Thursday, January 31, 2008

First Photo Show!

Gallery Flyer, originally uploaded by nataraj_hauser / eyeDance.

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Well, I'm taking the plunge and trying something completely different. After a bit of positive feedback, I've decided to have a small photo show - 27 images - at a gallery space in a local coffee shop. Prices will be as reasonable as I can keep them and still make a few dollars. Frankly, I'll be thrilled to break even! It's an interesting step: A hobby (expense) begins to offer a bit of return (income). I don't imagine trying to be a professional photographer (I think it'd drive a lot of the fun out of it), but this offers a bit of validation as well as a chance to offset the cash outlay to do what I like to do. It's a lot like the first time I cleared $10 teaching a dance class. Certainly not riches, but definitely satisfying.

A reward savored
Expensive passion yields a
modest turnabout.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Freakin' Brrr!

DSC_0172, originally uploaded by nataraj_hauser / eyeDance.

Another beautiful night for a sunset. Clear and really cold. When I went in to work this morning it was -8(F), and I blew past an early exit where I could have had a fantastic shot. If it stays super cold I'll get another chance. Leaving work today around 5:00 PM, the sun was just setting (yea, spring is coming!) and I opted for a more remote route home. This one is just outside of Madison, coming in from Sun Prairie. The wind was up, the temp was UP to 3 degrees (F), and the sky was crystal clear except for con-trails and a few clouds at the horizon. Nicely convenient for picking up that last bit of sunlight. I didn't last long: Thin gloves and work clothes, in dropping temps and stiff breeze. But I lingered long enough for a half dozen exposures as the sun set. I liked this one.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Otherworldly Circus

Sunday afternoon I went to see the youth of Madison and surrounding cities perform in (among other things) a circus. All the acts were technically kids, but there were a couple who were right up there at the adult end of the scale. The circus was great fun, and you could tell the kids had worked hard to bring it all together and make a bunch of solid performances. There were jugglers, unicyclists, aerial dancers, stilt walkers, puppeteers, clowns, and so much more.

The lighting wasn't very conducive to photography, and I was in a back row of the bleachers. Nonetheless, I got a bunch of good ones despite using shutter speeds of 1/5 second and apertures ranging from f/4.5 to f/6.5 depending on how much zoom I used. All were hand held, even at those speeds. For a couple of the individual people shots I was able to use a flash. The rest of the set can be found HERE. (

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kilted Nataraj

Kilted Nataraj, originally uploaded by nataraj_hauser / eyeDance.

This is what I really look like. The temperature reached a balmy 27 (F) today, so it was finally warm enough to bust out the kilt again. Ahhhh! I spent the day tromping around Madison with my camera, watching people emerge from the -5 (F) imposed hiding we've been doing. There were snow football games (this IS where Packer fans live, after all!), ice fishermen (they're out regardless of the temps...I do NOT understand ice fishing!), and just plain doing things. Like shoveling...again...because it snowed last night...again. We'd better get a thaw soon!

If you click on this image, you'll be taken to my Flickr site and can see the handful of pics of my day.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

X-Ray Nataraj

X-Ray Nataraj, originally uploaded by nataraj_hauser / eyeDance.

Not my normal photo! I was fooling around with the built in camera and Photo Booth software on my yummy new iMac last night. This one seemed delightfully bent, and weirdly Hulk Hoganish, and made me laugh. It does make me look pretty aged though. Not to mention a bit insane.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Winter sunset 1/22

When I left work today at a few minutes after 5:00 PM, the first thing I noticed was that it was still light out. Yea!!! By the time I got the car warmed up and headed out of the business park, I was greeted with a pretty sweet sunset. Since it was about 8 degrees (F) and windy, I didn't linger for too long, but the wait (in hip deep snow!) was worth it.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008


The Madison belly dance community has a semi-annual party - called a hafla - and this time the idea was to perform spoofs. Much hilarity ensued as talented dancers skewered sacred cows, using bad makeup, mismatched costumes, wacky music, and pratfalls. A refreshing change of pace from the usual serious performances these folks can all deliver. There are more photos at my Flickr site in the "Spoofla 08" set, HERE. I know there were a bunch of people taking pictures, so I hope to be able to link to more soon.

Spoofin' Tribal...
Spoofin' Tribal

Costume Malfunction...
Headpiece unravels

Tiger Lady!
Belly dancing tiger

...the Macho, Macho Man!
Macho Man

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Bon Voyage

I've worked with Phil for 14 years. He's retiring today, the lucky bum. Next up on his agenda: A Caribbean cruise. Phil is one of those guys that really makes you laugh. He's smart and witty, and thinks deep thoughts (under all the clowning). He's known for his 'Philisms', perfect quotes in the moment. My personal favorite, uttered during a staff meeting when a coworker stuck his foot in his mouth (again) and tried to undo his faux pas, is this: "You can't stuff the shit back in the horse."

