The art talk this time was entirely on abstract art. This was one area that I could not understand or appreciate.
However, after the art talk, I was much more informed on how to actually appreciate abstract art. These are the few tips I would like to share with you!
Firstly, it is the biography of the artist. Understanding where they came from and how they were raised from young can really give you a depiction of what kind of abstract they will be painting and also what is the effect that they want to draw out from their painting.
Secondly, It is the brush strokes. If you start to lean in and observe each of the abstract painting, you can start to see the different gestures that were used in each of the brush strokes. This makes viewing the abstract art even more interesting as you start to ponder what kind of emotions the artist was having when he/she did that brush stroke on this corner of the painting.
Thirdly, which is the most interesting is the grid. Every abstract art will always have a formula for a grid. Some questions that can help facilitate your pondering of the art will be is the grid dominating the whole painting? Is the grid symmetrical or is it distorted?
During the art show, there were 3 abstract paintings that were showcased.
For Louise Fishman, one thing really unique about her art is that the brush strokes were actually many different objects that were removed from the painting to give that really special brush stroke to the abstract art.
For Purvis Young, he will use any kind of material and objects in his abstract and as shown above, he used carpet this time round for his abstract art.
For McArthur Binion, the interesting fact of his abstract was that he used his own birth certificate for all the 4-inch squares in the art. Also, if you look more closely, you will actually see an oval in the painting too!
Overall, I was really glad to go for this art talk to learn about the wondrous world of abstract art.
How do we tell stories? For these 3 artists, their stories were told through abstract art. Integrated with their life experiences in the 1900s, these are truly interesting art pieces.
This art talk made me appreciate abstract art so much more. I realized they are about the engagement of materials, the process when creating the art piece and the stories you are trying to tell.
Louise Fishman is a Russian Jewish Lesbian woman who arrived in New York in the 1960s. Her abstract expressionism emphasizes black, white and minimalism. In this painting, she used different materials to transfer the paint away from the canvas. I could see a woman leaning backwards, which could be a representation of herself and the society.
Purvis Young is a African American self taught artist. His life mission was to visualize injustice, therefore, he studied protest art. His style of painting was the use of anything as a canvas, including plywood. In this painting, he used carpet as the borders and painted on a plywood. The ship could represent a move into a collective society.
McArthur Binion is a African American born in 1956. He has a DNA series where he used materials that tells his story into his work. In this painting, he teared up his birth certificate and used it in the grids. There is an oval drawn in the middle which represents how the background and foreground is playing with each other – just like our life stories.
All in all, abstract paintings take a long process and is very labored. There are a lot of thoughts put into it and it is up to individuals on how you interpret the painting. I really enjoyed this art talk as it opened up my mind to a much deeper world of abstract art.
Various cultural-based student organizations perform and showcase their talents in front of a large student section at the Ikenberry.
On a quiet Thursday night, the Multicultural Advocates of Ikenberry South held its regular Multicultural Night in the IKE multipurpose room. The event was filled with performances from different cultural organizations, along with free shirts, food, and information about different cultures. Performances ranged from dancing K-pop to singing national anthems to reciting poetry; through it all, the unique aspects of each culture being represented definitely shone through each display of talent. In addition, the large crowd was noticeably diverse; people of all different backgrounds and colors came out to support their fellow classmates in representing their heritage and what their culture means to them.
I attended the multicultural night as a performer from PSA, or the Philippine Student Association organization here at UIUC. We danced the Cariñosa, which is a traditional Philippine folk dance that was derived from Hispanic roots. Cariñosa means loving or affectionate when translated in English, which is exactly the impression that this dance gives off; the movements of the Cariñosa are flirty and romantic, and with the addition of long flowy skirts and fans the such gestures are emphasized. Our dance in total was around 5 minutes long, beginning with the introductory bows to our partners and ending with the men and women holding up a handkerchief and facing the audience in a cheerful demeanor. The performance was quite simple and short, however it was still a very enjoyable experience.
Overall, I loved attending the Multicultural night; being able to watch students perform their culture’s traditional dances, songs, etc. reminded me how diverse UIUC is, and made me feel more welcomed on campus. In addition, I’ve only performed one other traditional Filipino dance so it was a nice experience to learn a different type of folk dance and be able to show it to others who embrace their culture as well. I’m glad the MA’s were able to hold an event like this, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about other cultures here at UIUC.
A multitude of performers including UIUC’s Filipino Cultural Dance group showcase a wide range of talents at the Foellinger Auditorium.
On November 9, 2019 the University of Illinois’s Philippine Student Association held its 27th Annual FACT conference in Urbana, Champaign. FACT, or Filipino Americans Coming Together, is a large event that invites Filipinos from colleges across the Midwest to celebrate their culture and heritage. It is a 3 day long conference that involves a variety of different workshops, social gatherings, and an infamous variety show. The FACT variety show provides different universities the opportunity to showcase their talents, whether it be dancing, singing, or even reciting poetry. In addition, famous special guests are invited to perform making the variety show an event that many anticipate to attend.
This year, I was able to participate in FACT’s variety show as a part of Barkada, UIUC’s cultural Filipino dance group. We performed a dance that depicted ancient creatures called abats, supernatural beasts originating from Filipino folklore. Abats are said to be beautiful maiden by day, but monstrous creatures by night; with large bat-like wings and sharp fangs, abats were thought to roam around villages reeking havoc amongst the people. Our dance portrayed a story in which 3 maidens are poisoned and transform into abats, but are later fought and killed by the the men and women villagers. The whole performance traditional Filipino garments, sticks, spears, and much more.
I think this dance was a fun but challenging experience. I have never participated in Filipino cultural dance before, but I was eager to learn more about my heritage and my roots. Initially, I struggled maintaining the specific postures that are essential to most traditional Filipino dances such as this one; for example, it is required that you keep your chin raised at a 90 degree angle with your eyes pointed downwards so the whites of the eyes are not seen. This posture is necessary for all women to sustain throughout the entire performance, with only a few exceptions. Small details such as these were enforced in order to accurately portray Filipino cultural dancing, and ultimately play a large role in traditional dance competitions such as the Battle of the Bamboo (which Barkada competes in every year). Overall, this performance required months of practices and rehearsals; however it was worth it, because not only did it teach me more about Filipino cultural dancing but through the process I was able to meet an amazing group of people and share a wonderful experience with them.
Illinois Modern Ensemble is a show that I only had little understanding of, and I was trying my best to learn the meaning of it.
The show consisted of 5 parts which featured different style of playing and some local singers. The whole melody of the first part was the frightening to be honest. I don’t know if I am the only peoson who thought in that way, but I really felt uncomfortable sitting there listening them playing music which was so scary.
However, I started to understand a little bit of what the show was about during the second part of the show. The second part was called Philosykos and it tells the story of the war. Basically, the story was about how war is cruel and thousands of corpses lie. So, I thought maybe the show was trying to be scarstic about how war play a role in people’s history.
The rest parts of the show was much the same of the first two parts. The music was frightening and made me feel nervous the whole time. But, this show was another one that I had never seen before, and I highly appreciate this opportunity.
The Natural of Forgetting, a show currently in the UK and around the world, is performed in Krannert center. The Natural of Forgetting talks about the story of Tom, a father who is struggling in the early stages of dementia with many early life memories, such as schools, graduation, weddings, daughter’s birth.
At the beginning of this semester, I flipped through the calendar of events and found the scheduled performance of Chicago Symphony Orchestra on campus. I am afraid that it would be hard to get a ticket when it is accessible, and because I have never been an usher at the performance before, I signed up as an usher for this performance.
On November 12, at the Krannert Center for the performing arts Theatre RE performed “The Nature Of Forgetting”. Which was an amazing performance about a middle-aged father who is struggling in the early stages of dementia. It talks about his memories and what he is forgetting.
African culture does not only exist within the continent of Africa’s border but across the world.
On October 24th I went to the Krannert Art Museum and listened to an art talk about the African diaspora. Allyson Purpura is the curator of the exhibit and we explored the use of language and religion as artistry. She first explained what the African diaspora was and how we exist in almost all continents more specifically those involved with the slave trade. This was an interesting seminar of sorts to be able to sit in on.
Theatre Re’s performance “The Nature of Forgetting” gives a shockingly emotional portrayal of the struggles that emerge from gradual memory deterioration.
On Tuesday I walked into the Colwell Playhouse of the Krannert Center about 5 minutes late into the performance, having absolutely no idea what was going on onstage. I remember witnessing seemingly random scenes being acted out with no sense of an actual plot line or story; everything appeared to be nonsense that lacked any type of correlation. However, as the performance progressed the random scenes were repeated over and over again but with more context. This enabled the audience to piece together exactly what was happening, which was the memory deterioration of a man who was suffering from dementia.
The aspect of this performance in which I was most impressed with was the techniques that were used to indicate memories versus the present. On the stage there was an elevated platform that was used to illustrate scenes that were happening in the past, while everything outside of the platform represented present events. So for instance, flashbacks of the man when he was a student in grade school were portrayed on the elevated surface, whereas the scene with the man and his daughter getting ready for his birthday was acted out on stage. What I thought was very interesting, however, was how the actors also used the raised platform to depict the loss of the man’s memories. There were several moments where either objects or people are pulled off the platform and the man visibly tries to keep them from falling off; this demonstrates how the man is actively trying to salvage what he has left of his memories.
Another way in which the play depicted transitions between present day versus past moments were through lighting and music. Flashbacks tended to be bright with much more playful music, whereas scenes that occured during present day were slightly dimmer and completely silent. The use of lighting and music helped emphasize the nostalgia and bliss that accompany happy memories of the past.
Overall, I was captivated for the entirety of the show and I could honestly say this has been one of my favorite plays that I have attended. The depiction of happy, carefree memories could easily be related to by the majority of audience; for this reason, visually seeing the slow deterioration of these recollections were especially emotion-evoking. The performance itself was extremely intricate yet fairly easy to follow, and I would definitely recommend this play to anyone who has the opportunity to watch it.
A Trojan Priest who sensed that the Trojan’s gift, the wooden horse, was something to be wary of. Voicing his concern to the people he pleaded with the people to listen to his doubts and not accept the gift, however, the Greek god Poseidon, who favored the Greeks, would not allow for this to occur and sent serpents to kill Laocoon and his sons. Seeing as the gods punished him, the Trojans preceded to then bring the gift in and ultimately led to the demise of the Trojans. The story is said to illustrate the voice of the individual who challenges the consensus, even so far as to oppose the gods.
The statue was made by creating a plaster cast marble copy of the Roman marble copy located in the Vatican Museum, which is a copy of the hellenistic bronze original that has been lost for many years. However, the various chizzlings and details used to express the movements in the figures is impressive, twisting the bodies into various poses to show the muscle movements of their struggle dealing with the serpents tangling around them. Their carved out expressions showing shock and fear as to what is happening because of their beliefs. The reason for marble being that many of the Roman sculptors used this form and the Vatican housing one of them to show a piece of history and try to bring you into that time.
It was brought here through plaster copy in order to bring a piece of history to the museum to help show the Roman era in time accompanied by the various other relics in the exhibit. The interactions shown with it have brought intrigue and curiosity as we see the results of one going against a god, but also examining it to bring it into our current time, seeing how individuality today can bring great ramifications, but also being encouraged to be an individual and form your own way in life.
Home, by Geoff Sobelle, is a captivating performance partnered with illusion and intricate engineering that builds a house right before your eyes and shows the complexities of what it is like for people living like anyone else. Through this there was relatability and allowed the audience to experience the questions of what is home and when do we know it is a home?
Like the show called Home which we watched earlier this semester, Tiger is another show that contains the style I have never know before. To be honest, I’m not even sure if Tiger was an art performance at all, because all I heard was the knowledge about history and nature. However, as I was listening to what Deke Weaver, the producer of the show, was speaking, I gradually got the sense of how his show related to art itself.
I was not able to stay for the whole period because I had to leave the town that night, but I could still feel the special feeling Tiger gave me. I couldn’t take any pictures because he said it was forbidden and I only took one picture and had to retrieve teh other two from the event page of Tiger. Deke started by showing us pictures of all kinds of different animals, including tiger, and he informed us of the fact that tiger was voted as the most famous animal through research data. Deke then identifies himself as a naturalist, and let us listen to a video of sound from the nature, which sounded like the audio of going through a forest.
Deke later stated the history of the east Asian area, and I did not understand how it related to tiger, the animal itself at all. Everything seemed unrelated and I was alreadying paying my full attention to his words. However, he helped us go through the whole thing and I started having a basic understand of what he was saying. There should be a conservation between humanity and nature. Deke used human-beings as humanity and tiger a nature to show us we should build a balance between our life.
Deke later stated the history of the east Asian area, and I did not understand how it related to tiger, the animal itself at all. Everything seemed unrelated and I was alreadying paying my full attention to his words. However, he helped us go through the whole thing and I started having a basic understand of what he was saying. There should be a conservation between humanity and nature. Deke used human-beings as humanity and tiger a nature to show us we should build a balance between our life.
I have to say I stil have not fully understood what Deke was saying that night, but at least I had this great chance to know a whole new art style. Also, tiger is also my favorite animal, and I believe there must be a link between me and the tiger as well.
Theatre Re: The Nature of Forgetting performs what it is like for someone who is in the early stages of having dementia. It details the story of a middle aged man dealing with the repercussions of having his memory begin to deteriorate due to dementia, and the cast and musical performances convey this beautifully.
We all are
unable to see the radioactive energy with our own naked eyes but what this
artist did in their portraits was to use uranium and radioactive charcoal to paint
a picture that can depict the drastic consequence of us human beings that have
created such a huge impact towards nuclear energy.
Lilah Leopold the curator gave lots of context for the artwork even in terms of how the Krannert Art Museum is set up especially for this kind of artwork. Among all the many radioactive artworks, Lilah focused on these 2 artworks.
Both artworks are made up of synthetic uranium and radioactive charcoal. It depicted the amount of uranium that has been mined and for the left portrait, the land does not exist anymore due to the massive mining.
What intrigue me was the many vertical and horizontal lines on both artworks. It depicted graphs of uranium that been mined.
The one on the left was a graph of a billion years! From the graph, it can be inferred how the resource of uranium is depicting rapidly and the amount of radioactivity has been dispersed in the air.
right artwork, the lines refer to about 100 years of the uranium resource.
Apart from that, it also was to show the longitude and latitude of the land. As
shown, the steeper lines refer to the taller and steeper rocks.
Lilah also shared how the radioactive waste will take approximately 5 million years before it becomes jewelry and she put a thought in all of us asking how we can take personal responsibility towards radioactive waste.
It got me
thinking, what are some actions can I take to contribute to the conversation of
this radioactive waste.
Overall, I enjoyed the art talk! Looking forward to the next one!
After attending B.L.A.C.K’s braiding workshop I can confidently say that anyone can braid hair but not everyone will sit for 5+ hours to make some money.
I loved everything about this workshop. I almost got my hair done for free but my friend kept telling the girl who could do my hair that I was allergic to the weave, which I am, but that is not the point. Having safe spaces to relax, learn and congregate with people who have similar experiences to you is probably the most important self-care activity one can do for themselves. Especially in a place where the dedication to exclusion feels so strong.
Memory is an integral part of being human. Our identity is based on our personal experiences, in our own growth and changes. Theater Re’s performance shows a take at what it can be like to have a personality interrupted by memory loss. This was particularly interesting to me because I have family members who have trouble remembering from age-related mental deterioration, and it was both insightful and moving to see that experience from another angle.
The Nature of Forgetting’s choreography, lights, set pieces, music, and more left everyone at the Colwell Playhouse in awe. It is impressive how most of the play happened in a small block of wood, and with only four “full time” actors and two part-musicians/actors. Definitely, a revolutionary idea, with a fully accomplished execution.
Wow! When art meets science, it really opens up your mind to social issues in a way that you have never imagined.
This particular art talk on radioactivity and the landscape made me realize the severity of radioactive materials on our landscape.
Before attending this art talk, I was unaware of the issues of radioactivity. The picture above shows a landscape that is lost. This makes me sad because such beautiful landscape should never have been destroyed.
This other artwork shows the landscape of New Mexico. With a yellowish green hue, the landscape looks polluted. This feels like the artist is trying to portray what uranium dumping is doing to our earth.
The most interesting part of the artworks are the difference between the graphs. The first artwork shows a graph that spans over a million years, while the second artwork shows a graph that spans over a hundred years. The graph represents how the radioactive materials are losing mass and how the subatomic particles are trying to find a stable state to make it no longer radioactive.
I like how the artists incorporated graphs into the artworks because it gives more “weight” to the severity of the issue being discussed. It makes us think and feel more about the social issue.
The art talk ended with a discussion on the Open Care Project, where we think about “what if everyone has their own radioactive waste storage? what if radioactive waste becomes a personal responsibility?” The radioactive waste could become a jewelry, that can only become wearable after 5 million years. It is certainly a very interesting thought, and I imagine a totally different world. A world where there are no uranium dumps and a cleaner world for us to live in. A utopia.
Overall, this art talk was really meaningful and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It introduced me to how art can assist in communicating social issues and let the audience ponder about major issues that we were previously unaware of.
I just had dinner at Ikenberry and was ready to go to the Krannert Art Museum. I got to the East Gallery just in time to listen to Bridge #2.2. This diverse group, in both place of origin and age, is constituted by saxophonist and flutist Mai Sugimoto, guitarist Raymond Boni, double bassist Paul Rogers, and Illinois native bassist Anton Hatwich. They all come from different parts of the world: Japan, England, and France.
Krannert Art Museum’s second ArtTalk discussed the way we get rid of nuclear waste. The curator, Lilah Leopold, focused on a few different pieces and explained the intention of the exhibit from the artists’ point of view.
of Forgetting is literally the best performance I have seen in my entire life.
It was phenomenal. No words can describe how stupendous this performance is.
But here is the best I can describe the entire performance in words.
In the beginning, the father was being reminded by the daughter to wear his purple coat with the red tie at the left side of the pocket. As the father approaches his wardrobe, his memory starts to get distorted. This was done by the amazing audio where it was distorted and was blurred by the daughter’s words.
The father started
to take many other clothes and each clothes brought a certain past memory of
the father’s life. This was displayed by the different clothing that was used
in each scene. Some examples will be back in the days where he was in high
school as a student. The clothing was the high school uniform. As the memory
progress, the clothing switch to the academical dress which was his graduation
days and it switch to the father holding the long stick which signifies him
being a high school teacher and the tuxedo that represents the wedding with his
wife to be.
One thing that I really amazed is how all the father’s clothing was extremely similar but just adding an extra prop such as the stick and the flowers could change the entire outfit.
Apart from the clothing, the music! Oh, my goodness, the music was FANTASTIC. Firstly, it was only a 2-person live band. The instruments consist of just the drums, keyboard, and a violin. Just 3 instruments added so many dynamics and colors to the entire performance. How it transits from memory to present was when they use a synthesizer of the keyboard to make those whiny sounds from soft to loud and at its climax, the band will stop playing and the father is back to the present.
I did not attend the performance for Home. Hence, I will focus on discussing the
Nature of Forgetting.
Some of the distinctive ways the production represents the life event were how at the beginning, there is not much dialogue, and this puzzles the audience to want to know what is going on. This makes the audience want to lean in and focus on the entire performance to find out what is the whole performance about.
One of the most puzzling scenes was how the father was chasing after his wife to be and each scene from the cycling, the graduation and the wedding it all ends up with the both of them sitting to next each other and his wife to be is avoiding him and then there is a loud honk which brings the father back to the present. Only at the fourth repetition, I finally understood that scene which was his wife pass away due to a traffic accident and that accident could have been how the father got his dementia.
My favorite scene was the ending scene. All his cherished memories came to life where his best friend, mother, and daughter came to celebrate his birthday. The favorite part of the scene was when all the lights slowly dimmed off and all that was left was the birthday candles and the father blew the candles away. What a remarkable way to end the performance.
Overall, I will
give the play 10/10! Definitely recommend everyone to go and watch the play!
Wild Tiger, the most abundant species among the Felidae, is an endangers species now. Deke Weaver, a writer-performer, designer, theater, and media artist, traveled to central India’s Pench National Park, which is one of India’s last sanctuaries for wild tigers and many other areas, such as the edge of the Bay of Bengal. After these travel experiences, Deke Weaver build a performance that shows a connection between animals and people.
I went to the Krannert Art Museum’s first-ever Art Talk and learned a lot about African Art and it’s movement throughout the Western world. The curator talked about several pieces from different regions as well as their significance to the cultures they originally came from.
The Nature of Forgetting is a powerful play about a man’s memory fading with Alzheimer’s and how it appears from his point of view. Theatre Re performed the piece at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on November 12th and it was quite a memorable event!
The play had me sitting on the edge of the seat, curious to watch till the end of the performance. It was spectacular how the story came across so beautifully despite the fact that the show had little talking.
The performance indicated memory through the use music and sound. They used jarring music that sounded like broken minds and the discovery of memories. The play then continued with a new memory after the jarring music.
Through the use of lighting, they focused the audience’s attention on a particular object/action. There was another scene when they were watching a home movie together and I really enjoyed that one too. Each time the lighting focuses on a new object, it signified a new memory. In this school scene, they focused the lighting on the tables and the actor and actresses.
Through the use of movement, they expressed their emotions so clearly. When Tom and Isabella got married, they danced. Their dance expressed happiness because they were dancing so fluidly and with such exaggerated big actions. Other than using dance, some movements were jagged, which made it seem like a transitioning memory.
Through the use of set pieces, they reflect different scenes. The most notable set pieces were the bicycle when Tom was riding with Isabella, the school tables and the changing room. They brought out the different scenes and memories really well. The use of costumes also helps to reflect different memories and scenes. This goes hand in hand with the use of set pieces. For example, when the clothing racks and chair was in the scene, together with “Isabella” dressed in teenager clothing, it represented the present, when Tom is trying to get dressed for his birthday. However, when “Isabella” is wearing a school uniform, wedding dress or the red dress, it represented a different memory.
TIGER, the 5th performance from Deke Weaver’s Unreliable Bestiary project, brings together a performance set on a more intimate stage. Through years of research and personal experiences Deke Weaver brings to the audience an abstract and almost curious performance, accompanied by dance, playing different characters to give a sense of location but also light-hearted comedic tone, as well as not straying away from rawness and expressing anger with how little time the Earth may have. A raw and intimate performance bringing together a series of short stories that string together the main point, tigers.
A unique experience regarding the world of wildlife
Written by Edward Huang
A sizable group watched on with curiosity as a man set up the stage in the lower level of the Krannert Art Museum. I was one of the audience, and I had no clue what to expect from this presentation. Perhaps he was going to talk about endangered wildlife. Maybe this was more of a one-person play? Whatever it was, I was eagerly awaiting for the man to begin his show.
Jazz was developed by African Americans and influenced by both European harmonic structure and African rhythms. Jazz was partially from blues, which is a music genre and used to be called Jass. Modern Jazz player, Wynton Marsalis, and his remarkable ensemble are one of the top Jazz band.
Deke Weaver takes the audience on an experiential journey through the lense of the tiger
written by Allison Spillane
This performance was a lot more interesting than I expected. It’s always strange when you show up to a small event for class and then learn that the show you’re seeing is apparently a well renowned advocate for climate preservation. Needless to say, the famous show well exceeded my nonexistent expectations. Deke Weaver’s show hit that strange middle ground between inspiring and crushing existential dread, but the message of climate change awareness is always appreciated.
What a unique performance performed and directed by Deve
I like how Deve place the underlying message of protecting
the endangered animals through this whimsical play.
He used many different strategies to display the relationship between humans and tigers. From role-playing many different characters in which Deve played more than 3 characters during the play and sometimes doing 2 characters simultaneously!
Moreover, he used music and a song to talk about the fragile
relationship between the tigers and humans, how the tigers are eating the
humans and how the humans are attacking the tigers.
He did many other strategies such as repetitively playing a
certain film again and again as he shares his story.
But among all the strategies, the greatest impact is when he got everyone to do something together. One moment was when we stand up and hummed to summon the tiger spirit. I could feel the resonance on my chest as everyone hums together. It was about a whole minute of humming!
Another moment was when we got everyone to read out loud the words on the screen. It was quite shocking how everyone was so participative and with that kind of engagement, it just creates a mark to remember and bring back after the play.
Home… This is a word many people hold very close to their hearts. It is not just a physical place, but it is about the people that live in that house that gives substance and meaning to the word home.
This word also resonates in the Tiger performance it talked
about India’s Pench National Park is one of India’s last sanctuary to the wild
tigers. With tigers being endangered, it really pains my heart to see how these
home for the tigers is literally their only hope for a home in the entire
It got me to ponder deeply too, my family is the only home in the entire world, what am I doing to protect it? What am I doing to build that home? How am I thankful for that home? As Thanksgiving is coming, let’s not wait till then to be thankful and do something for our family. It starts now. What can I do today to appreciate my home? 😊
Deke Weaver performs his 5th Unreliable Bestiary project, which is about the Tiger, at the Krannert Art Museum on November 7th.
Throughout the play, Deke Weaver tells his story about the tiger using various methods. First, he portrays different characters as the story moves along. He plays a tour guide, portrayed by wearing a leather hat; he plays a intellect who lives in India, portrayed by wearing glasses and having an soft accented voice; he plays another character whom searches for tigers by wearing crushed garbage as armory and protection. By playing various characters in his performance, Weaver tells his story in an interesting and amusing way. Each character had moments in the spotlight that showcased they significance.
In addition to playing multiple characters, Weaver includes a “powerpoint” in the background of a mix of videos and photos to help tell his story. The photos and videos help establish setting, like in the deep forests searching for tiger, or on the plane waiting to land. The videos in between speeches also tell interesting stories and provide important facts and information. For example, one video explained how the tiger is used as a mascot for many, many companies, such as Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal and Exxon gas. And, how the tiger population is vanishing. These factual videos really impacted me the most because it really shows how vulnerable these animals are, and how we humans are destroying or environment and ecosystems.
In the performance, themes of journey and home emerged. The idea of journey was shown through the steps along the way, from being at home to traveling across the world to searching in forests for tigers. The way Weaver told his story made it seem as if we were on the journey with him, learning new pieces of information and exploring new regions of earth.
An easygoing night with an extremely large turnout.
This performance had to be the most relaxing of all of the performances I have attended. I actually enjoyed this performance but it reminded me that Jazz just isn’t my music. I do enjoy it in a way but it is the type of enjoyment that makes you tired. Kind of like Thanksgiving food, you really enjoy it but if you eat it all of the time you would never make it through the day- or your favorite jeans but that may just be me.
On November 1st at Krannert Center for Performing Arts, the Wynton Marsalis and his ensemble performed in Foellinger Great Hall and it was amazing. Wynton Marsalis has led this ensemble for over three decades. playing an amazing blend of masterworks by Ellington, Basie, Monk, Mingus, Goodman, and more with original compositions, Lincoln Center-commissioned works, and rare historic pieces. Marsalis ensemble is made of more than 15 of the jazz world’s finest soloists and ensemble players. And they are truly remarkable
The crowd was buzzing for Wynton Marsalis’ jazz performance.
written by:Allison Spillane
Jazz music makes me think of one thing: my late grandfather. I hear a band play and I can practically feel the wind on my face as we sit with our family out by the river. To me, jazz and big band music will always hold a fond place in my heart, and this experience outdid itself in that department. Wynton Marsalis and his ensemble members each brought so much to this performance in their own ways, creating one amazing performance. All the better to share with friends.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performed at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and it was an absolute delight to see and hear! The performance featured individual performers as well as the entire ensemble and played a wonderful blend of fast-paced, energetic songs and slower pieces.
Jazz has always been something that I’m interested in and Chris Botti has already amazed me last time. Last week I was lucky enough to watch another show presented by Wynton Marsalis and his band, which gave me a whole new experience with Jazz music.
The show featured both ensemble playing and solo showcase. The combination of the two factors was something I had never seen during a Jazz performance. At that night, the band usually start with group playing, and musicians would go by different order to show us a solo part of several instruments. After a part was finished, Wynton Marsalis would introduce the musicians who just played solo to us to let the audience get familiar with each of them. This kind of performance really let us interact with everyone specifically in the band instead of listening to a whole group of people without knowing them in detail.
The show was completely different from the show by Chris Botti. Wynton Marsalis gave us a show that was more of a traditional Jazz performance with everyone dressed officially and present us with all kinds of things that were originally included in Jazz. Chris Botti’s show was more of a modern Jazz performance on the other hand. All of them dressed causally and I found them to be a city band in a society that fits the world today. Also, their instruments are more modern and I even saw electric guitar during the show.
The show didn’t have a specifically one moment that stood out to me, but the show itself had already surprised me with the valuable experience. I haven’t watched a traditional band performance in years and I nearly forgot how they performed. Wynton Marsalis reminded me of all the shows I had seen before when I was young and I was just missing a lot of things during the show.
Wynton Marsalis and his ensemble perform various jazz compositions at Foellinger Great Hall at KCPA on November 1st, 2019.
Walking in to the auditorium, I was amazed at the interior design and symmetry. And, because of the way the auditorium was built, the sounds from the jazz band were loud and crisp.
In each piece, there were solo showcases, including trumpet, clarinet, piano, saxophone, and more. When it was the soloist’s turn to play, the ensemble went from mezzo forte to mezzo piano and the soloist played loud and clear, while still blending in with the ensemble. The clarinet, trumpet, and saxophonist all played very high notes with complex rhythms and dynamics. In particular, I enjoyed the pianist’s solo that showcased very upbeat yet rhythmic tones. It really stood out to me, considering I played the piano since I was very young. I love the sound of the piano and I enjoyed hearing the pianist play fast, staccato melodies.
In comparison to Chris Botti, I felt that Botti’s playing was more loose and carefree in relation to Marsalis’. Both had various solos that used a wide range of dynamics, both very loud and quiet, while still allowing for the rest of the ensemble/band to be heard.
Totally memorized and jazzed up by the Wynton Marsalis
I really love how they incorporate both solo and group showcase in the performance. It is absolutely sensational when they played their pieces. It was really a huge chemistry among the entire jazz how everyone will pull back right on the dot to showcase each solo from every jazz performer.
For the solo piece, each solo is approximately a minute long!! It is really amazing how they are able to remember each note that is played and also the emotions they put in as they played their instruments.
For the jazz band, they are extremely tight. Especially with
a super-fast tempo and not having a conductor to coordinate everyone, it is
With the balance between the solo and group showcase, it really gives so much more flavor in the entire performance. You got a huge variety of performances to watch and you will always be entertained.
Unfortunately, I did not attend the Chris Botti performance
so I cannot do the comparison.
One thing that really stood out for me is how the front row performers have more than 2 instruments to play. What struck me is that during one song they will change it simultaneously from one instrument to others. On top of it all, they play each instrument tremendously well.
By playing so many instruments in that one song, it gives a
whole new sound to the piece.
Using an analogy of a cake, the drums and cello is like the base of the cake and then the icing of the cake is all the extra instruments such as the flute and clarinet. Making the whole cake delicious!
Another stupendous moment for me will be the guy playing the
saxophone. Ooooo he really plays with style, groove and emotions. The way he moves
his body as he plays with the saxophone release such an appreciation to the
music he is playing. As he grooves by swaying side to side, I myself start to
sway side to side with him. I was so connected to his music!
Overall, this jazz performance was absolutely stunning.
Definitely recommend others to go and hear their music.
Wynton Marsalis has crafted music for over thirty years not only alone but with his diverse ensemble. Bringing together some of the best jazz soloists together to form a group that really develops and hones their compositions to bring together something that really allows the audience to listen and appreciate what they have mastered. In this 2 hour performance, accompanied by a 20 minute intermission in between, we were presented with various compositions, both original and pieces added with a unique flavor, that really showed why Wynton Marsalis and his ensemble have achieved as much as they have.
Wynton Marsalis is a trumpeter and director whose skills left the Foellinger Great Hall in awe. Leading the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is not an easy work, but Marsalis created a synergic experience in which every member shone whenever a solo performance made everyone applaud. The structure of the melodies played were perfect for building up either a strong joint piece or a striking solo. The mastery of the artists got a well-deserved double standing ovation at the end.
Another first experience checked: attending an orchestra performance. I must say, this really blew my mind! As someone who played a trombone in the school band, it made me appreciate the performance 10 times because they are so crazy talented!
It was really interesting that the performance incorporated both ensemble playing and solo showcases. I find myself being more engrossed in the performance as I am so excited to hear the next solo showcase to immerse myself in the beauty of the sound created by the instrument.
It also brought more depth and personality to the whole performance as each instrument gave a different “feel” to the music piece that was performed. The group dynamics was amazing! I felt that they respected each other’s talent and gave them each their own time to shine. At the same time, the ensemble playing demonstrated their amazing teamwork and how each and every one of them has a part to play to bring to life their music. It was certainly a heartwarming performance and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A moment that stood out for me was when they started playing a happy birthday song for one of their orchestra players at the end. They played a version of the song that was jazzy and it made me really happy. It was also really cool that they did this surprise for their friend. Everyone in the audience sang and clapped along to the song! To me, it felt like the whole theater was performing a special song together. It must be a very special moment for the birthday guy too to have everyone celebrating his birthday together.
Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra serenade the audience at Krannert Center of Performing Arts.
This past Friday night I attended a jazz performance starring Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra at Foellinger Great Hall. Entering the Krannert Center, I was slightly shocked to see the amount of people waiting in line to watch the concert. The lobby was completely filled with jazz enthusiasts both young and old; by far, this performance had the largest and most diverse audience age-wise compared to the previous shows I have attended for this class.
Throughout the performance, there were a number of instances where solo showcases were incorporated within the ensemble playing. For example, during the first half of the show drummer Jason Marsalis and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis were given lengthy solos as a transition to the next song. Personally, I think the incorporation of solo playing elevated the entire performance by exhibiting the individual talents of the instrumentalists. The solo showcases provided a contrast to the majority of concert by giving it a refreshing sound as opposed to continuous songs being played in unison with other instruments. Overall, I think the individual solos were beneficial to this performance by providing a healthy balance of group vs. individual song.
One moment for me that stood out during this performance was the drummer’s solo during the second song of the concert. The drummer is actually Jason Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis’s youngest brother. I was captivated by his solo not only because he was able to keep a steady tempo throughout the entire performance, but he simultaneously created new patterns and rhythms that were offbeat as well. Jason’s ability to detach himself from a singular beat and maintain a multitude of tempos in rhythms with just his two hands is something that can only be learned through years and years of experience. For this reason, I recall Jason Marsalis’s solo as a notable moment from the Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Overall, the performance by Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra was a great opportunity to experience the all time classic music genre, jazz. Although I am not a jazz connoisseur, I can definitely say that the show was entertaining and I would gladly attend a similar show again.
Spurlock museum gives insight on the world’s cultures.
written by Allison Spillane
Okay, so let’s get one thing straight: I love museums. Being a suburb kid, almost every class trip meant taking the train into the city to visit the art institute or the field museum. I grew up in a family where every summer vacation would involve wandering around beautifully constructed spaces chock-full of new information and ideas. Another thing we should probably clear up is that I live in Allen Hall. As in the corner of Gregory and Dorner. As in a single block south of the spurlock museum, a delightful cultural museum. Not a three minute walk from those doors, and I didn’t know it existed? I was pretty dumbfounded.
When I was browsing through the museum, I saw a lot of impressive works of art, such as sculptures of different figures in Europe, and costumes and decorations from Asia. I stopped when I saw a tobacco pot that was not eye-catching but reminded me of lots of stories about my grandfather.
When I stepped into Foellinger Great Hall, I found that most of the audience were the elderly, and they were talking with excitement or quietly browsing the playlist. It was my first live listening to the tenor concert. No matter how many live songs I’ve heard on TV or on my phone, I was really shocked by the powerful sound pressure of The Four Italian Tenors when I heard it on the spot. To describe it, the feeling was that the sound clung to my brain from all sides, so that I could not help but sighed “OMG” again and again.
On Friday October 18, 2019; Krannert Center for the performing arts held its annual University of Illinois Bands Homecoming concert. It was a beautiful concert that consisted if the Wind Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra, and the Marching Illini in honor of Homecoming week. It was a wonderful experience with beautiful live music, and a great audience.
Gem of the Ocean is a play written by August Wilson that was performed at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday night. The characters of Aunt Ester, Black Mary, Citizen, and Eli entertained the audience and the set gave the story an almost eerie mood.
Gem of the Ocean is a production brought to you by Krannert Center of the Performing Arts. It chronicles an early period in Pittsburgh where a character by the name of Aunt Ester is said to have ‘supernatural’ abilities in which she is capable of cleansing one’s soul. Throughout the play we are introduced to this idea and follow along as we see her come to understand what the newcomer Citizen Barlow has to offer, and his affect on their community as a whole. All the while reeling us in and using their stage to connect us with their story.
The Krannert Center takes the audience through the journey of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean.
written by Allison Spillane
August Wilson is a heavy-hitter when it comes to play writing, so I was very interested to see one in person. Almost all of my experience with theater has been contemporary plays, so seeing something rooted in a little more history was exciting. Furthermore, this rendition of Gem of the Ocean featured one of Allen’s beloved RA’s! With all of this expectation, I was surprised with how this show still impressed me. Every aspect of it was so well thought out in a way that made for an astounding cohesive show.
It was coordinated by the Illinois International Student & Scholar and the Student Alumni Ambassadors held at Spurlock Museum.
There were 13 performances and the talents were from all around the world. There were Indians, Chinese, Russians, Americans, and Koreans performing for the Global Talent Show. A large proportion of the performance was towards singing and each one of them sang songs according to their own country. The songs were sung in different languages and the melody and rhyme for each song are so unique to its own culture and country. Some were more upbeat; others were more soothing.
Although the setup is really simple with just one stage light and the acoustic was not fantastic, I really like how the coordinators actually provided this space for all these performers to showcase their talents.
Among all the performances, I really like the Yo-Yo, magic and the final singing performance!
For the yoyo performance, Asher was so fast in his hands as he does many yoyo tricks like loop the loop, walk the dog, around the world, walk the baby and many more tricks that I have never seen before. The crowd was cheering for him every time he did a new spectacular move. I was right at the edge of my seat amazed by his tricks and skills.
Next, was Alejandro Diaz magic performance. He had a whole story incorporated into his magic trick. Each pile from the left to the right was the past, the present, the future and dreams of our lives. He was saying how some people prefer to focus on one of those categories and he did his magic trick changing the first pile into blank cards indicating that we can’t only focus on one.
At the end of the magic trick, he made every card turn from a picture card into a blank card and within a split second all the cards were pictures cards saying that we need all 4 categories in our lives and everyone was so astonished by it!
Lastly, was Marie Joe Noon. She sang I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston. Her voice was so pleasant and wonderful as she sang the verses. When she went to the chorus, everyone was blown away by her vocal range as she hit the high notes of the song. You could feel the emotions as she sang each lyric out and her stage presence was fantastic she really connected the audience just by her singing and her swaying from side to side.
In the end, the one who won the Global Talent Program was Marie Joe Noon! For the rest of the performers, I really admire their courage and passion to stand in front of a huge crowd to showcase their talent.
The stage setup from this performance was phenomenal. When I enter the theatre, the setup was already being displayed for the audience to admire. I myself was very amazed by all the intricate details of the setup.
The rustic wood panels at the side and the long dark wood tiles bring out that warm homely feeling. All the props that were used from the chairs, lamps, windows, doors, drawers, and potteries all aided in bringing the audience back to the past of the 1900s.
also aided in the same way. The gents were wearing tuxedos, vests and a top hat
and the ladies were wearing long printed skirts up to their waist and wearing a
bandana over their head.
The one prop that was very significant was the paper boat. The entire performance was building on that paper boat. It brought everyone on a journey to the unknown, creating such anticipation to the audience of what is gonna happen next.
that I would like to describe will be Caesar. The main villain of the show. He
was a man of his principles which were two things. Family is everything and standing
on what is written on the law.
that whoever abides in the law, is deemed worthy and whoever does not shall be
punishes. With this narrow mindset, Caesar shot Black Mary’s good friend just
because the friend hurt his right leg causing him to limp.
so saturated and consumed by the law that his own conscience was totally gone!
He did not feel any remorse of what he has done. This led to his own sister, Black
Mary telling him straight to his face that she does not know him anymore.
This superb character really taught me that not everything should go by the book but there has to be a balance between abiding of the law and holding on to your conscience.
The City of Bones scene was STUPENDOUS. Even before they step into the scene, they are already in character behind the door, shaking vigorously their wrists and ankles. The energy that they put in every move that they made had so much gust and momentum and as they synchronize the tribe beat with their “bones”. I love the props that they use such as red ribbons to symbolize fire and the wooden sticks to add a stronger sound to the beat. It depicted them to be souls being revived from their skeleton giving an eerie feeling which was exactly what was needed for that scene.
performance really brought me back the past to experience, understand and feel how
it was like in the African American community in the 1900s.
This is my first ever theatre play experience and I must say I am very wow-ed by it! Even though the show was long, it ended off with a huge bang! It was truly a memorable first theatre experience and I wish to attend more theatre plays from thereon.
The scenery and props immediately told me that the setting of the play will be in somebody’s home. To elaborate, the costumes indicated that the time is somewhere in the past. The gents were wearing tux and vests which are really formal, coupled with a hat. The ladies were wearing headpieces and long dresses with lots of prints. The paper boat gave me the impression that the play will be a mystical journey and set the mood and theme to be an exciting one.
If I could choose one character to describe their role in the play, it would be Aunt Ester. She is an important character in the play who holds power as the soul washer. She seems to be an important figure who is well respected by everyone. This could be seen in the way everybody greets her when they enter the house. Everyone was always ready to make sure she is comfortable by washing her feet, settling her down in the sofa. She also instructs Mary to do certain chores, in which she obeys. She plays a huge part in the play and story by assisting Citizen Barlow to travel to the City of Bones to restore the spiritual balance of troubled individuals, especially so since Citizen Barlow caused an innocent death by stealing the can of nails.
The City of Bones scene was SPECTACULAR. A very essential part of the scene was the dancers. I could feel the intensity and their dedication to playing the role well and it fit into the theme of the play so well and brought a strong visual of what souls were to look like. It was a little eerie but that was the point of the dance and their movements. I really enjoyed the props that the dancers were using such as red ribbons and wooden sticks as it brought more dimension to the play.
This play transported myself to a mystical world while showing what the African American community in 1904 was like. I could feel myself being transported with them into the City of Bones and what a ride it was!
This is the first-ever Homecoming talent show, performed by international students. There were 13 performers and they presented the different cultures and their art wonderfully. Through this talent show, I have increased my understanding of the different countries through their selection of songs and performing piece.
Most of the performer chose a song from their country and there was a clear difference in the melody, rhythm and style of the songs. I could also feel their emotions as they sang the songs that reminded them of home. It was truly a touching and memorable moment.
To me, it takes a lot of courage to perform in front of a crowd and no matter the decisions of the judges, I felt that they are all winners. As for relationship with the audience, there is certainly that element for certain performances.
For example, the magic performance by Alejandro Diaz was very interactive. He used the projector as a prop to bring his magic closer to the audience. As for the singers, they used the mic as a prop to bring their voice closer to us.
Overall, it was an exciting experience which showcased many talents, such as yo-yo, beat-boxing, singing, dance and magic. I expected a more formal event performed by professionals, but these people on stage were genuinely just wanting to showcase their culture and talent. There were emotions in the theater and I left the theater with a warm feeling in my heart.
The August Wilson classic hits the stage of Krannter Center for the Performing Arts
Written by Edward Huang
Gem of the Ocean is a production written by renowned American playwright August Wilson. It premiered a while ago, but its name and legacy lives on in those that admire theater today. On a chilly Thursday night, the play made its way to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
Gem of the Ocean is a play that combines both acting and dancing to tell a story that takes place in the early 1900s in Pittsburgh.
As I entered the theater and walked to my seat, I analyzed the stage set up. The cool, dim lights gave the house a cold feeling. The house was empty and the background was a picture of snowy mountains. The wooden walls or borders were of an ashy dark wood, which made the house seem warn down and old. Once the play began, the lights inside the house lit up, creating a warm and rusty environment. The characters in the play wore a variety of outfits. Women wore blouses with long skirts that reached their ankles. Some men wore white shirts similar to tuxedo shirts, long pants with suspenders, long trench coats, and hats. Others, like the sheriff, wore a suit to portray wealth.
One character I found interesting was Citizen Barlow. The other characters have mentioned a man who stole a bucket of nails multiple times, and no one knew who it was. However, when talking to Aunt Ester, Citizen confesses by pulling out a bucket of nails from his bag. In the beginning of the play, we see Citizen desperately trying to get money and did not take responsibility for his actions. Yet, throughout the first part of the play, we see Citizen’s character development. He confessed what he kept to himself, listened to Aunt Ester’s advice, and began to seek for a better life.
On Saturday October 12, 2019; Krannert Center had an amazing event called Latin Dance Night that was co-sponsored by La Casa Cultural Latina. This event was truly amazing; it was very diverse and and you would see things you would never imagine. They played many different genres of music such as merengue, salsa, cumbia, bachata, banda, etc. It was a very fun and relaxing experience after such a busy and stressful week.
[MAKE-UP EVENT] The night began in the Espresso Royale Cafe of the Krannert Art Museum. Organized and moderated by Shaya Robinson, the event for the night was an open mic, where people were allowed to come up and share their artistic creations and express themselves with the audience. The host, Shaya Robinson, has been doing this for over 5 years so it came as no surprise the amount of people that showed and the intimacy that flowed throughout the room.
Imagination Dance Crew hosts their semesterly Imagination Showcase, featuring groups like K-Project, Truth and Beauty, Storytellers, Dance 2xs, Velocity Dance Team, and more on October 12th, 2019 at Lincoln Hall Theater.
Before the showcase, each performance group were given tech time for 10 minutes, where they could rehearse their set and positions while the backstage crew can rehearse lighting on and off stage. I was in two groups: K-Project and Truth and Beauty (TNB). For both groups, we spent tech time marking positions and running through the entire set once. Walking up to the stage to rehearse gave me a sudden surge of energy; I was both excited and nervous.
An hour goes by, and a cast meeting was held an hour before the show. We all sat in the seats of the auditorium and the Imagination Dance Crew board members gave a speech. Shortly afterwards, we were all sent to the green room. Since TNB was the first group to perform, we spent our remaining minutes looking over the dance.
Five minutes before the show begins, we were called to wait backstage behind the curtains. I began to feel a bit anxious and worried. What if I mess up? What if I forget positions? We waited and waited, until the audience lights began to dim and the two MC’s walked on stage with their microphones. The lights dimmed once again, and we quickly got on stage. The stage lit up and music started playing. Before I know it, the set was over. After resting in the green room, we left for the auditorium to watch the other groups perform.
Later, I was called back for K-project. After performing once, I was not as nervous for this performance. While waiting backstage to perform, we all gave reminders and words of encouragement. Once again, the performance ran smoothly and we returned back to the audience to watch the rest of the show.
Though I have been dancing for quite some time, this was my first time performing at the Imagination Showcase. It was both a fun and nerve-racking experience. What I enjoyed most was not only performing on stage, but also being able to see all the talented dance groups showcase their work. I was amazed at each performance and definitely couldn’t wait for the next showcase in the spring!
Jennifer Monson dance was a way to connect yourself to the earth around you. As humans sometime we need to move and stand up and get all of the feelings from the day out of our system. I am not going to lie I thought the whole experience was going to be weird but in truth, it was extremely interesting an entertaining for myself. I enjoy being in artistic space and enjoy the movement I feel I need to be in.
We initially started outside, I believe her purpose for this was to find a connection with the world around us. Something I have been noticing for the past couple of weeks is how people find themselves so uncomfortable because the only comfort they have is on their phones. It is what they know and understand. Sometimes, it feels good to experience the world around us and that is something Jennifer Monson insisted on. Through some of the research I did, I found she wanted to quit dance and become a park ranger. I could understand how that could have been her passion, specifically when she brought up how she watched Whales migrate.
While we were outside she had asked us three questions that stood out to me: 1) What direction is home for you? 2) Where is North? 3) What is one thing you can here from far away and what is one thing you can here up close? For the first question, I for one moment faced toward my dorm but I suppose any place I can living a feel comfortable in is my home. The second question I was not really sure where to go, so I just watched how everyone else moved. The third question was kind of hard because the sounds I heard from far away began to grow further and the sound I heard from up close I was not really sure if how close by it was. For the third question she asked us to go toward the sound we heard nearby and I didn’t move too far because I had no idea where the sound was.
After this, we walked back inside and walked into the Women of Architecture exhibit and we sat on the floor -which I am not a fan of- and she had asked us to grab a partner. My partner for the evening was Dr.Robinson. Monson had asked one partner to close their eyes and do whatever motion while the other partner witnessed. I am kind of an awkward person who can easily become uncomfortable but in the three minutes, I forgot where I was and forgot anyone was witnessing me. I kind of enjoyed it. We switched roles with our partner and Dr. Robinson said she had also forgotten my presence.
Jennifer had then asked us to explore a painting and kind of move with it. We had chosen EL Sombrero by Barabra Rossi. The painting was interesting however I did not really move with it I kind of just watched. I think this is one of the most attractive but confusing paintings in the section we were in. Making sure to move your eyes is important when understanding any physical object. I do not believe an interpretive dance number is required but making sure to not just look but to see.
Overall I genuinely enjoyed myself. It sometimes is fun to take a moment and analyze art which makes FAA 110 a really fun class. 🖼
Although this workshop was titled “Dance”, it was more like a journey about our soul. It gave me plenty of time to feel my inner changes and explore the deeper philosophical implications of art.
We stopped outside Krannert Art Museum and Ms. Monson requested us to close our eyes and feel which direction is north. Then we each looked for and turned to the direction of our hometown. Ms. Monson let us feel the sounds from a distance or close by, looking for objects that emitted these sounds, and moving in the direction of their movement. In such a quiet environment, I clearly heard the rumble of cars driving across the road, the rustle of wind blowing through the leaves, and the screaming of birds in the sky, which made me feel relaxed and calm down.
After entering the museum, Ms. Monson took us to a gallery and let us find a partner. Each person had three minutes to close their eyes and do whatever they want. I chose to lie on the ground and stretch my body, which made me feel comfortable because I usually sit to study and my back could not be relaxed.
In the third session, Ms. Monson asked us to choose one from different activities and work with our partner. My partner and I wanted to observe and draw the life cycle of the material of a work of art. We chose a painting, and I thought about where the oil paint came from. I painted the process I imagined on paper to share with others.
This workshop was so unique that I couldn’t find a similar event. I was very grateful for this special experience, which taught me a new way of feeling art.
The evening began with a brief meeting in the lobby of Krannert Art Museum. Here we met with who KAM would be hosting for the night, Jennifer Monson. The event would be a dance workshop that we the audience would be taking part in. It served as an interactive experience that included using our senses to clear our minds and connect with our surroundings, using our bodies to demonstrate how we felt, and then analyzing the art work and creating our own response using drawings or a form of dance to express what it meant to us.
Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop is totally different from the events we attend before. Instead of just watching, we join the event and present our own discoveries throughout the whole tour. I was impressed by nearly everything happened that evening.
Before attending the dance workshop, I thought it was just an event that would teach us how to dance, or maybe some history about dancing. However, the trip was completely beyond my mind and gave me a new understanding of dance. We start the trip by walking out of the building and gathering on the turf by the street. There we were asked to close our eyes and fell the nature, and it reminded me of meditation. Jennifer told us to feel the ground under our feet, sound from far away, and even air flowing in the air. I start to calm down by doing all the movement she told us to and it was a good start of the tour.
Then we entered the Krannert Art Museum to take a tour in the art room. Although I’d been here before, but there were still a lot of artworks I hadn’t seen. Jennifer led us around the building and asked us to do an activity. We needed to get in a team of 2 people and watch each other’s behavior and we could do any movement we want with our eyes closed. This part of the trip entertained me because it was funny to see all the people making some strange movements, including myself.
Later, Jennifer let us choose a specific artwork and follow one of the instructions to look at and think about it. My partner and I chose artwork that we don’t understand much about, and we only chose it because we thought it looked colorful and beautiful. Jennifer was supposed to walk around the room and talk to all the students, but when she found out we were confused with the artwork, she came to us and try to understand the artwork with us. She spent 20 minutes telling us how to look at a painting from different angles and perspectives. I had always thought it was hard to analyze the meaning of an artwork, but Jennifer’s works inspired me and taught me the right but multiple ways to enjoy an artwork. She got so excited looking at the artwork that she was moving around it all the time to come up with new ideas.
I learned a lot from Jennifer Monson and I thought I might never forget about that tour. We’ve all seen people standing in front an artwork and we don’t understand them for the most time. Jennifer Monson really gave me a whole new idea about how to enjoy an artwork.
This post is the make-up event for the Jennifer Monson Dance on the 3 Oct 2019.
I attended the FYG U Music Film Festival and the one huge surprising thing is that all the tickets were free! No charges at all. I immediately signed up for the festival and it was really an eye-opener for me.
When I entered the festival at about 9:00pm and walked closer to the main stage I could feel the bass resounding from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. It was as though the music was in me.
As I approached the crowd, hands were in the air moving in syncopation to the beat, people were bouncing up and down to the beat, literally, everyone was grooving to the beat. Personally, I do not dance well but seeing everyone having such a good time, the music in me just took over and I myself started jumping to the beat too.
One huge eye-opener was when Tripple Redd sang a certain song, about 5 Americans opened up a huge circle in the middle and you would not believe what happen next…
It was a DANCE OFF!
What I love about it, was that anyone could go to the middle and dance despite their race, size or gender. Everyone was just cheering for one another and having a good time.
Apart from the audience, the rapper, Tripple Redd was really spontaneous and engaging to the crowd. He will ask the crowd to echo after him. It will something like that:
Red: WHEN I SAY TRIPPLE, YOU SAY REDD!
He also got everyone to sing acapella to his songs and just hearing the crescendo and echo of the crowd was really spectacular. It gives such a chemistry between the crowd itself and Tripple Red too.
of music was hip-hop and it was really catered to the crowd as everyone was
familiar to the song and singing along to it. Personally, I do not listen to
hip-hop but after the festival, I now appreciate it more.
The set up for the stage was marvelous, the sound system was so loud but so clear. The lights used were vibrant colors such as bright red, light blue, yellow and light green. The colors create a vibrant and energetic atmosphere. Furthermore, there was the smoke machine that was used very timely which were at the end of the song or to hype up the crowd.
Overall, it was a real eye-opener for me to attend a music festival and in particular to the music genre of hip-hop.
The Krannert Art Museum recently hosted Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop, an event open free to the public which was an interactive event which took place all over the Museum. Participants were asked to move their body in response to different activities. Included in this event was also a response/analysis to artwork to as well as group activities.
Jennifer Monson brought us to experience art through dance and movement at Krannert Art Museum.
Jennifer Monson is an American dancer and choregrapher. On October 3, she showed us a new way to interpret art during her dance workshop at Krannert Art Museum. She had brought us to use not vision, but dance and movement to feel the art, which you may find a experience you have never had.
Thanks to Jennifer Monson
and her knowledge of biology and dance I learned a new means of
experiencing and connecting with the art at the Krannert Art Museum.
Even though I have been to the KAM three times, the crafts in it are
still fascinating: new details emerge and give the art a new meaning or
Jennifer Monson shares her insight on how movement of the body can change the experience of art.
written by Allison Spillane
This experience was a new one. Previous shows that this class had scheduled I had some semblance of expectation, but I went into Jennifer Monson’s dance workshop having no preconceptions of what we would be doing. Having absolutely no background knowledge of dance, I must admit I was somewhat apprehensive about the activities she had in store. However, despite my fears, I found the movement in this event quite refreshing. The lense of dance really changed the way that I experienced the art.
On Thursday October 3rd at the Krannert Art Museum we went to a dance Workshop taught by Jennifer Monson. This experience was unlike any other and it felt very freeing and liberating. I had never gone to a dance workshop and going to this one was unlike anything I thought it would be.
Jennifer Monson holds a workshop to bridge the gap between dance and art
Written by Edward Huang
Just as the weather began to get chilly in Champaign-Urbana, a small group gathered in the lobby of the Krannert Art Museum with excitement and curiosity. Jennifer Monson, the renowned dancer, choreographer, and professor stood in the middle of the group, calling order to what was bound to be an interesting and transformative workshop. Her goal was to show us the connection between dance and art, and how we can discover that through a certain set of activities.
Jennifer Monson expresses a way of experiencing art through movement at her dance workshop at Krannert Art Museum on October 3rd, 2019.
We began outside in a small patch of grass outside of the museum. We were instructed to close our eyes and listen to the sounds of our surroundings and to face various directions. While the group was listening to their sounds, I focused my attention to the leaves rustling, cars driving by, and crickets chirping. It felt very relaxing and stress-relieving. Considering my stressful week that consisted of studying for midterms and completing assignments, this experience was a breath of fresh air.
Then, we went back into the museum and entered the art gallery. We were told to find a partner and take turns watching each other do whatever we wanted with our eyes closed. It was an opportunity to express ourselves and follow our instincts. Next, we were given a packet of prompts and were sent off to find a piece of artwork we liked and stare at it before answering a prompt in the packet. My partner and I chose a large oil painting that features two individuals bracing each other. Looking at the prompts, I chose the one that required me to draw my response to the artwork. Reflecting on my first impressions of the artwork, I remember drawing my attention to the detailed hands and less-distinct eyes of the individuals. I then turned to my paper and began drawing a hand and eye.
By thinking about my own body and movement in relation to the artwork made me feel more connected to the piece as well as allowing me to look at a piece of art in a different perspective. I focused more on the emotions conveyed within the artwork as well as my reaction in response to a piece of art.
Colwell Playhouse’s performance of Home captivates the audience through its portrayals of the fast-pace chaos that is human life.
Written by Danielle Herrera.
On Friday, Sept. 27 I walked into the Krannert Center of Performing Arts without any prior knowledge as to what I was about to witness. Having been the piano accompanist for a number of various musicals, I’m quite familiar with theater and performance. However, this was my first time attending a play, which completely lacks the song and dance involved in musicals; for this reason, I was concerned that the performance wouldn’t feel as lively. Little did I know, there are countless other aspects of plays that are just as captivating as those found in musical theater.
The show opened up with a dim, completely empty stage. There was no movement nor light, which cause the room quiet down into deafening silence. Then, after a few moments a man entered on stage and began setting up lights, building what appeared to be a wall. His movements were purposeful and captivating, which in my opinion set the vibe for the entire show.
As the play progressed, various rooms were built on stage right in front of the audience. This gave viewers an inside look on the long process of creating a home, while simultaneously demonstrating countless life events that would take place in anyone’s home. More and more characters were introduced, portraying their separate lives whilst physically using the same set. Finally, at the end, the characters all join together in a scene of celebration.
I thought that the incorporation of the audience into the play made the performance more exciting and entertaining to watch. Seeing familiar faces being pulled on stage gave the show a new energy, and also allowed the audience to feel as though they are part of the performance. My favorite part was when Valleri, our professor, was invited on stage and asked to describe her home. Hearing her own genuine stories and descriptions of her childhood home reminded me of my own memories of my house. It made me realize how important it is for everyone to have their own place to call home.
Home by Geoff Sobelle was a performance filled with so much chaos and laughter. It depicted scenes of life, death, sadness, and celebration using just one house setting, which revealed a universal thread amongst us humans: everyone needs a home. It doesn’t matter if it’s a house, or an apartment, or even just a room; people need a space to experience life. I loved watching this play, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s looking to find new perspective on what makes a home, “home”.
The story of “Home” began with two small lights, a wooden frame and two plastic sheets.
When a man in casual clothes came to the stage directly from the auditorium instead of the background, I thought he was a staff at first. When he assembled the materials into a wall and changed the scene into a small bed and a door, I realized that he was an actor. There were many different people in and out of the door, such as women, boys, and elderly. Not too long after that, several decorators appeared, converting the scene into a larger house and starting to carry furniture inside. I could gradually distinguish the kitchen, living room, bathroom, study and bedroom.
Until the last piece of furniture was moved in, the hostess walked into the house with flowers, and a complete “home” appeared. The new day began with a simulation of sunshine through the venetian blinds on the second floor window and realistic barking. From getting up and washing, dressing up, and carrying the packages out, the actors presented us with different lives of different roles. The elderly did housework, the child went to school and adults went to work. This reminded me of my own life. Before I entered the college, every day after I get up, my mother drove me school and then came back to do housework. My dad had to work every day, occasionally going on a business trip. People in a home methodically handled their own life.
The most amazing thing that shocked me was in the second part. Actors began to interact with the audience actively. The little boy stepped down and invited us to taste the olives (I tasted one, but it was sour). The other actors let the audience stand and put the string of lights on the top of the head. They also invited many audience, including several of my friends, to come to the stage and participate in the party and celebrate the birthday. I was still thinking about the logic of plot just before this part, such as what the meaning is when actors entered and exited from the door at the beginning. But when the audience cheered, I felt that the logic of the story was no longer so important. Now I am part of the story, and I am also completing this story about Home.
I was immersed in the performance until the end. It turned out that interacting with the audience is the most direct way to get audience into the situation. I could not refuse this kind of interaction, which was a wonderful experience I have never had before.
Geoff Sobelle’s dreamlike play took the Colwell Playhouse audience by surprise. Wood frames and staples started what would become home or a memory of it. The uncoherent scenes at the beginning sparked the curiosity of the viewers, necessary for the rest of the play. Then, the harmony of the life of the residents made us relate to them. Finally, the familiarity with the house made us dwellers.
In Colwell Playhouse at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Geoff Sobelle’s Homecaptivated the audience on Friday night. The play brought together theater, illusions, and some impressive engineering for the set that was used. The performance pressed the audience to consider the true meaning of a home as we watched the lives of several characters play out in one space.
Home became the best show I’ve ever watched last week. It was abusolutely amazing for me and, I believe, for everyone. Everything about the show including the actors, scenes, and plays.
At first, I was confused with the meaning of the story the show was trying to tell, so I was trying hard to understand every details the show displayed. At the same time, I was surprised by the tricks the actors were doing. They could just change themselves to another actor by hide themselves for a second, and that was the point I started getting interested in the show.
Later, I was getting into the story of the show. Home was telling a story about a home in which several people live. All these people seemed unrelated in the first place, but they were actually interrelated to each other. The interactions between each roles were really sweet and I felt a sense of warm inside the theatre.
At last, we were hyped by the plot where they invited plenty of the audience to the stage and participate. There was a scene depicted a night when everyone inside the house invited all kinds of friends to have a large party. I must say I enjoyed the plot so much that I was smiling all the time towards the end.
In the end, all the audience stood up and applauded for all the actors who showed up. Home is not just a show for me, but a real sweet home that night.
On September 27th, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts showcased the play Home in the Colwell Playhouse. The play slowly evolved from the silent story of one man who had built a house, the the stories of several people, each living out their own lives in the same home, unaware of the other’s very existence. Towards the end, even the audience became a central role in the amazing play, both in on stage participation and in helping to set the mood for the scene.
Eric Andre his entire audience captivated and wanting more at Canopy Club with his visionary humor.
Written by Catherine Webber
As part of his Legalize Everything tour, and as an act of the Pygmalion Festival, comedian Eric Andre played at Canopy Club this past Saturday to a crowd of very enthusiastic fans, and these fans were not disappointed. Once I saw that Andre would be part of the Pygmalion Festival I quickly texted my brother to see if he would make the journey from Chicago to join me in the crowd, and he very eagerly told me that he would and couldn’t wait. Andre is known for his off the wall and oftentimes absurd talk show on Adult Swim, and this stand up was definitely reminiscent of the farcical show.
From the beginning of the one-act play by Geoff Sobelle, Home was a little confusing for me. And as the story went on I was still confused. It was a lot of inner working parts that require people to sit down and replay what they saw and felt. Even though I was confused and was struggling to find meaning, now as I am looking back I realized I kind of enjoyed the display.
Geoff Sobelle brings his interpretation of home for the people of Champaign-Urbana
Written by Edward Huang
On a chilly Friday evening, guests gathered at Colwell Playhouse in Krannert Center for the Performing arts, eager to see what “Home” by Geoff Sobelle had in store for them. The stage was set with a display of mystery. There were bright lights glaring at the audience, preventing them from seeing anything in the dark backstage. I felt that this built up the interest of the crowd. When an actor from the audience walked onto the stage, the crowd waited in silence, all with piqued curiosity for what was to come.
Geoff Sobelle’s “Home” showcases a mix of music and theatre while building a house from scratch at Colwell Playhouse in KCPA on September 27th, 2019.
“Home” starts off with a man wondering around on stage, picking up lanterns, and building a small wall out of wood and plastic sheets. As the play goes on, more characters start appearing, including the construction workers who quickly built a house in front of our very eyes. There was a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, and office within the house. Room decor, like pictures and vases, and furniture, like couches and desks, decorated the home while the residents unpacked. The stage quickly transformed into a warm home with ambient noises, wind blowing, leaves ruffling, and dog barking, mixed with realistic lighting that portrayed day and night.
As the story unfolds, we see the daily life of each resident, from waking up to doing chores to arguing with each other. Seeing each resident live their own lives made me think and reflect on my own experiences at home. The play made me think about my morning routine and hectic schedules that I follow on a daily basis back at home and in my dorm at university. At the end of the play, the residents one by one began packing their belongings and moving out. This act made me think about the time I was moving from Minnesota to California, and then moving to university in Illinois. As a result, I could sympathize with the actors as they portrayed their lives.
To my surprise, the actors also interacted with the audience throughout the play, whether it was offering food and drinks, asking for people to stand and hold strings of lights, singing happy birthday, or bringing them on stage to be part of the act. It made the audience feel cheerful, as if they were also a part of or invited to the party. I thought this strengthened the connection between the audience and the actors to create a lasting impression and to sympathize with them by drawing more of the audience’s attention to the scene.
Chris Botti showcases his talent as a trumpeter and performer alongside his company of musicians from across the globe.
On Saturday, September 14 Chris Botti and company performed at the Krannert Center of Performing Arts, demonstrating just the many reasons as to why he is so distinguished from other trumpeters. The award-winning musician and composer made his appearance on stage along with a variety of other instrumentalists, including a guitarist, violinist, pianist, and many more.
The majority of the performance was instrumental based, which was different from all the other concerts I have previously been to. However, as a piano accompanist I would say that it was pleasant surprise to see a performance where the instrumentalists are the center of attention. And they definitely deserved the attention too; the musicianship of all the players on stage was absolutely insane. Each of their solos really allowed them to show off just how much control they had over their instrument, and how extensive their experience was in regards to performing.
Although I enjoyed listening to all the instrumentalists, I feel as though the singer gave the band a refreshing sound at the end of the first half of the performance. There was a new type of energy when singer and songwriter Sy Smith joined the company of musicians, and her funky soul-voice definitely livened up the crowd. I think she blended well with the jazzy instrumentals that was previously being played, and ultimately gave the song an edge.
I think my favorite part of the performance was Lee Pearson’s drum solo midway through the first half of the performance. His short showcase exhibited so much emotion and energy that people were constantly clapping and cheering. I found that the fast and complicated rhythms that he was able to complete were mesmerizing, and his overall showmanship was exciting to watch. I also liked the way he was able to entertain the audience with little tricks such as playing with the sticks behind his back, or throwing up the sticks in the air as he plays. Most importantly though, it was obvious that Pearson’s energy was genuine; you could see how much heart he put into this performance.
Overall, the Chris Botti performance was a refreshing change from the previous concerts I have attended. I greatly enjoyed the music and the energy of the show, and would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who is interested in instrumental music.
Chris Botti blows away the crowd at the Tryon Festival Theater!
Although I was sick, and was unable to stay the entire show, Chris Botti’s performance was a spectacle to behold. My favorite part of the performance would probably be the drummer. I always have respect for people who have range within their instruments, and the quiet, subtle beats that the drummer was able to produce set against his moments of intense and creative drum solos was spectacular. Another aspect of the drummer that I liked so much was that he looked like he was genuinely having fun on stage. Between the intimidatingly stylish Botti and his beautiful and calm violinist, the drummer stood out to me as someone who was there to have a great time doing what he loves.
