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An Afternoon Full of Queens

An inspiring performance about feminism.

Written by: Leah Siegel

The Queens
Where the play took place

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.

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Andersson Dance

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.

By Rui

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Colab Dance, Music and Costume Performance

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.

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Andersson Dance and Scottish Ensemble: Goldberg Variations – Ternary Patterns for Insomnia

By: Nancy Ibarra Medrano

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.

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Chaos

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.

A picture of my program for Goldberg Variations – Ternary Patterns for Insomnia.
Taken 4/2/19 by Nathan Durkin.
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Andersson Dance and Scottish Ensemble Brings Dance to Theatre

Örjan Andersson (Andersson Dance) and Jonathan Morton (Scottish Ensemble) bring a contemporary interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations to the Colwell Playhouse stage

By: Aditya Kashyap

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A Modern Take on a Classic

Tonight we were treated to an interesting performance of the Goldberg Variations by Andersson Dance and the Scottish Ensemble. I went into it thinking that I would hate it, and I’m glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

By Janarth Dheenadhayalan

The performance hall
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A night away

By Claudia Johnson

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.

Photo by Claudia Johnson
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A night of pleasant surprise

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.

A picture of the stage before the show began. Already I figured this show would be something different that what I expected.

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.

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The Look of Shock at The Book of Mormon

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

We were pleasantly surprised with our seats, with no obstructed view in the whole theater!

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!

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A Shaking Classical Music Experience

Written by Lesly Marroquin

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.

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Playful Merriment Dances

by Alia Muhammad Radzi

Booklet of the Performance

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.

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An Oddity to the World of Dance and Music

By: Stephany Valdez

An eccentric group of individuals with an extraordinary and memorable performance.

Ticket and brochure to the performance
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Andersson Dancers And Violinists

By: Jeffery Berry

A page from the Andersson Dance And Scottish Ensemble Program

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.

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Vindicating Iconic Women

by Alia Muhammad Radzi

Booklet to Because I am your Queen

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.

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San Fransisco Symphony

Darian Moore

Preparing for the show

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.

The whole Symphony

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.

Ticket and Playbill
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The San Francisco Symphony At Krannert Center

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.  

By Alysia Glover

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The San Francisco Symphony

We got to enjoy the San Francisco Symphony, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, play a couple of my favorite pieces. Going into this, I knew it would be a night to remember.

By Janarth Dheenadhayalan

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The One and Only San Francisco Symphony

By: Stephany Valdez

“If you’re alive, you have all the experience necessary to understand classical music” – Michael Tilson Thomson, music director of San Francisco Symphony

My ticket and brochure for the performance.
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Sounds of the Symphony

Amazing people making heavenly sounds.

I really enjoyed all three pieces. My favorite part was when the violins took over the pieces. I really 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.

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San Fransisco Symphony

Music on a Grand Scale. By Nathan Durkin

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.

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A Classic Night

A beautiful performance by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.

Written by: Leah Siegel

Photo 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.

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The San Francisco Symphony

By: Jeffery Berry

The band getting ready to play in Foellinger Great Hall

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.

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Living in the Tap

The impact of a performance being live

By Nathan Durkin

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.

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Dorrance Dance: A 3 in 1 Tap Show

By Alysia Glover

Flyer for the show

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. 

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More than dance

By Claudia Johnson

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.

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Krannert Center’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime ; A Review

By Alysia Glover

Banner for the Colwell Playhouse where the play was shown
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Dorrance Dance: An Appeal to the roots and fruition of America

By Nancy Ibarra Medrano

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.

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Tapping the Night Away

by: Alia Muhammad Radzi

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.

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Tap, Tap, Tap

Tapping the night away

Written by: Leah Siegel

Photo by: Christopher Duggan
Photo by: Leah Siegel

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.

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The Power of Sound and Movement | The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-time

By Annabelle Emuze

What began as a sort of curious confusion turned into my inability to take my eyes of the stage. Latrelle Bright’s direction created a masterpiece.

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Latrelle Bright’s Direction of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

By Nancy Ibarra Medrano

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.

A pair, a play.

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.

An unkept feeling.

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.

To be closer.

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.

Intermission.

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Paralleling Mind and Reality

By Alia Muhammad Radzi

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.

Tickets to the Play
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The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-time

A unique and contemporary play for modern theater

By: Aditya Kashyap

The beautiful set design

This week’s performance was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a play based on Mark Haddon’s novel and directed by one of our own professors, Dr. Latrelle Bright.

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Who Killed Wellington the Dog?

The tale of a boy looking for answers.

Written by: Leah Siegel

Photo by: Leah Siegel
Barnes and Noble

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!

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The Audience

A New Perspective on their Role

By Nathan Durkin

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.

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One teenage boy, but a lot of mysteries

By: Stephany Valdez

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?

My ticket along with the brochure for the play.
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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

Written by Lesly Marroquin

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.

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New Way of Seeing

By Claudia Johnson

I had the chance to see the the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

My second experience with a Krannert show was still just as great as I could have imagined. I went into this experience with a very positive mind because of how connected I already felt to the show.

Photo by Claudia Johnson
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The Curious Incident

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.

The Colwell playhouse hosted the play “The Curios Incident Of The Dog At Nighttime”

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.

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Day of the Drum: UI Steel Band

Krannert Center celebrates percussion at Day of the Drum

By: Aditya Kashyap

Steel Band Setup at Krannert Center Lobby

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.

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Renee Baker: Ownership, Leadership, and Achievement

Written by Lesly Marroquin

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.

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Black Woman Magic Meets the Arts – Renee Baker

Baker, Renee. Composer. Retrieved from
https://everythingismusic.vcfa.edu/2017/12/19/renee-baker-took-flight-new-directions-vcfa/

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.

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Renee Baker: Everything Influences Everything

By Nancy Ibarra Medrano

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.

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Fight

By Nathan Durkin

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.

A picture of Renee Baker: composer, conductor, and much more.
Source
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The No Longer Silence Experience

by Alia Radzi

Renee Conducting
Source: https://www.icareifyoulisten.com/2015/04/5-questions-renee-baker-composer-conductor/

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.

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Renee Baker: a passionate composer

By: Stephany Valdez

Renee Baker, a composer with a growing number of silent films she has scored.

Renee Baker, a composer. Picture from https://everythingismusic.vcfa.edu/2017/12/19/renee-baker-took-flight-new-directions-vcfa/
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Renee Baker– Artist, Composer, and Visionary

by Janarth Dheenadhayalan

Renee Baker conducting

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.

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Renee Baker

Darian Moore

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.

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Renee Baker: Composer, Activist, and More

https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/753753

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!

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Renee Baker Presentation

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Renee Baker presents to FAA 110 class

By: Aditya Kashyap

Image result for renee baker
Baker conducting

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.

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The Rape of Lucretia: An Ancient Tale of Tragic Abuse of Power

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.

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Sonic Illinois: The Rape of Lucretia

By Nancy Ibarra Medrano

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.

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Oper-uhhh

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!

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Oprea With a Twist

By: Darnisha Dunning

The Rape of Lucretia played at the Tryon Festival Theatre the other night at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

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.

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The Struggle of Women

The story of yesterday that stands today 

by: Alia Muhammad Radzi

The Ticket to the the Opera!

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.

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A Harrowing Tale of Love and Lust

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.

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The Tragedy in The Rape of Lucretia

By: Stephany Valdez

An operatic performance about a faithful wife that finds herself in an unattended act of betrayal due to the jealousy men.

My ticket to the performance along with the brochure for the event.
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Lyric Theatre @ Illinois: The Rape of Lucretia

Intriguing title, does not disappoint.

Leah Siegel

Photo by: Leah Siegel
Photo by: Leah Siegel

This week our class saw The Rape of Lucretia, an opera performance put on by Lyric Theatre @ Illinois  (directed by Kirsten Pullen and conducted by Julie Jordan Gunn) at The Krannert Center for Performing Arts (KCPA) in the Tryon Festival Theatre. Lyric Theatre @ Illinois is a division of the School of Music at the University of Illinois. Lyric Theatre @ Illinois is a program dedicated to opera and musical theatre. The program puts on 3 productions each year at KCPA.

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The Lucretia Experience

By: Jeffery Berry

The story of a wife who lived in purity and faithfulness ended drastically due to the jealousy and envy of others.

Today, I went to the Krannert Center of Performing Arts to attend an opera called, “The Rape Of Lucretia.” This was my second time coming to see a performance at the Krannert Center, and I was excited to see what the day had in store.

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The Tragic Story of Lucretia

Written by Lesly Marroquin

A Roman legend that discusses the tragedy that started a rebellion to end the Roman Monarchy and birth a Republic.

I was really excited to see an opera for the first time at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, even more so to see an opera in which I have background knowledge. In high school, I took Latin for four years and so I studied Roman history, mythologies, and legends extensively. All which include rich stories that dive into human emotions, morality, and debate human nature.

One of the most significant events is thought to be this incident with Lucretia, because it caused the rebellion that sought to end the days of Rome being a monarchy. From such a tragic and horrific event, the Roman Empire was created.

