Sometimes it’s easy to let the little “bad” things get in the way all the good. Or at least sometimes I do that. First let me apologieze for the previous post for anyone that might have taken it the wrong way. One frustrating issue during an event does not make the whole event frustrating — and that’s the preface I should have had in that post.
Because overall, last night’s Cairo in Columbus was probably one of the most smoothly run shows I’ve had the pleasure of playing (and if this helps put the previous statement in context I’ve played thousands).
So let me step back (or forward as it were) and say all the great things about Chandara’s event that I should have said in the previous post first.
First, Chandara is a gracious hostess–she extended every courtesy to us and the dancers, even as far as letting dancers run their numbers between 4 and 7 while the rest of us were busy getting things set up after having to clean up after the previous clients of the youth center (which just happened to be a group of teenage boys).
Chandara found the time to talk through what she wanted and addressed all the issues we had as they came up during our set-up. This despite running around having to direct the sound person, DJ, MC, Light crew, “Concession stand” people, several vendors, door people, not to mention the dozens of dancers that surely were vying for her attention.
Everything had a festive feel–this wasn’t jsut a show, it was an event the size of a mini0festival. And knowing from my own past experience trying to run even a evening long “festival” type event, it’s no easy feat. in fact, i would venture to say it’s an impossible one for just one person to run and direct, but somehow she managed to do it (with the help of some judicious delegation).
The line-up was set before the show, and even with the few changes right before (such as her troupe’s performance with il Troubadore) and a couple of “no shows” the event was timed out impeccably and the show managed to finish a few minutes early–even with two extra ten minute (or so) intermissions.
Any issue I may have implied to have in the previous post had nothing to do with Chandar, or her ability to run this show. It was more a logistical issue that I, as a working musician, have only recently encountered that wasn’t at all specific to her event. Just something I hadn’t forseen being an issue until we encountered it and the side-effects of having to deal with it in real-time. It’s something I would like to be able to have a good answer for, but obviously still don’t since I felt the need to post about it. But it is not something our hostess could have forseen as being an issue. And for the most part, it is as much of an aesthetic issue as anything–if we didn’t care as much how it would lok to the audience it would be a non-issue.
The venue was probably the perfect size for this event, and that is something that can be difficult to find in any city. Sometimes an event is just too large for a venue, more often, it is far too small for the venue, but Chandara has managed to make the right fit for event to venue without it feeling too crowded, and more importantly, without it feeling too sparsely populated with event-goers. If she has this knack for setting up all her events, then I’m more than confident they must have been and felt as successful as this one was.
As for the performances themselves, Chandara must surely have a good feel for the styles of the dancers as there was a good mix without one particular style or genre of dance predominating during any paortion of the show. the whole event had a great ebb and flow and this helped to make it far more interesting than just slapping dancers in a random order, or worse yet just lining them up in the order they chose to ask to perform.
Any lack of communication before the show was as much my fault as anything else, but il troub is pretty easy going about things and very flexible. There really was practically nothing she could have done better by us. Well, maybe she could have waited on us hand and foot, but that wasn’t her job, was it? 😉
If given the chance, I would love to perform this or any other event that Chandara puts on. Only request is that she dance with us next time!