We almost couldn't be more opposite on political topics, yet we routinely had good conversation on that very topic. He's big enough to appreciate my views, and make every effort to understand them, even when they are diametrically opposed to his own. That civil political discourse has been pretty rare these last seven years. Of course there was a bit of "You lefty, pinko, treehugger." thrown in to keep it light. Heh. He's right. And I'm left. And it's been good.

I'll miss you, Phil.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Totally Wicked!

The aerial dance class I had last night is best summed up as follows:

I spent most of the night on a single apparatus, a 16' pole suspend from a single, swiveling rig point. This 2.5" diameter pole can spin, swing, and rotate about it's rig point in a big circle. I learned to climb it, spin on it, and more to the point, dance with it. Totally wicked indeed.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Mazeau Tableau

DSC_0277, originally uploaded by nataraj_hauser / eyeDance.

Another photo from the Mazopalooza weekend. I really liked this shot: The low light, the pumped up colors (not post-camera), and the funky tableau of the performers. For me there's an element of technical reward with this shot. The shutter speed was 1/20th of a second (F/1.8) and the camera hand-held. That's a tough shot to make. I seemed to get pretty lucky that night. I took nearly 300 photos, mostly in low light, and I got about 45 that were pretty good. I'll take those odds!

When I started this blog I thought I was going to be doing primarily dancer shots. It started that way. Since then I've found myself looking at other things with interest and now am wondering to myself if I want to have the dilution to a more generic photo blog, or keep it more true to its intended (but not immutable) root. I'm sort of enjoying the process of wandering around, subject wise, and I'm not the sort to beat myself up for changing my plan. It's not for want of dancer material. My life is filled with beautiful dancers these days.

Unexpected joy!
The click of the shutter yields
space between moments.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Winter Snow

We drove to St. Paul, MN, this weekend for a party to plan a party. The party being planned is a bigevent: 2.5 days and about 75 people, 13+ half barrels of bier, lotsa music and dancing, and 4 square meals served per day. Since I volunteered (read: was volunteered) to be the Grand Poobah, it falls to me to sort out the details, generally by having other people do the work. So, a planning session for all MY volunteers was called for. That meant a half barrel of bier, food, music and dancing. So, the meeting happened and we drained the keg.

On the way home we pulled off to take a few photos of the stunning scenery. The snow made the drive up on Saturday really dicey, though the roads were in fine condition today.

Winter Highway

The trees were all laden with snow, and the boundaries between field and woods were all pretty dramatic.

Field's edge

We were near Wisconsin Dells, so the woods were laced with outcroppings of rock. This one stood out because the rock had such a warm coloration to it: It simply drew the eye.

Dells Outcrop

Nearby, after wading through knee-deep snow and scrabbling up a hill, and clawing through some dense brush, I found this southern exposure overhang with icicles already forming. Slithering up under and behind, I captured this one:

Inside looking out

And to round out a nice experience, we arrived home safely.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hildy on the lyra

Another shot of the aerial dance work I'm involved with. This one has the dancer upside down and spinning on a lyra. It's essentially a large steel hoop suspended from the gymnasium ceiling by a single rope. This allows the lyra to spin as well as move in a wide circle. This shot conveys a bit of the disorientation and distress the dancer undergoes while learning to dance in the air.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Laura on a lyra

Laura on a lyra, originally uploaded by nataraj_hauser / eyeDance.

For the past few weeks I have been getting familiar with working on a new batch of aerial dance equipment, all made of steel. It is harder on the body than the more familiar trapeze, and harder to feel at ease upon. For now, we're in a period of sampling the various apparatus; ladders (both horizontal and vertical), rings, lyra, and poles. All are hung from the ceiling on a single point rig (a kids swing would be an example of a double point rig). The class is amazing fun, and the people are a truly fantastic bunch to work with. In this photo Laura is trying some moves on the lyra which is basically a steel hoop. This one has padding taped on for comfort.

We'll be doing a performance in March or April. Interested?

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Saturday, January 5, 2008


Mazopalooza!, originally uploaded by nataraj_hauser / eyeDance.

I've had quite enough of the cold winter pictures. Time for a little hot dancing! Here is a sweet shot of Hildy and Mars at the improv performance "Some Assembly Required" at the Mazopalooza contact improv event in Mazomanie, WI.

The rest of the weekend was a fantastic day-and-three-quarters of contact improv(isational) dance with about 30 others from four states. It was physically and socially satisfying. I had a dance this morning that ranks right up there in my Top-5 dances of all time: It was sublime.

Then, after driving home in the dense fog, I went to a 2-hour aerial dance class where we were training on steel apparatus. Tonight it was rings, both small (about 12" in diameter) and large (about the size of a hula hoop). All were hung from a gymnasium ceiling on a single point rig. That too was a blast. And now I think I'll have a martini! I'm tuckered out.

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