Featured post

Cabaret: A Challenge

Krannert’s presentation of Cabaret offered a deeply challenging and condemning performance of the dangers of apathy.

Stresemann, a man I knew as a champion of the Republic that would eventually fall to dictatorship…alongside other historical facts to remind us there was a world moving along outside the rise of fascism.
Continue reading
Featured post

Willkommen im Cabaret

Tyler Tubbs

https://krannertcenter.com/events/cabaret

The Cabaret at the Krannert is my favorite of the events this semester. The intense storyline is complimented perfectly by beautiful musical numbers performed by a live orchestra and the performer on stage.

Cabaret’s excellence comes as a result of the incredible musical numbers. The songs give a true sense of the character’s beliefs and attitudes. For example, when Fräulein Schneider sings “So What?” she offers insight to the desperation and lack of hope that was shared by countless individuals of post-WW1 Germany. Additionally, the reprisal of “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” at the end of the first act portrays the pro-nazi leanings of certain members of the cast. Most of the cast joins in on this song, showing the growing influence of nazism in Germany during the early 1930s.

During the performance, the set changed countless times to describe multiple locations throughout Berlin. The boardinghouse consisted of Cliff Bradshaw’s room and an adjacent hallway containing Fräulein Schneider’s and Fräulein Kost’s doors. The Kit Kat Klub was mostly empty, but the character’s made up for the empty stage with intense, vibrant costumes and dances. In-between scenes, brief pauses for applause doubled as opportunities for rapid set changes.

Thanks again for checking back on my blog! The next event is this Wednesday, the 11th, for Drum Tao! I’ll see you all again soon!

Featured post

Cabaret : the hidden realities of Berlin in the 1930s

Cabaret was performed at the Tryon Festival Theatre in Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on March 5. The actors were students of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their excellent acting, set-making and music made the performance perfect.

Written by Aejin Shin

A ticket

The setting for the musical “Cabaret” is the Kit Kat Club in Berlin in the 1930s. This was a period of great historical importance and confusion. The performance vividly shows the suffering of ordinary citizens -including American novelist Cliff and his roommate Sally- because of the change in a country’s political ideology and confusion. It showed a part of ordinary life through historical events and some sensitive topics such as eroticism, sex and homosexuality. It begins with an American writer named Cliff traveling to Germany to get the inspiration that he needed to write his novel.

waiting for the start of the performance with the booklet

Music

In Cabaret, music helps to deliver the characters’ messages. This is definitely a kind of musical, so it’s meaningless to discuss the show without music. However, Cabaret’s music is quite different from the usual musicals’ composition. Ordinary musicals play romantic songs that contrast with miserable plots, making audiences forget about the difficulties of reality. However, most of the songs played in the performance do not make the audience forget the miserable reality, but make them feel more afraid of the Nazism. For example, with the ending song, ‘Farewell’, one can fully guess that Cabaret’s audience is no longer ordinary public but Nazi party members.

Overall, the songs played during the show are typical jazz and swing in the 1920s and 30s. Also, the characters sing about what they want – love, a beautiful future, and their own beliefs. Every character wants different things, but the energy they emit in an unstable, dangerous, finite life touched me so much. I like the music because it was quite emotional, so it sets the mood, and I can understand what the characters feeling through the music. Also, the music was catchy. So, I could sing it after the performance ended.

the atmosphere was exciting, and people there were anticipating the performance.

Set

This set shows Berlin at that time very effectively. Two structures rotated and showed new backgrounds. These rotations made a variety of sets, including nightclubs, housing complexes, trains, apartments and fruit shops. This allowed the transition between scenes to be natural.

the band plays on stage

The performance was a combination of funny and sexual comedies and exaggerated expressions. Complex set designs and perfect music allow the audience to focus more on the performance. This performance was more on the love story between people in 1920s and 30s and their lives rather than the big history like WW1 and Nazis, and it makes the performance more interesting. I would like to recommend this performance to everyone!

Featured post

The Joys of the Cabaret at Krannert

This performance treated the audience to a unique perspective of Germany in its pre-WWII years through cheerful song, dramatic dance, and rapid-fire humor.
-Daniel Holley

The audience makes their way into the Tryon Festival Theatre for the performance.
Continue reading
Featured post

Berlin: The Place Where You can Be Whoever You Want To Be

If you ever felt like you couldn’t be your true self perhaps you weren’t in Berlin. 
Written by Jackie Dominguez De Paz

Before the musical began in Tyron Festival Theatre.

Cabaret, a true masterpiece full of meticulous details that truly made the show shine! This musical not only made you feel like you could connect with the characters such as Sally, Clifford, Fraulein Schneider or even Herr Schultz but it made you feel like you were part of the show!

Continue reading
Featured post

Lights, Music, Action: Cabaret

On March 6th, 2020 at 7:30pm the Tryon Festival Theatre presented a musical performance entitled ” Cabaret“. This performance brought about musicality, theatre, and dance while trying to portray some of the issues surrounding the time frame, WW1.

Written by: Lydia Amezcua Ramirez

Waiting for the performance to begin while others read more about the performance.

Musicality

In the performance there was many ways of expressing expressing character mood/desire. The songs and music helped carry those messages out. The music and songs in Cabaret worked to give a sense of the world of the play by subtly bringing in issues that all tie in with Cabaret. For example, a character who came from America would go to the Kit Kat Club to drink and enjoy life in Berlin, Germany because that is what most people there seemed to do, live life while partying and still having to find a way to pay rent on time. The Kit Kat Club seemed to be the place where people went to enjoy music and drink, but all of that disappeared by the end of the play when there were no more performers or people in the Kit Kat Club. This was due to the beginning of WW1 when the Nazis took power and streets/places were abandoned.

Read More

The host of the night alongside a grand piano player

The music and songs in Cabaret also worked to give a sense of the dreams of the characters through the beat and emotion that went with the music and songs they sang. For example, one of the characters in the play was a performer in the Kit Kat Club and one of the songs she sang was an upbeat one involving not telling her mother about her being a performer because she was chasing her dream. Towards the end of the play she ended up staying in Berlin, Germany regardless of what was going on around that time frame because she wanted to continue chasing her dream of being a grand performer. The song she sang was more emotional that time around with not as much music behind her that way more emotional tone would be coming from her part.

The host of the night performing in the Kit Kat Club along with other dancers

Set Transitions

In Cabaret, the sets would transition as would any play to show the distinct parts of the Berlin setting. In between each transition, songs would be performed by the characters in the play and if not them then by the host of the night along with his background dancers. The sets of the performance included:

  1. The Kit Kat Club, where performers would perform and others went there to drink.
  2. A Railroad Carriage, where the American coming to Berlin would travel to and back.
  3. Schneider’s Apartment, the landlord lady.
  4. Cliff’s Apartment, the American novelist from America.
  5. Schultz’s Fruit Shop, the person who liked the landlord lady.
  6. The Void, an empty abandoned place.

Overall, Cabaret was a mesmerizing performance filled with a variety of music and performance style that left goosebumps on my arms. What I liked most about the performance was all the energy in the characters that remained up to when the Nazis took control. Life as they knew it would change forever because life was not something that one could spend partying without worries. It became a means of survival and the reality of the world they began to live in.

Featured post

Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome to Cabaret

Cabaret was performed on Friday night, March 6 2020, in the Tryon Festival Theatre. Set in the new year of 1930, the audience was met with a risqué performance in a controversial era of Berlin, Germany.

Written By Zackarya Faci

Cabaret was a musical performance that brought to life some key aspects of history but mainly focused on telling a story of love and lust. It was set in a time period that “could have gone another way”, according to the director. Overall, the performance provided insight into how free and scandalous lives were for some Germans prior to the rise of the Nazi Party.

The musicians practicing before the performance began.
Continue reading
Featured post

Cabaret: A Glimpse At a Historical Turning Point

On March 7th, the world-famous musical Cabaret was performed at the Tryon Festival Theatre of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The background of the story is Berlin from 1929 to 1930. It began with an American novelist traveling to Berlin seeking inspiration for his novel. By depicting the fate of the characters at that very moment of history, it told a story that is touching and thought-provoking, and a tale that depicts fantasy and reality.

Written by Yushan Guo

The curtain right before the musical began
Continue reading
Featured post

Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome to the Cabaret

The Cabaret has a field of complex characters in the conflicting period before World War II in Germany. Although the songs are sometimes fun and exciting, the story is much more dramatic and the actors, students of the University of Illinois, do an excellent job of conveying the layered emotions of their characters.

The actors and musicians at the end of the performance.

Written by Grace Chen

When we first walked into the theatre, the orchestra was already playing music that fit the era. It established the mood of the musical early on and it told me that I was going to be transported to the early 1900s in this musical. The light jazz that blended into the start of the show mimicked how an actual audience member of the Kit Kat Klub probably felt and the Welcome song served as an introduction to the role of the Klub to the story.

Continue reading
Featured post

Cabaret: A Story of Love, Dreams, and Reality

A story that begins with a novelist seeking inspiration takes lots of twists and turns as he settles in Berlin, Germany. There he meets people who affect his life and influence his next story.

By Moises Sedano

The entrance to the Krannert Center where the performance took place.
Continue reading
Featured post

Carbaret: An Emphasis on the Humanity of Life

Cabaret, a world renowned Broadway musical, was performed at the Tryon Festival Theatre in Krannert Center for the Performing Arts this last Friday. The cast of the play Cabaret set out to give the audience a thrilling yet unique experience through perfect performance, further enhanced by amazing music and set pieces.

Written by Weon Taek Na

Figure 1: Cabaret Cover
Continue reading
Featured post

Wilkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome! – Cabaret

By Jiaxuan Meng

On the evening of March 6th, 2020, Cabaret, a famous Broadway musical which includes smoke, haze, violence, nudity, and profanity was performed in Krannert Center for Performing Arts to celebrate Krannert Center’s 50-year partnership with School of Music, Illinois.

Theatre, dance, and music present the joint production of cabaret.

This musical is based on a book by Joe Masteroff and a play by John Van Druten. Stories are based on a novel Christopher Isherwood and the fascinating music come from John Kander with lyrics by Fred Ebb.

Continue reading
Featured post

Historical Commentary as Theatre: Cabaret

The world renowned musical Cabaret was performed at the Tryon Festival Theatre in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on February 27, 2020 at 7:30pm. The production was in sponsorship with the School of Music, the Lyric Theatre, the Illinois Theatre, and Dance at Illinois. 

By Elena Grantcharski 

Program for the Cabaret Production

The musical took place in 1930s Germany. The music was a testament to this time period because of the cabaret style jazz music. The music was played by a live jazz band on stage. It reminds me of the jazz bands that were prevalent during the Roaring Twenties. This time period in general was the beginning stage of jazz as a music genre in general. In terms of the characters, the music was usually a form of dialogue for each of the characters. For example, every solo piece Sally Bowles sang expressed her desires, emotions, and plan of action at the moment. Her first piece showed us her life at the club and how she ended up having the career she does.

Continue reading
Featured post

Life is a “Cabaret”

Cabaret is a really popular Broadway musical, based on 1951 John Van Druten’s play I Am a Camera. To celebrate Krannert Center’s 50-year partnership with the school of music, school faculty and students bring their talent and expertise to this ironic work, Cabaret, on March 6, Tryon Festival Theatre.

Written By Bingchen Li

Music in the show

The timeline background for Cabaret is from 1929-1930, the time Nazi still not powered German. A young American novelist, Cliff, traveled to German and try to look for something to write. Before he moved to German, the host for Kit Kat Club performed a “welcome song”, which is composed of three languages, French, German, and English. The host said, “In here, life is beautiful, girls are beautiful, even the orchestra is beautiful… we have no troubles here… leave the trouble outside…” it implied that before world war II, Berlin was still peaceful, and it was an international metropolis that lots of people from other countries come and go. Also, it set a very important background for the Kit Kat Club, it is an indecent but popular cabaret.

Warm-up rehearsal before the performance
Continue reading
Featured post

The Tale of Cabaret

The cast of the play Cabaret set out to deliver a wonderfully unique performance filled with spinning set pieces and music that only enhanced the performance.

Written by Willa Wu

The play Cabaret is set in Berlin, Germany, from 1929 to 1930.  Initially, I was a bit surprised at the choice in the time period.  After all, this was before Hitler’s rise, and after the financial crash of 1929.  However, the director’s note in the program provided insight on the choice; the “in-between” space, as Latrelle Bright, the director calls it, is “a space where one can almost imagine maybe, it could have gone another way.”  The play, although set during a time where the Nazis held some power, focused rather on the love triangle that was created. 

The night’s ticket stub and the entrance of the Tryon Festival Theatre.
Continue reading
Featured post

*MAKEUP* Gates Of Heaven

Michael Barenboin and the West Eastern Divan Ensemble: A two-hour performance that sounds like you’re coming home.

Written by Jackie Dominguez De Paz

            There is quote by Ryunosuke Satoro that says, “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean”. I believe this quote perfectly describes The Western Divan Ensemble orchestra led by Michael Barenboin. There is no doubt that every player within the orchestra is unbelievably talented, however when they come together, it sounds like what I would imagine the gates of heaven opening to sound like.

Continue reading
Featured post

The Spirit Survives: storytelling from Winter Tales Program (make-up)

On February 22nd, the event “The Winter Tales Program: The Spirit Survives” was held at the A. R. Knight Auditorium of the Spurlock Museum. The Winter Tales Program is a series of events honoring the culture and practices of the Native Americans.

Written by: Yushan Guo

The stage before Dovie Thomason started her storytelling
Continue reading
Featured post

The Voices of Anna Deavere Smith and Julia Wolfe (Make-up)

Anna Deveare Smith and Julia Wolfe spoke at the CultureTalk at Krannert Center for Performing Arts on Wednesday, February 19th. Anna is an accomplished playwright and actress and Julia is a renown composer. Both are also well-known educators in the artist community.

Written by Weon Taek Na

My ticket to the CultureTalk with Deavere and Wolfe
Continue reading
Featured post

CultureTalk with Anna Deveare Smith and Julia Wolfe

Written by Zeying Lang

As an actress, playwright, and professor, Anna Deveare Smith, cares about the issues of how contemporary art confronts the crises that are emerging in the current world. This time, she brought her good friend, Julia Wolfe, a reputed musician and composer, to give this fantastic Culture Talk with the opportunities to communicate with the audience. Together, they talked about how art can be involved in dealing with the world crisis, and what possible changes that art could bring to the world.

Retrieved from https://krannertcenter.com/events/culturetalk-anna-deavere-smith-and-julia-wolfe-artists-voice-times-crisis
Continue reading
Featured post

A Unique For of Social Justice: Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith is a major figure in the theatre and social justice world. On February 18, 2020, she performed at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in the Colwell Playhouse. This is the most unique form of social justice advocation I have ever experienced.

By Elena Grantcharski

The basis of Anna Deavere Smith’s performance was journalism. She would interview these people, pick out the ones that spoke the most and create them into one woman shows and full fledged plays. Her one woman performance was unique and a showcase of true talent because she had no costume, no props, and no stage decorations at all. She was wearing all black and the only tool she used was her voice. She showed the true power of using your voice. However, something important that she emphasized was that she was not giving these people a voice, these people already had strong and beautiful voices, she was just popularizing their stories to a wider audience. She would preface every character with a short introduction and then word for word use her voice to speak as if she were them. It took voice imitation to a whole other level, using it not just as entertainment but also as social justice and education.

Ticket stub for Anna Deavere Smith’s Tuesday night performance at the Colwell Playhouse.
Continue reading
Featured post

Anna Deavere Smith; Portraying American Identities

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 7:30 pm Anna Deavere Smith performed Snapshots: Portraits of a World in Transition. Her performance consisted of acting out several of her interviews with people around America, bringing her interviews to life.

By: Daniel Plata

Waiting for the performance to start
Continue reading
Featured post

Anna Deavere Smith’s Stories from the States

Tyler Tubbs

https://krannertcenter.com/events/anna-deavere-smith

Anna Deavere Smith, known chiefly for her unique solo act in which she reenacts interviews that she’s collected from all across the U.S., travelled to the Krannert to share her stories on “Getting Through the Day.” Her act requires nothing but her notes and a microphone, so the stage was set rather simply.

Anna’s compilations of stories guide the performance toward a central theme or idea. In her performance at the Krannert, she used interviews with countless individuals on their various ideals of getting through the day. Between personas, Anna often took time to pause and preface the next interview. Another way to distinguish portions of the show is to pay attention to the expert voice inflections and impersonations.

This incredibly unique performance distinguished itself from traditional documentaries by being a rather interactive show. Anna opened for the audience to participate on multiple occasions, once to allow for the chorus to “Amazing Grace” to ring through the entire auditorium. At the end of the show, she requested that the lights in the audience be turned on as she began a Q and A session right in the theater. This unique level of interaction and mode of storytelling puts all of Smith’s shows in a novel category of performances.

Thank you for returning to blog! I can’t wait to add another to the stack following the march 6th performance of Cabaret, so I hope you find your way back once more!

Featured post

New Kind of Storyteller, Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith, revered as a genius who created ‘a new form of theater’ held a performance at the Colwell Playhouse in Krannert Center on Tuesday, February 18.

By Aejin Shin

People waiting before the show began

Anna Deavere Smith. Who is she? According to her program profile, she is an actor, playwright, and educator. These days, thanks to the FAA110 class, I am watching many performances at the krannert center. Some of them I was able to understand the content by seeing the title of the show (like Shanghai Ballet and Drumfolk), but others were impossible to grasp until I saw the show, like Somi. This performance is in the latter case. Until I entered the concert hall, I had no idea what kind of show I was going to see today. Nor did I know if she was a singer, comedian, or even an actor, because I had no background knowledge of her. However, it took only five minutes to fall into her charms.

The appearance of the stage before the show began

This was definitely a new kind of show. There were no fancy stage settings or costumes for the performance, nor were there any other performers. However, she had the ability to dominate the stage by herself. She interviewed others, then recorded their voices and changed the recordings into a performance.

Tickets and pamphlets

Anna Deavere Smith’s performance made her show very special. It was completely different from news stories, documentaries, and dramas that tell only objective truths. She delivered to the audience what she wanted to convey through her acting. Her performance was quite different from any other performances that I’ve seen at the Krannert Center. Her performance was neither news, nor drama, nor stand-up comedy, but humorously allowed people to know the exact truth. She tries to express Americans’ diverse opinions on various social issues. She has already interviewed more than 2,000 people so far. Smith acts out a variety of people by making variations in her voice. She describes people with gestures as well as her voice.

A portrait of Anna Deavere Smith

She also communicated with the audience through questions and answers after the performance. I didn’t fully understand the stories, but I thought it was wonderful to have a moment like this. She could use the audience’s questions as more material for her next performance.

Featured post

One Mic, Many Voices

By Veronica Y. Gonzalez
Event Program
Stage before the performance began.
Sign before entering the theater

On February 18, 2020 I had the pleasure of seeing Anna Deavere Smith perform at The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. This performance was unique because it wasn’t quite standup comedy but it wasn’t quite a play either. It was a mix of both. She incorporated telling her story and doing impressions of people she interviewed into her performance. I could tell when she was doing a new person because she would try and imitate their voice and their mannerisms. I liked how she didn’t use different costumes or different settings because it made us focus on her talents. We were able to use our imagination to try to envision the people she interviewed. There was one person onstage but we heard the stories and voices of many people.

Continue reading
Featured post

Getting Through The “Not So Typical” Day

Anna Deavere Smith performed on February 18, 2020 at the Colwell Playhouse in the Krannert Center for Performing Arts. With her, she brought an interesting form of story-telling and impersonations in a bit she called “Forms of Protests”–also know as, “Getting Through the Day”.

Written by Zackarya Faci

Smith’s performance consisted of a myriad of interviews from people across America. She would take the interviews she conducted and interpret them in a way she could present to the audience. Each story came with an impersonation of the interviewee–which helped sell the emotions the individuals were feeling at the time. Smith would use different voices, interjections, and stutter; all these aspects made it feel as though we, the audience, were conducting the interview and Smith was replying to us.

The ticket stub and program as the audience waits for Smith to take the stage.
Continue reading
Featured post

Q&A with Anna Deavere Smith and Julia Wolfe (Make-Up)

Anna Deavere Smith is a playwright, actor, and educator while Julia Wolfe is a composer and educator. Both came out tonight to speak at our CultureTalk about the challenges of our time.

By Moises Sedano

CultureTalk, here at UIUC, is a Q&A event which fosters awareness and understanding of the relationships between the arts and society.

The set up for the CultureTalk Q&A session.
Continue reading
Featured post

A story night with Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith, an educator, an actress, and a storyteller, gave a unique performance on Feb. 18th, 2020 at the Krannert Centre for the Performing Arts. This is a new and creative form of theatre, by performing portrayals of people she has listened to and interviewed, demonstrated what she calls the “complex identities of America”.

By Jiaxuan Meng

Profile of Anna Deavere Smith
Continue reading
Featured post

Impressions by Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith takes her audience on a journey through her colorful impressions of interviews that show how different individuals are “getting through the day.”

Event: https://krannertcenter.com/events/anna-deavere-smith

Her very plain stage,
Continue reading
Featured post

The real listener of the Americans– Anna Deavere Smith

Famous playwright, actor, and educator, Anna Deavere Smith, brought her performance to Colwell Playhouse at Krannert Center on Tuesday, February 18. She was praised for creating ” a new form of theatre– a blend of art, social commentary, and journalism.”

Written by Bingchen Li

If you ask me, what is the last show I will watch before I die, I will definitely answer Anna Deavere Smith’s performance. During her performance, she does not have fancy costumes, props, and other performers, what she uses for the performance, is her voice. She interviewed different people first, and then recorded them and turned the conversations into performance, by herself. It is amazing that she can imitate those people perfectly that you can clearly know the emotional condition of the character, the age of the character, and the views from the characters.

No fancy props and stage setting in her performance
Continue reading
Featured post

Getting Through the Day with Anna Deveare Smith

Anna uses her impersonation skills to deliver the unique stories of others struggling to make sense of life.
-By Daniel Holley

The stage is set for the one woman show as the audience finds their seats.

Anna brought a unique performance to the Krannert Center as she entertained the crowd not with song or dance, but rather her incredible ability to tell the stories of others. With years worth of interviews from a diverse group of people recorded, she was able to present these characters to the audience as parts of a greater story. Today’s theme of “getting through the day” was showcased with a carefully crafted blend of humor and intensity as Anna impersonated a few of her interviewees. She retold their stories of challenges large and small while imitating their accents and mannerisms, ensuring the audience felt the emotions as much as they heard the words.

Continue reading
Featured post

Comedian and Storyteller: Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith held a story telling event that lasted approximately an hour followed by questions from the audience who were intrigued with her work. In her performance she was able to express themes that involve issues in America. This event was held on Tuesday February 18th, 2020 in the Colwell Playhouse at the Krannert Art Center.

