Although this workshop was titled “Dance”, it was more like a journey about our soul. It gave me plenty of time to feel my inner changes and explore the deeper philosophical implications of art.
We stopped outside Krannert Art Museum and Ms. Monson requested us to close our eyes and feel which direction is north. Then we each looked for and turned to the direction of our hometown. Ms. Monson let us feel the sounds from a distance or close by, looking for objects that emitted these sounds, and moving in the direction of their movement. In such a quiet environment, I clearly heard the rumble of cars driving across the road, the rustle of wind blowing through the leaves, and the screaming of birds in the sky, which made me feel relaxed and calm down.
After entering the museum, Ms. Monson took us to a gallery and let us find a partner. Each person had three minutes to close their eyes and do whatever they want. I chose to lie on the ground and stretch my body, which made me feel comfortable because I usually sit to study and my back could not be relaxed.
In the third session, Ms. Monson asked us to choose one from different activities and work with our partner. My partner and I wanted to observe and draw the life cycle of the material of a work of art. We chose a painting, and I thought about where the oil paint came from. I painted the process I imagined on paper to share with others.
This workshop was so unique that I couldn’t find a similar event. I was very grateful for this special experience, which taught me a new way of feeling art.
The evening began with a brief meeting in the lobby of Krannert Art Museum. Here we met with who KAM would be hosting for the night, Jennifer Monson. The event would be a dance workshop that we the audience would be taking part in. It served as an interactive experience that included using our senses to clear our minds and connect with our surroundings, using our bodies to demonstrate how we felt, and then analyzing the art work and creating our own response using drawings or a form of dance to express what it meant to us.
Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop is totally different from the events we attend before. Instead of just watching, we join the event and present our own discoveries throughout the whole tour. I was impressed by nearly everything happened that evening.
Before attending the dance workshop, I thought it was just an event that would teach us how to dance, or maybe some history about dancing. However, the trip was completely beyond my mind and gave me a new understanding of dance. We start the trip by walking out of the building and gathering on the turf by the street. There we were asked to close our eyes and fell the nature, and it reminded me of meditation. Jennifer told us to feel the ground under our feet, sound from far away, and even air flowing in the air. I start to calm down by doing all the movement she told us to and it was a good start of the tour.
Then we entered the Krannert Art Museum to take a tour in the art room. Although I’d been here before, but there were still a lot of artworks I hadn’t seen. Jennifer led us around the building and asked us to do an activity. We needed to get in a team of 2 people and watch each other’s behavior and we could do any movement we want with our eyes closed. This part of the trip entertained me because it was funny to see all the people making some strange movements, including myself.
Later, Jennifer let us choose a specific artwork and follow one of the instructions to look at and think about it. My partner and I chose artwork that we don’t understand much about, and we only chose it because we thought it looked colorful and beautiful. Jennifer was supposed to walk around the room and talk to all the students, but when she found out we were confused with the artwork, she came to us and try to understand the artwork with us. She spent 20 minutes telling us how to look at a painting from different angles and perspectives. I had always thought it was hard to analyze the meaning of an artwork, but Jennifer’s works inspired me and taught me the right but multiple ways to enjoy an artwork. She got so excited looking at the artwork that she was moving around it all the time to come up with new ideas.
I learned a lot from Jennifer Monson and I thought I might never forget about that tour. We’ve all seen people standing in front an artwork and we don’t understand them for the most time. Jennifer Monson really gave me a whole new idea about how to enjoy an artwork.
This post is the make-up event for the Jennifer Monson Dance on the 3 Oct 2019.
I attended the FYG U Music Film Festival and the one huge surprising thing is that all the tickets were free! No charges at all. I immediately signed up for the festival and it was really an eye-opener for me.
When I entered the festival at about 9:00pm and walked closer to the main stage I could feel the bass resounding from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. It was as though the music was in me.
As I approached the crowd, hands were in the air moving in syncopation to the beat, people were bouncing up and down to the beat, literally, everyone was grooving to the beat. Personally, I do not dance well but seeing everyone having such a good time, the music in me just took over and I myself started jumping to the beat too.
One huge eye-opener was when Tripple Redd sang a certain song, about 5 Americans opened up a huge circle in the middle and you would not believe what happen next…
It was a DANCE OFF!
What I love about it, was that anyone could go to the middle and dance despite their race, size or gender. Everyone was just cheering for one another and having a good time.
Apart from the audience, the rapper, Tripple Redd was really spontaneous and engaging to the crowd. He will ask the crowd to echo after him. It will something like that:
Red: WHEN I SAY TRIPPLE, YOU SAY REDD!
He also got everyone to sing acapella to his songs and just hearing the crescendo and echo of the crowd was really spectacular. It gives such a chemistry between the crowd itself and Tripple Red too.
of music was hip-hop and it was really catered to the crowd as everyone was
familiar to the song and singing along to it. Personally, I do not listen to
hip-hop but after the festival, I now appreciate it more.
The set up for the stage was marvelous, the sound system was so loud but so clear. The lights used were vibrant colors such as bright red, light blue, yellow and light green. The colors create a vibrant and energetic atmosphere. Furthermore, there was the smoke machine that was used very timely which were at the end of the song or to hype up the crowd.
Overall, it was a real eye-opener for me to attend a music festival and in particular to the music genre of hip-hop.
The Krannert Art Museum recently hosted Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop, an event open free to the public which was an interactive event which took place all over the Museum. Participants were asked to move their body in response to different activities. Included in this event was also a response/analysis to artwork to as well as group activities.
Jennifer Monson brought us to experience art through dance and movement at Krannert Art Museum.
Jennifer Monson is an American dancer and choregrapher. On October 3, she showed us a new way to interpret art during her dance workshop at Krannert Art Museum. She had brought us to use not vision, but dance and movement to feel the art, which you may find a experience you have never had.
Thanks to Jennifer Monson
and her knowledge of biology and dance I learned a new means of
experiencing and connecting with the art at the Krannert Art Museum.
Even though I have been to the KAM three times, the crafts in it are
still fascinating: new details emerge and give the art a new meaning or
Jennifer Monson shares her insight on how movement of the body can change the experience of art.
written by Allison Spillane
This experience was a new one. Previous shows that this class had scheduled I had some semblance of expectation, but I went into Jennifer Monson’s dance workshop having no preconceptions of what we would be doing. Having absolutely no background knowledge of dance, I must admit I was somewhat apprehensive about the activities she had in store. However, despite my fears, I found the movement in this event quite refreshing. The lense of dance really changed the way that I experienced the art.
On Thursday October 3rd at the Krannert Art Museum we went to a dance Workshop taught by Jennifer Monson. This experience was unlike any other and it felt very freeing and liberating. I had never gone to a dance workshop and going to this one was unlike anything I thought it would be.
Jennifer Monson holds a workshop to bridge the gap between dance and art
Written by Edward Huang
Just as the weather began to get chilly in Champaign-Urbana, a small group gathered in the lobby of the Krannert Art Museum with excitement and curiosity. Jennifer Monson, the renowned dancer, choreographer, and professor stood in the middle of the group, calling order to what was bound to be an interesting and transformative workshop. Her goal was to show us the connection between dance and art, and how we can discover that through a certain set of activities.
Jennifer Monson expresses a way of experiencing art through movement at her dance workshop at Krannert Art Museum on October 3rd, 2019.
We began outside in a small patch of grass outside of the museum. We were instructed to close our eyes and listen to the sounds of our surroundings and to face various directions. While the group was listening to their sounds, I focused my attention to the leaves rustling, cars driving by, and crickets chirping. It felt very relaxing and stress-relieving. Considering my stressful week that consisted of studying for midterms and completing assignments, this experience was a breath of fresh air.
Then, we went back into the museum and entered the art gallery. We were told to find a partner and take turns watching each other do whatever we wanted with our eyes closed. It was an opportunity to express ourselves and follow our instincts. Next, we were given a packet of prompts and were sent off to find a piece of artwork we liked and stare at it before answering a prompt in the packet. My partner and I chose a large oil painting that features two individuals bracing each other. Looking at the prompts, I chose the one that required me to draw my response to the artwork. Reflecting on my first impressions of the artwork, I remember drawing my attention to the detailed hands and less-distinct eyes of the individuals. I then turned to my paper and began drawing a hand and eye.
By thinking about my own body and movement in relation to the artwork made me feel more connected to the piece as well as allowing me to look at a piece of art in a different perspective. I focused more on the emotions conveyed within the artwork as well as my reaction in response to a piece of art.
Colwell Playhouse’s performance of Home captivates the audience through its portrayals of the fast-pace chaos that is human life.
Written by Danielle Herrera.
On Friday, Sept. 27 I walked into the Krannert Center of Performing Arts without any prior knowledge as to what I was about to witness. Having been the piano accompanist for a number of various musicals, I’m quite familiar with theater and performance. However, this was my first time attending a play, which completely lacks the song and dance involved in musicals; for this reason, I was concerned that the performance wouldn’t feel as lively. Little did I know, there are countless other aspects of plays that are just as captivating as those found in musical theater.
The show opened up with a dim, completely empty stage. There was no movement nor light, which cause the room quiet down into deafening silence. Then, after a few moments a man entered on stage and began setting up lights, building what appeared to be a wall. His movements were purposeful and captivating, which in my opinion set the vibe for the entire show.
As the play progressed, various rooms were built on stage right in front of the audience. This gave viewers an inside look on the long process of creating a home, while simultaneously demonstrating countless life events that would take place in anyone’s home. More and more characters were introduced, portraying their separate lives whilst physically using the same set. Finally, at the end, the characters all join together in a scene of celebration.
I thought that the incorporation of the audience into the play made the performance more exciting and entertaining to watch. Seeing familiar faces being pulled on stage gave the show a new energy, and also allowed the audience to feel as though they are part of the performance. My favorite part was when Valleri, our professor, was invited on stage and asked to describe her home. Hearing her own genuine stories and descriptions of her childhood home reminded me of my own memories of my house. It made me realize how important it is for everyone to have their own place to call home.
Home by Geoff Sobelle was a performance filled with so much chaos and laughter. It depicted scenes of life, death, sadness, and celebration using just one house setting, which revealed a universal thread amongst us humans: everyone needs a home. It doesn’t matter if it’s a house, or an apartment, or even just a room; people need a space to experience life. I loved watching this play, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s looking to find new perspective on what makes a home, “home”.
The story of “Home” began with two small lights, a wooden frame and two plastic sheets.
When a man in casual clothes came to the stage directly from the auditorium instead of the background, I thought he was a staff at first. When he assembled the materials into a wall and changed the scene into a small bed and a door, I realized that he was an actor. There were many different people in and out of the door, such as women, boys, and elderly. Not too long after that, several decorators appeared, converting the scene into a larger house and starting to carry furniture inside. I could gradually distinguish the kitchen, living room, bathroom, study and bedroom.
Until the last piece of furniture was moved in, the hostess walked into the house with flowers, and a complete “home” appeared. The new day began with a simulation of sunshine through the venetian blinds on the second floor window and realistic barking. From getting up and washing, dressing up, and carrying the packages out, the actors presented us with different lives of different roles. The elderly did housework, the child went to school and adults went to work. This reminded me of my own life. Before I entered the college, every day after I get up, my mother drove me school and then came back to do housework. My dad had to work every day, occasionally going on a business trip. People in a home methodically handled their own life.
