Popcorn, Russia, and Spain

Attending live simulcast performances of opera, theatre, and ballet at local movie theaters is on the list of things I like to do. I love live performances, but I appreciate the accessibility and ease of simulcasts. They aren’t expensive, they don’t require a plane trip or a passport, there’s popcorn, the seats are comfy, and you always get a good view. Through these performances I am transported to other places and times.

Depending on the camera angle, the viewpoint can vary. You can be a fly on the wall, but you also might be a fly behind the curtain or a fly in the orchestra pit. Before performances begin and during intermission, you see and hear the stage hands and performers as they prepare. There is always a thrill in hearing “maestro to the pit” when an opera is set to begin and the conductor is called to his or her place. During performances, the camera work allows you up-close views of the performers, the costumes, and the sets. Although the views are less spectacular than what the in-house audience sees, they have an intimate feel. It’s wonderful.

When I’m with fellow weavers, we marvel at the costumes. We particularly love the dresses, which are amazing in their detail and workmanship. I would expect sequins and beads to be glued on, but I can see that they are individually sewn. The hems are rolled and hand stitched. Men’s waistcoats and suits show piping and rows of perfectly aligned buttons. There is damask, brocade, velvet, lace, and silk to behold—all while beautiful music is playing. For me, it is more about the sensory experience than the story being told (which is often, frankly, somewhat improbable).

Last year I watched the Bolshoi Ballet perform Don Quixote in Moscow. Sitting in a theater in Orange County, California, I was transported to Russia. The theater was stunning with chandeliers, gold, red velvet, and sparkling lights. Then as the ballet began, I was transported to Spain and the story of Don Quixote and Pancho Sanchez. Leaving the theater, I was almost shocked to find myself back home in America.

If you are like me and you love beautiful weaving and visiting other lands (however vicariously), the Weaving Around the World Pattern Pack available as download, has your number. The pack contains five weaving patterns, each from a different region of the world: the Baltics, Russia, Africa, West Timor, and Pennsylvania.

woven towels

Left: The Show Towel by Tom Knisely Right from top: Sotis Cloth from West Timor by Kay Faulkner, Moscow Nights Tea Towels by Jenny Sennott, Kente-Inspired Scarf by Suzanne Halvorson, Baltic Hearts Tea Towels by Susan J. Foulkes.

Susan Foulkes’s Baltic Hearts Tea Towels bring to mind the band weaving of the Baltic countries and are the perfect gift for yourself or someone you love. Travel to Moscow with Jenny Sennott’s Moscow Nights Tea Towels that conjure up the luxury of the Bolshoi. Fly to Southeast Asia via Kay Faulkner’s beautiful Sotis Cloth, woven to mimic the fabrics woven on backstrap looms on West Timor. Closer to home, Tom Knisely’s Show Towel reflects a rich Pennsylvania German tradition. And finally, Suzanne Halvorsen’s Kente Inspired Scarf pays homage to the textile traditions of Africa. Enjoy your trip and bon voyage. Maybe I’ll see you at the next opera; I’ll share my popcorn.

Weave well,
Susan

Featured Image: Getty Images.


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