Thank you very much to all who entered our first photo contest! We received numerous beautiful images which made choosing 1st and 2nd place winners a challenge. Judging was based on composition, execution, emotional quality and how the image related to the categories specified.
Below are the winners starting with Best Overall:
"their performance intends to encapsulate and embody the soul and energy of the entire school"
Photographer: Eric Crawford
Image details: Rio de Janiero, 2003The photo shows a rehearsal of a prominent Rio de
Janeiro samba school, GRES Imperatriz Leopoldinense.
It shows the porta-bandeira (flag-bearer) and her
partner, the mestre-sala, practicing out of costume.
It was taken about two weeks before the 2003 carnaval
parade. Not in full costume but with other dancers,
the percussion ensemble "bateria", and the truck with
the amplified singers, guitarists, and cavaquinho
These pre-Carnaval rehearsals are open and free to the
public, and happen in the Sambodromo where the actual
parade competition takes place. (Earlier rehearsals
take place for weeks or months in the neighborhoods of
the schools themselves, some of which are more than an
hour from central Rio.)
The dancers in Rio's samba schools perform solo "samba
no pe" but the porta-bandeira and mestre-sala are a
bit of an exception. They swirl around the flag of the
school and each other; they dance more or less as a
couple, with several breaks for solo samba no pe. In a
sense, their performance intends to encapsulate and
embody the soul and energy of the entire school --
which includes thousands of people -- and the overall
sense of joy and high spirits that typify carnaval
samba in Rio.
Classroom 1st Place:
Photographer: Doug Plummer
Image details: County Donegal, Ireland, 1999
This is a class in traditional Donegal style Irish dance taught by Edie
Bradley of Carrick, Co. Donegal, Ireland. This is a different style of
social dance than the quadrille style set dances that has gained such
popularity in Ireland in the last decade. Donegal dances are two-hand
style couple dances, often danced to a polka rhythm.
This shot was taken in January 1999 at Edie's weekly class in Co.
Classroom 2nd Place:
Photographer: Andrew Page
Image details: Concord, Massachusetts, 2001
Last-minute rehearsal: The Angkor Dance Troupe Backstage
The Artistic Director of the Angkor Dance Troupe, Phousita Huy,
is working with apprentice Sovandara Dy.
This is a classical Cambodian dance called Blessing Dance.
The Blessing Dance was first performed in Cambodia to rid the
royal palace of evil spirits and bless the royal kingdom. Today it
is performed to bless events and welcome honored guests. During
the performance, dancers sprinkle flower petals towards the
audience to bring peace, prosperity and good health in accordance
with Cambodian custom.
Community 1st Place:
Photographer: Marta Fodor
Image details: New Brunswick, New Jersey
Viktoria Juhasz, Ildiko Vigh Hajdu-Nemeth and Agnes
Vigh, dancers from Csurdongolo Hungarian Folk Dance
Group during a rehearsal of a Sarkozi Karikazo Girls'
Dance, at the Hungarian Scouts Home in New Brunswick,
Csurdongolo is a folk dance group based in New
Brunswick, made up of a mix of Hungarians who are new
arrivals in the US and dancers who are descendants of
refugees from Hungary after the 1956 revolution and
also immigrants from many other waves of migration.
The group performs at various Hungarian events,and
rehearses to recordings of music, but generally when they
perform they have a live band, such as the local Eletfa Hungarian band.
The whole group is impressive in their knowledge of
the many rich Magyar (Hungarian) songs and dances from
the villages of present-day Hungary and Hungarian
villages in Transylvania and Slovakia. Each region of
Hungary has its own particular style of music and
dance, and staying authentic in presenting them, the
group generally wears the appropriate folk attire of
the region where the piece originates from. The wide
age range within the group permits the knowledge to be
passed from generation to generation.
The role of Csurdongolo and folk bands like Eletfa is
important in preserving the Hungarian culture in North
America by bringing this rich heritage through the
many community social activities they promote and
Marta's ongoing series can viewed here:
Hungarian Community in the New York Area
Community 2nd Place:
Photographer: Tai Power Seeff
Image details: Havana, Cuba
Guanguanco (Rumba) Dancer
More on Guanguanco origins & rhythms can be found at SalsaRoots.
Performance 1st Place:
Photographer: Andrew Page
Image details: Lowell, Massachusetts, 2006
Dancer, Heng Noeuk, of the Angkor Dance Troupe.
This is a classical Cambodian dance called Aspara Dance. It is based
upon the statues and sculptures of dancers found in Cambodia's great
ancient temples such as Angkor Wat. Asparas are celestial being who
linked the human world to the gods.
This image was taken at a Cambodia New Year's celebration event in Lowell,
Massachusetts. Lowell has the 2nd largest Cambodian-American population in the
United States. (2nd only to Long Beach, California)
The Angkor Dance Troupe was formed in 1986 by Cambodian refugees of the Khmer
Rouge genocide. When they resettles in Lowell, Massachusetts they brought a
passion to carry on their cherished traditions - practice and perform, teach
others, and see the art-forms preserved for future generations of all
cultures. Their after-school and summer programs provide in-depth,
high quality arts training and leadership development opportunities for
inner-city youth.Their dance performances provide a poignant remind of the
beauty and spirituality of Cambodian culture as well as helping provide
a sense of home and community in a new homeland.
Performance 2nd Place:
Photographer: Amanda Moore
Image details: Gainesville, Florida, 2004
Dancer, Cerice Janan, is a professional bellydancer and member of the Troupe Bal Hepsi Dance Ensemble based in Tampa, Florida. On November 21, 2004, she performed an American cabaret-style bellydance routine, with silk veil, at the Middle Eastern Dance Education Association (MEDEA) annual charity recital. The recital, which takes place annually in Gainesville, Florida, donates all proceeds to the Alachua County Humane Society.
Travel 1st Place:
Photographer: Cristian Peña
Image details: Atlixco, Puebla, Mexico
Taken in the photographer's hometown of Atlixco, Puebla, Mexico at the
Huey Atlixcayotl Festival, this takes place the last Sunday of every year.
Many dance groups from different regions come to perform and share the
beauty of the their traditional costumes, language and music.
The dance is called "Danza de Los Voladores" or sometimes
"Danza de los Voladores de Papantla" It is a Totonac dance from
the region of Papantla, Veracruz where the origins of the dance are traced.
Other regions where the dance has a very strong roots is in
Cuetzalan del Progreso, Puebla, were many groups from around the region
come to pay tribute to the patron saint San Francis de Assisi.
All the dance groups are generations of other generations who come
to participate at this event. They are not part of any particular dance
company or school. Many of the new generations continue practicing
the dances, others learn the music and language from their particular
regions where they are all well known for keeping it alive.
Travel 2nd Place:
Photographer: Marc Blaustein
Image details: Bamako, Mali, 2006
Doundoun player, Mali, 2006.
The image was taken in a little suburb on the
outskirts of Bamako, Mali. A group of drummers
gathered inside the courtyard of an old community
center to play for a dance class. The man shown in the
photograph is a local musician, playing with 5 other
drummers (not depicted). This was a impromptu jam
session, the sound of which attracted throngs of
children from around the neighborhood (seen in the
The music is Malian djembe-based music, from the Mande/Bambara