From Londonhua WIKI
Revision as of 12:55, 20 June 2017 by Mthatfalvi
- 1 Mary Hatfalvi
- 2 Overview
- 3 Milestone 1
- 4 Milestone 2
- 5 Milestone 3
- 6 Activity Journal
- 6.1 Activity #1 Westminster Abbey & The Tower of London
- 6.2 Activity #2 St. Paul's Cathedral
- 6.3 Activity #3 British Museum
- 6.4 Activity #4 Natural History Museum
- 6.5 Activity #5 National Gallery
- 6.6 Activity #6 National Theater's Adaptation of Twelfth Night
- 6.7 Activity #7 Tate Britain
- 6.8 Activity #8 Victoria and Albert Museum
- 6.9 Activity #9 Backstage Tour of Royal Opera House
- 6.10 Activity #10 Tate Modern
- 6.11 Activity #11 Backstage Tour of National Theater
- 6.12 Activity #12 Museum of London
- 6.13 Activity #13 Twelfth Night at the Globe
- 6.14 Activity #14 BMW London Symphony Orchestra Open Air Classics Concert
- 6.15 Activity #15 Imperial War Museum of London
- 6.16 Activity #16 Museum of London Docklands
- 6.17 Activity #17 Horniman Museum and Gardens
- 6.18 Activity #18 Hampton Court Palace
- 6.19 Activity #19 The Wallace Collection
- 6.20 Activity #20 The Science Museum of London
- 6.21 Activity #21 Evensong at Westminster Abbey
- 6.22 Activity #22 Stratford-upon-Avon
- 6.23 Activity #23 Romeo & Juliet at The Globe
- 6.24 Activity #24 The Dream / Symphonic Variations / Marguerite and Armand | performed at the Royal Opera House
- 6.25 Activity #25 Stonehenge, Bath and Lancock Village
- 6.26 Activity #26 Windsor Castle
- 6.27 Activity #27 Backstage Tour of the Royal Albert Hall
The paragraph should give a three to five sentence abstract about your entire London HUA experience including 1) a summary of the aims of your project, 2) your prior experience with humanities and arts courses and disciplines, and 3) your major takeaways from the experience.
How Shakespeare through the Centuries Still Lives On
Objective: To find the similarities & differences between the performance, dramatic elements and style of two interpretations of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet performed in London in two different time periods. One play performed in 2016 at the Garrick Theatre, and another performed in 1867 at the Covent Gardens. In conclusion, to find that the original message of Shakespeare's play that still lives on through the century.
Through the research I found that the original message of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet was the message of the different passions of love, war and conflict. This theme comes from the inspiration of the story. In the time period Shakespeare was alive, religious persecution was a big issue. Families were torn apart, people were unjustly killed and life was scary for the people in hiding wondering if they were next to be jailed & persecuted. Shakespeare always had a purpose to writing his plays and this conflict could have moved him to write Romeo & Juliet. He was also a romantic and loved poetry. Throughout the story, Shakespeare shows the tragedy of conflict, death and loss of love. This message was true not only in the original script but in the interpretations that were found. In both interpretations, the same mood is found: in different passions of love, conflict and death. Despite one interpretation performed in 1867 as an opera and another interpretation performed in 2016 as a modern twist to the original, both adaptations give the same original message that Shakespeare wanted to portray.
Storytelling through Ballet and the Woman Behind It
Objective: A research report on the recorded first ballet in London, Pygmalion which opened in 1734 at the Covent Gardens, and the famous dancer & choreographer Marie Salle. How this ballet choreographed by Marie Salle started a new approach of ballet style and performance in London that is used today. In conclusion, telling the story of 'Little Marie' through ballet and specific places throughout London.
Ballet has been used for theatrical performances since the early 16th century. Ballet gives another form of dimension to theater that brings grace and emotion into storytelling. London in particular has been the home to famous ballet groups and ballet performance theaters. Ballet started in London as a form of dance with corsets and big cumbersome dresses. When Marie Sallé performed in Pygmalion in 1734, she defiled the norm and wore a roman robe on stage as her character. She wanted her dance to tell the story not to give a performance. My research looked at the details for this first ballet as well as the life & influence of Marie Sallé. I also looked into general past ballet and today's ballet. I looked at the different ballet poses & positions used, and places ballet has performed in London. I concluded this milestone with a children's story written using ballet places & poses to enhance the story. It is the story of my doll named 'Little Marie'.
