Tag Archives: Ballet

Final Reflections: A Class That I’ll Never Forget

By Elena Grantcharski

I am extremely grateful that I was able to be in this class. I was able to reunite with my love for the arts in full force. It was amazing to have a performance to look forward to every single week and I am going to continue going to performances at Krannert more often because I have realized how healing it is to experience art and how much it has helped me deal with stress this semester. I was disappointed that I was not able to enjoy this class to its full capacity due to COVID-19…I was really looking forward to the remaining performances. However, I am still extremely happy with the experiences I took from the first half of the semester and I also really enjoyed the Digital performances and I am also happy that I now know that a website like that exists so I can enjoy more performances online this summer if I want to.

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Final Reflection of One Amazing Semester

Written by Zeying Lang

FAA 110 is one of the most inspiring classes I have ever taken. It lets me experience different types of arts and allows me to explore the possibilities of artworks and exhibitions. I still remembered that we took a tour in Krannert Center, and that’s the first time that I actually realize how amazing Krannert Center is. I learned how much preparation work needs to be done before a show is presented on the stage. And I also learned the different purposes and design concepts in each performance hall, and the story behind the establishments of Krannert Center. So many performances are happening each day here. It is a bridge that connects the artists and people who love arts from all around the world to share their thoughts of arts. 😊

Shanghai Ballet: Butterfly Lovers 

https://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/wp-admin/post.php?post=16182&action=edit

Photo by Zeying Lang
Photo by Zeying Lang

The first performance we watched together this semester is the Ballet dance from Shanghai that tells an ancient love tragedy in China. It was absolutely a fantastic experience since I know this story when I was only a child. I was amazed by how they used their body movements to express their feelings and tell the story to the audience who are not familiar with the story. The ending scene: the transfer from human to butterflies was imposing and a little bit romanticism.  

Step-Africa!

https://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/wp-admin/post.php?post=16404&action=edit

Photo by Zeying Lang
Photo by Zeying Lang

This is the first time for me to watch a performance that used body percussions as the beats. When the performers and dancers show the audience how to clap and make the moves with them, the audience could also be involved in this show. What impressed me the most in this performance is the passion conveyed by the dancer’s body movements. The dancing crew has incredible cooperation, and their moves are synchronizing. The sound they generate is their beats, and the drum in the show is a symbol of freedom.

Somi 

https://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/wp-admin/post.php?post=16578&action=edit

Photo by Zeying Lang
Photo by Zeying Lang

Somi was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois. After she becomes an outstanding artist and musician, she comes back to her hometown, and share her thoughts and philosophies of life with people. Her music is unique, and her arts could inspire people. She unites her own stories and feelings in her music, and her art not only relaxes the audience but also brings inspiration to the audience. I really appreciate the thoughts she shared. I remembered that it was a hard school day for me, but the voice and music of Somi really made me feel relaxed and relived.

Anna Deavere Smith 

https://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/wp-admin/post.php?post=16761&action=edit

Photo by Zeying Lang

I had an exam that day, so I went to the Talk with Anna Deavere Smith and Julia Wolfe. Anna Deavere Smith said she’s been caring about the hunger problems of children, and she believes that more attention should be given to the children and the new generations. She shared her experience of how she entered the media business and how she dealt with the challenges she met in her career. It was absolutely an inspiration from her about how young artists should face the rapid changes in the current world, and how they could impact the world positively by using the strength of art. As an experienced artist in media, she encourages young artists to express their opinions about politics, and she says, “every significant change starts with a small step.” 

Romeo and Juliet

https://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/wp-admin/post.php?post=17264&action=edit

Photo by Zeying Lang

Due to the impact of COVID-19, all university classes have transformed into online sessions. Though many of the events got canceled, it is lucky that we could still enjoy high quality shows from home on the University’s media library. The reason I chose Romeo and Juliet as my first virtual performance is that we watched the Butterfly Lovers at the beginning of the semester, and some may say that it is the eastern world version of “Romeo and Juliet.” This version that I chose is also quite different from the classic version of Romeo and Juliet: it is modified to happen in the current society. The transition from traditional to modern is exciting. Some designs are made on the costumes of the characters to show their personalities. The surprise of this show is that the modern version adds a little humor in this play.

The Container 

https://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/wp-admin/post.php?post=17281&action=edit

Photo by Zeying Lang
Photo by Zeying Lang

This event brings me a new understanding of how shows could be made. Everything happens in one scene: a container. All the background and stories are conveyed to the audience by the talks among characters. At the end of the show, I realized that the audience, photographers, and actors are all in this container. The audience could watch the actors’ performances in person, and I couldn’t help thinking about how cool that could be!

The Metamorphosis

https://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/wp-admin/post.php?post=17294&action=edit

Photo by Zeying Lang

Adapted from Franz Kafka’s novella, the story tells the tale of how a salesman is transformed into an insect, and how his families change their attitudes towards him before and after the transform. One word I could use to describe this show is delicate. There are only a few simple props and scene sets on the stage, and it is tough to show the transition from a man to an insect. However, the excellent Japanese actors used their exaggerated facial expressions and body movements to convince the audience and bring the audience into this story. The man who played the salesman is really a great artist.

