Happy First of March.

Happy First of March.

In Bulgaria, the 1st of March is a national holiday under the the title ‘ Baba Marta’ – translated as ‘Grandma March.’ The tradition is that you put on your ‘martenitsa’ on the 1st of March and you wait until you see the first stork to take it off. A ‘martenitsa’ is made of red and white yarn to symbolise good health. It can take the form of a bracelet (the more hipster version) or a man and woman tassel that you pin to your outfit each day. The stork symbolises the coming season of Spring. And when you take it off… you can either tie it to a tree or children put it under a rock and the stork comes to replace your ‘martenitsa’ with money (one could say that this is a Tooth Fairy equivalent as there is no such story in Bulgarian Culture).

So here’s to the ending of Winter, and to a new spring. It may not be a new year, but personally, I feel like new opportunities are calling with the blossoming flowers.

Martenitsa

Честитa баба мартa, аз ви пожелавам щастие, здраве и късмет за пролетта.

Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in Central Park … bringing back graceful dance.

This is an extract from the film The Band Wagon (1953). Notice how the music starts way before the couple begins dancing, and even then, they don’t make contact until over a minute and a half into the song. The anticipation and gracefulness is absolutely stunning and reminds me, yet again, why I love Classical Hollywood Musicals.

P.S. If you want to get into film studies and this topic in particular… you MUST check out Rick Altman’s book The American Film Musical.

“Filmed dance is doubly difficult to evoke in words, for Hollywood’s directors have become unusually adept at making the camera dance along with the actors.” (Altman, 40)