Perspectives on "Twelfth Night"
Objective: A study into current and past performances of Twelfth Night resulting in a personal interpretation of the play. Explaining the reasons & concepts behind the use of specific dramatic elements, mood and style that would be used for an approach to a successful interpretation.
This project found different dramatic elements and performance aspects based on current and previous performances of 'Twelfth Night' that would result to a successful interpretation.The story of 'Twelfth Night' is a romantic comedy that makes fun of the gender roles and humanity as a whole. Shakespeare when writing this play wanted to make people laugh and to also teach people about how important it is to treat others with respect and with dignity. A performance used to gain information was performed this year at the Shakespeare Globe in London. Another current performance took place at the National Theater in London. These performances were found to have a different style and twist. We additionally looked at these performance's reviews to find if the performances were well received or poorly received by audiences. These findings helped us as we developed our own interpretation of the show.
In our research we found that audiences liked this play much more when it was done in a more realistic tone. Making the tone of the story more of a spoof takes away some of the beauty of the story and humanity lessons that are within it. Another aspect to the play that Shakespeare and modern adaptations have done is the gender switching of the supporting characters.'Twelfth Night' is a brilliant Shakespeare play that can be interpreted in many different ways. This milestone is meant to fulfill my humanities and arts capstone.
The activity journal represents an ongoing log of reflections gained through each and every project activity on the calendar.
Activity #1 Westminster Abbey & The Tower of London
Westminster Abbey was an amazing place to visit. I learned so much about British royalty and tradition. Some of the things I saw there was the throne in which all royalty in England has been crowned in since King Edward I. Many famous people and royalty including Mary Queen of Scots, King Henry the V, Edward the Confessor, Queen Elizabeth I, Issac Newton and the unknown solder are buried and honored in Westminster Abbey. You can read more about the people buried there in my article. Something ironic I would say is that Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary I are both buried together even though they were at odds to say the least with each other during their lifetime. Both Mary I and Elizabeth I are mentioned in my Milestone 1 on Romeo and Juliet. The Abbey was built in 960 A.D as a small Benedictine monastery. It was later added on and built to be a church for royal coronations and burials by Edward the Confessor. The first monarch to be coordinated at the Abbey was William the Conquer and all of the monarchs have been crowned there ever since. Something I found while exploring the Abbey was a door that was closed off. The door had a sign on it labeled the oldest door in England dated 1050. No one should leave London without seeing this church. Even though this site was not really relevant to my milestones, it is the most spectacular thing I have ever seen.
The Tower of London was a place I could get lost and spend all day in. There was so much history in the tower that I could not be at a lost for things to see and do. Many sad things happened in the tower for instance Edward V and his brother Richard were sent to the Bloody tower by their uncle who become Richard III. They were never seen or heard from again. Later on, the bodies of two young boys were found in front of the white tower. They are said today to be the two princes. Another man who was held at the tower and later beheaded was Thomas More. He was a friend to King Henry VIII and did not agree with his rule of being the new head of the church. He was taken to the Bell Tower as a prisoner and later beheaded. Besides executions, the tower did house things like the royal coin minting, the royal observatory and the crown jewels. This place was another non relating milestone cite. Mentioned before though, Queen Mary I, Queen Elizabeth I, and King Henry VIII though did influence the time period I am researching about in my Milestone I. The Tower of London was another amazing place to see and I would go there again when I visit London in the future.
Activity #2 St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul's Cathedral is a place where history, religion and modern culture combine. What I found really cool in the Cathedral, was all the statues & plaques that commemorated the soldiers, generals and warriors of Britain. St.Paul's Cathedral is a place where the non royal heroes of England are honored & remembered. The art in the cathedral ranged from mosaics on the arches of the dome, to TV screen art that used slow motion and effects. One piece that I was inspired to write an article on was The Martyrs in St. Paul's Cathedral by Bill Viola. For one of my milestones I did a perspectives of Twelfth Night. The Martyrs gives an example of an interpretation of the biblical theme of hope and death on earth. This style of interpretation is something I was inspired to use in my project. The crypt under the church held tombs of warriors including Lord Nelson and Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington. Even though this site was not greatly related to my milestones, it was a good place to see.
Activity #3 British Museum
The British Museum was a very cool place to visit. There was a lot to see and it took me an hour an a half just to see one exhibit about Egyptian history. There was so much history in the museum from ancient Egypt, to Africa, to the Roman times to modern America. The most interesting exhibit to me was the mummies from ancient Egypt exhibit. The museum had mummies from Egyptian kings to unknown men & women. I started and contributed to an article on this exhibit and you can read more
This museum did not have much to do with any of my milestone research. Though it did have an exhibit in the Greek artifacts exhibit on Music & Dance in Greece. Theater was a form of entertainment in ancient Greece. The Greeks had an ancient theatre in Epidaurus which was designed for large seating and sound amplification. A lot of modern outdoor amphitheaters are designed like this one. This museum was a fun and interesting experience. It was a great place to learn about the origins of all of the different cultures from around the world.
Activity #4 Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum was a huge museum about the natural history of the world. There were exhibits on mineral rocks, space, natural disasters such as earthquakes & volcanic eruptions and of course fossils of animals. One exhibit that I thought was interesting was about the Natural Disasters of Earth. The museum had a remake of the affect and feeling of a 1995 earthquake in China. I contributed to the Natural History Museum article with an article on the Human Evolution exhibit since I found that exhibit also very interesting.This museum was not directly related to any of my milestones. However, in the minerals exhibit, there was diamonds & special rocks in jewelry I found. They could have been used in costume jewelry for the plays and performances in theater that my milestones are on. The museum was definitely worth seeing if you are researching about the wonders of the earth.
Activity #5 National Gallery
The National Gallery was a beautiful place to step back in time and find yourself in the lives of the work of art. I loved the original paintings by Leonardo da Vinci especially the one called The Virgin of the Rocks. Sadly, I could not get to see Michelangelo's paintings but I got to see so many other artists including Claude, who I wrote a contributing article about in The National Gallery article. All of his paintings in the gallery are on landscapes. A lot of the paintings older than the 1500's were about christian themes and biblical stories. This museum did not have things that were directly related to my milestones. I was inspired though by a painting by Jean-Antoine Watteau called Perfect Harmony, which counter-relates to my milestone 1 on Romeo & Juliet. Their lives were not perfect harmony. Other paintings I saw were about lovers and Romeo & Juliet were lovers. Overall the Gallery was a beautiful place to visit and admire amazing art.
Activity #6 National Theater's Adaptation of Twelfth Night
Going to see National Theater’s Twelfth Night was an amazing experience. The performance was done beautifully. The style of the play was a mix of the Shakespearean period and the modern 21st century. For example, one scene had a 1950's vehicle, when another scene had costumes from the Shakespearean time period. The main theme that I got from this interpretation of Twelfth Night was that this Shakespeare story is timeless. The characters mostly spoke in Shakespearean language with humorous twists to some of the words.
The set design was spectacular. I absolutely loved the concept and outcome of the set. It was a triangular staircase with rooms inside that had the ability to create many scenes. The set could be a garden, a living room, a street alley, a club, and a church. The opportunities were endless. I loved the acting in this interpretation also. The characters made you feel like you were back in time despite the modern twist. An interesting decision that the creators did for this play was switching some of the characters’s genders. For example, the Clown and Monsieur Malvolio were women. This gives the impression that homosexuality played a part in this interpretation since Malvolio is supposed to have a affection towards Olivia. Music throughout the play was mainly jazz with clarinets & saxophones but, there was also some modern club music for the party/club scene. Going to see this play was part of my requirement for my milestone 3, since it was about doing my own interpretation of Twelfth Night. The whole play was done excellently and I would highly recommend going to see it. Based on this performance I contributed to creating and writing the article about the National Theater.
