Ravin' about "The Raven!"
09.02.2013 - 10.02.2013 36 °F
Brightly patterned dancing dragons are not normally what visitors to D.C. expect to encounter in the city’s streets but last Sunday, 10th January, was a cause for celebration - the start of Chinese New Year, the year of the Snake.
Flag waving children from DC’s Chinese Community, danced and tumbled along the crowd lined thoroughfares bordering the city’s Chinatown. Amid splendid January sunshine, the onlookers cheered and clapped as young performers demonstrated polished Kung Fu skills under the direct tutelage of experienced Dans. Costumed Chinese New Year characters entertained the crowds accompanied by marching bands and enthusiastic flag wavers. Explosive firecrackers and fortune cookies in abundance, all contributed to a great carnival atmosphere!
Following my first encounter with “The Raven” , Edger Allen Poe’s gothic masterpiece, a few weeks ago in Baltimore, he seems to have been my shadow ever since! Even the most reluctant sports follower must know that the”Baltimore Ravens” (named of course after their most famous son’s poem), won the Superbowl beating the San Fransisco 49ers 34-31 in New Orleans! The airwaves and TV screens were awash with their victory and the staffroom at school as well! Fresh from that historic win, I next encountered “The Raven” set to music! The premier of a choral work set to the words of the aforementioned poem was sung at Dumbarton Church, a multi-purpose arts venue in Georgetown in northwest D.C. I was intrigued by this offering and so procured a half price ticket to catch up with the “bird” again! The concert, comprising two contrasting works , (first half-“Stabat Mater"-second half-“Nevermore”) was a very clever program descision as each covered heart-wrenching themes of grief and loss yet dealt with different subjects set in completely different time periods. As the days are lengthening and a hint os spring is in the air, perhasps the dark raven will not feature so prominently in my DC experiences but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say “Nevermore!”