Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Nouveau Tourist


I've always liked the Art Nouveau style. Great lines, cool use of symbolism, really cool in it's use of functionalism.

There was a Czech artist, by the name of Alphons Mucha who was a master of the art form. Initially based in Paris, he was a sensation in creating beautiful posters for advertisements for such things as theatre productions, as well as commercial products. He returned to the Czech republic after the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. He participated in much of the city's artistic designs, including the new Municipal House, and stain glass in the St. Vitus Cathedral.

While the Municipal House was closed to touring, save on Saturdays, there was an exhibit of Art Nouveau in Croatia. While much of the paintings seemed to owe much more to French impressionism, with the Art Nouveau use of allegory, and the posters seemed to be weak imitations of their Parisian counterparts, the architecture and furniture pieces were the highlight of the exhibit. Fuctional, yet with great uses of lines, symmetries and asymmetries. Beautiful pieces of furniture.

Don't Say I Never Do My Homework

I did check in into the local tango scene here in Prague. There is a weekly class, as well as weekly milonga. I checked out both. The class, as it turned out, was very small - about four couples. I really couldn't find myself breaking into that. It felt almost intrusive, especially with my bull-like capacity for English.

As for the milonga, well, it was more populated with perhaps twenty-odd milongueros. But, let's be honest, at the best of times, I'm not one for going out dancing with out a wingman (preferably a wing-woman[1] and dancing partner). If nothing else, it's good to have someone to chat with between (infrequent) dances. Still, it was a nice space, and regular, making the local tango scene a bit better than Glasgow.

[1] Not a winged woman. This would certainly make for a memorable entrance, but may put off the rest of the dancers. I mean, how does one compete with that?

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