In a moving homage and celebration of the African-American story in the United States, Step Afrika!: Drumfolk, connects the modern practices of beatboxing and hip hop to the Stono slave revolt and the related importance of drum beats to the culture of those persons who, once held in bondage, risked everything for a chance at freedom and justice.
LAGRIME DI SAN PIETRO, The tear of Saint Peter. This is an a cappella Renaissance masterpiece written by Orlando di Lassoand was performed by Los Angeles Master Chorale last Saturday night. The chorale did an excellent job express the intense human emotions in the show, including the anger and obscenity of the mob, the shame and regret of Saint Peter, and the immense pain of betraying a friend/a saint. The choreography was amazing and the body language perfectly illustrated the emotions and the ambience. The climax of this show was the moment Saint Peter rejected his belief in front of the mob and the sanctity of that one glance Jesus gave to Saint Peter. And then the regrets and desparation follows.
My favorite chapter is XV. Vattene vita va which translates to “Go away, life, go”. It was a touching scene depicting Saint Peter’s immense pain and struggle against the thought of suicide for his shame of betraying Jesus Christ. The chorale’s performance was wonderful. Their body and facial expressions were so convincing that it is as if they were going through the emotions of Saint Peter. It was an incredible scene and intrigued me into a lot of thoughts.
Photo credit: LA Master ChoraleBeing non-religious, I do not necessarily agree on the part of suicide being “an even greater sin”. In my opinion, suicide is a choice that every life has the right to make(and suicidal behavior has occurred in other species such as the lemmings, for higher survival rate of the whole species). Also, children did not choose to be born and given a life to, and thus should be granted the right to end it if they see the need to. It is a choice to die and go back to being part of the nature without human consciousness. We have always been here, and we will continue to exist. Every particle in me has been in the universe for billions of years, and will still be in the universe for billions of years to come. My consciousness as a Homo Sapiens could leave me, but my existence never leaves the world.
Also as a starter in French, I was happy to find connections between Italian and French. For instance, the word “vita” equals “vie” in French, and “va” also means to go in French. I just love to discover and learn the connections between languages, and possibly learn more about the cultures through those links. After going back home, I was lucky enough to find the album Lagrime di San Pietro on Spotify so I can still enjoy the pure beauty of this extrodinary chorus piece even after the performance.
Erica Gressman, an artist based in Miami/Chicago, performed her art piece Limbs in the Krannert Art Museum, showcasing a range of motion and music. Limbs consisted of Gressman dangling on a wire, moving and struggling with confinement and facing detachment.
In the beginning of the performance, Gressman, wearing a gray reflective suit, made small movements and was overall still. It felt strange, but seemed very statue-like and beautiful in a way. Eventually, the movements became more clear and I saw that she had various limbs and faces; I felt completely entranced by the dim lights and atmospheric music. Continue reading →