Welcome to Canada
This past week, GM and I went to Canada to attend the Known World Dance Symposium. On the way, we stopped in Toronto to visit the museums, and in Stratford for the Shakespeare festival.
Toronto is one heckuva nice town. The streetcars move along in the center of the streets, so the drivers in the right-hand turn lanes have to pause while people get on and off the streetcars. In Boston, this would result in pedestrian pizza; but in Toronto the drivers just stop, well before they come alongside the bus. I think there must be tranquilizers in the water supply.
The Royal Ontario Museum has a lot of SCA-appropriate armor, and a full set of fruit trenchers! They don’t have any images on their website, so I need to write to the curator. (note to self, Dessert Trenchers with Storage Box English late 1500s 961.232.25a-n). Matt tried to take some pictures for me, but we haven't got them off the camera yet.
The Art gallery of Ontario seemed like it would be entirely modern, so we only went there because many of Toronto's other features were closed due to a city worker strike. It was fortunate, partly because the exhibit on surrealism was quite cool, and because in the basement was a large collection of medieval objects of ivory and wood. The big score was a Set of Carving Knives, around 1350 France (paris) ivory, steel, silver, leather case 107455. Happily the shop had a book with a good picture. I must remember to scan it and send it to the knife boys.
Should you ever travel to Toronto, I strongly recommend eating at Cava. The owner was described by Gourmet magazine as a defiant charcutièrist, and our dinner of tapas inspired food was amazing.
We arrived in Stratford on Canada Day. Fortunately not everything was closed so we got some lunch and wandered around the town. There was a small fair going on in the main square, so we watched some dance demonstrations (clogging, mostly) and ate a deep-fried Mars Bar before going to see Julius Caesar. I liked the production, and was amused by the fact the actor playing Caesar was the same actor who played Henry Breedlove (MacBeth) in season two of Slings and Arrows. In the evening we saw Bartholomew Faire, which was somewhat frantic but quite funny. The next day we saw The Importance of Being Ernest, one of my very favorite plays in the whole world. The people playing Algernon, Cecily and Lady Bracknell were all quite wonderful, and Miss Prism was delightfully stern. The actor playing Rev. Canon Chasuble was also in Slings and Arrows as the ghost of Oliver. There are things I would do in the staging of TIoBE that they did not do, but what they did do was very good.
We didn't really see much of Hamilton, other than a few restaurants and the edge of campus where we were staying.
The Known World Dance Symposium was excellent. I took several classes on the Gresly manuscript, all of which were quite interesting. I need to look at the manuscript again and see if my impression that Gresley is closely related to the Brussels manuscript is correct. I also did several new-to-me Playford dances including A la Mode de France, Whish, and an interestingly different reconstruction of Faine I Would. GM and I also took classes to learn some new cascardas (Alta Regina and Maraviglia d'Amore), I hope we'll be able to teach them to the local group.