“Dance and Diplomacy at Nootka Sound and Monterey”


During business visits to Silicon Valley over a period of years I found the weekend escape to Monterey Bay and the magical 17 Mile Drive past Pebble Beach to Carmel a wonderful escape from San Jose. On one occasion in 2002 after stopping at the Museum of Monterey to see the maritime collection I noticed a poster announcing Aditi Dance performances to be held that afternoon including Fandango or Flamenco that would have been local to Monterey during the time of the Spanish settlement and performed for Captain George Vancouver during his visit there in December 1792. So I purchased a ticket for the show but first viewed the museum’s exhibits that includes a ship model collection representing a history from Spanish galleons to American merchant ships, Chinese junks, U.S. Naval vessels, and fishing boats and sardine purse-seiners that made cannery row possible. Then, at the entrance to Aditi Dance, I found an artist’s display featuring watercolors and illustrations by Elizabeth Orrett depicting flamenco dancers and decided it would make a great addition to the essay I had now decided to write, “Dance and Diplomacy at Nootka Sound and Monterey, 1792-1793.”

Aditi Dance presented a most enjoyable performance and Elizabeth Orrett was happy to make her illustration available for the publication. She had other illustrations that I would have loved to include too. Shelley McCabe and the editorial committee not only provided editorial review but found an oil painting of Fandango dancers at Monterey by Lester Boronda c. 1925 in the museum collection that became the cover art for the booklet and The Monterey History and Art Association decided to approve a color edition of the booklet that was published in the spring of 2003. It did not take long for this issue of “Noticias del Puerto de Monterey” to sell out!

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