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Showing posts from January, 2020

Paradise Lost

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photo: Jeremy Daniel
John Milton wrote Paradise Lost in 1667. It’s based on the Genesis story from the rebellion of Lucifer to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. The story is greatly enhanced in over 10,000 lines of verse. Lucifer and the paradisiacal couple have distinct personalities: Lucifer is charismatic, Adam infatuated by Eve, and Eve, most interestingly, curious and intelligent.
Fellowship for Performing Arts, one of my favorite NYC companies, produces theater from an intelligent Christian perspective. The company is presenting a stage adaptation of Paradise Lost by Tom Dulack. Its six characters - Lucifer (“Satan” is his “hell-name”), Beelzebub, Sin (that is, sin herself), Adam, Eve and Gabriel - make the Genesis myth personal. The domestic story of Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost was a new sort of material for an epic. This production, hardly epic by any standard, personalizes the entire myth from the fall of Lucifer to the expulsion from Paradise more than Milton eve…

Sounds of Siberia

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photo: Rubin Museum
On January tenth The Rubin Museum of Art (which presents art of the Himalayan regions), New York, presented an extraordinary concert called Sounds of Siberia. Two performers, Yuliyana Krivoshapkina and Nachyn Choreve, demonstrated the throat singing of the Tuva, a republic within The Russian Federation bordering on Mongolia. They accompanied themselves on two instruments: Ms. Krivoshapkina played the khomus (a type of jaw harp) and both she and Mr. Choreve played a string instrument which I believe was a balalaika, with three strings.
Ms.Krivoshapkina sang the opening song in vocalese - that is, without words, with only a vowel sound. She accompanied herself with elegant arm gestures suggesting flying. It was a marvelous choice to open the concert.
This was followed by a song in which Ms.Krivoshapkina sang words, presumably Tuvan. Mr. Choreve introduced his first balalaika, which had a boat-shaped body. He would later switch to one with a rectangular body. Sometimes h…