I went to see Bela Fleck and the Flecktones right here on campus last night at Clowes Memorial Hall. I didn’t know what to expect, since I didn’t know much about the group — and since I haven’t been to a bigger concert like this before. It. was. so. cool.
I went with my boyfriend, who plays the bass, and I think he about passed out when the bassist Victor Wooten did his crazy solo — playing up and down the neck of the bass like a piano, crisscross his hands, coaxing out sounds I’ve never heard a bass make before.
I really liked that the whole band was on an equal plane. Sometimes it bugs when when the melodic instruments (including vocals) take the musical lead all the time. Why does the guitarist/lead singer/etc get to be the star? Why not the percussionist or bassist? Or pianist/harmonic player or banjo player, in the Flecktones’ case. Each band member had a chance to solo, and even within the tunes they definitely took turns. For someone not great at differentiating sounds, this was wonderful because it helped me really listen to each individual part.
Overall, great show, great experience, great night. I highly recommend seeing them if you have a chance. Butler students often get discounted tickets for shows at Clowes, too, so while you are a student here, you should seize the chance to see top-tier artists without killing your budget!
Wow. This Midwinter Dance Festival has been amazing — the perfect way to say goodbye to a dance department tradition. As you probably know, I had the good fortune to perform Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero, set by guest Kevin Irving and rehearsal-managed by Butler professor Derek Reid. Dancing such a brilliantly inventive and detailed work was amazing. It feels weird to know I won’t be performing it again tonight or tomorrow.
Even in the studio, once we progressed further into the rehearsal process, dancing the piece became very emotional. I don’t mean emotional in the sense of getting choked up or anything terribly sappy, but each run required a complete commitment of focus and intention — and finally it stemmed from someplace authentic, rather than existing as superimposition. My goal now is to inject this type of artistic expression into the movement much, much earlier. Ideally, it happens right away. That’s what maturing as an artist is all about, I suppose.
Onstage, dancing for an audience? What a thrill. The audience, the lights… (The lighting throughout the show came courtesy of the talented Laura Glover.) After we finished, we shared a group hug. (Well, we has group hugs before each show as well.) Then we went down to the dressing rooms to change into street clothes and go home. How odd it was — I felt like surely I should be doing something else — perhaps still walking extremely slowly with a downcast focus or stepping in a stately back-driven pattern.
Then I saw my family, many of whom had come long distances to see me before I graduated. My grandparents, my parents, aunts, a sister, an uncle, cousin-in-law, cousins… We went to my apartment and sat and talked for about an hour after the show, just catching up. I love to hear others’ impressions of all the different pieces in the performance — and this program was supremely diverse, which was wonderful — but more than that, I relished the chance to leave performing mode gently, rather than in an abrupt see-ya-later-it’s-been-great departure.
I went to bed late (because it takes me a while to wind down after being onstage) and very, very happy.
I am writing from the basement of Clowes, preparing myself for the last two shows of The Nutcracker — I perform tonight and tomorrow afternoon! Last night was my first show, since we only have six shows this year. I thought the run on Friday went really well — at the very least, I had a great time. I took some time before we went onstage to remind myself how lucky I am to have the opportunity to do what I love.
On a related note, I haven’t been able to focus on homework for a week. I’m taking a break from composing an argument about socialism as a natural force in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. I’m three acts of a play behind in my Shakespeare class (sorry, Dr. Walsh), and I’m really glad I choreographed my ballet class for Teaching Analysis over Thanksgiving Break.
Oh dear. Sunday night is going to be fuuuun with all the academic work I haven’t finished, but I still love the craziness The Nutcracker brings each year. My family came to Indianapolis to see the shows, and I am so grateful everyone was able to travel so far. We had a delicious breakfast this morning.
Also, I am addicted to adding avocado to my sandwiches.
Also, Nutcracker proximity is proportional to the randomness of this posts, and for that I apologize.
The Nutcracker opens tomorrow at Clowes Hall, 7:30 pm! I’m currently watching the dancers in Act II perform one last dress rehearsal in preparation for Butler Ballet‘s show tomorrow, and everyone looks great. I love watching the process of a program coming together, knowing all the individual struggles and seeing my friends overcome problem areas and grow ever more exacting. Press lifts which might not have worked in October sail into the air without a hitch now, and we are no longer satisfied with what seemed a good run a month ago.
Basically, I’m very proud of everybody, and you should come see the performances this weekend. Show times are:
- Thursday, Dec 1, 7:30 pm
- Friday, Dec 2, 8 pm
- Saturday, Dec 3, 2 pm
- Saturday, Dec 3, 8 pm
- Sunday, Dec 4, 2 pm
It’s not too late to buy tickets! (Especially if you didn’t win one at the Apartment Village’s Bingo Night.)
This will be my last Nutcracker at Butler, and I’m not nostalgic quite yet. I have all year for that, right? So far, we’ve run through the ballet in the studio and spaced in the theater. Tomorrow comes tech rehearsals — dancing in fake snow — and a costume/orchestra rehearsal, both in the theater.
It’s always strange jumping right in after Thanksgiving Break. I recommend lots of Pilates.
I am drinking lots of water and listening to music. Also, reading Richard II for my Shakespeare class. I think I got food poisoning from Mongolian Grill and am quite grateful that grossness was over quickly; on a sadder note, my roommate has ushered in the Nutcracker cold/sickness. Tis the season.
My posts grow more scattered as I grow busier.
Come see the show!