Favorite Puzzle Ever: Folk Dance
I just had a big holiday puzzle-making thrill. ...My favorite puzzle ever!
What made this puzzle special?
Well, it's based on a wonderful painting of a rural folk dance scene, in the Thomas Hart Benton style, I'd call it. A lot of action, people and color.
I really like how the people are actually doing a real dance of some kind. It's not just faked-up. There are 4 squares of dancers in the scene and they're all at the same phase of the dance -- one person from each square is ducking out of the square, under the locked-hands of the others. I wonder what such a dance is. I sure hope it's a real one, but having five in the square seems a bit odd. But it could be a lot of fun! ...Always one man out, maybe.
I have to go on a bit more about the painting before I get to the meat of the matter of the coolness of the puzzle.
There are all sorts and types of people in this painting. Young, old, teen, kid, babies -- and a dog. There's architecture -- the dance hall and furniture. An old car, too. And a nice string band. Nice perspective, with near and far. For having all white people it seems diverse -- lots of different hair colors, anyway. There's variety. But only one guy wearing glasses. All sorts of colors of outfits.
The really neat thing was, I thought, that each puzzle piece seemed to include several people -- parts of people, that is -- several limbs, shoes, or items of colorful clothing. The painting is such a mish-mash. And that's just what a barn dance is. Hands and feet and limbs and outfits and faces going every which way. Such bold colors and action, what with the ducking-under move happening in every area of the painting. These are people who might often be serious but here they're definitely having fun. Anyway, I just really liked how each puzzle piece had parts of different people in it, coming from every which way. All those different shoes and parts of shoes. Different hands and arms and dresses and pants and hats and hairdos. (We should've been playing contra dance music in the background while we did the puzzle!)
Lastly, the puzzle was fragile: the pieces didn't interlock much. They were cut wonderfully asymmetrically. It was both easy and hard to do -- always a surprise what we were looking at. And if you bumped the pieces, they'd mess up easily. You had to take care to keep everything in good relations. Maybe just like real life? It's a musical balancing act. Fragile yet bold.
Just such fun.