Tag Archives: R.M.S. Carpathia

Christmas Revels 2012 (An Irish Celebration), Dartmouth, NH: A Stupendous Success. Bravo! Thank YOU.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….

..by Anura Guruge


Related post:
[Do a blog ‘Search‘ for ‘Revels‘ for the many others >>>>]:

§  Christmas Revels At Dartmouth, NH: Tickets …Aug. 15, 2012.


Revels postcard 2012


The minimalistic, but functional, inside the R.M.S. Carpathia, set used for the entire Revels.

The minimalistic, but functional, inside the R.M.S. Carpathia, set used for the entire Revels.


Click to ENLARGE to Full Size.

Click to ENLARGE to Full Size.

To say that yesterday’s ‘An Irish Celebration‘ Christmas Revels at Dartmouth, NH, ‘warmed the cockles of my heart‘ (as the expression goes) would be a lie. It did much, much more. They ‘toasted my cockles‘! It truly was heart warming, as befits its premise of helping people overcome the shortest day of the year, i.e., the Winter Solstice, and thereby herald in the new Yule. This was an inspired multidisciplinary performance that encompassed song, dance, storytelling and narration. It made your spirits soar; made you appreciate the genius of life. I always feel privileged to attend ‘Revels’. I wish more people could attend. I am sure that the world, given what transpired in Connecticut on Friday, would be a better place if more people experienced the joy of Revels.

Yes, as a confirmed lover of the Winter Solstice I am a captive audience for the Christmas Revels. The whole theme of driving away the shortest day and looking forward to progressively longer days is one dear to me. ‘December 21‘ (or thereabouts), the Winter Solstice, the shortest day, is my favorite day of the year. To me it signifies that we have turned the corner and that Summer is on the way. I sulk on the Summer Solstice and try to explain to others that ‘June 21’ is a day of sadness. The Summer Solstice is about the coming of Winter! Starting on that day, though it is only perceived by the cognoscenti, days start getting shorter — even though at first it will only be a few seconds a day. But, nonetheless, it is the beginning of the slippery slope that takes us into the dark days of Winter. But, as the Revels testify, each year, come the Winter Solstice we reach the other side. Rejoice. Days are getting longer. Summer is on the way.

As always the cast was gifted, motivated and interactive. They really want us to have a good time, to savor the moment, contemplate life, and get the best from the holidays. That said, it is hard to ignore that among all these talented folks there are some who are exceptional, beyond exceptional. Their prowess excels. They have me, a person devoid of talent, in awe. Yes, I have done standup presentations in front of 900 people, but all I was doing was talking. These people sing, they dance, they act. They are so gifted. Bravo. Among those that really stood out, you have Danielle Cohen, Jennifer Culley Curtin, Will Thomas Rowan, Josiah Proietti and the Irish bag pipe player. [I was so glad that they got it right.] The Irish dancing was good, though much of it was done by lovely ladies who were no longer teenagers. So, though I have seen ‘River Dance‘ (in Boston) and ‘Lord of the Dance‘ (in Vegas and Portland, ME), I would rate these ladies as entertaining as any I have seen. Also kudos to the two Morris Dancers. They were outstanding. Bravo. Bravo. The Irish dancers were sporting an interesting innovation that Deanna spotted. They wore wireless microphones on their shoes (the transmitters strapped to their thighs). I have been told that this was a suggestion by Kieran Jordan, one of the dancers, and was implemented by the ever resourceful and gifted Revels creative team. Very clever. Very smart. Always a joy.

As always they had lots of kids. This year, with the tragedy in CT so close, there was special, magical meaning to seeing these kids. In one scene they all appeared, dressed in white, standing at the top railing of the ship. Wow. I didn’t count, but I guess there were between 20 and 30. Roughly the number of kids we lost in CT. Seeing these kids made you appreciate life. Why we have a duty to protect these kids.

I bought the ‘accompanying’ CD — though it was not exactly the soundtrack from this show and was done by the folks in Cambridge rather than Dartmouth.

Three songs from yesterday’s Revels really made a mark, though I was familiar with one of them — not counting ‘All Around My Hat‘. So what I did is get YouTube versions of these songs. So, these were not exactly as performed at Revels, but variants by others.


