Our “sons” dance in Don Quixote

William Santos was a principal dance in the Don Quixote ballet; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

Anderson de Jesus Lopes dances in Don Quixote; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

“Wow, he’s amazing.” Susanna was like a teenager as she texted the principal dancer in a performance of Don Quixote. And believe it or not, he replied during one of the ballet’s intermissions. Of course, “he” is William Santos, one of our Brazilian sons dancing in Tbilisi this year. Our other Brazilian son, Anderson de Jesus Lopes also danced in the ballet. They both danced extremely well, of course, and Susanna and I are very proud of them.

During the two intermissions, I really enjoyed seeing all of the young girls (and some boys) running up and down the central aisle, holding onto the stage, dancing, jumping, and scampering around the entire theater. Their activity made it obvious that the ballet is a family affair in Tbilisi. It is not “high art,” where people should be reverent. It is fun.

After the performance, William, Anderson, Susanna and I ate a nice meal at at Georgian restaurant we like near Freedom Square. It was a special treat to be able to talk to William immediately following his performance. I think it may have been his first time as a principal dancer, and he was very emotional. When we first met outside the theater, he was relieved that it was over. Then at the restaurant he became sad because he thought about all the little things that he could have done better (but no one else would be able to notice any of these things). Then, particularly since it is Mother’s Day, he thought of his mother, whom he misses, of course. Then he said that all of his hard work has finally paid off. And it has.

Susanna and I love living outside the United States. We love learning about new cultures, including their foods, arts, and religions. But the best part of traveling, by far, is making genuine connections with new people. We are soooooooooo happy to have met our six “children” in Tbilisi. They are making our time here special.

 

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About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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