February 21, 2007
A party took place at the Bulgarian Embassy on Stewart Street this evening and I went along as a friend of the violinist Ralitsa (Rally) Tcholakova, a Canadian from Bulgaria; originally a pupil at the School of Music for gifted children in Sofia, she went on to study at the Bulgarian State Academy of Music and after that, in Vienna. Eventually her Scottish husband brought her to live in Ottawa.
The local Bulgarians are very proud of Rally and this party was thrown to launch a new CD she has made, mainly of Argentinian tango music by Astor Piazzolla, with a famous, introductory Tango by Albeniz of Spain. The Bulgarian Ambassador and his wife toasted her and presented her with a bouquet of flowers; Gary Hayes, the Canadian composer and former host of the CBC’s weekly music programme Artscape, was there to lend his support as was the Argentinian Ambassador and his wife, and two other couples danced a couple of tangos for us, to the accompaniment of the music on Rally’s CD, on the patterned, polished parquet floor of the embassy salon.
Like Amélie in Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, I get as almost as much pleasure from watching an audience as I do from the performance itself. In this case, of course, everyone was mesmerised by the dancers’ legs and feet!