[Ed note]Welcome to the powwow script that deals with powwows and samplers. But it is more than that. This script inaugurates some new technology. Our consultant on script creation has been attacking what he calls the four corner problem. It was the intention of this web site when it went live on Dec 7th, 2008 that it should never look the same two times in a row. This script does this: If you are dealing with Firefox or IE9, your should notice that each montage will be surrounded at random on one of four sides by its text each time the script is accessed. If dealing with Microsoft IE8, this will only be top and bottom. If dealing with IE7 or lower, the resolution of the pictures will not be done. Our consultant expects in the future to resolve the problems of Internet Explorer below version IE9, but for now we present

The Pittsburgh Powwow and Germantown Summer Sampler

In this montage dd you can see pictures of the Sideling Service plaza of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This plaza serves both east and west bound traffic and is situated in the middle of the state. In moving between the various ends of the state, you can't do better than taking I76, the Pennsylvania Turnpike. On August 11th and August 13th, Mark (or is it Marc) Rauer transversed the state as he attended the Pittsburgh powwow and then returned to photograph the Germantown Summer Sampler. In using the turnpike, he was surpised at the tunnels under Blue Mountain, Kittatinny Mountain, Tuscarora Mountain and Allegheny Mountain, respectively, needed to navigate the trip. For the claustrophobic among you, he reports, this could be a problem. And, it would have been even more of a problem in earlier years when even more tunnels, replaced during a modernization project in 1968, had to be transversed. Many of these tunnels, we have been told, originated as railroad tunnels before the Turnpike was built in 1940. The construction of the turnpike itself before World War II was of considerable interest to an American Public just emerging from the effects of the depression of the 1930's. Using as an example the 1930's built German Autobahn, the first road project dedicated to cars to span a country, the Turnpike itself was used as a template for the American Interstate road construction of the '50s and '60s.

When we debriefed our correspondent after his trips, he wondered how the early settlers made it out to the Pittsburgh area. For his information and possibly yours, let us indicate the Pittsburgh begins as a fort in the late 1750's named after the British prime minister at the time, WIllian Pitt. The founder of Ft Pitt was General John Forbes, of scottish descent, who lead the British forces (which included the American Colony forces of both Pa and Virginia with Virginia being led by General George Washington) against the French and their Indian allies at that time. Forbes was not necessarily the best General in terms of military skirmishes but was the man for the job dealing with construction, treaties and what the military calls 'investment', a variation of siege. These qualities served him well during the French and Indian war as he built the first road from the Pennsylvania frontier (Carlisle, Harrisburg and such) into this western area. He also created treaties with some of the Indian tribes decreasing French support and resources at the time. Ultimately. he was going to attempt an investment of Fort Duquesne built at the junction of today's Allegheny and Monangahela rivers in what is today downtown Pittsburgh. However, the French forces fled even while Forbes made plans for a complete encirclement allowing for British rule in that area and also cementing Pennsylvania's claims to what would be the western end of the state against similar claims by Virginia, Connecticut and possibly New York. Forbes street, on which the Squirrel Hill JCC is situated - the site of the Pittsburgh powwow - is named for him. Phillies fans of an earlier era would be familiar with the Pittsburgh Pirates' home field of the early twentieth century, Forbes field, which was also named for the General. The last photo shows an enclosed home plate of that stadium that now is resident in one of the buildings of University of Pittsburgh. All the pictures of this montage and the one below have been found on the internet. In addition, as is the habit of this website, we have set the background colors to be purple and gold at random, the colors associated with William Pitt.

The JCC is in a very interesting section of Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill, also apparently nicknamed ShadySide for Shady Avenue which moves north-south to Forbes Avenue's east-west through this neighborhood. It sits on the eastern edge of Pittsburgh and extends westward toward Oakland, the next section of Pittsburgh as one heads downtown. As you move east to west, you run into Carnegie Mellon University and its next door neighbor, the University of Pittsburgh. Thanks to the graciousness of Cherie Maharan, the leader of the Pittsburgh session and Lynn Berman, the Pittsburgh session's leader in dance instruction, our visitor from this end of the state and others from Rochester were housed and fed at the local restaurants which are plentiful in that area of Pittsburgh. In fact, our last picture is of Pamela's where the visitors had breakfast that Sunday morning. Pamela's is considered one of the must-attend delis in the city.

