Monday, February 22, 2016

Culture Corner 2.22.16

Redefining Culture


Last semester, I took "Comparative Studies in Cultures and Transformation". To some, it may seem like your average random core class designed to force students to take classes outside of their intended discipline under the pretense of providing a better, more "well- rounded" educational experience.. But I digress. To me, that class was simply inspired and inspiring.

Essentially, it was an anthropology course in which we examined the ways cultures grow and change overtime by comparing and contrasting two seemingly disparate societies. I do not intend to go into detail about those societies, and how their respective societies reflect both unique, and global cultural shift and trends. I will however, explain what I feel was the theme, or moral of that class.

CULTURE IS MERCURIAL...
Sailor Mercury ^^ ... Let's think of her attack as culture. Powerful. Beautiful. Inconstant.

I mention this because  think many people are somewhat obsessed with the illusion  of "authentic culture". I mean... What is that, really? Technically, since culture is "the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group" (Thanks Google! :D), who can be said to have it inherently? No one, I think... Furthermore, I think that rather than trying to preserve the false image of culture, it is more important to understand the history that shapes it. This is not to say that I do not appreciate for instance, Greek philosophy, traditional East Asian architecture, or Caribbean food~ I love those things!

... I guess what I'm saying is that I have learned to better analyze and appreciate the beauty of cultural interaction. So many incredibly amazing awesome things happen when cultures meet, mingle, and mix!!! Anyway, talk is cheap. Allow me to show you...



Live your dreams. It's not as hard as it my seem...

This scene is just so incredibly powerful. Ballet meets modern meets hip hop. After the death of her mother, Sara lost herself... She was alienated even further when she had to move to inner- city Chicago to live with her father. But friend and lover Derek helped Sara rediscover her love of dance, and perhaps more importantly, redefine it. By embracing hip hop culture and rhythm, and fusing it with her classical ballet training, Sara was able to move forward with her life. This audition scene is just the beginning.


Artist: BIGBANG Song: BANG BANG BANG

BIGBANG... Do I even need to explain this one??? Big Bang is just awesome. I absolutely love the way this song transitions seamlessly from electronic dance to hip hop to pop. Also, look at the way Kpop fashion meets hip hop vibe!~~~ It's MINDBLOWING!!! X_X High energy pop vocals meet wicked hydraulics and hip hop beat & dance... Big Bang plays with many different styles and influences, and it always results in just really crazy tracks- sometimes, you don't even know what to call them!  All that matters is that it's amazing.



Movie: Take the Lead~~~ The best Tango EVER!!!!!!!

This tango is full of passion, drama, and excellent dancing, but that is only part of what makes it great. I think there is also a cool metaphor for the theme of this post hidden in the dance. The finalist couple are clearly terrified of the trio. To them, a tango is a two person dance from a particular time, of a particular style. The fact that a racially diverse trio incorporated some nontraditional choreography into their routine, and essentially transformed the final tango into a hip hop style dance battle... For the couple, this was alien and terrifying (I love how the rival couple's female dancer keeps breaking her neck to see what's going on!). The traditional tango is great... but I think in this case, the new is much more exciting... and consequently, threatening. But does it have to be..? Should it be..? Have you been paying attention??? The answer is No! ^^


Okay, so recap:

We cannot ignore culture's mercurial existence...

Remember Sailor Mercury?
Well, like the Sailor Scouts, we are better, and stronger together!


Cultural exchange and change is natural and AWESOME! Yaaay! :D

~ Clinton




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