The Lucretia Experience

By: Jeffery Berry

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

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

Read more

The Tragic Story of Lucretia

Written by Lesly Marroquin

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

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

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

Continue reading “The Tragic Story of Lucretia”

Tai Ji and Western Classical: A Clashing of Worlds

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

By: Aditya Kashyap

The audience fills the Foellinger Great Hall

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

Continue reading “Tai Ji and Western Classical: A Clashing of Worlds”

A fantastic quartet and…guests?

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.

Jupiter String Quartet and Chungliang Al Huang

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

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

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

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

A fatalistic mixture of music and Taiji

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

Before the performance
BY Rui

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

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

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

At the end of the performance
By Rui

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

The crowd after the performance.
By Rui

String and Dance

Foellinger Great Hall
Cafe in Krannert
Before the Show Begins

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

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

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

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

Amazed and Confused

Written By: Quintionna Parks

Jupiter String Quartet: amazing, yet, confusing.

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