The most amazing thing that shocked me was in the second part. Actors began to interact with the audience actively. The little boy stepped down and invited us to taste the olives (I tasted one, but it was sour). The other actors let the audience stand and put the string of lights on the top of the head. They also invited many audience, including several of my friends, to come to the stage and participate in the party and celebrate the birthday. I was still thinking about the logic of plot just before this part, such as what the meaning is when actors entered and exited from the door at the beginning. But when the audience cheered, I felt that the logic of the story was no longer so important. Now I am part of the story, and I am also completing this story about Home.
I was immersed in the performance until the end. It turned out that interacting with the audience is the most direct way to get audience into the situation. I could not refuse this kind of interaction, which was a wonderful experience I have never had before.
Geoff Sobelle’s dreamlike play took the Colwell Playhouse audience by surprise. Wood frames and staples started what would become home or a memory of it. The uncoherent scenes at the beginning sparked the curiosity of the viewers, necessary for the rest of the play. Then, the harmony of the life of the residents made us relate to them. Finally, the familiarity with the house made us dwellers.
In Colwell Playhouse at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Geoff Sobelle’s Homecaptivated the audience on Friday night. The play brought together theater, illusions, and some impressive engineering for the set that was used. The performance pressed the audience to consider the true meaning of a home as we watched the lives of several characters play out in one space.
Home became the best show I’ve ever watched last week. It was abusolutely amazing for me and, I believe, for everyone. Everything about the show including the actors, scenes, and plays.
At first, I was confused with the meaning of the story the show was trying to tell, so I was trying hard to understand every details the show displayed. At the same time, I was surprised by the tricks the actors were doing. They could just change themselves to another actor by hide themselves for a second, and that was the point I started getting interested in the show.
Later, I was getting into the story of the show. Home was telling a story about a home in which several people live. All these people seemed unrelated in the first place, but they were actually interrelated to each other. The interactions between each roles were really sweet and I felt a sense of warm inside the theatre.
At last, we were hyped by the plot where they invited plenty of the audience to the stage and participate. There was a scene depicted a night when everyone inside the house invited all kinds of friends to have a large party. I must say I enjoyed the plot so much that I was smiling all the time towards the end.
In the end, all the audience stood up and applauded for all the actors who showed up. Home is not just a show for me, but a real sweet home that night.
On September 27th, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts showcased the play Home in the Colwell Playhouse. The play slowly evolved from the silent story of one man who had built a house, the the stories of several people, each living out their own lives in the same home, unaware of the other’s very existence. Towards the end, even the audience became a central role in the amazing play, both in on stage participation and in helping to set the mood for the scene.
Eric Andre his entire audience captivated and wanting more at Canopy Club with his visionary humor.
Written by Catherine Webber
As part of his Legalize Everything tour, and as an act of the Pygmalion Festival, comedian Eric Andre played at Canopy Club this past Saturday to a crowd of very enthusiastic fans, and these fans were not disappointed. Once I saw that Andre would be part of the Pygmalion Festival I quickly texted my brother to see if he would make the journey from Chicago to join me in the crowd, and he very eagerly told me that he would and couldn’t wait. Andre is known for his off the wall and oftentimes absurd talk show on Adult Swim, and this stand up was definitely reminiscent of the farcical show.
From the beginning of the one-act play by Geoff Sobelle, Home was a little confusing for me. And as the story went on I was still confused. It was a lot of inner working parts that require people to sit down and replay what they saw and felt. Even though I was confused and was struggling to find meaning, now as I am looking back I realized I kind of enjoyed the display.
Geoff Sobelle brings his interpretation of home for the people of Champaign-Urbana
Written by Edward Huang
On a chilly Friday evening, guests gathered at Colwell Playhouse in Krannert Center for the Performing arts, eager to see what “Home” by Geoff Sobelle had in store for them. The stage was set with a display of mystery. There were bright lights glaring at the audience, preventing them from seeing anything in the dark backstage. I felt that this built up the interest of the crowd. When an actor from the audience walked onto the stage, the crowd waited in silence, all with piqued curiosity for what was to come.
Geoff Sobelle’s “Home” showcases a mix of music and theatre while building a house from scratch at Colwell Playhouse in KCPA on September 27th, 2019.
“Home” starts off with a man wondering around on stage, picking up lanterns, and building a small wall out of wood and plastic sheets. As the play goes on, more characters start appearing, including the construction workers who quickly built a house in front of our very eyes. There was a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, and office within the house. Room decor, like pictures and vases, and furniture, like couches and desks, decorated the home while the residents unpacked. The stage quickly transformed into a warm home with ambient noises, wind blowing, leaves ruffling, and dog barking, mixed with realistic lighting that portrayed day and night.
As the story unfolds, we see the daily life of each resident, from waking up to doing chores to arguing with each other. Seeing each resident live their own lives made me think and reflect on my own experiences at home. The play made me think about my morning routine and hectic schedules that I follow on a daily basis back at home and in my dorm at university. At the end of the play, the residents one by one began packing their belongings and moving out. This act made me think about the time I was moving from Minnesota to California, and then moving to university in Illinois. As a result, I could sympathize with the actors as they portrayed their lives.
To my surprise, the actors also interacted with the audience throughout the play, whether it was offering food and drinks, asking for people to stand and hold strings of lights, singing happy birthday, or bringing them on stage to be part of the act. It made the audience feel cheerful, as if they were also a part of or invited to the party. I thought this strengthened the connection between the audience and the actors to create a lasting impression and to sympathize with them by drawing more of the audience’s attention to the scene.
Chris Botti showcases his talent as a trumpeter and performer alongside his company of musicians from across the globe.
On Saturday, September 14 Chris Botti and company performed at the Krannert Center of Performing Arts, demonstrating just the many reasons as to why he is so distinguished from other trumpeters. The award-winning musician and composer made his appearance on stage along with a variety of other instrumentalists, including a guitarist, violinist, pianist, and many more.
The majority of the performance was instrumental based, which was different from all the other concerts I have previously been to. However, as a piano accompanist I would say that it was pleasant surprise to see a performance where the instrumentalists are the center of attention. And they definitely deserved the attention too; the musicianship of all the players on stage was absolutely insane. Each of their solos really allowed them to show off just how much control they had over their instrument, and how extensive their experience was in regards to performing.
Although I enjoyed listening to all the instrumentalists, I feel as though the singer gave the band a refreshing sound at the end of the first half of the performance. There was a new type of energy when singer and songwriter Sy Smith joined the company of musicians, and her funky soul-voice definitely livened up the crowd. I think she blended well with the jazzy instrumentals that was previously being played, and ultimately gave the song an edge.
I think my favorite part of the performance was Lee Pearson’s drum solo midway through the first half of the performance. His short showcase exhibited so much emotion and energy that people were constantly clapping and cheering. I found that the fast and complicated rhythms that he was able to complete were mesmerizing, and his overall showmanship was exciting to watch. I also liked the way he was able to entertain the audience with little tricks such as playing with the sticks behind his back, or throwing up the sticks in the air as he plays. Most importantly though, it was obvious that Pearson’s energy was genuine; you could see how much heart he put into this performance.
Overall, the Chris Botti performance was a refreshing change from the previous concerts I have attended. I greatly enjoyed the music and the energy of the show, and would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who is interested in instrumental music.
Chris Botti blows away the crowd at the Tryon Festival Theater!
Although I was sick, and was unable to stay the entire show, Chris Botti’s performance was a spectacle to behold. My favorite part of the performance would probably be the drummer. I always have respect for people who have range within their instruments, and the quiet, subtle beats that the drummer was able to produce set against his moments of intense and creative drum solos was spectacular. Another aspect of the drummer that I liked so much was that he looked like he was genuinely having fun on stage. Between the intimidatingly stylish Botti and his beautiful and calm violinist, the drummer stood out to me as someone who was there to have a great time doing what he loves.
The grammy award-winning trumpeter shows Champaign-Urbana his talents
Written by Edward Huang
On a calm Saturday night, the guests of Krannert Center for Performing Arts waited eagerly for the appearance of Chris Botti, the renowned trumpeter, to make his way onto the stage. I watched as he made his entrance, but I was caught off by the number of other musicians that he brought along with him. As an appreciator of all music styles, I was excited to see what they had in store.
Hundreds gather for a celebration of Asian culture at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Written by Edward Huang
On Friday, September 13, students from all over UIUC gathered on the main quad to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Mid Autumn Festival is a holiday that originated in ancient China. It is a celebration of the Lunar New Year, because Chinese culture placed heavy emphasis on the moon in their culture. The event, however, was hosted by the Vietnamese Student Association and was open to the public. Guests were able to enjoy cultural performances as well as food from different Asian backgrounds.
I look forward to watching Chris Botti before the start of it because I’ve always been interested in Jazz music and I heard Chris Botti is a famous Jazz musician playing the trumpet. Every year, I watch a few music performance and I must say I love each of them when I was watching.
When I sat on my seat and started waiting for the show to begin, I started thinking all the performances I watched before and relating them with the show I was about to watch that night. So, basically, I was trying to remember my own experiences with Jazz music. However, the show turned out to be completely different from what I imagined. The Jazz music Chris Botti and his band played was more modern instead of traditional music, and it is exactly where I want to start describing my favorite part of the show. The part that made me feel that the music was more modern was the drummer. He was highly excited and active and there was a part for his single play. Every one was hyped by his performance and he was doing all kinds of tricks with the drummer and making me feel beautiful. Also, I found other people around me start moving their bodies and it seemed like everyone was dancing during a show we’re supposed to sit quietly.
Chris Botti’s interaction with the audience was another point that I noticed. His interaction with the audience was similar with Buddy Guy, because they both walked off the floor and played the instruments. Chris Botti walked towards the audience started moving along the road, and finally stopped by the middle of it. He started playing with himself standing there and making eye contacts with the audience around him. I feel his interactions were hard to ignore and we became even more concentrated when he did that. In addition to the physically interactions, Chris Botti talked a lot to the audience about his stories and the introductions of his band members. Chris’ amusing tone entertained all of us that day and it was one of the reasons that made the show a success.
I enjoyed Chris Botti’s performance, and all the other musicians’ as well. They form a band that perfectly assist each other during the performance with music and movements. All the performances I watched before has a band that played together, but Chris allowed every band members to have their own moments to show their unique personalities.
Chris Botti was an amazing show for me, and I would never forget him, even though I never heard him before. To be honest, it’s probably hard for me to watch his performance again, but I will link the show to my memory and I will never forget him when I think of art in the future.
I had seen a role of drag queen, Angel, in a musical named RENT before I saw this performance. I thought I knew the drag queens very well and I suppose them to be positive, bold, not afraid of gender obstruction, and brave in pursuing love and freedom. However, I didn’t really get to know them until I saw Sasha Velour.
I was inspired by the enthusiasm of people as the show started and it is clear that Sasha Velour has lots of fans here. At the moment she appeared, the screams of the audience drowned me. The first thing that surprised me was her style, a white robe, like an angel. But soon when Sasha Velour spoke, I was shocked by her apparently trained opera aria, and even began to speculate whether she had sung in the opera house. Unexpectedly, however, the transition between angel and demon was only a few seconds. When Sasha Velour picked up her white robe and revealed the red flash tights below, the whole theatre was boiling. After completely removing the white robe, she was red with the whole body, just like the real devil. This powerful contrast shocked me a lot.
