Written by Catherine Webber
The amazing tango made me want to jump on the dancefloor!Continue reading
Written by Catherine Webber
The amazing tango made me want to jump on the dancefloor!Continue reading
Written by Danielle Herrera
A multitude of performers including UIUC’s Filipino Cultural Dance group showcase a wide range of talents at the Foellinger Auditorium.
On November 9, 2019 the University of Illinois’s Philippine Student Association held its 27th Annual FACT conference in Urbana, Champaign. FACT, or Filipino Americans Coming Together, is a large event that invites Filipinos from colleges across the Midwest to celebrate their culture and heritage. It is a 3 day long conference that involves a variety of different workshops, social gatherings, and an infamous variety show. The FACT variety show provides different universities the opportunity to showcase their talents, whether it be dancing, singing, or even reciting poetry. In addition, famous special guests are invited to perform making the variety show an event that many anticipate to attend.
This year, I was able to participate in FACT’s variety show as a part of Barkada, UIUC’s cultural Filipino dance group. We performed a dance that depicted ancient creatures called abats, supernatural beasts originating from Filipino folklore. Abats are said to be beautiful maiden by day, but monstrous creatures by night; with large bat-like wings and sharp fangs, abats were thought to roam around villages reeking havoc amongst the people. Our dance portrayed a story in which 3 maidens are poisoned and transform into abats, but are later fought and killed by the the men and women villagers. The whole performance traditional Filipino garments, sticks, spears, and much more.
I think this dance was a fun but challenging experience. I have never participated in Filipino cultural dance before, but I was eager to learn more about my heritage and my roots. Initially, I struggled maintaining the specific postures that are essential to most traditional Filipino dances such as this one; for example, it is required that you keep your chin raised at a 90 degree angle with your eyes pointed downwards so the whites of the eyes are not seen. This posture is necessary for all women to sustain throughout the entire performance, with only a few exceptions. Small details such as these were enforced in order to accurately portray Filipino cultural dancing, and ultimately play a large role in traditional dance competitions such as the Battle of the Bamboo (which Barkada competes in every year). Overall, this performance required months of practices and rehearsals; however it was worth it, because not only did it teach me more about Filipino cultural dancing but through the process I was able to meet an amazing group of people and share a wonderful experience with them.
For more information about FACT, visit https://fact.psauiuc.org/.
Written by Raymond Diaz
TIGER, the 5th performance from Deke Weaver’s Unreliable Bestiary project, brings together a performance set on a more intimate stage. Through years of research and personal experiences Deke Weaver brings to the audience an abstract and almost curious performance, accompanied by dance, playing different characters to give a sense of location but also light-hearted comedic tone, as well as not straying away from rawness and expressing anger with how little time the Earth may have. A raw and intimate performance bringing together a series of short stories that string together the main point, tigers.Continue reading
Written by: Benjamin Tan
This article is for August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean
The stage setup from this performance was phenomenal. When I enter the theatre, the setup was already being displayed for the audience to admire. I myself was very amazed by all the intricate details of the setup.
The rustic wood panels at the side and the long dark wood tiles bring out that warm homely feeling. All the props that were used from the chairs, lamps, windows, doors, drawers, and potteries all aided in bringing the audience back to the past of the 1900s.
The costume also aided in the same way. The gents were wearing tuxedos, vests and a top hat and the ladies were wearing long printed skirts up to their waist and wearing a bandana over their head.
The one prop that was very significant was the paper boat. The entire performance was building on that paper boat. It brought everyone on a journey to the unknown, creating such anticipation to the audience of what is gonna happen next.
One character that I would like to describe will be Caesar. The main villain of the show. He was a man of his principles which were two things. Family is everything and standing on what is written on the law.
He believes that whoever abides in the law, is deemed worthy and whoever does not shall be punishes. With this narrow mindset, Caesar shot Black Mary’s good friend just because the friend hurt his right leg causing him to limp.
Caesar was so saturated and consumed by the law that his own conscience was totally gone! He did not feel any remorse of what he has done. This led to his own sister, Black Mary telling him straight to his face that she does not know him anymore.
This superb character really taught me that not everything should go by the book but there has to be a balance between abiding of the law and holding on to your conscience.
The City of Bones scene was STUPENDOUS. Even before they step into the scene, they are already in character behind the door, shaking vigorously their wrists and ankles. The energy that they put in every move that they made had so much gust and momentum and as they synchronize the tribe beat with their “bones”. I love the props that they use such as red ribbons to symbolize fire and the wooden sticks to add a stronger sound to the beat. It depicted them to be souls being revived from their skeleton giving an eerie feeling which was exactly what was needed for that scene.
This entire performance really brought me back the past to experience, understand and feel how it was like in the African American community in the 1900s.
Written by: Laura Chong
August Wilson’s Gem of the ocean was a phenomenal performance!
This is my first ever theatre play experience and I must say I am very wow-ed by it! Even though the show was long, it ended off with a huge bang! It was truly a memorable first theatre experience and I wish to attend more theatre plays from thereon.