Activity #7 Tate Britain
Tate Britain was an interesting museum. I usually do not appreciate modern art but, this museum made British modern art genuinely interesting. One modern British artist that I wrote about in Tate Britain was named Joseph Turner. He is apparently known as the father of modern art. His pieces of art were very interesting to me. Other art pieces I found interesting were Derek Jarman's Blue, which he made while he was losing his eyesight from a terminal illness, and a art film called Together. Blue was inspiring because it showed that one could make something seem extravagant from a single element. Visiting this museum was not related to any of my milestones. The acting styles however, in the film art had interesting things to use towards my milestone 3 research on the different perspectives of Twelfth Night. Overall, this museum was an interesting place to visit.
Activity #8 Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum had a lot of amazing collections. I admired the fashion through the Victorian age till the modern time in the fashion exhibit. There was a lot of Religious Renaissance art there that was also very beautiful. What was interesting was that they had complete exhibits each on different materials used for art and building. There was a glass, jewelry, portrait paintings and Theater & Performance exhibits.
The Theater and Performance Exhibit was directly related to all of my milestones. This exhibit was where I spent most of my time in for research. There were advertisements, pictures, costumes and set design miniatures all around this exhibit. I liked the costumes that were brought in from Wicked, which was the wicked witch costume, and The Lion King. On display were miniatures of the theater space layout of some of the greatest theaters from around England. This exhibit also had miniature set designs used for real productions in the theater. I contributed to an article on the Theater & Performance Exhibit on the Victoria and Albert Museum page. Overall, the museum was absolutely worth going to.
Activity #9 Backstage Tour of Royal Opera House
The backstage tour was incredible! I got to see so many things that went on behind the scenes of one the oldest theater houses. On display, was the miniature set designs for past performances that were used for visual representation as well as to perfect the overall performance design. Our guide told us that they could spend 8000 pounds on just a miniature set! This is because they do not want to get things wrong for the real set and mistakes should be made on the miniature. Another interesting fact about this opera house that I didn't know was that it has survived two fires. For my milestone 2, I am looking at the first ballet that was performed at Covent Gardens also called the Theater House before the second fire in 1734.
I got to see the props area and learned where the word props comes from. Back before the Royal Opera House was built for the third time in 1858, rich nobles would sit on the actual stage with the performers instead of in audience boxes that are still in place at the Royal Opera House. They would take the props from the stage after the performances. The stage workers then started to stamp the props with a stamp that said "theater property" to stop the people from stealing them each night. That is where we got the word props.
I also got to see backstage where they use a neat way of moving sets by lowering the floors and moving the whole floor out of the stage. I also got to see one of the many ballet studios that the house uses for practices and rehearsals. There I also learned that the Royal Opera House has three costume studios. Overall, the tour was a really educational experience and I learned so much about the Opera House that I contributed to the Royal Opera House article.
Activity #10 Tate Modern
Tate Modern was interesting. I really didn't get most of the art but I could get the meaning behind some of it. For example, there is a flag that was made with the blood, soil and fabric from the drug wars in mexico. I got the message of the sad events that the artist is trying to show however, I am not at all comfortable with using human blood and battle soil for art. Makes me cringe. Maybe that is the idea though who knows. A video on how not to be seen was very funny. I could not take it seriously but it was informative. One piece of art that I wrote about in the Tate Modern article was called Babel. It was a tower that was supposed to represent the tower of Babylon and the story outcome how many different people speak different languages now. The tower was made from radios and throughout the tower, the radios were on broadcasting events and songs. I could not make out anything that the radios were broadcasting. It was really interesting. Nothing from this museum related to my milestones at all really. The acting in the videos maybe. Overall, the museum had its good parts and its bad parts.
Activity #11 Backstage Tour of National Theater
Going on the backstage tour of the National Theater was a great experience. I got to see both the Olivier and Lyttelton Theatre. I got to learn that this theater was built to showcase & preserve classic plays as well as take them into the future. The Olivier theater has a grand drum floor that is used to bring sets or scenic props up & down the stage. It is the only one in the world that is this extravagant and functionally used. The Olivier theater was built in a style inspired by the Greek style stage of Delphi. This is one style of seating that the audience likes since they can see everything. The actors like this style as well because they can see all of the audience.
