Chulapos y chulapas

We're in Madrid this week, for the festival of San Isidro Labrador. Isidro was a 12th century farmer ("labrador") who probably never imagined himself as a saint, but he must have had the reputation of being a good man because, decades after his death, when what was supposed to be his corpse was discovered remarkably well-preserved, people began attributing miracles to him. To celebrate his day (15 May) people dress up not as 12th century farmers, but as early 20th century fancypants proletarians, the guys in black-and-white checked vests and caps, the gals in multiflounced red-and-white polkadot dresses, white scarves, and a big red flower in the hair.

And you're supposed to dance the schotis (also spelled chotis or even xotis), a couple dance falsely attributed to the Scots (hence the name, derived from the German Schottisch), probably because it involves a lot of jumping up and down like a jig.

For us, the big events have been all the free street theater, a performance by a whole series of folkloric dance groups in the park of Las Vistillas, a wonderful concert by Joan Manuel Serrat, and an adaptation by our friend Antonio Rodríguez of Eric Rohmer's "Trío en mi bemol" ("Trio en E-flat"). My alter ego Baltasar Lotroyo plans to post a review on his page

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