After each scene was finished, Sasha Velour would take the microphone out to talk to us. It has to be admitted that Sasha Velour was very humorous and infectious. The audience naturally loved her very much and always gave enthusiastic responses.
During the break, I walked out and heard someone saying, “This is a wonderful design, isn’t it?” In fact, I have been thinking about this issue as well. Sasha Velour had incredible art talent. She turned the dress into an art, so that the performance was full of dramatic tension, and the stage background was like an unruly illustration. All of Sasha Velour’s dresses were exaggerated in color and full of transsexual style, unlike the stereotypes worn by people in the past. I believe that she must be a person who was deeply accomplished in the visual arts.
In fact, my favorite aria in the performance was that Sasha Velour’s projection on the stage screen drew a beautiful makeup, wore a waist and a red dress, put on monster ears, and appeared at the entrance of the theater in the next moment, singing “I want to fly, I am alive” and stepping down the steps to the stage. The shock of my heart at that moment could not be described in words. Everyone started to scream but I was moved to say nothing but almost wept. I really fell for this song and until I was out of the theater, I still tried to recall it.
My mind was filled with different screaming music and scenes, but I could not forget the emotion of Sasha Velour when she talked about her mother who died of cancer. Several viewers around me began to wipe their tears. When Sasha Velour sang “If you go away”, I finally couldn’t help to cry. In the last scene, she took a bite of an apple. When the light was dark, I found that the apple had moved away from her hand and went further afield. I enjoyed the quality of even the most insignificant details of this performance.
This was a performance of a drag queen, but was more of a queer monologue. Sasha Velour opened her mind, showing us her past and inner journey. She constantly emphasized that we could live more beautifully, more uniquely, and more freely. To live a true life, we should learn to love, to have our own strength and know who we are.
On September 14, at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Chris Botti featuring Lee Pearson, Reggie Hamilton, Leonardo Amuedo, Holger Marjamaa, Andy Snitzer, Anastasiia Mazurok, Sy Smith, and Rafael Moras; performed an amazing mixture of what a friend called “aggressive elevator music” which in reality was Jazz mixed with Classical.
On Saturday the 14th, Chris Botti came to perform in the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, and along with him he brought an equally talented Violinist, Pianist, Drummer, and even a Saxophone player. These weren’t just background performers, however. I feel as if Chris Botti did an amazing job as highlighting them as individual artists that went along with his own trumpet playing.
I feel as my favorite part of Chris Botti’s performance was how incredibly powerful he sounded as a trumpet player. It felt as if every note he played echoed throughout the auditorium as we watched him lean into every breath he took through his instrument. His interaction with the crowd was equally amazing. I feel as if the audience had a sort of “moment” when he stepped down to talk to us. It gave the whole interaction a much more personal feel, something I haven’t experienced in concert.
Overall, Chris Botti had great complementary artists, greater sound, and an enthusiastic crowd. You could tell how invested we were from our constant applause, and I feel like Chris Botti delivered a performance worthy of such. There is a stereotype that trumpet players are very prideful, yet Chris Botti has shown us that is simply not true.
On September 14th, Chris Botti performed at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts with a group of talented jazz musicians. The powerful music filled Tryon Festival Center and took a variety of tempos, tones, and styles to transform this performance into something special.
Chris Botti performed a series of Jazz with his band at Night in Krannert Center.
Wai Chuen Chan 9/17/2019
On September 14, Chris Botti featuring Lee Pearson, Reggie Hamilton, Leonardo Amuedo, Holger Marjamaa, Andy Snitzer, Anastasiia Mazurok, Sy Smith, and Rafael Moras, performed a series of Jazz music including Botti’s album with diverse musical instruments at Tryon Festival Theatre in Krannert Center.
Chris Botti, featuring Lee Pearson, Andy Snitzer, Anastasiia Mazurok, and more, perform at the Tryon Festival Theatre on September 14th, 2019.
I was quite fascinated by Chris Botti’s playing and skill. Each note he played was very clear and had good dynamic. He could gracefully switch the mood of the song; he would play a loud forte, then suddenly bring the volume down to a soft mezzo piano. Moreover, I was also amazed by the other musicians and singers that were featured in the performance. Andy Snitzer, the saxophonist, played various scales swiftly during his solo. His body movement also lightened the mood of the song to be more cheerful and jazzy. Anastasiia Mazurok, the violinist, performed her solo elegantly, with each note flowing to the next. Lastly, Sy Smith, a singer, had a very nice voice that harmonized with the rest of the band.
Out of all the outstanding performances, I think Lee Pearson’s drum solo may be my favorite part of the performance. I found it very entertaining and captivating as he displayed much of his skill within a short period of time. He exhibited cool tricks with his drumsticks, like balancing them on top of his head while playing, throwing them up in the air, and using his hands to play the drum set.
Near the end of the performance, Chris Botti and Sy Smith go off stage to interact with the audience. Botti continued to play his trumpet while Smith came onto stage with her strong, powerful voice. People quickly got out their cameras and phones to take pictures. I thought the way they interacted with the audience, whether it be having conversations or walking into the crowd, really engaged the viewers throughout the performance.
His charisma made everyone at the Ellnora Guitar Festival cheery!
Written by Cesar Diaz Blanco
Saturday night. This time of
the week, usually accompanied by a craving for celebration, was in my case
accompanied by cough, congestion, and more symptoms from the flu.
Fortunately, Buddy Guy was there to save me, and I didn’t even know about him before going to the Krannert Center. I entered the lounge and immediately perceived the spirit of the Ellnora Guitar Festival. After getting my ticket I made a quick search on Buddy Guy and expected a non-stop show with extraordinary guitar solos.
Somehow, the show was more than that. The
experience and control that Buddy has over his guitar completely shadows any
other performance I have seen.
was more than music. It constantly became a theatrical scene in which Buddy
gave life to his guitar and battled with it in every possible way: he would
poke it with a drum stick or even scrub the strings against his suit.
He would then turn our attention from the guitar to the piano and finally to the pianist, whose hands went from the left to right in seemingly random ways that enriched the melody.
this wildness didn’t work to captivate the audience, the show would become a
comedy skit with a nicely performed percussion in the back.
This show challenged what I knew about music
performances and I am so glad I had the opportunity to enjoy it.
wait for the upcoming events and visits to museums.
Legendary blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy wows the crowd at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
Written by Danielle Herrera
On September 7th, 2019 I had the opportunity to attend the performance of Buddy Guy, I man who (after a quick google search) I learned was a famous blues artist. I’ve never listened to any of Guy’s albums or songs, but I’ve always loved live performances so I was excited regardless. Little did I know, this performance would open me up to new perspectives of music.
First off, let me just start by saying that I am a huge R&B fan. I love the emotional aspect of music and listening to beats that amplify the mood of the song, whether it be pain, lust, or joy. As expected, Buddy Guy’s musicianship was extremely impressive and the overall instrumentals of his songs were catchy and upbeat. However, the aspect that really threw me off guard was his singing. Buddy Guy’s voice has a raspy, deep sound that is both nostalgic and unique to now. You can physically hear the amount of wisdom and experience this man has just through his vocals, making it perfect for the historic genre of blues.
Although Buddy Guy is a renown singer and musician, he made sure that the spotlight was not always on him; lengthy showcases of the guitarist’s runs or the pianist’s swift improvisations shined a light on the rest of the instrumentalists’ insane talent. I personally was in awe of Buddy Guy’s pianist; having played in a number of different concerts and performances, I know how difficult it can be to improvise blues/jazz on the spot in front of such a large group of people.
In addition, there were a number of quirky acts performed by Buddy Guy that showcased not only his sense of humor, but also his skills as a musician. At some points Guy would be playing the guitar by hitting it against his chest, or by smacking it with a towel. Either way, these moments kept the audience lighthearted and waiting for more.
The greatest aspect of this performance, I think, is the way Buddy Guy interacted with the crowd. Like other artists, he encouraged audience members to sing along with his more famous songs in a call-and-response manner. However, he also did something that I’ve never seen before: mid-concert, Buddy Guy calls for the auditorium lights to turn onto the audience. In that sense, Guy forcibly moves the attention from him to us. This was something I’ve never seen before, and it made me feel like it was our turn now to perform. Buddy guy then proceeded to walk into the audience, singing and interacting with all of us. This act provided a sense of togetherness that I have never felt before when attending a performance; it was like we were all finally on the same level, just enjoying the song and rhythm. Audience members were dancing and singing, and almost everyone was on their feet. It was a scene that could never be replicated exactly the same ever again.
Overall, Buddy Guy’s performance is something that in my mind could never be replicated ever again. The musicality, emotion and sound were one of a kind, and if I had the chance I would for sure relive the experience once again.
Buddy Guy, an American blues guitarist and singer, gave me an interesting show on Saturday night at 8:00. If you think this is only a normal blues guitar festival, you are wrong. He is the special one. Before the beginning of the show, lots of people are already seated, and everyone was talking about him how good he can play and how funny is this guy during the show. Since this is my first time to watch his festival, I paid all my attention to his guitar festival. When I finish watching the show, I find out that everything online about him is true. He is special.
At the beginning of the show, He played a blues song to evoke the audiences’ interest and to catch their attention. After that, He did Improvisation and this is my favorite part of this show. He started a song normally, a minute later, he changed. He started to play his guitar by arm, wrist. Lastly, he flips over his guitar and play it by his clothes, and it works, it sounds good. And I think this is music, and I think that is what he wants to tell us. Music is not an objective thing, everything can be music, there are infinitely melody in the world.
Near the end of the show, Buddy Guy did a thing that let me fill this is not a guitar festival, but more like a family meeting. He was playing a song, and during the song, he walked to the audience and played with the audience and when the song is about to finish, he walked back to the stage. In that specific period, everything became one. I think it is similar to a family meeting, a payer is playing a guitar and singing, other family members are sitting around him. There are 0 gap between the player and the audiences. Music made us become one thing.
Before I went to the Opening Night Party at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, I had never imagined that this party would be so grand, and I didn’t expect so many viewers to arrive there early. Just on the terrace outside KCPA, there were many people gathered. It was about 5:20 p.m. when I arrived, and the band have already started auditioning, while the food stalls on both sides of the terrace were ready for business. When I entered KCPA, I was amazed by the arrangement inside. The whole hall was equipped with many small round tables and high stools for people to chat and drink. The blue-violet lights created a perfect party atmosphere that was very different from the outside scene.
Around 5:45 p.m., several people outside were lined up in front of the food stalls, and people on the terraces were constantly going up steps and sitting. Several stages in KCPA have been basically prepared, and some interesting activities stalls have begun to publicize. I saw several passing children with delicate oil painting on their faces, which was extremely characteristic.
At 6 p.m. in the evening, Opening Night Party officially began. I bought a BBQ chicken burger from the food stall outside, and sat on the terrace steps to start watching Toko Telo‘s performance. There were two musicians playing guitar on her side, and Toko Telo had a tambourine and another instrument that I didn’t know the name. When she was singing, she beat the tambourine and shaked the other instrument to create a sound of rustle. She sang folk music and I could feel some elements of Indian songs. Toko Telo‘s singing was full of rhythm, and to my surprise, her treble was very good. I wrongly thought that her voice was more suitable for low-pitched songs at first. Every time when she finished a song, I couldn’t help but applaud with the crowd.