Written by: Lydia Amezcua Ramirez

A picture of the author/story teller, Anna Deavere Smith

Creative Expression

Anna Deavere Smith’s theater performance was unique in the way that she took interviews to perform real people. By this I mean that she had taken the time to sit down with people, have them share the story they wanted to convey to her, took their story, and performed it in a way that brought laughter to the audience yet still conveyed a specific theme. At the beginning of each new theme she told the audience what the title of each story that she would present would be. This is how I could tell that she presented a new person, based on the different titles. Also, at the end of each story she would say thank you and the audience would clap.

Read More

Performance

Another thing to note about her performance was that she was dressed in a simplistic manner and the set was also set up that way. This is important because she was still able to indicate character without any extra garments to wear. All she needed to present her characters were her use of voice and body gestures. For each new theme she presented she would use a different type of voice to depict that character. As for body gestures, she would also keep it simple and use body movements that indicated the character she was in.

A picture of the stage, showing how simplistic the set up was
This picture depicts the simplicity of the wardrobe worn by Anna Deavere Smith

Stories Told

In her performance, Anna D. Smith was able to represent different aspects of the American past through interview in the way that she selected her themes. The people that she interviewed had a specific theme to share which she wanted to convey surroudning issues of community, character, and diversity in America from the past. For example, she had portrayed a character of a reverend during the civil rights movement. Her themes relate to the present due to the issues that occurred back then in which can still be seen today but less problematic as they were back then.

The way that this performance is different from the news or documentary films is that those are matters of factual detail and given events with names and dates. In Anna Smith’s performance she used theater to convey her characters through acting without giving away the names of the persons she interviewed for the stories. This was a creative performance on her part, especially when she was able to have the audience constantly laughing.

Featured post

Somi: A Refreshing Story told through Jazz

On Valentine’s Day, Somi sung songs from her previous albums at the Krannert Center.

Written by Weon Taek Na

My ticket and description book to Somi
Continue reading
Featured post

Stories of Many Through One: Anna Deavere Smith

Ms. Anna Deavere Smith visited the Krannert Center of Performing Arts with an hour-long show delving into discussions about social issues through the perspective of people on the front lines in a style I describe as a mix between theatre and Ted talk.

Written by Grace Chen

Anna Deavere Smith
Continue reading
Featured post

Forms of Protest with Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith, a one woman show who comes from Baltimore, Maryland, interviews countless individuals and forms portraits of certain powerful excerpts that can be recreated by her to form strong impressions on controversial topics.

Written by Willa Wu

Anna Deavere Smith performed in the Colwell Playhouse of the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on February 19, 2020.  Out of the performances I have seen thus far this semester, this one was by far the most surprising.

The night’s ticket stub and program, which detailed the actress’s accomplishments.
Continue reading
Featured post

[MAKE UP EVENT] The Beauty of Cello: Young Concert Artists Winner, Jonathan Swensen

The new star of the cello world, Johnathan Swensen performs in part with the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ Marquee Sunday Salon Series for Emerging Artistry in the Foellinger Great Hall on February 16, 2020. 

By Elena Grantcharski

Johnathan Swensen is a Danish-American classical cellist. He is an emerging performer in the classical world and this performance was a testament to that. The first thing that I would like to point out about this performance was that it was in a “salon style.”  When I saw it described as such on the website, I was honestly a little confused as to what that means. I’ve been inside Foellinger Great Hall, but I’ve never heard of a performance that was in this salon style. Unfortunately, I had a discounted balcony seat but salon style puts the audience on stage with the performer. The entire stage is filled with chairs, leaving a small section for the performance. There are also refreshments such as wine and coffee offered. I found this super interesting but it made sense to me knowing a bit about the classical music world. It felt like a very “high class” or elitist event but I don’t mean to say that in a bad way. I love classical music, and I loved this concert.

The salon set up at Foellinger Great Hall includes a table that offers refreshments such as wine or coffee.
Continue reading
Featured post

The Heavenly Strings

The heavenly strings that pulled my heart so perfectly and unexpectedly.

Written by Jackie Dominguez De Paz

            In a world where everyone is in a hurry, it feels like one never gets the time to close their eyes, stop for a while and think. To think about everything that life has thrown at us but we have never taken the time to fully understand. A one hour cello performance by Jonathan Swensen allowed me to reflect on my thoughts that have been suppressed for so long.

Continue reading
Featured post

An Emotional Musical Performance by Somi

Laura Kabasomi, or Somi, speaks and sings from the heart as she entertains the audience with stories and music inspired by her African heritage.
-By Daniel Holley

The stage is set as the audience files in for the show.

This performance was as much about music as it was about a story. Between musical performances with her talented ensemble, Somi spoke to the audience about what inspires her to write and sing. As a child of African immigrants, clashing cultures and racial tension has always been a challenge for her. However, she finds strength in her heritage, and uses it to connect in similar situations. As a current resident of Harlem, New York, the largely African community helps her establish confidence in her identity, and this confidence is apparent in her powerful vocals.

Continue reading
Featured post

Somi : the best jazz performance I’ve ever watched

On the evening of Valentine’s Day on February 14, Somi’s performance was held at Colwell Playhouse in Krannert center.

By Aejin Shin

concert tickets

Somi, the daughter of immigrants from Rwanda and Uganda, was born in Illinois, where the show was performed. She is a very famous vocalist and composer. Her songs have very special theme – the stories of African immigrants in New York’s Harlem.

She told a story before performing. This was a very effective way to get the audience engaged. Also, these introductions and backgrounds also took place in between songs. When perfoming, it felt like she was directly communicating with me. She also naturally included the audience in her performance.

setting of the stage before the performance begins

Somi’s performance consisted of Somi and her band. They showed great chemistry. The band made her song more exciting. Different types of musical instruments were used, and the techniques of the performers were different song by song.

Somi introduced musicians from her team during the performance. The thing I was impressed with was that Somi showed a very deep respect to her band. In fact, this kind of performance is usually performed mainly by vocalists. But Somi shared the spotlight with her band members resulting in most musicians getting a chance to play solo. They looked like true friends, not just partners.

Standing ovation after the performance

She sang various kinds of songs. The day of the concert was Valentine’s Day, and there were songs about oppressions, Harlem, and so on, including a love song centered around Valentine’s Day. She sometimes screamed and sometimes sang in a sweet voice. She led the performance skillfully. I admired her professionalism. Due to my native language not being English, sometimes I couldn’t fully understand her message. However, her music clearly contained a message easy to follow. Even if I couldn’t fully understand the lyrics, her performance helped fill the gaps.

If you’re more curious about Somi and her performance, you can visit Somi’s site for more information.

Featured post

Somi: The Refashioning Jazz With A Homecoming Night

Written by Zeying Lang

Somi. (https://krannertcenter.com/events/somi)

This is a homecoming performance. As the music plays, memories flowing by. Born in Champaign, Illinois, the outstanding artist Somi is the first generation of immigrants from Uganda and Rwanda. Tonight, at her home town, with the fantastic jazz band, she tells her stories in her music about growing up as a descendant with African heritage.

Continue reading
Featured post

Somi: Being Present & Bringing Cultures Together

Somi, an Urbana-Champaign native, performed in the Colwell Playhouse at KCPA on February 14, 2020. Her jazz performance sent a prominent message about being present and told a story of the diverse, culture-rich Harlem.

Written By Zackarya Faci

From the moment Somi stepped on stage there was nothing but positive vibes in the air. She prefaced the performance with a little background about herself; she would even ask the audience questions and build off that engagement. One could easily tell she was being genuine and sincere as her bright smile and cheerful laugh filled the performance hall. Somi is of Ugandan and Rwandan decent and grew up in Champaign, but she has since moved to New York. The songs she performed were from her latest album “Petite Afrique” (meaning little Africa in French), which pertains to the microcosm that is Harlem.

Somi receiving a well deserved standing ovation
Continue reading
Featured post

Somi: A Jazzy Journey

By Jacob Rominger

Somi. a local of Champaign-Urbana, gives a world class performance at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Event: https://krannertcenter.com/events/somi

The stage which the band performed upon. Notice there are no brass instruments in this Jazz band
Continue reading
Featured post

Local Talent: Somi Emitting Power and Love

By Veronica Y. Gonzalez
Statue outside the Colwell Playhouse
Stage before performance began
Event Program

For Valentine’s Day, I had the pleasure of attending Somi’s performance at The Krannert Center for Performing Arts. Prior to this event, all I knew was that Somi was a jazz artist from Champaign-Urbana. I had never attended a Jazz performance so I had no idea what to expect. Her performance was breathtaking. She set a really high standard for the future Jazz performances I will see. Her voice and storytelling were beautiful and the musicians accompanying her were extremely talented. It was also exciting to hear her sing in French because I don’t get to practice my French very often.

Continue reading
Featured post

Somi:“the voice kissed by the God”

Somi, a vocalist and songwriter, brought a brilliant jazz performance with her band on Friday,
February 14, 2020, at Colwell Playhouse, Krannert Center.

Written by Bingchen Li

At this romantic Friday, Somi and her band brought a brilliant jazz performance to the Colwell Playhouse. On this special day, we can witness lots of young and elder couples watched this show with a loved one, what a meaningful date!

Somi was born in Champaign, Illinois, and her latest album Petite Afrique won the 2018 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album. She is an amazing story-teller and she combines African music element to the jazz that you can hear the calling sound from an African tribe and
metropolis.

Somi and her amazing band
Continue reading
Featured post

Somi: a crush on jazz on a Valentine’s Day

The set before the performance began

On Valentine’s Day of 2020, the jazz band Somi delivered an amazing performance at the Colwell Playhouse of the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts. Her beautiful voice, the amazing improvisation of different instruments, their collaboration, as well as the ideals of inclusiveness deeply ingrained in their music, made the audiences truly fall in love with the performance and the band.

Written by: Yushan Guo

Continue reading
Featured post

Somi: A Captivating Voice

On Friday February 14th, 2020 in the Colwell Playhouse at Krannert Art Center for the Performing Arts a performance entitled “SOMI” ,named after the singer, was executed beautifully. Somi and the rest of her band performed a variety of music which captivated the audience through Somi’s use of traditional jazz along with African elements.

Written by: Lydia Amezcua Ramirez

Before the performance began, the instruments were set up for the musicians

A Night to Remember

Many would spend a valentines day out with friends, partners, or just stay in. This valentines I was in for a treat given that I went to go see “SOMI” at 7:30 pm that valentines day. At the beginning of the performance the musicians came in first and began tuning their instruments. The band behind Somi consisted of drums, piano, guitar, cello, violin, viola, and bass. Once they were set up, Somi came in, in a bright red dress that really brought out the color behind such a festive day.

Read More

Somi’s Music

Somi introduced herself and the reason behind her song selections for that night. By doing this, she was engaging with the audience every now and then to let them know the purpose of her song selections. Usually, each genre of the songs she sang had a certain meaning to it and one could feel that through her voice along with the background of the music. For example, she sang love songs in dedication to valentines day which evoked a feeling of love. Other types of songs she sang consisted of melancholy and upbeat moods.

Furthermore, throughout the songs she would interact with the musicians by gesturing at them so that the audience would give them a round of applause whenever they got the chance to perform a solo in the songs. Not only this, but she individually pronounced their names at the end of the performance so that they would all get recognition. I found this really sweet on her part because when I think of the performance I would imagine that she is the star of the show. When she acknowledged the other musicians I thought that showed a grand characteristic on her part.

Somi and some of the musicians from that night playing behind her

Given that Somi’s performance was on valentines day, my favorite song from that night had to be the one that she dedicated to the holiday. I really enjoyed this song because of the mood that she evoked through her singing and because love is in the air around this time of the month which made me fall in love with that song. As for my favorite moment of the night, I really enjoyed when Somi transitioned from singing the slow songs to upbeat songs which really showed me the diversity in her singing ranges, which were truly outstanding.

A standing ovation was given from everyone in the audience

The Stage was left just like it was at the very beginning of the performance, all the instruments and chairs in place. At the very end of the performance, the audience stood up for a standing ovation to “SOMI”. The way they stood up was pretty neat, it was like a wave since the people in the front got up first and then everyone followed after that. After a few minutes of clapping, Somi came back and performed one last song as an encore.

Featured post

Somi; A story of culture and identity told through music

On Friday, February 14, 2020, at 7:30 pm “Somi” was performed at the Colwell Playhouse. The performance consisted of several songs played a a band and lead singer, Somi. Each song was centered around a theme pertaining to Somi’s life growing up.

By: Daniel Plata

Pamphlet and playhouse before performance starts
Continue reading
Featured post

A Voice Grown in Champaign: Somi

Somi, a Champaign native, came back to wow the crowd with her amazing and talented voice!

By Moises Sedano

Somi is an acclaimed singer and songwriter with award-winning albums under her accolades. She came to town to perform songs off these albums.

The stage before Somi and her band came on.
Continue reading
Featured post

Somi’s Jazz: telling her story

By Jiaxuan Meng

“African grooves, supple jazz singing, and compassionate social consciousness; she is both serious and seductive. ” – The New York Times

Somi , an American singer, and songwriter.

Somi, an American Jazz singer who was born in Champaign, IL, gave her appealing performance on Feb.14th 2020 at Krannert Center for Performing Arts. She has built a career of transatlantic sonics and storytelling. Her album, telling her story of being an African immigrant family won a 2018 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album. She has been recognized as “the quintessential artist citizen of the world”.

Continue reading
Featured post
Somi introduces other musicians on her team.

Somi: How Music As An Art Can Be A Strong Form Of Activism

Though activism in the traditional sense can involve rallies, protests, and other forms of civil disobedience, Somi showed us through her performance that music can also be a strong force in telling stories aimed at making a difference.

The Event as a Performance

What stood out to me was the fact that Somi sang her first song before introducing herself. Having been to a couple of concerts in the past, I thought this was an interesting storytelling mechanism. By doing this, she intrigued me: her music was interesting but who was she? Though this practice wouldn’t count as direct engagement, it certainly made me more curious as a member of the audience.

I would describe her performance as a collection of culturally-influenced songs that shed light on the injustices that happen around the world. But more generally, I would say her performance was means of connecting more deeply with her audience in the discussion of those injustices.

To form this connection, Somi touches on common touchpoints with the audience (including talking about her early life living in Urbana-Champaign). Additionally, her mention of social issues that we all are aware of (e.g. race relations as it relates to immigrant families or Harlem’s contribution to African-American culture) further reinforces the connection.

Her support staff of musicians adds additional diversity to the performance, which allows us to see various perspectives from the different instruments at play.

Engaging With the Other Musicians

Somi clearly has a great relationship with the other musicians, as she has an amazing rapport with everyone and introduces them several times, thanks them for being present, and gives almost everyone an opportunity to play a solo.

Somi introduces other musicians on her team.
Somi introduces other musicians on her team.

In doing so, Somi is walking the talk as it relates to diversity (racially and instrumentally) and makes the audience feel like she, as an artist, is just as inclusive as her music is.

The Songs — and Deeper Meanings

Though you could generally classify her music to be jazz, primarily on the slower side, the performance was pretty diverse from a melodic standpoint. Some songs excluded certain instruments while others had those same instruments play significant roles in the song.

But more importantly, every song told a story. Whether it was Somi acknowledging Harlem’s role in shaping African-American culture or dedicating a song to her mother, Somi’s music allowed us to get a deeper look at who she really was.

Additional to that feature of her music is her apparent ambition to drive social change. For instance, her song “Two Dollar Day” gave us a glimpse into the relationships between people and their governments — and just how fragile humanity really is in the wake of financial hardship.

So, most fundamentally, her music speaks about the human condition: we’re all different in some ways but we’re also similar in more ways — and have many relatable experiences — that we initially think about.

What Struck Me

I think what struck me most was how engaged the audience was. Of course, jazz isn’t everyone’s go-to genre, but the audience seemed to be intrigued by the stories that Somi told so much so that it considered music as simply the medium to get those stories across.

It’s the first time I’ve thought about music as a tool for storytelling and I think it was a good experience to listen to Somi prove that thesis.

Featured post

Somi: A Blend of Beats and Activism

By Tyler Tubbs

https://krannertcenter.com/events/somi

Laura Kabasomi Kakoma, better known as Somi, provides a striking combination of art and activism in her own brand of slinky, story-telling jazz that incorporates traditional African elements.

Somi’s eight band members prepare for the show by tuning their instruments onstage.

Somi interacted with each of her band members individually in the form of either a solo performance for the member or a duet between the two. Her frequent interactions with the band gave the performance an informal tone, open for a conversation between the artists and the audience. While the audience’s participation in this conversation was mostly metaphorical, Somi seized the opportunity to speak about herself, her beliefs, and issues facing the African and African-American community both conversationally and lyrically.

Somi and her drummer perform an encore duet.

Somi performed a style of slower, story-telling jazz infused with traditional African nuances. In just one show, Somi was able to use her music to describe many issues facing African-Americans and women around the world. The story-telling element of her music allows her to capture the essence of the common person’s struggle and emotion. This connection elicits similar emotional responses in the audience, empathizing with those who share the strife portrayed in the music while simultaneously providing a lens of understanding for those who may never experience such confrontation.

A well-deserved standing ovation following Somi’s performance

Following Somi’s performance, the auditorium erupted in praise. After such a powerful performance, one can not help but to try to relive their favorite moment of it. For me, that moment was her song “Two Dollar Day” which follows the story of a widowed mother in Nigeria after the government protests over oil. This was such a tremendously powerful song because it reminded me of the struggle that single parents all around the world and in the U.S. face on a daily basis. “Two Dollar Day” is a beautiful tribute the countless sacrifices that single parents make.

Thanks for reading! Check back next week for a fresh blog on the performance of Anna Deavere Smith!

Featured post

The Cohesive Performance of Somi

Somi, a jazz musician who was born and raised right here in Champaign, IL, set out to change the definition of what jazz and African music entailed, frequently combining the two.

Written by Willa Wu

Somi performed her music in the Colwell Playhouse of the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on February 14, 2020.  The singer and her group of talented musicians, who have won countless awards, delivered an awe inspiring performance, where each individual in the band had their own time to shine.

The line of people waiting to enter the Colwell Playhouse after scanning in.
Continue reading
Featured post

Step Africa! Rhythmical History of Resistance

By Aejin Shin.

I watched an African-American drumfolk performance ‘Step Africa!’ on February 7, 2020 at the Colwell Playhouse. Actually, I knew little about American history before watching this performance. I was born and educated in Korea and just a month has passed since I came to America. So, I just expected that this drumfolk performance would be a fun and interesting one.

People waiting for the beginning of the performance

However, the performance was quite different from what I had expected. Yes, the rhythm at the beginning was exciting and several performers danced like one body. Colorful choreography caught my eyes. They danced and sang to the beat, which made me feel like dancing and singing together in between. But the deep sense of struggle hidden in their jubilant rhythm was something I had not expected. I came back home and studied more about American history. Here’s what I’ve found.

Before starting the show

History behind ‘Step Africa!’

On September 1739, the largest slave revolt in U.S. history took place near the Stono River. The slaves left no clues as to why or how they revolted. The message of the rebellion is told only by  white men who subdued the slaves. However, you can also find interesting features on that record. The drumbeat played a very central role in the revolt. Plantation farm owners were afraid of the drumbeat even after the riot was quelled. So, they made a bill that would ban slaves from using drums in 1740. But the slaves did not give in to them. They made rhythms by using their bodies and continued the African spirit in their own way. My country, Korea, also has a tragic history of being forcibly occupied by Japan. Many were brutally sacrificed, but my forefathers sublimated their suffering to satire and humor in order not to lose the soul of the nation. Because we share a similar history, I could sympathize with the stories in the performance.

Explanations about the founders of the Colwell Playhouse

Impressive Points of the Performance

The performance recounted the events of 1739. The performers used their hands and feet to create rhythms and sang in loud voices. The most impressive thing was that they communicated with the audience and made it a part of the performance. They skillfully elicited a favorable response, and the audience was willing to be part of the performance. I’m not sure if they intended this point, but this seemed to overlap with the images of black slaves who joined the rebels through the drumming in 1739. Also, the most important significance of the performance is that it revealed the history of the U.S that has been overshadowed. We have not learned about many people who fought bravely against injustice. The performance reminds us of many people who fought for a free America in a smart way – through fun, exciting rhythms. I strongly recommend going to this concert!

Featured post

Step Afrika! Performs: Drumfolk

The cast of Step Afrika! delivered a powerful performance that made the audience feel the highs and lows of black history in America. Their bodies were the instruments as they sang, stomped, clapped, flipped, and danced their way into our hearts.
-By Daniel Holley

The cast wraps up their performance to a standing ovation.
Continue reading
Featured post

Step Africa! : Drumfolk, a fine art portraying Resilience, and Reclamation

February 7, 2020 was a perfect Friday night at the Colwell Playhouse in Kranner Center for Performing Arts. A spectacular performance entitled “ Step Afrika ! : Drumfolk” shared the story that took place when South Carolina passed The Negro Act of 1740.

Written by Weon Taek Na

Continue reading
Featured post

Resistance, Freedom, and Community

By Veronica Y. Gonzalez
Stage before show starts
Event Program
Ticket and crowded theater

I attended Step Afrika! on February 7, 2020 at The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The performance definitely built a strong sense of community. There were many parts where they danced in unison perfectly. They were all doing the exact same movement at the same exact time. It was unbelievable. I believe moving in ripples is a stronger sense of unity than moving in unison. Knowing when the person before you is going and then moving at the right time is such a hard thing to do. Especially when there are like 7 people ahead of you and you have to know exactly when each of them moves. It was like their minds were connected and they were communicating with each other the whole time.

Continue reading
Featured post

A Standing Ovation to “Drumfolk”

On February 7, 2020 at 7:30pm, the Colwell Playhouse in the Kranner Center for the Performing Arts Presented a spectacular performance entitled “ Step Afrika ! : Drumfolk”. This performance brought about expression through body movements, stepping to be more specific, when drums were taken away from African Americans through a legislative law in America in 1740.

Written by Lydia Amezcua-Ramirez

A few minutes before the performance began, I noticed that my ticket matched the seats and thought “wow this would be a cool shot” along with the ominous background of a single spotlight.

History of the Drum

For African Americans, the drum symbolized community, resilience, and determination throughout history in America. When that instrument of theirs was banned, they decided to use their bodies as a means to produce another form of music to express their messages. In the performance, the dancers would chant “they took away our drums..but they could not stop the beat”, and would use their body movements to illustrate that. This showed the idea of freedom and resistance as soon as they began to chant that and continued to express themselves in other ways possible.

Dance as an instrument

The dancers would conduct movements with their bodies using heavy stepping, tapping, clapping, and more which brought the message across that they would not be defeated, showing defiance against the legislation and their determination to continue creating rhythm. The dances that were performed were strongly executed which to me proved the confidence that all dancers should have to deliver their performance well.