Okay, we're about ready for the dance session. For several years the Pittsburgh session has hosted a summer get together with the Columbus, Ohio and Cleveland, Ohio sessions at the Squirrel Hill, JCC. This is reciprocated during the Thanksgiving season when Cleveland hosts a marathon and these other sessions commute into that city, which from Pittsburgh is about a two hour drive. For the Thanksgiving marathon, the Pittsburgh group drives through the afternoon to reach Cleveland and then when the marathon is over, about two in the morning, arrives back in Pittsburgh about 4:30AM on Thanksgiving day. For this Sunday in August, the Cleveland attendees do the marathon which means that they drive back and forth in one day.

Columbus, Ohio is similarly placed. One can see that Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Columbus create a kind of triangle. Add an hour to Cleveland's trip each way and you have the travel times of the Columbus session dancers. They also will travel to and from Pittsburgh and do the powwow as a day event.

In addition, one dancer has come from the Washington area, three dancers have come from the Rochester area session and you already know that there is an intrepid explorer from our Philadelphia area. All of these dancers face close to 5 hour trips each way. We can't determine what the Washington dancer did, but the others were housed with the Pittsburgh session leaders as mentioned above. We indicate this to you because, as you will see in the pictures below, apparently the PowWow populates as the different groups arrive. At the start of the powwow, you have many of the Pittsburgh session participants and those who have arrived in the previous day. They get augmented, en masse, by the arrival of the Cleveland and then the Columbus dancers and you should keep this in mind per the following pictures.

Anyway, for much of the morning, Cherie has been preparing the food and drinks while Lynn has been playing host to the out of town guests. About 11:45Am many dancers start to pass through the JCC's security and congregate at the exercise/aerobic room that the session uses for its dance session. The powwow is called for noon, but we are told that there is a hangup. Another class, apparently of weight lifters or trainers, have been scheduled in the room until 12:15PM. So, most of the dancers relax in the vestible outside as you can see in this montage although one of the Pittsburgh dancers continues preparations.

The exercise class is over and it is time for Israeli dancing. These pictures show the room as it is being prepped. This includes moving the exercise equipment out of the way. In addition, Cherie has to ready the music. In what looks like a closet for the room, Cherie has her equipment and the computer and sound system is connected to a room wide audio system. You can see from these photos that this may have been a ballet room at one time given the number and disposition of the mirrors and barres.

ddd are scenes of the dancing early in the session. The Cleveland group has arrived by this time as we see the Cleveland instructor, Stuart Meyer, the tall gentleman in white, amidst the circle. Stuart would later teach a dance. In addition to Stuart, there were several dance leaders in attendance and they were able to merge their various personalities and gifts for dance to create an enjoyable afternoon of dancing.

A tradition of the powwow is to have each of the group leaders teach a dance. This web site's correspondance with Cherie Maharam indicates that three dances were taught during the six hour period of dancing. Myles Zuckerman (green Tshirt) who teaches another Israeli dance session in Pittsburgh - this is the Monday night class at another location that was originally led by Becky Peretz before she relocated into the Princeton area - also taught a dance, Shir Le'asef, that was introduced in the Philadelphia area in February and is a favorite of the Germantown Israeli dance session, a group that will be discussed below in this script.

Myles was aided by one of the dance leaders of the Squirrel Hill session, Lynn Berman. As we understand it, Lynn is relatively new to Israeli dance but has already attended Karmiel (and other dance camps) and has been selected by Cherie to demonstrate the new dances for the Pittsburgh session. Lynn did similar work this day, being in the circle with Myles as he demonstrated Shir Le'asaf. In some of the pictures below, we will see Lynn again in the middle of the circle as she demonstrates another dance with Stuart, the session leader of Cleveland. The montage dd catches both Lynn and Myles in the circle as the dance, Shir Le'asaf, is performed by the session this afternoon.

