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Dancing with Jiaozi

December 17, 2009   

Two quick tales:

1) Recently, I attended a set of dance presentations performed by one of the advanced dance classes on choreography. Personally, I don't know a darn thing about how to choreograph anything, but I definitely appreciated the final projects. Awesome stuff. Here are two examples of dance routines. 

 -- One involved four people (two groups of two) set against some type of East Asian music. The choreographer, my friend Laura, seemed to choreograph two fight scenes juxtaposed against one another. Fantastic stuff. One group was fighting with hands and the other with staff -- the groups later merged. It sort of looked like the four people became two people fighting one another. 

Anyway, that was neat. 

-- Another involved a recording made by the dancers. The recording, however, was not of music, but instead of particular words that seemed to come from some kind of conversation. "Government, government" -- "corruption, corruption" -- "if I act, If i act, If WE act" -- were the words and phrases echoing from the speakers overhead at the dance troupe of six performed very calculated, compact motions. It was some of that very modern looking stuff that always hits the right spot with me.

2) The second tale is about a recent presentation made by the Chinese dept. about Chinese cuisine. In short, the Chinese dept. is fantastic when it comes to feeding Hamilton students delicious -- and authentic -- Chinese food. So -- yea -- delicious. 

One of the Chinese teachers presented on food from each major region of China, using excellent pictures and making available various spices for the students to smell and taste. 

When the presentation was over, an array of vegetables were spiced and dumplings prepared that helped me put a bit of experiential knowledge on top the academic stuff. 

I was lucky enough to head to Beijing over the summer and was able to indulge in some real Chinese cuisine. Recently, a restaurant I happened to visit in Beijing was featured on the Travel Channel for having the best duck in Beijing. (Yes, there, I did have the duck.) 

It was nice to feel like I was back in China for a moment. I've got to get my Mandarin back. 

By the way, "jiaozi" means dumpling. I'm not sure what the tones are -- I think it's 4th and neutral...