Day By Day

Monday, April 21, 2008

An Evening At the Whitaker

This weekend "She Who Must Not Be Named," some friends, and I drove from our mountain fastness down to Harrisburg for a program presented by the Chinese Arts and Culture Institute at the Whitaker Center. As is usual with such things there was a mixture of international/ professional and regional/amateur talent on display. There were competent performances by a juggler and a contortionist as well as some nice renditions traditional Chinese music and dance. The highlights of the evening were a performance of scenes from a Chinese opera "The Legend of the White Snake" [my ears are still ringing] and two superb dance presentations that featured Chinese talent but were not specifically Chinese. The first, "Between Moon and Woman" was choreographed and performed by Jim Tsou and set to "Stabat Mater no. 1, Dolorosa" by Giovanni Pergolisi; the second, "Falling Petals" was choreographed by Ting Ting Chang and perfomed brilliantly by an ensemble of dancers to "The Protecting Veil" by John Tavener and "Fratress for Violin, Strings, and Percussion" by Estonian composer Arvo Part. The last piece in particular was completely engrossing.

Afterwards one of our friends, a native of Taiwan, invited us to her house for a late meal [we had skipped dinner in order to get to the concert on time]. She makes an excellent stir-fry. Finally, early in the wee hours of the morn, sated and happy, we wended our way home.

All in all it was a typical night in the life of a bitter, frustrated, culturally deprived, rural Pennsylvania gun-clinger/snake-handler, who [Senator Obama reminds us] is utterly intolerant of other cultures.