Stina's picks

A point in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | Jul 23, 2012
Photo by: Stina Sieg Hundreds of performers from across the pond are still in Haywood County as Folkmoot USA gets ready to finish its 29th festival this Sunday. You can still see several performances Thursday through Sunday at various locations across Haywood County. Above are dancers from France.

If you were at Folkmoot’s Parade of Nations Friday afternoon, chances are you saw me running up and down the street, camera in hand. You probably did not, however, see me crying. That’s the beauty of being a photographer in front of something dazzling — you’re kind of invisible. Anyway, a few tears rolled down my cheek as the Maori group passed me by, and even in that flash of a moment I knew why. For me, nothing compares to seeing people do what they love.

Of course I care about Folkmoot’s bright costumes and the all-important act of strangers sharing their culture, but it’s that love of one’s art that makes me misty-eyed. I know you’ve heard a million times over that most artists don’t do what they do for money or fame, but that shouldn’t take away from how amazing it is. When I step back, it seems like a miracle that people all around the world are continually putting their heart and lives into music, dance and visual art. So, when I see something particularly lovely or moving, I can get a little verklempt.
Well, we’ve got just a bit of Folkmoot left, and I’m already kind of missing it. Here are my picks for the rest of the festival, as well as a few other goings on around town and beyond.

Folkmoot finale

There are five days remaning of Folkmoot. So, how are you going to spend them? I say that if you haven’t made your way to an all-groups performance yet, it’s time. This year’s collection of musicians and dancers is one of the richest and most varied I’ve seen, and I think you simply must watch the entire colorful, captivating range. If you’d like a dancing-in-the-round experience, I’d head over to the Stompin’ Ground in Maggie Valley at 2 or 7:30 p.m. Friday. If a traditional auditorium setting is more your style, I’d check out the all-groups show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Haywood Community College. And if you’re looking to shed a tear or two, I’d bid these performers adieu at Sunday’s Candlelight Closing at 7 p.m. at Stuart Auditorium in Lake Junaluska. For more information and tickets, visit www.folkmootusa.org.

Hometown belle at Bele Chere
Local chanteuse Lorraine Conard is going to the big city this Saturday during the always-hopping Bele Chere music festival in Asheville. Lorraine and her band will play from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. on the Haywood Stage, but the entire festival/block party stretches Friday through Sunday and features such big-name folks as Dr. Dog, Lucero and Crazy Horse. And yes, Balsam Range will be there, too. The bluegrass stars will play from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday on the Biltmore Stage. For tickets and more information, visit belecherefestival.com or call 259-5800.

An arch to the past

The term “celebrating history” is bandied about pretty regularly in these parts, but how often do you actually go to a party held in honor of the past? This Friday evening is your chance, when the Waynesville Public Art Commission holds a dedication ceremony for metal artist Ted Dake’s new arch across the downtown mini park. The piece is an ode to a much larger sign that once towered over Main Street and welcomed people to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This newer, smaller arch (arch-let?) is a sweet sight, and celebrates Waynesville, too. Its dedication — complete with food and music — is set for 7 p.m. this Friday at the little park on the corner of Main and Depot streets.

Au revoir, ‘La Cage’
Have you not seen “La Cage aux Folles” yet? Time is running out, my friend, as the show is in its last week. I went the luscious, drag-filled musical on Saturday and was gleefully blown away. I understand that not everyone is up for a cabaret act that includes a whip-wielding girlie-boy and a cross-dresser who resembles Jayne Mansfield, but really, that’s only part of the show. The other part — the more important part — is the sweet little story of acceptance and familial love bookended by the flashy musical numbers. Sure, the show is edgy, but it’s so good-hearted that by the end, you feel absolutely embraced by it. And who couldn’t use a good hug? “La Cage” runs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. For more information, visit www.harttheater.com or call 456-6322.

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