I went to the International Cultural Evening tonight to film the Japan Soc dance troupe do their great Soran Bushi routine. I arrived ten minutes before they were due on stage, only to find that the program I had was wrong, and they weren’t to perform for another 90 minutes. 
Initially, I was bit stressed about this, as I have so much on this weekend, but then as the other international societies came on stage one by one, so I began to recall what this whole international cultural evening thing was all about, and I smiled. 
I loved it.
I am always amazed at just how talented the student body is. There were some fantastic performances of traditional songs and dances from all over the world …which led me to forget about the wars and terrorist threats, and instead to feel overwhelmed by how, at the end of the day, no matter where we come from, we are all essentially one and the same, celebrating in much the same way, despite outward appearances.

The outward appearances tonight were stunning, and I took about 400 photos over the course of the evening. It was difficult though. The lighting in the Octagon Centre is truly appalling, with the stage more backlit than anything else. Also, I was standing right at the other side of the room, about 40 foot from the stage. I had no tripod, and my 55-200mm zoom is pretty slow (doesn’t let so much light through).
There was only one thing for it – crank the iso up to 1600. Whilst this did mean I could capture the action on stage, it had the usual downside of making the images so grainy they can’t really be used – unless turned into B&W’s. Which is what I’ve done with some (and put up with the grain on others). 
On with the show.
My friends in Japan Soc do the Soran Bushi

Ali G featured prominently in the Romanian Societies Performance. We never quite figured out why, and he didn’t explain either when I met him outside buying octopus balls.
Along with Ali G in the Romanian presentation was Dracula – a little more logical seeing as he does actually come from Romania. 
But the girl stuck in the wall…?

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