By: Alia Radzi
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.
Traveling has been a personal passion of mine. No matter how busy, I try to make it a point to go somewhere and explore. Something about discovering something foreign can sometimes be so enthralling; be it eating a local delicacy, absorbing a foreign view or simply chatting with someone who has lived a different life from you. In some ways, that is how I feel about performing arts, where I get a glimpse of this “other” unfamiliar territory. Of course, it’s also an added benefit that going to a show will not (necessarily) break the bank, or require you to put a pause on your responsibilities. More like a respite staycation, but just as impactful and profound.
Let me try putting this in a better context. Take the second show that we watched as a class together; The Rape of Lucretia. Watching this opera was astounding; from its setting during ancient Rome, to the circumstances which culminated to the rape, and the rigor the actors put while performing. More than that, the conversation that ensues after with friends and peers, are always interesting an insightful. As someone who is quite reticent, I unfortunately do not voice myself as freely in class about my thoughts, but I still enjoy listening to in class discussion.
We had also seen the Jupiter Spring Quartet together. For me, it was rather peculiar to see the traditional tai ji movements incorporated with classical music. Having grown up in Malaysia, where practicing tai ji is a common past time, it felt unfitting at times and confusing, but still appreciative. I remembered being perplexed by the movements, which were supposed to be representative of characters.
One of my favorites was definitely, the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. I have personally always enjoyed plays and musicals more than any other form of performing arts. The play brought so much laughter, squeals, anticipation and cries. Despite the show ending later than my usual bedtime, I was more than happy to stay.
Another play that I had an opportunity to watch because I had missed a show, was Because I am your Queen. I expected so much of this show because of the central theme it was built on, in addition to having strong female characters from influential literature as main characters. However, I was a little disappointed as I had not enjoyed the play as much due to redemption act falling short in my opinion.
We had also seen Dorrance Dance which I very much enjoyed. I had seen tap dancing before, though not avidly, I felt that it was wildly different! I could only imagine the creative process that went into the making of the production. What all of us saw, was a culminate effort of years in the making, so as a “traveler”, I enjoy the show that is presented and try not to dismiss the effort.
On a less formal setting, there was a Latin Dance Night at the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts. I personally thought that this was not for me, just because I am not a dancer. But I think it is fantastic that Krannert celebrates Latin Night as I could see for myself the reception of the event by the patrons.
We also had the opportunity as a class to see Andersson Dance and the Scottish Assemble. It was delight due to the eccentricities the show exhibited. This was just a box of sunshine and a joy to see.
For our final performance as a class, we saw Wilson Poffenberger, a Krannert Debut Artist. I did not enjoy this as much, just because I have never really been into classical music. Though it was interesting to see a saxophone player, I could not sustain my interest through the whole performance after the initial awe wore off.
All in all, this semester could not have been better! I love going to shows almost every other week, and getting travel privileges through seeing different kinds of art. I will most definitely recommend this class to people that I know.