Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Today's Adventures

Today we went up to Champaign. We stopped at the wild bird store to get birdseed. We picked up some groceries.

We had supper with my parents at Olive Garden. I was intrigued by their chocolate lasagna cake, but didn't have enough appetite to try it.

At Krannert we watched Drum Tao. (Enjoy a sampler here.) This is the second time we have seen them, and we will happily go again if they come back. :D Most highly recommended!

This is highly athletic drumming/dancing. They hop around the stage like wild things. I was bouncing in my seat for most of the show. They have truly epic teamwork, not only one person between two drums playing both, but several people going back and forth on each other's drums at ludicrous speed. It would be a great job for people who can't sit still.

They did a lot with object dancing this time. Among the things they used were scarves, fans, batons, parasols, bo sticks, and a giant framework cube. They also had several layers of platforms to stand on, and used the drums to climb on. In one case they wheeled out the drums with people riding hoverboards. That got me thinking the same technique would work very well in adaptive dance.

I was surprised by how many elements paralleled Native American dance. That cube correlates to hoop dancing. They did unison drumming around the big drums several times. But the most striking was something I've never seen outside powwow dancing: two men wore long furry wigs and used their head motions to make their hair actually dance. It's a very challenging technique and they did it at Head Man Dancer skill level. \o/

I also enjoyed the hell out of the genderfucking that went on. They fucked gender right through the floor. The men (or at least, the ones who seemed to be mannish) wore black petal skirts for much of the performance. They also did a number of routines more typically done by women including fans, batons, and parasols. Conversely, the women (or those who seemed to be presenting as women) were not only playing flutes, but in some scenes were banging the big drums, which is really not traditional and a fantastic display of physical prowess. I'm guessing on sex/gender here because there were costume differences, but a lot of people were being pretty androgynous. Only a couple of the guys (probably) stayed in jackets and pants the whole show. It was really fun to see the flow of motifs across different groups of people.

There was one point of disability!fail, not the troupe's fault, the venue's fault. They double-sold at least one ticket in the accessible part of the balcony, which meant there was already someone else in one of our seats, so we had to split up our party. This was not pleasing. Tonight it was not a disaster because some of us were mobile enough for steps. But that's not a guarantee. What if someone else was having a bad body day, or had simply expended the day's allotment of stairclimbing on the expectation of accessible seats at this venue? Not a problem we have, but what if someone's group had people with social anxiety or survivor issues that made them not comfortable sitting with a stranger? What if someone needs assistance during the show (and in fact, someone did need something fetched from the car, which could've been a communication issue had we not been in the next row down)? What about the fact that my parents paid for a set of four seats together so we could enjoy the damn show as a family? That last one always seems to get overlooked when people say that some members of a party don't "really need" to be in the accessible section. It's not just about making sure someone can physically get into a building, it's about making sure they can enjoy the same experience as everyone else. If a venue splits up people by ability level, that ostracizes people with disabilities and denies them the chance to sit with their more-able-at-least-right-now relatives, which is a shitty thing to do to everyone. In Krannert's defense, this is the first time they've fucked up like this; normally their level of support is excellent. But it ticks me off because on other occasions, we've sometimes offered to move when we didn't actually need the accessible seat(s) and someone else did. It's not something a venue should ever demand, and makes me less willing to offer in the future.

The Intermezzo had a new cake, confusingly called Atomic Cake, which is what they call the one with cherries in it. This one turned out to be pure dark chocolate. So not my thing. :P However, a couple of other people enjoyed it.

On the way home, we stopped for a few more groceries. We managed to find most of what we needed, though not the dessert we were hoping for.

All in all, it was a good day.
Tags: entertainment, event, illinois, personal, review
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