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In May of 2016, Carene Mekertichyan ’16 made her dream into a reality when her senior project, a production of the late Ntozake Shange’s Obie Award-winning play and choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf” was performed for the greater Dartmouth community. Shange, who passed away on Oct. 27 at the age of 70 after suffering health problems, made a significant impact on Mekertichyan since her first encounter with the playwright’s work in middle school. Mekertichyan remembered the women in Shange’s work as she got older and grew into her capacity to understand the depth of Shange’s creation.
When I saw “The Old Man and the Gun” last weekend at The Nugget, I was easily one of the youngest people in the audience. The advanced age of the packed crowd was a surprise at first, but upon consideration, it makes sense why this movie appealed so much more to an older demographic; it’s supposedly Robert Redford’s last performance before his acting retirement. The older members of the crowd had most likely grown up with Redford as one of the most celebrated actors of their time — of all time, maybe — and now, in this small theater in Hanover, they were witnessing the last movie he’d ever act in.
West African musician and music department resident Mamadou Diabaté tells the students in his Music 17.06 course “The Language-Music Connection” the origin story of the balafon, which is a wooden West African instrument similar to a xylophone. Diabaté said that the balafon was not created, but rather gifted. Legend has it that a man walked up to a bush and began conferring with spirits, who then gave the man the balafon and taught him how to play. Each time Diabaté plays the balafon, he commences with a few notes in homage to the ancestors and spirits who allow for his knowledge of the instrument. Music is integrally tied to the myth-history and cultural heritage of the Sambla people, a small West African grouping in Burkina Faso that is in possession of an endangered language and of which Diabaté is a member.
The Ethics Institute of Dartmouth hosted author Ted Chiang for a talk entitled “Technology and the Narrative of the Self” on Tuesday as part of the Dorsett Fellowship Lecture Series, which seeks to bring “practitioners and scholars of ethics” to campus, according to government professor Sonu Bedi, director of the Ethics Institute.
It’s the day after Halloween, which obviously means we’re ready to plunge headfirst into the holiday season. This year, “Elf” is celebrating its 15-year anniversary, a holiday in and of itself. Whether revisiting the childhood favorite or seeing the movie for the first time, “Elf” is a classic that is always sure to get me in the Christmas spirit and excited for upcoming festivities. While not ground-breaking cinema, this movie provides the merriment typically expected of the holidays in the best way possible.
An hour before the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir’s performance “Dartmouth Sings!” commenced in Spaulding Auditorium this past Saturday, the eclectic group of students and community members that comprise the choir were passing around brightly colored scarves and laughing. According to seventh-year choir member and commmunity member Mary Ann Stanford, the ensemble is the most “loving family you will ever find.” Directed by Walter Cunningham, the Gospel Choir is a large, non-audition group that is open to both local residents and Dartmouth students.
Director Damien Chazelle is quickly making a name for himself as the rightful heir to the throne of dramatic cinema. After his mesmerizing 2014 film “Whiplash” set the cinema world abuzz and his 2016 homage to Hollywood artistry and romance “La La Land” made him the youngest-ever recipient of the Academy Award for Best Director, Chazelle has catapulted to the forefront of directorial talent. His next test resides in “First Man,” an intense and engrossing film about astronaut Neil Armstrong and his accomplishment as the first human to walk on the moon. With “First Man,” Chazelle has made another triumphant film that evidences both his innate talent behind the camera as well as his uncanny ability to bring the best out of his on-screen actors.
When one thinks of the quintessential film serial killers, several names come to mind: Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kreuger, Leatherface, etc. However, one name that definitively has secured a place among the great horror movie characters is Michael Myers, “The Shape,” who returned to the big screen in September in this year’s reboot of the 1978 horror movie classic “Halloween.”
In anticipation of the College’s 250th anniversary, a group of Dartmouth faculty and students has teamed up to create “Hindsight is 20/19,” a 26-episode podcast series celebrating Dartmouth’s history.
I love my Saturday afternoon naps. I really do. Six of the seven Saturdays that I’ve been on campus, I’ve spent buried under a pile of blankets in a coma-like state that I didn’t emerge from for at least three hours. If I don’t have my Saturday afternoon nap, there is a serious possibility I won’t have enough energy to power through the weekend. The one Saturday I didn’t nap was last weekend, when I saw “Bad Times at the El Royale.” Even though I knew very little about the movie and had no real expectations for it, it already had some stiff competition it needed to beat to make the experience worthwhile — because while it had moments of genuine entertainment, it failed to be a better time than a Saturday afternoon nap.
“You can’t heal someone who has gone through hell,” says Georgianna, a Wabanaki woman who is also the face of the documentary “Dawnland,” presented in the Loew Auditorium in the Black Family Visual Arts Center this past Friday. This quote may be the best way to describe the experiences that were brought to light in this moving documentary, directed by Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip.
Over the past two years, no band has had a more meteoric rise in the world of rock and roll than the Michigan quartet Greta Van Fleet. Comprised of three brothers — Josh, Jake and Sam Kiszka — along with friend Danny Wagner, Greta Van Fleet has exploded from the small-town suburbia of Frankenmuth, Michigan to the international stage of modern rock and erumpent stardom. Propelled by two fiery EPs, 2017’s “Black Smoke Rising” and “From the Fires,” the band quickly caught mainstream attention for their classic rock revival sound rooted in a Led Zeppelin-esque penchant for thunderous riffs and singer Josh Kiszka’s distinctive howl, which is eerily reminiscent of the great Robert Plant. Unsurprisingly, this launch into the glorious orbit of rock and roll resulted in extremely high expectations and hype surrounding the band’s official debut album, “Anthem of the Peaceful Army.”
“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Colette
“Eating Animals” is an important film. Based on the 2009 book of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer, the documentary explores the subject of the American agricultural industry, a topic that’s often neglected in public discussions, and focuses on the highly troubling issue of the factory farming of poultry and livestock. It is a system whose bread and butter, so to speak, is the brutal and barbaric abuse of animals. However, it is one thing to know this as a fact, but it is an entirely different thing to see it happen.
Airing in July this past summer, HBO’s “Sharp Objects,” an adaption of “Gone Girl” author Gillian Flynn’s book of the same name, sets out to remind its audience of what is unique to the identity of the Midwestern United States and what is possible within the supposedly limited format of the miniseries. Following the story of St. Louis Chronicle journalist Camille Preaker, played by Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects” takes its audience on the journey of an investigative reporter who must vanquish her own demons while hunting down others. Assigned to report on a murder and a series of child disappearances in rural Missouri, Camille is forced to return to the fictional town of Wind Gap, Missouri, the hometown she had long left behind.
Simultaneously making readers want to revel in the narrative as long as possible while also powering on to the end of the tangled story, “Providence,” by Caroline Kepnes is a novel about love and obsession, full of gripping emotional detail and a compelling New England narrative backdrop.
Costumes for theater characters reflect their personas and emphasize their individuality. Armando Ortiz Jr. ’19 understands this sentiment exactly. He is a behind-the-scenes costume designer, imagining, creating and perfecting the outfits of many characters.
“The Front Runner,” directed by Jason Reitman of “Juno,” “Up in the Air” and “Tully,” stars Hugh Jackman as U.S. senator Gary Hart during the final three weeks of his 1988 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. The movie seeks to present the campaign, which is derailed by the reporting of Hart’s affair with Donna Rice (Sara Paxton), as a turning point in our nation’s political sphere wherein a candidate’s personal life is used as a litmus test for their governing ability. Reitman is decidedly on a soapbox, but he does not have a clear stance on whether or not we are better for the investigative reporting that brings cameras into bedrooms and back alleys.
One of my fondest memories of my senior year of high school is when my English class read, performed and studied William Shakespeare’s epic tragedy “King Lear.” At that time, the play captivated me with its stark and honest portrayal of human fallibility and tragic loss and it quickly became one of my favorite works of literature. Naturally, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to watch legendary British actor Ian McKellen star as the titular Lear in a performance broadcast live from London to the Black Family Visual Arts Center this past Sunday evening.