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Tai Ji and Western Classical: A Clashing of Worlds

Krannert Center presents the Jupiter String Quartet accompanying Tai Ji master Chungliang Al Huang and company

By: Aditya Kashyap

The audience fills the Foellinger Great Hall

Upon first arriving for the performance, I was curious to see how this would compare to past concerts I have been to. I have a formal musical training and have been to many classical performances in the past several years. After seeing the Jupiter Quartet perform along with Chungliang Al Huang, I was amazed. I have a strong affinity for fusing juxtaposing forms of art, but I had never seen Eastern Tai Ji and Western classical music fuse so perfectly. My personal favorite was of Tchaikovsky accompanied by Al Huang. I personally love the work of Tchaikovsky, and his many works, but I had never seen this type of interpretation before. I was reminded of his Firebird Suite, an avant garde ballet. This time, however, I felt as though Tai Ji was bringing new life to previous paradigms of Western classical music. I found the various styles of dance, such as tango and ballet, to be incredibly interesting. The music, lights, and choreography meshed together seamlessly.

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Jupiter String Quartet and Chungliang Al Huang

When it was time to get on the bus to go to Krannert I was kind of dreading it. I was super anxious about going alone and getting there on time and whether or not I would enjoy the show. I think one of the biggest flaws about myself that I am willing to admit is that I am not very open to trying new things. I figure I already know everything I like so why try anything new? Especially since it is for a class and it’s mandatory for school I just automatically assumed it would be boring. I had talks with myself leading up to the day about how I need to be open to it and how I might enjoy it.

When I arrived at Krannert there were so many people there and I was stressed. I’m so bad at recognizing faces so I did not see anyone from my class. I eventually found my seat and sat down, I saw the four chairs in the middle of the stage and I remember being so scared it would be boring just sitting there an listening to them, I figured I would just go and space out as long as I could say I went. But I was so wrong about everything.

During the entire performance, I was so captivated. I remember thinking several times “wow I really can’t believe you thought you were gonna space out”. It was so interesting to see the way the dancing went along with the music. I paid such close attention to the lighting, choice of wardrobe, and positioning of the dancers. I loved how they changed outfits for different songs. It is always so interesting to realize how much detail and work has to go into things like this that a person would not typically think about.

One of my favorite parts of the show was the two dances at the very end. I loved seeing the two men dance together in a non-normative performance. I also loved seeing the quartet get up and dance with the dancers. It was such a nice show of unity and I loved seeing the relationship between the players and dancers.

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A fatalistic mixture of music and Taiji

This Thursday, I enjoyed a performance by Chungliang Huang and his team at the Krannert Center. 

Before the performance
BY Rui

At the beginning, when I saw the musicians came on the stage with violin and cello, I thought this was an instrumental quartet performance. Since we have already seen the video of Huang’s performance in class, I was confused about how a quartet performance related to Tai Ji. Then, Huang appears on the stage, in the middle of four sitting musicians, playing Tai Ji with the rhythm of the music. This definitely changed my former stereotype of either quartet or Tai Ji. 

When I was in high school, I took Tai Ji electives as well as saw elders played Tai Ji in the parks every morning. Tai ji seems like a way of doing exercising for my grandparents, therefore, I never expected to see someone play Tai Ji using music and improvising the motifs. I enjoyed the mixture of western classic musics and eastern traditional TaiJi most. Huang’s movements are free and flexible, filled with raw emotions and feelings.

The most interesting part was at the end of the performance, Huang jumped to the stage and danced with all other performers to acknowledge to the audience’s applause. They were so joyful and energetic that I even wanted dance with them. 

At the end of the performance
By Rui

If I were the director, I would probably give some handouts to the audience to add some background of both the music they played and Huang’s Tai ji philosophy, which could definitely deepen audience’s understanding of performance. 

The crowd after the performance.
By Rui

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String and Dance

Foellinger Great Hall
Cafe in Krannert
Before the Show Begins

Hey everyone, I’m Fengdeng from FAA110. So I visited Krannert for the Jupyter String performance show on Thursday and enjoyed the show so much.

The strings (violins) reflected me back to the days when I was in junior high practicing violins… Back in those days, I would ride a bike 5 miles away from my home to take violin class. After class, I usually paid a visit to the local food market to get some snacks… Gosh, can’t believe it has been almost TEN years.

About the show, it’s interesting that it incorporates Taiji (太极) into the rhythm and it went pretty well. I can tell the violin performers are of high skills even though I haven’t practiced for few years.

Staff in Krannert are professional, the interior is nice enough to leave audiences great impressions. Except the cold weather, this experience is more than fabulous.

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Amazed and Confused

Written By: Quintionna Parks

Jupiter String Quartet: amazing, yet, confusing.

This semester I was expecting some really diverse, and different performances than what I’ve seen before. Watching and listening to the String Quartet made me realize that I won’t understand every performance. I really loved the music portion because it felt as if there was a story being told. I really saw myself daydreaming that I was listening to a Disney movie unfold, it was truly magical.. until the dancing came in. I didn’t understand what was going on when the dancing portions started up, which is fine I just really didn’t understand it. However, I really enjoyed the formal dancing part with the two people because it just seemed so effortless. The most interesting part of the performance was the Tai Chi part, mainly because I didn’t understand it so it was mind bending to figure out the meaning behind it. If I were the director I wouldn’t change anything content-wise because overall it was an interesting performance, but the duration was long and my attention was lost during the last thirty minutes or so. Overall, I really enjoyed the performance and I look forward to the next one!

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A relaxing night

By Claudia Johnson

My first Krannert show turned out to be better than one could have expected.

I have never been to a show at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. I have also never seen a string quartet.

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So Soothing I Thought I was Dreaming

At one point during the show, I felt as if I had fallen asleep and was dreaming.

By Lesly Marroquin

Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the performance of the Jupiter Strong Quartet accompanied by a Tai Ji Master and Tango. I have had previous experiences of watching shows with string instruments but have not seen a quartet and have no experience with Tai Chi besides hearing it from word of mouth. On the other hand, I have had many experiences with tango as I have studied abroad in Argentina and have seen many people dancing it.

I was expecting something new and was really wondering to how they would combine Tai Ji, Classical music, and Tango all together. I thought they would be separate experiences. I was very surprised at what I witnessed.

The show had the quartet open up by themselves, playing a classic but strong piece. Then the Tai Ji master came in and performed a routine that fit well alongside the music. I quickly felt myself be soothed and completely relaxed. The music and the Tai Ji performance was soft, wispy, and calming. I quickly knew that if it continued I would for sure fall asleep. They ended that portion at the perfect point.

The tango was strong and passionate. I quickly was awakened and put into an ecstatic state. I fully enjoyed both portions of the performance and felt completely different things from them. Though, I think the slower once could have put me to sleep if it had run longer. This also might be due to me having a long school day prior to this perfomance.

I especially enjoyed the finale when everyone joined in the Tai Ji performance and only one player of the Quartet was left. It was an amazing way to include all of the performers on stage at once in unison. After it was over, I was very amused by the show and enjoyed my first experiences with Tai Ji and a Quartet thoroughly.

Until next time KCPA
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Elegance Of Music And Dance

By: Darnisha Dunning

The Jupiter String Quartet performed at the Krannert Center on Thursdays February 7 with performer Chungliang Al Huang, Tai Ji master.

When I found out that we had to see the Jupiter String Quartet, I did not know much about what type of music that the group would perform because I have never heard of the group. I first thought the performance was going to boring because I was only expecting the band and one performer in the show. After seeing the performance, I discovered that it was fascinating to watch. The passion the group put into each song performed and it was relaxing. I like that they added more than one dancer because it brought more value to the song and dance. I liked the combination of the music with group dance because they incorporated the entire group. I also liked it when they started coming together the musical instrument faded slowly, but it went with the concept of the performance. The most interesting part of the concert was music and tango performance. It was good to see the dancer speed up their fool of dance. The tango was also an unexpected part of the performance. Towards the end the music stopped, and we all thought the performance was over, but they surprised us with a tango performance. If I were the director, I would not change anything because everything flowed together and the elegance of the music with the Tai Chi performance, music with formal group dancing and music with group movement was an excellent addition to the performance flow and quality of music with movement.

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Jupiter String Quartet with Chungliang Al Huang, Tai Ji Master

By: Nancy Ibarra Medrano

From the moment the bows of the violins and cello hit the the first notes of ‘first song title’, I was captivated by the fluidity of the group’s composition.

The performance was enthralling. All the more with accompaniment of Chungliang Al Huang, a playful surprise in the formal atmosphere. The Quartet’s initial demanding synchronicity was nothing compared to the disjointed composition that they were also able to deliver.

37 minutes early.

Applause was cut short as each detailed story played out in front of our eyes. Chungliang first danced in the center of the group. His motion began to set the tempo for the musicians and they also followed suit in how they handled their instruments. The light-hearted nature of his first dance with the quartet set the tone for the duality of the music.

The group took a bow after a particularly intense piece and then the stage cleared. But it was not over. Chungliang was not the only dancer throughout the show. The final dance was a refreshing piece that to me, paralleled the deliberate and fluid nature of the music played throughout the night. The male pair was the most intriguing symbol of the ebb and flow of support the quartet gave each other throughout the night. Each instrument is strong and takes the lead intermittently during a song, as did the tango dancers.