The Dancers using stepping as strong indicators of rhythmical music.

As shown in the picture above, the dancers use exaggerated arm and leg movements to showcase the severity and the magnitude of their message through dance. The dancers worked together to bring across a strong performance in each act, staying on cue with one another in terms of body movement and facial expression. This is an example of the dancers using their bodies as instruments because they were making sounds using different parts of their bodies.

A standing ovation from everyone in the audience. What a great feeling it must have been for the performers!

At the very end of the performance a sense of community was shown throughout the audience. Everyone from the audience gradually stood up to give the performers the standing ovation that they truly deserved for their amazing performance. Not only this, but throughout the performance the performers would ask one side of the audience to clap along with their hands and the other side of the audience would be asked to clap too, but in a distinct rhythm. A standing ovation from everyone was well deserved to the performers who claimed it was only their third time performing. This was a performance that everyone must see if they get the chance to because I know I got chills since the very beginning of it.

Featured post

Step Africa! : Drumfolk, a Story About Freedom.

written by Zeying Lang

Flashing back to the story happened in 1739, and following the fantastic dance crew to unveil the history behind contemporary African culture. To experience, to touch, their bravery, and the hereditary beats…

Step Africa!: Drumfolk. https://krannertcenter.com/events/step-afrika-drumfolk
Continue reading
Featured post

“Clap, snap, and stamp”– the pounding of the Drumfolk

Drumfolk is a highly impressive performance that brought by Step Afrika, the world’s first professional company dedicated to the tradition of steeping. Performers will use their own bodies as an instrument to create their own beat. The Drumfolk was performed on February 6th at Colwell Playhouse

Written by Bingchen Li

Bodies as instruments

Drumfolk brought the spirit and energy to everyone in the show. The reason why performers use their own bodies as an instrument is because of the banning of the drum in 1740. We all know that we have a really dark and grieved history back to that uncivilized time. African Americans cannot use drums because of discrimination. However, as Dr. David said “They took the drums away… but they could not stop the beat.” Even they physically could not play the drum, but they could steeping!

Fabulous stage setting before the performance started
Continue reading
Featured post

Step Afrika! Stepping Into Resistance, Resilience, and Reclamation

What a perfect Friday night for a history major with a concentration in African American studies. Drumfolk shares the story that takes us back to when South Carolina passed The Negro Act of 1740 which would change the life of African Americans forever. The Negro Act prohibited slaves from reading, moving freely, gathering in groups, growing their own food, and even having their own instruments. However, Drumfolk showed the audience that they can take away the drums but they cannot stop the beat.

Before the performance that would that would showcase resistance, resilience, and reclamation.
Continue reading
Featured post

Revitalizing Black Movements in History: “Drumfolk”

The performers of Step Afrika! gave an unforgettable performance that allowed the audience to reflect on the history of America through the cultural significance of the beat.

Written by Grace Chen

An excited audience waiting for the performance to begin.

Step Afrika performed their new show Drumfolk on Friday, February 7th at the Colwell Playhouse in the Krannert Center of Performing Arts. The performers captured the attention of the audience with its exciting beats and eye-catching dance moves. They also told the history of black Americans and the fight for their rights.

Continue reading
Featured post

The Fight for Musical Freedom

The performance of Step Afrika!’s show, Drumfolk, blew the audience away with their dancing, vocals, and story-telling!

By Moises Sedano

Drumfolk is about resistance and fighting for what’s right. In this case, Africans lost their right to use drums so to fight back, they made music with their bodies.

My ticket to the show!
Continue reading
Featured post

Keeping the Beat Alive with Step Afrika!

Drumfolk: The second work by Step Afrika! that chronicles and celebrates the African-American experience in early America. With extensive research and years of percussive practice, Drumfolk explores historical events and the use of the drum as an instrument of community, resilience, and determination.

The performance occurred on a cold, snowy night. A sharp contrast from the intense performance of Step Afrika!.

Written by Zackarya Faci

Drumfolk, by Step Afrika!, was performed in the Colwell Playhouse at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on February 7th, 2020. It was a tense performance as they told a story of oppression and perseverance. Using their voice, bodies, drums, and dance, they were able to recreate the emotions felt by many Africans in the 1740s. It was around this time that their freedom and culture was being restricted as a result of the actions of the Stono Rebellion. As seen in the performance, many Africans would not be easily suppressed and fought back against the new restrictions.

Continue reading
Featured post

Step Afrika! Can’t stop the beat!

By Jiaxuan Meng

On Feb 7th, 2020, “Step Afrika!”, a signature African-American drum performance was performed at the Colwell Playhouse (Krannert Center for Performing Arts); and it amazed the audiences with its special art forms, including the tap dance and stepping.

It was an amazing performance! With the strong passion, high-energy, and creativity of performers, audiences had an incredibly amazing experience. They invited audiences to fully enjoy and participate in the performance through a devised process with the cast and great interaction.

Harlem, featuring Mwenso and the Shakes.
Continue reading
Featured post

Step-Afrika! and How We Are The Drumfolk

By Jacob M. Rominger

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.

A children’s program ahead of the stage.
Continue reading
Featured post

The Power of Movement: The Body as an Instrument Against Oppression

The production of Drumfolk was performed by the professional organization Step Afrika! at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in the Colwell Playhouse on February 7th, 2020. Drumfolk is a stepping performance that highlights the battles of Africans throughout American history. 

By Elena Grantcharski

Ticket Stub for the Friday performance of Drumfolk

In my opinion, the entire point of Drumfolk was the concept of using your body as an instrument. One of the most powerful parts of the performance for me was when they narrated that, “They took our drums, but they could not stop the beat.” It showed the power of making something out of nothing. They no longer had their drums, so they had to use their bodies. Most of the performance was stepping and beatboxing and it shows how they would not let themselves be oppressed. In a literal sense, they were slaves; but in their mind they would never consider themselves as such. The power of the mind, the strength of their will, and the expression in their movements was very apparent in this performance. Dancing amazes me because of how accurately dancers can express their feelings just by moving their bodies. 

Continue reading
Featured post

Can’t Stop the Lively Beats of Step: Afrika!

Step: Afrika! Drumfolk, inspired by the Stono Rebellion in 1739, shows the human will and perseverance of African Americans to preserve their culture.

Written by Willa Wu

Step! Afrika performed “Drumfolk” in the Colwell Playhouse of the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on February 7, 2020.  The energetic performers, who have sold out shows on Off-Broadway, delivered an educational and fun performance on an event that few people are aware of, but is crucial to African American culture: the Stono Rebellion.

The ticket stub in front of the Colwell Playhouse, taken right before entering.
Continue reading
Featured post

Could not stop the beat—An Amazing Performance Brought by Step Afrika!

On February 7, Step Afrika!, a non-profit dancing company that focuses on the African American traditions of “steppings”, brought Drumfolk to Colwell Playhouse at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The performance explored the historical events and developments of African American culture and eulogizes the fight for freedom and liberty.

Written by Yushan Guo

The creators and performers of the show
Continue reading
Featured post

A Performance That Moved Me To Tears

By Veronica Y. Gonzalez

On February 1, 2020 at 7:30pm, the Krannert Center for Performing Arts welcomed the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra and guest violinist, Rachel Pine. (Make-up event)

Bust outside Foellinger Great Hall
Rachel Pine signing her CDs
Event Program

As I took my seat in the Foellinger Great Hall, the nice lady next to me asked, “Are you a student here?” I answered “Yes,” to which she replied, “You must be the only one not at Kam’s right now.” I found her comment extremely funny so I was already in the best mood when the performance began. I’ve never seen a live orchestra perform, only in cartoons if I’m being honest here, so I didn’t know what to expect. The conductor gave a speech before they started. He was a joyful and lively man contrary to the serious and mean conductors I had seen on television. He put a smile on all of our faces.

Continue reading
Featured post

Impressive Shanghai Ballet Performance : The Butterfly Lovers

The Shanghai Ballet: The Butterfly Lovers was held at the Tryon Festival Theatre at the Kranner Art Center for the Performing Arts on January 29.

By Aejin Shin

waiting for the start of the performance with the booklet and ticket

Shanghai Ballet is one of the most famous ballet companies in the world organized in 1979. They present Chinese dance on the international stage. During their 40 years of history, they showed off many ballet productions. One of them is ‘The Butterfly Lovers’. This is true love story in which the main characters sacrifice themselves for each other.

The atmosphere was exciting, and people there were anticipating the performance

Since the ballet I’ve seen has mostly been Western-style ballet that is from Russia, this Shanghai ballet performance felt quite different from what I know. What was especially interesting was that the music and composition were completely different from Western ballet. Usually, in Russian-style ballet, the song with lyrics is rarely used. Instead, Western ballet uses classical music that is just instrumental. But the Shanghai ballet’s use of Chinese lyrics as background music was different. This gave the performance more like a play.

At the end of the ballet, all the characters come out to the stage and get applause from the audience

Also, the synopsis of the performance was impressive. I read the synopsis from the booklet they gave me before the performance started. Although the main characters did not make love in this life, it was interesting that they ended up being butterflies and making eternal love in other worlds. I thought this was similar to the story of Eros and Psyche in Greek and Roman mythology. But it would have been difficult to grasp the content without reading the synopsis because the dancers only expressed their emotions through languageless gestures. Details can be found on the website of Shanghai Ballet. (http://www.shanghaiballet.com/shblwt/n49/index.html)

The most eye-catching thing was the ballet costumes. The morning before the performance, I went to the Center and watched the process of preparing for the performance. At that time, I saw the costume making one by one, and it was very touching. That night, when I watched the Shanghai ballet, not only the main characters but also the supporting actors’ costumes, hair decorations, and every little prop was made up of many colors, and the glittering details caught my eye. It was like magic. Everything came together and I was so impressed by acting, composition, music, and the whole performance of the Shanghai ballet.

Featured post

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)
Continue reading
Featured post

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.

Continue reading
Featured post

The Butterfly Lovers— An elegant yet tragic Chinese love story performed by the amazing Shanghai Ballet

“The Butterfly Lovers” which is a beautiful yet tragic Chinese love story, comparable to “Romeo and Juliet” in the West, was performed by the amazing Shanghai Ballet in the Tryon Festival Theater of the Krannert Center for Performing Arts this January 29, 2020.

https://krannertcenter.com/events/shanghai-ballet-butterfly-lovers

-Written by Weon Taek Na

A large audience forms a line to enter the Tryon Festival Theater to watch The Shanghai Ballet perform The Butterfly Lovers
Continue reading
Featured post

Forever Lovers are “The Butterfly Lovers”

Written by Lydia Amezcua Ramirez

The mesmerizing ballet, “The Butterfly Lovers ” brought about a unique form of story telling through dance. A brilliant performance taken place in the Tryon Festival Theater of the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on January 29, 2020.

https://krannertcenter.com/events/shanghai-ballet-butterfly-lovers

A Delightful Start to the Ballet

The butterfly costumes introduced at the beginning of the ballet were my favorite because butterflies are my favorite insect. The butterfly costumes the ballerinas wore really caught my attention as they all scattered across the stage to show off their beautiful colors. As the lights went out and the curtain came up the performance began with a dance introducing the theme of the ballet.

Women dressed in butterfly costumes which captured the essence of the butterfly in all its grace and beauty. The dancers soon introduced the butterfly lovers Liang and Zhu along with the bully, Ma Wencai.

Read More

The dilemma

Throughout the middle of the play, this issue seems to be the fact that Zhu is in love with Liang but he does not know because Zhu is dressed as a boy since back then girls were not able to have an education. This can be very noticeable in the ballet since all classmates in the first act were all boys. I was able to relate this to the movie Mulan when she ran away and dressed up as a boy soldier in place of her father only soon to fall in love with the general’s son. They too get close but he fails to recognize her true identity.

Act Three of the Ballet illustrated heartbreak along with reality. The heartbreak here being that Zhu could not be together with Liang given the situation she was put in by her father, an arranged marriage with Ma Wencai. Arranged marriages are the reality that many people had to go through in Chinese traditions along with other cultures.

By this part of the Ballet, the butterfly lovers have fallen in love with each other only to be torn apart by an arranged marriage. A truly saddening moment for two lovers, and a very realistic one as well, not being able to be together given financial differences. This part of the story could be noticeable as Zhu kept running back to her father, begging to not force her into the marriage. The movement of Zhou’s constant tugging at her father indicate that torment she felt at having to be forced into an arranged marriage.

As much as Zhu resists and fights her fathers decision she cannot seem to get out of the situation that she was forced into. Ma Wencai is thrilled by the arranged marriage, not bothered by the fact that Zhu does not want to marry him.

Liang could not have let go of his love without a fight and in that duel for that love he lost his life. The pain and suffering that comes along with losing a loved one affects people in different ways. The pain was too great for Zhu that she ended up taking her own life as well. A creative take on Romeo and Juliet in my opinion, turning to death in order to be with the one you love. For this reason, the fourth act had to be my favorite given the tragic yet heartfelt element it incorporated at the very end, lovers dying to be with each other in the afterlife.

Zhu and Liang reunited forever. In this afterlife Zhu and Liang transform into butterflies, hence the name “butterfly lovers”. They could not have a happy ending in real life so the afterlife brought them that. All is peaceful and happy for the butterfly lovers as everyone is dancing in colorful costumes to joyous music.

Overall, the ballet was a wonderful experience filled with humor, drama, love, death, and happiness. At the very end of the show the crowd clapped loudly for minutes as the performers took their bows. They even got standing ovations from people in the audience which proves that the ballet is a worthwhile event to take the time to watch with family, friends, or even oneself.

Featured post

Ringing in the Chinese New Year with The Shanghai Ballet

On January 29, 2020 The Shanghai Ballet performed “The Butterfly Lovers” at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

The Shanghai Ballet performed in the Tryon Festival Theatre of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Written By Zackarya Faci

The Shanghai Ballet brought a beautiful blend of choreography and story-telling to the stage Wednesday night. Through a magnificent dance routine, they were able to tell the story of two star-crossed lovers without ever uttering a single word. The movements of each character played a crucial role in portraying their emotion at the time. From the slow, gentle movements in a solemn scene, to the sharp, jarring movements in a tense one, the audience was always left knowing the exact emotions being felt on stage.

Continue reading
Featured post

LA MARIPOSA

Shanghai Ballet the Butterfly Lovers: The new Romeo and Juliet with a Chinese butterfly twist.

I must admit that I am not one to voluntarily attend artistic events such as The Shanghai Ballet: The Butterfly Lovers. However, I couldn’t help but feeling like I was in the middle of a monarch butterfly sanctuary throughout the whole show. I did not have the slightest clue on what the show would entail besides ballerinas however, I was received with the story of two damned lovers, astonishing choreography, heavy Chinese culture, and an unforgettable experience that one must take the time to experience.

Continue reading
Featured post

An Internal Journey: Music from Mozambique (makeup event)

On February 1st, Nyttu Chongo, a young musician from Mozambique, along with Jason Finkelman, gave a one-hour wonderful concert of music from Mozambique in the auditorium of the Spurlock Museum.

Written by: Yushan Guo

To perform music from Mozambique, the performers employed lots of traditional musical instruments, such as timbila, djembe, kankubwe, and so on. Each of them has a unique and arresting sound. The stage was designed in a very simple fashion. And there were no dazzling lighting effects, just the two performers playing music. In this way, the audiences would fully indulge themselves in the beauty of the music itself.

This photo was taken 2 minutes before the concert began. You can see that there are many exquisite traditional musical instruments.

After a brief period of greetings and introductions, Nyttu and Jason soon began to perform the first song. Nyttu called this song “Peace”, saying that this is the song that helped him searching for the inner self. The instrument he played was an m’bira, an instrument that looked like a thumb piano and produced a very light and crisp sound that sounded like tiny murmurs of a brook. The instrument that Jason played was kankubwe, a large bow-like instrument that produced a relatively heavier sound. I might not understand the specific cultural values behind this song. However, the two performers worked with each other in such a perfect fashion that the song was not only mentally soothing but also brought everyone in the auditorium to a deeper state of a peaceful mind.

After a short talk between Nyttu and Jason as a short intermission, Nyttu picked up a different instrument. They started to perform a song that was relatively more rhythmic than the last one. As an audience, I have to admit that I have little experience with the world music genre. The kinds of music I listen to the most are progressive rock and progressive metal. However, I was surprised to detect that several common elements exist between this music and the music that I usually listen to. The most obvious one is the use of flexible rhythmic patterns. This truly caught my focused attention. Speaking broadly, it was the free and creative expression of Nyttu’s music that truly captured me.

Nyttu Chongo and Jason Finkelman playing music.

In the very last part of this concert, Nyttu changed his instrument into a timbila, which looked sort of like a xylophone but was slightly larger. And Jason changed his instrument into a djembe. The last song they performed was quite a rhythmical and upbeat one. The music was very contagious that lots of the audiences could not help nodding their heads, clapping their hands or tapping their feet along with the beat. After Nyttu’s fervid invitation, some audiences went from their seats to the stage and started to dance along with the song. It was beautiful to see that people from different age or ethnic groups were amazed by the energy of the music. Finally, the concert ended in a bright and cheerful atmosphere. Nyttu and Jason worked perfectly to deliver a concert that captured the audiences and brought them into an internal journey to seek the self deep within their minds.

This was the very last part of the concert. Some audiences were dancing along with the music.

For more information regarding this event or the Spurlock Museum, please visit: https://www.spurlock.illinois.edu/events/event.php?ID=1760

Featured post

Shanghai Ballet: Falling in Love with Butterflies

The Shanghai Ballet, “The Butterfly Lovers” in the Tryon Festival Theater of the Krannert Center for Performing Arts. Performed January 29, 2020.

Written by Jacob M. Rominger

On January 29, 2020, I was welcomed to a performance of The Butterfly Lovers by the Shanghai Ballet. As one not well-acquainted with ballet, I found myself enjoying fully the experience offered without hint of confusion. 

https://krannertcenter.com/events/shanghai-ballet-butterfly-lovers


My seat and the very essential program including the plot of the performance.
Continue reading
Featured post

Star Crossed Lovers

The Shanghai Ballet comes to town with their show The Butterfly Lovers!

Written by Moises Sedano

The show took place at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in the Tryon Festival Theatre as the Shanghai Ballet wowed us with their movements and passion. These group of ballet dancers did an excellent job of bringing to life the story of two lovers who are denied of being together.

The entrance of the Tryon Festival Theatre as people were entering to enjoy the show.
Continue reading
Featured post

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.
Continue reading
Featured post

Butterfly Lovers—Amazing traditional Chinese love story— “Chinese version of Romeo and Juliet”

This wonderful ballet performance, The Butterfly Lovers, was performed by Shanghai Ballet in the Tryon Festival Theater on January 19, 2020. This is a traditional Chinese love story and touched tragedy. The main characters in this show, Liang and Zhu, did not get married at the end, but they became butterflies so that they can accompany each other forever.

Written by Bingchen Li

Movement

Ballet dancers use different movements to help audiences to understand what going on, so you will never hear a dialogue in a ballet show. In this wonderful performance, the most impressive movement used to exhibit emotion is when Zhu knew that her father had already arranged her marriage to Ma instead of her true love Liang, her body was really stiff. When Ma carried Zhu on his shoulders, Zhu had no movement just like a dead person. It is a vivid body language that audiences could feel her hopelessness. Also, in Act two, Farewell, audiences could see that all the animals live and play in pairs, and their movements are so energetic. With the description of vitality, audiences could feel the hits of the chemical reaction between those two youngsters.

Breathtaking background image
Continue reading
Featured post

Conveying Tragic Love Through Ballet: “The Butterfly Lovers”

The Shanghai Ballet performed “The Butterfly Lovers”, a Chinese tale, at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in the Tryon Theatre on January 29.

Written by Grace Chen

I went into the performance knowing little about the story of “The Butterfly Lovers” and I purposefully did not look at the provided summary so I would be surprised by the performers. It turned out to be a great learning experience in trying to create my own interpretation of the dancers’ message.

My ticket in front of the theatre.
Continue reading
Featured post

A Chinese drama expressed through dance; “The Butterfly Lovers”

On January 29, 2020 “The Butterfly Lovers” was performed by the Shanghai Ballet in the Tryon Festival theater at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts

Written by Daniel Plata

“The Butterfly Lovers” is a romantic drama that takes place in ancient China, the entirety of the story is expressed entirely through the medium of ballet. Luckily the booklet given out for the performance had a summary of the story included within.

Booklet given with performance and theater in the background

In addition, before the performance a fellow student and Dr. Robinson had given our class a run down of the plot. Though even with some prior knowledge of the performance given beforehand I personally had some trouble deciphering certain events. Yet, somehow being tasked with figuring out the story myself actually made watching the performance even more enjoyable. I was left to my own devices to figure out what gestures of the body meant what and trying to interpret the body language on my own forced me to think more critically of the performance itself. Unfortunately I was unable to take any pictures of the performance itself because beforehand an announcer asked the audience to refrain from taking any photos or videos of the performance.

The theater hall where the performance took place

Many parts of the performance itself were easily understood and enjoyable for all, such as the part where the antagonist bullied the old scholar and where the antagonist and male protagonist fought for the female protagonist. Also, just the raw ballet portion of the performance was a spectacle to see. At some point one performer spun for a ridiculous span of time ushering a resounding applause from the audience. A lot of the maneuvers performed were pure feats of athleticism and very exciting to see.

End of performance after every when left the theater hall

Overall the experience was immensely enjoyable and I’d recommend anyone to go see it for themselves.

Featured post

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.

Continue reading
Featured post

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.

Continue reading
Featured post

Celebrating Chinese Dance in “The Butterfly Lovers”

The Shanghai Ballet, which was brought to life in 1979, brings Chinese culture into dance on an international stage.

Written by Willa Wu

The Shanghai Ballet performed “The Butterfly Lovers” in the Tryon Festival Theater of the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on January 29, 2020.  This brilliant group of performers make up the leading company in the ballet world, and performed the tragic yet beautiful love story in an elegant manner.

The ticket stub and program for the ballet, which included the context for the story and helped me understand.

Continue reading
Featured post

The Era of Swing!!! (Makeup Event)

UI Jazz Band IV was performed on Studio Theatre at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

By Wai Chuen Chan

On December 10, the UI Jazz Band IV was performed on Studio Theatre at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts by the group from the University of Illinois specializes in tunes from the Big Band era, where there were multiple musical instruments included such as saxophones and trumpets.

Entrance of Studio Theatre.
Continue reading
Featured post

The Exotic Tinge for the Jazz!!! (Makeup Event)

The UI Latin Jazz Ensemble was performing on Studio Theatre at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

By Wai Chuen Chan

On December 7, the UI Latin Jazz Ensemble performed on Studio Theatre at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The performance works with South American, Caribbean, Afro-Cuban, and traditional jazz influences.

