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tv   The Travel Show  BBC News  January 12, 2022 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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president biden is calling it a defining moment for us democracy. he was in georgia, calling on the us senate to create national rules for early voting and voting by mail, and to restore state voting laws meant to prevent discrimination. the us has recorded more than one million new covid cases as officials warn the peak of a fast—spreading omicron surge is still to come and there are currently more people in us hospitals with covid than at any point during the pandemic. uk prime minister borisjohnson is facing increasing pressure after accusations he attended a garden party during the first lockdown in may 2020. the government is neither confirming or denying that he and his wife were at the
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gathering. the remains of a wealthy roman trading town have been unearthed in a remote field in northamptonshire by archaeologists working on the construction of the h52 rail network. they say it's one of the most impressive sites they've found so far. our correspondentjo black has been looking at what they've uncovered. it is the high—speed line which divides opinion, but as hs2 develops, some of the excavations along the route have provided opportunities for us to see how we used to live. this 12—hectare site in northamptonshire has not only revealed an iron age settlement, but also a roman town. it's not thought to be a story of roman invasion, but more a progression between the two eras. i've been working for ten years now and never come across anything of this scale or even this quality. we will be working incredibly hard to understand what we have on—site and to tell that story. archaeology is telling stories, it's pulling together the physical evidence
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on the ground, the finds, and the teams in the office are then pulling together their expertise to understand exactly what we have. here, in a warehouse miles from the site, thousands of priceless artefacts. the majority are animal bone and pottery, including a sophisticated piece from france. also among the finds is this — lead dye presumably from some sort of game, this highly decorative and rare scale weight showing the importance of trade on the site, and then this —— part of a leg shackle thought to relate to a prisoner or some sort of enslaved person. while the site and its findings helps to transform our understanding of roman times and beyond, its future involves high—speed rail. jo black, bbc news. now on bbc news, it's the travel show. this week on the travel show.
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now, if you spent any part of lockdown dancing alone in the kitchen, this show is for you. now, for many of us, dancing offers a shortcut to happiness and escape. over the years on the travel show, we've picked up some pretty nifty dance moves all over the world — and have failed miserably at others. so here, for your entertainment and our eternal embarrassment, are our attempts to remain co—ordinated under pressure and in front of a camera. let's kick off with my trip to south africa back in 2018,
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when i tried to keep up with a truly talented group of performers who have made news all over the world thanks to an energetic form of dancing known as pantsula. they set the bar a little high for me, though. fast-paced singing this is pa ntsula. this style of dancing is absolutely incredible. it's fast paced, it's energetic, and it's technical. but for young south africans, it's so much more than this. it's a movement that encapsulates storytelling, fashion and social expression. and just look at those dance moves. my mind is just blown! for via vyndal, everything in their act holds a special significance — from their moves to their costumes. and their clothes are the
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colours of the national flag. pantsula, it's a local culture. you would never get it anywhere in the suburbs. whatever we do, we're telling our stories, background stories, through dance. from growing up in this poor neighbourhood, the group has gone on to international acclaim. in 2017, director danny boyle hand—picked them to perform at one of new york's most prestigious venues — carnegie hall. we really killed the stage. it was a peak experience, especially because, to be honest, it was our first time on the plane. and being in new york, it was something different. you could tell that we were far away from home. the background of the dance is closely tied to the history of the nation. we're on our way to the biggest township in south africa — soweto. here, the pantsula has a deeply political message.
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soweto has a reputation for activism. it was home to nelson mandela during apartheid in the years prior to his arrest. pantsula has its roots in the same era. it matched contemporary forms with traditional african dance — an act of cultural defiance against the oppressive white government. talk to me about the kind of social and political messages that you express when you dance. the first political message is to be seen as black people. we are powerful, you know. and the second is we're trying to tell the world that we're still free, but we're still bearing a lot of problems. we still have to push ourselves. and we have to push ourselves, like, 10 times harder than any other individual. and now, the moment of truth. do i have what it takes to become an honorary member of the troupe?
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0k, stand here. 0k. it's going to be, one, two, one, two. one, two, one, two. oh, no. yeah. so it's going to be, one, two, one, two. one, two, one, one, two, one, one, two, one. easy! 0k. slow. one, two, one, two. one, two, one, one, two, one, one, two, one. i'm not getting the last bit. come on, focus up here. focus on my feet. i'm not quite there. one, two, one, two, one, two, one, two, one. yes! it's funny, but i get tired watching that again. what amazing performers. in the same year, half a world away in norway,
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christa discovered a similar level of skill and dedication with a traditional form of dance is still going strong. watch out for the high kicks in this one still. dance company frikar perform around norway and beyond. they are inspired by traditional norwegian roots. they have even come to show me traditional moves in norway's halling dance. traditional violin music
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the dance is mostly a show off dance. many hundred years ago, women also did the dance, but it's mostly boys or men doing the dance, because we want to impress the other men or other women. put the right foot in front of the left, sidewards. believe me, this is harder than it looks. if you jump a bit on each step, one, two, yes, nice? i think i'm getting the hang of it. one, two. nice! back in the old days, they used the ceilings to kick down a coin orjust kick their heels. kick the ceiling?