Empty seats, two are full.

My expectations for the performance were happily met. The beautiful architecture of the auditorium set the caliber of the experience even higher as I awaited an enriching exposure to classical music. If I were the director of this show, I would have insisted on a more rehearsals from the dancers. If they would have been able to keep the synchronicity that the musicians did, the entire performance would have had a stronger effect on me and no doubt the rest of the packed audience as well. I would have had more developed choreography as well. I think Chunliang did a great job in directing the dancers the basic motions of his Tai Ji art, but I think more complex displays could have taken the performance to another level. My perception of a classical string ensemble was surely affected by this riveting performance from Champaign locals. The same duality that they had in their performance is one that I appreciate in all areas of art.

The encore.
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Time, Effort, Accomplishment, Skill

By Nathan Durkin

It’s been almost 2 years since I stopped doing Kung Fu. I took a kick to the head during my last promotion test. I was still able to finish the test and promote, but that kick left me with a concussion. That concussion, which still gives me headaches to this day, threw 10 years of hard work out the window.

I’m not the type of person to do something for 10 years without loving it. Throughout high school, I couldn’t join a lot of the clubs or sports I was curious about because I was so dedicated to my training. I absolutely love Kung Fu. There’s something about it that makes me smile even after a long day. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s very rewarding, and watching someone who has been training for decades is one of the most awesome, beautiful, and terrifying things I’ve seen.

So, when I heard about the performance to go along with the Jupiter String Quartet performance I saw this past Thursday, I’m sure you can imagine my excitement.

The school where I learned Kung Fu taught both Kung Fu and Tai Chi. The two are very similar, and a good amount of my Kung Fu education incorporated ideas from Tai Chi. Our promotion tests were the same as well, so I got to watch Tai Chi students and masters alike demonstrating various techniques.

So, seeing that a Tai Chi master would be performing alongside the Jupiter String Quartet was very exciting for me.

After watching a video of him performing in class, I couldn’t wait to see what he could do. Everything he did was just so clean! It was just so well done, so smooth, so good! I looked up even more videos of him to see what else he could do, and I just fell in love with how smooth and clean and beautiful his movements were!

I was filled with anticipation as I approached Foellinger Great Hall. I couldn’t wait to go inside.

I knew that Jupiter String Quartet would be playing. I had also heard some of their music in class beforehand and was very pleased. I love that classical style music, and music like that compliments Tai Chi very well. So, I was expecting great music to beautifully compliment some spectacular Tai Chi. I had also heard that there would be other dancers, and while I didn’t really pay them too much thought beforehand, I figured that they would probably be good too. Great music, great martial arts, all in all, I knew it was going to be a great night.

I entered the hall, unable to wait for the performance to start.

First, the strings came out. Their music was beautiful, intense, and all around just so good. I was very pleased, but I was still waiting for Master Huang to show up. I started to wonder how long the music part was going to last. I get that one of the primary focuses of the performance was to listen to the Jupiter String Quartet play, but I wanted to see some Tai Chi!

And then I saw one of the doors to the side open. Master Huang stepped onto the stage, and began to perform. I leaned forward in my chair, trying to get as close as possible, focusing on every little movement he made. I soaked in as much as I could from him, trying to learn as much as possible, experience as much as possible how he moved. Every part of his body flowed so perfectly! Every motion he made completely blended, no mistakes, every part of his body under his total control in a way almost nobody can do. It was awesome, and the music was absolutely perfect for such a performance. The lights in the back flashed different colors, the tempo and intensity of the song went up and down, all to perfectly compliment the Tai Chi Master’s movements.

I sat on the edge of my seat throughout all of the Tai Chi performances, by far my favorite part of the show. Whether Master Huang was alone, had the dancers performing along with him, or had everyone doing Tai Chi together, my eyes were glued to the action. At one point, when he and the 4 dancers were doing their performance, the 4 dancers fell back and Master Huang took the front of the stage. He did a short sequence that reminded me so much of the crane style – one of my specialties when I was still doing Kung Fu was a Tiger-Crane form – and afterwards I had goose bumps all over my body for several minutes! I would’ve paid good money to see that crane sequence alone – it was so good! All of it was so good!

I will admit there was a moment during the show when I was a little disappointed. On the stage I had seen two areas for the string quartet to play: one in the foreground, and one in the back corner. I had thought that the back corner was reserved for a special finale demonstration, one that would absolutely blow me away. And while the dance that actually happened was quite good, and both dancers were obviously very skilled, it left me feeling rather disappointed that it didn’t involve any Tai Chi. If it were me directing I would’ve saved that for a grand Tai Chi finale, maybe telling some grand, wordless story that you come up with as you watch, but that’s just me. I would’ve shifted the primary focus to be on Chungliang Al Huang throughout the performance, and ended with something truly spectacular from him, but I understand that there were other parts to the performance that deserved to be highlighted (grumble).

All in all, that performance showed me what Tai Chi could really be. Promotion tests in Kung Fu, as I said, always included several Tai Chi performances. However, in my younger days, the Tai Chi performances were something I despised. As a young 10-year-old training to be a Kung Fu master, I will admit that it was a little disappointing to go from an intense, fast, exciting double-broadsword demonstration to people slowly moving around with paper fans in their hands for 10 minutes. However, as a 19-year-old with much more patience and a decade of training, I was finally able to fully appreciate such a masterful display. Master Huang really showed me the meaning of what my old instructor used to say to his students. Putting in time leads to putting in effort. Putting in effort means making accomplishments. Making accomplishments means gaining skill. The perfection and beauty of Master Huang’s movements was a testament to the time and effort he had put in, and all of the accomplishments and skills that had come from them.

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Where Music and Movement Meet

An experience at a Spring Quartet

The ticket of the show backdropped against the stage

Experiencing the Jupiter Spring Quartet was relatively a new one. I have to admit that I am not one to listen to Classical music on a casual day, nor is it a favorite genre. Therefore, I did not have any expectation before seeing it, except that it would be similar to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. That statement alone, shows how little I know about String Quartets.

Members of the Jupiter Spring Quartet
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An Out of This World Performance

The Jupiter String Quartet, joined by Chungliang Al Huang, provide a unique interpretation of late 19th and early 20th century classics.

Written by Janarth Dheenadhayalan

I was intrigued to see how the Jupiter String Quartet and Chungliang Al Huang would incorporate dance with the likes of Stravinsky, Debussy, and Piazzolla. While I was familiar with all of the pieces that were on the rep, I was uncertain of how the performance would change my perception of these pieces.

Before entering the hall

It seemed like this would be a first for many of the people who were attending this performance. The classical music world is often thought of as tradition bound, so deviating from the norms is considered risky. An atmosphere of curiosity and wonder filled the atrium as people drifted into the waiting area.

Everyone sat in eager anticipation for the performance that followed. And my goodness, it was stunning.

The Schafer was easily my favorite part of the performance. I particularly enjoyed seeing Huang establish a motif and then “pass it on” to one of the other performers. In this way, it feels like Huang’s dance interpretation of Schafer culminated in a performance that simultaneously adheres to the strict rules of classical music while simultaneously providing a unique dimension that is otherwise absent from everyday performances.

Huang strayed from and returned to the tonic. This cycle of movement allowed me to stay grounded in the performance and observe precisely how each theme developed and matured through the climax of the piece.

The Piazzolla that followed was an interesting change of pace. It felt much simpler and easier to understand than the Stravinsky and Schafer. I believe that including this at the end allows the listener to relax and focus on something that is inherently simpler, yet also incredibly nuanced.

And of course, the wonderful encore that ensued placed an emphasis on the musicians in a way that I did not expect. One by one, each musician joined the dancers on stage mimicking the movement that Huang would do to signal the end of one piece and the beginning of the next. To me, this signifies the closure of the performance as a whole, and the start of something new.

After the performance

People were bustling with joy after the performance. Everyone was raving about this unique interpretation of music and the blending of East Asian performance pieces and European music.

After the performance I looked through the program and noticed that the audience was not supposed to clap between pieces. The performance as a while was to be seen as one piece, which is why there was no intermission. This is a mistake that I will try to not repeat in the future.

Overall, I thought the performance was incredible. I was originally hesitant because I typically do not understand dance at the same level that I understand classical music. However, Huang’s interpretation allowed for everyone in the audience to get something out of the performance.

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A New World of Music: Jupiter String Quartet

By: Stephany Valdez

Jupiter Spring Quartet is a group of four who play chamber music, and
Chungliang Al Huang is a Tai Ji master and choreographer.

Audience waiting in the lobby before the performance
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Sonic Illinois: Jupiter String Quartet

Photo by: Leah Siegel
Photo by: Leah Siegel

Jupiter String Quartet and special guest put on an amazing performance for Sonic Illinois – a month long celebration of new music.

Written by: Leah Siegel

All month, Krannert Center and the University of Illinois School of Music are celebrating new music and honoring “innovative creators which challenge convention, forge pathways, and expand the creative process”. The second event of Sonic Illinois was performed by the Jupiter String Quartet with Tai Ji Master, Chungliang Al Huang and other dancers.

