Sunday, December 20, 2009

Celtic Revels

It's in the low 20s again this morning - but we're projected to reach a high of 54. The sky is cloudless to the east and overhead, but just behind the mountain peaks you can see a mountain-wave cloud building. Since we've had a week of high temperatures in the 40s and 50s, sunny areas have no snow cover; shady areas have about an inch still on the ground; there are still piles of unmelted snow in parking lots; and streets and roads without high traffic still have up to 5 inches of ice caked on them - it makes walking an interesting exercise. There is one rocky peak a couple of blocks north and then due west of my apartment that has a really odd look to it today - with all of the sunshine, it looks as if some giant has taken a ruler and divided it with a straight line; the northern side of the peak is covered with snow, while the southern side is brown rock. It's a striking contrast. .... We attended the Christmas Revels presented by Celtic Roads last night. It was a two-and-a-half hour celebration of song and dance, with four areas of audience participation - and I had a superb time! The groups that brought us the show included the Wee Birds Children's Choir, the Rocky Mountain Revels Celtic Chorus, six marvelous Irish Step Dancers (both in soft shoes and tap clogs), the Flagstaff Brass Quintet, and the Irish Fiddle Band that was made up of pipes, tin whistle, concertina, bodhran, spoons, and (of course) fiddlers. Songs, poetry and music ranged from the Twenty-third Psalm (sung in Gaelic) to a 9th century poem to the working songs of the Scots, Irish, and Welsh women in the 15th century, to children's chants and games, and renditions of Amazing Grace, Auld Lang Syne, and a traditional Irish mummer's play. One of the young ladies in the Wee Birds Choir told me that if I enjoyed this show, I would really love the Summer Solstice show... I'm already looking forward to it! If you'd like to get a glimpse of the Revels, you can visit (and have a ball!). One young man stood out from the other performers, and I have a feeling that I had that same air of serious concentration when I appeared in school plays... He was a young man, I'd guess in his early-to-mid-teens; when he appeared in a group setting, singing and interacting with others, he was quite natural. But he had two dances in which he participated - and he was concentrating sooo hard, it just drew your attention. He danced in a Welsh country dance, paired with a young lady, and with three other couples - he made two missteps, but always caught himself and proceeded with aplomb. Then he was a participant in the Irish Mummer's play, where he was one of six young men doing a complicated dance with swords - he didn't make a mistake there, but he was concentrating so hard that I felt for him... It was a wonderful night of entertainment!

No comments: