Monday, April 6, 2009

Kennedy Center Performance

I took Rolo, Christopher, Elizabeth and two kids from our homeschool co-op to the Kennedy Center today.  This is the 5th (and final) event that Elizabeth and I have been to this school year.   The boys have been to the last two.  We saw a 1 hour snippet of the Opera Carmen, a practice session by the National Ballet, a musical storytelling of The Trumpet of the Swan, a play "Unleashed" about animals in the White House, and today we saw "Got Rhythm" by the National Symphony Orchestra.  It has been great to have this opportunity to take the kids.  The tickets for school children are a mere $5 compared to the normal prices at the Kennedy Center.  Todays event was the best so far.  I thought it was the most entertaining for the children and the performance length was perfect.   So I thought I'd give a ratings for the performances we saw, the good and the bad.  I definitely think I'll do this again.  The price is great for the kids to be exposed to the arts.  And now that I don't get lost every time I go ... uhh, well, maybe we shouldn't go that far!!




Other Kennedy Center issues

Carmen-Opera short snippets.

1. Music was amazing.  2. Descriptions of scenes by narrator before viewed them.   3. Sent CD of music and Opera information to school groups ahead of time.

1. Sat in last row handicapped seats with no ability to see screen with translation.  So bad that it was no worth the $5 paid to see the show.  The handicapped seats are horrible.

1. Staff very abrasive.   2. Had to watch a self congratulatory session from another school about how they studied the opera, including seeing a “fashion show” of their costumes. 

The Trumpet of the Swan-musical storytelling

Great music.  Interesting concept; a book reading set to music. 

Too long.  Needed more visuals.


National Ballet- working rehearsal viewing

Quality ballerinas, worth seeing professional dancers.

No narrator.  Would have tremendously helped.  We had no idea what scenes we were seeing or what was going on. 

Staff kept telling me (quite rudely) to be quiet and I wasn’t even talking.


“Unleashed” a play (for kids) about White House Pets

Entertaining.  Very factual.  Funny for kids.

Very politically slanted and too PC.  Too long.  Kids got antsy.

Early morning performance 9:30.  Kennedy Center “opens” at 10:00.  Doors were locked in the parking area with no signs explaining how to get in.  I had to hunt down a security guard to find out that only some doors are locked!!! Annoying!

“Got Rhythm” by the National Symphony Orchestra

1. Had docents with instruments that the kids could try while we waiting to go to our seats. 2.  It was Interactive with the children.  Encouraged them to clap along and shout out answers to questions.  3.  Had a Question and Answer session for the kids.  4. Brought a few kids on stage to “help”.  5.  Music was entertaining and well played.  6. Kennedy Center Staff was friendly- a first.


Same problem with doors as Unleashed, but I knew to go to other doors.    

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