Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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Late Radios and Symphonies

This a late post about Mohammed’s Radio and the Selected Shorts at Symphony Space.(Sorry Guys!)

To start off, the stage reading of Mohammed’s Radio was awesome! All of the actors had great emotion and they knew how to use dramatic pauses to their advantages. I feel that this play is very well written because it doesn’t answer all of you questions. I think that’s good because it forces you to think about the sensitive subjects brought up in the play. It also makes you want to go and find answers to questions you might have. Luckily, we had the chance to ask the crew and playwright about the play. I asked the about whether or not Kelly’s conversion was genuine or not and the answer was what I had thought; it was genuine in that she wanted an immediate escape from her problems and Islam could do that for her, but it wasn’t because she wanted to be truly involved in the Muslim Culture.

Another reason I like this play is because of how accurate it is. I felt like I could’ve known Kelly because I know teens who do things spontaneously like change religions and sexual orientations because they don’t want to deal with people shunning them or treating them a certain way. I feel that the playwright did a great job of portraying that aspect of a teenager.

Next up, Symphony Space. This was, in my opinion, not a good event to end our awesome first semester. Coming in I had no clue was this was supposed to be about. I thought it was gonna be famous people talking about food, but it turned out to be famous people reading food related stories. Uh, ok then. I found this fairly boring and wacky. I was following along with the stories, lost as to what relevance they had to anything. I fell asleep during some of the reading because I found the stories boring and the readers did nothing to keep me engaged. As for the wackiness, there was a story that was apparently about evil mushrooms making soup and killing each other with swords and guns…..what? The stories were weird, and boring to me.

This event was not for me, which is fine, but I’m glad that I got to experience it even though it wasn’t my cup of tea.

P.S:

As my last post, I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your class Professor Ugoretz, it was a bunch of fun and I appreciate art way more that I did. I also learned a lot more about art forms that I hadn’t experienced, like opera and ballet. Thanks!!

December 18, 2013   No Comments

Ballet of the American Theatre

This was the first ballet I had ever been to in my life and it honestly wasn’t all that great to me. I can completely appreciate it, but I didn’t think it was anything awesome.

The performances were very good in terms of execution and elegance, but I didn’t see anything that I haven’t seen before on TV. As I watched the first performance I was not at all interested in it, I sat there with my face in my palm, hoping for something great or amazing, but I was let down. I didn’t see any amazing moves that caused me to become engaged in the performance, I was bored. Though I could see how perfect their steps were and how polished their ballet was, they performed their techniques with the utmost precision and never missed a beat, which was good, but not enough for me.

The second performance was once again, not really entertaining to me. I watched as the story progressed and the performers danced across the beautiful set, still bored by what I was watching, yet I could appreciate the hard work they did in order to get their ballet to be so on point and precise. I couldn’t really follow the story which brought down the appeal of the ballet because I didn’t know what was going on and who loved who, it was quite a trip. In all honesty the best part of the second performance was seeing the awesome stage and its refined details, but otherwise it wasn’t anything special to me.

The final performance of the night, was my favorite, I thought this performance had more power and I saw some really spectacular techniques that impressed me, but overall it still wasn’t amazing. This performance was the best in my opinion because I saw people spin the air and land on other’s shoulders and continue to dance, it felt stronger to me and I will say that this performance was good. I liked the choice of clothing and the way the set was designed, it was darker and set a more ominous mood. Seeing the performers dance so powerfully was like a light fighting to escape the darkness and that added to this ballet for me.

As for why I didn’t see these performances as outstanding, I think it’s because of the types of performances I’ve been exposed to. I grew up with breakdancing, and I’ve seen people do crazy things like spinning on their heads, backflips onto their backs and spinning, and even people supporting their weight upside down while only on their elbow. I also do parkour and do things that I think are way cooler and more amazing that what they do. Growing up like this has raised my bar for what counts as amazing and on my scale, ballet doesn’t meet the mark for being great. To me it was fairly boring and I wouldn’t go to another ballet based on this experience. But to each his own.

November 13, 2013   No Comments

9/11 and Vietnam Memorials

The trip to the 9/11 Memorial was absolutely phenomenal. I, in my 12 years since the events had never been to that memorial and it is truly breathtaking, for lack of a better word, it catches you off guard and floods you with emotion when you see it. The memorial is comprised of 2 gigantic square fountains that pour water into a seemingly endless abyss whose bottom is impossible to see, unless you could fly or hover. The memorials are massive because they sit where the twin towers stood, which add a lot to the effect of the memorial.