The first picture of the montage dd shows the arrival of the Columbus session. With their arrival, the party's complete. Our representative counted about 40 dancers at the max. The time, he approximates, was about 1PM when these pictures are taken. For the next five hours it is an afternoon of dancing and teaching.

This web site was under the impression that the powwow was circle dancing only. But the pictures dd show ottherwise. We're not sure how many couple sets took place during the session but these pictures show at least one did. And, it certainly looks like there was no tentativity in the performance, at least from this angle.

The second teach of the session is about to take place. The session is about to be introduced to Mei Nahar, a dance that has been part of Don Schillinger's repertoire in the Philadelphia area for some time. The dance was taught by Stuart, the leader of the Cleveland session and Stuart was abetted by Lynn in the circle.

These shots dd concentrate on lynn as she shares the spotlight during the teach of Mei Nahar. As Stuart is teaching, Lynn is helping to demonstrate. These are stills from a videotape that was taken during the teach and the performance of the dance afterward. Lynn is an interesting subject to discuss. As we understand it, she was active in Israeli dance during the early '90s. Before that we think that she had a ballet background. After getting married, other priorities prevailed. Israeli dance was forgotten until a few years ago. Lynn joined Cherie's class on Thursday and it was clear that this genre of dance favored her. After a year or two, she had progressed to the point that Cherie invited her into the circle as dances were demonstrated and in 2011, to fill in all the blanks, Lynn attended the Karmiel'2011 festival in Israel to hone her dancing and teaching skills. All this was on display during the powwow afternoon and is replicated dd .

This web site returns from the west. Back across the state the Germantown Jewish Centre is preparing for the annual Summer sampler. Included in this is free Israeli dancing. For the summer, the center has hosted Israeli dancing on Wednesday nights anyway. This Wednesday dance session now gets embedded into the sampler. There are changes for this night of dancing, however. Newcomers are always welcome at Germantown but generally these visits are limited. This Wednesday night, Grant Shulman must take into consideration that there may be multiple newcomers and in the spirit of the sampler, he has to be prepared to accomodate them even more so than during an ordinary session. In addition, the session will be free to whomever attends.

We know one person is preparing to attend. Our consultant has returned from across the state to take some pictures. As we understand it, he has returned to the Philadelphia area on Monday afternoon and on the succeeding Wednesday night joins the session in progress.

It has been a busy summer for Germantown. Besides running Wednesday night sessions, many of the Germantown dancers have attended the special summer event that John Frank led to the Cherry Hill session and this includes Grant, the session leader. Grant's intention in visiting Cherry Hill was to learn some of the secrets that Naomi uses for her class at Cherry Hill. Grant has learned well. Our consultant is told of a new change when he arrives with his camera. Only one dance will be photographed so that those not wising to be photographed know when not to dance. Below we will show that dance, Nigun Atik, as it is done that Wednesday night.

As we start, we should acknowledge the people who bring you the session which will return to its normal Sunday morning hours in September. To the left we see Grant Shulman who ably handles the dance selection and teaching duties. To the right is Tamar Magdovitz who is the administrative leader and handles the liaison duties between the group and the Germantown Jewish Centre facility.

We hope you don't mind if we put some plugs in for scripts on this web site. The first picture dd is of Wendy and Rochelle who are to be the subjects of a script designated as the four dancers. This script should be available on this web site shortly. Next, moving right, is Adam who has contributed to this web site in the past. Rochelle and he also will be part of the proposed script pertaining to the Arden Fair '12. Next we have Minna who has also contributed to this web site and you can see her script by clicking here. Finally we have Howard whose records are being used to populate our Jewish music script

And, dd are pictures of the dancing during this session while Nigun Atik was playing. This dance is one of the easiest Israeli dances and if played, it generally appears early in the session. Our consultant says there were a few new faces in the crowd and it will be interesting to see if these people begin to attend the Sunday morning sessions. We understand that at the end of the session, the dancers joined the rest of the sampler attendees at an ice creme social in the Tenim canteen.