The ticket for UI Latin Jazz Ensemble.
Continue reading
Featured post

The Young Jazz Soul !!! (Makeup Event)

Edison Middle School Jazz Band were performing a series of Jazz music on Stage 5 at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

By Wai Chuen Chan

On December 6, a pre-performance before The Nutcracker was performed by the Edison Middle School Jazz Band on Stage 5 at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. They have performed a series of Jazz music with their teacher, Ms. Branch’s Corner.

Edison Middle School Jazz Band preparing for performance.
Continue reading
Featured post

The Winds Intersection!!! (Makeup Event)

Illinois Wind Symphony and the Wind Orchestra performed a series of classical music on Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

By Wai Chuen Chan

On December 4, Illinois Wind Symphony and the Wind Orchestra performed a numerous of classical music on Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. There were classical songs included Fanfare Ritmico, Places We Can No Longer Go and Symphonies of Wind Instruments performed by Wind Symphony with the conductor, Stephen Peterson. There were songs included Magneticfireflies, Angels in the Architecture, Sheltering Sky and Kingfishers Catch Fire performed by Wind Orchestra with the conductor, Elizabeth Peterson.

Entering Foellinger Great Hall.
Continue reading
Featured post

A Life of Run!!! (Makeup Event)

The Long Run presents by Tere O’ Connor was performing on Colwell Playhouse at Krannert Center for the Performing of Arts.

By Wai Chuen Chan

On November 21, the Long Run directed by Tere O’ Connor, with the performers of Simon Courchel, Eleanor Hullihan, Emma Judkins, Heather Olson, Silas Riener, Matthew Rogers, Lee Serle and Jin Ju Song-Begin, performed on Colwell Playhouse at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Colwell Playhouse.
Continue reading
Featured post

The Trio Art!!! (Makeup Event)

The Jim Pryor Trio performed a series of Jazz music on Stage 5 during Krannert Uncorked on November 21.

By Wai Chuen Chan

On November 21, the Jim Pryor Trio performed a series of vibrant Jazz stylings of music on Stage 5 in Krannert Center for the Performing of Arts. Jim Pryor who is a piano specialist, joined by his fellow musicians with the instruments of violone and drums.

The Jim Pryor Trio performance on Stage 5.
Continue reading
Featured post

Music and Art

Farewell to FAA 110 and all the amazing experiences

Jessica Moreno

FAA 110 has been an amazing class. Before I started the class I was very closed to trying new things and I just wanted to stay in my comfort zone, but ever since this class started I realized that I should try new things to see what I like. This has truly been one of my favorite classes, and I really like how the class was set up. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I signed up but it sure wasn’t what I got. My advisor had told me it was just an easy course to get credits, and I had signed up just for that reason but my outcome was amazing from this class. I met new people, I experienced thing that on my own I know I would have never done and I went to places that when I first got here I thought I would go once or twice, but I ended up going 10+. This was an amazing class and I am glad I got to take it and experience what I did.

These are the events I attended:

-Buddy Guy

-Chris Botti

-Jennifer Monson

-Baile Latino

-Homecoming Concert

-Wynton Marsalis

Tiger

-The Nature of Forgetting

Featured post

Follow the Steps of FAA 110 onto the Tour of Arts

Written by Nicole Miao

FAA 110 is a course about exploring arts and creativity. When I enrolled in this course at first, I was just trying to learn something new about arts and humanities. What I didn’t expect was that FAA 110 far exceeded my expectations. It gave me not only lots of opportunities to enjoy the show for free, but also like-minded friends and a direct channel to art.

Continue reading
Featured post

A wonderful experience with Music and Art

Jake Xiao

FAA 110, a course that exploring Arts and Creativity, is my favorite course from the fall semester. Students in this class can go watch many performances and exhibitions. We had wonderful experiences during the time outside the class when watching the performance also inside the course doing the activity.

Continue reading
Featured post

Edward Huang Final Reflection- Fall 2019

An overview of my experiences this semester

Written by Edward Huang

Buddy Guy Prepares to enter the stage

The first performance I went to was a performance by Buddy Guy and his band. I did not know of him before, but I definitely can’t forget his name now. He brought an energy that was fitting for his legacy in the jazz world. I was completely encaptivated with his ability to control the auditorium. Not to mention, his technical skills were amazing and he did a good job with having a conversation with the audience. In the end, his passion was what stuck out to me.

Continue reading
Featured post

The Journey of Art

For the very first time of my life, the art of milestone has been made with Fine and Applied Arts 110.

By Wai Chuen Chan

Krannert Art Opening Night Party – The first event I attend throughout this course.

It has been a wondering experience with FAA 110. Remembering when I first registered this course, I have known it is related to arts, but nothings more. The more the time passed, I have learned this class is lovely easy going and interestingly attractive. During the lecture, I have made friends easily with the environment where other classes can never be compared with. Everyone in the class was friendly and admirable. They were also come back different backgrounds and cultures which enrich my sight towards exotic countries.

Fine and Applied Arts 110 have also given me the great opportunity to touch arts in the closest moment. I have gotten to attend eight art events throughout the course, which would definitely be zero if I changed my mind at the first place. And the way arts presented to us is numerous, I have experienced arts through body, movement, vision, sound, etc. I am really looking forwards to experience arts in a different way.

Continue reading
Featured post

A Look Back at the Semester

By Luke Garza

Fist impressions matter. Going into FAA 110, I had no idea what to expect as a college freshman. Hearing that I would have to attend mandatory events was pretty shocking but after the first one, the events felt much less mandatory and I found myself looking forward to going to the KCPA every week.

Buddy Guy Merch Stand

We started off very strong with a performance from Buddy Guy. Buddy Guy’s performance was very personal and interactive, he took moments to joke and chat with the audience, he even walked through the seating area. Out of all the performances we saw, I’m glad this was the first. Buddy Guy gave us a taste of how unique all the performances we had in store for us truly were.

Chris Botti on stage

Chris Botti was a very interesting performance, he was loud and energetic his whole performance. You could really see how passionate he was about playing the trumpet. His concert incorporated a lot of motion on his part, while he played you could see him move his body in reaction to the notes he was hitting. For example, whenever he got louder he would lean back into it almost as if he was projecting himself more. On top of this, the other musicians really complemented his own playing.

Home before the play

Our first narrative style event was a play called Home. It was about a group of people all living in the same home, but they don’t know the others are living there. They each lead their own lives without ever noticing the others. The end of the play was where things really got wacky though. They started selecting audience members to join the stage cast, and I was one of those randomly selected. I didn’t expect to slow dance with a guy in a chicken suit of all things that night.

Outside the Krannert Art Museum

Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop was our first event not at the KCPA and also our first fully interactive event. We waled all around the Krannert Art Museum moving our bodies and analyzing artwork to better understand art and dance. Interpretation is much harder when you have to used your body to convey a message. It was a great chance of pace and it felt good to move around and interact with my peers outside of class time.

Gem of the Ocean’s Main Stage

Gem of the Ocean was a narrative play about one man’s quest to have his soul cleansed for his sins. It was very story driven, the characters had meaningful interactions and backstories, some were elaborated on or revealed later in to the play through meaningful parts. Their motives were very clear and their actors assumed the roles as if they were actually them. They played their characters so well it felt as if the audience also developed a relationship with them, me personally I came to dislike the sadistic character the most, for his actions against the main characters and the side characters.

The Illinois Wind Symphony in costume

The Illinois Wind Symphony was an event that I went to see on my own, I went with a friend because she had an extra ticket and I definitely enjoyed the experience. I think what most popped out was how the entire band was in costume for the first half for the Halloween spirit. Not only did they look incredible, but they sounded equally as amazing, and when they brought out the saxophone quartet, everything got exponentially better. I’d say this had to be one of my favorite events, it was all around a great experience and I would definitely want to go see them play again.

Just before the concert

Jazz at the Lincoln Center was a good follow up to the Wind Symphony, while there were no costumes, there was still great music. All the artists complemented each other very well, everyone felt as if the had a role to fill and they filled it so well. The highlights were definitely the solos performed by the individual musicians. They would stand up, shifting to being the center of attention while playing louder. Overall I think they had incredible synergy and excellent standalone parts.

Seats early before the play

The Nature of Forgetting was our final event, a play about a man with dementia reliving his life memories of his deceased wife. It really captures the erratic nature of memory as he jumps from memory to memory, seeming lost in his own mid. He darts from the classroom, to the street on his bike, to his wedding day, and eventually back to the present. You can see his distress in his character’s actions, the emphasis on memory through the mist and the light focusing on certain spots, they really do an excellent job setting the mood the entire time.

Overall, this semester was full of many incredible events, many of which I’d see again given the chance. I can’t recommend this class enough, from the events to the Professors, everthing was amazing.

Featured post

Hasta la vista FAA 110

Written by: César Díaz Blanco

A radically different course could not be less than a life changing experience. FAA 110 has spiced up my first semester from a STEM-full schedule to an agenda with few, but impactful, events filled with creativity and expression. In this final blog I say goodbye to this course in the best way possible: remembering all the great moments it gave me.

Continue reading
Featured post

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.

Continue reading
Featured post

The eccentric student finally makes it to the end.

By: Basith A. Syed

I started the semester not knowing what classes I would take so I just looked for classes that filled some gen-ed requirements. I found FAA110 which I thought was unique and the professor reviews on “rate my professors” were amazing. I decided to sign up for the class and in all honesty, I have never had any professors that were so generous, passionate and supportive.

In terms of the class, it was pretty straightforward and the syllabus was on point. I went into the class thinking it would be like theater class that I took in high school because for that class we had to go to the theater shows almost every week and we would just talk about the history of theatre. However, It was nothing like my high school class it was more about our experiences, what we enjoyed, share our thoughts about live performances and discuss arts that we never think about. Such as the architecture of your house, and think about things that you never cared about such as nanny cams.

All in all, I learned a lot from this class and helped me find a passion I never would have discovered otherwise. I am really grateful that I had the opportunity to take a class with professors that are so humble and down to earth. I will continue going to Krannert shows because it gives you the opportunity to forget everything going on around you and just enjoy a couple hours in heaven.

Some of the events in Krannert that I had the pleasure of attending.

UI Symphony Orchestra

Ticket to UI Symphony Orchestra.

UI Jazz Band

Live jazz performance at Krannert

Carol Concert

Book all carols performed by the choir during the 2019 carol concert.

Opera Scenes

My favorite scene performed in the opera show.

Featured post

[MAKEUP EVENT] Piecing Together the Stories

Written by Nicole Miao

People seem especially willing to enjoy orchestra performances—when I walked into KCPA, I found that it was as crowded as the last time I attended the performance of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, while tonight the main character would be St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Its performance was very unique—the works were so narrative. I’m sure that even if you are not so familiar with classical music, you cannot help but keep enjoying after hearing the first note and will never feel bored.

Before the Performance
Continue reading
Featured post

The Collision of Soul and Passion

Written by Nicole Miao

For me, jazz was a very abstract concept because I had only heard some blues music but never seen any jazz performances, nor had I had the opportunity to learn more about jazz. As a result, I was greatly curious about the performance when I attended KCPA.

Introduction of the Jazz Ensemble
Continue reading
Featured post

Makeup – Straight to the heart Orchestra.

By: Basith A. Syed

My Admission ticket which didn’t have a seat number on it.

I am not the type of person that listens to jazz or any orchestra songs and all of a sudden listening to something so odd is so soothing and gives me the feelings. Today, I had the opportunity to watch a show from two different views because we didn’t have assigned seats and share it with one of my friends.

It’s one of the pamphlets that we got before entering the theatre.

Again, at the start of the show, we were told not to take pictures during the show. However, I was able to take a picture right before they said that.

The one picture I was able to take before the show started off the orchestra in foellinger great hall.

Overall, I enjoyed the music and all the different musical instrument that were being used to create all types of beats. If I were, to sum up, the feeling in words I would describe it as the same feeling as you get when you know you did something so good that you are being awarded and you are waiting for that award.

Featured post

UI Jazz Band (Make Up Event)

Jake Xiao

Before the performance

Jazz was developed by African Americans and influenced by both European harmonic structure and African rhythms. Jazz was partially from blues, which is a music genre and used to be called Jass. Personally, saxophone would be prominent in Jazz, in which it is a principal vehicle for melodic improvisation. The reason is that saxophone has a great flexibility, blending well with both brasses and woodwinds. Also, it can use in Jazz Band brought changes in mouthpiece design to produce a brighter, more penetrating sound. UI Jazz band from the Big Band era illustrated the benefit of using saxophone as a prominent instrument on November 10th.

Continue reading
Featured post

Tango at KAM💃🏾🎶-makeup event

written by Bria Thurman

Music and art just works so well together!

This is the flyer for the event.

I am not much of a dancer and I was not interested in having a dance partner, so I was unable to participate in the festivities but I was able to watch and listen. I enjoyed myself at the museum for about an hour. It seemed like this KAM event was more for older adults within the community whether faculty or those who just lived in the area. That may have been the first time I have heard tango music outside of a movie so that increased my interest for sure.

Continue reading
Featured post

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (Make Up Event)

Jake Xiao

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, one of today’s most exciting and famous orchestras, performed on November 17th. St Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country. This year is their 140th year for performance. Fortunately, I went to one of their events in its 140th year.

starting
Continue reading
Featured post

Goodbye, FAA 110!

By Rachel Yao

Leaving us with fun memories and beautiful performances, the FAA 110 (fall 2019) class has ended.

Chalk art outside of KCPA during the Opening Night Party.

When I registered for the course, I had no idea what to expect. Since I live in Allen Hall, my advisor suggested it would be useful to take a few general education courses here. I wanted to continue my hobbies as an artist. I initially thought FAA 110 was an art class, judging by the title “Exploring Arts and Creativity”, where students draw/paint pieces of art based on various prompts. Entering the classroom on the first day, I realized that this class was not drawing, and that it was much more. 

While I was a bit bummed out it wasn’t drawing or painting, I had lots of fun going to see many shows and performances from talented people. I would always be checking the syllabus to see when the next events are, and would tell my friends about this class as well! While this class was much smaller relative to my other classes, I did meet new friends and make unforgettable memories throughout the semester. 

Overall, I genuinely loved this class. I enjoyed listening to class discussions and attending various events with my peers and professors. I wish this class could last longer than just one semester. 

Here are the events i attended:

Buddy Guy

A view from my seat on the balcony, taken before the show began.

KCPA Opening Night Party (EC)

Toko Telo performing outside of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Chris Botti

Chris Botti playing his trumpet and Andy Snitzer playing his saxophone.

Home

Actors and audience members having a party on stage.

Jennifer Monson Dance

Jennifer Monson explaining her program before it began.

Imagination Showcase (makeup)

Imagination Dance Crew performing as the last act of Imagination Showcase.

Gem of the Ocean

A view of the stage and props before the performance began.

Wynton Marsalis

The view from my seat at the Foellinger Great Hall, taken before Wynton Marsalis’ performance.

Tiger

Background of Tiger before the show began, featuring an image of a green tiger projected onto a screen.

Featured post

Makeup- Fun night out watching Opera Senses!

By: Basith A. Syed

For those of you reading this blog and don’t know what opera senses are, they are a collection of acts from musical operas. In this show, I had the pleasure of watching twelve students how we’re extremely talented singers and dedicated to putting on a truly spectacular show without any hiccups.

Since this show was free there was no ticket.

I was fortunate enough to share this experience with one of my best friends from High school. He was so enticed by the performance he agreed to watch another live performance the following day. I wish I was able to take pictures but unfortunately, a lady sitting next to us told us to put our phone away and no pictures were allowed.

My favorite scene and the list of the participants.

I am going to try my best, to describe my favorite scene. In this sense, there were six women all wearing black and were performing various dances while trying to portray being wives of some cruel bozo who divorced three of his wife’s and “beheaded” two of his wife’s. The scene comes to an end when the sixth wife tells the audience how she escaped.

Overall the scenes were short and gave you all types of feeling from a few being funny, sad and cheerful. I truly enjoyed it and it isn’t a bad idea to watch the opera scenes with a date because it was an emotional rollercoaster.

Featured post

Makeup- Classic Carol Concert truly flawless!

Author: Basith A. Syed

The Carol Concert Book with all the carols.

In an environment where I started smoking, drinking and parting every day it was extremely cathartic being able to experience a flawless performance. I know everyone is entitled to there own opinion and their experience. This blog is solely going to be my experience and how the performance affected me.

My favorite carol and by far the most splendid poetry I heard from the book of Carols.

There are many reasons why I enjoyed this performance. First of all, I was given a free ticket at the ticket booth and I didn’t even have to identify my self. And as we were waiting to get into the show I met Catlin who is extremely pretty and was so down to earth and I had an amazing voice.

For me personally, I really enjoyed the show emotionally and it meant a lot to me seeing the performers and the audience be so dedicated to singing the carols. Furthermore, I felt so guilty about all the promises that I had broken, all the money I spent on useless things, people that I let down and for wasting a year of my life to instant gratification. And as I was listening to “O Come, All ye faithful” I had this epiphany that was telling me to straighten out my priorities and it is never too late to change. For me, I will never forget this Carol and I will most certainly go to another one whenever I am feeling hopeless.

Unfortunately, I was told not to take pictures but this is how the stage looked.
Featured post

Farewell to FAA 110

Written by Ashleigh Cox

The first photo I took at KCPA!

As ready as I am for the upcoming semester to begin, I’m going to be very sad to leave behind FAA 110. Anyone of my peers has heard me talk about this class at least eight times because I enjoyed it so much. Having a class that was more focused on making me think about the different parts that go into performance and had very little work to go with it was very good for my mental health and the first semester of my college career.

Continue reading
Featured post

Support A Friend🖼🖌🎨-Makeup event

Written by Bria Thurman

Kenneth Bivens, the creator of the artwork, told me his art was to represent the forgotten stories, the stories that have been thrown away and given up on. His art shows the mix of black culture that doesn’t get enough respect.
In The NEW GENESIS, WE’D ALL BE KINGS BY Kenneth Bivens. This was my favorite piece from the gallery.

The Myths of KUTULIZA GHASIA. I was blessed to go see a friend’s artwork on December 5th at The Union. It was nice to see the world through a friend’s eyes. His use of superheroes and 90’s basketball references seem like a good representation of his personality. I have never been so lucky to see a friend’s art exhibit so when I heard about this opportunity I jumped at it. His use of city and environment was organic and elevated the fiction of black heroism.

The Omega Beams Next Time by Kenneth Bivens. I am a big fan of The Flash so I especially enjoyed what this means.

I am not sure how many art pieces there were but I enjoyed all of them. As a fan of comic books and comic book movies and tv shows, the importance of black superheroes weighs on my mind. I am pretty new to the comic book world and I am always looking for new comic books to read and I rarely am able to find comic book characters that look like me. There were photos inspired by The Flash and the rainbow bridge in Asgard, the superhero Thor’s home.

Show us the Way by Kenneth Bivens

I was able to speak with the artist about why he made the decisions to use wooden boards for his different works. He told me it was to look like the art had been discarded; as if the stories were “not good enough.” I thought that was an interesting choice and I am happy I asked about these choices because it gave great insight into the entire purpose of the art and into what he was trying to achieve. It seemed as if he was a historian for stories of the past and brought them to light for those who were unable to see there existence.

Featured post

Saying Farewell to Fine Arts in Motion

Written by Danielle Herrera

A semester filled with music, dance, performances, and laughter has finally come to an end.

Back in high school I was always interested in the arts and humanities, and I wanted to make sure that I continued to cultivate these passions of mine in college. Unfortunately, during registration day I found that the majority of courses that were interesting to me were already full. So, on a whim I decided to register for FAA 110, a course that not only completed one of my general education requirements but also was held just downstairs in my residential hall. Given only the description “Exploring Arts & Creativity”, I was unsure if I would enjoy this class mainly because I had no idea what it entailed. I had the premonition that FAA 110 would be another art history that was tolerable, but not particularly exciting; fortunately, I was incredibly mistaken.

When I found out that the main curriculum of FAA 110 required us to watch performances and write about them, I was pleasantly surprised. As a student who was involved in music and theater, I have always enjoyed watching live performances and was extremely eager to see these events on a larger scale. My excitement was not unwarranted; in general, almost every event I went to for FAA 110 was memorable in some shape or form. Certain snapshots of plays or songs by musicians will always be remembered in my mind, along with the emotion that it evoked within me. Here are just a few of these special moments:

Buddy Guy

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Chris Botti

Home

Jazz at Lincoln Center

The Nature of Forgetting

FACT Variety Show

Cultural Night

Into Her Closet: How to Make a Drag Queen

Overall, this class gave me the opportunity to experience events that I would never even think of attending. It allowed me to expand my perception of the idea of performance and what constitutes as art. I loved each and every performance, and I can proudly say that through all the singing, dancing, and acting my passion in the arts has been revived. I will forever be grateful to have experienced all these memorable events especially with such a wonderful group of people.

Featured post

Dazzling in Drag

Written By Danielle Herrera

The new Drag Queen exhibit at Spurlock Museum catches everyone’s eye through brilliant colored fabrics and and show-stopping ensembles .

This past week I was able to visit one of Spurlock Museum’s new exhibits, “In Her Closet: How to make a Drag Queen.” When I walked into the museum, this exhibit was the first to call my attention, specifically because of its outrageous colors scattered everywhere. There was a runway located in the center of the space that held numerous mannequins dressed complete in wigs and drag attire. In addition, smaller cases featuring jewelry and borrowed items from actual drag queens are displayed along the walls. The overall feel of the room was vibrant and invigorating, which was most likely created to be a parallel to the energy given off by real-life drag queens.

A piece that I found myself studying was a replica of the costume worn by Ma. Arte Susya Purisima Tolentino. I was initially drawn to it because its style varied drastically from the other dresses displayed in the exhibit. Instead of being flashy or revealing, this mannequin was dressed extremely conservatively, covered head to toe in all white fabric. This attire seemed to contradict the more popular sparkly attire worn by drag queens; however, as I took a closer look at the description on the wall I came to realization as to why this dress was the way it was. Maria Arte Susya Purisima Tolentino, the drag queen who wore this dress, is of Filipino heritage just like me. For that reason, I was easily able to identify the traditional Filipino aspects that were incorporated within this dress, such as the classic butterfly sleeves and head wrap. And yet, the overall conservative aspect of this dress most likely stems from the fact the Filipinos are known to be extremely devout Catholics, and dressing appropriately was a necessary part of the church life. In general, I thought this piece was extremely interesting because I was able to draw information and connect my own heritage to the artist to be able to understand the work on a deeper level.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed visiting “Into Her Closet: How to Make a Drag Queen.” The pieces were all captivating and extremely entertaining to read more about, and I can confidently say that if I had the chance I would visit the exhibit again, even in my own free time. I loved the experience and I would definitely recommend this museum to anyone who would like to see first hand what this fascinating art form is all about.

