The play Matilda was honestly the most breathtaking musicals I have seen thus far. I was truly amazed in all aspects of the play. The children performers, the visual execution, and the music were all astounding.
I loved the choreography in all of the scenes because they really helped set the mood of the play. My favorite scene would have to be the swing scene when the children were singing, “When I grow up”. This scene made me emotional at the thought of myself growing up and moving on to college. It reminded me of watching the movie as a child in elementary school compared to me now watching it facing college.
Apart from the choreography and music, the physique of the stage was incredible. When we were backstage, I was speechless as to the engineering that went behind creating the stage. The stage had many groves where the desks, seats, bathroom set emerged. I had the opportunity to see backstage and I saw how the bedroom set and Ms. Honey’s shack was hung up to save space. This idea never occurred to me before, since the few stages I have been on (Midwood’s stage, and Brooklyn College’s stage) were nowhere near as complex as the one we saw. I always imagined backstage being as crowded as ours during our plays and performances. Lastly, one of the things that appealed to me the most was the art of the chalk writing in the end. When the stage director told us of the two men tracing the letters from behind while pulling a board behind it, I was in awe. This was truly a brilliant aspect of this musical that is unique to Matilda, or so I’ve been told.
The children who performed in the musical did an incredible job. Having worked with children before, I always find it amazing when they are assembled in performing arts.
They were all in sync with one another and were continuously energetic throughout the play.
All in all, seeing Matilda was one of the greatest Broadway experiences of my life.
I have lived in my neighborhood for more than 7 years and not too long ago (7/24/2012 to be exact), I noticed work being done on the wall underneath the park, leading into my train station. Like a thief in the night, one morning, I woke up to find that a mural had been painted on the wall. At first, I was annoyed by it because I took it as a sign of gentrification. As I passed by it every day, I gave it more and more appreciation. The mural is vibrant and full of just enough confusion to make me enjoy it. It is filled with inspirational sayings that help uplift my day just enough to get me to take the train in the morning with a smile on my face.
I looked into it and found out that an organization called Groundswell, had a Public Design Sharing event. Groundswell is an organization that stands to encourage collaborative art. According to them, “This process combines the sanctity of personal expression with the strength of community activism.” I admire this statement so much. They promote social change in the communities they serve and I fully support them. Before they made the mural that is there now, the wall as a formidable battered wall that I would refuse to walk by everyday. I would literally walk in a completely different direction because the dingy wall created a more dangerous atmosphere. Now that the mural is up, it lessens the feeling of alarm that usually comes with the area.
I must say that public art is one for the better. Public art is a simple technique that pleases the eye and the look of the city just a little bit more than usual. It is an honor to be amidst such artists all over New York City that come together to create such powerful pieces.
One thing I’ve always gotten unreasonably excited for was seeing Google’s name change. I’ve always truly admired it because the idea seems so simple, but it is extremely effective. Google has been around since 1995 and created their first doodle in the August of 1998. The first doodle was the logo mixed in with the iconic man, which was meant to inform people on what Google Inc. was all about. From then on out, there has been a tradition that only betters with age. Google’s doodles went from pictures to short animations as technology increased. They even started making sets of name changes per holiday instead of just one picture to put up on the day.
In the year 2000, Larry Page and Sergey Bin handed the logo design work to Dennis Hwang, aka Hwang Jeong-mok. He designed Google’s simple logo the day before it was released, and has been on the rise ever since.
Many of the days they commemorate aren’t all commonly known, so Google provides recognition through their logo.Google’s specialty logos are the best way to share facts through creativity. Google has an extensive archive of different doodles that covers everything from the first day of autumn, to 60th anniversary of the Routemaster bus. One of my favorite set of Google logos were the World cup logos. Hwang made more than 60 logos for the whole series, and each was very interesting and unique animations.
Google encourages children to get creative with their logo all the time. With a competition called Doodle 4 Google, children from all over the world submit their artwork to see if they will get chosen as an honorary google artist. Some examples are
Amusingly enough, Hwang’s job title was Google’s International Webmaster. He was responsible for all Google’s international information, and had the task also given to him. This just goes to show, art can come from anywhere. I love Google’s doodles and artwork behind it.
Starting college has been a very different experience than I thought it would’ve been. I expected my mind to be challenged in a way that is completely different than I have previously been exposed to. For the most part, I have been let down. Many of my classes follow a curriculum and are more or less a textbook following class. The only class that I had this semester that has continually restored my faith in my college experience was this one. Society has trained me to think a certain way and has shaven my creative thirst through the education system it has provided me with.
This course has made me rethink and rebuild everything I thought I knew. It was my epistemological disruption.
I am making this post to acknowledge one of my favorite classes we had together. When Professor Eversley told us of her niece’s bedtime story (the one with the princess who grew up to be an engineer), this was my first eye opener. It was surprising to me that at such a young age, her mind has already been altered to believing that life, let alone a bedtime story, is not complete without a prince charming. She has already discarded the idea that being a civil engineer is a satisfying lifestyle. My second eye opener was Professor’s drawing of The Grown Woman. This changed my perspective on abstract art. This made me realize and appreciate that just because it is foreign and uncomfortable, the art piece isn’t any less valuable than something familiar.
This course, and more specifically that class, gave me the educational jumpstart I have desired for a long time. This rekindled my interest in what the world has to offer me in a way that reading textbooks and memorizing facts could not. I can now appreciate both art and ordinary things in life by looking with a new set of eyes.
Thanks to this course, I can now say, “I’ve seen the Opera. ” The Opera was always one of those fancy occasions that I never felt privileged enough to experience. I’ve heard it mentioned in shows, movies, and novels; so there was always a surreal aura about it. Going to the Opera was something that the rich did in their spare time because they were fancy. With this in mind, I want to thank the entire class for sharing this experience with me. Going as a class made the whole experience much less intimidating.
