Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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Music’s Effect on People’s Emotions by Sahan Ratnayake and Kwan Holloway

December 22, 2013   No Comments

Symphony Space

Our most recent trip to the city to attend Selected Shorts, wasn’t the greatest trip we had, in my opinion. Primarily, I wasn’t sure what the trip was about so I didn’t know what to expect. When I did realize what the night would consist of, I must say I was very disappointed. The whole purpose of the event, where distinguished members of the art world, read to us, felt like a waste of time. The reason I felt this was a waste of time was because they would keep tripping up the words, and some would keep going for a while before realizing their mistake and correcting themselves. When they would trip up, the whole idea around what they would be saying changes. For instance, I like to imagine what I read or hear in my head. When the readers mess up, and don’t realize, what I picture in my head is what they would say. When they realize their mistake and correct themselves, the entire picture I had would change, and therefore, everything else that happens moving forward changes as well.

I still don’t understand the purpose of Selected Shorts. I believe that reading is an art form, one that has been around since the development of writing. To see this form of art being butchered, was saddening to watch.

December 16, 2013   No Comments

Sculptures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Often times, when I attend an arts event, such as those part of the Macaulay Seminar, I rarely feel the art for arts purpose. I know that statement doesn’t make any sense, so I’m gonna try and explain. When I am required to attend an arts event, I never seem to enjoy myself. I always feel as if they are a hassle, an annoyance. After many of these events, I started to dislike the arts, which scared me when I came to that realization.

I wanted to figure out whether I truly disliked art, or rather, I disliked being forced to see, hear, or feel art. I truly appreciate art; I have since my senior year of high school, when I was exposed to a lot of it. Therefore, I decided to head down to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, just myself, to decide whether I still had an affinity towards the art world. I decided to go by myself, because I didn’t want any distractions. I didn’t want to discuss pieces of art and try to explain what I saw, because I felt as if the purpose of art is to feel it and enjoy it, not justify that feeling to others.

My favorite section at the Met was the Greek and Roman statues. These statues have always fascinated me; I don’t know why. I liked how they were amazingly realistic, and embodied the power, the gentleness, and wrath, and evil, of man, and woman. All these emotions, carved into stone, made them so relatable, as if I knew these people in my own life. It was an amazing, powerful, an overwhelming feeling. I spent the next hour just walking around and around that section, looking at all the statues, admiring the craftsmanship, the attention to detail, and just the feelings that I created in me.

I then head down to the American sculptures, which were all recreations of historical and mythological figures done by sculptors in the 1800s. Here, I wasn’t as blown away as I once was. Perhaps this was because I felt that these artists were mere copycats, doing something that had already been done before. Their works weren’t as grand or as powerful as the works of old were, at least to me. These newer pieces of work were far to polished, and almost perfect, as opposed to those I had seen before. The ancient Greek works truly depicted the human body, with curves, and muscular tones, and posture, all of which gave them a sense of life; not so with the American ones. There was no realism in them. They looked, essentially fake to me, a terrible attempt at reviving at olden days.

Looking at these two sections for hours on end at day, I felt satisfaction. I had truly enjoyed myself. Studying the human body encased in stone, I felt a sense of….I don’t know, something, that I cannot fully describe, or yet understand. There was power in those works, a power that I never really got from anything else I’ve seen so far. I’m still trying to understand what I saw, and felt when I saw the sculptures. Maybe it was the fact that they were three dimensional pieces, giving them a sense of realness. Perhaps it was the poses each statue struck, or the emotions I felt from each one, that stuck with me. I don’t know.

December 8, 2013   No Comments

Mohammed’s Radio

The stage reading of “Mohammed’s Radio” was an incredible personal experience. It also emphasizes the importance of actors in bringing a play to life. I read the play prior to watching it, and at first, wasn’t all that emotionally affected by the plot. However, the performers were able to change my mind completely. The performers were able to give a voice to the characters, bring them to life, get so emotionally invested in them that it was difficult to differentiate the performer from the character.

Watching the staged reading of the play, I was immersed in the play, sometimes creating scenes in my own head of a particular moment of the play. This was different from when I read it by myself. Reading alone tended to be more of a hassle, an assignment where the goal was to not enjoy the play, but to finish reading the play. Therefore, it was harder to really get into the play and truly understand the characters. But watching the actors and actresses, full of enthusiasm, I really enjoyed the play as they were able to give the characters in the play a personality so realistic that I felt like I personally knew some of the characters.


November 28, 2013   No Comments

American Ballet Theatre

Thursday’s visit to the ballet was an incredible experience. Before attending the ballet, I never respected dance very much, especially not ballet. I never thought their job was particularly difficult from all other dancers i’ve seen. But boy was I wrong. From the first performance, “Themes and Variations”, I was mesmerized by the performance. The costumes were amazingly designed, as well as the set. But I was truly blown away by the dancers. The whole performance, I was intently looking through my binoculars at each dancer, looking at how they moved. They moved with a precision I have never seen. The dancers were incredibly in sync with one another. What was more was the pure athleticism of each dancer. They had an amazing balance of strength, and balance, combined with elegance and grace. Looking through the binoculars, I could see the dancers sweating profusely by the end of the first piece, but they never showed it, and always had a calm demeanor on their face. By the end of the first piece, I was thoroughly engrossed in the performance, and couldn’t wait for the rest of the performances, all of which were just as powerful and beautiful as the last.

November 11, 2013   No Comments