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Monday, March 24, 2008

SF Celtic Festival

The SF Celtic Festival was great. I danced til my legs couldn't go anymore. I arrived in time for the first Tempest set and promptly dove into dancing. Then I ran upstairs to teach ceili for an hour. After cleaning up I came down and wandered into Shirleigh's hard shoe class. That hurts my brain just like Campbell's tap class. Luckily, taking Campbell's tap class made it hurt just a little less. Sometime soon I want to get either Joan or Richard talking about the historical relationship of American Tap and Irish hard shoe, because lordy, the similarities cannot be fully accidental, but how did it develop? Anyway, after that class, I had designs on getting food. I'd heard a rumor of a nearby Whole Foods, but when I wandered into the main hall, Avalon Rising was playing a great set. So, more dancing. Following that, food became imperative.

I walked out with Christophe and Karen and Paul, rounded the edge of the building and beheld the enormous new Whole Foods. Egad! I wondered what all they'd had to tear down to build that, but Christophe said it was just an old Cadillac dealership. Very cool. A quick perusal of the offerings pointed me at the steam trays full of Indian, Mexican, southern, Italian, and so on, all by the pound for $7.99. I put together an eclectic box including caprese salad, cole slaw, green beans, and lasagna. It was so super yummy. The lasagna was an especially flavorful lasagna and the green beans were fresh and crisp. It was such the perfect thing. I just wish the Palo Alto Whole Foods was of this new breed rather than the older, smaller stores.

After this brief respite, I headed back for the second Tempest set and managed to get a huge line of Fairy Reel going across the front of the stage on their second song. It was a mixed bag of new dancers, dancers new to ceili, and ceili regulars so it seemed to work well. After the Tempest set, Anthony started the FNW set in the other room. This kicked off well and I called a Haymaker's Jig for everybody. Unfortunately, I'd sent Anthony the super-peppy version of the Capercalie edit that Fred did, so this was a very high energy dance for everyone, but everyone seemed to survive, so woohoo! After that, I ducked across the hall to see Culann's Hounds. Their accordion player Renee used to drop in on Mondays at the Plough from time to time and would always set the floor on fire. With her own band, the reels and jigs came fast and furious. It totally rocked. Even Anthony finally gave up on doing FNW stuff in the other room because he wanted to see the band and he said, "I can't compete with that." Yeah, I guess not. I picked up a couple of their CDs, but for better or worse, they seem to have the same issue as most Tempest CDs - the CD just does not capture the amazingness of the live band. Ah well, I'm sure they will be a band to see live again and again the way Tempest has been for the past 15 years.

Anyhow, it was an amazingly fun day. I learned stuff. I taught stuff. I danced til I couldn't dance any more. Can we do this every weekend? Okay, maybe not, but how about we do it again next year?

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