The Nutcracker 

https://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/wp-admin/post.php?post=17304&action=edit

Photo by Zeying Lang
Photo by Zeying Lang

I’ve watched several versions of The Nutcracker, but the one presented by the Royal ballet from the British is the best one I’ve seen. I love how fancy the scenes are set, and each detail of the props and the costumes are perfect. The skills of the ballet dancers are startling. My favorite scene is when the prince takes Marie to the Candy Kingdom, all the toys start dancing to welcome them. All these toys are alive, and many of them are exotic. Chinese tea, hot chocolate, coffee from Arabia, candy canes and mother ginger, and etc. The solos and duets are definitely eye-catching. As this is the last event of this semester, I chose the same types of art as the first event of the semester to make a sweet end. 

Thank you! FAA110! 🌹

The Nutcracker

Written by Zeying Lang

Figure retrieved from https://www-digitaltheatreplus-com.proxy2.library.illinois.edu/education/collections/royal-opera-house/the-nutcracker

One of the most famous ballet plays written by Pyotr Llyich Tchaikovsky in 1892, the Nutcracker, is presented by one of the greatest ballet companies, the Royal Ballet. Come to experience a magical night tour with Marie and the nutcracker. 

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Shanghai Ballet: The Butterfly Lovers

Written by Zeying Lang

An ancient tale from the East collides with the dancing form originated from the West. The Butterfly Lovers tells a love story between Zhu and Liang that happened in ancient China when it was a Patriarchal society.

Figure 1. Shanghai Ballet: The Butterfly Lover. (https://krannertcenter.com/events/shanghai-ballet-butterfly-lovers)
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Becoming A Butterfly To Be With Your Soulmate

By Veronica Y. Gonzalez

The Shanghai Ballet Company is the state ballet company for Shanghai. They perform a blend of traditional and Western dance styles. The Shanghai Ballet presented The Butterfly Lovers on January 29, 2020 at The Krannert Center For Performing Arts. This is a story about two lovers that have to overcome obstacles to be together.

Visual of the butterfly costume
Event Ticket
Costumes we saw during our tour

I attended The Butterfly Lovers performed by the Shanghai Ballet Company. I had never gone to a ballet performance before so I was very excited entering the theater. This performance exceeded all my expectations so I am glad that this was my first ballet experience. My favorite element was the beautiful costumes. In the second image above you can see some pieces that the performers wore. In the top right corner you can vaguely see the green butterfly costumes. My favorite costume from this performance had to be the purple butterflies in the final act. The costumes were a vibrant shade of purple and covered in glitter. Purple is my favorite color and I love glitter so obviously these costumes caught my eye automatically.

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Shanghai Ballet Performs: The Butterfly Lovers

“The Butterfly Lovers” was performed by The Shanghai Ballet in the Tryon Festival Theater of the Krannert Center for Performing Arts.
-Written by Daniel Holley

A sizable audience files into the Tryon Festival Theater, eager for the show to begin.
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A beautiful and tragic love story performed by Shanghai Ballet – “The Butterfly Lovers”

On Jan 29th 2020, “The Butterfly Lovers” which is a famous Chinese love story was performed by Shanghai Ballet in Tryon Festival Theatre.

Written by Jiaxuan Meng

My ticket stub for the play

 “The Butterfly Lovers” is a Chinese tragic love story of a pair of lovers, Liang and Zhu, who fell in love with each other but forced to separate. Liang died for Zhu and Zhu died for love. In the end, both of them transformed into beautiful butterflies to live together in another world.

The Shanghai Ballet, which is one of the world’s preeminent ballet companies, brought this legend of the Chinese love story to the international stage. The group of brilliant dancers performed this great ballet show at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on Jan 28 and 29, 2020 to celebrate Chinese New Year.  This play lets the world know better about the Chinese romantic love story from traditional Chinese culture and backgrounds.

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A Ballet Worth The Hype: The Shanghai Ballet’s Production of Butterfly Lovers

The world renowned Shanghai Ballet performs their production of the 2001 Chinese Ballet “Butterfly Lovers” in the Tryon Festival Theatre at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

By Elena Grantcharski

Ticket stub for the Wednesday performance of Butterfly Lovers

Butterfly Lovers was a very emotive ballet with a romance story that attacked my hopeless romantic heart. The fact that this story was in the format of a ballet is very significant because the dancers did a very good job of showing how ballet is a very powerful and emotive dance form. Throughout the ballet, they show the yearning they have for each other and you can feel the strong emotional tension between them through the types of dance moves. There is a lot of push and pull in their dancing which perfectly describes the unfortunate circumstance of their relationship. They always try to pull each other together but always get pushed apart by society and by the other people in their lives.

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