1 second everyday: mars

Vad mycket dans det var i mars? Vad mycket musik och skoj och fint? Och en antydan till fågelkvitter? Tänk.

Lisa Ekdahl & Peter Nordahl Trio | When Did You Leave Heaven

fair city blues part III

On Sunday, we skipped classes! Yeah, I know. Bad blues dancing student! But we both felt that we more than anything else needed some rest and vacation time. It's a hard choice to make, because the teachers are so awesome, and there's always more to learn - but sometimes you need to listen to your body, you know?

We slept in and then had brunch at this place we found called Wuff. It was crowded and noisy but their vegetarian brekfast was sooo goood. As in, I even enjoyed the baked beans. When did that ever happen before?

After brunch we walked a couple of blocks to the Museum of History and Decorative Arts. Because we love museums.

We looked at things for a while, but the best exhibition was the one about the Easter Rising. Didn't photograph it, because of crying. I have to admit I hadn't really ... gotten it? Not that I still do. I don't think I can ever "get it". What I'm trying to say is, I felt really stupid for not understanding how much this still is a really big deal. I mean, it's all over Dublin, everywhere we went, there were signs, memorials and art about it.

More walking! We went to a huge park. So huge that we got tired after a while and turned around. :)

And then all of a sudden it was late afternoon and time to rest, get ready and walk to the Sunday social dance.

It was FABULOUS. Such a great party!

Also, look at this place? The Liquor Rooms immediately went to the top of my list for blues dancing venues (except for Forum which is always the best, hehe :)). There was space for dancing and and sitting down to relaxing in comfy armchairs ...

... and they had drinks. :) Like this one called Funny in Sweden. Ha! The text says "Created by our Swedish bartender John Norrman, who is known for spurting out the most ridiculous statements & jokes that could only be considered funny in Sweden". In the bottom corner was this joke: "- Why do you never see elephants hiding in trees? - Because they're really good at it". I laughed out loud when I read that. How does someone not find that funny? ... So I guess I must be pretty Swedish after all. :)

I didn't get that drink though, because I prefer my drinks sour, fruity & sweet as opposed to bitter. I got the Lazy Daisy Swizzle and it was delicious.

And here is my Swedish bartender! :) (Not the one who created the Funny in Sweden drink. But still funny to see everyone's heads turning when we started to speak Swedish. :)) Also, it was a treat just watching her at work. She was So Fast.

Annette, dancing as always when she DJ:s. <3

Here's a photo I didn't take: Annette played a song by my band, the Sky is Crying (actually it was a version of Miss Celie's Blues). She smiled and pointed at me and I got so shy and embarrassed that I literally ran an hid. What? Why? I don't know? It was so BIZARRE. Singing on stage has become as natural as talking to me. But hearing my own voice on a recording played to a dancing crowd - that was really strange. In a not altogether uncomfortable way. :)

This is my favorite photo of the night. I know - I have weird taste. But I just like the colors and the movement so much. And the depth of field and the slight grain. It captures the mood of my memories from the party so well, even though it's far from the traditional "good dance photo".

Here's another photo I didn't take: There was a loudspeaker of the perfect size just next to the dance floor, to one side of the DJ booth. The perfect size in this case meant just the right size for me to crawl up on it and sit comfortably on something like a high, large, square stool. It was getting late - or rather, early - and I was a little tired, but in the good way - you know the way that makes you feel like not dancing is perfect? I sat there enjoying my drink and the mood of the party, while Dan Repsch, who was DJ:ing, created the perfect soul party.

And I couldn't help but thinking: This is it. This is what I dreamed of as a teenager.

You know, when I turned 18 and started going out, I just wanted to dance. But there were so few clubs that had good music. And even if they did, my friends and I would often be the only ones dancing. I wanted a dance floor crowded with people who can really move. Where no one was drunk and everyone happy, and the music just deliriously great. This is it, I realised. Through blues dancing, I found it. Who would have thought?

I thought: I have to go get my camera.
And then I knew: I can't miss this.
So I didn't.

And then we went to dance on Ha'penny Bridge.

