Sep 16, 2008

How Jetlag Leads to Riverdance

This past Thursday or Friday, it came about that, in the course of the inevitable dopey cranky screaming sour circadian adjustment otherwise known as 13-hour-time-difference jetlag, I had to rout Bella up out of a 5-hour-long sleeping-like-the-dead nap to have dinner, and hopefully, a somewhat reasonable bedtime.

What resulted was a conversation with far-reaching implications. In an attempt to distract her from her nasty whining toxic chicken-nugget-flinging self, I described my plans for us for the weekend: "We'll go to the International Children's Festival and see Lolo (that's "grandfather" in Tagalog; as in, my dad) play with the Balalaika Orchestra, and then we'll go see the Finnish dancing girls." According to the festival's website, there was to be a dance troupe from Finland performing traditional dances. It was only upon further perusal of the program that I discovered that 1) they would be performing in the EXACT SAME time slot that Lolo's Balalaika Orchestra would be performing, and that 2) they would only be performing for 15 minutes. No matter - Bella was now fired up about the idea of "Dancing Goils" and demanded that we go see them RIGHT NOW.

So what does any resourceful mother of the 21st century do when faced with such a request? I got on YouTube. Unfortunately, searching for "Dancing Girls" or even "Finnish Dancing Girls" on YouTube generates some pretty decidedly non-rated-G material, if you know what I mean. Luckily, in an absolute stroke of GENIUS, I thought of -- Riverdance. Ireland has dancing girls, I mean, dancing goils, and how would Bella know the difference between Irish dancing goils and Finnish dancing goils?

This is how these things begin.

Late into the night, we watched clip after clip of Riverdance while Bella clapped and screeched in delight and pranced on the stepstool she was standing on to see the computer screen. I'm sure she went to sleep (eventually) with visions of pretty goils (and possibly, ugh, "Lord of the Dance" Michael Flatley) dancing in her head.

Well, Sunday finally rolled around and we headed out to Wolftrap (an outdoor performance venue complex outside Washington DC), and the dancing goils did not disappoint - after the Balalaika Orchestra performance were an Irish dance troupe and then a flamenco school. And in 95 degree heat, forgetting her naptime, Bella danced through all of it.

It all ended a bit ignominously -- after going strong for almost 3 hours, Bella tried to join the flamenco dancers and threw herself down on the stage floor, screaming, when I tried to gently coax her back into the audience. We beat a hasty retreat to the car and the air conditioning, where Bella revived somewhat, chattering away more or less happily until we got home. And then, as soon as we got in the door and she spied "her" laptop in its usual spot: "Bella watch some dancing goils?"

If she one day becomes a prima ballerina or the Twyla Tharp of the 21st century, I may consider changing the title of this post to "A Star is Born."


Bella dancing during the musical interlude of the Irish jigging. Unfortunately, I turned off the video before the bandleader called for and got everyone to give Bella a round of applause.

Never mind what I said about Riverdance being rated G. Here's a truly disturbing video where they eventually strip down to their sports bras and control top grannypants. I wouldn't let Bella watch this one. So wrong.