“The Butterfly Lovers” was my favorite performance of the semester. I never attended a ballet before and this experience leaves me wanting to attend more. I appreciate the medium in its ways to convey emotion and story in manners that traditional plays or musicals just cannot. It was colorful, lively, and moving. I recommend this performance above all the others.
“Step-Afrika: Drumfolk” was an interesting experience but I am not exactly of the sensibility that enjoys audience participation. I appreciated its sentimentality and the intentions behind bringing the audience into the story of humanity and culture they depicted but I may be the buzzkill to say I would have preferred to finish my viewing in quiet contemplation.
I cannot remember too much of the Somi performance had it not been for the blog post I wrote on it. I enjoy Jazz and found the experience relaxing but it ran long somehow. I really do think the pianist carried the show. His skills impressed me the most.
Anna Deavere Smith remained the most controversial performance for me as I felt uncomfortable in the tonal progression of her stories. I was not sure if I was really being tasteful to laugh at some of her impressions. Was it comedic or just authentic? I never concluded an answer to this but I appreciated the challenge.
Cabaret is a show I would enjoy seeing again, even if I maintain feeling scandalized by it. I think its critique of political apathy is apt even if I think it’s drowned in celebrating the cabaret. The cabaret is a target of critique and ridicule in the plot and I do not think everyone, including the performers, agreed with me. All the same, it’s an iconic performance and should be checked out.
“Macbeth” was a somewhat stinging show to watch during the isolation of this pandemic as Shakespeare is something dear to my college experience that I was cut short from just like everything else about the University. Still, this show was a sincere adaptation of the classic play with distinguished style and I highly recommend it.
This performance left me the most perplexed about what its message was. Am I supposed to be left to believe that these different peoples will never reconcile their political and cultural differences or hope that settling in Europe will assimilate them into forgetting the nations they used to call home in order to overlook those differences? Maybe such a perplexity of the immigrant is experience is beyond my expertise, but something about this depiction just felt wrong.
Kafka’s work is classic and this was probably the most fun performance I watched through the isolation of the pandemic. I was already familiar with the story and enjoyed the minimalist setting. I also read Kafka’s other works in another class this semester, so this performance was a nice compliment to my readings. Recommended.
I thank my instructors, Dr. Collins and Dr. Robinson, for leading this class. This course could easily be dismissed as not essential for a university experience but nothing could be farther from the truth. Art is something so easily underappreciated and inviting students to innovative and traditional performances followed by directing them to freely explore their experiences with it engages their students with a new appreciation of the artistic world and what it can mean to them and to many.
Jacob M. Rominger