Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ramadan & the Ringling Brothers

While the dominant religion of Albania is strongly Muslim, the majority of Albanian Muslims are non-observant or non-practicing. That is… unless there is some reason to celebrate, and why not celebrate for Ramadan. For those of you who do not know, Ramadan is a month long fast for those of Muslim faith. Fasting is done from dawn until sundown, and the month is used as a sort of personal cleansing with much prayer and much self-control. In accordance with the Berat Municipality (Bashkia), performers came in from Turkey to put on a one night and one night only show. The show was accompanied by rows of tables and platefuls of food- only served after sundown of course!

The concert itself left me without words. While there were multiple singers and performers, I was left stunned by one performance in particular. I can only describe the pair of dancers and hopefully upload a video to follow that will let all you enjoy the spectacle as well. Two men entered stage left: looking somewhat like the Ringling Brothers, dressed in white puffy shirts and black vests boasting a series of chains down the front. The men joined hands, the music started (which, by the way was music so dizzying that it single-handedly could send you into vertigo), and for at least 6 minutes those men danced like THEY were the Lord(S) of Dance. Let us hope my Internet is trusty enough to upload the video- you certainly will be thanking me later.

The first performers

Snapshot of the ringling brothers since video is NOT loading. Video will come later!

Corinne, Phoebe, & I at the festival!

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