The workshop used to make all of the National Theater productions' sets was huge. They make most of their stage sets for every show but then sadly, have to take them apart and recycle them after the show is over. There costumes department is stored in a warehouse and anyone who is willing to pay the price can use costumes from that warehouse. Why even Warner Brothers Studios have used costumes from the National Theater warehouse for Harry Potter. Visiting this theater was related to my milestone 3 research. It helped me to see all of the aspects and work that goes into putting on a show. I wrote about the National Theater's details in its article.
Activity #12 Museum of London
The Museum of London takes you back in time to before London was London and then gives the history of how London came to be London. I found this museum very interesting. The Lord Major's coach was so interesting, that I contributed that part to the Museum of London article. Moreover I found a model of the Rose Theatre, which was a theater similar to The Globe Theater at the time of Shakespeare. Shakespeare works were also performed at the Rose Theatre as well. Sadly, it was left deserted in 1605 and later destroyed. This was good to learn about since two of my milestones are about Shakespeare's performances. I greatly admired the London before London and medieval London exhibits. It was very interesting to see all of the different artifacts that were discovered including the Roman wall that is partially preserved on the museum site today. Overall, the museum was a great learning experience and it made me appreciate London more.
Activity #13 Twelfth Night at the Globe
The Globe Theater's interpretation of Twelfth Night was not what I was expecting. It was more of the Robin Hood Men in Tights style and humor. Obviously, the original Shakespearean wording was kept but the performance was modernized. For example, Sebastian and Viola were white naval officers. The clown/narrator was a drag queen. What was interesting was the big age differences. Olivia, Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Duke Orsino all looked to be over 30. When Maria, Sebastian and Viola were all young actors. The Malvolio character was played by a short girl dressed as a man.
One interesting thing about the set was some of the hidden messages within it. The four life saver rings on the stage each had a word that together made the message 'In Love We Trust'. Compared with the other interpretation I saw at the National Theater, this felt more modernized and silly. I was surprised. Since this play was at The Globe Theater, I thought it would be more in the Shakespearean time period style. Going to this performance was needed for my research on milestone 3. I contributed to the part about this performance in the article, The Globe Theater. Overall though, it was an alright show.
Activity #14 BMW London Symphony Orchestra Open Air Classics Concert
The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) preformed live at Trafalgar Square. The crowds were large because this free concert is only done once a year. It was impossible to get into the seating area but I was inside the area. Still I had to see the concert on the big screen. I heard about the LSO from the movies like Star Wars I have watched. It was an amazing experience to see this world renowned orchestra live. The three pieces that they preformed were written by a Russian composer named Rachmaninov. Behzod Abduraimov, who was the visiting star piano player, was amazing. He played his parts like it was second nature to him. I was so impressed especially, since he didn't even have music.
One of my favorite parts of the concert was for the second movement where they invited the LSO On Track Young Musicians and students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama to play with the LSO. They played so well and the young kids looked like they were living the dream. Which is understandable, because who wouldn't want to play with the LSO. The second piece sounded like a ballet piece that my 2nd milestone is about. In conclusion, the LSO played beautifully.
Activity #15 Imperial War Museum of London
The Imperial War Museum was pretty cool. There were exhibits of the war and struggles from World War I to the current conflicts going on in Britain right now. The Secret War exhibit was really interesting since it showed MI6 and the SAS (Special Air Services). Within the Secret War exhibit, was the story about the attack on the Iraq Embassy. How the SAS saved the day was amazing. Another thing I saw was a piece of the twin towers that were destroyed on 9/11. It was great to see all of the american things and people honored at this museum. I can tell that Americans are an important ally to Britain. The museum did not have any direct relation to my milestones except for milestone 2 where I researched about how WWII grew the art of ballet. Overall, even though this museum had nothing that was really related to my milestones, I found the museum a great eye opener to all of the terrors and struggles from war. Also, how necessary it is to stop evil things that war is fought for like the Holocaust. I contributed to the Syria: A Conflict Explored part in the article Imperial War Museum .
