Showing posts from May, 2013

My Last Performance in Quito

Last weekend was my very last presentation with the Damiana Levy Dance Studio in Quito. I only have 6 weeks left here and many things are coming to an end, but leaving my dance team is going to be one of the hardest things to do.

My group and I backstage before the show
Noemi and I in our stage make up
Rehearsal before the show
Rehearsal before the show
Rehearsal before the show
Rehearsal before the show
Rehearsal before the show
Rehearsal before the show
I performed two numbers this time around. The first was Bahaya- a fun, poppy, traditional middle eastern dance. Lots of shimmies and hip bumps. This one was a ton of fun and put a huge smile on my face the whole time I danced it.

Bahaya on stage

Bahaya on stage
Bahaya on stage

Bahaya on stage

Bahaya costumes backstage!
The second dance was a Samay- a traditional oriental dance that actually has a centuries old history. My boyfriend recorded the video below, which is why it is zoomed in on me in the beginning. Enjoy!

Hanging around in our Samay cos…

SmoQe Urban BBQ in Ecuador

Hey Quiteñens and expats in the area! If you are craving some real Southern home cooking and bbq, I have the place for you.

SmoQe Urban BBQ and Southern American Kitchen is in Cumbaya, the town in the valley next to Quito. It's about a ten dollar taxi ride from Quito and is totally worth it! Tell your taxi driver to go to the Centro Comercial La Esquina en Calle Pampite. When you see the Juan Valdez coffee shop, you know you've made it!
Sampler of microbrews
I have been a couple times now and have plans to return in the next few weeks. SmoQe is owned by a guy from Arkansas who uses a lot of his family's recipes.
My friend Mike about to dig into a ribeye
Shrimp and Grits? Check! Microbrews (including nut brown ales)? Check! Pulled Pork Sandwiches? Check! Fried Green Tomatoes? Check! Live Blues Music on the Weekends? Check! Smoked Ribs? Check!
The fact that this restaurant exists has been such a relief to me. For anyone a little homesick or with a craving for some awesome bar…

Ecuadorian Indie Cinema

One of my students composed the music for a film her mother directed (and rocked in a little cameo as well!) and was nice enough to provide all her teachers with passes to the premier this week. It's an Ecuadorian film called No Robarás (a menus que sea necesario)- You Will Not Steal (Unless It's Necessary).

It's been really exciting seeing the movie's advertisements plastered all over the city, and now it is actually playing in the local movie theaters. I am so proud of my student!

Advertisements plastered around the city
The movie premier was really cool. The cast and crew rolled up in cars to the red carpet and there was a toast with free wine for the whole audience.
The composer of the movie's soundtrack- she is only a high school senior! Wow!
The crowd at the movie premier
The movie itself was really wonderful as well. It's the story of an Ecuadorian teenager who has to support her younger siblings after her mother goes to jail (absent, abusive father isn'…

WTF Wednesday

A warning at the movie theater:  weapons prohibited!

Taxis in Quito

Probably my least favorite thing about living in Quito is the taxi situation, mostly because I am so dependent on them. There are a few trolley lines that run north to south, but unless it's day light and I am with other people and there happens to be trolley stops near my start and end points, I end up needing to rely on taxis. This is an issue for many reasons:

1. It's difficult to get taxis. If you call a taxi company, they will often respond with 'no hay' and hang up on you. If it is between 4 and 7, or it is raining, good luck even finding one cab that is available! Ecuadorians are ruthless about stepping 3 feet in front of you to steal your cab.

I had been waiting in the rain for a cab for 15 minutes when  these two ladies purposefully walked ten feet ahead of me  to get a cab before me in the street!
After having two taxis stolen, this couple walked in  front of me to steal my cab as well!

2. Often times, taxis will decide halfway through the ride that they don't…

Janelle Monáe's New Single!!!

GIRL POWER!! I love strong female vocalists and musicians. Jenny Lewis, Neko Case, Karen O, Sharon van Etten, Emily Haines, Lily Allen and Laura Marling are pretty much in constant rotation on my iPod, to name a few.

But my favorite female musician is hands down Janelle Monáe. I remember listening to her first EP, Metropolis Suite 1, back in 2007 and falling in love immediately. Her next album, ArchAndroid came out in 2010 and that was the year I got to see her in concert twice!

When I saw her perform in New Orleans, some of her entourage noticed me in the front of the audience singing my heart out and invited me backstage to her tent after the show to interview her, which only made me respect her as an artist even more. She creates comic books to go along with her sci-fi themed albums, dances like no one businesses, and never falls back on sex appeal to sell her music. Janelle Monáe's music is about the music. No, I did not have a camera to document that wonderful event.

It has b…