After a while I went back to KCPA to see other performers. I watched Andy Baylor‘s solo and Bombino‘s performance. The former’s songs were country music and the style was lyrical, while the latter’s songs were more lively and had more national characteristics. Bombino‘s performance caused the audience to cheer and almost became the focus at that moment.
It was a nostalgic departure when I must say goodbye to Opening Night Party. It let me enjoyed the music from different regions and I was very grateful to FAA 110 for offering me such a wonderful experience that I’ve never had before.
An introductory experience to UIUC’s beloved performing arts center via the Ellnora Festival.
Extra Credit by Allison Spillane
I was very excited to be invited by my FAA 110 professors to this event. To get a lay of such a wonderful performance venue brimming with passion is always a fun experience. The turnout for the opening of the Guitar Fest truly shows how many people out there truly support the arts!
September 6th, 2019 – my 18th birthday- I went to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to watch Pat Metheny Side-Eye featuring James Francies and Marcus Gilmore. I have never been very particularly fond of Jazz music. I do have a soft spot for the likes of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong though. On a slow Saturday morning, there is a good chance I am listening to them or Nina Simone whose music has been extremely impactful to my life. Their music has an important place in my heart and in my growth as a musician. On this particular evening, I did not feel any impact, I thought Metheny’s performance was okay. I went in expecting something interesting and new and I left with… well…. a side-eye. I just expected more and wanted more. I feel like all of the songs he played did not leave me satisfied as I feel music is suppose to. The performance was not really a performance and he did not really engage the audience. I was not expecting him to sing or to have rave-like flashing lights. I expected a professional performance and I feel it was more professional than performance.
When I walked into Krannert Center with my friend we were both in shock. The place was full, there was a lot of people of all ages going to see the show, and for some reason to me this scene reminded me a a music festival I used to go when I was in high school. Of course it wasn’t nearly as fancy as this performance but being within a big crowd like that, and seeing people have a good time really reminded me of how happy I was when I went to the festival. This made me really excited for the performance even if I didn’t know who Buddy Guy was in that moment.
My ticket to see the performance.
So right from the start of the show you can tell that it was going to be a very fun experience. The entire time people were swaying to the music, humming, or singing along; and buddy guy kept interacting with the audience. He would tell us stories, he walked out into the crowd and everyone got up and leaned forward to see him, he did call and response, and at one point in the show he turned the lights on and practically involved us in the show. It was truly amazing how this man that didn’t know anything about us, was able to connect with the audience.
Then Buddy Guy made the show very emotional by telling us about his childhood, and how it was very different from us now, and he sang a song that was very moving to me called “Skin Deep”. He had everyone emotionally invested in the show because people where listening to his stories and responding to them. He used his experiences to educate the audience on what it was like to be a blues musician – or any kind of person – during the time of his youth, and it was just amazing how far he has come and how he still manages to be a blues performer at 83. This man is very inspirational and living his best life at 83.
I was truly excited when arriving at Krannert for Buddy Guy’s performance. His name alone carries a lot of weight. My father was particularly excited when I told him about the event, hyping up this show as a rare experience to see a musical legend play live. The entirety of Krannert Center was buzzing as we awaited the main show.
On September 5th, 2019, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts hosted the Opening Night Party, featuring many artists and venues.
As I arrived at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (KCPA), I could already see crowds of people outside. There were so many venues and activities outside. There were artists doing chalk art on the stairs leading to KCPA, venues selling food like hamburgers and desserts, and singers getting ready to perform. Once I entered the building, my eyes were drawn to the changing color lights and rows of venues along the sides. There were temporary tattoos, face painting, food stands, and more! There was just as many people inside as there were outside. I spent most of my time wondering around, looking for artists to watch and listen to.
I particularly enjoyed watching Andy Baylor and Toko Telo. Andy Baylor sang his own unique country-style cover of the National Anthem while playing his guitar. Toko Telo, a Madagascar-based group, performed several folk compositions outside of KCPA. Both had very contrasting styles. Baylor’s singing was very melodic and smooth, while Toko Telo had more distinct beats.
I thought the KCPA Opening Night Party was a great way to discover and listen to new talented singers, meet knew people, and enjoy ourselves throughout the night. What I enjoyed the ambient atmosphere created by the changing-color lights, and music performed by Andy Baylor and Toko Telo.
Have you ever been to a show and felt anonymous in the crowd? Well, that’s how it began on September 7th. The lights in Tryon Festival Theater were focused on the stage as we awaited the performer of the night: Buddy Guy. I had never heard of him prior to this show and I did not know what to expect.
Buddy Guy performs live at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the Tryon Festival Theatre (located inside the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) on September 7th, 2019.
For the first event of the semester, I had the chance to see Buddy Guy perform live. When I arrived at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts lobby, I saw numerous people waiting outside. As I entered the theatre, I saw more and more people pouring in to get seated. I sat on the balcony, which provided a nice view of the entire stage, Buddy Guy, and the background musicians.
My first time seeing Buddy Guy was quite an emotional experience. Throughout the concert, I felt a mix of astonishment and joyfulness. One moment that left me amazed was when Buddy Guy used various objects (drumsticks, towel) to play his guitar. Buddy Guy put his guitar on a speaker to let the vibrations create sound. Then, he laid a towel across the fingerboard, and proceeded to use a drumstick to pluck the strings. I have never seen this unique technique before! In addition, I was also amazed by the switch between smooth and up-beat rhythms, and soft and loud singing. This dynamic made each song performed very engaging and interesting to listen to.
Another unforgettable moment that left me astonished was when Buddy Guy interacted with the crowd by walking off stage and into the audience. At first, Buddy Guy was singing at the center of the stage. Then, on the left side of the stage, several backstage crew members exited through the side curtains and lined up next to the stairs that lead offstage. After they turned on their flashlight and shown the light onto the stairs, Buddy Guy proceeded to walk into the audience. As he began walking, people quickly starting standing up, frantically grabbing their phones to film Buddy Guy. The audience on the balcony were all leaning on the edge of their seat, hoping to get a glimpse of Buddy Guy. I, unfortunately, did not get to see Buddy Guy in the audience; however, I did listen to his singing as it grew louder and louder as he got further and further into the crowd.
Overall, I really enjoyed Buddy Guy’s performance at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Though I am not that big of a fan of blues music, I still appreciated each song Buddy Guy performed.
Buddy Guy came to the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, September 7th. As someone who was never a fan of Blues, I had no idea what to expect really. Buddy Guy’s Performance was surprisingly audience oriented and felt somewhat improvised, unlike any other concerts I’ve attended. As someone who has only ever been to larger scale concerts featuring artists such as Shawn Mendes and Maluma, such a performance was both new and refreshing, it had a very unique charm to it.
Outside the Tryon Festival Theatre before the Buddy Guy performance.
Something that definitely stood out to me was the use of lighting throughout the performance. It started out quite normal with the spotlight on the star of the show, Buddy Guy. What really caught me by surprise was when all the lights in the area turned on. The involvement with the audience was incredible, Buddy Guy was constantly asking the audience questions, humoring us with jokes and acts, and even telling us about his own experiences as a Blues artist. He has several parts where we did a sort of call out/response to a few of songs, each time he would urge us to be even louder. I think the highlight was when he made his way through the bottom floor seats while everyone up top instinctively stood up so we wouldn’t miss any of the action.
The packed lobby before some various performances.
Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from this event, as I stated before, I’ve never really had any interest in the Blues genre, and seeing Buddy Guy in concert helped to give me an experience I would have never considered seeing on my own. I definitely enjoyed how interactive this concert was, with how charismatic Buddy Guy was. Overall it was a fun experience, however it didn’t particularly remind me of anything as it was so unique.
I feel as if the stories Buddy Guy told us could be analyzed as to get a better view on the life of a talented Blues musician. His interesting life experiences collaborating with other industry professionals are one of a kind, you wouldn’t be able to hear them from anyone other than Buddy Guy himself.
Opening night party at Krannert Center in 2019 with Toko Telo, Bombine, and Samantha Fish with Luther Dickinson.
Wai Chuen Chan 9/12/2019
The Krannert Center’s 2019-20 Opening Night Party with the return of ELLNORA|The Guitar Festival held on Thursday, September 05. Exceptional musicians of Toko Telo, Andy Baylor, Bombino, Reverend Robert, and Samantha Fish with Luther Dickinson united as one to bring joy to all the music lovers. Plentiful food and drink from Siam Terrace, Jet’s Pizza, Wood N’ Hog, Rick’s Bakery, and Caribbean Grill to ease your hunger.
Krannert Center 50: ELLNORA – The Guitar Festival at the Tyron Festival Theatre
Written by Zhengqi Xu
The Buddy Guy is the second performance I ever watched at the Krannert Center. Usually I’m not quite interested in seeing any performances, but Buddy Guy was probably the one that drove me to get started.
There seemed like hundreds of people in the Krannert Center when I walked in, and as a student who had only been to the building once, I felt really shocked by the comparison with my former experience. Before Buddy Guy, I came to Krannert Center once in the last semester to watch a drama where there were only a few people and the whole lobby was quite like a classroom. Anyway, I was not even sure I came to the right place when I walked into the Krannert Center again last Saturday. The I learned that the building was celebrating its 50 years so several events were hosted during the weekend. Buddy Guy was actually one of the performances included in The Ellnora Guitar Festival, an event featuring all kinds of guitar performances. Seeing all the crowds gathering inside the lobby, I suddenly became much more interested in the show I did not even pay attention when I heard the name of it.
I thought every theatre in the Krannert Center were exactly the same until I officially entered the Tyron Festival Theatre, where there were two floors and the stage was much smaller than the one I went for a drama. To be honest, it was hard for me to see the face of any performers on the stage from the place I sat, so I was concerned that the show wouldn’t reach the effect it was supposed to. However, things just turned out completely different when the music started. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of Blues, but I must admit I began to enjoy the show from the beginning. The music was beautiful and I was pleased by the melody instead of all the talking by other people. Not only the performers played the music perfectly, but they also brought up something beyond my imagination of music performance. I was surprised when Buddy Guy was spinning his guitar, playing the guitar with a towel, and trying to make us think the facility was broken. All those factors Buddy Guy put into the show transformed the Blues performance in my experience from traditional to recreational, which had opened my mind that night with the guitar performance.
The whole show was excellent towards the end, and I can’t help but enjoyed it that night. Just before the ending when I thought the music’s trend was getting peaceful, Buddy Guy brought another climax for us by walking off the stage and interacting directly with the audience. It was so sad to sit on the second floor because I was totally unable to see him interacting with the audience, but I felt that he surrounded the whole theatre on the first floor and walked back to the stage. Though I did not see him do that, but I did saw that the audience on the front was filming during the performance and their phones were pointing alongside Buddy Guy. I had a wonderful evening that day, and it could be the experience that would always stay in my memory of college life.
After all, I really appreciate that the FAA 110 could give me a chance to get in touch with such a beautiful field which I have little experience with, and I really look forward to learning more about art.
Urbana-Champaign gets a taste of the legendary blues icon
Written by Edward Huang
On September 7th, fans of old and new gathered at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to watch Buddy Guy perform. Their energy filled the concert venue long before he appeared on stage. Whether they were addicted to his vibe or simply respecting his art, the fans could not wait for him arrive.
Pat Metheny left the crowd in the Tyron Festival Theater Room in awe during and after his performance on September 6th, 2019.
Written by Catherine Webber
As a part of the 2019 Ellnora Guitar Festival at the Krannert Center, Pat Metheny performed on Friday, September 6th to a crowd who left feeling amazed by Metheny’s talent. Metheny was joined on stage by a pianist and drummer who added to the electricity of the concert. The other musicians were much younger than the sixty-five-year-old Metheny and Metheny commented at the start of the concert that their age made them make and understand music differently than he did which he appreciated so much. It was a concert that people will not likely forget anytime soon.
This semester has been very fun and intriguing. It was a pleasure to be apart of the Krannert center atmosphere over the last few months. When I first signed up for this class, I knew we were going to spend a lot of time at Krannert, but I didn’t know that I would be experiencing performances that were once in a lifetime.
FAA 110 has led me to some great performances. I was able to broaden my knowledge as well as my creativity in only one semester. I was given opportunities that aren’t easy to find on this campus. Every trip to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts was FREE, as well as entertaining. You can’t get that just anywhere. This class gave me the opportunity to see such a wide range of performances as well as artists. Everything that I experienced this semester will be remembered far beyond college. I may not have loved every single thing that we went to see; however, everything was a new and different experience that I will remember.
Overall, this semester has been pretty amazing. I loved being able to attend these events and experience some new things on campus. This was definitely a wind down type of class where you could just enjoy being in the space. I’ll miss FAA 110 and everyone in it.
Exploring Arts and Creativity has really lived up to its name. Through this class I have learned about many forms of art that I never would have even given a second thought to. There were some familiar art forms for me, such as plays and symphonies, that I’ve enjoyed on my own in the past. Others, such as dance and opera, are ones that I haven’t been exposed to as much, if at all. This class allowed me to see all art, from most familiar to things I never would have imagined existing. Below, I reflect upon each of the explorations I’ve gone through this semester.
Going into this class I did not really know what to expect, but I needed to meet my requirements for school, so I took it. Being a freshman I had never been to the Krannert Center or any events like the ones I attended. I did not expect to be so interested in this class. My eyes were opened to ways of life I had never thought about. Seeing the performances opened my eyes to everything that goes on behind a performance.
Although I was already very interested in Music I never expected to be interested in music in these forms. I was introduced to so many things and different medias of art I never put much thought in to. This class helped me expand my knowledge and learn new things which is something I love and have a high appreaciation for.
As an advertising creative, I was very excited to take FAA 110 and see how Krannert uses their artistic creativity in a multitude of ways. I was not disappointed.
By: Daniel Corry
This course was certainly a bright point of my week. The class itself was always very stress-free and made learning fun rather than a chore, and the shows were a perfect way to unwind for a couple of hours in between other stressful events. This is certainly a class I would recommend to literally any student, regardless of their interests or majors. This class had something for everyone.
I was also pleasantly surprised at the many times I would enter a show with a preconceived notion (sometimes negative) and emerge completely surprised or with a new mindset of that art form. Below I will talk briefly on the shows I saw this semester, as well as link the full write ups on each.
The order of my favorite shows!
Now okay, although my first show was not one I saw at Krannert, I was very lucky to have the opportunity to see TBOM in Nashville, and a smile never left my face from start to finish. It was a real treat! http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=13634
I was really blown away by this show. The integration of classical music and dance was extremely enjoyable, and the bits of humor slipped in throughout made the show an absolute blast to watch. The time really flew by during this show. http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=13681
This show was a perfect blend of feminism, history, science, and humor all rolled up into a performance like no other. I really enjoyed being an audience member for this show, and although some of the themes were very science-y or history-y at times, I never once felt lost or bored. It was really a great modern show for the year of 2019. http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=14140
As someone who has never claimed to like classical music, I was very surprised to have enjoyed every minute I heard this orchestra play. I cannot explain why, or what it was that made me enjoy it, other than I truly felt like I was in the presence of a very talented and driven group of musicians. http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=13859
I think I simply enjoyed this event so much because, as I say in my longer write up, you could really feel the love for the arts coming from all over the building that night. Everyone who was there, was there for their love of not only Krannert, but more importantly, the arts. http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=13865
At this show I really enjoyed listening to the quartet, but was rather confused with the dancing that Tai Ji contributed. It seemed sort of disjointed from the music, and did not really elevate the music or experience at all for me. It was still a unique addition though!
This was another example of something I personally did not love, but I am glad I saw anyway. Opera has never been a type of art I have understood or really cared for, and I will admit that it was very nice to see people be passionate about it in a Midwestern school in 2019. However, I was just not as blown away by it as I was by the other performances. http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=13138
Sadly, this was my least favorite show. It just didn’t seem as polished and as well put together as I had expected. Dance numbers fell flat, the story seemed rushed, and the acting seemed underwhelming. However, there were one or two characters that still lit up the room when they sang or spoke and made the show a pleasant experience. http://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/?p=14168
Overall, I had an absolute blast getting to grow my knowledge of theater, and experience so many different ways that the arts uses their creativity. I am very thankful for the opportunity to take this class and will not forget the fun times I had at many of these shows.
I’m thankful for this opportunity to share my words. This space is something that I’ve become drawn to. I’m enticed by the artistry and liberty to express my opinions. A place where I’m communicating with you – and you are just interested enough to continue reading. This will delve deeper than it needs to, but still, thank you for being here. I hope you hear my poetry.
I took FAA 110 because a friend told me it was a good class. It is my last semester at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, so I wanted to try something different. this class opened my eyes to different genres of music. I have never been into classical music unless it was to go to sleep. Most of the performance was interesting and some not so much. I did not make it to all the required performance however I made them up with different ones. Over the course of the semester, I made a blog post after each performace.
Here is a list of my favorite performances from best to worst.
“Crazy for you” was a show that never slowed down as soon as it began, and not in a great way.
By: Daniel Corry
I have to be honest, “Crazy for you” was a bit of a disappointing show in my opinion. The story just seemed really dated, sexist, and quickly written. For starters, the “woman needing a man to rescue her” trope was painfully obvious here with the female lead singing the song titled, “Someone to watch over me”, which received a painful eye roll.
The story also just moved along at a crazy pace! First Polly does not need a man, then she falls in love with literally the first one who talks to her within an hour, then she gets mad at him and leaves him without even listening to him. The “villain” of this story only hates the main character because…they like the same woman? And then after awhile just kind of forgets that he loves her at all? And the “Ziegler” character, who hated our main character, and then is completely cool with that same character impersonating him in a small town for weeks, and then offers to completely fund the towns show on his own? The whole story just seemed very rushed and inconsistent.
And sadly, it wasn’t just the story that seemed underdone. The production seemed off as well. There were characters with speaking parts who simply weren’t mic’d up, the tap dancing sections sounded muffled, some of the actors would get so focused on dancing they would completely forget to smile and look in pain on stage, it was honestly a shame to see!
It wasn’t all bad however, the female lead truly did have a great voice and it was fun to watch her shine onstage. Similarly, there was one side character, “Moose” who really acted very well and put a lot of character into his role. You really heard the audience come to life whenever he was on the stage. And the pit orchestra really did outstanding as well.
While sadly, this was probably one of the highest budget shows I saw for this class, it also seemed one of the least produced, and I suppose it just goes to show that money does not specifically mean a show will do well.
A reflection on having spent a semester engaging in the arts and creativity
By: Aditya Kashyap
Throughout the semester, I have had the unique opportunity to be a part of some once-in-a-lifetime performances. As much as I love the arts, I still struggle to make time to see performances even though I participate in creative work. This class allowed me to try new things and step out of my comfort zone, and for that I am very thankful. Here are links to my experiences in this class and my thoughts on each of them.
Looking back, this semester has been a terrific whirlwind. Coming into the semester, I knew I was taking an easier load, and I wanted my final semester to be filled with things that I enjoyed. I had taken this class back in sophomore year and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so, that I was fixed on taking this class again.
The variation in performance and the expounded exposure left me convinced of the potential in the instrumentalists in this genre. There was growth in each combos presentation. Growth that I could see at both the individual and collective level.
It is that time of the semester where everything is coming to its end, and as a senior in her last semester, it is truly ending.
Reflecting back on the semester, this class was a breath of fresh air and I am glad to have taken my friend’s recommendation to take this course. I had never before had taken advantage of the Krannert Center on campus, and I am incredibly pleased that I did so before graduating.
“Because I am your Queen” was a wonderful show that offered an in depth look of feminists throughout history.
By: Daniel Corry
“Because I am your Queen” was a really fun show about famous women in power such as Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare’s Hermione, and Medea all together at a secret interstellar day spa. The spa is run by scientists who figured out how to get all these women in the same place through time. They develop a plan to change history by making each female lead more confident, but will only work if each woman learns and changes something about themselves before they leave the spa.
I know, the premise is a little out there, but honestly I really enjoyed that aspect of it. This is not some silly spin on an old story, or some throwaway plot devise, this is a completely original idea with a feminist educational aspect thrown in as well.
As a man, I obviously haven’t grown up surrounded by stories of how women are written off or looked down on, and the way this show educated it’s audience while also driving a unique plot and using multiple real women in history was just a very fun ride for me. The story was funny, sometimes self aware of it’s own zany-ness, and did a good job of speaking of topics such as space, time travel, the patriarchy, and ancient history without getting the audience lost or bored and I really counted that as a job well done!
This show was really a blast to see and I was very proud of the entire cast and crew that put it together!
The Wilson Poffenberger event at Krannert was very fun. I think it is fun to be able to celebrate and be a part of The Krannert Center being around for 50 years. The people putting on the show were so interested and engaged which is nice to see people enjoying something on our campus. The atmosphere was so friendly and personal for this show. The classical pieces were amazing and the piano and saxophone went together so much better than I ever imagined.
This was my favorite show so far. I used to build sets for plays in high school so I always think it is interesting to see how directors make the set and how they interpret it. I thought the set for this show and how the cast interacted with it was so cool, one of my favorite sets I have ever seen. I like to pay attention to how the lighting is put into the play too and I really liked how it was.
I am also a very emotional person and I was so emotional during this play. the actors were so good I felt so into the play and into the story, I loved it. All of the actors played their characters so well I was so impressed. I am a person with a very short attention span, I do not even enjoy sitting through movies in movie theaters, but this play kept me engaged and interested. The actors played their roles so well.
I think an actor playing someone who is disabled but is not disabled is something that is very controversial right now. The actor has to play this role very well and be educated about the role they are performing. After discussing it in class I learned they did their research to make this role happen and that makes me very happy.
This event was by far the best event. I think what I liked the most was being able to either get up and dance or just sit and relax and watch everything around me. It was a very free event where anybody could participate and have fun with their friends. I really enjoyed just sitting down and watching everything. The music was also nice and it surprisingly didn’t feel long and drawn out. This was the perfect event to end the semester with.
In retrospect, I believe that last night’s event was my
favorite one of the entire semester. It
felt nice to be so close to what was happening. Also, this was not a structured
event, it was more of an impromptu performance.
