News / USA

Troupe Celebrates a Truly Old Fashioned Christmas

Production features traditional 19th Century-style songs and dances

Characters in period costume lead the audience through traditional Christmas carols, poems and ancient dances.
Characters in period costume lead the audience through traditional Christmas carols, poems and ancient dances.

Multimedia

It's Christmas time in Washington. For hundreds of families in the nation's capital and beyond, that means attending a production of the Christmas Revels.

The Revels, festive Christmas productions featuring traditional songs and dances, have been around for four decades, with affiliated production companies in Washington, D.C. and nine other cities across the U.S. The companies choose a different culture to celebrate each year.

This time it's rural England in the 1830s, loosely based on the books of renowned British novelist Thomas Hardy. Characters in period costume lead the audience through traditional Christmas carols, poems and ancient dances. Many cast members come from the local community. Performers - both professional and non-professional - join together to celebrate the season.

From poignant solos to brass quintets to a ritual horn dance, there is something for everyone. There's a variety of carols and a variation on a sword dance. But the audience favorite by far is the sing along.

Greg Lewis is executive director of The Washington Revels and a lead singer. He and his family have been involved with the Revels since 1983.

"Revels are people connecting and it's connecting through this material that's traveled down through generations, and it's the kind of thing that has bound generations together," says Lewis. "In every show, particularly the Christmas show, we bring in what we call tradition bearers. So these are the people who grew up authentically within their tradition. And they come and they teach us."

For the Connolly family, attending a Revels performance is a yearly tradition.

"The production this year was fabulous," says Craig Connolly. "I think it may be my favorite."

"I liked when we did the whole thing when everybody was holding hands and going around," says 7-year-old Liam Connolly.

"It really gets us in the spirit of what the true meaning of Christmas is," says Kate Connolly.

Every production of the Christmas revels - from New York to San Francisco - is unique in its own way.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid