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Rock the Cradle in Snow by Ann Treacy
February 21, 2011, 12:36 am
Filed under: Minneapolis

Rock the Cradle is a family event sponsored by The Current the non-classical music station of Minnesota Public Radio. It’s a free event held at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Children’s Theatre. Apparently this is the sixth annual Rock the Cradle. We went a few years ago and thought it would be worth another chance. Aine invited a friend and Kate got dragged. It’s definitely an event for the under-tens. The good news today is that the event apparently come rain, shine or snow – because it started snowing at about 10:00 and hasn’t stopped.

We first stopped at the kids’ disco. There were live bands intermingled with DJ music. We caught Koo Koo Kango Roo and Bazillions. The younger girls enjoyed both. I think they particularly enjoyed when the parachute hit the dance floor. There were yummy, free treats in the disco and tattoos. The girls got several.

Next we roamed the halls of the MIA. The younger girls were super excited to see works that they have learned about at school, where they take part in Art Adventure. Art Adventure is a fun program; parents volunteer to introduce kids to art using work from the MIA. They were excited to see Shiva Nataraja and a Tzedakah box. Kate went to the MIA with school just last week so she was able to find the art quickly. I was impressed.

It’s really a nice mix of music and art. They have tons of free things for the kids, and who wouldn’t love that. But I was impressed that what seemed to be the most fun for them was dancing and seeing the art they have learned about it school.

Aine’s Irish Dancing Debut by Ann Treacy
February 20, 2011, 6:27 pm
Filed under: St Paul

Last night Aine hit the stage of the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium at St Catherine’s University. It was her Irish dancing debut. Aine started taking Irish dance lessons in the fall. It’s been quite a production. I’ve learned that Irish dance is about half dance and half glitz. We may be stronger with dance.

Aine was very excited and not at all nervous about dancing in front of hundreds of people. She did a great job. We opted out of the wig, which meant I had to curl her hair. We made Kate’s day by buying a curling iron. Then everyone was very impressed to see that I knew how it worked.

Luckily I was there is capture the rehearsal earlier in the day. We were in the nose bleed section for the real show. I posted both views below.

Cowboy Aine by Ann Treacy
February 19, 2011, 10:09 pm
Filed under: St Paul

This week was the first and thrid grade music concert at school. You have to get there pretty early to get good seats. We weren’t early. Usually I can sneak in a decent video by standing near the door, but this time the doors were closed – so if you want to get a taste of Aine maybe you can play the video for the sounds and look at thre picture.

The fun part about a first grade concert is that you could see Aine’s head bop during half of the songs. Buffalo Gals seemed to be a particular favorite. We don’t get a lot of head bops with the pre-teen sisters.

Vulcanus Rex overthrows King Boreas by Ann Treacy
February 7, 2011, 2:44 pm
Filed under: St Paul

Over the weekend we saw an historic battle between King Boreas, cool ruler of the winter and Vulcanus Rex, bawdy bringer of spring. This is a battle that has been going on for 125 years.

It started with a parade of floats and cars, clowns and marching bands, even a boat driving down the street. We saw a girl being bounced up into the air. We saw hot air balloons that had lost their balloons but still fired up the sky. (Which by the way is a welcome blast of heat for all around.)

The kids watched the parade because many of the parading folks were handing out goodies. Aine got a great haul, which is what persuaded her older sisters to join her. The parade folks are smart to recognize that if you’re going to host a parade in potentially sub-zero temperatures, a few incentives are key.

Lily got caught by a Vulcan. The Vulcans are a kinder, gentler lot now then even just a few years ago. They bypassed the shier girls and went straight for the only sister who wanted a big V pained on her cheek.

The parade wound its way around to Rice Park. We wound with it and managed to score easy viewing from a bench with a mid-park angle. The battle takes place on the steps of the library. First you can see the majestic white presence of Boreas. Then you see the Vulcans and their torches getting closer.

The battle has a sort of sports announcers calling out the strategies and plays for both sides. The best part was the woman who decided she was going to bring Aine up to speed with what was happening. She gave us a great history, despite Lily and Kate’s helpful questions such as – why would they kill someone just to bring on spring?

In the end, even from a distance you can see the rush of red overtake the library steps as Boreas is overthrown, which is supposed to mean spring is on its way. And it looked hopeful. We’ve been above freezing since Saturday night – but rumor is we’re looking at -11 for tomorrow. Maybe there was a secret coup last night.

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Twin Cities Women’s Choir Concert by Ann Treacy
February 7, 2011, 2:18 pm
Filed under: St Paul

Over the weekend, I went with my mom to see Celtic Fire, a concert of the Twin Cities Women’s Choir, the HiBs and various other Irish musicians. I found out about the concert because I was asked to do a story about it for the Twin Cities Daily Planet. In fact I got a little sneak preview of the concert for the article

They played a wide range of songs – from Danny Boy to something written by our friend Jode Dowling. I’m a little spoiled with the Irish music, as I knew most of the musicians and I’ve seen them many times before. But it was fun to see them in a new setting and to see them play in front of an audience that isn’t accustomed to the bodhran or uilleann pipes.

It was fun to see the choir too, which is something new for me. There were about 100 singers. They all sing for the love of it, they aren’t paid for their singing with the group. It was fun to see the families and friends in the audience play and to see every musicians personal style from the outfit she wore to the way she sang. Some kind of bobbed their heads, some were very still but they all seemed to enjoy themselves.

The concert was at the Central Presbyterian Church. I wrote about that church before – it was the place we took refuge during the RNC protests. It’s kind of a neat place.

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