Activity #16 Museum of London Docklands
The Museum of London Docklands is a small museum with a lot of interesting history. There were things about the first docks in London and the supplies they used. One thing I found interesting was the whaling parts in the museum. I started an article about it here. The London port was the leading dealer for whaling for a while until the Dutch took over. Another interesting thing I found was, the African Prince exhibit about the Royal African named Sessarakoo. He went to London to be educated but was tricked into being sold into slavery. He was eventually freed 4 years later and then started to be accepted into London society. Even though visiting this museum was not directly related to my milestones, what I did think could be linked to my research was that goods that were brought on the docks could have been needed for the use of theatrical performances. This museum was good place to visit and had a lot of information on the docks of London.
Activity #17 Horniman Museum and Gardens
The Horniman Museum was a beautiful place to go and see. Other than seeing some musical instruments used in theater, going to this museum was not necessary for my milestone research. I loved seeing all of the different animals on display in the gallery. Within this gallery was a huge clock on the balcony that was really beautiful. When the four o'clock would chime, the twelve apostles within the clock would move. The museum had a huge walrus, which is the museum's 'mascot'. Another interesting exhibit they had there was an exhibit on musical instruments. They had church organs, trombones, 17th century pianos and so much more on display. Throughout this exhibit, were different non musical but cultural things like a wedding dress used in African weddings. This was to show what purpose music has in different places around the world. The gardens were very beautiful. The gardens had many different and unique sundials. Exotic plants such as Japanese Bamboo were featured in these gardens. I also found sheep being kept at one place in the garden. Overall, the garden & the museum were a nice place to visit and I enjoyed the beautiful sunny day we had that day in London.
Activity #18 Hampton Court Palace
Visiting Hampton Court Palace was spectacular. I was in love with the style and architecture of the palace. So many historical events happened there. Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and William & Mary were some of the English monarchs who have lived there. I liked visiting William III's apartment. The apartment looked like the palace rooms you see in the movies about these historical people. The art there and around the palace was also very beautiful. In King Henry VIII's Kitchen, there was someone actually cooking a roast in the stove on a pit.
The Gardens were so big and beautiful. I loved the rose garden. The privy garden, I learned, was where Charles I ran into to try to escape his house arrest. He was recaptured though and eventually beheaded. The Great Vine, which is the largest vine in the world, was housed in the old greenhouse in the gardens. The maze, which was in the wilderness garden, was also pretty fun to go into and get lost in. The palace did not have much related to my milestones except for that Shakespeare did perform at the palace with his company for James I. Also Elizabeth I, Henry VIII and Mary I, who were all influential to the time period of the plays I am researching about, lived in this palace.
Activity #19 The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection was housed in the beautiful Herlford House located on Manchester square. The collection was originally a private collection owned by the Marquesses of Hertford. The collection of paintings were all very beautiful. The mini portraits of Napoleon I and his empress Joséphine sparked my interest. They had numerous mini portraits of them in different years of their lives. Another cool exhibit that I enjoyed was the Gilded Bronze collection. The intricate art on the candlesticks and side table were very detailed and beautiful. The collection of armory was also very amazing to see. There were three galleries just dedicated to the European and Oriental Armor. On display were two full size dressed manikin horses with armor on them. Intricately decorated swords were numerously present in this collection also. The museum though didn't have information that would have contributed towards my milestones research. Overall, the museum was an amazing experience.
Activity #20 The Science Museum of London
The London Science Museum was spectacular. The amount of science and history that is housed in this museum is almost too much to see in one day. No really I went to this museum twice and I still haven't been able to see everything. The space exhibit really sparked my attention. There was a full size replica of the Apollo 11 lunar ship that landed on the moon. The space exhibit also had a real moon rock. Another interesting thing they had was the oldest surviving steam engine locomotive Puffing Bully. Another cool artifact the museum had was a cut out part from one of the biggest passenger airplanes ever built, Boeing 747. The Airbus A380 900 is now the largest passenger airplane today and can seat 900! The museum did not have much towards my milestones research but the museum was a great learning experience.
