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Washington Revels stages celebrations filled with traditional music, dance, stories and drama from around the world, revolving around the cycle of the seasons and the joys of community connections. Revels is for anyone who wants to share common ground through old and new traditions—connecting people across time and cultures. Revels is not something that you just watch—it is an experience.

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Greek and Bulgarian Salon Concerts

by November 20, 2013 » Add the first comment.
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Twice over the last week the performance space at Washington Revels was filled with dance and exciting music. Friday night, the music was Greek; last night, it was music from Bulgaria. The salon concerts are a chance for tradition-bearers in this year’s Christmas Revels to share a bit more of Read more »

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It’s Just So Many Words….

by November 14, 2013 » Add the first comment.
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In December, I’ll be standing on stage singing songs in Greek, Turkish, and Bulgarian like I’ve known them all my life. Today, November 14, I’m staring down a really large pile of words in languages I don’t speak. My memorization system has many parts. Some shorter pieces just stick in Read more »

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Blessed by the Survachka

by October 31, 2013 » Add the first comment.
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Last week Assen Assenov, a leader in the Washington-area Bulgarian community, and his wife Simona Assenova stopped by rehearsal for the Christmas Revels. First they taught our Wednesday Night Work Party volunteers how to make a survachka, a stick that Bulgarian children use to bless their elders on New Year’s Read more »

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Dancing (and singing) children

by October 14, 2013 » Add the second comment.
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This year, the children will not only sing in Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish, Croatian, and English… but they will also dance! Our children’s directors Kat Toton and Jenni Voorhees (along with children’s stage manager, Emilie Moore) couldn’t do all of this without help from our amazing specialists and tradition-bearers. Last Wednesday, Read more »

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Eleven-Sixteen? What?

by October 2, 2013 » Add the first comment.
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Overheard in rehearsal: “Eleven-sixteen? Whaaaat?” One of the challenges for this year’s Christmas Revels chorus is singing in unusual time signatures. If you don’t know what a time signature is, let me take a moment to enlighten. A piece of music written in the standard way has a couple of Read more »

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Singing Our Hearts Out

by August 8, 2013 » Add the first comment.
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A version of this post originally appeared at Last Word on Nothing. Recently I was rehearsing a glorious 16th-century motet with a small chorus, for the Washington Revels 30th Anniversary CD. Haec dies quam fecit Dominus, the song begins. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us Read more »

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May Day! May Day!

by May 1, 2012 » Add more comments.
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Happy May 1st to all… how have you spent your May Day so far?  I was lucky enough to get up at 6:00 am, travel down the street to the Takoma Park Gazebo, and watch three morris teams do their very best to “bring in the  May.”  It was raining, but this Read more »

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Adventures in Haircutting

by March 7, 2012 » Add the second comment.
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Early in the process for the Christmas Revels, everyone in the cast gets the word: No cutting your hair until after the show. That means men, too, although it’s possible to get special permission if you just can’t live with the big hair look. Some people end up with wigs. Read more »

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Happy President’s Day – Celebrating Lincoln and Liberty at Ford’s Theatre

by February 20, 2012 » Add the second comment.
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Hurrah for the choice of the nation!  Our chieftan so brave and so true; We’ll go for the great Reformation — For Lincoln and liberty too! —“Lincoln and Liberty,” 1860 The echoes of this campaign song, made famous by songster and abolitionist Jessie Hutchinson, rang the rafters as the Washington Read more »

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Happy 194th Birthday, Frederick Douglass!

by February 18, 2012 » Add the second comment.
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February is another month of holidays–Valentine’s Day, and of course, Presidents Day, which celebrates the birthdays of Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  But there is another famous birthday in February–that of the former slave, orator, and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass.  In fact, Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Read more »

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