When I realized that the fountains were in place of the actual twin towers, I began feel fear. I felt what I assume to be the fear that people may have felt on that day because I was standing inches away from where these massive buildings collapsed. To think of how people must’ve run and and panicked when the towers fell, I can’t fully comprehend what they must’ve been feeling in those moments. Each of the fountains at the memorial have names inscribed on the metal plate around the fountain, one has the names of the citizens who passed away in the attacks and that was very saddening to see, but also hopeful, knowing that they wouldn’t be forgotten. The other has the names of the firefighters, policemen, and all others who helped during the attacks but eventually perished. After seeing this I felt happy to know that these people did their best to help anyone they could in any way they could, those people were heroes. Another big aspect of the memorial was the combination of the sight of the water rushing down, and the sound of it. As you stood in front of either of the fountains, the sound of the water was dominating and soon I found that I could barely hear anything besides the sound of the falling water. Seeing this enhanced the effect because you could see and feel the gravity of what happened here, it was serious and you feel that completely and totally. It was an outstanding experience to see the memorial, truly amazing.

The Vietnam Memorial on the other hand, had a very small effect on me. Though this memorial had personal letters from soldiers and was overall more personal, it wasn’t well kept, it was run down and seemingly abandoned. This was disheartening but it was the truth. I didn’t have a big reaction to it because I had just seen the 9/11 memorial which I think was better. Another reason it didn’t have much of an effect on me was because I wasn’t alive for the war so even though I know it was serious and very controversial, I can’t connect to it in the same way I could to the 9/1 memorial. It didn’t move me in a big way, though it it sad that it’s been abandoned

 

November 6, 2013   No Comments

Ze Opera!

The opera, a branch of art that I’ve rarely experienced. This was my first time to an Opera in about 8 years and it was amazing! The stage was large, the seats were good, and the performances were spectacular. I loved their interpretation of the play because it was so off the walls and hilarious. The characters had great voices and I commend them for singing for so long, that is a true feat.

Unlike other forms of art, this didn’t make me feel much. I wasn’t moved or forced to think critically about anything, I felt like this was solely for my entertainment. The only underlying messages I found were the clever ideas that Shakespeare conveyed through this play about how our ideas of love may be very skewed, like a woman loving a donkey. Overall this was one of the best if not my favorite event that we have gone to, it was so much fun, but way too overpriced. One more awesome thing was the stage. I loved how dynamic it was, always changing to set a mood or switch scenes, that added a lot to the experience, seeing the odd figures fly across the stage, or the black moon with a red outline, all of it helped to make this experience great.

That’s all folks.

October 28, 2013   No Comments

3,2,1 Cheese! Chike! Chike!

The International Center of Photography was a pretty cool place and seemed to have more meaning than I originally thought. As I walked around the first time, I saw a lot of seemingly purposeless, random pictures, some of people smoking, some of people laying in bed naked, or just people moseying around blankly. On my first run through I couldn’t fully see why this was classified as art, because most of the pictures could’ve been taken by me, yet I bet they wouldn’t take our pictures and put them into the ICP. ¬†On my second walk through, where I was accompanied by PAtrick, we discussed why this could be art and came to the conclusion that it was classified as art because it’s real. By that we meant that unlike most photos which try to glorify human life, and make it seem surreal and unimaginably beautiful, these photos captured the average human life in many aspects. Some pictures were boring, mundane, and forlorn, while others were fast-paced, calm, and fun. This perspective on human life is what made it a different type of art form.

Anyway, enough about that, the most striking picture in the gallery was a photo by Lewis Hine, whose title escapes me. The picture shows the progression of time from the times of simple farming, to full industrialization. On the left is a picture of boys working in the field doing everything manually, with a gigantic open sky above them as if to show that they are truly free. As you look more to the right, the photo begins to rise on a slight incline, which shows early machines and people using them, still overlooked by an open sky. When you get to the far right you see many buildings and 2 Empire State buildings that block out the open sky, showing how truly industrial things have gotten, where we can’t see our own skies due to buildings. The Empire state buildings cause the incline to rise sharply as if to relay the exponentiation of our technology in less that a century. Another thing to note, that I noticed while talking to Jonah is that on the left of the picture where the sky is open and vast, conveying freedom, the time period is when people has less freedom and rights and were put down constantly by others. Conversely, on the far right where the Empire State building is blotting out the sky, the time period is when people gained more rights and people became more equal, very interesting.

This was a fun trip, more so than I assumed.

October 14, 2013   No Comments