Nonetheless, intimidating would have been an understatement. Before you even get into the Metropolitan, you are welcomed with a grand opening to three different buildings and an amazing fountain. Overwhelmed by that, I was frantic trying to find the class when I first got there because I thought I would end up late. Thankfully, I wasn’t. Upon entering the building, you can see and truly appreciate the details of the chandeliers and the way it accented the velvet red floors. This in itself was breathtaking. Also, I really enjoyed the seats we ended up with because they made me feel fancy.
The performance was nothing I expected it to be. Initially, I didn’t think I would enjoy the Opera because I thought it would be hard to understand. It didn’t appeal to me to hear loud singing in another language for 4 hours. However, all of the different aspects of the Opera truly came together nicely. From the subtitles that were very strategically placed to the famous storyline of Carmen, I felt rather relaxed going into the performance. The way the performers sang was astounding. I was amazed at the lung and brain capacity they had and needed to be able to sing, dance, and act to put the show on. Going to the Opera is something I am so grateful to have been exposed to. I can truly say I enjoyed the performance and plan on attending another.
I’m not sure if anyone else remembers, but this is the essay that changed poet Laureate Laurie Ann Guerrero’s life. After meeting one of the most inspirational women I’ve met in my life, I had to read what she said helped transform her into who she is today. This essay is absolutely breath-taking and I strongly suggest that everyone read it at one point in your life, if not now. I have read and re-read this essay at least 7 times, and each time, there is something new to be discovered. Lorde addresses something that is so truthful and so hidden, but so vital to our existence.
When I first heard the title, I couldn’t understand what she was insinuating. I read the title and thought to myself, Poetry isn’t a necessity for me, and it most certainly is a luxury for some people. After reading the essay, I understand that for some people it may not be poetry that is not our luxury, but a different art form. The “poetry” Lorde speaks of is the passion that keeps us thriving in spite of our struggles. We shape and transform our dark and hidden sides into a masterpiece that we need to survive. For example, my best friend’s passion is dance. She lives, breathes, and struggles through dance. She has danced for more than ten years of her short life, and she has grown with it. Dance is the water she needs to survive; she can not live without it.
Reading this was one of those experiences where you think to yourself I am in the right place at the right time. I had a similar feeling to when I listen to music and the lyrics are surprisingly relevant to my life at the time. She speaks of the strengths and struggles that we endure as people, and more so women. Poetry is both Lorde and Guerrero’s passion and I am very excited to find my own. Lorde acknowledges that our passions are our savior in life and I agree 110%.
The first time I’ve been to the Joyce Theater was in 6th grade and it hasn’t changed much since then. The Joyce Theater is very intimate compared to the Metropolitan, where we saw Carmen. I believe this is extremely fitting for contemporary ballet because it allows us to really embrace the dance. One detail that was different from my experience now and the one I had 7 years ago were our seats. I had the pleasure of sitting in the middle rows in my first experience and I must admit, I enjoyed the performance more then. The angle that I was able to see the stage had a slight affect on the way I felt about the performance. At one point, I was so uncomfortable in the position I was in that I couldn’t even look at the stage. Nonetheless, I thought the performance was brilliant.
Complexions is a well renowned piece and I truly believe it was worth my while. One thing I’ve learned about watching dance over the years is that this is an art form whose purpose can vary. With dance, many pieces tell a story while others are just choreographed to appreciate movement. Contemporary dance in general strains the body physically in a way that combines elements of modern, jazz, and ballet. For example, in the last section, the dancers were on pointe but also bending their bodies in a way that ballet doesn’t allow. The combination of the intimate theater and the performance being contemporary ballet made me appreciate the effort it takes to put on such an amazing show. I would like to acknowledge the parts of the show that I used to take for granted such as the lighting, the backdrop and the performers themselves. The lighting and the backdrop really set the mood in each section. At one point the backdrop was completely black which made the stage seem endless once the smoke was fully set on stage. I felt like they were dancing before entering dark cave with so much unknown. My favorite lighting was the red lights that accentuated the party and intimate feel of the section in the last piece. Lastly, the performers were absolutely incredible. I know or a fact, I cannot do any of the moves they made look so smooth. I can only imagine the hours and weeks of practice this must’ve taken to prepare for opening night.
Before going into my experience with Wang Jianwei’s time temple, I would like to touch up the Guggenheim in general. In the summer that just passed, I was coming to terms with going to school in the city, which was the one place I said I wouldn’t go near. The thought then crossed my mind that people come from all over the world to come to school here, so there must be something worthwhile it had to offer. I took the time and decided to experience the city I was raised in through new eyes. This began my cultural exploration of the famous New York City. From free movie screenings, to museum visits, and food tastings, my summer played out well. One of the places many people, including my father, encouraged me to visit was the Guggenheim. Although I didn’t get the chance to go over summer, I must say, this is one of the greatest museums I’ve ever set foot in. The beauty and hard work that was put into the architecture of the building cannot go unnoticed. The circular structure is a brilliant set up and is all the more appreciated since they didn’t have the technology and tools we have today.
Now more specifically, seeing Jianwei’s exhibit sparked my interest. I think it is important to point out the way this exhibit was made. Jianwei was asked to make this exhibit for the space he was provided specifically. Our tour guide pointed out two things that stood out to me. Firstly, the exhibit room itself influenced the painting he made (the painting of the conference). After Wang came into the room he decided to imitate it within the painting. Secondly, he told us that each part of the sculpture could be placed on its own or in a different location in the room if it needed be. This was extremely interesting to me because most exhibits have a sense of precision that Jianwei refused to adopt. All in all, this was an amazing experience that I am grateful to have.