Author: Shokhina Badrieva

NYC Snapshot Reflection

One of the things I was really excited for when starting the school year was having my own photograph displayed in a real museum. I have grown up around artists and I love to paint myself, so when the opportunity came to curate the exhibit, I knew I wanted to do it right away. I didn’t go every week, but the weeks I did go were extremely fun. The first week Nadiah asked all of us for ideas for the exhibit. We came up with pretty extravagant ideas that could never realistically be implemented, but it was great to use our imagination and come up with a concept that worked and could be done in the time we had. The work was extremely tedious. We had to separate the little pictures into themes and match them with the bigger pictures. We then had to label each photograph with the right person’s name. There were over 300 photographs! The photo that I submitted was a picture of the Greenwood Cemetery. The focus of the photo was on the leaves that made a border around the edges of the photo and the graves were out of focus in the background. I chose this picture because I really love Greenwood Cemetery. It is peaceful, beautiful, and holds a lot of history. The picture itself didn’t clearly show the graves, it focused more on the leaves, which I also liked because it took a few seconds to register that the background was of graves. Overall, I really liked the idea of Snapshot day. It is interesting to see how many different types of pictures a group of students can come up with in one day, and it shows just how diverse and interesting our city really is!

Band Reflection

I’ve never been to a jazz show before, and didn’t think I’d ever go to one for fun, but after seeing the live band at Brooklyn College, I realized halfway through the first song that I had a huge smile on my face and felt like getting up and dancing along to the music. All of the performers were having so much fun on stage and their energy was contagious. I really enjoyed how most of the musicians got a solo and got to show off their own unique take on the instrument. Every time a solo would finish, the band members would give a nod to the player with a smile of approval and the crowd would clap, which added to the overall energy of the show. I also really liked how the conductor from the crowd led the band during one of his songs. It was interesting to watch him and his timing and how each band member reacted to his gestures in such a precise and uniform way. You could really tell that there was mutual respect between the band members and the conductor, and above all, they were all having a great time. I noticed that with this performance, it wasn’t as perfectly refined as all the other ones we saw, but that is what added to the character of the performance and I think that is what jazz music is all about. There were moments of improvisation, moments that weren’t planned before hand, and genuine reactions by the band members. Overall, the energy of the room was extremely lively, and the band made me gain a whole new appreciation for jazz music.

Henry IV Reflection

Last Tuesday, I made my  way to one of my favorite areas in Brooklyn, Dumbo, to see the play Henry Iv at the St. Ann’s Warehouse with my class. This version of the renown play had all all-female cast and I was interested in how that aspect of the play would turn out. I actually really liked the all female cast. I thought the actors were entertaining and believable. Not once did I think that the role would be better played if it were a male because the acting was strong. My favorite actress was the one that played Hotspur. She had high energy and her performance was captivating throughout the night. The boxing scenes with her were also some of my favorite scenes in the play. The plot of the story was interesting and reading the summary definitely helped, but I wish I had read the play before hand in order to understand the meaning of the dialogue better. There were scenes where I was completely lost in the dialogue, but the acting still kept me engaged. I didn’t mind some of the props such as the kids chairs, but I did think the dog and baby were a little silly. Besides that, I wasn’t bothered by the untraditional props because they were intentional in order to show a different interpretation of this play. I really enjoyed how the audience was almost a part of the play at some points. In the beginning, the gates were closed and we weren’t allowed to use the restroom which made me feel like I was locked up as well. The stage was also the room itself and the audience surrounded the room, which also added to that feeling. There were also a few scenes where the audience was directly involved such as the scene where the woman from the audience came on stage. Another thing I enjoyed was the DJ booth. I thought it was clever to use that during the times where the actors would change the stage because the music diverted the audience’s attention. Overall, I really enjoyed this play. I was expecting to see a more traditional version of a Shakespearean play, but it was refreshing to see a modern take on it.

Met Opera Reflection: Tosca

 

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Last Thursday, we went to the Met Opera to watch the opera titled Tosca. I was really excited to see this opera especially after the class on Tuesday when we got a little bit of history of opera as well as a taste of the strength and passion of the opera singers. The opera was located in one of my favorite places in Manhattan: Lincoln Center. Just being in that area and feeling the excitement of the people around me was contagious. The inside of the opera house was honestly so beautiful (the chandeliers were my favorite part), and I didn’t mind the long intermissions at all because I got to look around the MET opera.

The story of Tosca was interesting and even thought I didn’t understand what the actors were saying, the singing and music kept me intrigued the whole time. I was really glad that we got a synopsis of the story on Tuesday because it definitely helped me figure out what was going on. The opera as a whole was a great experience. Here are a few moments that really stood out to me:

  1. The song in Act I where Tosca expresses her jealousy of Marcello’s blonde, blue eyed painting. I really liked this song because it was powerful and introduced the character of Tosca in a strong way. The fact that the writers made Tosca’s character extremely jealous made her more interesting and three dimensional. If she were just some woman who was deeply in love with her husband, her character would be like many others. Tosca’s jealousy also added to her fiery personality and made her a little bit irrational/bold which as a character trait explains her decision to stab Scarpio.
  2. The scene where Tosca stabs Scarpio. I thought the end of that song was extremely powerful and it made me happy to see Scarpio die by the hands of the woman he thought he had full control over.
  3. The bright light that came out of the torture room. Visually, I thought the bright light added an element of surprise to the stage. I also thought it was smart to leave what goes on behind the door to the view’s imagination.
  4. The end. Although I predicted that Tosca would die in the end, I still felt a sense of shock as the curtains closed because the end was so dramatic. I loved how Tosca jumped to her death instead of getting shot. I also really liked how the last few seconds of her jump were cut off and the curtains quickly closed after that.

