Great end to the season.
On February 14, 2013 I was honored with the task of photographing the Rise against Violence towards Women event that took place on California State University San Marcos’s campus. This Valentine’s Day was filled with new forms of celebrating. Organizations that provide services on campus and from around town manned booths that provided information and resources for safe sex. The crowd began to build and the flash mob had made the statement to “Stand Up and Rise Against Violence.” Women gave speeches, recited against the heinous indignities forced on the feminine species, preached towards intolerance for those that so easily turn their heads at the problem, declared emotions and reclaimed their identities by honoring themselves and others.
The media had stated that this was an event for women. Supposedly, only woman were asked to rise up and take the stand. In our atmosphere, not only women rose to make the statement, but all genders and creeds came together to bear witness. Contributions to the statement were literally posted on the ground and raised high from banners.
I chose to create this photo of the event as the crowd was beginning to part. One of the Fraternities was gracing people with roses in honor of Valentine’s Day as the event was being carried out. I thought, “How appropriate it is to share a red rose…” for all that the red rose has stood for throughout the centuries: love, delicacy, prickly thorns, passion, loss. How many red roses were given with dishonorable intentions? How many sentiments of love were truly sincere? Does it even hold true meaning anymore? For the innocence lost and for the love that the act of sex is supposed to represent.
I never used to think much of Valentine’s Day. I respected and appreciated the original purpose of remembering Saint Valentine and the cause he stood for in upholding love above all else. Yet, without a real feeling of the romantic sense of “love” in my life, the day of celebration meant nothing to me but funny boxes full of chocolates you can see everyday at See’s, red roses that get marked up in price only for this event, and lots of red and pink everywhere! Now that I’m married it seems to have taken on a whole new meaning. Still not quite sure of what that is yet…but I’ve gained a new-found respect for the holiday that I never had before. It’s an extra day to appreciate the person that’s come to love me through all the odd moments in life. For always finding his way in, regardless of where we were or what might have become, and always respecting that…even if he didn’t respect the people I may have been seeing at the time without him with me, ha ha. For all the challenges that love brings! And for all the satisfaction that comes with having it true! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Coronado had an extra glow beaming from the Performing Arts Center on February 8th. Opening night for the Nations of San Diego International Dance Festival began at 8:00 pm Friday night. Patrons were graced with dance performances from the Kathak Dance Company, Rachael George Belly Dance, the Flamenco Arana, Moonlight Chinese Dance Association, the Malone Academy, Nanahuatzin Folkloric Dance, Tango Alma, the Pualani Dancers, and the PASACAT. Coincidentally, Aine Prendergast, a recently graduate from California State University San Marcos (Spring 2012), was performing Irish Step Dancing with the Malone Academy. She was gracious enough to inform me that the hard shoes used to perform in Step Dance are now made from fiberglass, rather than wood and nails. As Aine found her way back to the stage, the PASACAT group had also shared an interesting detail about the Filipine style dances performed by their group: men danced circle dances in formal attire as they clanged bamboo castanets together in their hands. This comes from Spanish cultural influences, but the Spanish use wooden castanets. One very interesting detail about the performance conducted by the Moonlight Chinese Dance Association was that wooden tobacco boxes that were commonly found in China after World War II accented their hands. Soldiers had left behind a large quantity of these round, thin, wooden boxes and the countryside was littered with them. The boxes were painted red on the outside and decorated with thin, golden tassels that accentuated the women’s movements as they danced using hand gestures. The adaptation evolved in Southern China and was incorporated in costuming for Chinese dance. The evenings performances were filled with culture, color, extravagant costumes and a great deal of talent. Director, Betzi Roe, had every right to dance the night away in celebration with her performers.
The photographs I had included here show examples of the performances. The pictures were taken with my T3 DSLR. I used the standard lens when taking the pictures because I’m limited on resources.