The grammy award-winning trumpeter shows Champaign-Urbana his talents
Written by Edward Huang
On a calm Saturday night, the guests of Krannert Center for Performing Arts waited eagerly for the appearance of Chris Botti, the renowned trumpeter, to make his way onto the stage. I watched as he made his entrance, but I was caught off by the number of other musicians that he brought along with him. As an appreciator of all music styles, I was excited to see what they had in store.
Hundreds gather for a celebration of Asian culture at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Written by Edward Huang
On Friday, September 13, students from all over UIUC gathered on the main quad to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Mid Autumn Festival is a holiday that originated in ancient China. It is a celebration of the Lunar New Year, because Chinese culture placed heavy emphasis on the moon in their culture. The event, however, was hosted by the Vietnamese Student Association and was open to the public. Guests were able to enjoy cultural performances as well as food from different Asian backgrounds.
I look forward to watching Chris Botti before the start of it because I’ve always been interested in Jazz music and I heard Chris Botti is a famous Jazz musician playing the trumpet. Every year, I watch a few music performance and I must say I love each of them when I was watching.
When I sat on my seat and started waiting for the show to begin, I started thinking all the performances I watched before and relating them with the show I was about to watch that night. So, basically, I was trying to remember my own experiences with Jazz music. However, the show turned out to be completely different from what I imagined. The Jazz music Chris Botti and his band played was more modern instead of traditional music, and it is exactly where I want to start describing my favorite part of the show. The part that made me feel that the music was more modern was the drummer. He was highly excited and active and there was a part for his single play. Every one was hyped by his performance and he was doing all kinds of tricks with the drummer and making me feel beautiful. Also, I found other people around me start moving their bodies and it seemed like everyone was dancing during a show we’re supposed to sit quietly.
Chris Botti’s interaction with the audience was another point that I noticed. His interaction with the audience was similar with Buddy Guy, because they both walked off the floor and played the instruments. Chris Botti walked towards the audience started moving along the road, and finally stopped by the middle of it. He started playing with himself standing there and making eye contacts with the audience around him. I feel his interactions were hard to ignore and we became even more concentrated when he did that. In addition to the physically interactions, Chris Botti talked a lot to the audience about his stories and the introductions of his band members. Chris’ amusing tone entertained all of us that day and it was one of the reasons that made the show a success.
I enjoyed Chris Botti’s performance, and all the other musicians’ as well. They form a band that perfectly assist each other during the performance with music and movements. All the performances I watched before has a band that played together, but Chris allowed every band members to have their own moments to show their unique personalities.
Chris Botti was an amazing show for me, and I would never forget him, even though I never heard him before. To be honest, it’s probably hard for me to watch his performance again, but I will link the show to my memory and I will never forget him when I think of art in the future.
I had seen a role of drag queen, Angel, in a musical named RENT before I saw this performance. I thought I knew the drag queens very well and I suppose them to be positive, bold, not afraid of gender obstruction, and brave in pursuing love and freedom. However, I didn’t really get to know them until I saw Sasha Velour.
I was inspired by the enthusiasm of people as the show started and it is clear that Sasha Velour has lots of fans here. At the moment she appeared, the screams of the audience drowned me. The first thing that surprised me was her style, a white robe, like an angel. But soon when Sasha Velour spoke, I was shocked by her apparently trained opera aria, and even began to speculate whether she had sung in the opera house. Unexpectedly, however, the transition between angel and demon was only a few seconds. When Sasha Velour picked up her white robe and revealed the red flash tights below, the whole theatre was boiling. After completely removing the white robe, she was red with the whole body, just like the real devil. This powerful contrast shocked me a lot.
After each scene was finished, Sasha Velour would take the microphone out to talk to us. It has to be admitted that Sasha Velour was very humorous and infectious. The audience naturally loved her very much and always gave enthusiastic responses.
During the break, I walked out and heard someone saying, “This is a wonderful design, isn’t it?” In fact, I have been thinking about this issue as well. Sasha Velour had incredible art talent. She turned the dress into an art, so that the performance was full of dramatic tension, and the stage background was like an unruly illustration. All of Sasha Velour’s dresses were exaggerated in color and full of transsexual style, unlike the stereotypes worn by people in the past. I believe that she must be a person who was deeply accomplished in the visual arts.
In fact, my favorite aria in the performance was that Sasha Velour’s projection on the stage screen drew a beautiful makeup, wore a waist and a red dress, put on monster ears, and appeared at the entrance of the theater in the next moment, singing “I want to fly, I am alive” and stepping down the steps to the stage. The shock of my heart at that moment could not be described in words. Everyone started to scream but I was moved to say nothing but almost wept. I really fell for this song and until I was out of the theater, I still tried to recall it.
My mind was filled with different screaming music and scenes, but I could not forget the emotion of Sasha Velour when she talked about her mother who died of cancer. Several viewers around me began to wipe their tears. When Sasha Velour sang “If you go away”, I finally couldn’t help to cry. In the last scene, she took a bite of an apple. When the light was dark, I found that the apple had moved away from her hand and went further afield. I enjoyed the quality of even the most insignificant details of this performance.
This was a performance of a drag queen, but was more of a queer monologue. Sasha Velour opened her mind, showing us her past and inner journey. She constantly emphasized that we could live more beautifully, more uniquely, and more freely. To live a true life, we should learn to love, to have our own strength and know who we are.
On September 14, at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Chris Botti featuring Lee Pearson, Reggie Hamilton, Leonardo Amuedo, Holger Marjamaa, Andy Snitzer, Anastasiia Mazurok, Sy Smith, and Rafael Moras; performed an amazing mixture of what a friend called “aggressive elevator music” which in reality was Jazz mixed with Classical.
On Saturday the 14th, Chris Botti came to perform in the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, and along with him he brought an equally talented Violinist, Pianist, Drummer, and even a Saxophone player. These weren’t just background performers, however. I feel as if Chris Botti did an amazing job as highlighting them as individual artists that went along with his own trumpet playing.
I feel as my favorite part of Chris Botti’s performance was how incredibly powerful he sounded as a trumpet player. It felt as if every note he played echoed throughout the auditorium as we watched him lean into every breath he took through his instrument. His interaction with the crowd was equally amazing. I feel as if the audience had a sort of “moment” when he stepped down to talk to us. It gave the whole interaction a much more personal feel, something I haven’t experienced in concert.
Overall, Chris Botti had great complementary artists, greater sound, and an enthusiastic crowd. You could tell how invested we were from our constant applause, and I feel like Chris Botti delivered a performance worthy of such. There is a stereotype that trumpet players are very prideful, yet Chris Botti has shown us that is simply not true.
On September 14th, Chris Botti performed at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts with a group of talented jazz musicians. The powerful music filled Tryon Festival Center and took a variety of tempos, tones, and styles to transform this performance into something special.
Chris Botti performed a series of Jazz with his band at Night in Krannert Center.
Wai Chuen Chan 9/17/2019
On September 14, Chris Botti featuring Lee Pearson, Reggie Hamilton, Leonardo Amuedo, Holger Marjamaa, Andy Snitzer, Anastasiia Mazurok, Sy Smith, and Rafael Moras, performed a series of Jazz music including Botti’s album with diverse musical instruments at Tryon Festival Theatre in Krannert Center.
Chris Botti, featuring Lee Pearson, Andy Snitzer, Anastasiia Mazurok, and more, perform at the Tryon Festival Theatre on September 14th, 2019.
I was quite fascinated by Chris Botti’s playing and skill. Each note he played was very clear and had good dynamic. He could gracefully switch the mood of the song; he would play a loud forte, then suddenly bring the volume down to a soft mezzo piano. Moreover, I was also amazed by the other musicians and singers that were featured in the performance. Andy Snitzer, the saxophonist, played various scales swiftly during his solo. His body movement also lightened the mood of the song to be more cheerful and jazzy. Anastasiia Mazurok, the violinist, performed her solo elegantly, with each note flowing to the next. Lastly, Sy Smith, a singer, had a very nice voice that harmonized with the rest of the band.
Out of all the outstanding performances, I think Lee Pearson’s drum solo may be my favorite part of the performance. I found it very entertaining and captivating as he displayed much of his skill within a short period of time. He exhibited cool tricks with his drumsticks, like balancing them on top of his head while playing, throwing them up in the air, and using his hands to play the drum set.
Near the end of the performance, Chris Botti and Sy Smith go off stage to interact with the audience. Botti continued to play his trumpet while Smith came onto stage with her strong, powerful voice. People quickly got out their cameras and phones to take pictures. I thought the way they interacted with the audience, whether it be having conversations or walking into the crowd, really engaged the viewers throughout the performance.
His charisma made everyone at the Ellnora Guitar Festival cheery!
Written by Cesar Diaz Blanco
Saturday night. This time of
the week, usually accompanied by a craving for celebration, was in my case
accompanied by cough, congestion, and more symptoms from the flu.
Fortunately, Buddy Guy was there to save me, and I didn’t even know about him before going to the Krannert Center. I entered the lounge and immediately perceived the spirit of the Ellnora Guitar Festival. After getting my ticket I made a quick search on Buddy Guy and expected a non-stop show with extraordinary guitar solos.
Somehow, the show was more than that. The
experience and control that Buddy has over his guitar completely shadows any
other performance I have seen.
was more than music. It constantly became a theatrical scene in which Buddy
gave life to his guitar and battled with it in every possible way: he would
poke it with a drum stick or even scrub the strings against his suit.
He would then turn our attention from the guitar to the piano and finally to the pianist, whose hands went from the left to right in seemingly random ways that enriched the melody.
this wildness didn’t work to captivate the audience, the show would become a
comedy skit with a nicely performed percussion in the back.
This show challenged what I knew about music
performances and I am so glad I had the opportunity to enjoy it.
wait for the upcoming events and visits to museums.
Legendary blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy wows the crowd at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
Written by Danielle Herrera
On September 7th, 2019 I had the opportunity to attend the performance of Buddy Guy, I man who (after a quick google search) I learned was a famous blues artist. I’ve never listened to any of Guy’s albums or songs, but I’ve always loved live performances so I was excited regardless. Little did I know, this performance would open me up to new perspectives of music.
First off, let me just start by saying that I am a huge R&B fan. I love the emotional aspect of music and listening to beats that amplify the mood of the song, whether it be pain, lust, or joy. As expected, Buddy Guy’s musicianship was extremely impressive and the overall instrumentals of his songs were catchy and upbeat. However, the aspect that really threw me off guard was his singing. Buddy Guy’s voice has a raspy, deep sound that is both nostalgic and unique to now. You can physically hear the amount of wisdom and experience this man has just through his vocals, making it perfect for the historic genre of blues.
Although Buddy Guy is a renown singer and musician, he made sure that the spotlight was not always on him; lengthy showcases of the guitarist’s runs or the pianist’s swift improvisations shined a light on the rest of the instrumentalists’ insane talent. I personally was in awe of Buddy Guy’s pianist; having played in a number of different concerts and performances, I know how difficult it can be to improvise blues/jazz on the spot in front of such a large group of people.
In addition, there were a number of quirky acts performed by Buddy Guy that showcased not only his sense of humor, but also his skills as a musician. At some points Guy would be playing the guitar by hitting it against his chest, or by smacking it with a towel. Either way, these moments kept the audience lighthearted and waiting for more.
The greatest aspect of this performance, I think, is the way Buddy Guy interacted with the crowd. Like other artists, he encouraged audience members to sing along with his more famous songs in a call-and-response manner. However, he also did something that I’ve never seen before: mid-concert, Buddy Guy calls for the auditorium lights to turn onto the audience. In that sense, Guy forcibly moves the attention from him to us. This was something I’ve never seen before, and it made me feel like it was our turn now to perform. Buddy guy then proceeded to walk into the audience, singing and interacting with all of us. This act provided a sense of togetherness that I have never felt before when attending a performance; it was like we were all finally on the same level, just enjoying the song and rhythm. Audience members were dancing and singing, and almost everyone was on their feet. It was a scene that could never be replicated exactly the same ever again.
Overall, Buddy Guy’s performance is something that in my mind could never be replicated ever again. The musicality, emotion and sound were one of a kind, and if I had the chance I would for sure relive the experience once again.
Buddy Guy, an American blues guitarist and singer, gave me an interesting show on Saturday night at 8:00. If you think this is only a normal blues guitar festival, you are wrong. He is the special one. Before the beginning of the show, lots of people are already seated, and everyone was talking about him how good he can play and how funny is this guy during the show. Since this is my first time to watch his festival, I paid all my attention to his guitar festival. When I finish watching the show, I find out that everything online about him is true. He is special.
At the beginning of the show, He played a blues song to evoke the audiences’ interest and to catch their attention. After that, He did Improvisation and this is my favorite part of this show. He started a song normally, a minute later, he changed. He started to play his guitar by arm, wrist. Lastly, he flips over his guitar and play it by his clothes, and it works, it sounds good. And I think this is music, and I think that is what he wants to tell us. Music is not an objective thing, everything can be music, there are infinitely melody in the world.
Near the end of the show, Buddy Guy did a thing that let me fill this is not a guitar festival, but more like a family meeting. He was playing a song, and during the song, he walked to the audience and played with the audience and when the song is about to finish, he walked back to the stage. In that specific period, everything became one. I think it is similar to a family meeting, a payer is playing a guitar and singing, other family members are sitting around him. There are 0 gap between the player and the audiences. Music made us become one thing.
Before I went to the Opening Night Party at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, I had never imagined that this party would be so grand, and I didn’t expect so many viewers to arrive there early. Just on the terrace outside KCPA, there were many people gathered. It was about 5:20 p.m. when I arrived, and the band have already started auditioning, while the food stalls on both sides of the terrace were ready for business. When I entered KCPA, I was amazed by the arrangement inside. The whole hall was equipped with many small round tables and high stools for people to chat and drink. The blue-violet lights created a perfect party atmosphere that was very different from the outside scene.
Around 5:45 p.m., several people outside were lined up in front of the food stalls, and people on the terraces were constantly going up steps and sitting. Several stages in KCPA have been basically prepared, and some interesting activities stalls have begun to publicize. I saw several passing children with delicate oil painting on their faces, which was extremely characteristic.
At 6 p.m. in the evening, Opening Night Party officially began. I bought a BBQ chicken burger from the food stall outside, and sat on the terrace steps to start watching Toko Telo‘s performance. There were two musicians playing guitar on her side, and Toko Telo had a tambourine and another instrument that I didn’t know the name. When she was singing, she beat the tambourine and shaked the other instrument to create a sound of rustle. She sang folk music and I could feel some elements of Indian songs. Toko Telo‘s singing was full of rhythm, and to my surprise, her treble was very good. I wrongly thought that her voice was more suitable for low-pitched songs at first. Every time when she finished a song, I couldn’t help but applaud with the crowd.
After a while I went back to KCPA to see other performers. I watched Andy Baylor‘s solo and Bombino‘s performance. The former’s songs were country music and the style was lyrical, while the latter’s songs were more lively and had more national characteristics. Bombino‘s performance caused the audience to cheer and almost became the focus at that moment.
It was a nostalgic departure when I must say goodbye to Opening Night Party. It let me enjoyed the music from different regions and I was very grateful to FAA 110 for offering me such a wonderful experience that I’ve never had before.
An introductory experience to UIUC’s beloved performing arts center via the Ellnora Festival.
Extra Credit by Allison Spillane
I was very excited to be invited by my FAA 110 professors to this event. To get a lay of such a wonderful performance venue brimming with passion is always a fun experience. The turnout for the opening of the Guitar Fest truly shows how many people out there truly support the arts!
September 6th, 2019 – my 18th birthday- I went to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to watch Pat Metheny Side-Eye featuring James Francies and Marcus Gilmore. I have never been very particularly fond of Jazz music. I do have a soft spot for the likes of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong though. On a slow Saturday morning, there is a good chance I am listening to them or Nina Simone whose music has been extremely impactful to my life. Their music has an important place in my heart and in my growth as a musician. On this particular evening, I did not feel any impact, I thought Metheny’s performance was okay. I went in expecting something interesting and new and I left with… well…. a side-eye. I just expected more and wanted more. I feel like all of the songs he played did not leave me satisfied as I feel music is suppose to. The performance was not really a performance and he did not really engage the audience. I was not expecting him to sing or to have rave-like flashing lights. I expected a professional performance and I feel it was more professional than performance.
When I walked into Krannert Center with my friend we were both in shock. The place was full, there was a lot of people of all ages going to see the show, and for some reason to me this scene reminded me a a music festival I used to go when I was in high school. Of course it wasn’t nearly as fancy as this performance but being within a big crowd like that, and seeing people have a good time really reminded me of how happy I was when I went to the festival. This made me really excited for the performance even if I didn’t know who Buddy Guy was in that moment.
My ticket to see the performance.
So right from the start of the show you can tell that it was going to be a very fun experience. The entire time people were swaying to the music, humming, or singing along; and buddy guy kept interacting with the audience. He would tell us stories, he walked out into the crowd and everyone got up and leaned forward to see him, he did call and response, and at one point in the show he turned the lights on and practically involved us in the show. It was truly amazing how this man that didn’t know anything about us, was able to connect with the audience.
Then Buddy Guy made the show very emotional by telling us about his childhood, and how it was very different from us now, and he sang a song that was very moving to me called “Skin Deep”. He had everyone emotionally invested in the show because people where listening to his stories and responding to them. He used his experiences to educate the audience on what it was like to be a blues musician – or any kind of person – during the time of his youth, and it was just amazing how far he has come and how he still manages to be a blues performer at 83. This man is very inspirational and living his best life at 83.
I was truly excited when arriving at Krannert for Buddy Guy’s performance. His name alone carries a lot of weight. My father was particularly excited when I told him about the event, hyping up this show as a rare experience to see a musical legend play live. The entirety of Krannert Center was buzzing as we awaited the main show.
On September 5th, 2019, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts hosted the Opening Night Party, featuring many artists and venues.
As I arrived at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (KCPA), I could already see crowds of people outside. There were so many venues and activities outside. There were artists doing chalk art on the stairs leading to KCPA, venues selling food like hamburgers and desserts, and singers getting ready to perform. Once I entered the building, my eyes were drawn to the changing color lights and rows of venues along the sides. There were temporary tattoos, face painting, food stands, and more! There was just as many people inside as there were outside. I spent most of my time wondering around, looking for artists to watch and listen to.
I particularly enjoyed watching Andy Baylor and Toko Telo. Andy Baylor sang his own unique country-style cover of the National Anthem while playing his guitar. Toko Telo, a Madagascar-based group, performed several folk compositions outside of KCPA. Both had very contrasting styles. Baylor’s singing was very melodic and smooth, while Toko Telo had more distinct beats.
I thought the KCPA Opening Night Party was a great way to discover and listen to new talented singers, meet knew people, and enjoy ourselves throughout the night. What I enjoyed the ambient atmosphere created by the changing-color lights, and music performed by Andy Baylor and Toko Telo.
Have you ever been to a show and felt anonymous in the crowd? Well, that’s how it began on September 7th. The lights in Tryon Festival Theater were focused on the stage as we awaited the performer of the night: Buddy Guy. I had never heard of him prior to this show and I did not know what to expect.
Buddy Guy performs live at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the Tryon Festival Theatre (located inside the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) on September 7th, 2019.
For the first event of the semester, I had the chance to see Buddy Guy perform live. When I arrived at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts lobby, I saw numerous people waiting outside. As I entered the theatre, I saw more and more people pouring in to get seated. I sat on the balcony, which provided a nice view of the entire stage, Buddy Guy, and the background musicians.
My first time seeing Buddy Guy was quite an emotional experience. Throughout the concert, I felt a mix of astonishment and joyfulness. One moment that left me amazed was when Buddy Guy used various objects (drumsticks, towel) to play his guitar. Buddy Guy put his guitar on a speaker to let the vibrations create sound. Then, he laid a towel across the fingerboard, and proceeded to use a drumstick to pluck the strings. I have never seen this unique technique before! In addition, I was also amazed by the switch between smooth and up-beat rhythms, and soft and loud singing. This dynamic made each song performed very engaging and interesting to listen to.
Another unforgettable moment that left me astonished was when Buddy Guy interacted with the crowd by walking off stage and into the audience. At first, Buddy Guy was singing at the center of the stage. Then, on the left side of the stage, several backstage crew members exited through the side curtains and lined up next to the stairs that lead offstage. After they turned on their flashlight and shown the light onto the stairs, Buddy Guy proceeded to walk into the audience. As he began walking, people quickly starting standing up, frantically grabbing their phones to film Buddy Guy. The audience on the balcony were all leaning on the edge of their seat, hoping to get a glimpse of Buddy Guy. I, unfortunately, did not get to see Buddy Guy in the audience; however, I did listen to his singing as it grew louder and louder as he got further and further into the crowd.
Overall, I really enjoyed Buddy Guy’s performance at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Though I am not that big of a fan of blues music, I still appreciated each song Buddy Guy performed.
Buddy Guy came to the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, September 7th. As someone who was never a fan of Blues, I had no idea what to expect really. Buddy Guy’s Performance was surprisingly audience oriented and felt somewhat improvised, unlike any other concerts I’ve attended. As someone who has only ever been to larger scale concerts featuring artists such as Shawn Mendes and Maluma, such a performance was both new and refreshing, it had a very unique charm to it.
Outside the Tryon Festival Theatre before the Buddy Guy performance.
Something that definitely stood out to me was the use of lighting throughout the performance. It started out quite normal with the spotlight on the star of the show, Buddy Guy. What really caught me by surprise was when all the lights in the area turned on. The involvement with the audience was incredible, Buddy Guy was constantly asking the audience questions, humoring us with jokes and acts, and even telling us about his own experiences as a Blues artist. He has several parts where we did a sort of call out/response to a few of songs, each time he would urge us to be even louder. I think the highlight was when he made his way through the bottom floor seats while everyone up top instinctively stood up so we wouldn’t miss any of the action.
The packed lobby before some various performances.
Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from this event, as I stated before, I’ve never really had any interest in the Blues genre, and seeing Buddy Guy in concert helped to give me an experience I would have never considered seeing on my own. I definitely enjoyed how interactive this concert was, with how charismatic Buddy Guy was. Overall it was a fun experience, however it didn’t particularly remind me of anything as it was so unique.
I feel as if the stories Buddy Guy told us could be analyzed as to get a better view on the life of a talented Blues musician. His interesting life experiences collaborating with other industry professionals are one of a kind, you wouldn’t be able to hear them from anyone other than Buddy Guy himself.
Opening night party at Krannert Center in 2019 with Toko Telo, Bombine, and Samantha Fish with Luther Dickinson.
Wai Chuen Chan 9/12/2019
The Krannert Center’s 2019-20 Opening Night Party with the return of ELLNORA|The Guitar Festival held on Thursday, September 05. Exceptional musicians of Toko Telo, Andy Baylor, Bombino, Reverend Robert, and Samantha Fish with Luther Dickinson united as one to bring joy to all the music lovers. Plentiful food and drink from Siam Terrace, Jet’s Pizza, Wood N’ Hog, Rick’s Bakery, and Caribbean Grill to ease your hunger.
Krannert Center 50: ELLNORA – The Guitar Festival at the Tyron Festival Theatre
Written by Zhengqi Xu
The Buddy Guy is the second performance I ever watched at the Krannert Center. Usually I’m not quite interested in seeing any performances, but Buddy Guy was probably the one that drove me to get started.
There seemed like hundreds of people in the Krannert Center when I walked in, and as a student who had only been to the building once, I felt really shocked by the comparison with my former experience. Before Buddy Guy, I came to Krannert Center once in the last semester to watch a drama where there were only a few people and the whole lobby was quite like a classroom. Anyway, I was not even sure I came to the right place when I walked into the Krannert Center again last Saturday. The I learned that the building was celebrating its 50 years so several events were hosted during the weekend. Buddy Guy was actually one of the performances included in The Ellnora Guitar Festival, an event featuring all kinds of guitar performances. Seeing all the crowds gathering inside the lobby, I suddenly became much more interested in the show I did not even pay attention when I heard the name of it.
I thought every theatre in the Krannert Center were exactly the same until I officially entered the Tyron Festival Theatre, where there were two floors and the stage was much smaller than the one I went for a drama. To be honest, it was hard for me to see the face of any performers on the stage from the place I sat, so I was concerned that the show wouldn’t reach the effect it was supposed to. However, things just turned out completely different when the music started. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of Blues, but I must admit I began to enjoy the show from the beginning. The music was beautiful and I was pleased by the melody instead of all the talking by other people. Not only the performers played the music perfectly, but they also brought up something beyond my imagination of music performance. I was surprised when Buddy Guy was spinning his guitar, playing the guitar with a towel, and trying to make us think the facility was broken. All those factors Buddy Guy put into the show transformed the Blues performance in my experience from traditional to recreational, which had opened my mind that night with the guitar performance.
The whole show was excellent towards the end, and I can’t help but enjoyed it that night. Just before the ending when I thought the music’s trend was getting peaceful, Buddy Guy brought another climax for us by walking off the stage and interacting directly with the audience. It was so sad to sit on the second floor because I was totally unable to see him interacting with the audience, but I felt that he surrounded the whole theatre on the first floor and walked back to the stage. Though I did not see him do that, but I did saw that the audience on the front was filming during the performance and their phones were pointing alongside Buddy Guy. I had a wonderful evening that day, and it could be the experience that would always stay in my memory of college life.
After all, I really appreciate that the FAA 110 could give me a chance to get in touch with such a beautiful field which I have little experience with, and I really look forward to learning more about art.
Urbana-Champaign gets a taste of the legendary blues icon
Written by Edward Huang
On September 7th, fans of old and new gathered at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to watch Buddy Guy perform. Their energy filled the concert venue long before he appeared on stage. Whether they were addicted to his vibe or simply respecting his art, the fans could not wait for him arrive.
Pat Metheny left the crowd in the Tyron Festival Theater Room in awe during and after his performance on September 6th, 2019.
Written by Catherine Webber
As a part of the 2019 Ellnora Guitar Festival at the Krannert Center, Pat Metheny performed on Friday, September 6th to a crowd who left feeling amazed by Metheny’s talent. Metheny was joined on stage by a pianist and drummer who added to the electricity of the concert. The other musicians were much younger than the sixty-five-year-old Metheny and Metheny commented at the start of the concert that their age made them make and understand music differently than he did which he appreciated so much. It was a concert that people will not likely forget anytime soon.
This semester has been very fun and intriguing. It was a pleasure to be apart of the Krannert center atmosphere over the last few months. When I first signed up for this class, I knew we were going to spend a lot of time at Krannert, but I didn’t know that I would be experiencing performances that were once in a lifetime.
FAA 110 has led me to some great performances. I was able to broaden my knowledge as well as my creativity in only one semester. I was given opportunities that aren’t easy to find on this campus. Every trip to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts was FREE, as well as entertaining. You can’t get that just anywhere. This class gave me the opportunity to see such a wide range of performances as well as artists. Everything that I experienced this semester will be remembered far beyond college. I may not have loved every single thing that we went to see; however, everything was a new and different experience that I will remember.
Overall, this semester has been pretty amazing. I loved being able to attend these events and experience some new things on campus. This was definitely a wind down type of class where you could just enjoy being in the space. I’ll miss FAA 110 and everyone in it.
Exploring Arts and Creativity has really lived up to its name. Through this class I have learned about many forms of art that I never would have even given a second thought to. There were some familiar art forms for me, such as plays and symphonies, that I’ve enjoyed on my own in the past. Others, such as dance and opera, are ones that I haven’t been exposed to as much, if at all. This class allowed me to see all art, from most familiar to things I never would have imagined existing. Below, I reflect upon each of the explorations I’ve gone through this semester.
Going into this class I did not really know what to expect, but I needed to meet my requirements for school, so I took it. Being a freshman I had never been to the Krannert Center or any events like the ones I attended. I did not expect to be so interested in this class. My eyes were opened to ways of life I had never thought about. Seeing the performances opened my eyes to everything that goes on behind a performance.
Although I was already very interested in Music I never expected to be interested in music in these forms. I was introduced to so many things and different medias of art I never put much thought in to. This class helped me expand my knowledge and learn new things which is something I love and have a high appreaciation for.
As an advertising creative, I was very excited to take FAA 110 and see how Krannert uses their artistic creativity in a multitude of ways. I was not disappointed.
By: Daniel Corry
This course was certainly a bright point of my week. The class itself was always very stress-free and made learning fun rather than a chore, and the shows were a perfect way to unwind for a couple of hours in between other stressful events. This is certainly a class I would recommend to literally any student, regardless of their interests or majors. This class had something for everyone.
I was also pleasantly surprised at the many times I would enter a show with a preconceived notion (sometimes negative) and emerge completely surprised or with a new mindset of that art form. Below I will talk briefly on the shows I saw this semester, as well as link the full write ups on each.
The order of my favorite shows!
Now okay, although my first show was not one I saw at Krannert, I was very lucky to have the opportunity to see TBOM in Nashville, and a smile never left my face from start to finish. It was a real treat! http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=13634
I was really blown away by this show. The integration of classical music and dance was extremely enjoyable, and the bits of humor slipped in throughout made the show an absolute blast to watch. The time really flew by during this show. http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=13681
This show was a perfect blend of feminism, history, science, and humor all rolled up into a performance like no other. I really enjoyed being an audience member for this show, and although some of the themes were very science-y or history-y at times, I never once felt lost or bored. It was really a great modern show for the year of 2019. http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=14140
As someone who has never claimed to like classical music, I was very surprised to have enjoyed every minute I heard this orchestra play. I cannot explain why, or what it was that made me enjoy it, other than I truly felt like I was in the presence of a very talented and driven group of musicians. http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=13859
I think I simply enjoyed this event so much because, as I say in my longer write up, you could really feel the love for the arts coming from all over the building that night. Everyone who was there, was there for their love of not only Krannert, but more importantly, the arts. http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=13865
At this show I really enjoyed listening to the quartet, but was rather confused with the dancing that Tai Ji contributed. It seemed sort of disjointed from the music, and did not really elevate the music or experience at all for me. It was still a unique addition though!
This was another example of something I personally did not love, but I am glad I saw anyway. Opera has never been a type of art I have understood or really cared for, and I will admit that it was very nice to see people be passionate about it in a Midwestern school in 2019. However, I was just not as blown away by it as I was by the other performances. http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=13138
Sadly, this was my least favorite show. It just didn’t seem as polished and as well put together as I had expected. Dance numbers fell flat, the story seemed rushed, and the acting seemed underwhelming. However, there were one or two characters that still lit up the room when they sang or spoke and made the show a pleasant experience. http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=14168
Overall, I had an absolute blast getting to grow my knowledge of theater, and experience so many different ways that the arts uses their creativity. I am very thankful for the opportunity to take this class and will not forget the fun times I had at many of these shows.
I’m thankful for this opportunity to share my words. This space is something that I’ve become drawn to. I’m enticed by the artistry and liberty to express my opinions. A place where I’m communicating with you – and you are just interested enough to continue reading. This will delve deeper than it needs to, but still, thank you for being here. I hope you hear my poetry.
I took FAA 110 because a friend told me it was a good class. It is my last semester at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, so I wanted to try something different. this class opened my eyes to different genres of music. I have never been into classical music unless it was to go to sleep. Most of the performance was interesting and some not so much. I did not make it to all the required performance however I made them up with different ones. Over the course of the semester, I made a blog post after each performace.
Here is a list of my favorite performances from best to worst.
“Crazy for you” was a show that never slowed down as soon as it began, and not in a great way.
By: Daniel Corry
I have to be honest, “Crazy for you” was a bit of a disappointing show in my opinion. The story just seemed really dated, sexist, and quickly written. For starters, the “woman needing a man to rescue her” trope was painfully obvious here with the female lead singing the song titled, “Someone to watch over me”, which received a painful eye roll.
The story also just moved along at a crazy pace! First Polly does not need a man, then she falls in love with literally the first one who talks to her within an hour, then she gets mad at him and leaves him without even listening to him. The “villain” of this story only hates the main character because…they like the same woman? And then after awhile just kind of forgets that he loves her at all? And the “Ziegler” character, who hated our main character, and then is completely cool with that same character impersonating him in a small town for weeks, and then offers to completely fund the towns show on his own? The whole story just seemed very rushed and inconsistent.
And sadly, it wasn’t just the story that seemed underdone. The production seemed off as well. There were characters with speaking parts who simply weren’t mic’d up, the tap dancing sections sounded muffled, some of the actors would get so focused on dancing they would completely forget to smile and look in pain on stage, it was honestly a shame to see!
It wasn’t all bad however, the female lead truly did have a great voice and it was fun to watch her shine onstage. Similarly, there was one side character, “Moose” who really acted very well and put a lot of character into his role. You really heard the audience come to life whenever he was on the stage. And the pit orchestra really did outstanding as well.
While sadly, this was probably one of the highest budget shows I saw for this class, it also seemed one of the least produced, and I suppose it just goes to show that money does not specifically mean a show will do well.
A reflection on having spent a semester engaging in the arts and creativity
By: Aditya Kashyap
Throughout the semester, I have had the unique opportunity to be a part of some once-in-a-lifetime performances. As much as I love the arts, I still struggle to make time to see performances even though I participate in creative work. This class allowed me to try new things and step out of my comfort zone, and for that I am very thankful. Here are links to my experiences in this class and my thoughts on each of them.
Looking back, this semester has been a terrific whirlwind. Coming into the semester, I knew I was taking an easier load, and I wanted my final semester to be filled with things that I enjoyed. I had taken this class back in sophomore year and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so, that I was fixed on taking this class again.
The variation in performance and the expounded exposure left me convinced of the potential in the instrumentalists in this genre. There was growth in each combos presentation. Growth that I could see at both the individual and collective level.
It is that time of the semester where everything is coming to its end, and as a senior in her last semester, it is truly ending.
Reflecting back on the semester, this class was a breath of fresh air and I am glad to have taken my friend’s recommendation to take this course. I had never before had taken advantage of the Krannert Center on campus, and I am incredibly pleased that I did so before graduating.
“Because I am your Queen” was a wonderful show that offered an in depth look of feminists throughout history.
