A few friends have mentioned that they enjoy hearing and seeing photos from, or someday going to a lot of the random and out of the ordinary stuff I run around doing while I'm not working translating, teaching, with the study abroad programs or ...trying to become famous in commercials. In fact, even a couple of my bosses have started suggesting all the neat festivals they see in the media or even hooking me up with interesting opportunities (one of my bosses almost got me a temporary thing with the Amazing Race recently!)
Anyway, I figured our trip South to Chillan for another Convencion de Malabarismo was a big enough event to merit another post of this sort, with a little more detail than I included last time (the linked post to a similar conve in Los Andes) of what these are all about.
In a nutshell, attending a conve is pretty much like having a drunken Cirque du Soleil themed slumber party for you and a couple hundred of your closest street performers.
We took off on Thursday and bussed to Chillan, a surprisingly nice city pretty close to Concepcion. We got there in the middle of the night and walked to the location, which is usually a school or gym like this one where everybody sets up tents. There are probably about 90some tents in this picture.
Attending the convention for a weekend usually costs between $5,000 - $10,000 (I've heard Pucon charges $25,000) and includes all the workshops and shows and one or two meals per day. Lots of people complain about the prices which are practically less than you'd spend if you were sitting around at your own house, or...squat, perhaps. (I'm slightly kidding, most people would probably be surprised that a large number of people who do these activities are actually integrated into mainstream society, pursuing degrees in [any noun] engineering, etc...).
At night there are usually various shows and presentations to watch which are performed by the more experienced attendees and those that are teaching the workshops. In Conception there was a show for the public in the town center one night, a concert in a theater, a show of performances, and a fire/lights show.
The workshops and art forms practiced and displayed usually are clown/payaso, mime, juggling, swing, unicycle, trapeze, diabolo, chinese pole, tela (this time aro and cinta), mano a mano, hand balancing, acrobatics, various types of dance, and some other randoms that show up depending on the interests of the people attending. There is always something new to me going on.
Jugging light up pins, though I'm not big on psychedelic photos unless there's a neat silhouette...as there isnt, particularily, here:
I personally don't participate in the majority of the activities, but rather just do my thing as paparazzo and hang out. OK, I wont lie, I usually sneak away to the tent to finally get a little sleep, as going to bed at night tends to be a little like trying to get some shut eye in the middle of a disco, yet with plastic pins and stuff flying everywhere. I was especially bummed that even a megaphone announcing the makeup and clown nose workshop did not wake me from my nap, because when I showed up near the end, it looked especially awesome:
They brought in a great band, Mano Ajena, and there were crowd-surfers that were barely old enough to attend kindergarden:
All in all it was a great weekend and I saw and did lots of neat stuff. Next time I'm bringing earplugs.
P.s. I thought the bus we took from Valparaiso to Chillan was uncomfortable, but I don't think my transportation will ever again sink lower than this, which they used to take 50-60 of us per load. No windows. No air. Nothing to cling on to. Crazy driver.... scary.