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The Fluid Performance of Chungliang Al Huang and the Jupiter Spring Quartet

A welcome sign at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, where this performance was held.
My ticket for the performance

     For the performance of the Jupiter Spring Quartet with Chungliang Al Huang, I really was not sure what to expect at all. I had been to a few classical performances before but nothing paired with a visual or dance component.  The audio along with the visual aspect together was a new experience. I did not feel like my brain was overloaded with trying to process the information. Before the Taiji and dancing was introduced, it felt like the music was telling a story. Jupiter Spring left it up to the listener to interpret what was being said. Once Chungliang came onstage and began to do Taiji,he began to tell a more solid story with his actions. This along with the music made for a very interesting performance.

     This showcase had parts featuring just music from the quartet, music and Taiji, music and formal dance and music with group dance. The combination that I enjoyed the most though, would have had to be the strings along with the formal dancing. It was a very eye catching, sharp and calculated performance. Both the style of dance and music was a stark contrast to the rest of the production, which was more fluid and slow in movement and style. The energy shifted in the theatre once this part started and I think it gave a much needed change of pace. I also believed that this was the most interesting part as well. In the beginning of the section, the duo began by doing the tango. The tango is regarded by many as a dance that expresses sensuality so I thought that it was an interesting choice for the Jupiter Spring Quartet to pair this dance and the accompanying music with a pair of two men. There seemed to be no gender roles as both men went back and forth following and leading. I believe there was a good balance between what is widely known as ballroom tango and the shock value of having men perform the dance as partners. There was a break in the heteronormativity that is common in ballroom dance. I think that placing this in the middle of the entire presentation was the right thing to do, as it served as a sort of climax before Chungliang and others came back out with natural, fluent movement.

     The director did a very good job with setting up the order of the performances. The tone shifted with every performance both onstage and within the audience and I believe that it fit exactly what the director was trying to portray.  There was a slow build up that led to the climax and then the action fell back down until the end came. The music was able to tell a story on its own as well as when paired with Taiji and dancing. All around it was a very interesting performance and it kept the audiences’ attention.

-Alysia Glover

My ticket alongside a to-scale model of the Krannert Center.
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My First Show At Krannert

By: Jeffery Berry

This is what I saw when I entered into the Krannert Center tonight. There were people everywhere. Adults were talking and kids were playing. However, majority of the crowd was in line purchasing tickets and headed straight to their seats. I was surprised to see lots of older people instead of students. I was expecting to see more students due to the event being on campus but I was mistaken once I stepped in to the Center.

When I sat down in the theatre, I was able to see lots of people preparing for the Jupiter String Quartet. The lights went dim and all conversation ceased almost immediately. The audience, including myself, zoned our attention towards the stage. The violinist came out and performed masterpieces. Then dancers entered the stage and danced in an old Tai Chi tradition. It seemed as if they were meditating to the music with every movement. I was most intrigued with how they flowed to the complex melody. If I were the director of tonight’s show, I would’ve joined the performers on stage in the final bow because it was perfect. I would not change anything about the performance. I was amazed with how the event played out.

At the end of the performance, there was a roaring standing ovation which the performers were well deserving of. I was happy to be exposed to such culture and talent. Being a young African American male from the westside of Chicago, you are not presented with these kind of opportunities. I originally thought the performance would be boring and slow, but it was the opposite. I was intrigued at the performers and how they would fall off cadence to add more dramatics to the show and easily come back into syncopation whenever they wanted. I truly enjoyed my first show at the Krannert Center, and I look forward to attending future shows, not only for this class, but for personal pleasure.

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Daydreaming

Written By: Quintionna Parks

My poem is not quite a poem, it is more like a vision of my daydream.

My engine awakens. It’s just before dawn. The streets are still asleep. I’m a small SUV gliding down the road. Now, just hours later , the summer air holds a slight breeze. The year is 1993. I’m wearing bright blue pajama shorts with an all white tank top.I would stay in my pjs all day if I could. I stand in the kitchen, my favorite spot in the house. I look out the small window onto the yard of gorgeous flowers. Even though it’s summer I imagine myself in the Artic Ocean. Secluded. Cold. The thought makes me bundle up in my bed. I sit and imagine the day all over again.


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Shape Shifter

A short poem about all the things I might become- 1/28/19

Tesla Model X

If I could be all I wanted to be let’s sit and think of possibilities.

I might to choose to be wealthy or choose to be free.

Subjective definitions might change for me.

If I was a car I’d be a Tesla cruising down the street, Matte black dark tint to make it hard to see.

Golden hour time of day, warm & bright.

Perfect for a picture or a stroll at night.

Weather like a hot day with a cool nice breeze.

Iconic like early 2000s history.

A big theatre room showing a movie.

Cozy like a hoodie, I’m laid back and chill.

Open like the ocean, I might tell my life at will.

-Alysia Glover

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Poem Post 2/4

If I were a mode of transportation, I would be a small but sturdy boat sailing calmly through waters unknown.

If I were a time of day, I would be the evening in between a bad morning and a great night.

If I were a room, I would be a bedroom; a sanctuary and the only place where people are their true selves.

If I were a form of weather, I would be the sunniest of days.

If I were a time in history, I would be alive on a day where Zora Neale Hurston would be alive to teach me.

If I were an item of clothing, I would be a dress – giving confidence and comfort.

If I were a body of water, I would be the Atlantic.

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Peace and Happiness

Poem
Leah Siegel

https://www.desktopbackground.org/wallpaper/clear-sky-on-a-sunny-day-cloud-field-tree-nature-2560×1600-hd-871110

Close your eyes, what do you see?

I see myself and my furry friend driving an SUV, windows down and music blaring, no care in the world.

Close your eyes, what do you see?

I see it is 11 in the morning, the sun is shining.

Close your eyes, what do you see?

I see a bedroom filled with natural light and Ramona the cat is at the foot of the bed curled up sleeping while I am watching Grey’s.

Close your eyes, what do you see?

I see a sunny day, clear skies and birds flying high.

Close your eyes, what do you see?

I see it is the early 2000s, when life was easy for little ol me.

Close your eyes, what do you see?

I see soft, stretchy leggings waiting to be worn.

Close your eyes, what do you see?

I see the ocean waves crashing and dolphins playing.

Close your eyes, what do you see?

I see peace and happiness.

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If I were myself….

By: Jeffery Berry

If I were myself….

I would be a drive in a midnight black two door vintage corvette with a horse powered engine. I would be a warm, breezy summer night watching the stars dance above me. I would be sleep in an empty room filled with millions of dust particles that only become visible to the eye through a beam of sunlight out of a 6 foot 3 inch window. When hungry, I would be 6:37pm on a warm Tuesday with thunder approaching in an hour. To close friends, I would be a civil rights activist from the 60’s who enjoys listening to hip-hop from the 90’s. I would be an everyday hoodie. Lastly, I would be self-reflection in an ocean filled with fish and coral reefs.

Maybe I should start being myself…..

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Secrets

Source: https://www.maxpixel.net/Stallion-Horse-Shadow-Gallop-Expensive-Sunset-654840T

The dawn is hidden from many,

From those held in the clutches of sleep.

The horse is wild and free,

Too fast and mighty for any to take.

Yet, sometimes, when the dawn shines its golden light upon the eyes,

Or when the horse, instead of running, approaches,

When the right one appears,

One may see the dawn.

One may ride the horse.

One may know the secrets.

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Searching

Poem “About Me”

By Lesly Marroquin

[Image provided by Unsplash]

In the dusty room she sits, looking through abandoned books

A dog peacefully sits at her feet, dreaming of chasing something in a magical world

Children outside are shouting in delight, riding around together on a red bicycle

She continues to flip through the stories, looking for something

Dust dances on the beams of the setting sun and a gentle cool breeze sneaks in through the window

The cheers die down in the distance, they are probably heading to the creek one last time

The sky is painted in an orange pink glow, a reward after a long summer’s day

She stops to smile at a book, the cover filled with her childhood fantasies

As she steps out of the room, she forgets a single ring tucked on top of a stack of books

The golden glow soon fade in dark and the day is done


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Too Fast, Too Soon

When registering for classes, I was a little confused as to why my advisor would advise me to take such a class. I then realized that it was more than that. After the first event, I became incredibly interested.

Written by Maty Patino

Continue reading “Too Fast, Too Soon”

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My Journey Through FAA 110

Written by Yining Wei

This semester, I enrolled in the FAA110: Art in Motion. The class is fun and explores art through our different senses, and offered excellent opportunities to explore art on campus. Here are the eight events that I went to:

Krannert-A Magical Night

Krannert-A Magical Night

The Power of One Glance-LAGRIME DI SAN PIETRO

The Power of One Glance-LAGRIME DI SAN PIETRO

Comedy & Musical: A funny thing happened on the way to the forum

Comedy & Musical: A funny thing happened on the way to the forum

Solo Guitarist: Marcus Tardelli

Solo Guitarist: Marcus Tardelli

La Boheme: Tragic yet beautiful

La Boheme: Tragic yet beautiful

The Rush, the Changes and the Innerself

The Rush, the Changes and the Innerself

Virago-Man Dem: Fighting Cultural Conventions with Dance

Virago-Man Dem: Fighting Cultural Conventions with Dance

Light Seeker: Photo exhibition at Illini Union Art Gallery

Light Seeker: Photo exhibition at Illini Union Art Gallery

 

I really enjoyed the FAA course because it explores different forms of art with our sensations. We listened to music which explores our listening, discussed and went to a modern dance performance that expresses art in physical motion, and also appreciated paintings that explores colors and forms. I would recommend this class to my friends who are looking for an easy and fun gen-ed that they can actually learn from. Thank you both for teaching us this semester!