For more information, go to https://www.spurlock.illinois.edu/exhibits/profiles/in-her-closet.html.

Featured post

Farewell to A Class I’ll Never Forget

Last post of FAA 110

Written by Zhengqi Xu

FAA 110 has been one of the most fantastic classes of my college life and I can say it safely that I shall never forget this class. Professor Collins and Professor Robinson have always been enthusiastic about us and anything that happened in class. For a student who was originally not into art, after all, this class helped me start learning and appreciating any forms of artwork. Overall, I have been enjoyed this class a lot, and I can’t help but feel sad about the end of the semester that I have to say goodbye to FAA 110. Also, I would recommend any students at the University of Illinois to take FAA 110 and this class does not require any prerequisite but it gives people a direct understanding of what art is. Thinking about the fact that I could be no longer linked to FAA 110 anymore after this blog, all the memories about this class popped up in my mind over and over again. Thank FAA 110 for a wonderful experience.

Buddy Guy

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bfd0d714d0b0065631e1fac68d117ff-1024x768.jpg
The start of the show

Buddy Guy was the first-ever event from FAA 110 that I watched. I liked the way Buddy Guys made Jazz music a more modern way for us all, which could be a better way for students and young adults to accept.

Chris Botti

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 7655a729c14973def662f6cec0eab42-1024x768.jpg
Ticket of the Chris Botti show

Chris Botti was bringing Jazz back to a traditional style after I watched Buddy Guy a week before the show. It was an enjoyment for me and Chris Botti was active during the show. He kept interacting with the audience and made the mood light inside the theatre.

Home

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2cf940202ee9df85d10da4322180e58-1024x768.jpg
The end of Home when all the characters came back and thanked us

Home was a show that opened my mind. I’ve never seen a show that invited plenty of audience onto the stage to perform. All the actors successfully handled the relationship with the audience and made it my favorite show ever.

Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0aedde5f8631c709c8b419a4dc58ce1-1024x768.jpg
Jennifer Monson explaining the event

The dance workshop was more of an event that we can all participate. Jennifer talked to be for half an hour about how to appreciate artwork from all kinds of different to learn the diversified characteristics of the author’s ideas.

Wynton Marsalis

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 7cf32543899697f1dd1ba35ed5981d9-1024x768.jpg
The audience waiting for the show to start

Wynton Marsalis was another Jazz show that I watched this semester. I remember that he introduced all the band members to us which made me felt warm.

Tiger

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 微信图片_20191118201236-576x1024.jpg
The little poster of the show Tiger

Tiger was a completely different kind of performance from any other shows that I watched. The speaker was trying to speak directly to us about the relationship between humans and nature through the media, tiger.

Illinois Modern Ensemble

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 47dbe42478fe4fe4f038f38ec3ee32f-768x1024.jpg
Playlist of Illinois Modern Ensemble

Illinois Modern Ensemble was an event that made me feel scared. I’m sorry that I have to describe the event this way, but I only felt like leaving the show when the band started playing. However, after I read the songs, I realized that the songs the band was playing were related to the wars theme, which made me understand the event was meant to imply the cruelness of wars.

Annual Carol Concert

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is f6eef356f7df1294feea6d2f9e1c972-1024x768.jpg
Students playing pre-event songs

The annual carol concert was the first time for me to experience the true tradition of Christmas. It was lovely to sing all the Christmas songs with the other audience.

Campus and University Band

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0ea5212f26d7956ac34699879ea896e-1024x768.jpg
The band preparing for the show

The Campus and University Band was a show that made me feel proud to be a student at the University of Illinois. Although there were not plenty of people there to watch them perform, the music could be comparable to the world-class band from my perspective.

Featured post

A Sad Sayonara to FAA 110

I have seen so many great shows and museum exhibits this semester and I don’t want to say goodbye!

Written by Catherine Webber

At the beginning of this semester, I was at a bit of a crossroads. I had come back from summer knowing that I wanted to switch from Early Childhood Education to something else. I just knew that wasn’t what I wanted anymore. Therefore, I drastically dropped all my classes and switched to English, which I now love. However, with my change I had to pick up more hours and I just didn’t know what class to take. I went around asking friends and they all recommended one class to me: FAA 110. They said I would be able to see awesome shows for free on-campus and be exposed to so many new and different things, safe to say: I was sold. I have really enjoyed this class this semester and can’t wait to come back next semester and see more great and thought-provoking shows and exhibits.

1. Pat Metheny Rocked the House

2. Eric Andre Leaves Little to the Imagination

3. Drop Dead Gorgeous Drag Queens

4. Hearty House Show in Colorado

5. Chopin Showcase Does Not Disappoint

6. Still Beginning Challenges What We Think We Know

7. Jazz Drives Audience to Jive

8. TANGO at KAM

I had such a great time this semester in this class, and I know that if any of my friends come to me with class recommendations I will surely lead them to FAA 110! Thank you for a great semester!

Featured post

(Extra Credit) University Band Representing Us All

Written by Zhengqi Xu

As shown in the title, this show called Campus and University Band featured a band consists of undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Illinois, which means this band represents all the students and it made me feel warm to watch them perform.

The beautiful ticket and the envelop

To be honest, there were not a lot of people there to watch the performance tonight, and I was surprised to find out the hall wasn’t close to full at all. After thinking through the possible reason, I suppose that students might be busy on a Sunday night, especially during the final week. Otherwise, people would love to watch a show like the University Band.

Students preparing for the show

The show turned out to be a success, and it was lovely to see a lot of students here to support their friends on the stage. One thing I noticed was that all the music played are written not long ago, which are all from the 20th and the 21th century. Although people might prefer to listen to music from a long time ago, but it was a pleasure to taste some modern music.

The playlist of the show with a nice cover

I wasn’t abe to stay for the whole show and had to leave during halftime because of a meeting. However, I enjoyed the show so much that I felt pitty the moment I left the entrance. The University band did a great job of showing that students can never be ignored and could be comparable to some of the greatest people in the world. And, I’m so proud of those students who provide us a great show tonight.

Featured post

(Makeup) Annual Carol Concert – A Wonderful Show

Written by Zhengqi Xu

Before I went to the Carol Concert, I had now idea it was meant to celebrate Christmas and the band were praising the birthday Jesus the whole time. I do celebrate Christmas, but I’ve never done it the correct way, because it was hard for me, an international student to fully experience the tradition of Christmas. The Carol Concert this afternoon gave me a new feeling about Christmas and finally I felt a sense of real Christmas as a holiday.

Beautiful envelope of the Annual Carol Concert 2019

As I mentioned in the introduction, during the Annual Carol Meeting, I heard the band sing the songs to praise the greatness of Jesus Christ. I was surprised at the first moment to learn the true meaning of the Carol Concert. Plenty of students came to stand around the audience and started singing the first song, and I was enjoying it when they started and their voices was highly beautiful.

The pre-how before the official start of the concert

I noticed that the audience were sometimes asked to join the band to sing together. It was an enjoyment when everyone in the hall were singing together and it was just a scene I’ve never seen before. So, it was a pleasure to see everyone smile and we were enjoying to show together.

The playlist of the Concert

I could never had a chance like this to watch a concert that everyone get to enjoy themselves before. The Carol Concert was just so beautiful that I could have a better understanding of what Christmas means to people the country.

Featured post

Farewell to FAA 110

Looking back on a semester of amazing performance and personal inspection.

written by Allison Spillane

This class was a total wildcard in my schedule at the beginning of the year. I had no idea what to expect, but what I ended up getting is something that I know that I can look back upon fondly. This class really opened me up to resources for art and creativity on campus that I don’t think I would have know about otherwise. From KAM to KCPA to the Spurlock Museum, these are all amazing places on campus that I was introduced to by this class, and I cannot fully express my gratitude for that. Being a part of such a great group of people enjoying some amazing performances really helped me feel welcome and at home at the University of Illinois.

Continue reading
Featured post

Makeup- Is Jazz dying?

Author: Basith A. Syed

The UI Repertory Jazz Orchestra is a music show organized and performed by the University of Illinois students and sponsors. All the music that was performed and sung were from the Big Band Era, jazz golden age from 1910-1940.

You are able to use e-ticket in order to get.

When was the last time you listened to a jazz song? Exactly… I was skeptical about going into the show but in the back of my head, I was thinking it would be like a musical and I would walk out with a story. In this blog, I would like to share my experience with my very first jazz show and Krannert Center. I had no issue with parking so I parked my car on the street walked in. There were multiple shows starting at 7:30 so it was hectic babies crying and toddlers running around which made me think that the show cant that bad if people from all age groups are going to watch it. But, when I got to the theater that had the jazz show I realized that there was no line and it was exceptionally quiet. So I walked up and showed the attended my e-ticket and walked in.

The audience was filled with seniors and the stage was level with the ground.

Upon entering the theater, I was greeted with a bunch of old people and a couple of students in there mid 20’s. I walked in and just sat in the back and exactly at 7:30 the host greeted us and introduced us to what songs he would play.

The performers were playing over the rainbow.

So the show started with a couple of songs with no vocals which I personally didn’t like it because the beat was outdated and then transitioned to happy songs. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the names of the songs because it was the first time listening to jazz songs from the 1940s. An hour into the show I was regretting coming to this show because that is not the type of music I listen to. But, when they started playing “sad songs” it got so emotional. It was so clear what the lyrics meant and it made me realize how most of the songs today just promote drugs, sex, and money. I was just sitting there and got this feeling you get when u realize you are missing out on something so pure that makes you question why people stopped listening to jazz. My favorite song that I listened to after the show was “Over the rainbow”. If you never been to a jazz show then I strongly recommend giving it a try.

Featured post

Abstract Art at its Finest [Makeup Event]

Written by: Benjamin Tan

The art talk this time was entirely on abstract art. This was one area that I could not understand or appreciate.

However, after the art talk, I was much more informed on how to actually appreciate abstract art. These are the few tips I would like to share with you!

Firstly, it is the biography of the artist. Understanding where they came from and how they were raised from young can really give you a depiction of what kind of abstract they will be painting and also what is the effect that they want to draw out from their painting.

Secondly, It is the brush strokes. If you start to lean in and observe each of the abstract painting, you can start to see the different gestures that were used in each of the brush strokes. This makes viewing the abstract art even more interesting as you start to ponder what kind of emotions the artist was having when he/she did that brush stroke on this corner of the painting.

Thirdly, which is the most interesting is the grid. Every abstract art will always have a formula for a grid. Some questions that can help facilitate your pondering of the art will be is the grid dominating the whole painting? Is the grid symmetrical or is it distorted?

During the art show, there were 3 abstract paintings that were showcased.

Louise Fishman Abstract Art, 1995

For Louise Fishman, one thing really unique about her art is that the brush strokes were actually many different objects that were removed from the painting to give that really special brush stroke to the abstract art.

Purvis Young Abstract Art, 1990

For Purvis Young, he will use any kind of material and objects in his abstract and as shown above, he used carpet this time round for his abstract art.

 McArthur Binion Abstract Art, 1990

For McArthur Binion, the interesting fact of his abstract was that he used his own birth certificate for all the 4-inch squares in the art. Also, if you look more closely, you will actually see an oval in the painting too!

Overall, I was really glad to go for this art talk to learn about the wondrous world of abstract art.

Featured post

Art Since 1948 – History of Abstract Art

Written by: Laura Chong

How do we tell stories? For these 3 artists, their stories were told through abstract art. Integrated with their life experiences in the 1900s, these are truly interesting art pieces.

Art talk series: 3 artists & their abstract art pieces

This art talk made me appreciate abstract art so much more. I realized they are about the engagement of materials, the process when creating the art piece and the stories you are trying to tell.

Artist 1: Louise Fishman, 1995

Louise Fishman is a Russian Jewish Lesbian woman who arrived in New York in the 1960s. Her abstract expressionism emphasizes black, white and minimalism. In this painting, she used different materials to transfer the paint away from the canvas. I could see a woman leaning backwards, which could be a representation of herself and the society.

Artist 2: Purvis Young, 1990

Purvis Young is a African American self taught artist. His life mission was to visualize injustice, therefore, he studied protest art. His style of painting was the use of anything as a canvas, including plywood. In this painting, he used carpet as the borders and painted on a plywood. The ship could represent a move into a collective society.

Artist 3: McArthur Binion, 1990

McArthur Binion is a African American born in 1956. He has a DNA series where he used materials that tells his story into his work. In this painting, he teared up his birth certificate and used it in the grids. There is an oval drawn in the middle which represents how the background and foreground is playing with each other – just like our life stories.

All in all, abstract paintings take a long process and is very labored. There are a lot of thoughts put into it and it is up to individuals on how you interpret the painting. I really enjoyed this art talk as it opened up my mind to a much deeper world of abstract art.

Featured post

Makeup: Cariñosa at Multicultural Night

Written by Danielle Herrera

Various cultural-based student organizations perform and showcase their talents in front of a large student section at the Ikenberry.

On a quiet Thursday night, the Multicultural Advocates of Ikenberry South held its regular Multicultural Night in the IKE multipurpose room. The event was filled with performances from different cultural organizations, along with free shirts, food, and information about different cultures. Performances ranged from dancing K-pop to singing national anthems to reciting poetry; through it all, the unique aspects of each culture being represented definitely shone through each display of talent. In addition, the large crowd was noticeably diverse; people of all different backgrounds and colors came out to support their fellow classmates in representing their heritage and what their culture means to them.

I attended the multicultural night as a performer from PSA, or the Philippine Student Association organization here at UIUC. We danced the Cariñosa, which is a traditional Philippine folk dance that was derived from Hispanic roots. Cariñosa means loving or affectionate when translated in English, which is exactly the impression that this dance gives off; the movements of the Cariñosa are flirty and romantic, and with the addition of long flowy skirts and fans the such gestures are emphasized. Our dance in total was around 5 minutes long, beginning with the introductory bows to our partners and ending with the men and women holding up a handkerchief and facing the audience in a cheerful demeanor. The performance was quite simple and short, however it was still a very enjoyable experience.

Overall, I loved attending the Multicultural night; being able to watch students perform their culture’s traditional dances, songs, etc. reminded me how diverse UIUC is, and made me feel more welcomed on campus. In addition, I’ve only performed one other traditional Filipino dance so it was a nice experience to learn a different type of folk dance and be able to show it to others who embrace their culture as well. I’m glad the MA’s were able to hold an event like this, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about other cultures here at UIUC.

For more information on the multicultural advocates who held this event, visit https://housing.illinois.edu/living-options/why-housing/inclusive-communities/multicultural-advocates.

Featured post

Makeup: FACT Variety Show

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.

Women villagers attacking abats (center)

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.

Dancers backstage after performance

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/.

Featured post

Illinois Modern Ensemble – Sound of the War

Written by Zhengqi Xu

Illinois Modern Ensemble is a show that I only had little understanding of, and I was trying my best to learn the meaning of it.

Big crowd of people coming for the show

The show consisted of 5 parts which featured different style of playing and some local singers. The whole melody of the first part was the frightening to be honest. I don’t know if I am the only peoson who thought in that way, but I really felt uncomfortable sitting there listening them playing music which was so scary.

List of the 5 parts

However, I started to understand a little bit of what the show was about during the second part of the show. The second part was called Philosykos and it tells the story of the war. Basically, the story was about how war is cruel and thousands of corpses lie. So, I thought maybe the show was trying to be scarstic about how war play a role in people’s history.

People clapping when the show ended

The rest parts of the show was much the same of the first two parts. The music was frightening and made me feel nervous the whole time. But, this show was another one that I had never seen before, and I highly appreciate this opportunity.

Featured post

Nature of Forgetting

Jake Xiao

Stage

The Natural of Forgetting, a show currently in the UK and around the world, is performed in Krannert center. The Natural of Forgetting talks about the story of Tom, a father who is struggling in the early stages of dementia with many early life memories, such as schools, graduation, weddings, daughter’s birth.

Continue reading
Featured post

[MAKEUP EVENT] Unforgettable CSO symphony concert

Written by Nicole Miao

At the beginning of this semester, I flipped through the calendar of events and found the scheduled performance of Chicago Symphony Orchestra on campus. I am afraid that it would be hard to get a ticket when it is accessible, and because I have never been an usher at the performance before, I signed up as an usher for this performance.

Selecting my section
Continue reading
Featured post

Forgetting

By Jessica. Moreno

Program and ticket

On November 12, at the Krannert Center for the performing arts Theatre RE performed “The Nature Of Forgetting”. Which was an amazing performance about a middle-aged father who is struggling in the early stages of dementia. It talks about his memories and what he is forgetting.

Continue reading
Featured post

An exploration of the African Diaspora-makeup assignment

Written by Bria Thurman

African culture does not only exist within the continent of Africa’s border but across the world.
This was my favorite

On October 24th I went to the Krannert Art Museum and listened to an art talk about the African diaspora. Allyson Purpura is the curator of the exhibit and we explored the use of language and religion as artistry. She first explained what the African diaspora was and how we exist in almost all continents more specifically those involved with the slave trade. This was an interesting seminar of sorts to be able to sit in on.

Continue reading
Featured post

Forgetting: the Inevitable Downfall

Written by Danielle Herrera

Theatre Re’s performance “The Nature of Forgetting” gives a shockingly emotional portrayal of the struggles that emerge from gradual memory deterioration.

Colwell Playhouse at Krannert Center of Performing Arts

On Tuesday I walked into the Colwell Playhouse of the Krannert Center about 5 minutes late into the performance, having absolutely no idea what was going on onstage. I remember witnessing seemingly random scenes being acted out with no sense of an actual plot line or story; everything appeared to be nonsense that lacked any type of correlation. However, as the performance progressed the random scenes were repeated over and over again but with more context. This enabled the audience to piece together exactly what was happening, which was the memory deterioration of a man who was suffering from dementia.

Theatre Re, https://baylinartists.com/theatre-re/

The aspect of this performance in which I was most impressed with was the techniques that were used to indicate memories versus the present. On the stage there was an elevated platform that was used to illustrate scenes that were happening in the past, while everything outside of the platform represented present events. So for instance, flashbacks of the man when he was a student in grade school were portrayed on the elevated surface, whereas the scene with the man and his daughter getting ready for his birthday was acted out on stage. What I thought was very interesting, however, was how the actors also used the raised platform to depict the loss of the man’s memories. There were several moments where either objects or people are pulled off the platform and the man visibly tries to keep them from falling off; this demonstrates how the man is actively trying to salvage what he has left of his memories.

Another way in which the play depicted transitions between present day versus past moments were through lighting and music. Flashbacks tended to be bright with much more playful music, whereas scenes that occured during present day were slightly dimmer and completely silent. The use of lighting and music helped emphasize the nostalgia and bliss that accompany happy memories of the past.

Leading Cast member at the end of the show

Overall, I was captivated for the entirety of the show and I could honestly say this has been one of my favorite plays that I have attended. The depiction of happy, carefree memories could easily be related to by the majority of audience; for this reason, visually seeing the slow deterioration of these recollections were especially emotion-evoking. The performance itself was extremely intricate yet fairly easy to follow, and I would definitely recommend this play to anyone who has the opportunity to watch it.

For more information, go to https://krannertcenter.com/events/theatre-re-nature-forgetting.

Featured post

Punishment of Individuality [Make-Up]

Written by Raymond Diaz

The Dawn of the Individual: Laocoon’s Punishment

The marble statue of Laocoon’s Punishment

A Trojan Priest who sensed that the Trojan’s gift, the wooden horse, was something to be wary of. Voicing his concern to the people he pleaded with the people to listen to his doubts and not accept the gift, however, the Greek god Poseidon, who favored the Greeks, would not allow for this to occur and sent serpents to kill Laocoon and his sons. Seeing as the gods punished him, the Trojans preceded to then bring the gift in and ultimately led to the demise of the Trojans. The story is said to illustrate the voice of the individual who challenges the consensus, even so far as to oppose the gods.

The statue was made by creating a plaster cast marble copy of the Roman marble copy located in the Vatican Museum, which is a copy of the hellenistic bronze original that has been lost for many years. However, the various chizzlings and details used to express the movements in the figures is impressive, twisting the bodies into various poses to show the muscle movements of their struggle dealing with the serpents tangling around them. Their carved out expressions showing shock and fear as to what is happening because of their beliefs. The reason for marble being that many of the Roman sculptors used this form and the Vatican housing one of them to show a piece of history and try to bring you into that time.

It was brought here through plaster copy in order to bring a piece of history to the museum to help show the Roman era in time accompanied by the various other relics in the exhibit. The interactions shown with it have brought intrigue and curiosity as we see the results of one going against a god, but also examining it to bring it into our current time, seeing how individuality today can bring great ramifications, but also being encouraged to be an individual and form your own way in life.

Featured post

The Complexities of a Home [Make-Up]

Written by Raymond Diaz

Home, by Geoff Sobelle, is a captivating performance partnered with illusion and intricate engineering that builds a house right before your eyes and shows the complexities of what it is like for people living like anyone else. Through this there was relatability and allowed the audience to experience the questions of what is home and when do we know it is a home?

https://krannertcenter.com/events/home-geoff-sobelle

Continue reading
Featured post

Animal of My Heartland (Makeup)

Written by Zhengqi Xu

Like the show called Home which we watched earlier this semester, Tiger is another show that contains the style I have never know before. To be honest, I’m not even sure if Tiger was an art performance at all, because all I heard was the knowledge about history and nature. However, as I was listening to what Deke Weaver, the producer of the show, was speaking, I gradually got the sense of how his show related to art itself.

The card Deke have us to write down some notes about what our favorite animals were

I was not able to stay for the whole period because I had to leave the town that night, but I could still feel the special feeling Tiger gave me. I couldn’t take any pictures because he said it was forbidden and I only took one picture and had to retrieve teh other two from the event page of Tiger. Deke started by showing us pictures of all kinds of different animals, including tiger, and he informed us of the fact that tiger was voted as the most famous animal through research data. Deke then identifies himself as a naturalist, and let us listen to a video of sound from the nature, which sounded like the audio of going through a forest.

The little tiger toy he had that night for decorations of the stage, retrieved from here

Deke later stated the history of the east Asian area, and I did not understand how it related to tiger, the animal itself at all. Everything seemed unrelated and I was alreadying paying my full attention to his words. However, he helped us go through the whole thing and I started having a basic understand of what he was saying. There should be a conservation between humanity and nature. Deke used human-beings as humanity and tiger a nature to show us we should build a balance between our life.

Deke’s tour in the wild, retrieved from here

Deke later stated the history of the east Asian area, and I did not understand how it related to tiger, the animal itself at all. Everything seemed unrelated and I was alreadying paying my full attention to his words. However, he helped us go through the whole thing and I started having a basic understand of what he was saying. There should be a conservation between humanity and nature. Deke used human-beings as humanity and tiger a nature to show us we should build a balance between our life.