All of the people dancing and mingling with each other created a
positive energy in the space that spread to everyone attending, whether it be
other dancers or the people watching, like myself. There were people of all
ages, races, nationalities and cultures. Everyone was just there to enjoy
themselves and have a good time. Some people came alone and others in groups,
but everyone was quickly swallowed by the dance floor and welcomed by all. Even
if you were not dancing, it still felt like you were involved simply by
watching. I think that this was a great choice of a final performance for the
Friday night was just a fantastic way to end the semester for the class! I actually arrived before the event, Latin Dace Night, started and was not very sure of what to expect. Though it said “dance the night away” in the description, I somehow still expected some sort of dance performance to happen. It did not help that the layout of the chairs was circling the dance floor too.
Once I entered into Krannert, there was loud music, chairs, and colorful lights near stage 5. People in attendance were not here to see a play, or opera, nor orchestra. This was a night of fun, and lots of people danced all night long together.
What a great way to end the semester with a night full of dancing. Latin Dance Night, co-sponsored by the UIUC’s La Casa Cultural Latina, took place in the Krannert Center lobby. There was a large open dance floor surrounded by tables and chairs for people to sit, drink, and watch.
Today’s performance was another example of how being in FAA
110 has expanded my mind creatively. This show was not something that I would
have attended on my own. Everything centered around one musician playing a
small array of instruments. I think it was different from what I am used to
listening to seeing that I do not usually listen to instrumentation on its own.
I think my favorite part was the ending of the first half. He played very short
and very different pieces for the audience. All of them were different in some
way, whether it be speed, loudness or the overall feeling it evoked in the
audience. While I do not think seeing this performance has influenced me to go
and expand my music catalog to include more instrumental music, I did fairly
enjoy it. The new artist featured was
also the same person who played for the last performance I attended. The two
music styles featured were very different.
This performance was way more simple than the other performances we’ve been to. However, it was pretty relaxing because it was just the one artist and then the piano playing. The setup was different because it was a group of people sitting on stage surrounding the smaller stage where the artist was performing. It was also interesting because everyone else had to sit on the balcony, so when you looked down there was no one in the seats below. The music wasn’t extraordinary, but it was nice. I fell like I’ve seen him in the last performance I went to, which is cool (above is a photo of him from the other performance). Overall it was different and refreshing.
This week we went to Krannert Center for Come Home to Krannert Center 50th Anniversary weekend. This is a small-size debut artist performance event for people supporting Krannert Center in the past 50 years.
Saxophonist Wilson Poffenberger’s Krannert Debut, along with Pianist Casey Gene Dierlam
Written by: Leah Siegel
This week we had the privilege of attending an event honoring Krannert’s 50th birthday. This was a special performance because it was Wilson Poffenberger’s, a Doctor of Musical Arts student at the University of Illinois, debut.
The 50th Anniversary Krannert Center Performing Arts Celebration was done with tranquil and serene music. This event was led by Wilson Poffenberger, a student from the school of music who was selected based on his skills during recital auditions. I don’t think I have ever seen a performance where at the center of it was a saxophone player.
On Sunday, Krannert Performing Art Center had an event as part of their 50th-Anniversary Celebration. This event debuted a student from the school of Music student, Wilson Poffenberger. He was selected for this recital performance through an audition. All the pieces were accompanied by pianist Casey Gene Dierlam.
Today’s performance was very soothing and peaceful. It was a good way to celebrate Krannert’s 50th anniversary. It was amazing to see and listen to the piano and saxophonist play together. The dynamics and pace of the songs were composed with great difficulty, but the preparedness of these performers made it seem extremely easy.
The dancers rearranging the space with objects added a whole new dimension to the piece. It brought it up a level from just song and dance and I thought that was an interesting way to draw the audience in and keep them in.
The expectations for the dance were so different from what we got. Even down the outfits it was different. They took something that is considered “boring” and put a non-normative twist on it that made me think back to our conversation in class about our interpretation of music and keeping classical music alive. This performance showed that not everything has to stay the same and proved that changing things up is beneficial and interesting. Keeping things modern can keep classical music alive.
The props were so interesting to me. I felt like they were symbolic but I am not very creative so I spent a lot of time trying to come up with ideas for what they could mean. A color palette is always something I pay attention to because I know it is always symbolic or purposeful and it takes a lot of time to create which many people do not think about. I thought the color palette was so captivating because the musicians wore such neutral colors while the dancers wore bright colors and I think that was also a reflection of their performances. The color palette was very clean and thorough and was pointed out many times during the show.
I loved when the musicians put down their instruments and danced. I thought it was so cool that they were included in the performance. I feel like typically playing and instrument you avoid dancing like that so I was surprised but impressed. I also thought it was nice of the choreographer to include them because I feel like it gives insight to the relationship between the choreographer, dancers, and musicians.
I feel like the performance was very playful and a little comical. The dancers really took their dancing to a new level with the acting they did. The audience was laughing so many times throughout the show and this was intentional. The choreographer made it playful by keeping the audience engaged and making sure they were laughing during.
Going to the 50th Anniversary of the Krannert Center was a truly special night. I went with a friend of mine who is pursuing an acting degree as well, so getting inside scoops along the way was a fun addition. The thing I personally took the most interest in was this post it note wall. To celebrate 50 years of the Krannert center, there was a wall covered in sticky notes full of stories that have happened within the beautiful building we call a home away from home: funny moments, memories of opening nights, first dates! My friend had the honor of writing “first graduate of the new BMA lyric theatre degree” and it was an awesome moment for her, and a cool opportunity for me to be a part of.
On a broader scale however, I really enjoyed watching all of the donors, alumni and current students come together in a shared passion for the arts, and that really came through in this presentation. I think I would have lost some of that if I cam alone rather than with my friend, but regardless, the night was a beautiful ode to arts and creativity, and the passion was palpable throughout the walls that night.
The tall ceilings of the Beckman atrium made sure there was room to spare in the lively performance space make-shifted for Jupiter String Quartet. The echos that reached the sixth floor muffled the voices of the introduction, but the touch of the strings still fulfilled the message quite completely.
“Compared with the gigantic aims of science, [our] own contribution, no matter how important, is only a drop in the ocean of truth.” This quote by Louis de Broglie was shown on one of the many bright images displayed during Quantum Rhapsodies, an event that aimed to explore the role of Quantum Physics in our universe.
This weekend was Mom’s weekend at school and what better way to spend time with my lovely mom than to go see a play. We decided to go see Because I Am Your Queen at the Studio Theatre at Krannert by Mina Samuels and directed by Barbara Pitts McAdams.
This week we saw Andersson dance which is an alternating constellation of artists and was founded in 1996. Andersson Dance combined live performance with dancing, with rearranging stage spaces and movements of composers and dancers, which in my opinion, is an interesting way to performance arts.
On April 4, 2019, I went to the Boneyard Arts Festival;
Colab Dance, Music and Costume Performance at the Krannert Museum for the
Performing Arts. If I had to describe the
whole performance in one word, I think I would choose to say that it was
peculiar. Everything from the location to the attire to the actual performance.
The complicated construction and thrill of a new experience charmed my Tuesday evening in front of Anderrsson Dance and Scottish Ensemble. I believe the relativity to Spring beginnings and open ventures is what elevated the performance to another level. Orjan Andersson was walking towards the stage as I was leaving and I am glad to have sputtered at least a few words of commendation.
Dance and music combined into what can only be classified as… an experience.
By Nathan Durkin
This past Tuesday, I went to see Anderrson Dance and the Scottish Ensemble perform Goldberg Variations: Ternary Patterns for Insomnia. Before coming to the show, I had seen a preview of it, and thought it seemed quite strange. Nothing short of actually experiencing this performance, however, could possibly prepare someone for what I witnessed that night.
In a change of events, I got to go see a musical performance off campus.
My boyfriend surprised me with concert tickets to go see Mitski. Mitski is a Japanese-American singer song writer. She came to the Old National Centre in Indianapolis, Indiana for the tour of her most recent album, Be the Cowboy.
As someone who has no background or prior passion for contemporary dance, or classical music, I was ready for a two hour snooze-fest. What I got instead, was something pleasantly surprising.
As shown above, the actors were still arranging the set as people were walking in. This was not unsettling per say, but it did cause me to wonder whether this was for some dramatic effect, or if they really were not ready until the exact moment they began performing. It seemed to be intentional because one dancer would move something, walk away, then another dance would move the same object somewhere else. As the show went on however, and the set continued to move, it made the scene come alive and I enjoyed that very much.
As I said in my beginning, I certainly expected something much different, and much more boring than what I actually ended up seeing. The energy from both the musicians and the dancers was a breath of fresh air, and the comedy in the choreography made the whole experience a blast to watch. Even the inclusion of the musicians in the dance once or twice was an experience where I could see the performers having genuine fun, which caused me to have fun as well.
To be quite honest, the color palette of the show did not add much to the story for me, but the liveliness of the set design really held my attention throughout the story.
As I already said, I also really appreciated the inclusion of the musicians in the dancing as well. You could feel that they felt out of their comfort zone, and embraced it, and that really left a smile on my face. To me, this mostly encompassed how this play and choreography was playful.
Throw all your previous notions of broadway out the window before watching this amazingly unique musical written by the creators of Southpark.
By: Daniel Corry
First of all, let me give you all a tip when buying broadway tickets, that I just learned this week. If you are willing to risk some slight disappointment, and live relatively close to a theater, DO NOT buy your tickets ahead of time. Those tickets end up cost twice or three times the price. Go about an hour before the show, and ask for “Rush Tickets”. These are the tickets that have yet tp be sold, that the theater practically gives away, just to fill seats. We paid only $40 each to see this show, with seats that we were very pleased with! Now, onto the show!
I must admit, I had some previous knowledge about the show, so I thought I knew what to expect, and I still ended up being wrong. As I said, the subject matter is all about the Mormon faith, and it is written by the two men (who happen to be atheist) who wrote the very raunchy “Southpark” show. So let me be clear, if you have a lighter sense of humor or are easily offended, I would NOT recommend this show, regardless of your religion. It’s humor is very dark and crude and makes light of some third world country problems that certainly are not for everyone.
That being said, this show really was fantastic. The choreography was CLEAN and very well rehearsed. The characters were very fun and each so different that I was invested in all of them. The story was fun, and as someone who knew little about the Mormon faith, was appreciative at the (semi) educational aspect of their beliefs.
The music was also outstanding, with many of the songs getting stuck in my head even a few weeks later. “Hello”, “You and Me”, “Turn It Off” and “I Believe” were all songs that painted a smile on my face from start to0 finish, and had some theatrical surprises that made me “Ooh” and “Ahh” like I was watching fireworks. I was really pleasantly surprised at the musical talent in this show.
Overall, for the price we paid, the seats we got, and the audience I went with (my Mother), I had an unforgettable night of outstanding music, hilarious (while crude) humor, and just unbridled fun for a few hours. If you can stomach it, or just know that your humor (and morals) will be slightly challenged, I highly suggest that you go!
A night with fun, chaos, and depth that redefines dancing.
Coming into the performance hall Tuesday night was exciting and tame. I personally came into the performance with not many expectations. I expected some interpretive dancing and tame classical music from Andersson Dance and Scottish Ensemble. I was pleasantly surpised and had an amazing time watching the show.
