Review Category : Arts

News in Brief: Birdstrike Theatre prepares for Quarterly Big Show

Mark your calendars: the BirdSpokes Big Show hits campus on Friday. The BirdSpokes Big Show will feature the talents of Birdstrike Theatre and all-female a cappella group, The Spokes. The showcase will be Birdstrike Theatre’s final production for the Fall Quarter. Birdstrike Theatre is the university’s improvisational comedy group, which produces small comedy shows throughout the quarter and concludes the term with one big showcase. Sarah Lloyd, a third-year chemistry major and Birdstrike member, said that though most Big Shows follow a specific theme, this quarter’s will not. “This show will be [100 percent] improvised!” Lloyd said. “The Spokes are planning their songs ahead of time, of course, but everything [Birdstrike does] will be made up on the spot.” Because the group specializes in spontaneous creativity, the preparation process for the final production differs from typical theatric rehearsals. “We practiced the skills necessary to do good improv a lot,” Lloyd said. “We also practiced performing the formats (namely, Chicago-style long form technique) we do at our shows. The content is... ...

Read More →

UC Davis community celebrates holiday season

With the holidays coming up and some having already begun, UC Davis students reflect on what their traditions are for the upcoming season. From not going to school to spending time with family to celebrating religious holidays, students detail their favorite parts during this time of year. Perhaps the season’s most well-known holiday is Christmas, the annual religious festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. While the holiday began as a way for Christians to celebrate Christ’s birth, the day has become a popular holiday for many non-Christian families around the world who spend the season giving gifts, decorating trees and visiting Santa Claus. Tommy Elrod, a third-year psychology major, is a United Methodist who celebrates a traditionally religious Christmas, which began on the first Advent Sunday on Nov. 30. On each successive Sunday, Elrod and his family light a candle in a wreath at the center of the sanctuary. Each of the four candles signifies either love, hope, peace or joy. The fifth candle, which is called the Christ... ...

Read More →

AggieAngelous

ThePoetry “Dear Sam Cooke” By Camille Woods   My grandma was born by the river in a little house and you know she tells me about the running Catfish River and the Mississippi clay And about the change she expected About the change that’s suppose to come   Living is hard and it seems dying is easy Easy to be in the sky away, with God   Yes, a long time coming Still not here I wonder will it come…   See, at the movie downtown they are playing “12 years a slave” and those that hang around turn into Trayvon Martins and Michael Browns Still a comin? I wish I knew It was comin. This change   I tried my brotha, I say, “Help Me Please”   but he just turns on the TV   I wonder if I can last If I am able to carry on I’m only 19 and they say I’ve got a long time comin but somehow I’m suppose to know about the change... ...

Read More →

The Liquid Hotplates to host annual ‘AlottaCappella’

One of UC Davis’ a cappella groups, The Liquid Hotplates, will present its annual winter showcase, AlottaCappella, Friday at 123 Science Lecture Hall. The showcase, which marks the university’s first a cappella concert of the year, will feature performances from five UC a cappella groups and the Davis Chamber Choir. In addition to performances from returning groups, which include The Afterglow, The Lounge Lizards, The Spokes, Jhankaar and The Liquid Hotplates, AlottaCappella welcomes two new groups. Among the new groups are Cloud 9, an a cappella group from UC Santa Cruz, and the Davis Chamber Choir, a student-run vocal ensemble. This year’s AlottaCappella will be the first time a choir and a group outside of UC Davis will perform at the showcase. Having sung in a barbershop quartet with the music director from Cloud 9, Gordon Allen, the music director for The Liquid Hotplates, invited the group because of his close relationship with its members and its vibrant performance style. “Cloud 9 just has this crazy vibe where every time... ...

Read More →

Choral concert to feature Beethoven’s ‘Mass in C Major’

On Friday, UC Davis University Chorus and UC Davis Symphony Orchestra will be holding their bi-annual collaborative musical performance in the Mondavi Center. Third-year student conductor and musicology/conducting graduate student Jonathan Spatola-Knoll finds the opportunity to take the stage with other companies sets Davis’ music program apart from other college music programs. “One of the exceptional things about our music program is that the orchestra and choir get to collaborate so frequently. This collaboration gives members of both groups the opportunity to perform many more major works for chorus and orchestra than most university music departments put on,” Spatola-Knoll said. The upcoming performance will be larger than past shows, welcoming four soloists for two of the pieces and members of the Alumni Chorus and the Davis Chorale. Jeffrey Thomas, Professor of Music, conductor in the Department of Music and holder of the Barbara K. Jackson Chair in Choral Conducting, explained that for each piece the entire ensemble of performers will be onstage. “I, personally, find the idea of putting an... ...

