This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘Balabasta’

Video: Balabasta 2012

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 22, 2012


 
Although I love taking photos, video does a better job of capturing music, not too surprisingly. I made a short video of some of the performances we saw that night. It’s a bit tricky recording without something stable like a tripod because of the crowds. That’s why it’s a bit shaky in some frames.

“Balabasta”, the name of the festival, is a play on words. It literally means “Come to the market stall” (“ba la-basta”) but it also sounds like the Yiddish word for “housewife” (balabusta).

I edited the clips with Pinnacle Studio Ultimate. I’m still learning, but I’m starting to get the hang of it. It definitely makes editing a lot faster and provides more control.

Posted in Israel, videos | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Balabasta 2012 – Cultural Festival in Mahane Yehuda Shuk

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 21, 2012

Balabasta 2012

Butterfly girl on the roof, about 3 stories above the ground.

I’m just taking a break from the Florence photos….

Last Sunday we went to Balabasta, the cultural festival in the Mahane Yehuda shuk in Jerusalem. This will probably be the last Balabasta. The merchants’ association opposed the festival because they have their businesses disrupted and don’t gain very much from the crowds. Tourists don’t buy tomatoes and pita. They take pictures, eat, and drink, so the restaurants and cafes are the ones who benefit. I made a video of some of the musicians and am uploading it to YouTube (I love my new video-editing software, Pinnacle Studio 15!).

Oud (stringed instrument) on the left and darbouka (drum) on the right.

Balabasta 2012

Hanging laundry from one of the balconies.

Balabasta 2012

Woman in flower costume on opposite balcony. Last year the woman dressed in roses was on this balcony.

Balabasta 2012

Players outside the backgammon club. They’re always there.

Balabasta 2012

Artist Shvut Kula creates mosaics from materials of the shuk, mainly beans and seeds.

Balabasta 2012

Balabasta 2012

Balabasta 2012

Klezmer trio in the alley

Balabasta 2012

Chess tournament in the Iraqi shuk

Balabasta 2012

Telling fortunes in the main covered shuk. It was very dark, so this photo wasn’t easy to get.

Balabasta 2012

Aharon Menachem, oud player and singer, performing Kurdish music on the roof.

Balabasta 2012

Na Ya Sangit (I hope I transliterated her name correctly) sings Indian music.

Balabasta 2012

Balabasta 2012

Zither player in a Yemenite ensemble.

Balabasta 2012

Dancers in the very crowded square. At one point the zither player said, “Please dance only if you really know how to dance Yemenite dances. Otherwise it’s too painful for us to watch.” That didn’t seem to discourage the wannabees, though!

Balabasta 2012

Posted in Israel, photography | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Return to Balabasta

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 27, 2011

Pirhana Iraqi band

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.

Parhana (Iraqi band)

Balancing Beer Bottle

They make such clever hearing aids these days…

Man with cherries on his ear

Violin and oud duo inside the shuk:

Oud and Fiddle Duo

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:

Meir Asor (drums) and Yo'ad Shoshani (bass)

Yo'ad Shoshani (bass guitar)

Meir Asor

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.

Face-painting

Mime

Edgo and Salomon playing traditional Ethiopian instruments:

Edgo and Salomon (Ethiopian musicians)

This is a krar, a 5-stringed lyre from Ethiopia and Eritrea, tuned to the pentatonic scale.

Ethiopian musician

This instrument is a masenko or masenqo, a single-stringed, bowed instrument.

Ethiopian musician

The chess tournament continues:

Young chess players

Band on the roof

Mahane Yehuda Street

And the winner of this year’s Miss Pungent Pageant….

Ms Garlic and Peppers

Posted in Israel, photography | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Balabasta 2011

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 20, 2011

Balabasta 2011

For the second consecutive year, the Jerusalem municipality sponsored a cultural festival, Balabasta, in the Mahane Yehuda shuk. It takes place on Mondays in July, so if you plan to go, next Monday is your last chance! There are bands playing on the roof, performance artists, acrobats, people in costume, people dancing, and the place is packed. There is so much to see, so please forgive me if this post gets a little long.

We went fairly early (around 6:30) because the fast day of 17 Tammuz starts at sundown. Although the fast doesn’t begin until the following morning, my husband thought it would be inappropriate to stay after dark on that particular day. The name Balabasta is a pun on different levels. A “basta” is a market stall, so “balabasta” sounds like “ba’ le-basta” (“Come to the market stall”) and like “balabusta” (Yiddish for housewife, ba’alat ha-bayit).

The band on the roof was a religious band, Acharit haYammim (English site with videos and photos). The open road of the shuk was so crowded that they were very difficult to photograph, especially with the high parapet. These were taken with 135mm zoom lens:

Balabasta 2011

Balabasta 2011

It was very crowded below, with some dancing and others watching and taking pictures.

Balabasta 2011

Balabasta 2011

The guy in the wheelchair with the “Will you marry me” sign is a regular. My officemate saw him last week with a “Will you talk to me” sign. He seemed quite popular!

Balabasta 2011

This boy and his friend were totally absorbed by their phones. The parallelism of their positions caught my eye.

Balabasta 2011

Two women stood on facing balconies, dressed in flowers.

Balabasta 2011

Dancer in a tutu made of “Rami Levy” (discount supermarket) bags:

Balabasta 2011

Balabasta 2011

Balabasta 2011

This woman was performing inside the covered shuk (Etz Chaim), in front of a boutique. My husband thought that maybe we should buy a knife at the kitchen store and set this poor girl free….

Balabasta 2011

Blues band in an alley (going downhill, near the Iraqi shuk):

Balabasta 2011

Chess tournament in the Iraqi shuk:

Balabasta 2011

Balabasta 2011

The break dancers were very difficult to photograph! They move so fast, but the sun was going down so I needed a longer exposure. I was also in a really bad position, stuck behind dancers who were getting ready to move onto the mat, so I didn’t have many clear shots.

Balabasta 2011

This guy with the toilet plungers was hamming it up for me!

Balabasta 2011

Juggler with music, props, and lots of balls.

Balabasta 2011

Balabasta 2011

Balabasta 2011

I wish I could have gotten a better angle of the refraction in the ball in the last shot but I was behind two young girls and the crowd of spectators was tightly packed.

Posted in Israel, photography | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »