Author: belpben (page 1 of 2)

Final Project: The Analysis of Ballet and Theater on Ice

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– Benjamin K

Carnegie Hall- Outside Arts Event

Opened in 1891, Carnegie Hall contributed as a major part of New York’s art history. Costing over $1 million dollars to build, this Hall is known throughout the world for the amazing performances it holds. Since we were unable to go there as a class, I decided to visit it on my own, and I ended up more than satisfied after the performance.

The first piece presented during the performance was one of Bach’s  most famous; Concerto for Two Violins. Starting off at a rapid pace, the music slowed down towards the middle, and was followed by an abrupt increase in pace as well as intensity towards the end. The piece following this one was the Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra. Unlike Bach’s piece, this one was more balanced in that throughout the whole duration, there were no increases in tempo or sound. After this, came Typecase Treasury, the most serious musical work in the performance. Not only was the pace fast, but the transition from each set of notes was also outlined in terms of sound. Then, came the Concerto for Cello and Orchestra. It started with a slow and calming pace, had a peak of abrupt music towards the end, but yet it managed to end the way it started, nice and peaceful. The last piece was Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major. I found it to be the most exciting and amusing peace, since there were no low notes and it did not have any breaks.

Overall, I would say that I enjoyed going to this particular performance at Carnegie Hall and would definitely recommend it. And remember, if you want to know how to get to Carnegie Hall, the answer to that would be “practice”.

  • Benjamin K

Macaulay Snapshot Reflection

Upon entering the Macaulay Snapshot Exhibition, I thought that something completely different would be shown. Later on, when I saw how the pictures were organized, I was somewhat surprised, and disoriented even. The images were supposed to be organized by time frame, throughout the day, but unfortunately, not all of them were. For example, even though my picture was of a sunset (and the title gave it away too), it was placed on the 7 am board. When I later found out why, one of the curators said that since it involved the sun, it could have been taken in the morning. Another critique I had was that the title of the images was not provided. Although the image is still there, I believe that the title gives the viewer a sense of what the photographer thought of the photo. Finally, as for my photo, I have to say that it was difficult choosing what photo to submit. Since I have taken multiple photos that day, I did not know which one would be more appropriate. The reason I chose the current one was that it took multiple attempts to take, so that the waves were positioned in such a way, which made them seem “angry”. Because I do not want to skew anyone’s interpretation of the photo, I will not talk more about it. After all, the viewer is responsible for determining the purpose of the image, and the artist should not influence their opinion. image

Latin Jazz: A Reflection

During last week’s Latin jazz performance, my expectations were immediately surpassed. The musicians turned out to be really great and the show was spectacular. However, I did not expect the room to be that small. On one hand, the sound was closer to the audience, and you were able to see the people paying the instruments, up close, but on the other hand, the sound was not able to spread out due to the bad acoustics in that room. Aware of the issue, curtains were placed around the walls, which only helped a little.

If I had to choose a favorite piece, it would be the first one. Not only was it always, should I say, exciting, but the rhythm which it brought about was also the best, [in my opinion]. Although the others were also good, I feel that they had some bland spots, where they either held a beat too long, or simply were not as exciting.

As a comment to Vaughn’s comment on Baby Jack in class the lecture before, I would have to agree. After hearing it, I did understand why it was “funny”. The saxophone really did sound like a babies cry, and that provided a great contribution to the whole point/theme of the piece (to demonstrate how quickly the mood of a baby can change).

As a minor  observation, I did notice that the instruments in latin jazz were grouped differently. Upon further thought, the reason to this was that the grouped instruments tended to play at the same time, and whenever Arthur O’Farrell did conduct, he signaled all of the musicians from that specific group. Aside from this, there were musicians on the side (not on stage) which I only noticed at the end when I started wondering where the sound of their instruments was coming from.

Overall, I really appreciate the performance. As a musician of multiple instruments, I know how many hours of practice it must’ve taken to get each piece perfect. All of the musicians did a great job that night, and I will definitely look out for similar concerts at Brooklyn College.

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Henry IV Reflection

After I finished reading the summaries of Henry IV parts 1 and 2, I was very excited to see the play. Unfortunately, when I entered the “theater”, my expectations dropped. For such a highly recommended acting of the play, I did not expect the stage to be a basketball court, with the audience surrounding it from all sides. As the play continued, however, I did not even notice the other side of audience much because the actors acted in such a way that both sides got to see all of the action.

As for the twist of the play within a play, I would have to say that it was highly creative. In the beginning, I got to see how the prisoners were brought in, and even from that point, they were already in their roles, acting like prisoners. Furthermore, the actual fights within the play, as well as the interruptions in it added action to the play, making it more appealing to the current generation.

Although the guards were not major contributors to the play, they did change the overall perspective of it. May it be them constantly keeping an eye on the prisoners from behind the seating area, or from the top of the cage, or even the harsh way they closed the gates, their actions added on to the theme of prison. Aside from that, they did not even allow people to leave the cage during the play.

One thing that I cannot forgive the director was the lack of props. I understand that it is meant to be a prison setting, but really? Child toys as props? A prison is more likely to have actual tables or supplies for the prisoners to make the props from than play sets for children. The only possible reason I can think of for choosing these props were that they were easy to move in between acts.

Overall, I would say that I liked the play, but if I had to choose, I would much rather see a traditional style Shakespearean play. The edits added to it did add action, but it did not seem like Shakespeare would do something like this. May it be that I was not expecting this, or any other plausible reason, I simply did not see the point of this change. As for the actors, bravo, you really did a great job in portraying masculine roles.

Ps. The phone (picture attached) was an actual old-style phone, Professor Ugoretz.

 

  • Ben K

 

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A Reflection of the Opera

During Thursday’s opera, we went to see Tosca. Although I always believed that watching someone sing for two hours would not be very entertaining, I was proven wrong. Partially because of the added story line which came along with the opera, I can successfully say that I found it enjoyable. The only critiques I have is that the seats were literally almost touching the ceiling. There is a plus to this, in that I was able to clearly see what was going on. If I were sitting at the very bottom, I would not see as much, and the set would seem less elaborate. The other critique I have towards this opera is that it was in Italian. Sure, the screen below provided translations, but I found it hard to choose whether to look at the stage or at that screen. Furthermore, you were not able to adjust the screen angle whatsoever, making it somewhat difficult to read. Ironically, there were also Italian subtitles, because as seen when Amanda Hick sang for the class, it is at times difficult to understand something, even though it is in your language. As for the things I especially liked, the detail was one of them. From the blood on the door, to the water and sink on the set in the very beginning, these seemingly trivial details totaled up to make the play more realistic. A line in particular which I liked in the play was when Tosca killed Scorpio and said, “…you are now choking on the blood of those you have killed…” Because of this line, a greater emotional effect was transferred to the viewer. Finally, although I had a feeling Mario might die in the end, I did not expect Tosca to jump off the cliff. If an additional act was to be added to the opera, I would want it to be her revenge plot against the secret police.

Attached below are pictures of some of the major parts of the play.

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Ballet Reflections

Although it was the first time I ever went to see a ballet performance, I definitely realized the appeal of it towards some people. Despite the fact that these acts only took around 30 minutes each, it definitely took many years for the people performing them to master their skills. In The Brahms-Hayden Variations, for example, one of the main performers, Gillian Murphy, was clearly one of the more talented dancers on stage. Upon further investigation, I found that she joined the American Ballet Theatre in 1996, and performed ballet for more than 18 years. In order to have that much motivation, and to continually practice day and night, one would have to love ballet itself. As discussed earlier in class, most people would not want to undergo this grueling, should I say, torture. Only if someone truly enjoys this, would they continue doing it. From that night, it was proven to me that professional ballet dancers do this as a result of their love of this form of art.

As for my favorite act that night, The Green Table would definitely be at the top. Even though it had a lot of dancers, it was somehow easier to follow as a result of its plot. Like many people said, the first act was somewhat hard to follow because of the amount of dancers in it. Although I cannot disagree with this, I can argue against this. By providing a specific story line in The Green Table, the audience was better able to follow what was going on. Because of this reason, I would have to choose this act as my favorite.

Finally, I realized some very minute details which others may not have noticed. In every act, the performers had a different facial expression, which added to the overall mood of the performance. Aside from this, and especially visible with the pianists, the orchestra did not play in a pre-determined rhythm. They always looked at the dancers and determined their own pace from there. Instead of the dancers fixing their pace in accordance to the music, both fixed their pace in accordance to each other.

Questions of Art

Where’s the art in nonart?
What affects our perception of beauty in art?
How is art demonstrated in nature?
What is considered art?
Why art for the first Macaulay class?
Why do we feel such a connection to art?
How can we, as a society, make art more relatable to the general public?
What is the most thought-provoking form of art?
What makes something beautiful?
Does art have to have a meaning?
Is music considered art?
Is there perfection in art?
If anything can be classified as art, does it lose meaning?
How does music translate into visual art?
How is art significant in a society fixated on technology?
Is digital art art?
What categories do we judge art by?
How can we learn to appreciate art?
How come we don’t focus on written forms of art?
Is there a difference between popular and great art?

A Whole New Dimension in the High Line

Although I can not choose a single photo which can classified as my favorite, Andro Wekua’s Panorma would certainly be a top candidate. Facing the Hudson River, the photo not only concentrates on the Panorama, but rather, mixes together multiple aspects. When one first looks at the photo, they see the sun setting behind Jersey City, demonstrating the modern architecture present near the High Line. Although it may seem as if the picture were taken from ground level, especially when looking at the level of the ocean, it is quickly realized that the second or third floor of a nearby building is overlooking the High Line. Furthermore, many people may not consider this a “park”. After all, there is a road with buses and cars below it, to the right of the picture. Yet, the image still manages to capture the theme of nature, as signified with the plants near the window. Despite the fact that the High Line may be considered a reconstructed train line, it is more than that, and this image successfully shows the complexity of it.

 

high line

  • Ben K

Night at the Museum

The experience at the Brooklyn Museum last Wednesday was truly amazing. From the moment of entry, you were given the opportunity to explore pieces of art which you found unique. Later on, when the groups were formed, not only were you led from one exhibit to another, but you were in a way forced to analyze the complexity of each piece of art. Instead of simply pointing out, “Oh that’s nice. That’s nice too,” like Professor Ugoretz showed in the Simpsons video, you dug deeper into the origins of that art, and what the artist felt when he was making the piece. If I had to choose specific works, I would say that the Faile and Bast exhibit, as well as the Egyptian exhibit were my favorites.

In the Faile and Bast exhibit, not only were you able to see the art, but you were also given an opportunity to interact with it. Unlike today, where there are barely any old fashion arcades around, this exhibit provided the opportunity to enter a world from the 1950’s. Despite the fact that most of the pinball machines were broken, the room with the illuminated posters was intriguing, in that it seemed like a mix between the modern and abstract art.

Nearby, was the Faile temple, or at least a replica of it. Although it wasn’t the original, you got to see the exact size of it. Unlike most temples, which are huge, the Faile temple was quite small. Yet, it managed to incorporate prayer wheels and various cultural imagery, both on the inside and outside walls. By seeing the iron, ceramic, and paint which went into building it, you got a sense of how much time and planning it took into building it.

Finally, the last exhibit which I most enjoyed was the Egyptian collection. Although mostly everyone saw mummies or other Egyptian artifacts in pictures beforehand, seeing it in person greatly extended my appreciation for this form of art. Only thinking about its age, showed how much effort was put into making it, so that it wouldn’t degrade. When taking a closer look at the manuscripts, you could see the precision that went into painting various drawings. Aside from this, you could also imagine the amount of time it took to complete these works of art.

Overall, the experience at the Brooklyn Museum was phenomenal. In the end, you realized that not enough time was given to appreciate the art to its fullest extent. If I was given the opportunity to stay longer, I would gladly take it.

 

– Ben Kimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

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