The fifth time - this time, was at South Zeal Village Hall. In the first half, the Elvins were playing alongside Baroque musicians, and to courtly dances from the C17th and C18th by dance historian and dancing master Ricardo Barros (of the Mercurius Company). It was fantastic - the dances were absolutely like going back in time to the Baroque period, one could believe that they had been meticulously researched, and authenticity breathed life into the stately moves of formal gaiety and graceful elegance. Ricardo Barros was extraordinary, not only in his expert dancing and array of richly ornate and detailed costumes, but also in his acting. He entered first in black, with shoulder-length wig to match, with a precision and haughtiness that perfectly complimented the role of dancing master. He appeared in a blue costume for another set, complete with a hat in the shape of a ship - few people could have carried it off with such total conviction. His last costume was all in pastel shades, and even more extravagant and genteel than the dramatic black he'd begun with. Alternating with his dances were the South Zeal dance group Zayle Baroque, with excellent period costumes, country dances and lots of zest - their sense of merriment was infectious. The music was exquisite, including bass viol by Mike Edwards, and hearing live Purcell was something I at least had been longing to hear.
In the second half, we went further back in time to the Medieval, and the Elvins played music from their haunting second album, 'Galdrbok', let off flying butterflies from a skull, came toward the audience as demons playing instruments...and Ricardo Barros was the masked dancer as the unicorn, an then as the minotaur, chasing a butterfly... It was another wonderful performance. Due to the tight space in the area before the stage, while they came and played and danced amongst us, there wasn't the space for the audience to join in, but our spirits were dancing nonetheless. The Daughters of Elvin are not only incredibly gifted, they gather seriously gifted guest performers around them.
I can't recommended both their albums, 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' and 'Galdrbok' too highly. Check out their website to order them on the links to the right. And don't miss a show if it comes near you, and the same goes for the Mercurius Company - check out their videos on YouTube!