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.
A blog post by Clare Hardin, former Washington Revels child, teen, and intern. She tells of her experience in the Washington Revels community, and why she thinks your children and teenagers should come and revel with us.
There’s something for everyone — after-school workshops for PreK-8th grade, opportunities for children and teens to perform on stage, and family activities ranging from Community Sings, Pub Sings, concerts and parades, plus workshops (in music, dance and traditional crafts) – over 120 events each year. It’s a place where intergenerational interactions are a part of daily activities, a place where a family is invited to share in the joys of singing and community, and a place where traditions are honored, shared and created.
The parade or procession is an essential element within Washington Revels’ seasonal celebrations, whether it’s the merry march across the grounds of Washington National Cathedral to celebrate springtime (May Revels) or through the Maryland suburbs at summer’s end (the Kensington Labor Day Parade), and it fits beautifully into the Washington Revels mission, bringing joy, celebrating tradition, and building relationships within the community and the region. Read more »
When I opened my fortune cookie today at lunch, I found the message to be particularly meaningful: “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” That single step begins tonight at the first meeting of the 2016 Nordic Christmas Revels adult chorus. This year’s production will feature music from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden as we take a “Journey to the Northlands”! Read more »
Down through the “centuries of the snow white world”, masks have been used for revels and rituals of all sorts. Masking is always a transformative act, whether it be children cavorting at Halloween or for an ancient ceremony among indigenous cultures. Masking does more than just cover the face and provide an altered appearance. When the archetype of the mask is clear to both performer and audience, the metaphors and meaning are accessible, then an act of sacred theater occurs. It is an exchange of ideas between the masked person and the viewer. Masks are a form of story telling within themselves. By evoking imagery either of localized cultures, or from the greater depths of the human psyche, the masks provides everyone a doorway into the story, removing the human form and substituting a metaphor in their place.
A guest post by Shane Odom, Mythical Designs. “Faerie contains many things besides elves and fays, and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants, or dragons; it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, Read more »
One of the most beautiful moments in this year’s Christmas Revels is a song to the moon, “The Traveller’s Prayer.” It’s by John Renbourn, an English songwriter who died last March at the age of 70. The moon is a wonder. It travels around us slowly, making one circuit Read more »
version of this post appeared on The Last Word on Nothing. The English robin and the North American robin share a name, but ours is a large, sturdy bird, while the British one is a sweet, fat little bird with a little less red and a pretty dab Read more »
A version of this post appeared on The Last Word on Nothing. I walked along the edge of a cliff. To my right, a hundred-foot drop to the waters of the English Channel. A strong wind blew off the water and over the cliff. To my left were Read more »
In one of Washington Revels’ most-performed songs, “Country Life,” we sing: “I like to rise when the sun she rises, early in the morning/I like to hear them small birds singing, merrily upon their laylums.” A laylum is probably a bit of fallow land—it doesn’t matter; it’s a place Read more »