By: Daniel Corry
“Because I am your Queen” was a really fun show about famous women in power such as Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare’s Hermione, and Medea all together at a secret interstellar day spa. The spa is run by scientists who figured out how to get all these women in the same place through time. They develop a plan to change history by making each female lead more confident, but will only work if each woman learns and changes something about themselves before they leave the spa.
I know, the premise is a little out there, but honestly I really enjoyed that aspect of it. This is not some silly spin on an old story, or some throwaway plot devise, this is a completely original idea with a feminist educational aspect thrown in as well.
As a man, I obviously haven’t grown up surrounded by stories of how women are written off or looked down on, and the way this show educated it’s audience while also driving a unique plot and using multiple real women in history was just a very fun ride for me. The story was funny, sometimes self aware of it’s own zany-ness, and did a good job of speaking of topics such as space, time travel, the patriarchy, and ancient history without getting the audience lost or bored and I really counted that as a job well done!
This show was really a blast to see and I was very proud of the entire cast and crew that put it together!
The Wilson Poffenberger event at Krannert was very fun. I think it is fun to be able to celebrate and be a part of The Krannert Center being around for 50 years. The people putting on the show were so interested and engaged which is nice to see people enjoying something on our campus. The atmosphere was so friendly and personal for this show. The classical pieces were amazing and the piano and saxophone went together so much better than I ever imagined.
This was my favorite show so far. I used to build sets for plays in high school so I always think it is interesting to see how directors make the set and how they interpret it. I thought the set for this show and how the cast interacted with it was so cool, one of my favorite sets I have ever seen. I like to pay attention to how the lighting is put into the play too and I really liked how it was.
I am also a very emotional person and I was so emotional during this play. the actors were so good I felt so into the play and into the story, I loved it. All of the actors played their characters so well I was so impressed. I am a person with a very short attention span, I do not even enjoy sitting through movies in movie theaters, but this play kept me engaged and interested. The actors played their roles so well.
I think an actor playing someone who is disabled but is not disabled is something that is very controversial right now. The actor has to play this role very well and be educated about the role they are performing. After discussing it in class I learned they did their research to make this role happen and that makes me very happy.
This event was by far the best event. I think what I liked the most was being able to either get up and dance or just sit and relax and watch everything around me. It was a very free event where anybody could participate and have fun with their friends. I really enjoyed just sitting down and watching everything. The music was also nice and it surprisingly didn’t feel long and drawn out. This was the perfect event to end the semester with.
In retrospect, I believe that last night’s event was my
favorite one of the entire semester. It
felt nice to be so close to what was happening. Also, this was not a structured
event, it was more of an impromptu performance.
All of the people dancing and mingling with each other created a
positive energy in the space that spread to everyone attending, whether it be
other dancers or the people watching, like myself. There were people of all
ages, races, nationalities and cultures. Everyone was just there to enjoy
themselves and have a good time. Some people came alone and others in groups,
but everyone was quickly swallowed by the dance floor and welcomed by all. Even
if you were not dancing, it still felt like you were involved simply by
watching. I think that this was a great choice of a final performance for the
Friday night was just a fantastic way to end the semester for the class! I actually arrived before the event, Latin Dace Night, started and was not very sure of what to expect. Though it said “dance the night away” in the description, I somehow still expected some sort of dance performance to happen. It did not help that the layout of the chairs was circling the dance floor too.
Once I entered into Krannert, there was loud music, chairs, and colorful lights near stage 5. People in attendance were not here to see a play, or opera, nor orchestra. This was a night of fun, and lots of people danced all night long together.
What a great way to end the semester with a night full of dancing. Latin Dance Night, co-sponsored by the UIUC’s La Casa Cultural Latina, took place in the Krannert Center lobby. There was a large open dance floor surrounded by tables and chairs for people to sit, drink, and watch.
Today’s performance was another example of how being in FAA
110 has expanded my mind creatively. This show was not something that I would
have attended on my own. Everything centered around one musician playing a
small array of instruments. I think it was different from what I am used to
listening to seeing that I do not usually listen to instrumentation on its own.
I think my favorite part was the ending of the first half. He played very short
and very different pieces for the audience. All of them were different in some
way, whether it be speed, loudness or the overall feeling it evoked in the
audience. While I do not think seeing this performance has influenced me to go
and expand my music catalog to include more instrumental music, I did fairly
enjoy it. The new artist featured was
also the same person who played for the last performance I attended. The two
music styles featured were very different.
This performance was way more simple than the other performances we’ve been to. However, it was pretty relaxing because it was just the one artist and then the piano playing. The setup was different because it was a group of people sitting on stage surrounding the smaller stage where the artist was performing. It was also interesting because everyone else had to sit on the balcony, so when you looked down there was no one in the seats below. The music wasn’t extraordinary, but it was nice. I fell like I’ve seen him in the last performance I went to, which is cool (above is a photo of him from the other performance). Overall it was different and refreshing.
This week we went to Krannert Center for Come Home to Krannert Center 50th Anniversary weekend. This is a small-size debut artist performance event for people supporting Krannert Center in the past 50 years.
Saxophonist Wilson Poffenberger’s Krannert Debut, along with Pianist Casey Gene Dierlam
Written by: Leah Siegel
This week we had the privilege of attending an event honoring Krannert’s 50th birthday. This was a special performance because it was Wilson Poffenberger’s, a Doctor of Musical Arts student at the University of Illinois, debut.
The 50th Anniversary Krannert Center Performing Arts Celebration was done with tranquil and serene music. This event was led by Wilson Poffenberger, a student from the school of music who was selected based on his skills during recital auditions. I don’t think I have ever seen a performance where at the center of it was a saxophone player.
On Sunday, Krannert Performing Art Center had an event as part of their 50th-Anniversary Celebration. This event debuted a student from the school of Music student, Wilson Poffenberger. He was selected for this recital performance through an audition. All the pieces were accompanied by pianist Casey Gene Dierlam.
Today’s performance was very soothing and peaceful. It was a good way to celebrate Krannert’s 50th anniversary. It was amazing to see and listen to the piano and saxophonist play together. The dynamics and pace of the songs were composed with great difficulty, but the preparedness of these performers made it seem extremely easy.
The dancers rearranging the space with objects added a whole new dimension to the piece. It brought it up a level from just song and dance and I thought that was an interesting way to draw the audience in and keep them in.
The expectations for the dance were so different from what we got. Even down the outfits it was different. They took something that is considered “boring” and put a non-normative twist on it that made me think back to our conversation in class about our interpretation of music and keeping classical music alive. This performance showed that not everything has to stay the same and proved that changing things up is beneficial and interesting. Keeping things modern can keep classical music alive.
The props were so interesting to me. I felt like they were symbolic but I am not very creative so I spent a lot of time trying to come up with ideas for what they could mean. A color palette is always something I pay attention to because I know it is always symbolic or purposeful and it takes a lot of time to create which many people do not think about. I thought the color palette was so captivating because the musicians wore such neutral colors while the dancers wore bright colors and I think that was also a reflection of their performances. The color palette was very clean and thorough and was pointed out many times during the show.
I loved when the musicians put down their instruments and danced. I thought it was so cool that they were included in the performance. I feel like typically playing and instrument you avoid dancing like that so I was surprised but impressed. I also thought it was nice of the choreographer to include them because I feel like it gives insight to the relationship between the choreographer, dancers, and musicians.
I feel like the performance was very playful and a little comical. The dancers really took their dancing to a new level with the acting they did. The audience was laughing so many times throughout the show and this was intentional. The choreographer made it playful by keeping the audience engaged and making sure they were laughing during.
Going to the 50th Anniversary of the Krannert Center was a truly special night. I went with a friend of mine who is pursuing an acting degree as well, so getting inside scoops along the way was a fun addition. The thing I personally took the most interest in was this post it note wall. To celebrate 50 years of the Krannert center, there was a wall covered in sticky notes full of stories that have happened within the beautiful building we call a home away from home: funny moments, memories of opening nights, first dates! My friend had the honor of writing “first graduate of the new BMA lyric theatre degree” and it was an awesome moment for her, and a cool opportunity for me to be a part of.
On a broader scale however, I really enjoyed watching all of the donors, alumni and current students come together in a shared passion for the arts, and that really came through in this presentation. I think I would have lost some of that if I cam alone rather than with my friend, but regardless, the night was a beautiful ode to arts and creativity, and the passion was palpable throughout the walls that night.
The tall ceilings of the Beckman atrium made sure there was room to spare in the lively performance space make-shifted for Jupiter String Quartet. The echos that reached the sixth floor muffled the voices of the introduction, but the touch of the strings still fulfilled the message quite completely.
“Compared with the gigantic aims of science, [our] own contribution, no matter how important, is only a drop in the ocean of truth.” This quote by Louis de Broglie was shown on one of the many bright images displayed during Quantum Rhapsodies, an event that aimed to explore the role of Quantum Physics in our universe.
This weekend was Mom’s weekend at school and what better way to spend time with my lovely mom than to go see a play. We decided to go see Because I Am Your Queen at the Studio Theatre at Krannert by Mina Samuels and directed by Barbara Pitts McAdams.
This week we saw Andersson dance which is an alternating constellation of artists and was founded in 1996. Andersson Dance combined live performance with dancing, with rearranging stage spaces and movements of composers and dancers, which in my opinion, is an interesting way to performance arts.
On April 4, 2019, I went to the Boneyard Arts Festival;
Colab Dance, Music and Costume Performance at the Krannert Museum for the
Performing Arts. If I had to describe the
whole performance in one word, I think I would choose to say that it was
peculiar. Everything from the location to the attire to the actual performance.
The complicated construction and thrill of a new experience charmed my Tuesday evening in front of Anderrsson Dance and Scottish Ensemble. I believe the relativity to Spring beginnings and open ventures is what elevated the performance to another level. Orjan Andersson was walking towards the stage as I was leaving and I am glad to have sputtered at least a few words of commendation.
Dance and music combined into what can only be classified as… an experience.
By Nathan Durkin
This past Tuesday, I went to see Anderrson Dance and the Scottish Ensemble perform Goldberg Variations: Ternary Patterns for Insomnia. Before coming to the show, I had seen a preview of it, and thought it seemed quite strange. Nothing short of actually experiencing this performance, however, could possibly prepare someone for what I witnessed that night.
In a change of events, I got to go see a musical performance off campus.
My boyfriend surprised me with concert tickets to go see Mitski. Mitski is a Japanese-American singer song writer. She came to the Old National Centre in Indianapolis, Indiana for the tour of her most recent album, Be the Cowboy.
As someone who has no background or prior passion for contemporary dance, or classical music, I was ready for a two hour snooze-fest. What I got instead, was something pleasantly surprising.
As shown above, the actors were still arranging the set as people were walking in. This was not unsettling per say, but it did cause me to wonder whether this was for some dramatic effect, or if they really were not ready until the exact moment they began performing. It seemed to be intentional because one dancer would move something, walk away, then another dance would move the same object somewhere else. As the show went on however, and the set continued to move, it made the scene come alive and I enjoyed that very much.
As I said in my beginning, I certainly expected something much different, and much more boring than what I actually ended up seeing. The energy from both the musicians and the dancers was a breath of fresh air, and the comedy in the choreography made the whole experience a blast to watch. Even the inclusion of the musicians in the dance once or twice was an experience where I could see the performers having genuine fun, which caused me to have fun as well.
To be quite honest, the color palette of the show did not add much to the story for me, but the liveliness of the set design really held my attention throughout the story.
As I already said, I also really appreciated the inclusion of the musicians in the dancing as well. You could feel that they felt out of their comfort zone, and embraced it, and that really left a smile on my face. To me, this mostly encompassed how this play and choreography was playful.
Throw all your previous notions of broadway out the window before watching this amazingly unique musical written by the creators of Southpark.
By: Daniel Corry
First of all, let me give you all a tip when buying broadway tickets, that I just learned this week. If you are willing to risk some slight disappointment, and live relatively close to a theater, DO NOT buy your tickets ahead of time. Those tickets end up cost twice or three times the price. Go about an hour before the show, and ask for “Rush Tickets”. These are the tickets that have yet tp be sold, that the theater practically gives away, just to fill seats. We paid only $40 each to see this show, with seats that we were very pleased with! Now, onto the show!
I must admit, I had some previous knowledge about the show, so I thought I knew what to expect, and I still ended up being wrong. As I said, the subject matter is all about the Mormon faith, and it is written by the two men (who happen to be atheist) who wrote the very raunchy “Southpark” show. So let me be clear, if you have a lighter sense of humor or are easily offended, I would NOT recommend this show, regardless of your religion. It’s humor is very dark and crude and makes light of some third world country problems that certainly are not for everyone.
That being said, this show really was fantastic. The choreography was CLEAN and very well rehearsed. The characters were very fun and each so different that I was invested in all of them. The story was fun, and as someone who knew little about the Mormon faith, was appreciative at the (semi) educational aspect of their beliefs.
The music was also outstanding, with many of the songs getting stuck in my head even a few weeks later. “Hello”, “You and Me”, “Turn It Off” and “I Believe” were all songs that painted a smile on my face from start to0 finish, and had some theatrical surprises that made me “Ooh” and “Ahh” like I was watching fireworks. I was really pleasantly surprised at the musical talent in this show.
Overall, for the price we paid, the seats we got, and the audience I went with (my Mother), I had an unforgettable night of outstanding music, hilarious (while crude) humor, and just unbridled fun for a few hours. If you can stomach it, or just know that your humor (and morals) will be slightly challenged, I highly suggest that you go!
A night with fun, chaos, and depth that redefines dancing.
Coming into the performance hall Tuesday night was exciting and tame. I personally came into the performance with not many expectations. I expected some interpretive dancing and tame classical music from Andersson Dance and Scottish Ensemble. I was pleasantly surpised and had an amazing time watching the show.
Who would have thought that watching a dance show could bring out so much laughs! The show encompasses of Andersson Dance and the Scottish Ensemble. The layout of the show is something that I have not seen before. Similarly to the first performance we saw, which was the Jupiter Spring Quartet, it was a combination of elements that are not usually strung together. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this performance as opposed to the Spring Quartet which was more on the grey area.
As I watched the dancers and violinist perform on stage of the Colwell Playhouse, all I could think was, “What is going on?” However, not in a negative tone but out of curiosity. I was intrigued at how unorthodox this performance was. It was certainly something I have never seen before, and I gladly admit that I enjoyed it.
Stories usually have beginnings and endings; and the perspectives of those stories are called narratives. It’s often easier to swallow what is given then question, which is perhaps why, we accept stories of the past with powerful female protagonist, written by male authors, ending in somewhat a tragedy. Therefore, I appreciate what Because I am Your Queen is trying to present to the audience, especially in this time where there is a rise in female representation and reshaping narratives.
If we had not had the talk on Monday I do not think these pieces would have impacted me. After having that talk it forced me to think about what this music meant to people who are not me. Although I was not specifically interested in classical music I realized there are people who are. While listening to each piece something that resonated with me was the performers love for the music and keeping it alive and the hard work they put into it.
My favorite piece was the first piece because I enjoyed the fast pace of the piece. I also thought it was interesting hearing pieces that I recognized in the performance.
Visually I was very interested in the violinist Alexander Kerr. We had learned about him in class and he was a guest, so I thought it was really interesting to see him spotlighted. Something else that was very visually noticeable was the energy put into each piece. The performers put so much energy into their music. It really makes you consider how much time and effort is put into their performances to coordinate with each other and perfect each one.
This past Wednesday, we went to see the San Francisco orchestra. My favorite part of the performance was the ending. I liked when everyone began to get louder and sped up their performance. It had an exciting energy and seemed liked something I would hear in an action movie or a thriller.
I really enjoyed all three pieces. My favorite part was when the violins took over the pieces. I really like the sound of the violins over the other instruments, but I think when everything came together it sounded beautiful. The music didn’t seem sad or anything, I got a Disney princess feel from most of the music. It made me flash back to when I was a kid.
My favorite part of the concert was the solo violin. It literally brought something special to the concert. His sounds conflicting with the symphony as a whole, made for a great sound. I really loved when he did the high notes because they really caught my ear. Sometimes, all of the songs sounded the same, but when he came into play with the solo it really brought a whole different perspective. I also really loves when the music was upbeat (allegro) and exciting.
Throughout the concert, I really noticed when the violinists would flip the pages to keep up with the music. It was noticeable because they did it in unison. I also noticed when the other instruments left the stage because it just seemed bare without everyone up there. I think it was more visually pleasing when everyone was up on the stage.
Overall, the San Francisco Symphony was pretty good. However, I’m still not a huge fan of symphonies.
This past Wednesday, I went to see San Fransisco Symphony perform at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. I was excited about this performance – I am personally drawn to that style of orchestral, symphonic music. There’s just so much going on at once, and it all culminates into something truly wonderful. Standing there after the show, applauding with the audience for minutes on end, it certainly did not disappoint.
A beautiful performance by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.
Written by: Leah Siegel
After a week off, I am back and refreshed and ready to finish the semester strong! This week our class went to The Krannert Center of Performing Arts to see the famous Michael Tilson Thomas and The San Francisco Symphony, and special guest, Alexander Kerr.
It is truly entertaining to spend an hour (or two) watching someone who is a master of their craft.
