No one has ever described my family as conventional. While my parents didn’t believe in television, regular hair brushing, or (to be honest) a great deal of rigorous discipline, my father did teach me that it is totally appropriate to bring a toddler along as an assistant when, say, taking photos of a dancer at a fancy art opening. So last Friday evening I pulled out my trusty pleather leggings, put my toddler on my hip and my camera around my neck….
and headed downtown.
Granted, there was a bit of a tense moment with the security guard when Olympia headed with wide eyes toward some fascinating and fragile paper dancers.
In fact, that moment convinced me that next time I headed to a fancy art gallery, I would do so alone. There are limits to the toddler as photographic assistant. But overall, Olympia was extremely well behaved. She was very interested in the exhibits…
and this view from this corner of the gallery.
It is a great view of the Pittsburgh Downtown.
She hung out with us in the pre-performance backstage glamour familiar to every bellydancer, ie the ladies room….
And watched Janim’s gorgeous performance with wide eyes and complete stillness, crouched on the floor by my feet.
I am totally unfamiliar with shooting dancers, let alone taking photos in dim spaces awash with multimedia art presentations flickering on multiple screens, and I was unable to capture the startling beauty of the veil performance, but I did get this great shot which I think captures some of the great joy my good friend Jen radiates when she dances.
After the performance, we gathered up silk veils and toddler and slipped through the crowds of sophisticates and out the door. Outside the SPACE gallery, we took time for an impromptu alphabet lesson.
I don’t let Olympia watch television at home, and so far she has missed out on the glories of Sesame Street…
…but we are definitely working on the whole alphabet thing, in our own way.