You see, three of these festivals are scheduled this week. Two of them are held nearby (Anseong and Cheonan which is just 40 minutes away) and another in Seoul. Forget Seoul! I was after Cheonan and Anseong. Cheonan decided to do a dance festival, and I was really hoping I'd come watch the show at least. I got a bit intimidated by the Cheonan's programs as there was a photography competition. It's a contest where photographers take pictures of the entire festival at a span of time, and the price is a bit huge. I saw pictures of last year's event and I saw about a hundred photographers competing in one small space for this competition. I though, "meh" I'm not up to the challenge.
Sometime, I had this urge to come out to the city for dinner. And somehow, I have this strange urge of bringing my gear out with me. On my way after dinner, I was surprised that there are some roads closed and we're all re-routed to alternatives. Then I started seeing some people in traditional Korean costumes. I thought something's going on in here. Little did I know that there was a parade an hour ago. And little did I know that tonight was the opening. It was a good thing that I started hearing music from nearby, and the traffic wasn't so bad. I got myself in a park and sure enough, there were plenty of people.
So I squeezed myself in the middle of the crowd, hoping I could get a good view of the show. I wasn't able to come close enough and I was in the middle of quite a busy crowd. People passing by, bumping and pushing everyone on their way, it was a horrible position for photography. But I persisted and set up my tripod and camera. The only lens I have that has enough reach was my Canon 55-250mm EFS kit lens. Not a fast lens and the reach is just okay. It's the only thing I could use though, so I just have to work it out. I realized that shows like these have enough light. This is good. The problem is my angle of view. I was stuck at the farthest left side from the stage. But like I said, I just have to work it out.
So I took pictures here and there and I was glad. I got so excited when I saw some Filipino representatives showcasing lots of our traditional dances (it's commercialized so I wouldn't really call them "traditional"). And I know my lens, distance, light, position, and skills, wouldn't bring justice to this performance. I know because I tried in the earlier part of the dance. So I switched to video mode and just tried to get whatever is left. It's a pity that I only got the very last part of it.
|Then comes what I think is one of the most beautiful sets of Filipino dances. Representing the arts of Mindanao.|
|And for their finale, with the same music, came everyone to do their stuff in such a beautifully synchronized choreography.|
|The problem with this performance is the transition of music. Everyone (that includes me) assumed this was the very last of it. Little did we know that they still had one last dance (finale) to perform and I already shut down video mode.|
It was utter chaos and for some reason, my lens was having such a hard time focusing. It was hard enough to track the fast movements of the dancers, along with their complex choreography, and the fact that I'm not familiar with this dance. To make it worse, my lens was going spastic with the lights.
|Just click on this picture and it'll re-direct you to my flickr page starting with this.|
All-in-all, I think this was another educational experience. I haven't performed well, but I realized my gear and attitude for these stage shows are just not good enough. I bet if I payed more attention to the schedule, had enough time to set myself up, and a faster focusing lens OR better my skills, I would have come up with amazing pictures. At least, good enough to showcase such beautiful performances.