Celebrate spring the medieval way
Eating, drinking, dancing, singing and general revelry – this is how medieval Europeans welcomed spring. Not surprisingly, such a thing takes place in modern times in our own, most-talented county.
Harvest Home Revelers, a 30-member troupe, and the eight-woman medieval singing group, Rossignol (Nightingale), present their fourth year of popular seasonal observances with Hey Ho To The Greenwood … A celebration of Love and Spring on Friday and Saturday.
The old chapel at Saint Joseph’s Cultural Center becomes the Great Hall, decorated with the bounty of nature and heraldic banners, where songs and dances of the troubadours, jongleurs, rural rustics and ladies of the court will echo ancient revels. Early traditions of sword dancing, hobby horse, the May pole and songs of spring bring guest and player together in welcoming the season.
The production’s musical director, Tynowyn, who is often referred to as Our Lady Tynowyn by friend and longtime collaborator Loraine Webb, reveals a deeply held dedication when she says, “Evolving from a personal interest in historical research and re-creation, this annual event has grown out of our desire to have a venue where we could go more in depth. We are so happy to have the continuing support of St. Joseph’s.
“A summary quote from the early 13th century Old French (Jean Renart),” she says, “graces the banner over our pavilion and gives voice to our intention to serve beauty and art, ‘Mes por ce qu’el n’i porroit mie avenir, i voel ge penser …’ But even if such a thing should not come to pass, I wish the dream of it.'”
And if you feel that you’ve somehow fallen into a dream at this revel, that is how I felt when I attended this event last year. Beautiful, handmade velvet gowns, songs in Latin and French, enactments of ancient traditions and dances of yore – I felt like I had been taken back in time, to a castle in Europe. It was absorbing and wonderful.
As for the food, it’s most excellent. Margo Meredith, fiddler, saucy kitchen wench and caterer for the event, has researched authentic medieval fare and given it a California cuisine twist. Mixed greens and herb salad will complement the meat or veggie pies and roasted vegetables; brewed beverages, spirituous and otherwise, will also be available for purchase.
You can also catch these amazing performers at KVMR Community Radio’s Celtic Faire in the fall as they performs agrarian processionals and re-enactments.
Know & Go
WHAT: “Hey Ho To The Greenwood … A celebration of Love and Spring”
WHEN: Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24. Doors open at 6 p.m.; supper at 6:30; program begins at 7.
WHERE: St. Joseph’s Cultural Center, 410 South Church St., Grass Valley
ADMISSION: Admission $15; supper $12.50 ($2 rebate for attendance in medieval or Renaissance costume)
Tickets at BriarPatch in Grass Valley and Yabobo in Nevada City.
INFORMATION: Tynowyn at 530-265-6318 or go online at http://www.heartworks.bz/harvest
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