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Festivals, Music, Street Performance



I heard first-class jazz at Club Jazz in Coquimbo

And elegant sitar music on the street in Valparaiso




Jazz in a public square in Valparaiso



Jazz outdoors in Coquimbo, where a man and his wife sport the same hairdo


Jugglers performing for money from cars stopped at a traffic light

Common sight in La Serena and other towns




Mime in the English Barrio of Coquimbo




But the most special night out was in Valparaiso

Xevy (from Spain) and Elisa (from Santiago) invited me along to a nightclub

It was packed, so we sat at the bar


Next to me sat a woman and her daughter

The daughter says to me, "My mother wants to dance"  I say "But I don't dance" (largely true)

Two minutes later, "My mother really wants to dance."

"But I don't dance"

"She really wants to dance"

We danced


She claims I'm a good dancer



A singer was performing, accompanied by keyboard and guitar

So I put a bug in their ear that Elisa sings

She sang, to wonderful applause




After while the band is playing "It Had to be You" and I felt it had to be me

So I got up and belted one out




In Vicuņa, International Women's Day brings a celebration to the plaza...



...where a woman performs a poem (I think by Gabriela Mistral, Chilean poet)





The carnival inVicuņa, with a parade that winds around the plaza several times

Here, Hare Krishna dancers wend their wa through the crowd








With a real live witch doctor






And Chile's version of Raging Grannies

One striking phenomenon of this festival was that, as I walked through the crowd, time after time kids would start laughing among themselves and surreptitiously pointing at me.  Then I'd give them a big "Ho Ho Ho" and everyone in the whole area would burst out laughing.

After the parade had ended a restaurant that faced the plaza was packed with young men watching soccer on TV.  As I passed by they broke into "Jingle Bells"  I stopped, waved, watched the game for a few minutes with them.  As I left, I gave them a big Ho Ho Ho, to loud cheering

It started in Mendoza, where I was walking along a street and a couple of youths chanted "Ho Ho Ho" as I passed.  In Chile I got it very very often

In Vicuņa it was especially pronounced.  I'd be walking along the street and youths would start singing "Feliz Navidad."

In all cases I would turn to them and give them a Ho Ho Ho in return.  Always to their great delight.



Cueca has been Chile's national dance since 1979

In La Serena I caught a Cueca festival

The dance is, to my tastes, not a very compelling one.  I did enjoy the costumes, however







Especially the Sombrero de Paņo, worn here by Luis Cuello, accompanied by Patricia Vanar





In Vicuņa there was a mini Cueca festival




I even danced a bit (well...she danced while I waved a white kerchief)

I told you, I don't dance

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