Activity #21 Evensong at Westminster Abbey
Evensong is a prayer done at 5pm at Westminster Abbey. The prayers were sung by the Lay Vicars of Westminster Abbey. Six prayers were sung in total. Most of then were older hymns written in the 1500s or from the bible. It was a beautiful service. The choir sounded beautiful. No musical instruments were played except for the organ at some parts. When the choir would sing, they would sing acapella. My favorite song they sung was 'The Magnificat'. It is the prayer that Mary says when she is visiting her cousin Elizabeth's house. That prayer is so beautiful. The choir sang most of the songs in Latin. Latin is the original language of prayer in the catholic church. Overall, the choir was magnificent and I would highly recommend hearing evensong from them.
Activity #22 Stratford-upon-Avon
The trip to Shakespeare's birthplace and home was great! I enjoyed seeing the place where Shakespeare lived. I visited his family home where he was born & grew up, New Place which is where he lived with his family, and Hall's Croft the home of Shakespeare's son-in-law Dr John Hall & Susanna Hall, Shakespeare's oldest daughter. The places were great to see since these were the places where history was made. Shakespeare's family home was a historical site where the rooms were decorated to look like how it would have looked when Shakespeare was born and during his life. The original window that is believed to be the one in the room Shakespeare was born in is housed upstairs of Shakespeare's home. People who would come visit this place would sign their name on the window. Many famous people have done it.
Another place I saw was New Place where Shakespeare lived with his wife Anne Hathaway. Sadly though, the house was destroyed by a man named Reverend Francis Gastrell. He got frustrated with people wanting to visit his house, New Place, so he destroyed it. He became so disliked for this that he was run out of town. The site now has gardens with statues that signify Shakespeare's life and his works. I liked the statues that represented plays Shakespeare wrote with quotes from the scripts. The exhibition, which is housed in the building next to New Place, has some artifacts from the excavation of the site.
The last place visited was Hall's Croft. This place was set up the way Dr Hall would have had it when he lived their with his wife. There were interesting displays about medicine in the time of Shakespeare's life. The house was beautiful. Besides going to these three places I also visited the Royal Shakespeare Company. On display, at their theater, were pictures and costumes from past Shakespeare performances. Visiting Stratford-upon-Avon was relevant to two of my milestones since they are about Shakespeare's plays. I learned more about his plays and the time period he was living in. I learned as well the things that could have inspired his writing in the place where he grew up & lived. Overall, it was a great experience to visit this place.
Activity #23 Romeo & Juliet at The Globe
This performance of Romeo & Juliet really surprised me to say the least. For a setting such as the Globe, one would think that the performance could give more of a traditional style. But, no it was a scary, dark clown interpretation. No kidding. The "Prince" was a scary deep voice in the background and spoke through the sound system. He also said the Prologue. The costumes were mostly black and Elizabethan time looking for the most part. There were some popping costumes once and a while such as Pluto from Disney. Romeo's character and actor I liked the best. He was expressive and passionate. Juliet was alright however, she lack the feeling of that she was a young girl in love. I cannot get over the fact it was so dark, with grave digging and dead bodies lying on hospital rolling beds. The mood was definitely dark & the style of delivery of lines was Mel Brooks humor. I believe the writers wanted to give this tragedy a twist from the usual mood of different passions of love, pain & conflict; to tragic, humor, love, conflict & pain. The lack of passion though made me cringe. Compared to the other performances I studied, I was so disappointed. The opportunity to make this so memorable and heart aching was lost. There wasn't even the use of the balcony for the balcony scene. Overall, my personal review of this is that if you want a spoof off the original story go see this. I you want to not be frightened and disappointed for the lack of a Shakespeare classic storytelling, don't see it.
Activity #24 The Dream / Symphonic Variations / Marguerite and Armand | performed at the Royal Opera House
The performance was shown on a big screen in Trafalgar park. It was a combination of three one act ballets all choreographed by Frederick Ashton. This was the closing performance for the 70th season of the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden.
The Dream is a ballet, based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The plot is about the King of the Fairies Oberon, who fights with his Queen Titania about their son. Oberon then orders Puck to sprinkle her eyes with a flower's potion to make her fall in love with the first thing she sees. Titania then falls for Bottom who is turned into a donkey. While this is happening, two pairs of lovers enter the story and Puck decides to mess with them. This creates havoc and finally he & Oberon do make things right with everyone. Oberon makes peace with Titania and everyone goes back to the way things were supposed to be. I loved Oberon's performance. His moves and style made the character. I loved the scenery that looked like an enchanted forest. Overall, this act was a beautiful masterpeice.