Who would have thought that watching a dance show could bring out so much laughs! The show encompasses of Andersson Dance and the Scottish Ensemble. The layout of the show is something that I have not seen before. Similarly to the first performance we saw, which was the Jupiter Spring Quartet, it was a combination of elements that are not usually strung together. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this performance as opposed to the Spring Quartet which was more on the grey area.
As I watched the dancers and violinist perform on stage of the Colwell Playhouse, all I could think was, “What is going on?” However, not in a negative tone but out of curiosity. I was intrigued at how unorthodox this performance was. It was certainly something I have never seen before, and I gladly admit that I enjoyed it.
Stories usually have beginnings and endings; and the perspectives of those stories are called narratives. It’s often easier to swallow what is given then question, which is perhaps why, we accept stories of the past with powerful female protagonist, written by male authors, ending in somewhat a tragedy. Therefore, I appreciate what Because I am Your Queen is trying to present to the audience, especially in this time where there is a rise in female representation and reshaping narratives.
If we had not had the talk on Monday I do not think these pieces would have impacted me. After having that talk it forced me to think about what this music meant to people who are not me. Although I was not specifically interested in classical music I realized there are people who are. While listening to each piece something that resonated with me was the performers love for the music and keeping it alive and the hard work they put into it.
My favorite piece was the first piece because I enjoyed the fast pace of the piece. I also thought it was interesting hearing pieces that I recognized in the performance.
Visually I was very interested in the violinist Alexander Kerr. We had learned about him in class and he was a guest, so I thought it was really interesting to see him spotlighted. Something else that was very visually noticeable was the energy put into each piece. The performers put so much energy into their music. It really makes you consider how much time and effort is put into their performances to coordinate with each other and perfect each one.
This past Wednesday, we went to see the San Francisco orchestra. My favorite part of the performance was the ending. I liked when everyone began to get louder and sped up their performance. It had an exciting energy and seemed liked something I would hear in an action movie or a thriller.
I really enjoyed all three pieces. My favorite part was when the violins took over the pieces. I really like the sound of the violins over the other instruments, but I think when everything came together it sounded beautiful. The music didn’t seem sad or anything, I got a Disney princess feel from most of the music. It made me flash back to when I was a kid.
My favorite part of the concert was the solo violin. It literally brought something special to the concert. His sounds conflicting with the symphony as a whole, made for a great sound. I really loved when he did the high notes because they really caught my ear. Sometimes, all of the songs sounded the same, but when he came into play with the solo it really brought a whole different perspective. I also really loves when the music was upbeat (allegro) and exciting.
Throughout the concert, I really noticed when the violinists would flip the pages to keep up with the music. It was noticeable because they did it in unison. I also noticed when the other instruments left the stage because it just seemed bare without everyone up there. I think it was more visually pleasing when everyone was up on the stage.
Overall, the San Francisco Symphony was pretty good. However, I’m still not a huge fan of symphonies.
This past Wednesday, I went to see San Fransisco Symphony perform at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. I was excited about this performance – I am personally drawn to that style of orchestral, symphonic music. There’s just so much going on at once, and it all culminates into something truly wonderful. Standing there after the show, applauding with the audience for minutes on end, it certainly did not disappoint.
A beautiful performance by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.
Written by: Leah Siegel
After a week off, I am back and refreshed and ready to finish the semester strong! This week our class went to The Krannert Center of Performing Arts to see the famous Michael Tilson Thomas and The San Francisco Symphony, and special guest, Alexander Kerr.
It is truly entertaining to spend an hour (or two) watching someone who is a master of their craft.
By: Daniel Corry
I must be completely transparent and admit I usually dislike going to symphonies. As a child who grew up on Disney movies and video games, I have been spoiled with fantastical visuals when I hear beautiful music. So to be robbed of those completely when at the symphony simply feels like a lack luster experience to me. I always feel lost, and end up trying to imagine what the music is “supposed” to be about, and then simply get bored or frustrated because I feel wrong.
However, I really appreciated the little stories Michael gave before his pieces. The story of the woman who passed away, and was made a medley of her favorite classical pieces, along with the story that they only played the notes that were letters in her name (If I heard that correctly), was a nice place to frame my mind for listening. I thought much less about the music, and about the woman. I imagined her spirit being in Krannert with us, being overjoyed that people were enjoying the tune that was written just for her. That song specifically was a very memorable moment for me.
Lastly, I shocked myself at being able to actually enjoy the song that lasted about 45 minutes! As one with a wild imagination, I find it hard to do most things for 45 minutes, let alone sitting still and listening to classical music, but; for reasons unknown to me, I rather enjoyed all of it, and I truly think it had to do with the passion that radiated from Michael’s conducting.
Tonight’s performance at the Foellinger Great Hall was a musical extravaganza. The San Francisco Symphony was an orchestra that filled up the entire stage inside of Foellinger with wonderful instruments. Such as violinist, bassist, percussionist, and many more.
Last week, I went to see Dorrance Dance, a tap dance troupe. I myself have very little experience with tap dance, so I was naturally curious about it. I watched a few videos about tap dance, one specifically about Dorrance Dance, but I don’t think any videos could have prepared me for what I saw on that stage that night.
This show was by far my favorite show of the semester. Every part was more interesting than the last. The dancers’ selection of choreography paired with their choice of music made sense in every way. In some points it seemed as if the steps were following the music although the music never overpowered the sound of tapping. In other parts, the tap dancers clearly shined on their own with the music as a background element.
The first professional tap dance show I have ever seen turned out to be completely different than I had expected.
For my third show at Krannert, I got to see Dorrance Dance perform 3 different pieces. I won’t lie, after the first performance I did not think the rest of the show would be very great. As a dancer myself, I find that I am usually very in tune with what the artist is trying to convey to their audience.
This past Thursday night was filled with taps and thoughtfulness that clenched the attention of the widely receptive audience. The three performances gave each member of the audience a complete understanding of what the company does. The tribute to its ties with American history, expressionism for those most deserving, and newfound positioning in performative arts.
The Dorrance dance on Thursday was fantastic, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. My favourite piece of the three, was the Three to One. It was very dramatic and magnetic. I loved the three dancers as they tapped away on stage, moving effortlessly. Although, the two other dancers were not wearing their shoes, I felt it magnified the performance even more. It was empowering to see the piece somehow, maybe partly due to the energy of every move and remained on edge as I wanted to dance along to it too. I did not feel bad about swaying in my seat though, since we were told we could in the beginning of the performance.
Feel free to clap, tap, dance, and exclaim during the show – remember ladies and gentlemen, this is not the ballet.
On Thursday night, March 14, Dorrance Dance was the at the KPAC performing their repertoires Jungle Blues, Three to One, and Myelination. At the beginning of the show, the audience was told that it was acceptable to show their enjoyment throughout the show. The key way they were told this was said as “this is not the ballet“. Creating an emphasis between this being a presentation of fold art versus fine art.
This week we went and saw Dorrance Dance, an award winning tap dance company based out of New York City. Dorrance Dance was founded in 2011 by Michelle Dorrance, “one of the most imaginative tap choreographers working today” (The New Yorker). She has been in STOMP, Derick Grant’s Imagine Tap, and Jason Samuels Smith’s Charlie’s Angels/Chasing the Bird. They performed three pieces: Jungle Blues, Three to One, and Myelination.
The art of storytelling through the art of tap dancing
By: Jeffery Berry
The Dorrance Dance was a very intriguing and wonderful performance. These dancers did more than simply tap their feet to music. The dancers of this event put an amazing show which was vividly expressed through the loud applause from the audience. This was one of the best and most grooviest tap dance performances to be shown at KCPA.
My evening began with a haste to the theatre. The for-shadowing of this play by its director, Latrelle Bright, instilled my own curiosity in its ever-present themes of motion and space. Space being interpreted as both the outer universe and the creativity in placement of props and people on stage. The movement was lively. The unorthodox nature of the corps presence on stage continued to expand upon the totality of what can be interpreted from this performance. Thankfully, I was greeted at the door by Dr. Collins with the spare tickets in hand.
The title of the play was my first signal of just how different this performance would be. The elongated name and thoughtful preface led me to believe the story would follow a strict mystery plot. I was happily surprised by a novel perspective on the coming of age tale of a young boy triumph over autism. Not only was the storyline engaging, the craft of the set design and movement also brought the audience that much closer to the main character, Christopher. The attention to detail in the integrated communications of all design aspects was evident in how closely each aspect of the play followed the themes of Christopher’s mind. An example of this was evident in the geometric shapes that were used to showcase and populate the stage. The lights were also an example of the transport the audience went through when Christopher spoke about his love for space. The stage was filled with stars and color to accommodate Christopher’s meticulous imagination. These details allowed for the complete immersion into the mind of Christopher. These connection engulfed the audience in the internal battle and aspirations of the protagonist.
My familiarity with this disorder gave me an even better understanding of the livelihood of Christopher and his parents. The portrayal of Christopher’s struggles paralleled the experiences that close family friends of mine have also faced. The message of endless opportunity for people of the spectrum was prominent, but there were also mirror images in the way a person could relate to the emotions that a person with ASD has. Christopher’s father reactions often embodied the clutch to bad habits and bursts of rage. I believe this allowed the audience to relate more closely with Christopher and develop a deeper understanding of his condition.
The entire production invoked an emotional adventure to me and to many of its audience members. The thoughtfulness in direction was evident and innovative. I believe this performance has a consistent ability to impact its audience. The creative decisions facilitated a captivating experience that I believe will always resonate with audience members.
A play entitled The Curious Incident of The Dog In the Night-time
On Thursday night, the class was given the opportunity to be audience to the first play in the syllabus. What a delightfully engaging play it was, and directed by our very own professor, Dr. Latrelle Bright. Due to the hectic day I had earlier in the day, I was sure that I would end up being asleep for part of the play due to exhaustion. On the contrary, I was so engaged during the performance, where I smiled, laughed, worried and cried with the audience.
This week we had the pleasure of seeing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a play based on Mark Haddon’s prizewinning novel, by Simon Stephens and directed by one of our amazing professors Dr. Latrelle Bright!
This Thursday, I went to see Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, adapted into a play, and directed by Dr. Latrelle Bright. I didn’t know anything about the story beforehand. I tried to keep it that way so that I could get the full experience of the story Dr. Bright wanted to get across with as little interference as possible. One idea that I had going into the show, however, was the idea of what it means to be the audience of a play. While many shows have slight differences in what the audience is supposed to do, they always have a similar sort of feel to them, and at this point, I feel like I know what it feels like to be an audience member. I thought I knew, anyway. And then I saw this show, and all of my ideas about what being in the audience feels like got turned on their head.
A play about a teenage boy who is faced with many mysteries to solve.
For this weeks show, our FAA class went to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time directed by our very own instructor, Latrelle Bright! This amazing play is about Christopher, a teenage boy who falls on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, and is faced with a mystery to solve: who murdered his neighbor’s dog?
A rich story that memorizes you visually and through your other senses.
I did not have a background of the play due to having to miss class on Monday. So, I came into this blind and excited. I have always enjoyed plays and musicals as I used to be part of stage-crew in high school. Once I was at the show I saw that the program said there was a sensory-friendly performance (amazing idea) and that the main character, Christopher, has Aspergers Syndrome. This completely excited me for the show I was about to see.