I have to say I stil have not fully understood what Deke was saying that night, but at least I had this great chance to know a whole new art style. Also, tiger is also my favorite animal, and I believe there must be a link between me and the tiger as well.

Featured post

A Beautiful Unravelling of the Mind

Written by Raymond Diaz

Theatre Re: The Nature of Forgetting performs what it is like for someone who is in the early stages of having dementia. It details the story of a middle aged man dealing with the repercussions of having his memory begin to deteriorate due to dementia, and the cast and musical performances convey this beautifully.

https://krannertcenter.com/events/theatre-re-nature-forgetting

Continue reading
Featured post

Radioactive Coming to Live [Make-up Event #2]

Written by: Benjamin Tan

We all are unable to see the radioactive energy with our own naked eyes but what this artist did in their portraits was to use uranium and radioactive charcoal to paint a picture that can depict the drastic consequence of us human beings that have created such a huge impact towards nuclear energy.

Lilah Leopold the curator gave lots of context for the artwork even in terms of how the Krannert Art Museum is set up especially for this kind of artwork. Among all the many radioactive artworks, Lilah focused on these 2 artworks.

Lilah Leopold the curator giving context and explaining these 2 artworks

Both artworks are made up of synthetic uranium and radioactive charcoal. It depicted the amount of uranium that has been mined and for the left portrait, the land does not exist anymore due to the massive mining.

What intrigue me was the many vertical and horizontal lines on both artworks. It depicted graphs of uranium that been mined.

Artwork made up of synthetic uranium and radioactive charcoal. Timeline of a billion years

The one on the left was a graph of a billion years! From the graph, it can be inferred how the resource of uranium is depicting rapidly and the amount of radioactivity has been dispersed in the air.

Lines referred to the steepness of the rocks

For the right artwork, the lines refer to about 100 years of the uranium resource. Apart from that, it also was to show the longitude and latitude of the land. As shown, the steeper lines refer to the taller and steeper rocks.

Lilah also shared how the radioactive waste will take approximately 5 million years before it becomes jewelry and she put a thought in all of us asking how we can take personal responsibility towards radioactive waste.

It got me thinking, what are some actions can I take to contribute to the conversation of this radioactive waste.

Overall, I enjoyed the art talk! Looking forward to the next one!

Featured post

the Beauty of Black Hair 👩🏾‍🦱 👨🏾‍🦱 -Makeup event

Written by Bria Thurman

This was the official flyer for the workshop and I need whoever made this to create a portrait for me. B.L.A.C.K stands for Binding love artistry creativity and knowledge.
After attending B.L.A.C.K’s braiding workshop I can confidently say that anyone can braid hair but not everyone will sit for 5+ hours to make some money.

I loved everything about this workshop. I almost got my hair done for free but my friend kept telling the girl who could do my hair that I was allergic to the weave, which I am, but that is not the point. Having safe spaces to relax, learn and congregate with people who have similar experiences to you is probably the most important self-care activity one can do for themselves. Especially in a place where the dedication to exclusion feels so strong.

Continue reading
Featured post

Fleeting Memories

Theater Re’s performance wows the crowd.

written by Allison Spillane

braving the cold to get to the show!

Memory is an integral part of being human. Our identity is based on our personal experiences, in our own growth and changes. Theater Re’s performance shows a take at what it can be like to have a personality interrupted by memory loss. This was particularly interesting to me because I have family members who have trouble remembering from age-related mental deterioration, and it was both insightful and moving to see that experience from another angle. 

Continue reading
Featured post

Forget

Written by: César Díaz Blanco

The Nature of Forgetting’s choreography, lights, set pieces, music, and more left everyone at the Colwell Playhouse in awe. It is impressive how most of the play happened in a small block of wood, and with only four “full time” actors and two part-musicians/actors. Definitely, a revolutionary idea, with a fully accomplished execution.

Continue reading
Featured post

Radioactive Materials & Art [makeup event]

Written by: Laura Chong

Wow! When art meets science, it really opens up your mind to social issues in a way that you have never imagined.

Artwork painted using synthetic uranium underneath charcoal

This particular art talk on radioactivity and the landscape made me realize the severity of radioactive materials on our landscape.

Before attending this art talk, I was unaware of the issues of radioactivity. The picture above shows a landscape that is lost. This makes me sad because such beautiful landscape should never have been destroyed.

Another artwork that shows the landscape of New Mexico

This other artwork shows the landscape of New Mexico. With a yellowish green hue, the landscape looks polluted. This feels like the artist is trying to portray what uranium dumping is doing to our earth.

The most interesting part of the artworks are the difference between the graphs. The first artwork shows a graph that spans over a million years, while the second artwork shows a graph that spans over a hundred years. The graph represents how the radioactive materials are losing mass and how the subatomic particles are trying to find a stable state to make it no longer radioactive.

I like how the artists incorporated graphs into the artworks because it gives more “weight” to the severity of the issue being discussed. It makes us think and feel more about the social issue.

The art talk ended with a discussion on the Open Care Project, where we think about “what if everyone has their own radioactive waste storage? what if radioactive waste becomes a personal responsibility?” The radioactive waste could become a jewelry, that can only become wearable after 5 million years. It is certainly a very interesting thought, and I imagine a totally different world. A world where there are no uranium dumps and a cleaner world for us to live in. A utopia.

Overall, this art talk was really meaningful and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It introduced me to how art can assist in communicating social issues and let the audience ponder about major issues that we were previously unaware of.

Featured post

Tragic Sound

Written by: César Díaz Blanco

I just had dinner at Ikenberry and was ready to go to the Krannert Art Museum. I got to the East Gallery just in time to listen to Bridge #2.2. This diverse group, in both place of origin and age, is constituted by saxophonist and flutist Mai Sugimoto, guitarist Raymond Boni, double bassist Paul Rogers, and Illinois native bassist Anton Hatwich. They all come from different parts of the world: Japan, England, and France.

Continue reading
Featured post

Radioactive Art (Make-Up Event #2)

Written by Ashleigh Cox

A wall of photos in the exhibit!

Krannert Art Museum’s second ArtTalk discussed the way we get rid of nuclear waste. The curator, Lilah Leopold, focused on a few different pieces and explained the intention of the exhibit from the artists’ point of view.

Continue reading
Featured post

Actions Speak Louder Than Words. Literally.

Written by: Benjamin Tan

Bringing the audience on a journey of past memories

The Nature of Forgetting is literally the best performance I have seen in my entire life. It was phenomenal. No words can describe how stupendous this performance is. But here is the best I can describe the entire performance in words.

In the beginning, the father was being reminded by the daughter to wear his purple coat with the red tie at the left side of the pocket. As the father approaches his wardrobe, his memory starts to get distorted. This was done by the amazing audio where it was distorted and was blurred by the daughter’s words.

Daughter reminding the father to wear his jacket

The father started to take many other clothes and each clothes brought a certain past memory of the father’s life. This was displayed by the different clothing that was used in each scene. Some examples will be back in the days where he was in high school as a student. The clothing was the high school uniform. As the memory progress, the clothing switch to the academical dress which was his graduation days and it switch to the father holding the long stick which signifies him being a high school teacher and the tuxedo that represents the wedding with his wife to be.

One thing that I really amazed is how all the father’s clothing was extremely similar but just adding an extra prop such as the stick and the flowers could change the entire outfit.

Apart from the clothing, the music! Oh, my goodness, the music was FANTASTIC. Firstly, it was only a 2-person live band. The instruments consist of just the drums, keyboard, and a violin. Just 3 instruments added so many dynamics and colors to the entire performance. How it transits from memory to present was when they use a synthesizer of the keyboard to make those whiny sounds from soft to loud and at its climax, the band will stop playing and the father is back to the present.

Highschool cycling scene. Chasing after the girl of his dreams

Unfortunately, I did not attend the performance for Home. Hence, I will focus on discussing the Nature of Forgetting.

Some of the distinctive ways the production represents the life event were how at the beginning, there is not much dialogue, and this puzzles the audience to want to know what is going on. This makes the audience want to lean in and focus on the entire performance to find out what is the whole performance about.

One of the most puzzling scenes was how the father was chasing after his wife to be and each scene from the cycling, the graduation and the wedding it all ends up with the both of them sitting to next each other and his wife to be is avoiding him and then there is a loud honk which brings the father back to the present. Only at the fourth repetition, I finally understood that scene which was his wife pass away due to a traffic accident and that accident could have been how the father got his dementia.

Puzzling repetitive scene. Father sits next to his wife to be and she is avoiding him.

My favorite scene was the ending scene. All his cherished memories came to life where his best friend, mother, and daughter came to celebrate his birthday. The favorite part of the scene was when all the lights slowly dimmed off and all that was left was the birthday candles and the father blew the candles away. What a remarkable way to end the performance.

Happy Birthday!

Overall, I will give the play 10/10! Definitely recommend everyone to go and watch the play!  

Featured post

Tiger

Jack Xiao

Tiger

Wild Tiger, the most abundant species among the Felidae, is an endangers species now. Deke Weaver, a writer-performer, designer, theater, and media artist, traveled to central India’s Pench National Park, which is one of India’s last sanctuaries for wild tigers and many other areas, such as the edge of the Bay of Bengal. After these travel experiences, Deke Weaver build a performance that shows a connection between animals and people.

Continue reading
Featured post

First-Ever Art Talk at KAM! (Make-Up Event #1)

Written by Ashleigh Cox

KAM from the outside!

I went to the Krannert Art Museum’s first-ever Art Talk and learned a lot about African Art and it’s movement throughout the Western world. The curator talked about several pieces from different regions as well as their significance to the cultures they originally came from.

Continue reading
Featured post

The Nature of Forgetting

Written by Ashleigh Cox

Tom expresses his frustration!

The Nature of Forgetting is a powerful play about a man’s memory fading with Alzheimer’s and how it appears from his point of view. Theatre Re performed the piece at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on November 12th and it was quite a memorable event!

Continue reading
Featured post

The Nature of Forgetting was unforgettable

Written by: Laura Chong

The best theater performance I have EVER seen! The Nature of Forgetting is edged into my memory forever.

The casts for “The Nature of Forgetting”

The play had me sitting on the edge of the seat, curious to watch till the end of the performance. It was spectacular how the story came across so beautifully despite the fact that the show had little talking.

The performance indicated memory through the use music and sound. They used jarring music that sounded like broken minds and the discovery of memories. The play then continued with a new memory after the jarring music.

Through the use of lighting, they focused the audience’s attention on a particular object/action. There was another scene when they were watching a home movie together and I really enjoyed that one too. Each time the lighting focuses on a new object, it signified a new memory. In this school scene, they focused the lighting on the tables and the actor and actresses.

Memory of school

Through the use of movement, they expressed their emotions so clearly. When Tom and Isabella got married, they danced. Their dance expressed happiness because they were dancing so fluidly and with such exaggerated big actions. Other than using dance, some movements were jagged, which made it seem like a transitioning memory.

Through the use of set pieces, they reflect different scenes. The most notable set pieces were the bicycle when Tom was riding with Isabella, the school tables and the changing room. They brought out the different scenes and memories really well. The use of costumes also helps to reflect different memories and scenes. This goes hand in hand with the use of set pieces. For example, when the clothing racks and chair was in the scene, together with “Isabella” dressed in teenager clothing, it represented the present, when Tom is trying to get dressed for his birthday. However, when “Isabella” is wearing a school uniform, wedding dress or the red dress, it represented a different memory.

Featured post

Tiger: Raw and Intimate

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.

https://kam.illinois.edu/event/tiger-performance-no-5-unreliable-bestiary

Continue reading
Featured post

TIGER TIGER

A unique experience regarding the world of wildlife

The stage set-up before the show began

Written by Edward Huang

A sizable group watched on with curiosity as a man set up the stage in the lower level of the Krannert Art Museum. I was one of the audience, and I had no clue what to expect from this presentation. Perhaps he was going to talk about endangered wildlife. Maybe this was more of a one-person play? Whatever it was, I was eagerly awaiting for the man to begin his show.

Continue reading
Featured post

Wynton Marsalis and His ensemble

Jake Xiao

Before the Performance

Jazz was developed by African Americans and influenced by both European harmonic structure and African rhythms. Jazz was partially from blues, which is a music genre and used to be called Jass. Modern Jazz player, Wynton Marsalis, and his remarkable ensemble are one of the top Jazz band.

Continue reading
Featured post

Through the Eyes of the Tiger

Deke Weaver takes the audience on an experiential journey through the lense of the tiger

 written by Allison Spillane

the crowd there early to get seats for the show

This performance was a lot more interesting than I expected. It’s always strange when you show up to a small event for class and then learn that the show you’re seeing is apparently a well renowned advocate for climate preservation. Needless to say, the famous show well exceeded my nonexistent expectations. Deke Weaver’s show hit that strange middle ground between inspiring and crushing existential dread, but the message of climate change awareness is always appreciated. 

Continue reading
Featured post

The Last Survivor

Written by: Benjamin Tan

Tiger Performance by Deve Weaver

What a unique performance performed and directed by Deve Weaver.

I like how Deve place the underlying message of protecting the endangered animals through this whimsical play.

He used many different strategies to display the relationship between humans and tigers. From role-playing many different characters in which Deve played more than 3 characters during the play and sometimes doing 2 characters simultaneously!

Deve Weaver playing multiple roles during the performance

Moreover, he used music and a song to talk about the fragile relationship between the tigers and humans, how the tigers are eating the humans and how the humans are attacking the tigers.

He did many other strategies such as repetitively playing a certain film again and again as he shares his story.

But among all the strategies, the greatest impact is when he got everyone to do something together. One moment was when we stand up and hummed to summon the tiger spirit. I could feel the resonance on my chest as everyone hums together. It was about a whole minute of humming!

Audience humming to summon the Tiger spirit

Another moment was when we got everyone to read out loud the words on the screen. It was quite shocking how everyone was so participative and with that kind of engagement, it just creates a mark to remember and bring back after the play.

The Audience reading out loud the words appearing on the screen

Home… This is a word many people hold very close to their hearts. It is not just a physical place, but it is about the people that live in that house that gives substance and meaning to the word home.

This word also resonates in the Tiger performance it talked about India’s Pench National Park is one of India’s last sanctuary to the wild tigers. With tigers being endangered, it really pains my heart to see how these home for the tigers is literally their only hope for a home in the entire world.

It got me to ponder deeply too, my family is the only home in the entire world, what am I doing to protect it? What am I doing to build that home? How am I thankful for that home? As Thanksgiving is coming, let’s not wait till then to be thankful and do something for our family. It starts now. What can I do today to appreciate my home? 😊

Featured post

“Tiger” at KAM

By Rachel Yao

Deke Weaver performs his 5th Unreliable Bestiary project, which is about the Tiger, at the Krannert Art Museum on November 7th.

A photo of the stage before the performance with a tiger’s head projected in the background.
Two handouts given out to the audience before the performance began.

Throughout the play, Deke Weaver tells his story about the tiger using various methods. First, he portrays different characters as the story moves along. He plays a tour guide, portrayed by wearing a leather hat; he plays a intellect who lives in India, portrayed by wearing glasses and having an soft accented voice; he plays another character whom searches for tigers by wearing crushed garbage as armory and protection. By playing various characters in his performance, Weaver tells his story in an interesting and amusing way. Each character had moments in the spotlight that showcased they significance.

In addition to playing multiple characters, Weaver includes a “powerpoint” in the background of a mix of videos and photos to help tell his story. The photos and videos help establish setting, like in the deep forests searching for tiger, or on the plane waiting to land. The videos in between speeches also tell interesting stories and provide important facts and information. For example, one video explained how the tiger is used as a mascot for many, many companies, such as Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal and Exxon gas. And, how the tiger population is vanishing. These factual videos really impacted me the most because it really shows how vulnerable these animals are, and how we humans are destroying or environment and ecosystems.

The beginning of the performance, with Deke Weaver on the left and a picture of the earth in the background.

In the performance, themes of journey and home emerged. The idea of journey was shown through the steps along the way, from being at home to traveling across the world to searching in forests for tigers. The way Weaver told his story made it seem as if we were on the journey with him, learning new pieces of information and exploring new regions of earth.

Link for more information on “Tiger”: https://kam.illinois.edu/event/tiger-performance-no-5-unreliable-bestiary

Featured post

Jazz: For the Young and Old 🎫

Written by Bria Thurman

It was so many people and I had gotten there late so I was not sure if I was going to make it😬
An easygoing night with an extremely large turnout.

This performance had to be the most relaxing of all of the performances I have attended. I actually enjoyed this performance but it reminded me that Jazz just isn’t my music. I do enjoy it in a way but it is the type of enjoyment that makes you tired. Kind of like Thanksgiving food, you really enjoy it but if you eat it all of the time you would never make it through the day- or your favorite jeans but that may just be me.

Continue reading
Featured post

Wynton Marsalis

By, Jessica Moreno

Program and Ticket

On November 1st at Krannert Center for Performing Arts, the Wynton Marsalis and his ensemble performed in Foellinger Great Hall and it was amazing. Wynton Marsalis has led this ensemble for over three decades. playing an amazing blend of masterworks by Ellington, Basie, Monk, Mingus, Goodman, and more with original compositions, Lincoln Center-commissioned works, and rare historic pieces. Marsalis ensemble is made of more than 15 of the jazz world’s finest soloists and ensemble players. And they are truly remarkable

Continue reading
Featured post

You Like Jazz?

The crowd was buzzing for Wynton Marsalis’  jazz performance.

written by:Allison Spillane

An excited crowd floods the entrance to Foellinger!

Jazz music makes me think of one thing: my late grandfather. I hear a band play and I can practically feel the wind on my face as we sit with our family out by the river. To me, jazz and big band music will always hold a fond place in my heart, and this experience outdid itself in that department. Wynton Marsalis and his ensemble members each brought so much to this performance in their own ways, creating one amazing performance. All the better to share with friends.

Continue reading
Featured post

Wynton Marsalis at KCPA

Written by Ashleigh Cox

The orchestra just before intermission

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performed at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and it was an absolute delight to see and hear! The performance featured individual performers as well as the entire ensemble and played a wonderful blend of fast-paced, energetic songs and slower pieces.

Read more
Featured post

Jazz for the Win

Written by Zhengqi Xu

Jazz has always been something that I’m interested in and Chris Botti has already amazed me last time. Last week I was lucky enough to watch another show presented by Wynton Marsalis and his band, which gave me a whole new experience with Jazz music.

Tickets of the show while entering the Foellinger Great Hall

The show featured both ensemble playing and solo showcase. The combination of the two factors was something I had never seen during a Jazz performance. At that night, the band usually start with group playing, and musicians would go by different order to show us a solo part of several instruments. After a part was finished, Wynton Marsalis would introduce the musicians who just played solo to us to let the audience get familiar with each of them. This kind of performance really let us interact with everyone specifically in the band instead of listening to a whole group of people without knowing them in detail.

The moment I just entered the hall waiting for the show to start

The show was completely different from the show by Chris Botti. Wynton Marsalis gave us a show that was more of a traditional Jazz performance with everyone dressed officially and present us with all kinds of things that were originally included in Jazz. Chris Botti’s show was more of a modern Jazz performance on the other hand. All of them dressed causally and I found them to be a city band in a society that fits the world today. Also, their instruments are more modern and I even saw electric guitar during the show.

Wynton Marsalis’ show attracts hundreds of people

The show didn’t have a specifically one moment that stood out to me, but the show itself had already surprised me with the valuable experience. I haven’t watched a traditional band performance in years and I nearly forgot how they performed. Wynton Marsalis reminded me of all the shows I had seen before when I was young and I was just missing a lot of things during the show.

Featured post

Wynton Marsalis at Krannert Center

By Rachel Yao

Wynton Marsalis and his ensemble perform various jazz compositions at Foellinger Great Hall at KCPA on November 1st, 2019.

A photo of the ticket outside Foellinger Great Hall.
A view of the stage from my seat (taken before the performance began).

Walking in to the auditorium, I was amazed at the interior design and symmetry. And, because of the way the auditorium was built, the sounds from the jazz band were loud and crisp.

In each piece, there were solo showcases, including trumpet, clarinet, piano, saxophone, and more. When it was the soloist’s turn to play, the ensemble went from mezzo forte to mezzo piano and the soloist played loud and clear, while still blending in with the ensemble. The clarinet, trumpet, and saxophonist all played very high notes with complex rhythms and dynamics. In particular, I enjoyed the pianist’s solo that showcased very upbeat yet rhythmic tones. It really stood out to me, considering I played the piano since I was very young. I love the sound of the piano and I enjoyed hearing the pianist play fast, staccato melodies.

In comparison to Chris Botti, I felt that Botti’s playing was more loose and carefree in relation to Marsalis’. Both had various solos that used a wide range of dynamics, both very loud and quiet, while still allowing for the rest of the ensemble/band to be heard.

A photo I took of the stairs outside the auditorium on the way out.

Link for more information: https://krannertcenter.com/events/jazz-lincoln-center-orchestra-wynton-marsalis

Featured post

JAZZ IT UP

Written by: Benjamin Tan

Totally memorized and jazzed up by the Wynton Marsalis performance.

Wynton Marsalis Ticket to a Great Night of Jazz!

I really love how they incorporate both solo and group showcase in the performance. It is absolutely sensational when they played their pieces. It was really a huge chemistry among the entire jazz how everyone will pull back right on the dot to showcase each solo from every jazz performer.

For the solo piece, each solo is approximately a minute long!! It is really amazing how they are able to remember each note that is played and also the emotions they put in as they played their instruments.

Saxophone Solo Performance

For the jazz band, they are extremely tight. Especially with a super-fast tempo and not having a conductor to coordinate everyone, it is truly phenomenal.

With the balance between the solo and group showcase, it really gives so much more flavor in the entire performance. You got a huge variety of performances to watch and you will always be entertained.

Jazz Performers Being Extremely Tight in their Playing

Unfortunately, I did not attend the Chris Botti performance so I cannot do the comparison.

One thing that really stood out for me is how the front row performers have more than 2 instruments to play. What struck me is that during one song they will change it simultaneously from one instrument to others. On top of it all, they play each instrument tremendously well.

By playing so many instruments in that one song, it gives a whole new sound to the piece.

Using an analogy of a cake, the drums and cello is like the base of the cake and then the icing of the cake is all the extra instruments such as the flute and clarinet. Making the whole cake delicious!

Solo performance of the Saxophone (Guy in the middle of the 5 of them)

Another stupendous moment for me will be the guy playing the saxophone. Ooooo he really plays with style, groove and emotions. The way he moves his body as he plays with the saxophone release such an appreciation to the music he is playing. As he grooves by swaying side to side, I myself start to sway side to side with him. I was so connected to his music!