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you know, they were smaller houses back in the old days. in the 1800s, the military started with competitions, kicking a hat from a stick, and it was about kicking the highest. and then it became incorporated in the halling, the folk dance. everybody in norway, i think if i say halling, people say kicking the hat. it is the main goal in the halling. but the dance is the main goal, kicking the hat is sort of topping it. that was good kicking!
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you have got to admit those high kicks were pretty impressive. christa in norway back in 2018. here is something else to not try at home, especially if you value yourjoints. peruvian scissor dancing dates back over 500 years, and some people claim it is the inspiration behind modern breakdancing. with a heritage like that, we just had to send carmen to investigate in 2017. the origin of the peruvian scissor dance is shrouded in mystery, but many believe the tradition began in the highlands of the andes as an act of worship to the mountain gods.
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in the 1500s, the dance was performed to show resistance to spanish rule. the movements display the performers�* dexterity. and the scissors represented their resistance to pain. but the conquistadors thought it was inspired by the devil and it was banned. despite the ban, the traditions survived, and the twisting, turning dance moves were passed down from generation to generation. now, its importance in peru's history has been recognised by unesco. and its backbreaking moves would put many breakdancers to shame. although the scissors are not sharp, learning to control them while dancing and leaping can take years. hola! and i'm going to get a lesson to see how it's done.
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so the top ones stay still and the bottom one... 0h. it's all in the thumb, the thumb and the wrist. scissors chime first, i've got to get to grips with the scissors. the aim is to hit the handles together in time to the music. the blunt blades are not connected, so holding them in position is really tricky. there is no way i'm going to be able to do this and coordinate my feet. and it's notjust mastering the scissors. this is the one that makes your knees bleed. does it hurt to do the jumps and land on your back? does it hurt your head, your knees? do you have injuries?
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is that blood on your trousers? wow, that's dedication! oh, and i'm getting a hat. gosh, as if it's not hard enough! after a few minutes, i'm exhausted. i can't even imagine how hard it would be to do these moves up in the andes, where the thin air makes everything so much harder. these guys are true athletes. oh, that was hard work! some of those moves looked truly, truly backbreaking. just amazing. carmen and the scissor dancers of peru back in 2017. well, we've got plenty more
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for you, so stay with us. because, coming up: henry learns it's all in the eyes in india and christa leaves the folk music of norway behind to attend a grand ball in vienna. now, in the same way that dance can lift your spirits, it can also tell a story and perhaps nowhere as intricately as india, which is where henry headed to meet the kathakali dancers of kerala, who not only use their bodies but their faces to tell a story. to learn more about kathakali, i've come here to meet a man whose family have been performing the dance for the past hundred years here in cochin. mr devan! how are you? welcome, welcome. good to see you! this is your theatre! amazing. central to kathakali is the complex ritual make—up,
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which turns the performers into supernatural beings, gods and demons. the process of applying the make—up can take many hours, and here in cochin, it's applied in front of the audience, and forms part of the performance. drumming. there's a singer who sings the stories... the river flowing! ..and the drummer, who supports. drumming. the dancer translates these songs through movement of eyebrows, eyes, eye muscles, lips, fingers, footwork. drumming. and all these stories come from the hindu books, religious books. drumming.
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originally developed as a way of teaching religious scripture to rural audiences, kathakali is now also a big draw for tourists coming here to kerala. i am very curious to know how do you tell a story with your eyebrows, your cheeks, your lips and your fingers? can you teach me? to start with, there are 2a alphabets in the language, katha kali language. these alphabets are the position of the hand. so how — show me a little segment of how you would use the alphabets to tell the story. please. come. and so with the eye movements, what different types of eye movements do you have? rolling the eyes is getting excited.
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team those moves with some fancy footwork and you have a performance — in theory, at least. drumbeat quickens. laughs. that is very good — very impressive! traditionally, a classic kathakali performance can go on for many hours, sometimes a whole night. but some modern audiences have shorter attention spans, so the art form has had to adapt. you lost me! you know, the original one, it goes throughout a night, you know? everything is in detail, everything is intricate. you know, and nowadays we are condensing it for a 1.5, 2—hour program. so in a way we do lose our originality.
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what is done for hours and, you know, throughout a night, that is not being shown now. it represents the fire god! but whether the performance is a marathon—length all—nighter or something more contained, the highlight of the show is always the appearance on stage of pacha, wearing his traditional green make—up and performing steps choreographed hundreds of years ago to captivate audiences of today. well, we're almost at the end of this week's programme, but we have just got time for one more dance—off. so let's take a trip all the way back to 2015, long before social distancing had ever been heard of, and when the bigger the party, the better it was. let's hope we can all return to those times before too long. in the meantime, here's christa
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trying to master a classic waltz in the run—up to a spectacular ball in vienna. it's just after dawn, but the town hall is already buzzing. preparations are under way for a grand dance event — part of the ball season that takes over vienna each winter. every year, over a50 grand balls take place and thousands of people descend on the city to get all dressed up and dance the night away. these preparations are for the blumenball, or flower ball — an event for 3000 guests. a team of 250 people have spent a week getting everything ready and today, they are busy decorating the hall with 80,000 flowers. translation: 200 years ago, common people were allowedl to dance for the first time. before that, it was a privilege of the nobility alone. the viennese people were enthralled, and that popularity continues
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to this day. over 300,000 people attend the city's balls each season but no two events are the same. they can be anything from grand affairs in the city's imperial palace with formal dress and classical music, to modern dance parties where anything goes. booming electronic music plays. this season of events also represents big business for the city, boosting the viennese economy by around 200 million euros each year. this is perhaps not surprising when the most sought—after events can cost you up to 250 euros just to get the door. well, if you are going to attend one of these grand balls, you can'tjust turn up injeans. you have to look the part. blue danube waltz plays.