Song 12 at Revels, 'Colcannon' by Mary Black. The Revels program does mention Mary Black. Click to hear Mary Black at YouTube.

Song 12 at Revels, ‘Colcannon’ by Mary Black. The Revels program does mention Mary Black. Click to hear Mary Black at YouTube.

'An Poc Ar Buile' (The Crazy Goat) song by the Chieftains. This was song 9 and was done very well. I was very familiar with the Chieftains version. I had even heard them play it at the Albert Hall in London. Click for YouTube.

‘An Poc Ar Buile’ (The Crazy Goat) song by the Chieftains. This was song 9 and was done very well. I was very familiar with the Chieftains version. I had even heard them play it at the Albert Hall in London. Click for YouTube.

'Deck the Halls' in Gaelic, song #5 yesterday. Josiah Proietti did better than this! This is just a sampler. I have a different version on the CD I bought yesterday. Click for YouTube.

‘Deck the Halls’ in Gaelic, song #5 yesterday. Josiah Proietti did better than this! This is just a sampler. I have a different version on the CD I bought yesterday. Click for YouTube.

Of Course I Know R.M.S. Carpathia, The Setting For The Christmas Revels In Hanover, NH & Cambridge, MA.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….
……
by Anura Guruge


Related post:
Christmas Revels At Dartmouth, NH: Tickets Went On Sale Today
August 15, 2012.
Revels North (i.e., Hanover, NH at Dartmouth) and Revels (Cambridge, MA) Doing Same Irish 1907 Christmas Show
Sept. 2, 2012.

British, Cunard Royal Mail Ship (R.M.S.) Carpathia (named after an European mountain chain). ‘Royal Mail’ designates that it was licensed to carry mail for the British Royal Mail.



R.M.S. Carpathia, true to its designation ‘Royal‘, is the HEROIC British Cunard liner, under the command of an intrepid British captain, Capt. Arthur Henry Rostron, that rescued 710 souls after the Titanic disaster on April 15, 1912.

Carpathia which got there two hours after the sinking, after a four hour dash, saved the day and most of those in the water. The Carpathia and its crew were lauded as heroes — Capt. Rostron was knighted by the British and received the Congregational Gold Medal from the U.S. That is the Carpathia. [We will not talk about the S.S. Californian that for reasons unknown did not go to rescue.]

The Revels is set in the Carpathia in (December ) 1907. I find the choice of that day (not to mention the ship) cute. This year, 2012, is the 100th year anniversary of the Titanic disaster. So, Revels is kind of exploiting that. By saying 1907 they are getting a 5 year separation from the 1912 event. As it transpired the Germans torpedoed and sank the Carpathia in July 1918. So 1907 is cute.

It will be good. The Carpathia is a much loved ship — especially by anyone who knows anything about the Titanic.

I have to now confess that I am a vicarious Titanic buff; my son from 1995 to about 2003 (from when he was 3 to about 11) being totally and utterly obsessed by the Titanic. During those years all things Titanic ruled his life — and consequently mine. We still have SOME of the artifacts from those years of Titanic fever. There are at least two models of the Titanic in the house — one of them an Airfix model that I painted and constructed (the only model out of close to a hundred that I ever bothered to paint properly). We also have a small metal model in the dinning room. Matthew, my son, also got an amazing cross-stitch of the Titanic. That is on the wall. I just went and counted. Not counting a few books that Devanee has ‘borrowed’ for her room over the years, I have 13 books (from what I can see) on the Titanic. There might be a few more around.


Not sure exactly how Matthew, around age 3, got so involved in the Titanic. It started with a fascination of sunken wrecks and then homed in on the Titanic — most likely given all the stuff he could watch on TV, even then, about Bob Ballard and the Titanic.

In the Summer of 1995 I was doing a number of seminars in the U.K. We all went over. I took the kids to Greenwich (as in G.M.T.) because of the huge, scenic park and the boat ride on the Thames to get there. We straddled the GMT line, and the kids as I expected ran riot in the park. Then we went into the museum. Matthew wondered off. On the wall there were these huge, old oil nautical paintings — many of them involving ship wrecks, Greenwich touting its role in facilitating navigation to minimize maritime disasters. I found him intently studying a picture of a sinking ship, talking to himself. It was like an epiphany. He was into ship wrecks.

