Posts Tagged #QuebecRevelsDC

Cautionary Tales From Canada

Cautionary Tales From Canada

A guest post by Patrick Swanson (Artistic Director, Revels, Inc.) and Stephen D. Winick, Ph.D.
Folktales have a predictable, familiar structure: beginnings and endings are ritualized in order to give a clear signal that we are entering and leaving another world, while middles often contain important lessons that are part of a perceived “common sense.” The lessons in French-Canadian culture come from a fascinating mixture of English, Scottish, Irish, and French tradition shaped by the dominant religion, Catholicism. Many folktales feature the village priest and his enemy, the Devil. A favorite cautionary tale about the Loup-Garou, or Werewolf, includes important information about the reason for the beast’s condition: neglecting to go to confession for seven years.

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Song and Music in Québec: A Brief Introduction

Song and Music in Québec: A Brief Introduction

A guest post by Stephen Winick, Ph.D.
This French-Canadian Revels includes a selection of ancienne musique and nouvelle musique Québécoise, blending old French tradition and New World ingenuity with a modern flair. On his first trip to the New World, in 1534, explorer Jacques Cartier found a rich land inhabited by Huron and Iroquois Indians. He promptly claimed it for France. After permanent settlement began in 1608, immigrants to Québec came from all over France, but especially from several provinces in the north and west: Normandy, Picardy, Anjou, Poitou, and Brittany. Not surprisingly, many of the traditional French songs we now find in Québec are common in those provinces as well. “Dans les prisons de Nantes,” for example, is set in Nantes, an important city that was historically the capital of Brittany. Located at the confluence of the Loire, the Sevre, and the Erdre, Nantes may be remembered fondly by many of our villagers as a model for their own Trois-Rivières.

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The Origin of the Gigue (Québécois Step Dancing)

The Origin of the Gigue (Québécois Step Dancing)

A guest post by Pierre Chartrand
In Québec, step dancing is known as the gigue. The step dancing in this show is a style from the eastern part of Canada. It is one of a number of varieties of step dancing found throughout Canada. Step dancing originated in the British Isles. Its path to Canada began with the large Irish immigration between 1832 and 1847. As a port of entry, Québec City was first to feel the Irish influence. As French-speaking Canadians adopted the dance, colonists moving northward carried the gigue with them.

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Meet The Christmas Revels Chorus (Part 3)

Meet The Christmas Revels Chorus (Part 3)

Posted by Washington Revels
Get to know the people and personalities that will bring our French-Canadian winter celebration to life this December!

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All are Welcome in Our Revels Community

All are Welcome in Our Revels Community

A guest post by Katrina Van Duyn
Although I usually join in Revels’ Christmas productions as a specialty performer, in Québécois I am happy to play a more hybrid role, not exactly a chorus member (I was not hired for my soprano chops), but definitely a member of the village community onstage. So I have come to the chorus rehearsals as much as possible, and have enjoyed and learned so much from them.

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Meet The Christmas Revels Chorus (Part 2)

Meet The Christmas Revels Chorus (Part 2)

Posted by Washington Revels
Get to know the people and personalities that will bring our French-Canadian winter celebration to life this December!

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Meet The Christmas Revels Chorus (Part 1)

Meet The Christmas Revels Chorus (Part 1)

Posted by Washington Revels
Get to know the people and personalities that will bring our French-Canadian winter celebration to life this December!

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Shaping Revels Kids

Shaping Revels Kids

A guest post by Kat Toton

The first Revels I ever saw was the 2004 production of The King and the Fool. I saw the following year’s Northlands show and somehow (although I don’t remember doing it) signed up for the mailing list. When the audition notice came out in 2006, I decided to try it and I’ve been with Revels ever since! You could say that I fell in love. I’ve been an adult Chorus member in 5 shows, did makeup for the 2008 Québécois show, and have been the kids’ Music Director since 2010.

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The Music that Weaves Through Our Life (Part 1)
Coming Full Circle: A Year, A Song and a Special Revels Teacher

The Music that Weaves Through Our Life (Part 1)Coming Full Circle: A Year, A Song and a Special Revels Teacher

A guest post by Anna White
This past summer, after traveling north to spend time with relatives in Quebec and explore a little the environs of this year’s Christmas Revels, we headed “down east” to the coast of Maine. Like certain migratory birds and butterflies, we like to go back to the same place each year, camping along the shore and under the stars, as many generations of our family have done. Each year there are places we must visit and activities we must engage in, as is tradition — a certain lake with a raft that we must cast a line and take a dip in, a certain beach of sand made of broken shells and a bog-stained estuary which we must pass the day and cycle of the tides at, a certain cobblestone cove where one can find finely polished stones many colors of the rainbow. These are sacred spaces and rituals. Occasionally new discoveries are made which over the course of a few years turn into new traditions, weaving into the rhythm of our time and space away from home. 

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The Gifts We Give Our Children

The Gifts We Give Our Children

A guest post by Patrick Malone
We often hold time as the most valuable commodity. Making time for our friends and family, especially children, is a top priority and we try to structure our work and commitments to maximize those moments. Achieving “good work-life balance” is the new gold standard and having the flexibility to be present with family is a point of pride. I am part of this. I live just a little more than a mile from my office. The walk to work takes me through Lincoln Park, down beautiful tree-lined East Capitol and into the halls of Congress. It’s really one of the nicest walking commutes in the country.

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