What an amazing semester it has been! From operas to modern dance, I got the opportunity to experience a little bit of everything. And I have to say, I loved every minute of it
by Janarth Dheenadhayalan
We started off the semester with Jupiter String Quartet. I had heard of the quartet before and I was eager to listen to them, but I did not know what to expect from Huang’s dance. I think he did a good job of integrating everything together, and it felt like one coherent piece. I truly enjoyed the dance that went with the music, and I think I would enjoy going to another performance like it.
After this, we got to see an Opera: The Rape of Lucretia. It was only my second opera, so I did not know what to expect. However, I appreciate the English supertitles, because it helped me understand what was going on. I thought the opera was decent, but it definitely was not my favorite performance of the semester.
After that, we got to attend a lovely play directed by our own professor, Latrelle Bright: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. It was easy to see Prof. Bright’s personal flare show up in the musical, and I personally enjoyed the fight choreography. In addition, it provided an interesting look into the life of a person with a mental illness.
Then we saw Dorrance Dance perform three separate tap dances. It was my first time seeing tap dance and I’m glad I got to experience it–I did not think I would enjoy tap dance so much! The first number was particularly memorable. My favorite part was when one of the dancers pretended to get drunk.
Then we attended a performance by the San Francisco Symphony. I thought this would be my most favorite performance because I love the Mendelssohn concerto that they performed, but I feel that Alexander Kerr’s interpretation was lackluster. However, the Beethoven redeemed everything. Michael Tilson Thomas is one of my favorite conductors and I am grateful I got to see him perform live.
Then we saw Andersson Dance and the Scottish Ensemble perform Goldberg Variations by Bach. I came into this thinking it would be my least favorite and left with a completely different mindset. The performance was funny, sad, happy, serious, and joyful. I never thought that music as serious as the Goldberg Variations could have a dance choreographed such that the audience would burst into laughter, but I was horribly wrong. The performance was phenomenal, and I think I am going to attend more modern dance performances to experience more like Andersson Dance.
The last performance I went to was William Poffenberger’s competition performance. His interpretation of Ravel was heavenly, and I was amazed to find out that he arranged it himself. Words cannot describe the impact his music had on me and the rest of the audience. I had the pleasure of sitting on the stage only feet away from him. I loved every minute of his performance.
I only attended 7 performances this semester and was not able to make up the last one due to time constraints. However, I attended all of the lectures and actively participated in dialogue with the professors and other students. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this course. I came into it thinking that I would get to see classical music performances for free and left with a newfound appreciation for art forms that I had never previously considered. I remember what Prof. Bright said during one of the first lectures: you don’t have to like it, but you have to consider it. I am now a firm believer of this mindset.
It’s sad to think that this will be my last blog post. But the memories I made this semester are ones that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I’d like to extend many thanks to the professors who coordinated the class and to the students who enjoyed these performances and experiences with me.
As Sergei Rachmaninoff said, music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.