Thursday, March 06, 2008

Concert Update

For those who might have been on the edge of their seats wondering how Saturday's gamelan concert went, it was very satisfactory.
We had been invited out to the university's Greensburg campus, which is about an hour from the main campus, to perform for what proved to be the season's initial concert in a series. After a brief afternoon practice, we spent an hour or so loading up the instruments (not all of them fit into the elevator), figuring out how to get to Greensburg, and all that. I've been to Greensburg a few times, as one of my cousins used to live there, but I really don't know my way around and was glad not to be one of the drivers.
The concert was done in a very educational manner, with explanations of what we were about to play and so forth. The audience was invited to come onstage afterwards and ask questions and look at the instruments. This went over very well, and we probably spent at least half an hour, perhaps more, showing people the instruments and telling them about gamelan.
It has been my experience that if a class is going to bond, either as a class or with the instructor, this normally happens around the middle of the semester (sometimes earlier, rarely later). Our class was no exception. While some of the students knew one another from last semester, and while there has always been a fairly good rapport in the group, the concert and the experience of traveling, eating, and moving instruments together put everyone in a friendly mood.
We're now moving on to a whole new project: each spring, Indonesian specialists come and work with the group, and now our dancer has arrived. We'll prepare music for her to perform to, and she'll also teach dance to whoever is inclined. From what she showed us yesterday, it looks like she does something akin to the classic dance drama that I studied in a past life, but that probably doesn't have a narrative.

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