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Now what? Let’s recap

Written by Sihan Wang

When I took this pictures of all the events tickets and the program notes for each event, it’s amazing to realize that I’ve been to so many art events that I enjoyed this semester.

Continue reading “Now what? Let’s recap”

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Final Blog: Unforgettable Things Happened on my Journey with FAA110!

Written by Zhenbang.

“Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” — Dead Poets Society,  1989

Continue reading “Final Blog: Unforgettable Things Happened on my Journey with FAA110!”

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My semester In FAA 110.

Written by Thomas Kirkendall

This school year I didn’t expect to like this class as much as I did. I thought it was gonna just be another class I took that I wasn’t gonna realty pay attention to. Then we started going to some events and I started slowly liking the events more and more as the school year went on.

The First event I went to was Krannert Center 50th anniversary

The next event was How Tardelli changed the way I feel about live performed music.

 

gressman performance 

A whacky yet amusing performance

The Night At The Opera

no pictures were allowed at this performance

The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, puppeteering.

no photos were allowed

I really enjoyed going to all the different events for this class, and getting the chance to see the different kinds of performances that I did. some of these performances were my first time going, kind of like the opera and the greensman performance and even the puppeteering. It feels good to be open minded and try new things that you are not use to because you might end up enjoying it. If I could take this course again I would. Thank you to all the actors and performers who played roles In these performances I really enjoyed them!

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Conversation with Acceptance

Written by Sihan Wang

On the night of November 9th, I went to the Colwell Playhouse at the Krannert Center to see the November dance, there are four dance performances, “In Conversation”, “Antigamente”, “Tragedy, Ecstasy, Doom”, and “Picked Up Pieces”. The first impression those performances are not as abstract as I thought it would be. Continue reading “Conversation with Acceptance”

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And now…let’s look back.

Written by Andrew Duran,

Welp, as the infamous phrase says, all good things must come to an end. The time spent in FAA 110 was beyond anything I could have expected and the takeaways that I was able to experience will last a life time. As my final blog post, i would like to take the time to flashback through the events I had the honor to live out.

Continue reading “And now…let’s look back.”

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My Great Adventure in FAA 110!

Written by Alyssa Pappas

My transition into my new major of Atmospheric Sciences I knew would not be an easy one. With my schedule being increasingly difficult, I knew that I had wanted to add a class that would have nothing to do with my major and that could act as a breath of fresh air. That is when I discovered FAA 110!  Some of my friends had recommended it to me so I wanted to give it a shot. I could not have been happier with my decision! I got the chance to attend different events, involving the Arts, that I would never have been able to experience outside of taking this class.  Throughout the length of this course I learned so many things and got to see a whole new world away from my science one.  Here are the events that I attended that taught me so much, as well as pictures and links to my blogs to go along with them.

 

A New Perspective: Limbs Ligaments, Parts: My body is there Gallery

Photo by A.Pappas 

The Way We See Things: Erica Gressman: Limbs

Photo by A.Pappas

Making it Happen: Krannert’s Opening Night 

Photo by A.Pappas

Silence in a Crowded Room

Photo by A.Pappas

The Barriers Between Us: Kennedy Browne, The Special Relationship

Photo by A.Pappas

My life in Chicago

Photo by A.Pappas

Reminiscing Throughout the Opera

Photo by A.Pappas 

The Art of Taking Risks: Circa

Photo by A.Pappas

A Million Emotions with Zero Words: Perlman

Photo by A.Pappas

My experience with being in this class is one that can never be duplicated.  With many lessons learned involving: how many different forms of Art there is, how a class doesn’t need to be just lectures and tests, and how important it is to be courageous and attend events I have never been to before.  I plan on keeping up with this experience by continuously putting myself out there and going to events that I wouldn’t typically go to.  That even though my life is heavily based around math and science, I will still make time for myself and not let life pass me by without experiencing as many different performances as possible.

 

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FAA 110: In Review

Written by: Nora Guerrero
What a great ride it’s been being in FAA 110: Art in Motion! The semester kicked off with some very fun events which we will recap below. Refer to the links below to see the original blog posts. The class was manageable, and a nice break from traditional classes. Going to class once a week and an event took me out of my regular comfort zone. It’s a great way to get immersed into the other sides of artistic culture on campus – and there is so much talent.

Continue reading “FAA 110: In Review”

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A wonderful semester with FAA 110

Written by LinJie Yang

The class I most look forward to during the summer break is Faa 100  and it is a really good course. The two professors are really nice and the most of the performances we attened are  excellent.

Event 1  Krannert opening night

I am sorry but the orginial blog can not be found.

Event 2 Erica Gressman:Limbs

Event3  Marcus Tardelli guitar Ellnora

Event 4 Between the Buildings:Art from Chicago

Event 5 A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum

Event 6 La Boheme

Event 7 Itzhak Perlman, violin with Rohan

Event 8 Cynthia Oliver/CoCo Dance Theater

 

To sum up, faa is such a great course that enables me to enjoy so many woderful performances throughout the semester.  The course also makes me realize what kind of art I am interested in. I ‘ve reviewed the program next semester yet and marked several  events that I will go to by myself.

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Final Reflection

Written By Tim Gao

In the blink of an eye, it was already the end of the year. This class, Art in Motion, not only provides me so many opportunities to experience these wonderful shows happened in the school, but also helps me to learn a variety of culture which related to the shows. It was very joyful discussing the shows in the class, because each show is unique, thus we are excited about going to the shows and looking forward to enjoying more arts. Talking about the background of the show helps me better understand what is going on during the show. And I feel that I was getting more interests from this class after watching so many shows. Sometimes, I will tell my friends the contents of the shows and they are attracted by these dramas and orchestras. I really proud that I joined this class because this is so much fun!

Continue reading “Final Reflection”

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Rolston String Quartet

Written by Sihan Wang

Last night I went to the Krannert center watched “Rolston String Quartet”. I enjoyed it very much, similar to the violin-piano duet concert. Although I didn’t hear any familiar song that I might hear before this time, the pieces that they played yesterday was still pretty good.

Continue reading “Rolston String Quartet”

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The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, puppeteering.

Written by Thomas Kirkendall.

Thursday November 29th No Blue Memories played in the Krannert center for performing arts. Many gathered and watched the amazing puppeteering performance that was quite not like your ordinary puppeteering performance. Continue reading “The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, puppeteering.”

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The Power Found in Strings

Written by Andrew Duran,

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to experience my first style of quarter. This moment was something that was a bit foreign to me so, walking through the aisle to grab my seat, I did not know what to expect.

Continue reading “The Power Found in Strings”

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A Semester of Relief and Inspiration Through FAA 110

Written by Kamani J Harris

 

I knew that the first semester of my last year at UIUC was bound to be stressful, but I thought joining this class would give me a fun way to get away from all my graduation requirements in the back of my head. I went to so many events with my classmates where we viewed the many forms of creativity and art that I have yet to explore. These events included:

 

Krannert’s Opening Night Party: 50th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff

Photo by Kamani Harris

Erica Gressman’s Limbs

photo by Kamani Harris

Cynthia Oliver/Coco. Dance Theatre Virago-Man Dem

The dancers silently begin to come out and go toward the stage, covered.
Taken by Kamani Harris

Leda Black’s perSISTERS

Reclaiming My Time
Taken by Kamani Harris

No Blue Memories – The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

picture of an actor performing with a puppet.
Taken by Kamani J Harris

Rolston String Quartet

Taken by Bo Huang Photography

Coming to these events allowed me to escape the many stressors in my day that included my other classes, my retail job, and internship. I enjoyed being around my teachers and classmates and discovering the many ways people are able to show their creativity and also unveil the creativity within myself. At a time where I could’ve just gave up on school, work, and the overall weight from being a college student, I still found a way to make it to all the events in this course. Each week I looked forward to meeting with my newfound friends, discuss our differing interpretations of the art, and being enlightened to continue my creativity in other outlets. This class gave me a break and the inspiration to not give up, to continue persisting, and to finish my last year at UIUC so I can one day accomplish my dreams.  

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Nice, But I Don’t Enjoy Classical Music

Written by Kamani J Harris

Taken by Bo Huang Photography

Going to the see the Rolston String Quartet at Krannert, I went in wanting to enjoy it like every performance I go to see. I finally realized I’m not into Classical music.

Continue reading “Nice, But I Don’t Enjoy Classical Music”

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Amazing puppet show

Written by Sihan Wang

Last night I went to the Krannert Center watched “No Blue Memories-The Life Of Gwendolyn Brooks”, which is a Shadowplay. The huge Christmas trees looked very good. 

Before I went, I actually have no idea what it is going to be like, I even thought it was going to be like an opera play but only with puppets, but it turns out that the puppet that I know wasn’t the kind of “puppet” that they used on stage. The puppet that they used is all kinds of different shape of people that they cut from paper. This performance was very interesting; I have never seen such a performance with such creativity, it feels like watching an old black & white movie in this modern day, but with no outdated techniques. Continue reading “Amazing puppet show”

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Creative Theater: Manual Cinema

Written by Syed Ali

Last week at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, Manual Cinema performed a theatrical rendering of No Blue Memories – The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. The performance involved a projector, puppets, and a live orchestra/band that brought various aspects together to create a vibrant display of Gwendolyn Brooks’ life.

Continue reading “Creative Theater: Manual Cinema”

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My Journey Through the Arts in FAA 110!

By: Deja Cook- Reynolds

I can’t believe that the end is already here. This semester has provided me with some amazing opportunities to be encompassed by many forms of art. All different in their various messages, mediums of presentations, and individual style. I knew art was expressive, but this class helped me put meaning to the concept.  The performances I attended included: Continue reading “My Journey Through the Arts in FAA 110!”

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The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

The Manual Cinema of Gwendolyn Brooks was a wonderful experience. If I could, I would go see it again. I have never seen anything like it before and I really enjoyed myself. I loved everything from the visuals to the sounds effects.

The puppeteering aspect added to the style of storytelling. In fact it enhanced the aspect of storytelling. Puppeteering pulled everything together and it made sense. The puppeteering made the story easy to follow. The music also enhanced the entire play. The music matched the year of each part of the story being told. I loved the music. Continue reading “The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks”

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Artistry Evolving

Photo by Maty Patino

Just like we evolve as a species, the way stories are being told are evolving as well. It just keeps getting better and better, and the future generations will be having the best of the best.
Written by Maty Patino

Continue reading “Artistry Evolving”

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Act of Love

Written by Sihan Wang

On the night of November 11, I went to the Colwell Playhouse at Karrnert center viewed Virago Man-Dem performance. I noticed that the performance was started before everyone was seated and lights out, as the audiences went into the theater, there is a person wearing white shirt standing at the corner right under stage facing the stage, and the light was on him since the beginning, I went into the theater early so I notice four performers started to stand on their position one by one before the lights turned off, faced to different direction.

Continue reading “Act of Love”

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Sound of Precious Memory

Written by Sihan Wang

On November 10th, I went to the Krannert CeViolin-Pianooyed the Violin Piano duo performance by Itzhak Perlman and Rohan Desilva.

There are crowds of people attended this concert and I’ve never seen that many people in one concert this semester. Continue reading “Sound of Precious Memory”

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Lovely Love Story

Written by Sihan Wang

Last night I went to Krannert center Tryon Festival Theater watched a romantic comedy La Bohème, the play was written by Giacomo Puccini, an Italian writer. When I went to inside the theater it was pretty quiet.

It started with the two co-directors introducing the play and made some jokes. Continue reading “Lovely Love Story”

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Amazing lights of comedy

Written by Sihan Wang

Tonight I went to the Krannert center and watched the play “A funny thing happened on the way to the forum”, as I went into the theater and started to take pictures, a staff member nicely told me that they don’t allow taking pictures during the show, I realized that maybe my movement was too big, so I took the picture of the program notes and the tickets.

Continue reading “Amazing lights of comedy”

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Arts of Busy Windy City

Written by Sihan Wang

This week I went to the Krannert Art Museum to see the exhibition “Between the buildings: Art from Chicago, 1930s- 1980s”, it’s a very interesting exhibition because there are all kinds forms of art, including paintings, photographs, and sculptures, from lots of artists. All of those various artworks from various artists have one thing in common; those artworks were created and crafted by an artist to express different themes and aspects of the windy city Chicago.

I’ve been to Chicago plenty of times, with my friends or families. Tall buildings and large crowds of people left me with the same impression every single time I visited, busy and bustling. Yet the exhibition showed me another side of Chicago, a side of mystery, abstract, and strange.

Continue reading “Arts of Busy Windy City”

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Puppets with a POP!

Written by Andrew Duran

This past Thursday night, I had the opportunity to attend No Blue Memories-The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. This performance was beyond anything I could have expected and displayed a style of puppets that was creatively outstanding.

Continue reading “Puppets with a POP!”

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Ending the Semester Right With Gwendolyn Brooks

Written by Kamani J Harris

Taken by Kamani J Harris

This performance of No Blue Memories-The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks has to be my favorite of this entire semester. I love stories that outline the path of determination and success of people of color, but the jazz, R&B, and puppeteering is what drew me deeper in.

Continue reading “Ending the Semester Right With Gwendolyn Brooks”

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Recognizing My PerSISTERS

Written by Kamani Harris

Reclaiming My Time
Taken by Kamani Harris

 

On November 29th I went to the art showing of perSISTERS by Leda Black at the UIUC campus YMCA. The art encompassed the many female figures who made an impact on society and persisted no matter the many obstacles they faced, along with many inspirational quotes by them or that represented them in a large way.

Continue reading “Recognizing My PerSISTERS”

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Breaking Bias and Stereotypes through dance!

Before Thanksgiving Break, We got the opportunity to witness a performance called “Virago-Man Dem,” choreographed by Cynthia Oliver, at the Krannert Center.

Written By Xuan Huynh

I was extremely excited to watch this performance because dancing is one of my favorite hobbies. Dancing has helped me get through many tough times. Whenever I’m sad, I listen to music and dance and immediately I feel better.

At the beginning of the performance, I was undeniably confused. They were shaking, wasn’t in sync with each other and doing odd, never seen moves. It looked like they were being possessed. I even asked one of my classmates “What’s going on?” I thought it was going to be typical, modern dance but it was completely the opposite but in the best way possible.

Shapeshifting was present in the performance in many ways. They changed costumes a lot, so maybe they were shifting to another being. An example of this is towards the end when the male dancers changed into dresses. Even though the dance was nothing like I expected, it delivered a strong message. It challenged society’s stereotypes of what it means to be an African American male as well as address issues that African Americans face such as police brutality. During one part of the performance, they had their hands up. I think conveying this message through live performance is powerful and extremely creative. I would love to see another one of her performances soon.

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Shape-Shifting of One’s Understanding: Virago-Man Dem

Written by Kamani J Harris

photo of the dancers in Virago-Man Dem by Cynthia Oliver.
Taken by Kamani Harris

In Cynthia Oliver’s Virago-Man Dem I found myself struggling to put together the changes and metamorphosis within the dance that represents finding oneself, race, and gender identity.

Continue reading “Shape-Shifting of One’s Understanding: Virago-Man Dem”

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Virago-Man Dem

Walking into the theatre, I didn’t really know what to expect. At first, a tall figure in white stood at the end of some steps by the stage. I wasn’t sure if it was a stand of some sort or an actual person. Then another performer in all white came out and stood on the stage. Following two more performances that stood in different areas of the stage or stairs. I became even more curious to see what they were going to perform.

As the show began, I noticed how the dancers based their moves to the backdrop on stage. For instance, the backdrop had 4 comic figures of black robotics. The dancers will dance more robotic, but as the backdrop changes so does the dancers moves. The dancers shift their technique from robot to afro centric. Two dancers may have a piece while the other two are dancing in their own way on other side of the stage.


This performance intrigued me even more being African American because of the many Afro beats and dances. The emotions the dancers were putting in every movement made me feel their energy. Even the switch from Afro centric to Afro Latino vibe. It was a fun show to watch. I love the spice the men added in their dance movements and even their short script. Anytime I see a piece voguing I get excited. It made want to dance with them.

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Expressing views and absurdity through dance

Written by Syed Ali

Last week, the Krannert Center for Performing Arts held a dance performance choreographed by Cynthia Oliver. The performance, Virago-Man Dem, involved different stages of movement that worked in conjunction with a screen, spotlight, and flickering music.

 

 

 

Continue reading “Expressing views and absurdity through dance”

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Breaking the Sterotype

 


Prior to leaving for Thanksgiving Break, I had the opportunity to attend yet another show at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. I must say I have come to enjoy the performances that I go see each week. This particular performance by Cynthia Oliver titled, “Virago-Man Dem,” was something unexpected but quite intriguing by the message it left behind.

Written By: Fatimah Ibidunni Continue reading “Breaking the Sterotype”

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A Funny Thing That Happened on The Way to The…

A Funny Thing That Happened on The Way to the Forum was an interesting play. Before the play started, I heard the play would be funny, fun, or “very entertaining.” I had an array of reactions throughout the play. There were some funny moments, some cheesy, some happy, some sad.

I honestly enjoyed the A Funny Thing That Happened on The Way to the Forum. I thought this play was very well put together. The set was an Ancient Rome neighborhood. Everything from the lighting to “architecture” helped contribute to the feel of Ancient Rome. It takes a lot of imagination to construct a set so complex. My impression of the music was cheesy; just some of the timing of the music in certain scenarios seemed a little off. For example, when the father and son found out they had a crush on the same girl, they decided to sing about it. The father has a wife, number 1. Also, Philia was too you Continue reading “A Funny Thing That Happened on The Way to The…”

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Feeling a little down, go watch a comedy!

by Xuan Huynh

The play “A funny thing happened on the way to the forum” grace the Krannert Center with endless laughter and joy. While watching the performance, I felt fatigue and tired because I was sick but that did not interfere with the amazing experience I had! I walked in the theatre feeling sleepy, but I walked out the happiest person ever.

Being said, I enjoyed every moment of the performance. All aspects of the performance were hilarious and very entertaining; the scenes, costumes, and unique characters were incredible! The actors were my favorite part of the play because they made my experience feel more authentic. Even though I knew the dialogue and behaviors were scripted, the actors made the plot feel so genuine. In addition, I loved when they acknowledge the audience. Frequently, they would say a comment to us or throw an object towards us. Those actions made me feel apart of the show.

All of the characters were comical but the character playing the slave couldn’t stop making me laugh. She was hysterical! Her approach, diction, entire presence was outgoing and riotous. On top of that, I was obsessed with the relationship she had with her “master”. Before watching the performance, I had some controversy about the show. I love watching comedies but I didn’t understand how they could turn a gruesome part of history into a laughable matter but they didn’t have the typical, awful relationship I imagine a slave would with her master. They had a considerate, playful relationship. To add on, the statue is another part of the play that I absolutely adored. At first, I thought she was a prop so her character really shocked me. Her reactions towards conversations were hilarious.

Furthermore, I thought the character that was dressed as a half woman and half man was amusing because it was so different and very effective. Whenever the character’s side faced towards me, it really looked like the gender the actor is trying to portray. Wrapping it up, throughout my life, I did not see many live performances but watching this play inspired me to attend a lot more performance because I had a lot of fun.

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You Will Not Believe What Happened

Many people consider theater to be full of drama and unrealistic scenarios, which for the most part can be true. However, there is also a misconception of theater being boring. That is quite untrue. In order to enjoy theater, you need to choose the perfect play. “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is the perfect play to watch when you have not previously been to the theater.

Written by Maty Patino

Photo by Maty Patino

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Comedy at the Krannert Center

A hilarious musical comedy at the Krannert Center

Written by Bill Xun

Taken by Bill Xun

This week the class went to see A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in the Colwell Playhouse at the Krannert Center. I had an absolute blast watching this musical comedy. Everything came together perfectly — the set, the actors, and the music .It was two hours of nonstop comedy, and I enjoyed watching every second of it.

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Instead of tragedy comes comedy tonight

Written by Syed Ali

Throughout the month of October, the Krannert Center of Performing Arts held the musical play A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The play employed various jokes, expressions, and situations to bring out endless laughter from the audience. The slogan “Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight!” held true as the musical comedy made an interesting inquiry into freedom and making light of a situation.

Continue reading “Instead of tragedy comes comedy tonight”

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A Marvelously Entertaining Night in the Theater

A evening filled with beautiful voices, acting, and belly laughing.

Written by Emily Reeter

I really enjoyed the performance this last Thursday.  I went in without any expectations because it had been years since I had the opportunity to attend a theater event.  When I first arrived I was mesmerized with all the different decorations, lights, and stage settings. The crowds continued to pour into the theater and you could feel the excitement through the immense chattering.  It was extremely lively and vibrant.  I couldn’t wait for the production to begin so I could see it all come to life. Continue reading “A Marvelously Entertaining Night in the Theater”

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Funny Thing In Colwell Playhouse

Written By Tim Gao

Photo By Tim Gao

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is the one of the best musical by Stephen Sondheim. Everyone was excited about this Thursday night because of the show and it also gives us the first opportunity to attend the show at the Illinois Theatre. The first thing surprised me is the perfect seat because it is super close to the stage that allows us to see all kinds of delicate costumes and plenty of emotions on performers’ face. The whole stage was very fancy but well-organized, there are orchestras on both sides and also a fake swimming pool close to the center of the stage. Everyone on the seat just can’t wait to see what is behind the red curtain which has a happy face and a sad face on it.

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A Comedy Tonight: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Written by Zhenbang Wu.

“Something familiar, something peculiar, something for everyone — a comedy tonight!”

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Wonderous Search

Who ever knew that the adventure to help yourself could be full of so many surprises?

By: Deja Cook- Reynolds

To begin, I wanted to start off with what made me smile in this piece, because I watched this performance because of a class, yes, but I also wanted to enjoy the show. So, I had to find something that I liked throughout the performance, though that wasn’t hard. I think the part that I enjoyed the most and indeed was the reason for the smile on my face was the statue character. Continue reading “Wonderous Search”

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A whacky yet amusing performance

Written by Thomas Kirkendall

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum was a very weird yet amusing performance to watch as I’ve never been to a play like this one that was suppose to be funny but also had a deeper meaning behind it. many people enjoyed the play but I also noticed some people not as interested.
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“Something For Everyone…A Comedy Tonight!”

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Written By: Fatimah Ibidunni

If this class keeps going at this rate, I am going to go to every theater production that the Krannert Center for Performing Arts puts on because… WOW. Click below to read more about the amazing performance at Krannert this Thursday. Continue reading ““Something For Everyone…A Comedy Tonight!””

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A Funny Thing Happened Indeed

Written By: Nora Guerrero
There’s a certain type of vibe that fills the atmosphere when you’re sitting in a theatre, waiting for the play to begin. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is one to watch. The anticipation of the lights dimming, and the music beginning, is all very exciting. After a long week of classes, decompressing at a play Thursday night was not how I imagined my night to go, but I am so glad it did.

Continue reading “A Funny Thing Happened Indeed”

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Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Krannert

It’s Thursday again! And Thursday is for KRANNERT!!

written by LinJie Yang

The show for this week is ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum’. It’s a pretty old comedy first played on Broadway in 1962 and the show I watched tonight is an updating modified version.             Continue reading “Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Krannert”

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My life in Chicago

Written by Alyssa Pappas

Photo by A.Pappas

Chicago has had a very cultural as well as family aspect in my life.  This personal experience of mine, can be related to throughout the artwork in the Chicago exhibit at the Krannert Art Museum.

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The Windy City

Many people think that Chicago got its name due to the weather, but that is not right. Chicago, “The Windy City” was initially used by the Cincinnati Press and then later used by Chicago Tribune in 1876. I was raised in Chicago, and the history is never ending.

Written by Maty Patino

Photo by Maty Patino

History is so pleasing, but even more when it has to do with place or person you truly care about, in this case Chicago. There is so many amazing people who come from the city of Chicago. This city is full of art and artists. Any way you turn, there is art. Art in murals, art hanging, art as a building.

Photo by Maty Patino

People themselves are because everyone is so different and unique. Everyone has such a different style that it makes each and one of us a piece of art created by the biology of the universe. Each individual provides the world with something. Whether it is the art itself such as buildings, paintings, drawings, landscaping, or even love in which you just feel.

Photo by Maty Patino

Thinking about Chicago can make some of us feel melancholy. But, looking for something related to our city can always make us feel better. As I walked through the Krannert Art Museum, I realized how much of the history I did not know. Moreover, I started to reminisce my days in Chicago and how much I missed it. I started to think about my way to downtown, and how the city itself is art, whether it’s the graffiti, the huge Moose Bubblegum Bubble by Jacob Watts or the Willis Tower.

Thank you to the Krannert Art Museum for filling our hearts with joy as we see the art that they hold by our beloved city artists.

Photo by Maty Patino

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Describing A City With Art

A collection of diverse pieces of art representing Chicago at the Krannert Art Museum

Written by Bill Xun

Taken by Bill Xun

Between The Buildings: Art From Chicago, 1930s to 1980s is currently on display at the Krannert Art Museum. It’s amazing to see each artist’s individual perspectives and how they choose to represent the city that they live in. Some choose to use photos; others use sculptures, paintings, and all sorts of abstract art. Collectively, the entire exhibition gives viewers a summary of Chicago as a whole through a collection of pieces.

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The Rush, the Changes and the Innerself

Before going to Krannert Art Museum, I was expecting an exhibition that related more to architechture since the name was “between the buildings” (and apparently I omitted the word “between”). Disappointed to find that we have been there and seen some of the paintings, I then spent more than an hour at the gallery. I was utterly amazed by the thoughtfulness and introspection each piece of art brings.

I LOVE how much thought was put in this piece. The obsession with hair and pretty faces in media has a significant influence on our perception of beauty, and by showing only the back side of hair ironically, the creator demonstrated how hair is displayed as attractive in the media. The sarcasm in this artwork is awesome.

 

 

This sketch piece looks simple, but it is my favorite one at the gallery. Although it is not the most eye-catching artwork, it has THE perfect angle and composition and I felt its beauty. The shade was painted with a cursive manner, but it displays the contrast between light and shadow perfectly.

 

 

Here are two more pictures I took at the gallery. I’d like to explain more if I have time to, but in general I loved how “Eschikago” showed us the history of the First Nations, and the last piece demonstrated our inner fears and outer challenges in life.

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Representing life in Chicago with Art

Written by Syed Ali

This week, the Krannert Art Museum held an exhibition, “Between the Buildings: Art from Chicago, 1930s – 1980s,”  that held various paintings and art sculptures representing Chicago/life in Chicago. Various artists created differing themes about what aspects of Chicago are most important and how they can be represented. Continue reading “Representing life in Chicago with Art”

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Chicago between the paintings

In a sunny peaceful afternoon, I went into the krannert museum,starting a new exploration.