Overall, this jazz performance was absolutely stunning. Definitely recommend others to go and hear their music.

Featured post

The Father of Modern Jazz and his Ensemble Roar Vibrantly and Passionately

Performing a Happy Birthday composition for one of their Trombone players

Written by Raymond Diaz

Attendees eagerly arriving and waiting for Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis has crafted music for over thirty years not only alone but with his diverse ensemble. Bringing together some of the best jazz soloists together to form a group that really develops and hones their compositions to bring together something that really allows the audience to listen and appreciate what they have mastered. In this 2 hour performance, accompanied by a 20 minute intermission in between, we were presented with various compositions, both original and pieces added with a unique flavor, that really showed why Wynton Marsalis and his ensemble have achieved as much as they have.

https://krannertcenter.com/events/jazz-lincoln-center-orchestra-wynton-marsalis

Continue reading
Featured post

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Written by César Díaz Blanco

Wynton Marsalis is a trumpeter and director whose skills left the Foellinger Great Hall in awe. Leading the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is not an easy work, but Marsalis created a synergic experience in which every member shone whenever a solo performance made everyone applaud. The structure of the melodies played were perfect for building up either a strong joint piece or a striking solo. The mastery of the artists got a well-deserved double standing ovation at the end.

Continue reading
Featured post

Jazzed up my night

Written by: Laura Chong

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis made my night so much better.

The jazz orchestra

Another first experience checked: attending an orchestra performance. I must say, this really blew my mind! As someone who played a trombone in the school band, it made me appreciate the performance 10 times because they are so crazy talented!

It was really interesting that the performance incorporated both ensemble playing and solo showcases. I find myself being more engrossed in the performance as I am so excited to hear the next solo showcase to immerse myself in the beauty of the sound created by the instrument.

It also brought more depth and personality to the whole performance as each instrument gave a different “feel” to the music piece that was performed. The group dynamics was amazing! I felt that they respected each other’s talent and gave them each their own time to shine. At the same time, the ensemble playing demonstrated their amazing teamwork and how each and every one of them has a part to play to bring to life their music. It was certainly a heartwarming performance and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A moment that stood out for me was when they started playing a happy birthday song for one of their orchestra players at the end. They played a version of the song that was jazzy and it made me really happy. It was also really cool that they did this surprise for their friend. Everyone in the audience sang and clapped along to the song! To me, it felt like the whole theater was performing a special song together. It must be a very special moment for the birthday guy too to have everyone celebrating his birthday together.

Featured post

Jazzy Performance with the Lincoln Center Orchestra

Written by Danielle Herrera

Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra serenade the audience at
Krannert Center of Performing Arts.

This past Friday night I attended a jazz performance starring Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra at Foellinger Great Hall. Entering the Krannert Center, I was slightly shocked to see the amount of people waiting in line to watch the concert. The lobby was completely filled with jazz enthusiasts both young and old; by far, this performance had the largest and most diverse audience age-wise compared to the previous shows I have attended for this class.

Lobby of Krannert Center, front of Foellinger

Throughout the performance, there were a number of instances where solo showcases were incorporated within the ensemble playing. For example, during the first half of the show drummer Jason Marsalis and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis were given lengthy solos as a transition to the next song. Personally, I think the incorporation of solo playing elevated the entire performance by exhibiting the individual talents of the instrumentalists. The solo showcases provided a contrast to the majority of concert by giving it a refreshing sound as opposed to continuous songs being played in unison with other instruments. Overall, I think the individual solos were beneficial to this performance by providing a healthy balance of group vs. individual song.

Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (far right, back row)

One moment for me that stood out during this performance was the drummer’s solo during the second song of the concert. The drummer is actually Jason Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis’s youngest brother. I was captivated by his solo not only because he was able to keep a steady tempo throughout the entire performance, but he simultaneously created new patterns and rhythms that were offbeat as well. Jason’s ability to detach himself from a singular beat and maintain a multitude of tempos in rhythms with just his two hands is something that can only be learned through years and years of experience. For this reason, I recall Jason Marsalis’s solo as a notable moment from the Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Overall, the performance by Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra was a great opportunity to experience the all time classic music genre, jazz. Although I am not a jazz connoisseur, I can definitely say that the show was entertaining and I would gladly attend a similar show again.

For more information, go to https://krannertcenter.com/events/jazz-lincoln-center-orchestra-wynton-marsalis

Featured post

Spur-Locking Down the Extra Credit

Spurlock museum gives insight on the world’s cultures.

written by Allison Spillane

Okay, so let’s get one thing straight: I love museums. Being a suburb kid, almost every class trip meant taking the train into the city to visit the art institute or the field museum. I grew up in a family where every summer vacation would involve wandering around beautifully constructed spaces chock-full of new information and ideas. Another thing we should probably clear up is that I live in Allen Hall. As in the corner of Gregory and Dorner. As in a single block south of the spurlock museum, a delightful cultural museum. Not a three minute walk from those doors, and I didn’t know it existed? I was pretty dumbfounded.

Continue reading
Featured post

[EXTRA CREDIT] A Sense of Period

Written by Nicole Miao

When I was browsing through the museum, I saw a lot of impressive works of art, such as sculptures of different figures in Europe, and costumes and decorations from Asia. I stopped when I saw a tobacco pot that was not eye-catching but reminded me of lots of stories about my grandfather.

Viewed the tobacco pot from the front
Continue reading
Featured post

[MAKEUP EVENT] VIVA ITALIA!

Written by Nicole Miao

The Four Italian Tenors’ Curtain call

When I stepped into Foellinger Great Hall, I found that most of the audience were the elderly, and they were talking with excitement or quietly browsing the playlist. It was my first live listening to the tenor concert. No matter how many live songs I’ve heard on TV or on my phone, I was really shocked by the powerful sound pressure of The Four Italian Tenors when I heard it on the spot. To describe it, the feeling was that the sound clung to my brain from all sides, so that I could not help but sighed “OMG” again and again.

Continue reading
Featured post

Drop Dead Gorgeous Drag Queens (SPURLOCK EXTRA CREDIT)

(SPURLOCK EXTRA CREDIT) Various costumes from local Drag Queens were on display at the Spurlock Museum

Right as you walk into the Spurlock Museum your eyes are drawn to the glitz and glam of In Her Closet and it’s hard to turn away.

Written by Catherine Webber

Continue reading
Featured post

Homecoming Concert (makeup event)

By Jessica Moreno

Before the event started (I couldn’t turn the image)

On Friday October 18, 2019; Krannert Center for the performing arts held its annual University of Illinois Bands Homecoming concert. It was a beautiful concert that consisted if the Wind Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra, and the Marching Illini in honor of Homecoming week. It was a wonderful experience with beautiful live music, and a great audience.

Continue reading
Featured post

Gem of KCPA

Written by Ashleigh Cox

Ticket for Thursday’s performance

Gem of the Ocean is a play written by August Wilson that was performed at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday night. The characters of Aunt Ester, Black Mary, Citizen, and Eli entertained the audience and the set gave the story an almost eerie mood.

Continue reading
Featured post

Freedom and the Odds Forced Against It

Written by Raymond Diaz

Gem of the Ocean is a production brought to you by Krannert Center of the Performing Arts. It chronicles an early period in Pittsburgh where a character by the name of Aunt Ester is said to have ‘supernatural’ abilities in which she is capable of cleansing one’s soul. Throughout the play we are introduced to this idea and follow along as we see her come to understand what the newcomer Citizen Barlow has to offer, and his affect on their community as a whole. All the while reeling us in and using their stage to connect us with their story.

https://krannertcenter.com/events/gem-ocean

Continue reading
Featured post

An Ocean’s Worth of Talent

The Krannert Center takes the audience through the journey of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean.

written by Allison Spillane

The ticket in!!!!

August Wilson is a heavy-hitter when it comes to play writing, so I was very interested to see one in person. Almost all of my experience with theater has been contemporary plays, so seeing something rooted in a little more history was exciting. Furthermore, this rendition of Gem of the Ocean featured one of Allen’s beloved RA’s! With all of this expectation, I was surprised with how this show still impressed me. Every aspect of it was so well thought out in a way that made for an astounding cohesive show. 

Continue reading
Featured post

Illinois Got Talent (Makeup Event)

Written by: Benjamin Tan

I went for the Global Talent Show – Illinois Homecoming and it was a really pleasant experience!

It was coordinated by the Illinois International Student & Scholar and the Student Alumni Ambassadors held at Spurlock Museum.

Global Talent Show Performance Overview

There were 13 performances and the talents were from all around the world. There were Indians, Chinese, Russians, Americans, and Koreans performing for the Global Talent Show. A large proportion of the performance was towards singing and each one of them sang songs according to their own country. The songs were sung in different languages and the melody and rhyme for each song are so unique to its own culture and country. Some were more upbeat; others were more soothing.

Although the setup is really simple with just one stage light and the acoustic was not fantastic, I really like how the coordinators actually provided this space for all these performers to showcase their talents.

Among all the performances, I really like the Yo-Yo, magic and the final singing performance!

For the yoyo performance, Asher was so fast in his hands as he does many yoyo tricks like loop the loop, walk the dog, around the world, walk the baby and many more tricks that I have never seen before. The crowd was cheering for him every time he did a new spectacular move. I was right at the edge of my seat amazed by his tricks and skills.

Asher Mai Spectacular Yo-Yo Performance

Next, was Alejandro Diaz magic performance. He had a whole story incorporated into his magic trick. Each pile from the left to the right was the past, the present, the future and dreams of our lives. He was saying how some people prefer to focus on one of those categories and he did his magic trick changing the first pile into blank cards indicating that we can’t only focus on one.

At the end of the magic trick, he made every card turn from a picture card into a blank card and within a split second all the cards were pictures cards saying that we need all 4 categories in our lives and everyone was so astonished by it!

Alejandro Diaz Astonishing Magic Performance – (From left to right) Past, Present, Future, Dreams

Lastly, was Marie Joe Noon. She sang I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston. Her voice was so pleasant and wonderful as she sang the verses. When she went to the chorus, everyone was blown away by her vocal range as she hit the high notes of the song. You could feel the emotions as she sang each lyric out and her stage presence was fantastic she really connected the audience just by her singing and her swaying from side to side.

Marie Joe Noon Singing “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston

In the end, the one who won the Global Talent Program was Marie Joe Noon! For the rest of the performers, I really admire their courage and passion to stand in front of a huge crowd to showcase their talent.

Marie Joe Noon winning the Global Talent Show!
Featured post

What a GEM!

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.

GEM of the Ocean Stage Setup

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.

Actors’ fine costume for the performance

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.

Caesar making his stand that everything got to be by the book.

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.

The Souls of the Skeleton being Summoned during the City of Bones

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.

Featured post

What an amazing ride into the City of Bones!

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.

Aunt Ester travelling to the City of Souls with Citizen Barlow.

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.

City of Bones scene

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!

Featured post

Whiff of Talent in the Air [makeup event]

Written by: Laura Chong

Global Talent Show – Illinois Homecoming was an eyeopening experience.

Marie Joe Noon, the last performer of the night really blew us off

This is the first-ever Homecoming talent show, performed by international students. There were 13 performers and they presented the different cultures and their art wonderfully. Through this talent show, I have increased my understanding of the different countries through their selection of songs and performing piece.

Diana Bikbaeva sang a beautiful russian poem song

Most of the performer chose a song from their country and there was a clear difference in the melody, rhythm and style of the songs. I could also feel their emotions as they sang the songs that reminded them of home. It was truly a touching and memorable moment.

To me, it takes a lot of courage to perform in front of a crowd and no matter the decisions of the judges, I felt that they are all winners. As for relationship with the audience, there is certainly that element for certain performances.

Magic performance by Alejandro Diaz

For example, the magic performance by Alejandro Diaz was very interactive. He used the projector as a prop to bring his magic closer to the audience. As for the singers, they used the mic as a prop to bring their voice closer to us.

Overall, it was an exciting experience which showcased many talents, such as yo-yo, beat-boxing, singing, dance and magic. I expected a more formal event performed by professionals, but these people on stage were genuinely just wanting to showcase their culture and talent. There were emotions in the theater and I left the theater with a warm feeling in my heart.

Featured post

Gem of the Ocean

The August Wilson classic hits the stage of Krannter Center for the Performing Arts

A picture of the ticket for the play

Written by Edward Huang

Gem of the Ocean is a production written by renowned American playwright August Wilson. It premiered a while ago, but its name and legacy lives on in those that admire theater today. On a chilly Thursday night, the play made its way to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Continue reading
Featured post

Gem of the Ocean

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.

A picture of my ticket with the stage setup in the background, taken before the play began.
The stage before the play began, portraying an old house.

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.

A photo of outside Colwell Playhouse I took before entering the theater.

Link for more information on Gem of the Ocean: https://krannertcenter.com/events/gem-ocean

Featured post

Noche de Baile Latino

By: Jessica Moreno (MAKEUP EVENT)

The sight when you walked in.

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
Featured post

SPEAK…with Intimacy to a Family

Written by Raymond Diaz

[MAKE-UP EVENT] The night began in the Espresso Royale Cafe of the Krannert Art Museum. Organized and moderated by Shaya Robinson, the event for the night was an open mic, where people were allowed to come up and share their artistic creations and express themselves with the audience. The host, Shaya Robinson, has been doing this for over 5 years so it came as no surprise the amount of people that showed and the intimacy that flowed throughout the room.

https://kam.illinois.edu/event/speak-café-4

Continue reading
Featured post

Imagination (INC) Showcase

By Rachel Yao

Makeup Event

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.

K-Project group photo after the Imagination Showcase ended.
TNB (Truth and Beauty) group photo after Imagination Showcase.

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.

TNB looking over their set in the green room after rehearsal, waiting to perform on stage.

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.

The Cheese Bois having fun on stage during the showcase.
Dance 2xs performing on stage.

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.

Imagination Dance Crew performing as the last and final set for the showcase.

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

Featured post

The Way We Move Can set The tone of How we Feel the World Surrounding Us. 💃🏾

Written By Bria Thurman

Feel the grass under your feet and move with it

Jennifer Monson dance was a way to connect yourself to the earth around you. As humans sometime we need to move and stand up and get all of the feelings from the day out of our system. I am not going to lie I thought the whole experience was going to be weird but in truth, it was extremely interesting an entertaining for myself. I enjoy being in artistic space and enjoy the movement I feel I need to be in.

Jennifer Monson is pictured here explaining to us that her art is based in nature.

We initially started outside, I believe her purpose for this was to find a connection with the world around us. Something I have been noticing for the past couple of weeks is how people find themselves so uncomfortable because the only comfort they have is on their phones. It is what they know and understand. Sometimes, it feels good to experience the world around us and that is something Jennifer Monson insisted on. Through some of the research I did, I found she wanted to quit dance and become a park ranger. I could understand how that could have been her passion, specifically when she brought up how she watched Whales migrate.

I Believe this was when we were facing north.

While we were outside she had asked us three questions that stood out to me: 1) What direction is home for you? 2) Where is North? 3) What is one thing you can here from far away and what is one thing you can here up close? For the first question, I for one moment faced toward my dorm but I suppose any place I can living a feel comfortable in is my home. The second question I was not really sure where to go, so I just watched how everyone else moved. The third question was kind of hard because the sounds I heard from far away began to grow further and the sound I heard from up close I was not really sure if how close by it was. For the third question she asked us to go toward the sound we heard nearby and I didn’t move too far because I had no idea where the sound was.

I am not sure what is happening here but photo creds to Dr. Collins

After this, we walked back inside and walked into the Women of Architecture exhibit and we sat on the floor -which I am not a fan of- and she had asked us to grab a partner. My partner for the evening was Dr.Robinson. Monson had asked one partner to close their eyes and do whatever motion while the other partner witnessed. I am kind of an awkward person who can easily become uncomfortable but in the three minutes, I forgot where I was and forgot anyone was witnessing me. I kind of enjoyed it. We switched roles with our partner and Dr. Robinson said she had also forgotten my presence.

El Sombrero by Barabra Rossi

Jennifer had then asked us to explore a painting and kind of move with it. We had chosen EL Sombrero by Barabra Rossi. The painting was interesting however I did not really move with it I kind of just watched. I think this is one of the most attractive but confusing paintings in the section we were in. Making sure to move your eyes is important when understanding any physical object. I do not believe an interpretive dance number is required but making sure to not just look but to see.

Overall I genuinely enjoyed myself. It sometimes is fun to take a moment and analyze art which makes FAA 110 a really fun class. 🖼

Featured post

Spirit of “Dance”

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.

People gathered outside the KAM

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.

A three-minute “Dance” experience

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.

I was observing an artwork

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.

Drawing by me and my partner

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.

Featured post

Expression with Creation, and Vice Versa

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.

https://kam.illinois.edu/event/dance-workshop-jennifer-monson-movement-means-experience-art—move-seesee-move

Continue reading
Featured post

Dance that Opened My Mind

A little trip that opened my mind

Written by Zhengqi Xu

Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop is totally different from the events we attend before. Instead of just watching, we join the event and present our own discoveries throughout the whole tour. I was impressed by nearly everything happened that evening.

Jennifer Monson’s introduction of the tour

Before attending the dance workshop, I thought it was just an event that would teach us how to dance, or maybe some history about dancing. However, the trip was completely beyond my mind and gave me a new understanding of dance. We start the trip by walking out of the building and gathering on the turf by the street. There we were asked to close our eyes and fell the nature, and it reminded me of meditation. Jennifer told us to feel the ground under our feet, sound from far away, and even air flowing in the air. I start to calm down by doing all the movement she told us to and it was a good start of the tour.

Meditation outside of the building

Then we entered the Krannert Art Museum to take a tour in the art room. Although I’d been here before, but there were still a lot of artworks I hadn’t seen. Jennifer led us around the building and asked us to do an activity. We needed to get in a team of 2 people and watch each other’s behavior and we could do any movement we want with our eyes closed. This part of the trip entertained me because it was funny to see all the people making some strange movements, including myself.

Talk about artworks with our partners

Later, Jennifer let us choose a specific artwork and follow one of the instructions to look at and think about it. My partner and I chose artwork that we don’t understand much about, and we only chose it because we thought it looked colorful and beautiful. Jennifer was supposed to walk around the room and talk to all the students, but when she found out we were confused with the artwork, she came to us and try to understand the artwork with us. She spent 20 minutes telling us how to look at a painting from different angles and perspectives. I had always thought it was hard to analyze the meaning of an artwork, but Jennifer’s works inspired me and taught me the right but multiple ways to enjoy an artwork. She got so excited looking at the artwork that she was moving around it all the time to come up with new ideas.

I learned a lot from Jennifer Monson and I thought I might never forget about that tour. We’ve all seen people standing in front an artwork and we don’t understand them for the most time. Jennifer Monson really gave me a whole new idea about how to enjoy an artwork.

Featured post

TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!!

Written by: Benjamin Tan

Crowd getting pumped up during the FYG U Music Film Festival

This post is the make-up event for the Jennifer Monson Dance on the 3 Oct 2019.

I attended the FYG U Music Film Festival and the one huge surprising thing is that all the tickets were free! No charges at all. I immediately signed up for the festival and it was really an eye-opener for me.

Totally free of charge ticket to the festival.

When I entered the festival at about 9:00pm and walked closer to the main stage I could feel the bass resounding from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. It was as though the music was in me.

As I approached the crowd, hands were in the air moving in syncopation to the beat, people were bouncing up and down to the beat, literally, everyone was grooving to the beat. Personally, I do not dance well but seeing everyone having such a good time, the music in me just took over and I myself started jumping to the beat too.

Tripple Red engaging the audience to move their hands left to right.

One huge eye-opener was when Tripple Redd sang a certain song, about 5 Americans opened up a huge circle in the middle and you would not believe what happen next…

It was a DANCE OFF!

Everyone dancing on the dance floor regardless of race, size or gender.

What I love about it, was that anyone could go to the middle and dance despite their race, size or gender. Everyone was just cheering for one another and having a good time.

Apart from the audience, the rapper, Tripple Redd was really spontaneous and engaging to the crowd. He will ask the crowd to echo after him. It will something like that:

Tripple Red: WHEN I SAY TRIPPLE, YOU SAY REDD!

Tripple Red: TRIPPLE!!!

CROWD: REDD!!

Tripple Red: TRIPPLE!!!

CROWD: REDD!!

He also got everyone to sing acapella to his songs and just hearing the crescendo and echo of the crowd was really spectacular. It gives such a chemistry between the crowd itself and Tripple Red too.

The genre of music was hip-hop and it was really catered to the crowd as everyone was familiar to the song and singing along to it. Personally, I do not listen to hip-hop but after the festival, I now appreciate it more.

The set up for the stage was marvelous, the sound system was so loud but so clear. The lights used were vibrant colors such as bright red, light blue, yellow and light green. The colors create a vibrant and energetic atmosphere. Furthermore, there was the smoke machine that was used very timely which were at the end of the song or to hype up the crowd.

Overall, it was a real eye-opener for me to attend a music festival and in particular to the music genre of hip-hop.

Featured post

Dancing in the Krannert Art Museum

By Luke Garza

The Krannert Art Museum recently hosted Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop, an event open free to the public which was an interactive event which took place all over the Museum. Participants were asked to move their body in response to different activities. Included in this event was also a response/analysis to artwork to as well as group activities.

READ MORE
Featured post

Dance into Art!

Wai Chuen Chan
10/6/2019

Jennifer Monson brought us to experience art through dance and movement at Krannert Art Museum.

Jennifer Monson is an American dancer and choregrapher. On October 3, she showed us a new way to interpret art during her dance workshop at Krannert Art Museum. She had brought us to use not vision, but dance and movement to feel the art, which you may find a experience you have never had.

Continue reading
Featured post

The Rate of Art over Time

Written by César Díaz Blanco

Warming up our Orientation Skills

Thanks to Jennifer Monson and her knowledge of biology and dance I learned a new means of experiencing and connecting with the art at the Krannert Art Museum. Even though I have been to the KAM three times, the crafts in it are still fascinating: new details emerge and give the art a new meaning or context.

Continue reading
Featured post

Moving to the Groove of Art

Jennifer Monson shares her insight on how movement of the body can change the experience of art. 

written by Allison Spillane

Introduction to the Workshop

This experience was a new one. Previous shows that this class had scheduled I had some semblance of expectation, but I went into Jennifer Monson’s dance workshop having no preconceptions of what we would be doing. Having absolutely no background knowledge of dance, I must admit I was somewhat apprehensive about the activities she had in store. However, despite my fears, I found the movement in this event quite refreshing. The lense of dance really changed the way that I experienced the art.

Continue reading
Featured post

Moving with Art

By Jessica Moreno

Jennifer Monson Talking to us at the beginning of the workshop.

On Thursday October 3rd at the Krannert Art Museum we went to a dance Workshop taught by Jennifer Monson. This experience was unlike any other and it felt very freeing and liberating. I had never gone to a dance workshop and going to this one was unlike anything I thought it would be.