By: Daniel Corry
I must be completely transparent and admit I usually dislike going to symphonies. As a child who grew up on Disney movies and video games, I have been spoiled with fantastical visuals when I hear beautiful music. So to be robbed of those completely when at the symphony simply feels like a lack luster experience to me. I always feel lost, and end up trying to imagine what the music is “supposed” to be about, and then simply get bored or frustrated because I feel wrong.
However, I really appreciated the little stories Michael gave before his pieces. The story of the woman who passed away, and was made a medley of her favorite classical pieces, along with the story that they only played the notes that were letters in her name (If I heard that correctly), was a nice place to frame my mind for listening. I thought much less about the music, and about the woman. I imagined her spirit being in Krannert with us, being overjoyed that people were enjoying the tune that was written just for her. That song specifically was a very memorable moment for me.
Lastly, I shocked myself at being able to actually enjoy the song that lasted about 45 minutes! As one with a wild imagination, I find it hard to do most things for 45 minutes, let alone sitting still and listening to classical music, but; for reasons unknown to me, I rather enjoyed all of it, and I truly think it had to do with the passion that radiated from Michael’s conducting.
Tonight’s performance at the Foellinger Great Hall was a musical extravaganza. The San Francisco Symphony was an orchestra that filled up the entire stage inside of Foellinger with wonderful instruments. Such as violinist, bassist, percussionist, and many more.
Last week, I went to see Dorrance Dance, a tap dance troupe. I myself have very little experience with tap dance, so I was naturally curious about it. I watched a few videos about tap dance, one specifically about Dorrance Dance, but I don’t think any videos could have prepared me for what I saw on that stage that night.
This show was by far my favorite show of the semester. Every part was more interesting than the last. The dancers’ selection of choreography paired with their choice of music made sense in every way. In some points it seemed as if the steps were following the music although the music never overpowered the sound of tapping. In other parts, the tap dancers clearly shined on their own with the music as a background element.
The first professional tap dance show I have ever seen turned out to be completely different than I had expected.
For my third show at Krannert, I got to see Dorrance Dance perform 3 different pieces. I won’t lie, after the first performance I did not think the rest of the show would be very great. As a dancer myself, I find that I am usually very in tune with what the artist is trying to convey to their audience.
This past Thursday night was filled with taps and thoughtfulness that clenched the attention of the widely receptive audience. The three performances gave each member of the audience a complete understanding of what the company does. The tribute to its ties with American history, expressionism for those most deserving, and newfound positioning in performative arts.
The Dorrance dance on Thursday was fantastic, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. My favourite piece of the three, was the Three to One. It was very dramatic and magnetic. I loved the three dancers as they tapped away on stage, moving effortlessly. Although, the two other dancers were not wearing their shoes, I felt it magnified the performance even more. It was empowering to see the piece somehow, maybe partly due to the energy of every move and remained on edge as I wanted to dance along to it too. I did not feel bad about swaying in my seat though, since we were told we could in the beginning of the performance.
Feel free to clap, tap, dance, and exclaim during the show – remember ladies and gentlemen, this is not the ballet.
On Thursday night, March 14, Dorrance Dance was the at the KPAC performing their repertoires Jungle Blues, Three to One, and Myelination. At the beginning of the show, the audience was told that it was acceptable to show their enjoyment throughout the show. The key way they were told this was said as “this is not the ballet“. Creating an emphasis between this being a presentation of fold art versus fine art.
This week we went and saw Dorrance Dance, an award winning tap dance company based out of New York City. Dorrance Dance was founded in 2011 by Michelle Dorrance, “one of the most imaginative tap choreographers working today” (The New Yorker). She has been in STOMP, Derick Grant’s Imagine Tap, and Jason Samuels Smith’s Charlie’s Angels/Chasing the Bird. They performed three pieces: Jungle Blues, Three to One, and Myelination.
The art of storytelling through the art of tap dancing
By: Jeffery Berry
The Dorrance Dance was a very intriguing and wonderful performance. These dancers did more than simply tap their feet to music. The dancers of this event put an amazing show which was vividly expressed through the loud applause from the audience. This was one of the best and most grooviest tap dance performances to be shown at KCPA.
My evening began with a haste to the theatre. The for-shadowing of this play by its director, Latrelle Bright, instilled my own curiosity in its ever-present themes of motion and space. Space being interpreted as both the outer universe and the creativity in placement of props and people on stage. The movement was lively. The unorthodox nature of the corps presence on stage continued to expand upon the totality of what can be interpreted from this performance. Thankfully, I was greeted at the door by Dr. Collins with the spare tickets in hand.
The title of the play was my first signal of just how different this performance would be. The elongated name and thoughtful preface led me to believe the story would follow a strict mystery plot. I was happily surprised by a novel perspective on the coming of age tale of a young boy triumph over autism. Not only was the storyline engaging, the craft of the set design and movement also brought the audience that much closer to the main character, Christopher. The attention to detail in the integrated communications of all design aspects was evident in how closely each aspect of the play followed the themes of Christopher’s mind. An example of this was evident in the geometric shapes that were used to showcase and populate the stage. The lights were also an example of the transport the audience went through when Christopher spoke about his love for space. The stage was filled with stars and color to accommodate Christopher’s meticulous imagination. These details allowed for the complete immersion into the mind of Christopher. These connection engulfed the audience in the internal battle and aspirations of the protagonist.
My familiarity with this disorder gave me an even better understanding of the livelihood of Christopher and his parents. The portrayal of Christopher’s struggles paralleled the experiences that close family friends of mine have also faced. The message of endless opportunity for people of the spectrum was prominent, but there were also mirror images in the way a person could relate to the emotions that a person with ASD has. Christopher’s father reactions often embodied the clutch to bad habits and bursts of rage. I believe this allowed the audience to relate more closely with Christopher and develop a deeper understanding of his condition.
The entire production invoked an emotional adventure to me and to many of its audience members. The thoughtfulness in direction was evident and innovative. I believe this performance has a consistent ability to impact its audience. The creative decisions facilitated a captivating experience that I believe will always resonate with audience members.
A play entitled The Curious Incident of The Dog In the Night-time
On Thursday night, the class was given the opportunity to be audience to the first play in the syllabus. What a delightfully engaging play it was, and directed by our very own professor, Dr. Latrelle Bright. Due to the hectic day I had earlier in the day, I was sure that I would end up being asleep for part of the play due to exhaustion. On the contrary, I was so engaged during the performance, where I smiled, laughed, worried and cried with the audience.
This week we had the pleasure of seeing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a play based on Mark Haddon’s prizewinning novel, by Simon Stephens and directed by one of our amazing professors Dr. Latrelle Bright!
This Thursday, I went to see Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, adapted into a play, and directed by Dr. Latrelle Bright. I didn’t know anything about the story beforehand. I tried to keep it that way so that I could get the full experience of the story Dr. Bright wanted to get across with as little interference as possible. One idea that I had going into the show, however, was the idea of what it means to be the audience of a play. While many shows have slight differences in what the audience is supposed to do, they always have a similar sort of feel to them, and at this point, I feel like I know what it feels like to be an audience member. I thought I knew, anyway. And then I saw this show, and all of my ideas about what being in the audience feels like got turned on their head.
A play about a teenage boy who is faced with many mysteries to solve.
For this weeks show, our FAA class went to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time directed by our very own instructor, Latrelle Bright! This amazing play is about Christopher, a teenage boy who falls on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, and is faced with a mystery to solve: who murdered his neighbor’s dog?
A rich story that memorizes you visually and through your other senses.
I did not have a background of the play due to having to miss class on Monday. So, I came into this blind and excited. I have always enjoyed plays and musicals as I used to be part of stage-crew in high school. Once I was at the show I saw that the program said there was a sensory-friendly performance (amazing idea) and that the main character, Christopher, has Aspergers Syndrome. This completely excited me for the show I was about to see.
The creative play on a young man’s eventful life and how he molds his perspective about who he is and what he can do.
This play was more than a play. It was an experience. It drags you into the life of an unordinary 15 year old young man from Europe. He is extremely smart, yet, others he encounter in the play would probably say too smart for his own good. However, through his expanding curiosity, the play allows you to be a part of his mind as he goes on a journey to answer his many questions about why life is the way it is.
Krannert Center celebrates percussion at Day of the Drum
By: Aditya Kashyap
This Saturday, I went to Krannert Center’s Day of the Drum and saw the UI Steel band perform. Hearing music from around the world was very enjoyable, and I had a great time listening to their music. They followed styles of calypso, soca, cha cha, and more. Other percussion groups played throughout the course of the day. The steel band had full group songs as well as a solo steel pan feature from Josh Quillen.
Renee is an excellent example of an highly achieved individual who has full authority on her life.
I realized how strong and powerful Renee is when she asked the class, have you seen this language before and then proceded to shout copyrights to Renee Baker. She within an hour and a half showed me the power of being in control of your work and the pride that automatically come with that. She is not only a highly achieved and creative person, but her own assurance in her work was a refreshing breath of air. This is not something I have seen with a lot of artists, and I loved to see her tell us that her achievements are big. This is because she sets an amazing example as a role model and taught me to not undermine my own achievements. The pride and assurance in our own works will make them stronger and be well recieved. From now on, I look forward to following her future works and compositions.
Renee Baker is who the Chicago Symphony Orchestra describes as a multi-disciplined engineer. She is a visual artist, filmmaker, composer, violinist and re-contextualist. I had the pleasure of hearing her give insight into the beautiful mastermind behind her masterpieces. She showed a clip of her film Borderline and described her work for the film as being a composition of instruments the audience would least expect. What most amazed me about Renee Baker, though, was her unapologetic personality. Not only is she dominating the arts with her multi-disciplined talents, she is proud in her Black womanhood. She is aware that minorities are not welcomed with open arms into her field and is brilliant anyway. At the end of her lecture she told the class there will always be misogynists, there will always be bigots, no matter who you are there will always be someone in your field who will set out to make you feel smaller – be great anyway.
This week, the Exploring Creativity in the Arts class had guest speaker, Renee Baker come in to share her story as a renowned composer creating a platform for women and people of color in the world of fine arts.
On Monday, our class had a special guest: Renee Baker. A fantastic composer, I had the pleasure of listening to some of her work from the silent film Borderline, having her talk about the different instruments, the different types of composing. From talking to her, I know that I’ve barely scratched the surface of the music world from my time as a trumpet player. The music, however, was not the most amazing part of her visit. The most amazing part of her visit was how awe-inspiring of a person she is. From the moment she opened her mouth I could tell she was fierce. The more she talked the more I could see the fight she’s put up, and the fight she still has. The way she explained her craft was simple enough for everyone to understand, but it also left me with an understanding that her knowledge goes way deeper than I can even comprehend. She’s fought through the system to get her knowledge, to get the respect she deserves, and she has no trouble whatsoever convincing me of her talent and skill. Some day, I strive to be that way in my field of choice. Right now, I just need to get those papers to show the world I know a thing or two. That drive you can see clear as day from the second she starts talking is the drive I strive to have in life. Maybe one of these days I’ll get there. It’s always so inspiring getting to interact with people of such high passion, experience, and skill, and I walked away from today with a sense of awe and respect for what she’s done – along with a newfound vigor to tackle my studies.
I think it is very interesting to see a whole different kind
of art portrayed that I am not familiar with. On many occasions, I take the
most notice of visual art, as it is most apparent to appreciate. Only through
the last couple of years, have I realized that art, can be expressed through
all our senses. Thus, it takes a while for me to adjust, and understand the
direction of these “performances”. When Renee Baker spoke in class, it is almost
enchanting, as she expressed her work with such eloquence and drive, that when
the snippet of her work was shared, you can feel the energy and direction she
had. It’s interesting, difficult and seamless at the same time! However, I must
admit, despite it all, I don’t think I am ready to start popping popcorn to
watch a silent film modified with music as a leisure past time just yet.
Today we had the pleasure of listening to Renee Baker discuss her modern take on scoring silent films. I was most interested in how she managed to use grid scoring to allow the musicians to have their own freedom within her music while following the rules she laid forth. I also liked that she asked the musicians to not watch the movie. This way, the musicians would not be able to influence the flow of the music in any way. Overall, I enjoyed the presentation, and I learned quite a bit about silent films and how to score them.
Today in class we got to speak to composer and activist Renee Baker. I have never seen a silent film but I liked seeing her unique way of composing music for each piece. She told us there are many different scores for one film so it is captivating to hear how she herself did it and know you can hear each way a composer interprets the scenes of the film. I also loved hearing her views on activism.
Today in class, we had guest speaker Renee Baker talk to us about herself and her amazing work. Baker is the founder and director of the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, which performs contemporary music and music from up and coming composers, as well as new scores for silent films. She is redefining what it means to be an African American woman in the arts. We had the privilege to watch parts of her latest project, Borderline, starring Paul Robeson. Additionally, she gave us the inside scoop on her unconventional scoring methods. She was full of energy, very engaging, and a pleasure to listen to!
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Renee Baker presents to FAA 110 class
By: Aditya Kashyap
Renee was a guest speaker for the FAA 110 class, discussing her past work, as well as previewing her score work on a silent film Borderline starring Paul Robeson. Using her avant garde style that combines classical orchestral music with jazz and characteristic abstract sound, she is able to create an atmosphere that goes against the grain in terms of conventional identity and film scoring. Baker often relies on non-conventional graphic and grid scores to convey abstract and free form ideas to her musicians.She is renowned and recognized for her artistic interpretations and unique compositions.
Then again, perhaps not so ancient. Written by Nathan Durkin
A power struggle. A lost bet. Jealousy. Desire. Lust. All culminating into the assault of an innocent young woman, leading to her suicide. The story of the fall of the Etruscan kings of Rome centers around young Lucretia, using her as a pawn in a struggle for power. On Thursday, I saw this story, one I was familiar with, performed in opera form at Krannart Center for the Performing Arts.
The tale starts from the returning soldiers talking about their wife at home. Some of them leave them in a heartbeat; some of them share another marriage journey with someone else; some of them, or one of them, Lucretia, stay faithful.
The anticipation built for a production marketed as a ‘female team an exploring how sexual violence resonates across the centuries’, was high throughout the week. This musical had the opportunity to influence the discussion of gender inequalities through the reflection of power struggles throughout the centuries. In my opinion, the performance shied away from directly addressing the issue at hand and missed their opportunity to connect to today’s climate.
The rape of Lucretia was a very interesting opera, and also served as my first one. I learned a lot, but ultimately believe my first will also be my last.
By: Daniel Corry
Truth be told, I have never seen an opera before, and only think of big women in large viking hats whenI think of the word. I also thought they were solely in Italian, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear english, as well as see the words projected on the screen.
Upon finishing the show, I can thankfully say I was more impressed than with the interpretive dance from our last event. There was a coherent story, and I actually felt emotion for Lucretia. The narrators were probably the two characters who pulled me most out of the story. They were from a different time period, and rather than pushing the story along, the simply seemed to push christian values into the story in an inorganic manner.
My favorite part; as odd as it sounds, was probably the actual rape of Lucretia. I genuinely felt rising tension and disgust, but with a larger message of the disgusting predatory actions men genuinely committed hundreds of years ago, and still commit to this day.
If I were the director, I would have tried to make that connection more obvious through those two narrating christian characters, but overall I thought they did a good job! Again, I simply think the style of opera is not for me, but it was still an enjoyable performance and night!
I think the rape of Lucretia was interesting. I think it was interesting to see how such a tragic story through music. All songs have a hidden meaning behind them in to see the meaning, and the story behind it adds value to the story. It adds something thing because it was visible to the audience when did not have to listen or see a few times to understand the basic concept of the piece. For me, the display screen was helpful and distracting. It was helpful because at times I did not understand the lyrics/message of the song. It was beneficial to look up to read the lines to get a better understanding of what the actors were trying to exhibit to the audience. It was distracting because I was trying to watch the performance and trying to understand the words above my head. Looking up took my eyes off the performance.
Although the story was written years ago, it is still prevlent in today’s society. People still get raped or sexually assault, and it degrades the victim’s happiness, and they have the feeling of committing suicide. Somethings are unbearable to live with because one can relive that moment over and over again in their heads. Due to the loss of innocence and happiness, one can slowly develop symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The one thing I like most about this play is the message. From my understanding, the messages were betrayal from a friend/ prince.
This was my second time watching an opera. The first time around was actually for Don Giovanni, which was also held at the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts. It is odd to put the two side by side, as they are so different in story and origin. However, the effect of weaving in opera into the story telling dramatizes the performance, and compels the audience to grieve and experience with the characters. For me, repetition is a powerful tool that conveys strength in delivery, which might not come out as organically if not sung. Nonetheless, there were some parts (like the piece on flowers, which I know was necessary to contrast the situation between what had happened and what is) which I thought were rather slow, and hoped to pass faster, though it would be impossible in a sense given the nature of opera.
Sonic Illinois’ interpretation of the Rape of Lucretia provides a modern look at a classic play
written by Janarth Dheenadhayalan
I had never heard of the Rape of Lucretia before, so I was excited to see what this performance would be like. I had been to an opera before but it was in Italian so I was forced to read the subtitles to understand the context of the play. I greatly appreciate that this was sung in English because it meant that I could keep my eyes off of the supertitles and on the performers. I think this alone elevated my experience of the performance.