Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Dragons and Daughters

Two other things I did yesterday: 
  • get to see the almost-over exhibition of Chinese Painting at the V&A.  An art I find quite hard to appreciate, being so ignorant, but I was amazed and absorbed by the ten-metre-long scroll decorated with Nine Dragons surfing along on waves and winds, roaring and snarling as dragons do.    On the left in the display case illustrated above.  The artist is Chen Ron and the scroll, which is made up of joined sheets about 25cm wide, was drawn in and has survived from the thirteenth century.   My mind leapt to the dark stormclouds that have been barrelling in across Britain for the past couple of months, with hurricane gales, vasty seas, downpours and thunder rumbles, and I wondered if the meteorological phenomena are in fact driven by invisible dragons up in the sky…
  • get to a performance of Handel’s oratorio Jephtha by Harry Christophers’ The Sixteen at the Barbican.  A horrible biblical story from some ancient BCE era in which a dutiful daughters like Iphigenia is almost killed by her father, here given a more or less happy resolution, and musically a clever balance of orchestra, soloists and choir that gave the whole piece a dramatic dispatch.

Comical however to see the concert announced thus on the illuminated info boards…

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