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well, i've got a fancy frock and a lovely hairdo. the only thing left is to polish up my dance skills before the ball. matthias urrisk is in charge of directing the formal opening dance at the ball tonight, which will include a grand wa ltz. and for you, the first step is making a backward step. 0k. the viennese waltz is a very famous popular dance. you make two steps in place, two, three. two, three. it is our traditional dance, even our unofficial national song — the blue danube is a waltz — so it's — we are proud of it. one, two, three. left, two, three. yes! blue danube waltz plays.
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outside, dusk is falling over the city, and soon after, the guests of the blumenball begin to arrive. the ball opens with a formal performance then suddenly, the floor is crowded with dancing couples old and young, who seem to seriously know their stuff. it's so nice! it makes you want to take up dance lessons! the other ball guests seem equally taken with the romance of the event. i love to go to balls. i like to dress like a princess, and to dance like a princess. it's a journey into another world for me. eventually, it's time to stop being a wallflower and put my dance training into action. my terrible dancing!
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no, no! i onlyjust learned how to do it today! blue danube waltz plays. now, i do hope you've enjoyed this look back with me and that we've managed to give you some travel inspiration, and maybe even a few moves for when we can all hit the road again. let's hope it's not too long to wait until then. in the meantime, make sure you catch us next week, if you can, when... there's another chance to catch up with the family from america who decided to go on the road for the very first time with their two autistic little boys. they had a lot of fun at the theme parks and the theme parks were built for them. they welcomed them with open arms and let them enjoy themselves.
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until then, though, from me, lucy hedges, and everyone else here on the show, thanks for watching and goodbye. hello there. on tuesday, sunshine returned to the northern half of the uk. and through the rest of this week, we'll continue to see differences north—south. but we've got a milder, stronger breeze picking up across scotland and northern ireland. england and wales, the winds are going to be much lighter, so we're more likely to have some frost here and increasing amounts of mist and fog too. now, it was pretty damp and grey for many southern parts of the uk on tuesday, but all that low cloud and damp weather is heading out into the english channel,
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so clearer skies are following on behind. and whilst it's chilly across parts of scotland and northern ireland, a frost more likely in england and wales. not just that, but we're seeing some mist and fog developing, particularly in this area where we have the yellow warning from the met office. and within that area, there are some very busy roads. so with some dense patches of fog, driving conditions could be tricky in the morning. that's when we'll still have some fog around, but it should gradually lift through the day, and for many parts, we should see some sunshine coming through. some sunshine across northern ireland, southern and eastern scotland, much more cloud across the north—west of scotland, although it should be largely dry. quite windy, mind you, and temperatures probably reaching double figures in the north of scotland, nearer 7 or 8 degrees, i think, for england and wales, even with some sunshine. and we've got milder conditions across northern areas because we've got these strong winds coming all the way across the atlantic, around the top of this area of high pressure. and underneath that area of high pressure, this is where we're seeing the frost and the fog. so we start with another frost again on thursday morning,
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we may well find the fog a little more widespread, not just across some southern parts of england and the midlands, maybe into parts of wales and across northern england for a while. some of that could linger into the afternoon, but for many places, again, we should see some sunshine coming out. and it's a similar story again across scotland and northern ireland — cloudier weather in the north—west of scotland, a little bit damp, as well. still, those temperature contrasts really north—south across the uk. where that fog is slow to lift, it will be quite a cold day. all that cold air is stuck underneath this area of high pressure. stagnant air, really, so fog is tending to become more widespread. and it may well drift its way up into parts of northern ireland and southern scotland. most of the fog, though, on friday will be across england and wales, and it could linger into the afternoon. some sunshine away from that fog and low cloud. and again, it'll always be milder across more northern parts of scotland.
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welcome to bbc news. i'm david eades. our top stories: us covid infections reach an all—time high with hospitalisations doubling in just two weeks. a stark warning is issued to the unvaccinated. about a 20 times likelihood that you would be dead if you were unvaccinated. new revelations in australia as novak djokovic releases a new statement saying that his team did tick an incorrect box about where he'd visited before melbourne. president biden makes a passionate plea for reform of voting rights, describing it as a defining moment for us democracy. a helicopter with four people on board, including a two—month—old baby, crashes in philadelphia, narrowly missing a church and powerlines.


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