'Come Sunday': Ellington for the Soul -- and Sole
By Pamela Squires
Special to The Washington Post
Monday, November 17, 2003; Page C05
Duke Ellington makes religious experience rock, and rock elegantly. The "Come Sunday" concert of liturgical music and dance Friday at the Metropolitan Baptist Church excerpted works from Ellington's three oratorio-like "Sacred Concerts" to create an entertaining religious-musical spectacle. The concert was intended as praise and worship, and that it was. By the end, in the packed 3,500-seat church, both participants and congregants were in a state of exultation. More
The Smithsonian's Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture had commissioned Duke Ellington's granddaughter, Mercedes Ellington, to choreograph four liturgical dance works for the evening. Part of the center's initiative to document Washington's tradition of liturgical dance, it was a natural for a city that owes a great deal of its unique dance identity to the dance ministries flourishing in its black churches.