Shall We Dance or Dansu?

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Watching both version of Shall We Dance/Dansu?, I realized that although the two versions focuses on ballroom and the perspective on dance, there was variation according to the culture in which the movies were created. Interestingly, I never thought that ballroom dancing could harm the male’s ego. According to my discussions in dance class this semester, dance originally began with men as the main performers. From the main character’s perspective (Mr. Clark and Mr. Sugiyama), they felt embarrassed and ashamed of their decision to want to dance aside from their regular routine. From the female perspective, I cannot completely understand why men are embarrassed to dance because they could simply ask their “significant other” to join them, in order to ease their burden of hiding their dance class attendance. I would like to say that the “buddy system” is best because your “significant other” should also be your “partner in crime.” However, I believe that hiring a private investigator may have gone a tad bit too far. To be honest, I think I may have the same inspiration to dance because I do look at others, especially the guys. Aside from attraction of the opposite sex, the passion and emotions that they put into their movements is also a factor. The ballroom dancing presented in the movie is also quite inspirational because of the development that they go through in order to finally be openly happy.

In comparison, as a native born American, I find the American version more appealing and friendlier due to the cultural differences in which the Japanese are more strict with status, reputation, and masculinity. Although, it is a reoccurring theme in the American version, it was not as burdening as on the characters. I did enjoy the fact that they had Link and Aoki are practically identical with their personality in which the other characters were striving for except for the secrecy.

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Gamelan Concert & Lecture from Bill Bradbury

Tying the Indonesian music from the movie, The Year of Living Dangerously, was enlightening because the music is pleasant. The ensembles that were shown on the YouTube are interesting, although, I did get a sense that it should have somewhat sacred to the people. Luckily, the video-photographer was able to record their performance. Prior to my experience in the percussion, many of the instruments that are similar were not made of metal; therefore, listening to the type of instrument that gamelon is different in a special way.

Followed by a live performance of the gamelon was even better because we were all able to be there in person and hear it all live. The sound quality is definitely more richer than listening to recorded sound. Although, there are not as many instruments there as they may typically been, it was nice to be able to sit in a room to enjoy the music with others.

The Year of Living Dangerously

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Dated during the 1960’s time period in Australia, this movie revealed quite a perspective in which the reporters are struggling to be heard and needing to report on topics that may put their life in danger. As the viewer, it seems quite terrifying to see the Hollywood truth in which the conditions of Indonesia during that time period. It is saddening to see the conditions in which the people were living in due to military corruptions and conflicts. According to my background knowledge from humanities and religious, Hinduism came into play in the scene of the wayang puppetry when Billy was telling the story about Krishna and how the prince was foretelling Guy’s role and the princess who represents Jill. In comparison to the progress of the movie, Billy became more apparent are the mastermind or puppeteer as Krishna who would represent the justice found when one is finally at peace. Thus, the scene in which Billy became the martyr for the people in response to the death of the child he was caring for along with the mother, represents his piece when he was finally able to attain it by standing up for justice. It was an eye opening movie which opens the door for the viewers to see the other side of the world that is filled with misfortune.

Billy Elliot

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This was a great inspirational movie for young dancers whose family do not approve of dancing. The movie revealed that dance has been skewed to be quite sexist and especially leaning towards feminism. Also, during the time of the movie, Billy’s father and brother are on a coal miner’s strike, which made life difficult for the entire family. Without the presence of the mother in the family, everyone had to accommodate to find what is best for Billy and his grandmother. It was a rough start in the movie, the love started to rise onto the surface as the father finally realizes Billy’s potential for ballet and decides to put all his effort into making money to pay for Billy’s trip to the ballet school for the audition. His father even decided to go against his values against the coal miner’s strike in order to make any sort of income to support his son. It was also quite impressive that the movie ended with the famous piece, Swan Lake.

Songcatcher

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I am not a fan of folk music, but this movie has definitely been eye-opening because it reveals a perspective of this genre that I did not think about. Similar to nursery rhymes such as “London Bridge” and “Ring Around the Rosy,” folk music encompasses history within itself and allows many individuals to create their own tunes in order to share their struggles and turmoils through songs. Due to the uniqueness of each song, it is hard to find them and to also pass it on to the next generation if there were to be a catastrophe. Therefore, it IS important to have music doctors like Lily Penleric to gather these songs for the people. As a movie, it was quite comical, romantic, grim and serious at times. It was interesting to see the dramatic changes from one dynamic to another. It has been eye opening to see this film because it provides a gateway for the reader on one end of the book to peek into the world musicologists and their struggles to collect different pieces of music.

