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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

I just came back from a week long business trip to Beijing, China.  One of the most memorable events of the trip was a variety show at a Beijing teahouse called Lao Tse teahouse climaxing with an exceptional face changing routine typical of the Sichuan Opera.  With remarkable slight of hand, the performer will change masks seven to ten times during an approximate 3 minute performance; often right in front of you.   Some may consider it as an  illusionist or magic trick, but more rightfully, it’s an art form developed in southern China that takes years and years to perfect.  While not the actual Sichuan opera performance I watched, here’s an example clip of Sichuan opera. (more…)

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On Saturday evening August 8, I attended a concert called Explosion 2009 in Oakland, California which featured popular Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam.   Also included in the show were rising female singer Sunidhi Chauhan, rap group Hard Kaur, and a bhangra competition featuring California bhangra teams (primarily teenagers and twenty-somethings).    I thoroughly enjoyed the show—some of my highlights and lowlights were: (more…)

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I just finished reading the recently released book The Defector, by Daniel Silva.  Silva is the best selling author of thriller and espionage books, having written 12 thriller novels, many of which have reached the New York Times best selling list.   A fan of the thriller genre, I’ve read and enjoyed Silva’s previous 11 books and as usual, quickly purchased The Defector when it was released in July.   The Defector continues the Gabriel Allon series, the Israeli intelligence hero that Silva has used in his last 8 books.   Here are a couple of initial thoughts, without giving away the entire story. (more…)

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I recently attended a local Indian dance program  and really enjoyed the live music, mostly from musicians who had flown to California from India.     Along with the violinst, I particularly enjoyed the tabla player.    Being a very amateur (and I mean amateur) photographer, I took some video of the performance.    Here is some brief video I call Hands of a Tabla Player. (more…)

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The current viral sensation sweeping the web is the fun wedding entrance dance into a church in St. Paul, Minnesota.    Titled J&K Wedding Entrance Dance, within a week, it has 7 million views, visits for the wedding party to the Today Show and Good Morning America; and even a recreation of the dance on the Today Show. (more…)

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The sudden passing of Michael Jackson this week has stirred up emotions and retrospectives around the world.   There is no question that the impact of his music has been profound on young and old, of all races, globally.   Arguably, that impact can’t be matched by any other entertainer during the last 40 years.  A truly global icon has left us—Princess Diana, John Lennon, Elvis Presley would be the other individuals with similar impact in my life-time.   A clear demonstration on the type of legacy great music can leave and how music gets permanently embedded in our minds.  While life seems to move by so quickly these days, the remembrance of Thriller, Beat It and Bad makes it feel like yesterday.   While the coverage has been widespread in the media and focuses on both the good and the bad associated with Michael Jackson, I’m struck by some specific aspects of Michael’s passing—the involvement of social media in the remembrance of Michael Jackson and his global appeal. (more…)

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One side effect of the success of Slumdog Millionaire has been the new interest around the world in traditional Bollywood films.   While Slumdog Millionaire was produced by a British team and it is debatable if it should be called a Bollywood movie,  most movie watchers are unaware of that nuance and some have started to inquire about other Bollywood movies.  I had a conversation with a colleague of mine at work who had never seen a Bollywood movie and was now expressing interest.   I suggested that he watch one of my favorite movies Lagaan as his introduction to Bollywood and brought him the DVD to watch.  Knowing that he’s a movie buff and very aware of most mainstream American movies, I used  a comparison to the international mega-hit Lord of the Rings- The Fellowship of the Ring to describe the movie.  (more…)

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