Overall, I really enjoyed the entire production. I still can’t believe that the singers didn’t use microphones!

American Ballet Theatre Reflection

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I went to LaGuardia High School, and I passed by the American Ballet Theatre every day on my way to school, never thinking it would be something I would enjoy. Prior to this trip, I had never been to a ballet and the American Ballet Theatre was definitely a great introduction to this one of a kind form of art. The first ballet was the Brahmn-Haydn VariationI think this was a good ballet to start with because it was how I imagined a traditional ballet to be like. The costumes, the music, and the story were what I expected to see the whole evening. The second ballet was the Monotones I and II. I really liked this ballet because I got to focus more on individual dancers and how their movements corresponded with each other. The three dancers in the green costumes were my favorite. I thought the music in that dance was extremely haunting and beautiful and the way the dancers synced their bodies with each other and seamlessly followed each other’s moves without looking at one another was incredible. The last ballet was called The Green Table. This ballet definitely had the strongest story line and was captivating from the beginning until the end. I loved the beginning of this ballet and how untraditional it was. I did not expect to see the dancers wearing masks and dressed in suits, surrounding the green table. I really enjoyed the storyline of this ballet. The way I interpreted it was that the people around the Green Table were politicians who were all pro war and the dance was a representation of how war effects the actual citizens who have to fight, as well as their loved ones and families. The main dancer in this ballet was amazing. His repeated movements were so precise and identical each time that it almost felt like he was a machine rather than a human.

It is incredible how much strength these dancers have. It all looked very easy and light, but I’m sure that it took unimaginable amounts of practice to get it to that level. I liked how the evening altogether was split up into three ballets. I felt like each one was so different and for someone who doesn’t know much about ballet, it was interesting to see the varying styles.

The High Line- Little Manhattan

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My favorite piece on the  High Line was a sculpture called Little Manhattan. Before I knew it was a sculpture of Manhattan, I knew right away it was some major city and the detail in the sculpture was what really caught my attention. You could see every building and bridge distinctly. The sculpture was about nine feet, but the details were tiny (the picture really doesn’t do it justice). When I was looking at it I kind of felt like I was a giant looking down on an entire city. When I got home, I wanted to know more about this sculpture so I googled it and this came up:

“A fantastic feat of meticulous carving, the sculpture includes every bridge, pier, and building found in Manhattan at the time of the sculpture’s making.”

I think I like the sculpture more now that I know that every single building, bridge, and pier is included. The time and attention to detail that it must have taken in order to make this sculpture makes it even more interesting.

My Experience at the Brooklyn Museum

From the first time I learned that we were having an event at the Brooklyn Museum, I was excited. I had only been to the Brooklyn Museum once before this event, but it was one of my favorite museums to visit because of the diverse art I found there. The Brooklyn Museum had exhibits from the ancient Egyptian time all the way to 21st century contemporary art, and the second time I went to the museum made me fall in love with it even more.

My friend and I got to the museum about an hour early, so we had plenty of time to roam around the first floor. The exhibit was called “Connecting Cultures”. The pieces on the first floor were extremely interesting. My friend knew a lot about the Hindu art and explained to me what the different sculptures meant. My favorite piece on the first floor was the mirror that had two people facing towards you as you were looking at the mirror. It was like you were inside the mirror and the people were looking at you from the surface of the mirror.

When everyone made their groups and began to look at the various exhibits, my group decided to start with the Egyptian art on the third floor. I personally wasn’t extremely excited about the Egyptian art because I’ve seen similar pieces in other museums like the MET. After the Egyptian art, we stayed on the third floor and checked out the European paintings. I really liked this exhibit. I like to paint and the painting in this exhibit inspired me. A lot of them were larger than life and felt important. My favorite paintings in this exhibit were the Soviet Union paintings because I used to live in Uzbekistan during the time of the Soviet Union and it was interesting to see the point of view in these paintings.

I liked the sculptures and paintings on the first few floors, but the exhibit I was most excited for was the video game room. When we got to the room we all immediately started to take snapchats and selfies because it was so interactive and different than all the other exhibits. We also made sure to play all the games and played a few rounds of foosball (I won). The last thing we checked out was the sneaker gallery.My brother would’ve loved this exhibit because he’s a huge sneaker head. I didn’t think I’d be too excited for this gallery, but surprisingly it was pretty cool.

My favorite part of the museum was probably the arcade room. The atmosphere inside the room felt like a was part of an actual video game and the old-school games were silly, but definitely fun. Like I said before, the diversity in the art at the Brooklyn Museum was incredible. They displayed ancient Egyptian jewelry in the same building as the newest sneakers that are out, which is what I think makes the museum special.

Anyway, here are a few extremely low quality pictures I took at the museum. Enjoy!

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Shokhina Badrieva’s Macaulay Profile

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