Return to Balabasta
Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 27, 2011
OK, now that I’ve got your attention (that is, if you happen to like good-looking young men in tight clothing who can sing in Iraqi Arabic), this is the lead singer of Parhana (not sure how to transliterate the name of the group into English). Imagine about 100 people crammed into a tiny square to watch this band at Balabasta, the Mahane Yehuda cultural festival held on Mondays in July. Despite the heat, quite a few people were dancing. Or balancing beer bottles on their heads.
They make such clever hearing aids these days…
Violin and oud duo inside the shuk:
When photographing performers I’m never sure whether to post group shots or portraits of individuals. Although group shots show the whole setting, I find that they look like snapshots (or at least the ones I take). Individual portraits have more impact.
We went back to Balabasta for the final night and I was pleasantly surprised to find almost no overlap in performers. We also went later and stayed later than we did last week, but the bands posted at the various stages was different. So if you’re wondering whether, next year, it’s worth going more than once, I would say that it is. Just remember that it’s very crowded, so you might not want to take young kids if they have a tendency to wander off.
Yo’ad Shoshani on bass guitar and Meir Asor on drums:
A little boy having his face painted. I was struck by the juxtaposition of a little boy in a big velvet kippah having his face painted by a woman with tattoos and lots of piercings, in a cat costume. They were surrounded by a circle of parents. I had to kneel and take the photo very quickly when two people stepped apart briefly.
Edgo and Salomon playing traditional Ethiopian instruments:
This is a krar, a 5-stringed lyre from Ethiopia and Eritrea, tuned to the pentatonic scale.
This instrument is a masenko or masenqo, a single-stringed, bowed instrument.
The chess tournament continues:
And the winner of this year’s Miss Pungent Pageant….