Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Day 91 Black Nativity

Nativity Pittsburgh 

I have seen many traditional interpretations of the Christmas story but when invited, I  jumped at the opportunity for a new experience - Langton Hough’s  story of Jesus’s birth  from  another cultural perspective. Like in Day 83 (Cambodian Ballet), I continue to “try  new things  instead of sticking to safe paths,” a  behavior of a person seeking to be “the best that they can be” or  to be self- actualized according to Maslow. I explored Pittsburgh’s Shona Sharif  African Dance and Drum Ensemble's performance of The Black Nativity.


I learned that The Black Nativity was on Broadway in the l960’s. This performance was so uplifting, filling the auditorium  with  Gospel music and  African rhythms, drums and dance. It also had a dose of  humor, popular songs, traditional seasonal music and a Biblical narrative.  I  did not even know Pittsburgh had such an accomplish group.  The show's first half was the nativity story. The colors were vibrant, the singing was fantastic and the African dance like a ballet, was so expressive. I particularly loved  how without a word, the movement expressed  Mary’s feeling of exhaustion, acceptance, fear, wonder, and joy.  It was fantastic!*

In the second half, you feel like you’re at a Gospel service. This is a celebration and you will be clapping, singing and maybe even dancing in the aisle. Celebrate with a little Gospel this season (see Day 88 ) and try  this version of the Nativity either in Pittsburgh or where you live. I wonder if my friend was excited to share her Christmas passion with me (Day 90 Share a Passion).  I will keep it in my survival tool box for next year. (It's a yearly production).

(It will be performed Dec. 19, through 21 by the University of Pittsburgh's Shona Sharif African Dance and Drum Ensemble in the Seventh-Floor Auditorium of Pitt's Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Performances are held at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday.)

Spiritual Reflections
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger,because there was no room for them in the village inn. 
That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be  afraid!" he said, "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!" The Savor- yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! (Luke 2:6-11)