Sunday, August 17, 2008

Moonrise and 'Moving Moonlight'

Friday dusk: Walked down to Kits Point for the sunset. Then strolled east along the seawall to a grove of birches, sat down in the grass to rest against one of them, and watched the Full Moon rise over Burrard Bridge, rose-pink in the Belt of Venus. Lights came on across the bay, wavering streaks on the moving water. As it climbed, the Moon turned yellow, then white. When the first stars came clear, it was time to walk home -- under the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia, with Arcturus ahead in Bootes. (Image: Maureen Jervis)

Saturday evening: Moving Moonlight, based on the Atayal aboriginal song 'Watching the Moon,' played softly on four marimbas by the Taiwanese Ju Percussion Group. The rest of their show was sunflash and lightning -- five women and five men flying around drums, gongs, and cymbals of all kinds and sizes, as well as ceramic urns, kitchen pots, and metal cans. In one piece they sat on the floor playing detached drumheads -- turning, rolling, and tossing these to one another, using the floor itself as a drum. In another, fast hand clapping, foot stamping, and hands slapping bodies accompanied movements derived from traditional dance and martial arts. Syncopation, counterpoint, echoplay, plus joyful theatricality, mime, visual/aural jokes, and two energetic encores for a grateful audience; usually I'm reserved about standing ovations, but this one was easy. (Venue: UBC's Chan Centre, main stage Festival Vancouver; their photo.)