Once

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Amazingly, I have never seen a movie such as Once because I have not encounter a situation in which I did not know the name of the main characters. I do understand that from their perspective, their name was not needed, but it was definitely different to not know.

On the side note, this was quite an inspirational movie on how two strangers could possibly meet one another and share such a strong bond through music. It would have been beautiful if they were able to continue their journey together through music with one another, but it definitely shows that music has the power to bring people together from different backgrounds and can turn strangers into your best friend. I can somewhat understand the chemistry of a band, large or small, because their individual expertise complements one another well. The love that grew between their music was beautiful. It was simply admirable even though she was held back by her personal situation with her child and husband.

Remember, the w…

Remember, the world does not revolve around a particular individual. It will continue to move with or without us. At times that we are lost, stop and change your way of thinking. Perhaps you will find a way to move forward and get on track again. Contribute what you can to this world because you are a part of its momentum to keep going.

Although this is not a quote directly from any known source, I believe it makes sense after watching Rize and hearing others share their stories of their struggle in this world. I believe that it is important to acknowledge ourselves and make the changes that we want and to be that they are positive changes in order for the world to change to be a better place.

Rize

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This was an interesting movie which revealed a completely different perspective of “krumping” and “clowning” because I did have a bias towards it before. Although I enjoy hip hop dance forms, I did not understand “krumping” and especially “clowning” which is a completely new world to me. Hip hop, from my perspective, correlates organized movements with the song which places more emphasis on the emotion of the words; thus, giving it more purpose. On the other hand, “krumping” are random fierce and pushy movements that displays aggression. The purpose of this type of dance form is for the dancer themselves to release their anger and anxiety through art versus violence against others. Similarly, “clowning” is less aggressive than “krumping” in which it allows the dancer themselves to be disguised behind the clown face-paintings and dance without being sexual and touching other, but with some aspect of a stripper dance at times.

The origin of clowning is fairly interesting to me in which the person who started this dance movement was a gentleman, by the name of Tommy, who was a “ghetto celebrity” in 1992 after having been released from jail for drug dealing. His time in jail changed his perspective in life to change his life goal to be an entertainer by making people smile and helping himself and others to channel their negative energy through something positive by “clowning.” He said if it weren’t for clowning, that he and others would have been “shot, killed” or sent to “jail.”

Many young dancers that followed Tommy’s way of “clowning” said that if they weren’t clowning, they would be in so much trouble.

Perhaps, being a more positive and optimistic person, I cannot understand “krumping” or “clowning” well, but I believe that if it helps others to channel their energy in a more positive way, then I do support this dance form and hope that others will choose to follow this path. Although there are competitions for these dance forms, I hope that they do not lose sight of the importance of its purpose and duty.

The San Diego American Indian Film Festival: Chasing Shakespeare

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I am glad I went to this event because it was an interesting movie. It has an unexpected mixture of comedy and culture. I enjoyed watching the Native American’s spirituality. Sadly, the plot of the story may have been true in which the Native Americans are discriminated against by the restraints that the theatre industry placed on their cast members. The problem that I can see from their response is that the only reason why the audience may have preferred a typical, Caucasian cast member is the fact that they were the only ones chosen and given more priority to. If the production allowed for a change, then it can be part of the norm to have individuals in other cultures become a part of the team of actors and actresses. It was also pretty neat to have met the two main characters in the movie at the end. Although I was unable to speak with them, I appreciate their presence by making time to speak to the audience to answer questions and share their views.

Before the movie started, we did see two short clips in which there was a parody that reveals the problem in the Native Americans have to deal with the pollution in their waters and with the available resources that lead to drugs. Interestingly, I have a few classmates in my sociology class that are researching the effects of the pollution in the areas in which the Native Americans reside.

The other short film was about the struggles during the time of the Gold Rush in which the Native American women were kidnapped and were forced into prostitution. As a result, they would have children that are half Native American and Caucasian which leads to the rejection of the child by both races.

Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision

Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision

Maya Lin is an amazing artist. I learned and discussed about her work briefly in my introduction to art course. I did not know she was Chinese and was a native-born in the United States. Also, I did not know that she more than design such as architecture. I especially liked her work for the Civil Rights monument. It was inspirational specifically due to her creative usage of Martin Luther Kings quote as an inspiration for the monument. The chronological timeline and water fountain made it much more personable and meaningful than having a simple statue of a person to represent the civil rights movement.