The arts season has started here at the University of Michigan and I am so excited!!! There are so many great performances and events this semester that I’ve basically booked myself for at least one show a weekend. That being said, I’ve already gone to three amazing shows this semester; Mark Morris Dance Group, John Malkovich in The Infernal Comedy, and Yuja Wang. Mark Morris gave us an excellent show of both modern dance and creative use of historical narrative in his last act “Socrates” which
told us the physical and emotional story of the death of the beloved philosopher. John Malkovich, in his one-man show “Confessions of a Serial Killer,” performed for us once again why he is an acclaimed classic American actor, whose name everyone knows even though they cannot remember a single movie, except “Being John Malkovich,” that he’s been in (Just so you know he was also in Con Air and Good Night Gracie). He was absolutely fantastic in this strange postmodern production of the life of a serial killer. What I really want to get down to though, in this review, is Yuja Wang.
This young pianist in the looming Hill auditorium is a light that brings to the audience a sense of depth, excitement, and inner turmoil. It’s hard to distinguish the peace that she creates inside of us and the passion that she pushes into the piano with her delicate, yet powerful fingers. I’ve never been to a piano recital before, so I should probably start off by saying I know nothing about piano except for what I hear in movie soundtracks. I do know, however, that Ms. Wang is a wonderful and talented artist. She plays the piano with so much more than her fingers. Her entirety goes into the keys, into the strings and the hammers. It becomes both a lover and an enemy. The piano is her therapist, and she pours everything into it, onstage, for us.
I’m not going to act like I know anything about composers or the pieces she plays, and if you do then awesome! So instead of listing the program, I’ll just give you the website. http://www.ums.umich.edu/s_current_season/artist.asp?pageid=656
If you clicked on that, it means that you saw the four, count them, FOUR encores that the fabulous Ms. Wang performed. This is why I say Diva. Yuja not only has one of the most dynamic and elegant bows I’ve ever seen, but she Diva’d her way into four amazing encores and she had a costume change! From one elegant red gown that she took the stage with to the little black dress with a slit up to here and a back down to there. Both were breathtaking and powerful. She belongs onstage. Thus, Diva! Even sitting at the back of the balcony, this woman made me feel the music and took me by complete surprise.
I also really appreciated the quick glimpse of my childhood in one of her encores. Dukas : “The Sorceror’s Apprentice” arranged by Yuja Wang. Also known as “Woh! It’s that song from Fantasia with Mickey Mouse!!!!” I think “The Sorceror’s Apprentice” sounds classier though.
Aside from Yuja, because I know we’re all busy and you can’t spend all day reading my random stream of consciousness, I wanted to let you know what to expect from me the rest of this semester. Some pretty awesome stuff. This weekend I’m seeing the Full Monty (yes because it’s naked guys on stage. You don’t have to speculate. That IS the reason I’m going) and the Cloud Gate Dance theater. I’ll also be going to the Gate Theater of London production, Diego El Cigala, and the Beijing Guitar Duo. These are only the UMS shows I’m going to however. I’m sure I’ll be going to other SMTD productions, and I know I’ll be at the opera. So keep reading me and I hope to tell you a little of what I think of these shows, because, realistically, you couldn’t ever live without my opinion and this isn’t just a great way to procrastinate…Did anyone believe that? Because I said it and even I saw through it. Whatever. I hope you enjoy reading my reviews, and if not, I really just want you to go see everything you can. So like I always say, get out there on campus and see some of the amazing things it has to offer.
Sending you love and light,
p.s. “Sending you love and light” is a quote from my favorite TV show. If you can figure it out, I’ll give you five points. Or buy you a coffee