Arrival in Halifax and a Stunning Musical Performance – DRUM

Right around 8 pm I took my seat and fortunately I was located right in the front row on the right side of the stage. The idea behind DRUM! is to shine a light on Nova Scotia’s four principal cultures: Black, Acadian, Aboriginal and Celtic. The evening began with a dramatic performance of aboriginal musicians playing their drums and singing an introductory song in their native Mi’kmaq language.

The Drum! Theatre

They were joined by an entire ensemble of musicians, dancers and singers who came on stage to share their music and from that point forward the entire evening was a beautiful carousel of music and song from four different cultures. The sophisticated lighting, video images and narrated poetry underscored the symbolic content of this performance that challenged the senses on every level.

An amazing performance

DRUM! was originally conceived as a 45 minute tourism promotion piece as the main stage show at Tall Ships 2000, a special racing event that featured sailing vessels from all over the world. In 2004 DRUM! was turned into a full-length production and performed for ten nights in its specially designed theatre at the Halifax waterfront. The current run of DRUM! in Halifax will be followed by a tour through the United States starting in Florida and finishing in Utah. A tour of Ontario and Saskatchewan will follow in May, and the production will return to the Halifax waterfront in September of 2007.

Image of DRUM!

The performance unfolded as one heart-pumping combination of music, dance, poetry, video, rhythm and song. At one point three of the female performers got up on stage and sang a-capella in the most beautiful harmonies one can imagine. My breath was taken away by their performance. Acadian washboards, Celtic fiddles and bagpipes, Aboriginal drums and sultry black voices came together to celebrate FOUR CULTURES….. FOUR RHYTHMS…..ONE HEART.

Image of DRUM!

The sold-out audience was captivated by these talented performers, the beauty of their music and their message. After the last extended standing ovation I left the theatre elated, moved and inspired, ready for another final day of discoveries in Halifax. DRUM! was breathtaking in its theatrical beauty and its musical performance, and its message still resonates with me. I ended up buying the CD of this production to take this beautiful music and its spirit home with me to Toronto.

Image of DRUM!

Here at Travel and Transitions we celebrate cross-cultural connections and understanding, and DRUM! was as perfect a musical representation of this spirit as I have ever seen. DRUM! communicates a message to the world: “We can hold on to who we are and still share a song, a stage, a country, a world.”

It doesn’t get any better than that….

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