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Listening to Allison Levy discuss the history and rituals of Mardi Gras was a sheer delight. A native New Orleanian, Allison speaks both personally and also intelligently about the various rituals, habits, and behaviors connected with this holiday, taking into account some related customs connected to, for example, funerals
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It was definitely worthwhile! My only comment is less "introduction" (which took up 13 minutes!) and just jump into the subject! Loved the slides and would like MORE of them and larger. Even on our big screen TV, they were sometimes hard to make out. Someone asked a question about VooDoo and that was really interesting and should be added to the presentation. Great info but would love have had more photos to really give us a feeling of being there.
This was an enjoyable enough 90 mins but left me wanting more. I would have appreciated a tighter structure, something more on the origins and a thorough look at the characters and motivations behind the present day celebrations. As with a few of Contexts Conversations recently it felt more like a segment on a TV travel show than a deep dive with a scholar.
Another issue was the use of video - terrible quality and almost inaudible sound.
The last bit of the presentation was not really related to Mardi Gras. It was just other NOLA stuff like cemeteries and jazz funerals. It seemed she was just filling in time. You can tell this isn’t her specialty as she wasn’t as good or as knowledgeable on her topic as you would expect from a Context Guide. The videos she showed were grainy. It would have been better to download and then play them for picture quality.