Read More →

LASER series brings art and science into new light

Today, Dec. 4, the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) speaker series will return to the UC Davis campus. Every session features four new speakers of diverse trades presenting their work, followed by a Q&A with the audience. LASER devotes itself to exposing the general public to its immediate cultural environment, as well as to discovering the joined forces of science and art. The LASER series has frequently occurred at fellow California universities, such as UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, the University of San Francisco and Stanford University. Anna Davidson, a Ph.D student in UC Davis’ Department of Plant Sciences, only recently brought the twice-a-month series to UC Davis. Davidson has been a longtime fan of LASER, often traveling to the bay to partake in the art-, science- and technology-infused communities. Davidson said that organizing LASER for UC Davis has been an increasingly enlightening experience. “I decided that there is plenty of talent in Davis to just start my own LASER, so I did and [the outcome] has been great!”... ...

Read More →

Artsweek

MUSIC   Dr. John & The Nite Trippers Dec. 3, 8:00 p.m., $37+ Mondavi Center Six-time Grammy-award winning artist, Dr. John, will be performing a medley of his unique style of music. His sound reminisces the energy of his hometown of New Orleans and combines genres — jazz, R&B, funk, boogie woogie and psychedelic rock and roll.   Benjamin Piekut, Musicologist Dec. 4, 4:00-6:00 p.m., free Everson Hall Room 266 Musicologist Benjamin Piekut will be lecturing on his music research titled “Henry Cow, Rock Experimentalism, and the Vernacular Avant-Garde”.   AlottaCappella 2014 Dec. 5, 8:30 p.m., prices vary from $5 to $10 123 Science Lecture Hall This a cappella showcase will feature musical arrangements from UC Davis a cappella groups including the Liquid Hotplates, The Afterglow, Jhankaar at UC Davis, The Lounge Lizards, The Spokes, Cloud 9 of UC Santa Cruz and the Davis Chamber Choir.   ART   Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (L.A.S.E.R.) Dec. 4, 6:30-9:00 p.m., free 3001 Plant & Environmental Sciences, UC Davis Four speakers will... ...

Read More →

“The Art of DAS-eption”

The Dead Arts Society (DAS) is back in business this season with a brand new showcase. Titled “The Art of DAS-eption,” this fall’s production will feature nine original standalone scenes, including an African dance piece. The performances will take place on Dec. 4 and 5 at Lab A in Wright Hall. According to DAS president Kazia Hart, a fourth-year psychology major and theater minor, the fall showcase has a variety of sketches in store, with most centered on the element of deceit. “For this showcase we have zombie apocalypses, romantic comedies, murder mysteries and more,” Hart said. The theater club has been preparing for the showcase’s debut since the beginning of Fall Quarter. Preparation involves the devising of scenes, writing workshops, acting auditions and hours of rehearsal. Despite the intense preparation process, DAS offers students theater experience without the pressing time commitment typical of drama programs. Lauren Anderson, a third-year socio-cultural anthropology major, acts in DAS to break from her academic curriculum. “Being in DAS is a really fun, creative... ...

Read More →

Aggie Style Watch

For this week’s edition of Aggie Style Watch I spoke with Nnedy Obiwuru, a fourth-year international relations major from Los Angeles. Her style incorporates a mix of classic and versatile neutrals with colorful thrift store finds. It was clear to me that Obiwuru takes exceptional care in selecting pieces for an outfit, so I asked her a few questions about her fashion aspirations. Can you tell me about what you have chosen to wear today? This is a patterned top I bought from some thrift store when I was in middle school. It’s an old piece, one I like to wear once every two months. These pants I found for about $5 at the TJ Maxx in Davis. They were a steal! I love TJ Maxx. The shoes are from justfab.com — they were my pick of the month, and something about them told me I just [had] to have them; and then [I have on this] hat because otherwise my hair would [have] been a disaster.   What about... ...

Read More →

Department of Theatre and Dance presents ‘The Fantasticks’

On Dec. 4, the UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance will debut its fall musical, The Fantasticks, at Wyatt Theatre. The musical is directed by staff member Kathy Morison and will mark the department’s first holiday-themed production. The Fantasticks is a 1960s musical loosely adapted from Edmond Rostand’s play The Romancers, and features music by Harvey Schmidt and words by Tom Jones. The show’s original off-Broadway production, which ran a total of 42 years, holds the record for the world’s longest-running musical. The story tells the tale of Luisa and Matt, two young lovers whose parents trick them into falling in love by trying to keep them apart. Although the story’s premise is simple, Giana Gambardella, a second-year psychology and dramatic arts double major who will be playing Luisa said that there are unique moments in the show that distinguish it from any other production she’s seen or been in. “The Fantasticks is so unlike any other musical that’s ever been produced. It’s timeless, but at the same time... ...

