JustArts: What drew you to “Hookman”?
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The Department of African and African American Studies (AAAS) hosted a screening of Spike Lee’s latest film “BlacKkKlansman” at the Intercultural Center last Thursday. The movie is based on a true story about Ron Stallworth, an African American man, who joined the Colorado Springs police department in the 1970s. Once accepted, he infiltrates the local Ku Klux Klan chapter over the phone by impersonating a white man who feels enthusiastic about joining the nefarious organization. The chapter president then invites Stallworth to meet, prompting the officer to enlist his Jewish colleague’s help to be his surrogate. The two use their positions to prevent any violent acts against Colorado Springs’ growing African American civil rights movement, which is led by Stallworth’s love interest in the film, Patrice.
This weekend, Hold Thy Peace, a student-run group that performs Shakespeare and classic theater on campus, presented “The Tempest,” directed by Kat Lawrence ’20 and produced by Gabi Burkholz ’21. The last play written by William Shakespeare, “The Tempest” is about a banished magician, Prospero, calling a huge storm — a tempest — upon a group of people to punish those who betrayed him. At the same time, he has to take care of his daughter’s future and prevent a demon from overthrowing him as the master of his island. Like the 2010 film adaption of “The Tempest,” this production changes the gender of the main character Prospero to female, renaming her Prospera.
Over the weekend, a delightful original piece, “Dream A Little Dream,” premiered at the Laurie Theater in Spingold Theater Center. The ambitious dance performance, conceptualized and directed by our very own Prof. Susan Dibble (THA), is a sensory feast with strong work from all parties involved.
This is a historic year for the Toxic Majorette Dance Line. Formed in 2015 under the umbrella of the Brandeis Black Student Organization, this year the team became an independent, University-chartered club. They celebrated this acheivement in Saturday’s enormous showcase “Pick your Poison,” demonstrating not only their skills but also those of a variety of other dance and music groups.
Last week, Brandeis’ sketch comedy group, Boris’ Kitchen, held its annual “Shit Show” in Mandel. The show reused sketches that had been performed in previous years and were written by former members, which meant that all of the sketches were at least four years old. Though the director, Claudia Davis ’19, prefaced the show with a warning about some sketches being a little tone deaf, they went over well with the audience.
SHAKESPEAREAN ROMANCE: “The Tempest” delights with its comical characters.
TEMPESTUOUS TIDINGS: Aaron Young ’22 gives a strong performance as Caliban.
CHOREO CAMEO: Creator and choreographer Prof. Susan Dibble makes an appearance.
JustArts: Tell me about your past experience directing.
JustArts: What does Namaskar do on campus?
Colors of Russia, the Lydian String Quartet concert held this past Saturday, was unlike any other string quartet concert. While classical music concerts usually attract an elderly crowd, this concert drew a much more diverse array of concert-goers. Some members of the younger crowd appeared to be students merely there to fulfill a class requirement, but many were also there voluntarily with friends. Parents and even younger siblings came to enjoy the Lydian’s performance.
Namaskar, the Association for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, hosted Raas Rasiya last Friday, one of the many events within the wider festival of Navratri. Navratri, or “nine nights” in Sanskrit, is a widely celebrated nine-day festival, each day honoring an incarnation of the warrior goddess Durga. According to the Facebook description, the festival celebrates “the victory of good over evil,” referring to Durga’s triumph over the demon Mahishasura. Although Raas Rasiya is typically held before Navratri (Oct. 9–18), last Friday was simply the most convenient time to hold the event.
The University hosted a screening of the documentary “Dawnland” as part of the Intercultural Center’s annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day Teach-In on Oct. 18. The film, directed by Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip, looks at the history of the forced removal of Native American children from their families into foster homes and contemporary efforts to create opportunities for healing. The documentary mainly focuses on the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s experience connecting with the victims of the compulsory foster programs. It records both the progress they made and the challenges they encountered.
Brandeis is hosting yet another event in Bernstein’s name at the Dreitzer Art Gallery at the Spingold Theater Center. After last year’s seemingly endless celebrations of the conductor and composer, another celebration for Bernstein seems highly redundant. However, this small, well-curated gallery does not further exhaust students. Instead, the exhibit reinvigorates an old love for the composer which may have been lost after your fifth Bernstein event.
Does your hometown define who you are? Are your intersecting identities all of what make you you? On Oct. 4 at the Intercultural Center, students gathered to reflect on these questions and more through “An Evening of Art, Identity and Lived Experience,” part of the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize Award Presentation and Residency. Throughout the event, students shared poems, dances and artwork that reflected who they are and their unique experiences of self-evaluation and discovery. The works of several students shared themes of racial discrimination and queer identity, and many works also explored moving to Brandeis from a different city, region or even country.
On Friday night, WBRS held a concert at the Light of Reason in conjunction with the Student Committee for the Rose Art Museum. The people in the sparse crowd, supportive friends of the performers, were clearly excited for a relaxed jam. The opener was “Satan’s Pillow,” a student band led by Michael Harlow ’19, which was followed by “Three at Home,” a Boston-based duo.
A deep-voiced narrator begins to speak: “Two million years ago, an amoeba. Wait, let’s back up. I’ve skipped too many connections.” This kicks off Netflix’s new psychological black comedy “Maniac,” an engrossing TV show centered around human connections, most notably those that occur in the brain.
On Oct. 4, the Wasserman Cinematheque hosted a special screening of Debra Granik’s ‘85 “Leave No Trace.” The movie, an adaptation of Peter Rock’s 2009 novel “My Abandonment,” follows the nomadic parent-child pair of Will (the captivating Ben Foster), a veteran suffering from PTSD, and his daughter, Tom (played with deliberateness by newcomer Thomasin McKenzie) as they try to adjust after a disruption in their lives.
JustArts: What are your responsibilities as presidents?