Sunday, March 13

The Arts in The Peg

This past week was stressful with many academic assignments due, six chapters from books and 3 articles to read.  After all the crazy academic work was done, somehow I found time to attend a few recreation activities.

The first was a touring concert with Sarah MacLaughlan to perform songs from her new CD, Laws Of Illusion on International Women's Day.  I had not purchased the CD as of yet, but with a possible ticket on the twelfth row of the MTS Centre, it seemed like a good choice to attend.  Much to my surprise, upon my arrival at 8:00 pm the stage was full of musicians who remained on stage the entire evening.  This included MacLaughlan, her band and two guest singers and band members: Melissa McClelland and Butterfly Boucher.  Each woman took turns performing a song while the others musicians sang backup and played accompaniment on different instruments.  Butterfly Boucher toured with MacLaughlan 9 years ago and I have listened to her CD since then.  Her new CD, scaryfragile, is good but lacks a variety of sounding songs.  Sarah's CD I am enjoying but still getting to know.  Melissa McClelland is an artsy, funky person with crazy songs, my favourite being Passenger #24 a song about a train trip she once took and all the crazy people she met while on board.  Melissa's husband, Luke Doucet, is also a musician born in Winnipeg and was on stage playing as well.  Here are a few bad pics of the event:

All three women on stage, Melissa at front of stage.

The sad last bow of the evening.

Later in the week I took the opportunity to attend the world premiere of a new ballet by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Wonderland based on the story of Alice in Wonderland.  With its white stage, video projected images, colourful and fanciful costumes and contemporary movements, I was not disappointed, it was marvellous!  My eyes and brain just kept letting all the movement and drama on stage sink in at a fast pace, knowing that most of the work on stage was about chaos, pushing boundaries of logical thinking and providing a flourish of images.  I attended with a friend who has taught dance for most of her adult life and I, the woman of rapid questions, quizzed her afterwords about the movements, themes and expressions evident in the performers' dancing bodies.  Turns out that contemporary dance includes movements from all the other forms of dance providing choreographers with a broad swath of possible body movements with which to combine and intermingle.  Quite delightful.

From RWB website

My favourite parts include firstly, the flute section during the underwater scene who played notes faster than have I ever heard (I am an ex-serious flute player and still tinkle a bit), which created a myriad of sounds both low and incredibly high and made me feel like I was in the blue abyss.  Second, the sultry mushroom scene during which three men repeatedly hoisted the female caterpillar in the air, flipping her over, seducing the crowd with the hand movements and black attire.  Thirdly, the Queen of Hearts played by Tara Birtwhistle was hilarious and well performed.  During her scenes she had a megaphone through which she yelled at the audience, the ballet dancers, and anyone in her space.  So fun to have humour included in the ballet.  Lastly, as one point characters were dancing and running about coming in and out of doors on stage and a traditional ballet dancer appeared on-point in a fancy outfit.  She flitted about for 10 seconds, looked around at the halted other dancers on stage, they all simultaneously shook their heads "no" and she dropped to her flat feet and sulked off stage.  Her traditional dance was definitely out of place.  Brilliant!  As it tours across Canada go, GO!

Lastly, I had the chance to see The King Singer's this evening.  Always a delight to listen to the trained and accurate voices of six men singing a cappella.  So brilliant!  The first half of the concert was traditional English tunes sung throughout Britain's history.  The second half started with several spirituals in during which I think I stopped breathing due to their messages and meaningful interpretation.  A group of six caucasian, British men sang Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and it worked!  So beautiful!  Then proceeded to sing selections from their new CD, Swimming Over London.  This portion of the concert brought the crowd to tears, laughter and silence....the sweet sound of complete silence after a magnificent performance that the audience and performers linger in before the applause begins.  If you ever have a chance to see them sing, without a doubt go!  I am loving their rendition of Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap a moody, pensive and subtle look at a break-up.  In all a moving evening.

Taken in London at a different concert by me.
So, in all go attend the arts in our area.  This is where creativity touches the soul and the soul comes away understanding a little bit more about life and its complexities.  A life without the arts is a tiresome journey.            

1 comment:

  1. Yes to your last sentence, Tonia. Here at the Brooks/Johnson house they have a wall magnet that says, "Life without music would be a mistake."

    Even deaf Beethoven needed music.