Posts Tagged ‘tradition’


August 27, 2012

Pearl is in three choirs at the moment.  The church-based one (which doesn’t regularly sing in church, it just meets there), sang in church on Sunday.  It’s a beautiful neo-Gothic church with lots of stained-glass windows and candles.

They sang during communion, having been invited to do so because some of the parish children were celebrating their First Holy Communion at that service.  They sang beautifully, about ten young voices floating through the church – such a big space for such a small choir!

I was proud of Pearl, she stood up so straight and watched the choir director, opened her mouth to sing out confidently, and didn’t let herself get flustered in front of an audience.  The congregation applauded warmly after each of the three hymns.

We don’t regularly attend this church, but do have family ties to it.  I reminded Pearl that The Fabulous Auntie B got married in that church, and that her great-grandmother also sang in the choir there many years ago.  It feels nice to keep the tradition going in a small way.

Nana would be proud.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

The Nutcracker

November 6, 2010

We were fortunate enough to win a double pass to the Royal NZ Ballet’s show The Nutcracker this week!  We were thrilled – I had been wanting to go, and Pearl had been wistfully pointing out the ads for it in every newspaper for a while.  I think The Dad would have quite liked to go too – in fact, I would love to have been able to take the entire family – but there were only two tickets, and he had another commitment in any case, so Pearl and I went together.

Pearl was enchanted to look over the wall into the orchestra pit and see real live musicians – and not one, but two concert harps!  I assured her that she would hear them several times during the ballet, and we made a bit of a game out of catching each other’s eye during the evening whenever we picked out the harp(s).

She was a bit restless during the overture, and I had to whisper in her ear to tell her what to expect.  I should have thought to warn her about the intermezzo too…

This version of the Nutcracker is set mostly in a children’s hospital – the idea being that Clara and her brother were fighting over the nutcracker on Christmas eve and she gets hit on the head.  Most of the dances are then dreams brought on by a combination of head injury and potent medicine dispensed by Matron.  Sir Jon Trimmer danced/acted the Matron wonderfully, in true pantomime tradition.  And the whole show was absolutely fabulous.

Near the start there were a couple of pyrotechnics, one when some  Christmas tree lights “blow a fuse”, and another when the nutcracker toy comes to life.  Pearl really didn’t like those, and hid down in her seat, but was soon caught up in the magic on stage again.  It’s hard to pick a favourite scene – Clara in her hospital bed flying above the Nutcracker Soldiers, or the beautiful Arabian princesses, or the comical trio of men dancing on crutches(!)… Through it all, there is a little side-story, a romance between one of the nurses and a young doctor, which is very sweet.  And the grand pas de deux is danced, not by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, but by Clara’s parents, transformed in her dream to Hollywood stars, a la 1920s (or so).

I had worried that Pearl would flag during such a late night out, but she fizzed all the way home, and couldn’t wait to tell The Dad all about it.  I know it’s only early November, but it really was a great way to start the Christmas “season”.

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

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