The scenery and props immediately told me that the setting of the play will be in somebody’s home. To elaborate, the costumes indicated that the time is somewhere in the past. The gents were wearing tux and vests which are really formal, coupled with a hat. The ladies were wearing headpieces and long dresses with lots of prints. The paper boat gave me the impression that the play will be a mystical journey and set the mood and theme to be an exciting one.
If I could choose one character to describe their role in the play, it would be Aunt Ester. She is an important character in the play who holds power as the soul washer. She seems to be an important figure who is well respected by everyone. This could be seen in the way everybody greets her when they enter the house. Everyone was always ready to make sure she is comfortable by washing her feet, settling her down in the sofa. She also instructs Mary to do certain chores, in which she obeys. She plays a huge part in the play and story by assisting Citizen Barlow to travel to the City of Bones to restore the spiritual balance of troubled individuals, especially so since Citizen Barlow caused an innocent death by stealing the can of nails.
The City of Bones scene was SPECTACULAR. A very essential part of the scene was the dancers. I could feel the intensity and their dedication to playing the role well and it fit into the theme of the play so well and brought a strong visual of what souls were to look like. It was a little eerie but that was the point of the dance and their movements. I really enjoyed the props that the dancers were using such as red ribbons and wooden sticks as it brought more dimension to the play.
This play transported myself to a mystical world while showing what the African American community in 1904 was like. I could feel myself being transported with them into the City of Bones and what a ride it was!
By Rachel Yao
Gem of the Ocean is a play that combines both acting and dancing to tell a story that takes place in the early 1900s in Pittsburgh.
As I entered the theater and walked to my seat, I analyzed the stage set up. The cool, dim lights gave the house a cold feeling. The house was empty and the background was a picture of snowy mountains. The wooden walls or borders were of an ashy dark wood, which made the house seem warn down and old. Once the play began, the lights inside the house lit up, creating a warm and rusty environment. The characters in the play wore a variety of outfits. Women wore blouses with long skirts that reached their ankles. Some men wore white shirts similar to tuxedo shirts, long pants with suspenders, long trench coats, and hats. Others, like the sheriff, wore a suit to portray wealth.
One character I found interesting was Citizen Barlow. The other characters have mentioned a man who stole a bucket of nails multiple times, and no one knew who it was. However, when talking to Aunt Ester, Citizen confesses by pulling out a bucket of nails from his bag. In the beginning of the play, we see Citizen desperately trying to get money and did not take responsibility for his actions. Yet, throughout the first part of the play, we see Citizen’s character development. He confessed what he kept to himself, listened to Aunt Ester’s advice, and began to seek for a better life.
Link for more information on Gem of the Ocean: https://krannertcenter.com/events/gem-ocean
By: Jessica Moreno (MAKEUP EVENT)
On Saturday October 12, 2019; Krannert Center had an amazing event called Latin Dance Night that was co-sponsored by La Casa Cultural Latina. This event was truly amazing; it was very diverse and and you would see things you would never imagine. They played many different genres of music such as merengue, salsa, cumbia, bachata, banda, etc. It was a very fun and relaxing experience after such a busy and stressful week.Continue reading
By Rachel Yao
Imagination Dance Crew hosts their semesterly Imagination Showcase, featuring groups like K-Project, Truth and Beauty, Storytellers, Dance 2xs, Velocity Dance Team, and more on October 12th, 2019 at Lincoln Hall Theater.
Before the showcase, each performance group were given tech time for 10 minutes, where they could rehearse their set and positions while the backstage crew can rehearse lighting on and off stage. I was in two groups: K-Project and Truth and Beauty (TNB). For both groups, we spent tech time marking positions and running through the entire set once. Walking up to the stage to rehearse gave me a sudden surge of energy; I was both excited and nervous.
An hour goes by, and a cast meeting was held an hour before the show. We all sat in the seats of the auditorium and the Imagination Dance Crew board members gave a speech. Shortly afterwards, we were all sent to the green room. Since TNB was the first group to perform, we spent our remaining minutes looking over the dance.
Five minutes before the show begins, we were called to wait backstage behind the curtains. I began to feel a bit anxious and worried. What if I mess up? What if I forget positions? We waited and waited, until the audience lights began to dim and the two MC’s walked on stage with their microphones. The lights dimmed once again, and we quickly got on stage. The stage lit up and music started playing. Before I know it, the set was over. After resting in the green room, we left for the auditorium to watch the other groups perform.
Later, I was called back for K-project. After performing once, I was not as nervous for this performance. While waiting backstage to perform, we all gave reminders and words of encouragement. Once again, the performance ran smoothly and we returned back to the audience to watch the rest of the show.
Though I have been dancing for quite some time, this was my first time performing at the Imagination Showcase. It was both a fun and nerve-racking experience. What I enjoyed most was not only performing on stage, but also being able to see all the talented dance groups showcase their work. I was amazed at each performance and definitely couldn’t wait for the next showcase in the spring!
To watch TNB’s performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbB7LSKAd_s&fbclid=IwAR0divvGq3V2cLauFRUap6ctTQGX4BnR2IjImyG6ktYRZU0oJzRGc31gXO0
Written by Nicole Miao
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.
Written by Raymond Diaz
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.Continue reading