Continue reading
Featured post

An E-Motional Approach to Art

Jennifer Monson holds a workshop to bridge the gap between dance and art

Monson addresses the group In Krannert Art Museum at the beginning of the workshop

Written by Edward Huang

Just as the weather began to get chilly in Champaign-Urbana, a small group gathered in the lobby of the Krannert Art Museum with excitement and curiosity. Jennifer Monson, the renowned dancer, choreographer, and professor stood in the middle of the group, calling order to what was bound to be an interesting and transformative workshop. Her goal was to show us the connection between dance and art, and how we can discover that through a certain set of activities.

Continue reading
Featured post

Jennifer Monson’s Dance Workshop at KAM

By Rachel Yao

Jennifer Monson expresses a way of experiencing art through movement at her dance workshop at Krannert Art Museum on October 3rd, 2019.

Jennifer Monson explaining her program in the Krannert Art Museum lobby.

We began outside in a small patch of grass outside of the museum. We were instructed to close our eyes and listen to the sounds of our surroundings and to face various directions. While the group was listening to their sounds, I focused my attention to the leaves rustling, cars driving by, and crickets chirping. It felt very relaxing and stress-relieving. Considering my stressful week that consisted of studying for midterms and completing assignments, this experience was a breath of fresh air.

The area of the art museum we stayed in for the next activity.

Then, we went back into the museum and entered the art gallery. We were told to find a partner and take turns watching each other do whatever we wanted with our eyes closed. It was an opportunity to express ourselves and follow our instincts. Next, we were given a packet of prompts and were sent off to find a piece of artwork we liked and stare at it before answering a prompt in the packet. My partner and I chose a large oil painting that features two individuals bracing each other. Looking at the prompts, I chose the one that required me to draw my response to the artwork. Reflecting on my first impressions of the artwork, I remember drawing my attention to the detailed hands and less-distinct eyes of the individuals. I then turned to my paper and began drawing a hand and eye.

A photo of me working on my drawing of a hand.

By thinking about my own body and movement in relation to the artwork made me feel more connected to the piece as well as allowing me to look at a piece of art in a different perspective. I focused more on the emotions conveyed within the artwork as well as my reaction in response to a piece of art.

For more information: https://kam.illinois.edu/event/dance-workshop-jennifer-monson-movement-means-experience-art%E2%80%94move-seesee-move

Featured post

True Meaning of “Home”

Colwell Playhouse’s performance of Home captivates the audience through its portrayals of the fast-pace chaos that is human life.

Written by Danielle Herrera.

On Friday, Sept. 27 I walked into the Krannert Center of Performing Arts without any prior knowledge as to what I was about to witness. Having been the piano accompanist for a number of various musicals, I’m quite familiar with theater and performance. However, this was my first time attending a play, which completely lacks the song and dance involved in musicals; for this reason, I was concerned that the performance wouldn’t feel as lively. Little did I know, there are countless other aspects of plays that are just as captivating as those found in musical theater.  

The show opened up with a dim, completely empty stage. There was no movement nor light, which cause the room quiet down into deafening silence. Then, after a few moments a man entered on stage and began setting up lights, building what appeared to be a wall. His movements were purposeful and captivating, which in my opinion set the vibe for the entire show. 

As the play progressed, various rooms were built on stage right in front of the audience. This gave viewers an inside look on the long process of creating a home, while simultaneously demonstrating countless life events that would take place in anyone’s home. More and more characters were introduced, portraying their separate lives whilst physically using the same set. Finally, at the end, the characters all join together in a scene of celebration. 

I thought that the incorporation of the audience into the play made the performance more exciting and entertaining to watch. Seeing familiar faces being pulled on stage gave the show a new energy, and also allowed the audience to feel as though they are part of the performance. My favorite part was when Valleri, our professor, was invited on stage and asked to describe her home. Hearing her own genuine stories and descriptions of her childhood home reminded me of my own memories of my house. It made me realize how important it is for everyone to have their own place to call home. 

Home by Geoff Sobelle was a performance filled with so much chaos and laughter. It depicted scenes of life, death, sadness, and celebration using just one house setting, which revealed a universal thread amongst us humans: everyone needs a home. It doesn’t matter if it’s a house, or an apartment, or even just a room; people need a space to experience life. I loved watching this play, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s looking to find new perspective on what makes a home, “home”.

For more info about this performance, go to https://krannertcenter.com/events/home-geoff-sobelle

Featured post

Immersive “Home” Experience

Written by Nicole Miao

The story of “Home” began with two small lights, a wooden frame and two plastic sheets.

When a man in casual clothes came to the stage directly from the auditorium instead of the background, I thought he was a staff at first. When he assembled the materials into a wall and changed the scene into a small bed and a door, I realized that he was an actor. There were many different people in and out of the door, such as women, boys, and elderly. Not too long after that, several decorators appeared, converting the scene into a larger house and starting to carry furniture inside. I could gradually distinguish the kitchen, living room, bathroom, study and bedroom.

Until the last piece of furniture was moved in, the hostess walked into the house with flowers, and a complete “home” appeared. The new day began with a simulation of sunshine through the venetian blinds on the second floor window and realistic barking. From getting up and washing, dressing up, and carrying the packages out, the actors presented us with different lives of different roles. The elderly did housework, the child went to school and adults went to work. This reminded me of my own life. Before I entered the college, every day after I get up, my mother drove me school and then came back to do housework. My dad had to work every day, occasionally going on a business trip. People in a home methodically handled their own life.

The actors celebrated the graduation of “students”

The most amazing thing that shocked me was in the second part. Actors began to interact with the audience actively. The little boy stepped down and invited us to taste the olives (I tasted one, but it was sour). The other actors let the audience stand and put the string of lights on the top of the head. They also invited many audience, including several of my friends, to come to the stage and participate in the party and celebrate the birthday. I was still thinking about the logic of plot just before this part, such as what the meaning is when actors entered and exited from the door at the beginning. But when the audience cheered, I felt that the logic of the story was no longer so important. Now I am part of the story, and I am also completing this story about Home.

The audience and actors sang and danced together on the stage

I was immersed in the performance until the end. It turned out that interacting with the audience is the most direct way to get audience into the situation. I could not refuse this kind of interaction, which was a wonderful experience I have never had before.

Actor’s curtain call

If you want to learn more about Home by Geoff Sobelle, visit this website: https://krannertcenter.com/events/home-geoff-sobelle

Featured post

Back home

Written by César Díaz Blanco

Geoff Sobelle’s dreamlike play took the Colwell Playhouse audience by surprise. Wood frames and staples started what would become home or a memory of it. The uncoherent scenes at the beginning sparked the curiosity of the viewers, necessary for the rest of the play. Then, the harmony of the life of the residents made us relate to them. Finally, the familiarity with the house made us dwellers.

Continue reading
Featured post

‘Home’ Away From Home

Written by Ashleigh Cox

In Colwell Playhouse at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Geoff Sobelle’s Home captivated the audience on Friday night. The play brought together theater, illusions, and some impressive engineering for the set that was used. The performance pressed the audience to consider the true meaning of a home as we watched the lives of several characters play out in one space.

Continue reading
Featured post

Home, Sweet Home

Best Show I’ve ever Watched

Written by Zhengqi Xu

Home became the best show I’ve ever watched last week. It was abusolutely amazing for me and, I believe, for everyone. Everything about the show including the actors, scenes, and plays.

Helping actors hang lights with other the other audience to decorate the theatre

At first, I was confused with the meaning of the story the show was trying to tell, so I was trying hard to understand every details the show displayed. At the same time, I was surprised by the tricks the actors were doing. They could just change themselves to another actor by hide themselves for a second, and that was the point I started getting interested in the show.

The band coming down to the floor and interacting with us

Later, I was getting into the story of the show. Home was telling a story about a home in which several people live. All these people seemed unrelated in the first place, but they were actually interrelated to each other. The interactions between each roles were really sweet and I felt a sense of warm inside the theatre.

Some of us getting invited to the stage and participate as part of the show

At last, we were hyped by the plot where they invited plenty of the audience to the stage and participate. There was a scene depicted a night when everyone inside the house invited all kinds of friends to have a large party. I must say I enjoyed the plot so much that I was smiling all the time towards the end.

In the end, all the audience stood up and applauded for all the actors who showed up. Home is not just a show for me, but a real sweet home that night.

Featured post

Geoff Sobelle shows us the meaning of a Home

By Luke Garza

On September 27th, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts showcased the play Home in the Colwell Playhouse. The play slowly evolved from the silent story of one man who had built a house, the the stories of several people, each living out their own lives in the same home, unaware of the other’s very existence. Towards the end, even the audience became a central role in the amazing play, both in on stage participation and in helping to set the mood for the scene.

Continue reading
Featured post

Eric Andre Leaves Little to the Imagination

A blurry Andre on stage at the Canopy Club Saturday, September 28th.

Eric Andre his entire audience captivated and wanting more at Canopy Club with his visionary humor.

Written by Catherine Webber

As part of his Legalize Everything tour, and as an act of the Pygmalion Festival, comedian Eric Andre played at Canopy Club this past Saturday to a crowd of very enthusiastic fans, and these fans were not disappointed. Once I saw that Andre would be part of the Pygmalion Festival I quickly texted my brother to see if he would make the journey from Chicago to join me in the crowd, and he very eagerly told me that he would and couldn’t wait. Andre is known for his off the wall and oftentimes absurd talk show on Adult Swim, and this stand up was definitely reminiscent of the farcical show.

Continue reading
Featured post

A Universal Feeling… Home🏡

Written by Bria Thurman

I didn’t lose this one this time

Home isn’t a place, its a feeling

An excerpt from Ceila Ahern’s Love, Rosie

From the beginning of the one-act play by Geoff Sobelle, Home was a little confusing for me. And as the story went on I was still confused. It was a lot of inner working parts that require people to sit down and replay what they saw and felt. Even though I was confused and was struggling to find meaning, now as I am looking back I realized I kind of enjoyed the display.

Continue reading
Featured post

A New Way to Look at Home

Geoff Sobelle brings his interpretation of home for the people of Champaign-Urbana

The lights and energy of “Home” fill up Colwell Playhouse at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Written by Edward Huang

On a chilly Friday evening, guests gathered at Colwell Playhouse in Krannert Center for the Performing arts, eager to see what “Home” by Geoff Sobelle had in store for them. The stage was set with a display of mystery. There were bright lights glaring at the audience, preventing them from seeing anything in the dark backstage. I felt that this built up the interest of the crowd. When an actor from the audience walked onto the stage, the crowd waited in silence, all with piqued curiosity for what was to come.

Continue reading
Featured post

Home by Geoff Sobelle

By Rachel Yao

Geoff Sobelle’s “Home” showcases a mix of music and theatre while building a house from scratch at Colwell Playhouse in KCPA on September 27th, 2019.

A mix of actors and audience members on stage in the house built during the play.

“Home” starts off with a man wondering around on stage, picking up lanterns, and building a small wall out of wood and plastic sheets. As the play goes on, more characters start appearing, including the construction workers who quickly built a house in front of our very eyes. There was a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, and office within the house. Room decor, like pictures and vases, and furniture, like couches and desks, decorated the home while the residents unpacked. The stage quickly transformed into a warm home with ambient noises, wind blowing, leaves ruffling, and dog barking, mixed with realistic lighting that portrayed day and night.

Beginning of the play, where the man builds a wall made of wood and plastic sheets.

As the story unfolds, we see the daily life of each resident, from waking up to doing chores to arguing with each other. Seeing each resident live their own lives made me think and reflect on my own experiences at home. The play made me think about my morning routine and hectic schedules that I follow on a daily basis back at home and in my dorm at university. At the end of the play, the residents one by one began packing their belongings and moving out. This act made me think about the time I was moving from Minnesota to California, and then moving to university in Illinois. As a result, I could sympathize with the actors as they portrayed their lives.

Actors and audience members performing a scene where the residents were packing up to move out.

To my surprise, the actors also interacted with the audience throughout the play, whether it was offering food and drinks, asking for people to stand and hold strings of lights, singing happy birthday, or bringing them on stage to be part of the act. It made the audience feel cheerful, as if they were also a part of or invited to the party. I thought this strengthened the connection between the audience and the actors to create a lasting impression and to sympathize with them by drawing more of the audience’s attention to the scene.

Audience members standing to hold up strings of lights to be hung from the balcony.
Actors and audience members in a scene after a party where they mourn over a death.

More info on “Home” by Geoff Sobelle: https://krannertcenter.com/events/home-geoff-sobelle

Featured post

Chris Botti: the EmBOTTIment of Modern Jazz

Written by Danielle Herrera.

Chris Botti showcases his talent as a trumpeter and performer alongside his company of musicians from across the globe.

Ticket and Program

On Saturday, September 14 Chris Botti and company performed at the Krannert Center of Performing Arts, demonstrating just the many reasons as to why he is so distinguished from other trumpeters. The award-winning musician and composer made his appearance on stage along with a variety of other instrumentalists, including a guitarist, violinist, pianist, and many more.

Left to right: Sy Smith singing to audience, Holger Marjamaa (piano), Reggie Hamilton (bass), Lee Pearson (drums), Leonardo Amuedo (guitar), and Chris Botti (trumpet)

The majority of the performance was instrumental based, which was different from all the other concerts I have previously been to. However, as a piano accompanist I would say that it was pleasant surprise to see a performance where the instrumentalists are the center of attention. And they definitely deserved the attention too; the musicianship of all the players on stage was absolutely insane. Each of their solos really allowed them to show off just how much control they had over their instrument, and how extensive their experience was in regards to performing.

Although I enjoyed listening to all the instrumentalists, I feel as though the singer gave the band a refreshing sound at the end of the first half of the performance. There was a new type of energy when singer and songwriter Sy Smith joined the company of musicians, and her funky soul-voice definitely livened up the crowd. I think she blended well with the jazzy instrumentals that was previously being played, and ultimately gave the song an edge.

I think my favorite part of the performance was Lee Pearson’s drum solo midway through the first half of the performance. His short showcase exhibited so much emotion and energy that people were constantly clapping and cheering. I found that the fast and complicated rhythms that he was able to complete were mesmerizing, and his overall showmanship was exciting to watch. I also liked the way he was able to entertain the audience with little tricks such as playing with the sticks behind his back, or throwing up the sticks in the air as he plays. Most importantly though, it was obvious that Pearson’s energy was genuine; you could see how much heart he put into this performance.

Overall, the Chris Botti performance was a refreshing change from the previous concerts I have attended. I greatly enjoyed the music and the energy of the show, and would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who is interested in instrumental music.

To find out more about this performance, go to https://krannertcenter.com/events/chris-botti.

Featured post

Master of His Craft

Chris Botti blows away the crowd at the Tryon Festival Theater!

Although I was sick, and was unable to stay the entire show, Chris Botti’s performance was a spectacle to behold.  My favorite part of the performance would probably be the drummer. I always have respect for people who have range within their instruments, and the quiet, subtle beats that the drummer was able to produce set against his moments of intense and creative drum solos was spectacular. Another aspect of the drummer that I liked so much was that he looked like he was genuinely having fun on stage. Between the intimidatingly stylish Botti and his beautiful and calm violinist, the drummer stood out to me as someone who was there to have a great time doing what he loves. 

Continue reading
Featured post

Chris Botti and Company Bring a Musical Explosion

The grammy award-winning trumpeter shows Champaign-Urbana his talents

Written by Edward Huang

Botti with his band of young talents performing a lively jazz mashup

On a calm Saturday night, the guests of Krannert Center for Performing Arts waited eagerly for the appearance of Chris Botti, the renowned trumpeter, to make his way onto the stage. I watched as he made his entrance, but I was caught off by the number of other musicians that he brought along with him. As an appreciator of all music styles, I was excited to see what they had in store.

Continue reading
Featured post

Mid-Autumn Festival Brightens up the UIUC Campus

Hundreds gather for a celebration of Asian culture at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Written by Edward Huang

People line up for food at the celebration

On Friday, September 13, students from all over UIUC gathered on the main quad to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Mid Autumn Festival is a holiday that originated in ancient China. It is a celebration of the Lunar New Year, because Chinese culture placed heavy emphasis on the moon in their culture. The event, however, was hosted by the Vietnamese Student Association and was open to the public. Guests were able to enjoy cultural performances as well as food from different Asian backgrounds.

Continue reading
Featured post

Second Post – Chris Botti

Krannert Center 50

Written by Zhengqi Xu

I look forward to watching Chris Botti before the start of it because I’ve always been interested in Jazz music and I heard Chris Botti is a famous Jazz musician playing the trumpet. Every year, I watch a few music performance and I must say I love each of them when I was watching.

Me holding my ticket of the show Chris Botti in front of the Tryon Festival Theatre

When I sat on my seat and started waiting for the show to begin, I started thinking all the performances I watched before and relating them with the show I was about to watch that night. So, basically, I was trying to remember my own experiences with Jazz music. However, the show turned out to be completely different from what I imagined. The Jazz music Chris Botti and his band played was more modern instead of traditional music, and it is exactly where I want to start describing my favorite part of the show. The part that made me feel that the music was more modern was the drummer. He was highly excited and active and there was a part for his single play. Every one was hyped by his performance and he was doing all kinds of tricks with the drummer and making me feel beautiful. Also, I found other people around me start moving their bodies and it seemed like everyone was dancing during a show we’re supposed to sit quietly.

Inside the Tryon Festival Theatre waiting for the show to start

Chris Botti’s interaction with the audience was another point that I noticed. His interaction with the audience was similar with Buddy Guy, because they both walked off the floor and played the instruments. Chris Botti walked towards the audience started moving along the road, and finally stopped by the middle of it. He started playing with himself standing there and making eye contacts with the audience around him. I feel his interactions were hard to ignore and we became even more concentrated when he did that. In addition to the physically interactions, Chris Botti talked a lot to the audience about his stories and the introductions of his band members. Chris’ amusing tone entertained all of us that day and it was one of the reasons that made the show a success.

Chris Botti walking off the stage to play the trumpet among the audience

I enjoyed Chris Botti’s performance, and all the other musicians’ as well. They form a band that perfectly assist each other during the performance with music and movements. All the performances I watched before has a band that played together, but Chris allowed every band members to have their own moments to show their unique personalities.

Chris Botti was an amazing show for me, and I would never forget him, even though I never heard him before. To be honest, it’s probably hard for me to watch his performance again, but I will link the show to my memory and I will never forget him when I think of art in the future.

Featured post

A Queer Monologue

Written by Nicole Miao

I had seen a role of drag queen, Angel, in a musical named RENT before I saw this performance. I thought I knew the drag queens very well and I suppose them to be positive, bold, not afraid of gender obstruction, and brave in pursuing love and freedom. However, I didn’t really get to know them until I saw Sasha Velour.

I was inspired by the enthusiasm of people as the show started and it is clear that Sasha Velour has lots of fans here. At the moment she appeared, the screams of the audience drowned me. The first thing that surprised me was her style, a white robe, like an angel. But soon when Sasha Velour spoke, I was shocked by her apparently trained opera aria, and even began to speculate whether she had sung in the opera house. Unexpectedly, however, the transition between angel and demon was only a few seconds. When Sasha Velour picked up her white robe and revealed the red flash tights below, the whole theatre was boiling. After completely removing the white robe, she was red with the whole body, just like the real devil. This powerful contrast shocked me a lot.

Waiting for the performance to begin

After each scene was finished, Sasha Velour would take the microphone out to talk to us. It has to be admitted that Sasha Velour was very humorous and infectious. The audience naturally loved her very much and always gave enthusiastic responses.

During the break, I walked out and heard someone saying, “This is a wonderful design, isn’t it?” In fact, I have been thinking about this issue as well. Sasha Velour had incredible art talent. She turned the dress into an art, so that the performance was full of dramatic tension, and the stage background was like an unruly illustration. All of Sasha Velour’s dresses were exaggerated in color and full of transsexual style, unlike the stereotypes worn by people in the past. I believe that she must be a person who was deeply accomplished in the visual arts.

Intermission (while I was recalling the performance of the first half)

In fact, my favorite aria in the performance was that Sasha Velour’s projection on the stage screen drew a beautiful makeup, wore a waist and a red dress, put on monster ears, and appeared at the entrance of the theater in the next moment, singing “I want to fly, I am alive” and stepping down the steps to the stage. The shock of my heart at that moment could not be described in words. Everyone started to scream but I was moved to say nothing but almost wept. I really fell for this song and until I was out of the theater, I still tried to recall it.

My mind was filled with different screaming music and scenes, but I could not forget the emotion of Sasha Velour when she talked about her mother who died of cancer. Several viewers around me began to wipe their tears. When Sasha Velour sang “If you go away”, I finally couldn’t help to cry. In the last scene, she took a bite of an apple. When the light was dark, I found that the apple had moved away from her hand and went further afield. I enjoyed the quality of even the most insignificant details of this performance.

The whole performance was over

This was a performance of a drag queen, but was more of a queer monologue. Sasha Velour opened her mind, showing us her past and inner journey. She constantly emphasized that we could live more beautifully, more uniquely, and more freely. To live a true life, we should learn to love, to have our own strength and know who we are.

Featured post

Chris Botti

By, Jessica Moreno

The Theatre in which Chris Botti Performed.

On September 14, at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Chris Botti featuring Lee Pearson, Reggie Hamilton, Leonardo Amuedo, Holger Marjamaa, Andy Snitzer, Anastasiia Mazurok, Sy Smith, and Rafael Moras; performed an amazing mixture of what a friend called “aggressive elevator music” which in reality was Jazz mixed with Classical.

My Chris Botti Ticket.
Continue reading
Featured post

Trumpets in Krannert? Chris Botti did it Better.

Written by Luke Garza

Chris Botti standing briefly.

On Saturday the 14th, Chris Botti came to perform in the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, and along with him he brought an equally talented Violinist, Pianist, Drummer, and even a Saxophone player. These weren’t just background performers, however. I feel as if Chris Botti did an amazing job as highlighting them as individual artists that went along with his own trumpet playing.

The restless crowd before the performance.

I feel as my favorite part of Chris Botti’s performance was how incredibly powerful he sounded as a trumpet player. It felt as if every note he played echoed throughout the auditorium as we watched him lean into every breath he took through his instrument. His interaction with the crowd was equally amazing. I feel as if the audience had a sort of “moment” when he stepped down to talk to us. It gave the whole interaction a much more personal feel, something I haven’t experienced in concert.

Moments before the lights dimmed

Overall, Chris Botti had great complementary artists, greater sound, and an enthusiastic crowd. You could tell how invested we were from our constant applause, and I feel like Chris Botti delivered a performance worthy of such. There is a stereotype that trumpet players are very prideful, yet Chris Botti has shown us that is simply not true.

Read More: