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.
At one point during the show, I felt as if I had fallen asleep and was dreaming.
By Lesly Marroquin
Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the performance of the Jupiter Strong Quartet accompanied by a Tai Ji Master and Tango. I have had previous experiences of watching shows with string instruments but have not seen a quartet and have no experience with Tai Chi besides hearing it from word of mouth. On the other hand, I have had many experiences with tango as I have studied abroad in Argentina and have seen many people dancing it.
I was expecting something new and was really wondering to how they would combine Tai Ji, Classical music, and Tango all together. I thought they would be separate experiences. I was very surprised at what I witnessed.
The show had the quartet open up by themselves, playing a classic but strong piece. Then the Tai Ji master came in and performed a routine that fit well alongside the music. I quickly felt myself be soothed and completely relaxed. The music and the Tai Ji performance was soft, wispy, and calming. I quickly knew that if it continued I would for sure fall asleep. They ended that portion at the perfect point.
The tango was strong and passionate. I quickly was awakened and put into an ecstatic state. I fully enjoyed both portions of the performance and felt completely different things from them. Though, I think the slower once could have put me to sleep if it had run longer. This also might be due to me having a long school day prior to this perfomance.
I especially enjoyed the finale when everyone joined in the Tai Ji performance and only one player of the Quartet was left. It was an amazing way to include all of the performers on stage at once in unison. After it was over, I was very amused by the show and enjoyed my first experiences with Tai Ji and a Quartet thoroughly.