Category Archives: Fine Arts in Motion Fall 2019

Stories from Dr. Collins class Fall of 2019 for FAA 110

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. 

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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? 😊

“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

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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.