And that's the lot, my friends; another lovely dance event comes to and end. Luckily, there's more dance events to come - I have four more booked between now and July. Heh! That sounds crazy when I say it out loud! I haven't counted before. :) Let me just say, it's really convenient for your wallet when your hobby starts to pay for itself through singing and photography. :)

Mark Ronson | Uptown Funk

fair city blues part II

On Saturday we woke up to this lovely weather and went to classes. I didn't take a single photo of them, but I enjoyed them a lot and was reminded of some things that I needed to hear. So that was great!

Then we went home to get some rest, and then we went to the Saturday dance. (Yeah, I know, so many photos from bridges ... But it was just so pretty!)

And look who played on Saturday night? Our friend Christoffer! So this must be the first blues dance festival outside of Sweden that has actually booked two acts from Gothenburg? The organisers posted this on their facebook page when they introduced the bands: "Since he also hails from Gothenburg, we are wondering if there is some bluesy magic in the water over there". Ha! There totally is! :)

(Actually though, I am wondering why there aren't more blues dance bands (and by that, I mean blues bands with blues dancers in them) from other cities? I feel like in swing dance, everybody and their aunt picks up an instrument after a while, starts to play and forms bands. And bands get booked left and right - many without being very good, which gives them opportunities to practise playing for people, which in some cases (but not all) helps them get better. Why isn't it the same in blues?)

And now, dance photos! I didn't get many, because they had an official photographer and I didn't want to disturb people when there was already someone else clicking away in the room. But I took a few, just to try and capture the mood of this evening:

This is my favorite photo from the day. :) I think it's the most "Annette" photo I've ever taken!

Here's a photo I didn't take: My very best dance of the night was with myself. So weird and (for me) unusal when that happens! Christoffer was playing A Case of You by Joni Mitchell; a song that has been one of my favorites since I was in high school. I've performed it myself loads of times; it means so much to me that I even sang it at my graduation concert when I graduated from the Academy of Music and Drama. Christoffer's version is truly beautiful and I was solo dancing to it in a state of complete emotional bliss. (I'm thinking it may be hard to understand for non-dancers; but all of you dancers who read this, I think you know what I mean.)

I wasn't just dancing - there was also a lot och talking and catching up with friends to do. Oh, and here's the complete history of the languages of the British Isles, drawn and explained by Gordon. :)

All in all, it was a lovely night.

P.S. ... If you were one of the people who don't know me (yet) but saw me at Fair City Blues and asked me/ wondered if Mattias and I are a romantic couple: No, we are not. :) I completely adore him and he is a very close friend of mine, but we are not a couple. We are extremely different in everything from temperament to interests (except for dance), but we travel together very well, and we play together even better - or at least I hope you agree. :) (As a matter of fact, we are both in relationships with someone we met through blues dancing. :) This is Mattias' girlfriend Anna and this is my partner Jens. So now you have the whole scoop! :))

(Here's part I of this trip.)

fair city blues part I

So, last week, Mattias and I went to Dublin to play, sing & dance the blues!

We arrived on Thursday night and went straight to Jack Nealon's pub for their Thursday blues dance. I was tired and didn't dance much, but it's always nice to see what the local dance scene is like. And, of course, lovely to meet dance friends!

On Friday, we decided to explore Dublin a little bit. Both of us agree that the best way to do that is by simply walking around. But first: breakfast.

And by breakfast I mean large amounts of food which I would have otherwise called dinner. :)

This is how Mattias feels about large amounts of food. :)

And then we just started walking.

Feelings of spring in St Stephen's Green!

We found a donut place just outside the park and figured, well, why not? :)

It was delicious. Maybe the best donut I've ever had!

We continued walking and got to Temple Bar after a while.

And then we went touristing on Ha'penny bridge.

On the other side of the bridge, we found a lovely bookshop! I love bookshops in genereal. Even more if they are snuggly corners like this one.

Féach gach treo!

Here's a photo I didn't take: Later that night, while I was singing; the feeling of being on the right place at the right time. How much I love singing, and seeing our music interpreted by the dancers instantly. It is nothing short of magic.

Here's another photo I didn't take: After we had played both our sets, and talked to everyone who came up to us (people were giving us so much love, I almost got a little shy!), they served snacks in the upstairs lounge. I took some slices of orange (my favorite) and a couple of cookies and snuck into a chair in a corner by myself. I get like that after playing on stage: Having poured so much of myself out into the music, I need to rest and be quiet - often for the rest of the night; partying after a gig is not for me. Just sitting down alone, listening to the music, watching people dancing across the room; that was perfect.