Welcome to the NY Carey out of the City blog
From the Big Apple to the Apple Orchards in the French Alps!
Where can you find an abundance of Abundance?
In the French Alps of course!
Along with Tomme de Savoie, Tome des Bauges, Reblochon, Chevrotin, Beaufort, Raclette and Emmental de Savoie, Abundance is one of the cheeses that is made in the Rhone Alps region of France.
And while you may not think July is a month for eating cheese, think again.
La fete des fromages de Savoie is an annual festival held in the French Alps each Summer.
This year marked the 13th celebration which was located in Saint Offenge, France.
The wonderful day of fromage festivities included music, dancing, games for children, animals (all well taken care of) and lots of local cheese.
Vive les French Alps!
Visit my FB page to view the video slideshow of the day!
So when I heard about the 51ème Festival Mondial des Cultures du Monde de Chambéry, which translates to the 51st World Festival of World Cultures in Chambéry, I had to find out more.
For the past 50 years, dance troupes from over 200 countries have come to the Rhone-Alps region of France to perform traditional dances with live music accompaniment.
This year, the festival runs from July 8th through July 14th and features dance troupes from France, (Savoie and Alsace), Burkina Faso, Columbia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia and Ireland.
The regional dance troupe, Ballet de Savoie is not a classic ballet group. They are a group of young men and woman between the ages of 15 – 25 years old that study and perform traditional Savoyard dance while promoting and conserving the heritage of the Rhone Alps region.
Robert De Marchi, the Artistic Director, who has been with the group for over 20 years has beautifully combined Savoyard traditional dance with innovation to create the future of traditional dance.
Robert took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to sit with me and have an interview. Unfortunately, FB Live kept crashing after multiple attempts, so we did a traditional Q &A instead.
Robert: The group is presenting traditional dances in a much more modern way. The choreography reflects today. It is a unique group because it is based on people between 12 – 25 years old who are involved in keep Savoie traditions alive.
Robert: The dances are traditional Savoie dances coming from the 19th century with roots from other dances including the Polka and Scottish dances that are only done in this region.
Robert: My role is to bring all of the dancers, who are joining the troupe as young as 15 years old, to the same capability and technical and artistic capability and then creating everything that it takes to ensure a very good show. Today the Ballet de Savoie is very well known internationally.
The gala was packed as the Ballet le Savoie opened the show! The traditional costumes, creative choreography and solid synchronization were all consistent during their performance.
All the dancers were fantastic! Their smiles, characterizations and high energy really set the bar high for the rest of the performers.
I love dance and have danced in competitions myself, and for me, doing something new isn’t as difficult as making something ‘old and traditional’ ‘cool and fun’. They succeeded and it is no wonder they are well received and respected when they tour throughout the world.
Last year, Ballet de Savoie toured the USA for 3 weeks and this year they were already in the United Arab Emirates and will be in Eastern Europe in the upcoming months.
They will be performing at the festival this week and have prepared a very special free performance exclusively for the Fete de National in Chambery, France on Friday, July 14th.
For those of you who are not in Chambery, France for the festival and can’t wait until next year to see them, you can visit the Ballet de Savoie website www.atplasavoie.com to discover more about them and find out when they will be dancing their way to a city near you!
* A special thanks to Robert De Marchi and Franck Angelino Catella for the warm welcome!
Many people know how good French wine is, but did you know France also has wonderful, award winning artisanal beer?
Join me out of the city & in the French Alps this week to discover artisanal beer at the Brasserie des Cimes in Aix les Bains!
If you missed it, you can check it out on 8MontBlanc’s Facebook page here!
And if you would like to join me on the next adventure OUT of the city and IN the French Alps, contact me!
8MB is proud to present a new segment that is both traditional and innovative. The first English speaking series that is for locals, expats and tourists. « Carey out of the City » is about a New Yorker who is exploring the wonderful region and culture of Savoyard!
Join us online https://www.facebook.com/tv8infos/
Carey, out of the City and in the French Alps!
Life here is different and there is no need to wake up early, but yet I still do. Why or in French, pour que?
The realization…My husband wakes up with the sun, about 5am. He is a modern day fruit farmer in a region known for the apples and pears.
He can tell you the type of tree by a glance as we drive by, or by the smell of the leaf. He knows all the varieties of fruit that are known to man.
When we walk around the orchards, he explains tree processes to me and picks a piece of fruit from the tree.
It may sound simple, but for me it’s magical.
Marc is extraordinary in so many ways.
I come from a world where I could effortlessly navigate 3 mobile devices while running in heels and eating breakfast. I know about people, business, media, digital marketing, communications and creativity. I create solutions, strategy and forecast what will sell and how it must be positioned but have no idea how many varieties of pears exist or why the high altitude makes fruit special.
With generations and generations of Savoyardism, it’s no wonder a mountain is named after them.
They are Savoyard first and French second – and they will proudly tell you that their history is not French, but French Savoie, Division 74 & 73. It is a beautiful and chilly combination of endurance and loyalty.
Most people who move here, to the French Alps, do not 1) move from NYC OR 2) move into a farming family that dates back before America was ever discovered.
I had spent time in France prior to meeting my husband and enjoyed the countryside. And contrary to the “rude” French stereotypes, I am happy to say I have never had a bad experience in Paris, St. Malo, Loire, Cannes, or any other place I had visited in France.
However, when I moved here, I was ill prepared for the ‘not so’ welcoming reception I received. I soon realized that I did not move to France, I moved to Haute Savoie. I didn’t marry a French man, I married a Savoyard.
And despite my desperate attempt to try to understand the language, when attending dinners in the countryside, I couldn’t make out a sentence. I was embarrassed, empty, felt shutout and dumb. I tried to reassure myself that in a matter of time I would start understanding conversations and wouldn’t have to ask my husband for translations over and over again.
Was it the dialect? Was it the pronunciation? Was it the fast paced sentences? I couldn’t tell where one word ended and another began.
Was it the past, future, simple, future perfect, passé compose, imparfait verbs? Were they eating their words? Was there too much wine at dinner? Nope.
It was Patois.
Patois-Savoyard is the regional dialect is spoken in Savoy (departments seventy-three and seventy-four). This dialect is included in the European Charter for Minority Languages.
Perhaps Patois was a way to hold onto their region. After all, the French Alps were the last division to become French and were split into 3 with Italy and Switzerland claiming the other 2 parts.
Suddenly, the French graffiti on rocks and trees in the area scrawling “France Get Out” and “Free Savoie” began to make sense.
My curiosity led me to learn more about the region and slowly I started to understand that the “coldness” was a misinterpretation.
It wasn’t until the snow covered mountains became “chic” that anyone ever ventured here for a holiday vacation.
I also realized that my favorite mushroom picking spot is “the place le resistance.” During WWII, the people of the region not only fought but also WON against the Nazi’s. Hence, le resistance.
“The History of Liberty is the History of Resistance,” said Woodrow Wilson.
These local Savoyards fought bravely, courageously and their toughness was incredibly admirable. My own grandfather was in the American Marine Corps in WWII and I am grateful to have heard stories from him from the time he served (1940 – 1945).
With this new found understanding, I not only was able to more easily accept people but also greatly respected the lineage.
In the words of Dr. Steve Marabeli, “Do not be discouraged by resistance, be nourished by it.”
I am a New Yorker in Haute Savoie.
It still happens by habit. After I wake up in the morning, I grab my coffee to-go cup, my sunglasses, my phone, my earphones and my dog. Before the first track of my playlist is over, I realize I can’t get my egg whites with spinach, tomato and feta. I can’t even get egg whites. I can’t even get salty food. Where is the bodega?