The creative play on a young man’s eventful life and how he molds his perspective about who he is and what he can do.
This play was more than a play. It was an experience. It drags you into the life of an unordinary 15 year old young man from Europe. He is extremely smart, yet, others he encounter in the play would probably say too smart for his own good. However, through his expanding curiosity, the play allows you to be a part of his mind as he goes on a journey to answer his many questions about why life is the way it is.
Krannert Center celebrates percussion at Day of the Drum
By: Aditya Kashyap
This Saturday, I went to Krannert Center’s Day of the Drum and saw the UI Steel band perform. Hearing music from around the world was very enjoyable, and I had a great time listening to their music. They followed styles of calypso, soca, cha cha, and more. Other percussion groups played throughout the course of the day. The steel band had full group songs as well as a solo steel pan feature from Josh Quillen.
Renee is an excellent example of an highly achieved individual who has full authority on her life.
I realized how strong and powerful Renee is when she asked the class, have you seen this language before and then proceded to shout copyrights to Renee Baker. She within an hour and a half showed me the power of being in control of your work and the pride that automatically come with that. She is not only a highly achieved and creative person, but her own assurance in her work was a refreshing breath of air. This is not something I have seen with a lot of artists, and I loved to see her tell us that her achievements are big. This is because she sets an amazing example as a role model and taught me to not undermine my own achievements. The pride and assurance in our own works will make them stronger and be well recieved. From now on, I look forward to following her future works and compositions.
Renee Baker is who the Chicago Symphony Orchestra describes as a multi-disciplined engineer. She is a visual artist, filmmaker, composer, violinist and re-contextualist. I had the pleasure of hearing her give insight into the beautiful mastermind behind her masterpieces. She showed a clip of her film Borderline and described her work for the film as being a composition of instruments the audience would least expect. What most amazed me about Renee Baker, though, was her unapologetic personality. Not only is she dominating the arts with her multi-disciplined talents, she is proud in her Black womanhood. She is aware that minorities are not welcomed with open arms into her field and is brilliant anyway. At the end of her lecture she told the class there will always be misogynists, there will always be bigots, no matter who you are there will always be someone in your field who will set out to make you feel smaller – be great anyway.
This week, the Exploring Creativity in the Arts class had guest speaker, Renee Baker come in to share her story as a renowned composer creating a platform for women and people of color in the world of fine arts.
On Monday, our class had a special guest: Renee Baker. A fantastic composer, I had the pleasure of listening to some of her work from the silent film Borderline, having her talk about the different instruments, the different types of composing. From talking to her, I know that I’ve barely scratched the surface of the music world from my time as a trumpet player. The music, however, was not the most amazing part of her visit. The most amazing part of her visit was how awe-inspiring of a person she is. From the moment she opened her mouth I could tell she was fierce. The more she talked the more I could see the fight she’s put up, and the fight she still has. The way she explained her craft was simple enough for everyone to understand, but it also left me with an understanding that her knowledge goes way deeper than I can even comprehend. She’s fought through the system to get her knowledge, to get the respect she deserves, and she has no trouble whatsoever convincing me of her talent and skill. Some day, I strive to be that way in my field of choice. Right now, I just need to get those papers to show the world I know a thing or two. That drive you can see clear as day from the second she starts talking is the drive I strive to have in life. Maybe one of these days I’ll get there. It’s always so inspiring getting to interact with people of such high passion, experience, and skill, and I walked away from today with a sense of awe and respect for what she’s done – along with a newfound vigor to tackle my studies.
I think it is very interesting to see a whole different kind
of art portrayed that I am not familiar with. On many occasions, I take the
most notice of visual art, as it is most apparent to appreciate. Only through
the last couple of years, have I realized that art, can be expressed through
all our senses. Thus, it takes a while for me to adjust, and understand the
direction of these “performances”. When Renee Baker spoke in class, it is almost
enchanting, as she expressed her work with such eloquence and drive, that when
the snippet of her work was shared, you can feel the energy and direction she
had. It’s interesting, difficult and seamless at the same time! However, I must
admit, despite it all, I don’t think I am ready to start popping popcorn to
watch a silent film modified with music as a leisure past time just yet.
Today we had the pleasure of listening to Renee Baker discuss her modern take on scoring silent films. I was most interested in how she managed to use grid scoring to allow the musicians to have their own freedom within her music while following the rules she laid forth. I also liked that she asked the musicians to not watch the movie. This way, the musicians would not be able to influence the flow of the music in any way. Overall, I enjoyed the presentation, and I learned quite a bit about silent films and how to score them.
Today in class we got to speak to composer and activist Renee Baker. I have never seen a silent film but I liked seeing her unique way of composing music for each piece. She told us there are many different scores for one film so it is captivating to hear how she herself did it and know you can hear each way a composer interprets the scenes of the film. I also loved hearing her views on activism.
Today in class, we had guest speaker Renee Baker talk to us about herself and her amazing work. Baker is the founder and director of the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, which performs contemporary music and music from up and coming composers, as well as new scores for silent films. She is redefining what it means to be an African American woman in the arts. We had the privilege to watch parts of her latest project, Borderline, starring Paul Robeson. Additionally, she gave us the inside scoop on her unconventional scoring methods. She was full of energy, very engaging, and a pleasure to listen to!
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Renee Baker presents to FAA 110 class
By: Aditya Kashyap
Renee was a guest speaker for the FAA 110 class, discussing her past work, as well as previewing her score work on a silent film Borderline starring Paul Robeson. Using her avant garde style that combines classical orchestral music with jazz and characteristic abstract sound, she is able to create an atmosphere that goes against the grain in terms of conventional identity and film scoring. Baker often relies on non-conventional graphic and grid scores to convey abstract and free form ideas to her musicians.She is renowned and recognized for her artistic interpretations and unique compositions.
Then again, perhaps not so ancient. Written by Nathan Durkin
A power struggle. A lost bet. Jealousy. Desire. Lust. All culminating into the assault of an innocent young woman, leading to her suicide. The story of the fall of the Etruscan kings of Rome centers around young Lucretia, using her as a pawn in a struggle for power. On Thursday, I saw this story, one I was familiar with, performed in opera form at Krannart Center for the Performing Arts.
The tale starts from the returning soldiers talking about their wife at home. Some of them leave them in a heartbeat; some of them share another marriage journey with someone else; some of them, or one of them, Lucretia, stay faithful.
The anticipation built for a production marketed as a ‘female team an exploring how sexual violence resonates across the centuries’, was high throughout the week. This musical had the opportunity to influence the discussion of gender inequalities through the reflection of power struggles throughout the centuries. In my opinion, the performance shied away from directly addressing the issue at hand and missed their opportunity to connect to today’s climate.
The rape of Lucretia was a very interesting opera, and also served as my first one. I learned a lot, but ultimately believe my first will also be my last.
By: Daniel Corry
Truth be told, I have never seen an opera before, and only think of big women in large viking hats whenI think of the word. I also thought they were solely in Italian, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear english, as well as see the words projected on the screen.
Upon finishing the show, I can thankfully say I was more impressed than with the interpretive dance from our last event. There was a coherent story, and I actually felt emotion for Lucretia. The narrators were probably the two characters who pulled me most out of the story. They were from a different time period, and rather than pushing the story along, the simply seemed to push christian values into the story in an inorganic manner.
My favorite part; as odd as it sounds, was probably the actual rape of Lucretia. I genuinely felt rising tension and disgust, but with a larger message of the disgusting predatory actions men genuinely committed hundreds of years ago, and still commit to this day.
If I were the director, I would have tried to make that connection more obvious through those two narrating christian characters, but overall I thought they did a good job! Again, I simply think the style of opera is not for me, but it was still an enjoyable performance and night!
I think the rape of Lucretia was interesting. I think it was interesting to see how such a tragic story through music. All songs have a hidden meaning behind them in to see the meaning, and the story behind it adds value to the story. It adds something thing because it was visible to the audience when did not have to listen or see a few times to understand the basic concept of the piece. For me, the display screen was helpful and distracting. It was helpful because at times I did not understand the lyrics/message of the song. It was beneficial to look up to read the lines to get a better understanding of what the actors were trying to exhibit to the audience. It was distracting because I was trying to watch the performance and trying to understand the words above my head. Looking up took my eyes off the performance.
Although the story was written years ago, it is still prevlent in today’s society. People still get raped or sexually assault, and it degrades the victim’s happiness, and they have the feeling of committing suicide. Somethings are unbearable to live with because one can relive that moment over and over again in their heads. Due to the loss of innocence and happiness, one can slowly develop symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The one thing I like most about this play is the message. From my understanding, the messages were betrayal from a friend/ prince.
This was my second time watching an opera. The first time around was actually for Don Giovanni, which was also held at the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts. It is odd to put the two side by side, as they are so different in story and origin. However, the effect of weaving in opera into the story telling dramatizes the performance, and compels the audience to grieve and experience with the characters. For me, repetition is a powerful tool that conveys strength in delivery, which might not come out as organically if not sung. Nonetheless, there were some parts (like the piece on flowers, which I know was necessary to contrast the situation between what had happened and what is) which I thought were rather slow, and hoped to pass faster, though it would be impossible in a sense given the nature of opera.
Sonic Illinois’ interpretation of the Rape of Lucretia provides a modern look at a classic play
written by Janarth Dheenadhayalan
I had never heard of the Rape of Lucretia before, so I was excited to see what this performance would be like. I had been to an opera before but it was in Italian so I was forced to read the subtitles to understand the context of the play. I greatly appreciate that this was sung in English because it meant that I could keep my eyes off of the supertitles and on the performers. I think this alone elevated my experience of the performance.
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.
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.
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.
Krannert Center presents the Jupiter String Quartet accompanying Tai Ji master Chungliang Al Huang and company
By: Aditya Kashyap
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.
A night of amazing orchestral music, distracted by a confusing medley of Tai Ji and group movement.
Before we saw the performance, we watched a video in class showcasing the quartet, and then another video about Chungliang Al Huang and how he incorporated dance with Chinese characters, and I was very excited to see these two combined.
However, after seeing the performance, I must admit I was rather unimpressed. The quartet performed very well, and hearing them play was a real treat. Chungliang however simply seemed off on Thursday evening. Or I could admittedly just not understand the culture behind his dancing, but it seemed not connected to the music at all, or that he was off by a few beats, but wanted to be on beat. I couldn’t tell if it was a heavily choreographed performance, or if it was a dance that was made up on the spot. Either way, I feel that if his performance could be misconceived as the other, then something was off.
As I said before, I really did enjoy the quartet, and actually throughly enjoyed the tango that occurred at the end. It felt very clean, and tightly rehearsed. It went very well with the music and both the dancers and the members of the quartet seemed to compliment each other very well. This kind of symbiotic relationship was what I was hoping to see with Chunliang, and was unfortunately disappointed.
If I were the director, I would have tried to make the quartet and all of the dancers truly compliment each other, rather than simply performing at the same time.
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.
This Thursday, I enjoyed a performance by Chungliang Huang and his team at the Krannert Center.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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!
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 →
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 →
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.
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:
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
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 →
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 →
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 →
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. Continue reading →
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 →