Written by Linjie Yang

Since  I only have been to Chicago downtown only one time, I do not know much about this city. I just want to command some of these paintings.

The first painting  left me a strong impression is this “three women”. This painting wants to illustrate the women in different colors own the same right and should be treated equally.What’s more, this painting was finished in the late 19’s. At that time, only a few people had the awareness of advocating women’s rights. From this particular detail, I think Chicago is an elightning city.

        

The second piece is this giant painting. During my first glance, I was shocked. Because the style of the painting is very Japanese.  Due to there is no annotation along sides this painting, I can not find further information on this piece. I am conjecturing if there is a special relationship between Chicago and Japanese.


 The last one is this pretty metal style piece. The only item I could recognize in the painting is a robot. I spent much time in front of this painting, and I like the color of it. I don't know why but I just felt this painting looks very 'Chicago.' Maybe this painting leaves me the same impression as Chicago did.                

 

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Expression of Chicago

Written By Tim Gao

Photo By Tim Gao

Highlighting the artworks from Chicago-based artists, the exhibition, Between the buildings, unfolds the stories and spirits buried in history. The historical background of Between the buildings is interesting. In last century Chicago, many artists working in isolation, producing creativity, diversity, and personal aesthetics. However, the artists could hardly find opportunities to exhibit their works. Thus they collectively exhibit with students in art schools, forming the idea of Chicago School.

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Different Perspectives, One Goal

Living in a community where there are so many people unlike yourself can be hard. However, having the same drive to be great and see beauty in the world around you is what brings the people of Chicago together.

By: Deja Cook- Reynolds

After attending the Krannert Art Museum’s Chicago exhibit, I was quite confused on what I was looking at. All the art was so different, but in a way; they had to be similar, right? Although, in order to understand the art around me, I had to dig deep and find out what Chicago meant to me. Was it just a place where people lived, or was it more than that? But people can live anywhere I said to myself, so what made Chicago “so special”. It was the fact that Chicago is composed of so many different type of people. People that work together to build a community that is special to them, without losing the core of Chicago’s traditions, the music, food, and community where people can let go, be themselves, and have fun!

So when, I was looking at the art work; I saw the fun and the beauty of Chicago. I saw the picture of the different communities painted in the images. They all captured different things, but indeed the theme was the same, the beauty of life Chicago, striving to live in the moment and not to be afraid of the journey or the people you might meet while you are there.

By: Philip Hanson

By: Art Sinsabaugh

By: Nathan Lerner

By: Ted Halkin

Chicago Exhibit

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The Charming City of Chicago

Written by Emily Reeter

I think the artists tried to represent the passion, hustle, and chaos of the city with their illustrations of masses of people and vibrant colors. In one of the paintings they showcased all of the city’s people walking in a crowded downtown area.  It was unique because each and every person was dressed in something unique and bold.  I liked that painting the most because it really represented all the different cultures emerging in the city.  One of the reasons I like cities like Chicago so much is because of the diversity they bring and the different cultural influences they have throughout the city.   I thought this painting did a good job of showing the diversity with the different apparel choices and through the different directions everyone is headed.  Other paintings focused on the skyscrapers and exhibited the beautiful architecture of the Windy City.  I loved how modern and state-of-the-art, yet realistic all of the buildings looked.  I think the combination of the skyscrapers and hustling people paint a good picture of the hustling life of the city.  It’s a beautiful city with endless opportunities, but filled with an array of people from all different backgrounds that are all restless and ambitious to make something out of the assets supplied to them in this magical place. I drew my own illustration of my vision of the sun rising over the city, but the residents are already up moving.  They are on their way to make their impact and mark on this city before the sun has even risen over these skyscrapers.  It’s a city of art, ambition, and an array of residents with different backgrounds.

 

 

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The Colors of Chicago

Written by Andrew Duran,

Image by Andrew Duran

Being raised in the city of Chicago, you begin to pick up on the colors that the city begins to depict. The sound of late night trains screeching to a stop and the feeling of a current bouncing in between two large buildings is unique to the city.

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Solo Guitarist: Marcus Tardelli

The performance on last Wednesday was an amazing experience for me. Most of the performances I have been to are orchestras or musicals that have more of a complex composition than the solo guitar performance. Honestly, seeing only one performer on stage was uncommon for me and monotonous at first, but then it was enjoyable to see how engaged he was in his guitar and his music.

What seperates the live performance and listening to music at home was the experience. Seeing the musician basking in the pure joy of the music, observing how he plays the instrument and feeling the ambience inside Follienger’s Great Hall makes the whole experience unique. Also, what I noticed from the music pieces Marcus Tardelli played was that none of those are catchy. Compared to pop music that catch your ear in the first five seconds, the ones he played were more classic.

Although I have zero knowledge about the guitar, I could tell that he had perfect control of the guitar and is a true master. However, I did wish that I knew more about the guitar so that I would fully appreciate his talent and efforts. If it was a pianist’s performance, I would be way more enthralled than this performance. One fun thing was that, after the performance and on our way out, an old lady told me she was wondering how classic guitars and electric guitars differ. I said I had no idea, but I liked her thought. In general, it was still a fun night at the KCPA.

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Peaceful but powerful

Written by Xuan Huynh

On Wednesday night, I got the opportunity to witness an amazing guitarist, Marcus Tardelli, perform classical and Brazilian songs at the Krannert Center. Marcus was the only person on stage, but the passion he displayed while playing his guitar made the performance dramatic but still very relaxing. The music I typically listen to make me feel important because it’s relatable and it contains lyrics that focus on the audience. I felt the complete opposite way at Marcus’s performance. He did not once acknowledge the audience while playing the guitar. His emotions and body movement were moving with his strings as one, and it was enjoyable to watch because I was witnessing a connection between him and his love. With that being said, this experience of listening to music made me pay more attention to him as an artist instead of my own personal desires.

Furthermore, while I was watching and listening to him play on the empty stage, I couldn’t help but visualize a dance performance or scene that would compliment his sound. The setting and his performance encourage me to use my imagination a lot more than I usually do while listening to music because there weren’t any distractions. Most of the time, the lyrics of a song make me think about a certain event or anything that relates to the music so that distracts me from thinking about ideas that can praise the sound. Also, sometimes when I’m listening to music is when I’m doing a silent activity and because of that, most of my attention is on the other task so I don’t have the time to create ideas from the melody.

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How Tardelli changed the way I feel about live performed music.

Written by Thomas Kirkendall

Marcus Tardelli gives an amazing guitar performance  at the wonderful Krannert center on October 3rd 2018.  Every couple years the Krannert center has an event known as Ellnora this guitar festival lasts three days and brings great musicians around the world to the Krannert center.

Continue reading “How Tardelli changed the way I feel about live performed music.”

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Marcus Tardelli: Master Guitarist

Marcus Tardelli performs a masterful solo performance at the Krannert Center.

Written by: Bill Xun

Photo by Bill Xun

On Wednesday night, Marcus Tardelli performed a solo set consisting of arrangements of classical pieces and traditional Brazilian pieces. It was easy to see the passion that he plays with from the beginning of the first piece. From slow melodic pieces to fast skillful pieces, it was never a dull moment at the performance.

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Amazing experience

Written by Sihan Wang

Last night, at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, the famous guitarist Marcus Tardelli held a solo performance. The moment I entered the hall, I realize that this is the place that we visited two weeks ago, with the ghost light, but right now it’s full of people.

Between the third and the fourth piece, I especially noticed the way he plays that guitar, I feel like although he talks to the audience from time to time, he wasn’t playing for us, he wasn’t playing for anyone else in that Hall except for himself, the way he focused on every single note, the way he enjoyed the music came from the string and the wood. He was just like falling in his music. I think back to myself while I was practicing piano at home, I wasn’t as enjoying the music came from my hand through the wood as he does. While playing a sad part he was frowning, while playing a cheerful part he was shaking his head with the music and smiling.

During the concert, there were people coughs, and making noises that were very loud, it was so quiet that you can almost hear every sound that didn’t come from the guitar. I was first annoyed by all the noise that made by the audience, but later I thought to myself, the noise and music are all sound, why do we typically enjoying the music so much but not the noise? Then I realized that it’s not the difference in sound that makes us feel pleasure or annoying, it’s how we perceived it that makes the difference. Since they are all just different sounds, why don’t I just enjoy this randomness?

Being physically in a concert listening to music is a lot different than listening to the music at home, when we listen to the music at home we choose what we want to listen, whereas in a concert we listen to what the performer presents to us. Sometimes at home when I listen to a song and if I don’t like it I might just cut it or change the song within the first ten seconds, but in a concert, I don’t have such a power, I was forced to finish every single piece whether or not I like it. But the amazing part is that for every piece, even I don’t like it at the beginning, as I kept listening, I find my own enjoyment. For a sad song, I imagine someone just breaks up with his loved one, in the fifth piece I see children playing around the beach, full of smiles and sunshine. I almost remembered all the feelings that I have toward different pieces, which is an amazing experience.

In the end, all of the audience seems really enjoying his performance, and he exits the stage in thunderous applause.

Wait that’s not the end yet, he actually came back and gave us another joyful and fast piece before he exits the stage again in thunderous applause.