Read More →

Film Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Perhaps Mockingjay Part 1’s greatest flaw lies right in the name itself. The film is part tragedy, part romance and part incomplete. The film adapts the first half of the final installment in Suzanne Collins’ young adult series, The Hunger Games, which depicts the fictional country of Panem, a dystopian world where resources are scarce and children are forced to kill each other in annual televised death matches. The film follows a similar trend adopted by other franchises, including Harry Potter and Twilight, in splitting the last book into two consecutive films. However, like Mockingjay, these books are already entire tales within themselves. Mockingjay Part 1 comes across overall as uneventful and lacking in excitement, and serves as a prime example on how final books are not meant to be two tales in one, but one complete story. Mockingjay Part 1 begins shortly after Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), former Hunger Games winner and face of a burgeoning rebellion against the Capitol, escapes from her second time in the games. After... ...

Read More →

AggieAngelous

ThePoetry-ThePoets&ThePoetesses ThePoetry “Evenly-winged Eyeliner is a State of Mind and I am in it” By Iris Bloomfield I am summer déjà vu. Honeysuckle dewdrop. I love like a wizened child. ;I; weaver of weather, deceiver of never, hold my arms out to you who would dance with cyclones and kiss lightning unto the earth. It is okay if you are afraid. I too, have fear. I am drunk with it. Fear softens me. I drink its potency and dance— because to dance with fear is to have courage. So let us drink in our worst days, or greet them like solemn bastard handshakes And celebrate their passing like floats on parade. Remember the orange slice smile! Remember the love that loves you despite you! Because you are my breath, and I breathe despite death. I want you to remember who you are beyond your to-do lists, work hours and relationship problems. I want you to sit me down, shove a mug of tea in my face and tell me why you’re beautiful and why no-one can take that... ...

Read More →

UC Davis offered the chance to discover “Roots of Inspiration”

  On Saturday, TEDxUCDavis will be hosting its first salon of the year from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tickets will be $5 for Davis students and $7 for non-students. TEDxUCDavis is an independently organized version of the globally-renowned TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conferences. TED Conferences, popularized by the release of “TED Talks” online (many of which are available via Netflix and Youtube), are based around the simple premise of sharing ideas. Speakers are allotted a maximum of 18 minutes to share their ideas and perspectives on a nearly unlimited range of topics. Sam Hodges, a fourth-year film studies major, attested to the effectiveness of the viral speeches. “[The speakers and format] make TED Talks very engaging,” Hodges said. “Our generation can have a very short attention span and [some of the topics covered in TED Conferences] can get dry very quickly, but the speakers [at TED events] are both knowledgeable and charismatic.” TEDxUCDavis features a similar format, but with a focus on themes that are more specifically suited for the... ...

Read More →

UC Davis Symphony Orchestra presents “Love, Death, and Pranks”

The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra (UCDSO) will be presenting its fall concert, “Love, Death, and Pranks” at the Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall on Saturday at 7 p.m. The concert will be conducted by Christian Baldini, music director of UCDSO, and will feature a variety of works from Europe’s romantic era. The concert is set to showcase four composers from the Austro-Germanic tradition. The program will begin with an overture to Mozart’s Idomeneo, followed by Gustav Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, Richard Wagner’s Vorspiel und Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde and end with Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche. Alexander Stepans, a fourth-year music and political science double major, has been playing the horn for the orchestra since his first year at UC Davis. Stepans will be performing a big horn solo in Till Eulenspiegels, a tone poem, which describes the story of Till Eulenspiegel, a figure in German folklore. Although he has performed the solo several times for auditions, this will be Stepans’ first time performing it in concert. “Till Eulenspiegels has... ...

Read More →

Artsweek

MUSIC   Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Nov. 18, 8 p.m., prices vary Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts Grammy-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield will lead the 18-piece New Orlean Jazz Orchestra through New Orleans musical classics and works by Basie and Ellington. There will be a 7 p.m. pre-performance talk in Jackson Hall.   Instagon with Suzuki Junzo, Chopstick, and more Nov. 23, 7 p.m., $5 The Morgue, 1919 Wahl Way This house show will feature performances by bands Suzuki Junzo (touring from Japan), Chopstick, Instagon, Mulva Myiasis with the Dutchess and Friends.   ART   Village Homes Arts & Crafts Fair Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free Village Homes Community Cente, 2661 Portage Bay East This craft fair features woodblock prints, functional pottery, nature artwork, jewelry, paintings, knitted goods, handmade books, beeswax candles and much more. Live music and free hot chocolate / cider will be provided.   Davis Art Salon: Synesthesia Nov. 22, 7 to 9 p.m., free Richard L. Nelson Gallery The... ...

Read More →