Tag Archives: Jiaxuan Meng

Metamorphosis: A transformation

The show Metamorphosis is based on a novella written by Franz Kafka first published in 1915. It tells the story of a salesman named Gregor transformed into a huge insect and how he struggled to get used to the new condition. The show was performed at the Parco Theater in Japan, and I watched it through Digital Theatre+ with English subtitles.

Written by Jiaxuan Meng

Gregor transformed into a huge insect
Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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