Symphonic Variations was one of the first works done by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House in 1946. It is considered as one of Ashton's finest works. The act only had six dancers, 3 male and 3 female. All were dressed in white with a yellow backdrop stage. The dance according to the ballet performers was really difficult to learn. It was quick and slow and the positions used were hard and required great talent. I did like this piece but, the act had no story to it so I did not get it.
The most emotional and beautiful performance of the night was the final act where the Prima dancer Zenaida Yanowsky was performing her last prima dance before retiring. She was so beautiful and emotional. I loved watching her. She was the story of Marguerite and Armand; two lovers who are destined to never be together. Marguerite is a Parisian courtesan, who has a passionate love affair with Armand. What I liked about the performance was the change of scenery within the one act. The scene and mood would change as quickly as Marguerite's costumes. It was cool to see. Going to this event helped me with my milestone 2 research on what ballet today looks like. The performance showed me today's ballet poses and costumes. The event was an amazing experience and I would definitely do it again if I was back in London.
Activity #25 Stonehenge, Bath and Lancock Village
Stonehenge was an amazing place to see. To hear it is about 5100 years old, is amazing. The great significance of the structure is the achievement of the people at the time to build the structure without wheels or pulleys. We take these things for granted today but, the people who moved the huge boulders for the structure didn't have all of that. I am amazed and in awe of the great history that surrounded this site. As told by archaeologists, Stonehenge was used as a place for burial's, celebration, and healing. Visiting this site did not have much to do with my milestones, but this historic site has been around before, during and after the time periods of my milestone research.
Bath was a city where the Romans made baths out of the hot springs founded on the site. The water, from underground, comes to the surface at the temperature of 50 Celsius. The King's bath, as the site is now called, is the the place where the Romans made their roman bath. You can see the water coming out of the ground bubbling and steaming. The Abbey in Bath right next to the Roman Bath's is the site where the first King of England, Edgar, was crowned. The church seen today was build by Bishop John with the help of King William Rufus. When King Henry VIII declared his Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Abbey was destroyed but, it was later restored. Bath overall, was such a beautiful place to visit. It is so different in style and architecture compared with London. The place was around during the times of my milestones research but, the site has not great importance to my milestones.
The last place to visit on this tour was a place called Lancock Village. It is a 16th century village that after the dissolution by King Henry VIII, the Abbey and the estate, including the village were sold to William Sharington. The Talbot family later owned the place until it was given to the National Trust. The village and Abbey have been the setting for some major films including 1995 Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter and other great films. The village was a great place to see even though visiting it had no great importance in my milestones research.
Activity #26 Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle was a spectacular palace to visit. It was beautiful. The state apartments within the castle held a huge collection of art and expensive pieces belonging to the royal family. The Waterloo Chamber housed portraits of not just royalty but, military and nobility heroes from battles & conflicts. There was a big grand portrait of the Duke of Wellington painted before the battle of Waterloo. One portrait that caught my eye was of Pope Pius VII by Sir Thomas Lawrence. I really liked it. St George's Hall and the Grand Reception Room were also a site to see. They were beautiful. St George's Hall and the Grand Reception Room were some of the state apartments damaged in the 1992 fire that Windsor Castle suffered from. Fortunately, it was restored with other damaged parts with the help of the current Duke of Edinburgh. I also got to admire the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. She looked so beautiful.
St. Georges Chapel, within Windsor castle, is one of the oldest churches in England built in the 11th century by King Edward III. The tombs of King Henry VIII, with his third wife Jane Seymour, are located in the choir area of the chapel. A little chapel was newly put in for Queen Elizabeth II's father George VI and mother Queen Elizabeth final resting place. Her sister, Princess Margaret, was also given a place for her ashes there. What I also found, from the church, was King Edward III's sword on display. I looked to be taller than me. Visiting this place was not need for any milestone research. The monarchs from the time period I am researching though, would have resided in Windsor Castle at some point.
Activity #27 Backstage Tour of the Royal Albert Hall
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