For the next 18 months, more or less non-stop, to anybody that would listen, he would talk about the ‘Dumpster House’ — or something that sounded like that. We have never got to the bottom of that. He definitely was referring to the Greenwich Maritime Museum, but called it the ‘Dumpster House’. [We can’t remember, but maybe he saw a dumpster outside the building.] The ‘Dumpster House’ was synonymous with ship wrecks. Matthew, as was my older daughter, Danielle, three years older, were water rats. We had got our first lake house and boat the year Matthew was born. To Matthew water and boats were part of his life.

So OUT Titanic odysseys began. I got him books. He watched National Geographic and Discovery. He had a denim Titanic shirt, a green T-shirt and a cap. I think we still have the cap, Devanee having appropriated it from her brother.

When the movie came out in 1997 he couldn’t go to see it. He was 5. So I got him the 2-tape set the day it became available. Now we get to an aiding image I have of my two older children. Danielle took it upon herself to make sure that Matthew, all of 5, will NOT see any of the ‘inappropriate’ ‘girlie’ parts in the movie — she was particularly concerned about the scene in the car (in the hold). She would either fast forward the tape when it got close to that section or she would cover his eyes with her hand. There were days when Matthew would watch the movie twice a day. I can still see them, Danielle with her hands clasped over Matthews eyes and the TV showing the rocking car.

So, this is why I know the Carpathia — plus in April we, Deanna and the two younger kids, watched about 6 hours worth of new, 2012 documentaries on the Titanic.

Revels North (i.e., Hanover, NH at Dartmouth) and Revels (Cambridge, MA) Doing Same Irish 1907 Christmas Show

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….
……
by Anura Guruge


Related post:
Christmas Revels At Dartmouth, NH: Tickets Went On Sale Today — August 15, 2012.

Talk about déjà vu all over again. Actually, to be honest, given that I worry about it on a constant basis as I get older, I thought I was cracking up and not going to the right Web sites. It was the SAME picture. Confused me, to start with, no end. I am easy to confuse.

So here is the Revels North, Hanover/Dartmouth picture — the show to which we already have front row seats.

The 1907 Irish experience Revels by ‘North’ at Dartmouth.


Publicity photo for Cambridge Revels. The similarity is uncanny. (Click to visit the Cambridge Web site). Got me thinking. Where is this picture from. I checked the movie.


This is fine. Totally their prerogative. I am just disappointed. I was hoping to see two different Revels as we had done last year — albeit that being the first year we had made the trek down to Cambridge for Revels. Last year they did a Medieval Mediterranean Christmas in Cambridge while it was the traditional British Victorian in Hanover. We all love British Revels. I, however, enjoyed the Mediterranean frolics. So, this year, I was hoping to see the Irish at Dartmouth and maybe British at Cambridge. Alas no.

Kind of interesting. Two separate, independent productions; obviously the Cambridge effort being bigger and grander. Hhhmmm. From an economic standpoint that does not make sense to me — with my engineering background. If Cambridge did 1907 Ireland this year, Hanover could have borrowed the scenery, props and costumes for 2014, with Hanover, in 2012, borrowing the Mediterranean from Cambridge from last year. But, I am just an attendee. They obviously know what they are doing — given how successful they are. The Cambridge Christmas Revels are at the incomparable (to the U.S.) Sanders Theater. Wow, what a beautiful building. It brought tears to the eyes of a homesick Brit like me. So European. We lucked out. When we went last Christmas we were ‘lost’. So we asked this older gentleman how to get to the Sanders. He was with his daughter, who was about Deanna’s age. His face lit up. He insisted, though this was late December, on walking us to the Theater. He was an ex-Harvard Professor of History. He gave me a history lesson on the Theater. He took us to the door. We lucked out. Yes, we will be going back to the Sanders soon. He also pointed us towards a wonderful ‘store’ that did a buffet meal — with Indian food. It was perfect, for me.

The building that houses the Sanders Theater.