A very late post.

A few weeks ago, I attended the Dickinson College orchestra performance to hear their rendition of Stravinsky’s Firebird. Not having the most discerning ear for classical music (or rather, having no discerning ear for classical music) I expected the pieces in the line up to bleed together. And, as I expected, the first few did (Sorry to Qualls and Caitlin, and any other sophisticated music-phile or performer out there). However, firebird stuck out to me because it conveyed a different tone and seemed to have a different purpose.… Read the rest here

Birthday Song

For my blog post on music, I have decided to discuss the “Russian Birthday Song.” As we discussed in a fairly recent joint class, the Russian version of “Happy Birthday” is very different. I found a series of translations online and have included the links at the bottom. The lyrics describe the surrounding environment as profoundly negative (rainy, clumsy pedestrians etc). Despite the apparent happiness of the birthday boy/girl, there are more negative and strange aspects of the lyrics worth noting.… Read the rest here

Joint Class Film

In the last joint class, we viewed a clip from a film during which a Russian family argued aggressively during a family vacation outside. During our deconstruction of the clip as a class, we noted some of the more important characteristics such as the strong use of vulgar language, the location as an outdoor environment and so on. All of these aspects helped to represent a change in traditional norms. However, there was another directorial decision that we did not discuss in class.… Read the rest here

Russian Ark

I watched Russian Ark this week.  I might preface by saying that I was a little confused by this movie, not only because of the artistic license  but also because, having no real knowledge of what early Russian figures looked like, I had no idea who some of the people were until I looked it up online.

In any case, I was very impressed by this movie.  It clearly required so much painstaking choreography to film this movie in a single shot.  … Read the rest here