan. The shelves were stacked to the ceiling with polished jars of fermented beancurd with chillies, bottles of soy sauce and jars of dried fungus. These kinds of shops are a dying breed in HK. They also sold spices and I am out of cumin so I went in to poke around and see if they had it. I needed to poke around as the shop was run by an elderly couple who spoke no English – needless to say my Cantonese does not run to ‘cumin’. Anyway, I found some cumin seeds and asked them to measure some out for me. By this time they were confused and not sure that this ‘Gweipor’ wanted it. An elderly woman customer came in to buy her fermented beancurd. She helpfully translated for me and was extolling the virtues of fermented bean curd in chillie sauce. I declined to buy as that stuff makes rotten stilton smell like lily of the valley. Anyway, as I left she told me she had to rush off to her can-can class for the elderly at Causeway bay Community centre! I told her that in Paris at the turn of the last century what made the dance so scandalous was that the ladies had splits in their bloomers. She assured me that her underwear was intact. Off she trooped to her can-can class and off I wentto work.

There are bonuses to ageing.


Blogger Lu*** said...

xje,je, They have great vitality...
veri nice!

6/22/2006 6:14 PM  
Blogger michael dailey said...

this is a great watercolor. it has good color and has a lot of fun and humour to go with it.

6/22/2006 10:31 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

All the girls in the office have had a great giggle over the story and the picture.

Incidentially, dancing classes are very popular amongst couples in HK. The women here seem to have their husbands well trained to go to ballroom dancing classes. One friend goes under her husband's insistence.

In Chinglish they call it "social dancing". I have never come across antisocial dancing!

6/23/2006 5:21 AM  
Blogger Christine Lim Simpson said...

Hahaha! I really like the story. Fabulous watercolour. I love the costumes, the colours you used and he shadow on the ground and clothing. Superb entry.

6/23/2006 7:40 AM  
Anonymous samantha said...

beautiful use of watercolour, and it captures such wonderful emotion too.

6/23/2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Shelly McC said...

Love this. Its gorgeous, sweet and hilarious! Oh, and very well painted!

6/23/2006 12:19 PM  
Blogger mademoisellelala said...

Hi Julie,

Thanks for your posting. I wanted to say that I like this piece, but also took a look at your sketches from St. Albans and think they are just gorgeous! You have such great linework!

6/23/2006 1:04 PM  
Blogger Jana Bouc said...

My favorite of all the Dance illustrations! It's a beautiful illo and also a unique take on the subject. You captured both their joy in dancing and the difficulty in movement that comes with aging.

6/23/2006 4:58 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

The picture is a riot. Surprised that the one's on the ends aren't using their one free arm to lift their legs the way I sometimes am compelled to do.

But chuckle. I certainly chuckled over the bit of trivia of can-can dancers in Paris. I'm sure the elderly customer left the shop chuckling as well. Now if I see any senior can-can dancers with slits in their pants, I'll certainly know who is at the root of it.

6/23/2006 7:31 PM  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Thank you all for your nice comments - and thank you Rachel for providing the inspiration. Roberta if they let go of their sticks to lift up their legs you know what would happen!

6/23/2006 10:15 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

That's HILARIOUS! Great story and illustration!

6/23/2006 11:27 PM  
Blogger Felicity said...

I love this illustration! Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall at that can-can class?!

7/01/2006 10:50 AM  
Blogger Judith said...

Just revisiting to remind myself of the story behind the picture, which hangs beside my dressing-table to give me a boost in the mornings!

Sorry not to be a regular visitor these days - just too much else going on.

3/23/2012 4:14 PM  

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