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This past weekend, "Citrus," an original choreopoem by studio art major Celeste Jennings '18, was staged at the Bentley Theater at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. "Citrus," which was produced by the theater department, details the struggles of black women in America from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.
A disembodied voice purred across the empty stage and runway, “You can’t see me, just hear me and know everything is beautiful.” Thus began Transform, a talent and fashion show put on in honor of Pride Week. Everything was indeed “beautiful” as an impressive array of student talent and spirit electrified the stage throughout the night.
As “Avengers: Infinity War” continues to dominate cinemas, it’s worth taking a moment to look back at the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just as the story of “Infinity War” positions itself as a culmination of the 18 films that have come before, its commercial success, as the fastest film to reach $1 billion at the global box office, reflects how the franchise has morphed into a cultural juggernaut in a mere ten years.
Adolescent angst is so pervasive that it’s almost a cliché. Adults everywhere roll their eyes in condescending disdain and chalk outbursts up to “hormones.” For decades, the alienating dismissiveness of exactly this kind of eye-roll has turned younger generations — from the Ramones to Green Day — to music as an outlet for their ignored feelings. It becomes a cycle: more angsty music, more eye rolls, more angsty music ... you get the picture. From the origins of punk in the ’70s and ’80s to the grunge of the early ’90s and right up through Taylor Swift, the path is well-trodden. Much of it, I’d readily admit, deserves the weary scorn and eye-rolls.
Director Louis Burkot has led the Glee Club in dozens of performances since he came to the College in 1981. At this Sunday’s show, the final concert before his retirement as director, the ensemble will send him off with a host of Glee Club standards.
Arati Gangadharan ’18 was nervous when she joined Raaz, Dartmouth’s South Asian dance team. Although she had 15 years of training in Bharatanatyam and Mohiniattam, classical forms of dance that are thousands of years old, Raaz also performs styles like Bhangra and hip-hop that are outside the classical canon. But after four years with the team, Gangadharan has been able to successfully blend her classical skills with the less familiar dance forms.
A group of freshmen walk into a fraternity basement on a Friday night in search of a game of pong or a dance party. They are successful in that pursuit, but they also stumble upon something surprising: art.
Last Thursday, cellist Seth Parker Woods and Dartmouth music professor Spencer Topel performed their work “Iced Bodies,” a piece about the Black Lives Matter movement that falls between the line of a musical performance and an art installation. In “Iced Bodies,” Woods played a cello made of black-dyed ice, alternating from holding the cello upright to lying it down in front of him, and from caressing the cello with the metal fingertips of his gloves to chipping away at the cello using tools such as a metal bow, a screwdriver and a chisel. With each movement, microphones embedded inside the cello picked up the acoustic sounds that Woods created while Topel processed them at the sound board and diffused them across glass panels suspended around the gallery.
What is “Avengers: Infinity War,” exactly? Technically, it is both the 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the third film in the Avengers film series. More 19th, it is the first film in a two-part, back-to-back epic conclusion to the Avengers series, which means it is inherently setting up the audience for “Avengers Four.” Most of all, though, “Infinity War” is meant to make good on the 10-year-old promise that we would one day get to see all the heroes in the MCU battle its greatest villain, Thanos, an iron-willed titan with visions of deathly grandeur. Thanos is in pursuit of six Infinity Stones, which when combined with his magical Infinity Gauntlet will give him the power to eradicate half of all life in the universe (Thanos reasons that resources are limited, so his solution for overpopulation is indiscriminate genocide). Now it’s up to the combined forces of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop him.
Dartmouth professor and best-selling novelist Alexander Chee’s new book “How to Write an Autobiographical Novel” is a collection of 16 nonfiction essays. The language is beautiful, the subject matter variegated and the insight profound. The essays are ordered chronologically, tracing Chee’s life through personally and politically transformative moments. While “How to Write an Autobiographical Novel” follows Chee’s journey as a writer, the book also details Chee’s many roles as student, cater-waiter, activist, gardener, lover, friend and teacher. In writing about his own selfhood, Chee explores large-scale political issues: the AIDS epidemic, the Iraq War, the 2016 presidential election. This book is a deep dive into Chee’s craft, a political thinkpiece, a memoir and a call to action.
Informed in part by the interest of students in his course Music 45.04, “Changing the World with Music,” professor of music William Cheng has been sharing his lecture “Loud Music Trial: His Music Was Not A Weapon” at colleges around the country. On Monday, Cheng brought the talk to Dartmouth, sharing the story of the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Jordan Davis. Seventeen-year-old Davis was shot in Florida by Michael Dunn, a 47-year-old white man who claimed that Davis’ “loud rap music” constituted a threat to his life. Cheng’s talk is primarily interested in the subsequent trial and political organizing that occurred in the wake of Jordan’s death, and its proceeds are donated to the Jordan Davis Foundation.
In celebration of Earth Week, the Hopkins Center for the Arts hosted an exhibition curated by the Dartmouth ECO Reps, a presentation of student art that blended artistic design and environmental activism. “Garbáge: An Artistic Wasteland” featured works incorporating trash as a primary medium and theme, examining global struggles with pollution and waste management.
In Kayleen Schaefer’s “Text Me When You Get Home,” released Feb. 6, the infamous words of parting friends are made into the foundation for a broader dialogue about the nature of women’s friendships, on screen and off. Taking the American media and patriarchy to task, Schaefer challenges the ways in which the history of considering women physically, emotionally and mentally inferior to men undermines their relationships to themselves and each other.
Leslie Odom Jr. left the Broadway phenomenon “Hamilton” more than a year ago, but his Saturday night performance at the Hopkins Center for the Arts proved that there is far more to the Tony-winning actor than his portrayal of Aaron Burr.
The year is 2020 and sightless creatures roam the Earth, using their impeccable sense of hearing to feed on remaining human survivors. This is the premise of the new horror film “A Quiet Place,” and it’s a magnificent example of the sort of story pitch that manages to be provocative and exciting in a single sentence. As Hollywood studios attempt to monopolize comic book adaptations, sequels and shared cinematic universes, this species of engaging, original pitch has become increasingly rare.
Eight ukulele players walk onto a stage. It sounds like the setup to a bad musical joke, but on Saturday, a sold-out crowd packed Spaulding Auditorium to see the the eight strummers of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.
"Isle of Dogs"
The newest exhibition at the Black Family Visual Arts Center presents an array of works students have produced over the years at the Book Arts Workshop, tucked away in the basement of Baker-Berry Library.
Leya’s Island Grill, Hanover’s newest restaurant, opened in March, promising a mashup of Caribbean and Thai flavors. Four arts writers visited Leya’s on a slow Tuesday night to see how the new eatery stacks up. The transcript below has been lightly edited and condensed.
Daymé Arocena walks onto the stage like a ray of light. Barefoot and dressed head-to-toe in white, Arocena finally appears on the left side of Spaulding Auditorium. Her band — comprised only of a bassist, pianist and drummer — has played up to a crescendo for the past five minutes. She steps out of the darkness with a beaming smile, and the audience claps ferociously. Her entrance seems a spectacle, a finale, yet the show is just getting started.