Tag Archives: Final Blog

Final Reflection of FAA 110

By Daniel Holley

FAA 110 was one of the most interesting classes I’ve taken in my time at college. Since my time here at university is ending soon, I appreciated the opportunity to get a better idea of the artistic capabilities this campus has. I enjoyed the ability to learn more about our facilities at the art museum and performance centers. I hadn’t been to the art museum or most of the theaters of the performance center before, so it was nice to explore and learn about the people and resources that makes them function. We also watched many diverse live performances this semester, from joyful ballets to intense plays. It is incredible to see how different productions make use of the same stage for their own purposes.

My ticket to the Shanghai Ballet’s performance

The Shanghai Ballet’s performance of The Butterfly Lovers was the first ballet I’ve witnessed, and I was more impressed that I predicted. The dancers moved elegantly across the stage, perfectly in rhythm to the music and each other’s actions. Although it was at times difficult to understand the story they were trying to tell, their athleticism and humor kept me entertained.

The cast of Step Afrika! wraps up their performance

Step Afrika!’s performance of Drumfolk was my favorite performance this semester. The high energy music and dancing paired with the cultural and historical significance really spoke to me. The performers did their best to include the audience in some of their musical acts as well, further raising the energy in the room.

Somi’s band plays

This musical performance by Laura Kabasomi, or Somi, was our first production focused on the story of a single person. Although Somi was accompanied by her band, the stories she told and songs she sang spoke mostly of her own experiences with race and her African heritage. Her performance was filled with emotion that was clearly straight from her heart.

Anna finishes her performance to a standing ovation

Getting through the Day by Anna Deveare Smith was the first performance this semester that did not have a musical focus, but instead relied on impersonations and spoken stories. Anna’s ability to capture the essence of characters both known and unknown to the audience was incredible, and the way she wove humor and more serious tones into her performance was impressive as well.

My program for this performance of the Cabaret

The Cabaret was one of the more humorous performances I have seen so far. The characters were relatable and engaging, and no opportunity for a joke was missed throughout the play. I was especially impressed by the narrator, who had an amazing sense of stage presence.

The following performances were viewed using the website Digital Theatre+.

Mirai Moriyama plays Gregor in Metamorphosis -Digital Theatre Plus

Metamorphosis was a bizarre, radical shift from what we had seen so far in this class. The humor was scarce, and the characters were faced with impossible ethical dilemmas throughout. Nonetheless, Mirai Moriyama’s performance as Gregor was the best display of acting I had seen in any performance this semester. He was able to conjure a visceral feeling in me with only his body and its movements, needing no help from prosthetics or costume changes.

The colorful stage and costumes of Virago-Man Dem -Krannert Center

The most impressive feat of Virago-Man Dem was its masterful use of vibrant colors. During this performance, the cast changed between costumes that varied greatly in appearance, and the screen behind them displayed colorful murals and silhouettes that helped tell the mood and story behind the play. Visually, this was one of my favorite spectacles this semester.

The Businessman observes his reluctant companions -Digital Theatre Plus

The Container was undoubtedly the most bold and intense production I have seen this semester. The plot was based on real situations people still struggle through today, and it didn’t hold back in showing the seriousness and dangers of immigration. The most interesting part of this performance for me was the stage: having the audience mere inches from the cast, trapped inside the dark container with them makes this quite an uncomfortable play to sit through.

In conclusion, this class has helped me gain appreciation for various types of performances. Without FAA 110, I may have never seen a live ballet or spoken word performance. After being exposed to these different styles, I am happy to say that I enjoyed them much more than I predicted. Although my time here on campus is soon ending, I plan on attending live performances more often when I have the opportunity to. I’m thankful to the teachers and students who have led the discussions on these topics, and helped me learn more about the history and efforts of the people who make these productions possible.

The Final Blog: A Semester in Review

Written By: Zackarya Faci

Let me start off by saying this has been the most enjoyable course I have taken in all my four years here at the university. I was able to explore the arts and earn a new appreciation for them–something engineering students don’t often find themselves doing. I looked forward to coming to class, since we were always either doing a cool activity or taking an interesting tour, and spend my evenings in the Krannert Center. Sadly, we were not able to spend the entire semester together due to COVID-19, but I was still able to explore beautiful performances online through Digital Theatre+. Here’s a recap of the performances seen throughout the semester:

The Butterfly Lovers

The first performance we saw as a class was The Shanghai Ballet performing “The Butterfly Lovers” at the start of the Chinese New Year. I had never seen a ballet prior and was half-expecting to be bored by the event. However, that was definitely not the case. I was enamored by how well they were able to tell a story without ever saying a single word. The skillful movements and intentional lighting were enough to convey the exact emotions felt onstage.

Drumfolk

The next performance, by Step Afrika!, I enjoyed even more. They brought history to life with the their percussive talents. With a simple stage and intriguing costume design, it was easy to focus on what the performers wanted us to see.

Somi

Somi is a Jazz musician who performed some songs from her recent album. I never really listened to Jazz music before, so I am glad I attended this performance. Somi’s songs were so soothing yet powerful all at the same time. She also sang about some issues that were important to me.

Anna Deavere Smith

Seeing Smith perform was a bit of a curve ball to me. I was not sure what to expect when heading to this performance. It was not like any of the other performances we have seen; this was a one-woman show. She recreated interviews she conducted and did so with a lot of emotion. While being funny, yet serious, her impersonations of her interviewees sold the show.

Cabaret

The night of Unofficial the class attended Cabaret–which was very fitting. Cabaret was a comedic, scandalous musical set in 1930s Germany. Many scenes were risqué, but honestly it was refreshing to see a performance that was more adult-oriented. This was also the first performance I’ve seen that had subtitles above the stage–something I found very interesting.

The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice was the first performance I viewed online after in-person classes were postponed. It was a witty comedy that touched upon some serious topics. I read the play in high school so it was nice to revisit it and see how the performance compared to simply reading the play.

The Container

The Container was a very unique performance. Being performed in a shipping container with low light really set the mood for the entire performance. The choice to perform in a shipping container was ingenious, and I wish I could have been there to see it performed live. The story was already compelling and sincere as is, but being there in person would have been a whole new level of immersion.

Metamorphosis

The final performance I viewed this semester was Metamorphosis. This was definitely a wacky one. The movements by the performers were flamboyant and exaggerated–fitting with the peculiar story. The performance was also in Japanese, so I had to follow along with subtitles. Metamorphosis opened my mind to watch other forms of media that may not be in a language I understand.

Closing Thoughts

A sincere thank you goes out to Dr. Collins and Prof. Robinson. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this class, but I took away more than I could have ever asked for. They always had so much energy and never failed to brighten up my day. They also helped us explore the arts in ways a typical class could never. Thank you for helping me explore performances I probably would have never seen on my own. Thank you for making my final semester a great one! 🙂

Farewell to FAA110

By Jiaxuan Meng

I had a very fruitful semester with Dr. Collins, Dr. Robinson, and my fellow classmates. This class gave me a lot of great opportunities to see a wide range of performances and artists in Krannert Center and Spurlock Museum. It made me widen my horizons and stimulate my curiosity and creativity in modern society with different forms of arts.

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Cheers to a Fun Semester!

By Willa Wu

Reflecting back on the classes I have taken from freshman year until graduation, it amuses me that the two most impactful classes I have taken throughout my college experience were two that I decided to take on a whim, not for the extra credit hours or any major requirement. FAA 110, one of such classes, has forced me to sit back and spend time appreciating the creativity in the arts, which I have very rarely done due only focusing on STEM subjects most of my life.

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End of The Road: A self-reflection 🎟

Written by Bria Thurman

This has been an extremely fun semester and I am so happy I worked my way into this class.

This was my favorite class this year. I enjoyed the conversation we had within this class about the arts and how they connect with our past and our present. However, there are some works that represent our future because it shows where we’ve been, where we’re at, and where we’re going. I was able to see a diverse group of projects for this class and I want to continue to view projects my entire tenure here as a student at UIUC. I really had to fight to get this class into my schedule and just the difficulty of being a freshman and an undeclared freshman at that made it kind of rough. I am happy it worked for my good.

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My Final Thoughts

A reflection on having spent a semester engaging in the arts and creativity

By: Aditya Kashyap

Throughout the semester, I have had the unique opportunity to be a part of some once-in-a-lifetime performances. As much as I love the arts, I still struggle to make time to see performances even though I participate in creative work. This class allowed me to try new things and step out of my comfort zone, and for that I am very thankful. Here are links to my experiences in this class and my thoughts on each of them.

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A Night of Dancing at the Krannert Center

DJ Booth

In retrospect, I believe that last night’s event was my favorite one of the entire semester.  It felt nice to be so close to what was happening. Also, this was not a structured event, it was more of an impromptu performance.  All of the people dancing and mingling with each other created a positive energy in the space that spread to everyone attending, whether it be other dancers or the people watching, like myself. There were people of all ages, races, nationalities and cultures. Everyone was just there to enjoy themselves and have a good time. Some people came alone and others in groups, but everyone was quickly swallowed by the dance floor and welcomed by all. Even if you were not dancing, it still felt like you were involved simply by watching. I think that this was a great choice of a final performance for the class.

Before the night started
Halfway through the night

My New Experiences with the Arts

Written by Bill Xun

I had an awesome experience with FAA110 this semester. I had previously only seen one show at Krannert before, and it was a symphony orchestra. Though this class, I found out and got to experience so many different types of the arts, from puppets to quartets to different art exhibits across campus. I went to nine events in total:

Krannert’s 50th Anniversary!! 

Photo by Bill Xun

Breaking Limbs at the Krannert Art Museum

Photo by Bill Xun

Marcus Tardelli: Master Guitarist

Photo by Bill Xun

Describing A City With Art

Taken by Bill Xun

Comedy at the Krannert Center

Taken by Bill Xun

A Night at the Opera — La Bohème

Taken by Bill Xun

Emotions through Strings

Taken by Bill Xun

A Fully Immersive Puppet Show

Taken by Bill Xun

An Afternoon of Strings

This semester definitely opened my eyes to new types of art that I’ve never even thought about seeing before. I found out so many cool types of events that I’d never thought I would enjoy, like puppets, and even some performance art. I will definitely be on the lookout for new events on campus and off campus in the future. There are already lots of events at the Krannert Center that I  am for sure going to next semester. I loved the discussions we had in class, about some background info on the performance we were going to see, or talking about our opinions and hearing everyone’s unique thoughts and creative thinking. Thanks to Dr. Collins and Dr. Robinson for an amazing semester and guiding the class towards a huge variety of different arts.

FAA 110 Final Blog: A Fine Arts reflection

Written by Syed Ali

Before I joined FAA 110, I thought I wanted to take theater or drama classes. I enjoyed the expressive, abstract search for truth that is the fine arts. After I took this class, however, I learned that there is much more than theater in the world of art. I went to an opera, a musical, dance, orchestras, and various other forms of applied art. Because of this class, I went to an art museum for the first time and I truly loved it. I’m glad I took Fine & Applied Arts this semester; I learned not only about music/expression, but also about multimedia and how blogs are written. Continue reading