The Musical Language of Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto

Review of Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto at Town Hall Seattle

Written by Teen Writer Miriam Gaster and edited by Audrey Gray

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Sitting in the pews of Town Hall Seattle, it felt as if I could physically breathe in the sound of the jazz quintet, Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto. The venue’s dim lighting and warm atmosphere complemented the quintet’s style well, and the open seating encouraged a sense of community within the audience, a vital aspect of the personal nature of the quintet’s music. The pieces Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto composes and performs are their own language; combining jazz and traditional Brazilian music, each instrument is simultaneously percussion and melody. By the end of the set, the audience felt comfortable in the space the quintet created, creating a distinctive musical atmosphere and reminding us of the joys of human connection.

With Mark Ivester on drums, Ben Thomas on vibraphone and bandoneon, Freddy Fuego on trombone and flute, Alex Dyring on bass, and Jovino Santos Neto on piano, the quintet’s music is tight without losing its laidback and personal feel. The style plays with 7/4 time signatures and beautifully syncopated rhythms, and each note is packed with emotion. The bouncy syncopation of Brazilian folk music, blended with the soothing groove of jazz, makes for a unique and captivating experience. However, beyond the technical complexity, the nature of the Quineto’s music is such that for it to be fully understood, the musicians must pour their entire soul into the song. While beautiful when interpreted as notes on a page, the real music comes from the performers.

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People Have the Patti

Review of Patti Smith at Seattle Town Hall

Written by Teen Writer Elle Vonada and edited by Aamina Mughal

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Patti Lee Smith is recognized as a legend in the music community. She made her musical debut in the mid-1970s in New York City with her first album Horses. Smith’s first major recognition came when she was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone. She came to Town Hall Seattle on December 2 as part of her book tour for A Book of Days, which came out on November 15. She gave a captivating performance as she alternated between different media. In her presentation, she told entertaining anecdotes alongside a slideshow, answered prepared questions from notecards, and performed a few songs with her guitarist. Smith’s innate sense of humor just added to the evening’s entertainment.

Her slideshow displayed pinnacle moments of her life through photographs that are featured in her recently released book. She told stories about meeting other recognized artists, traveling the world, and of her cherished relationships throughout her career. For example, the necklace exchanged between herself and Robert Mapplethorpe, which she mentioned in a previous memoir, Just Kids, was a fun inclusion. It was sweet to see her reminisce about their time together and put an image to the fabled artifact of her life. Another significant image was of Alice Augusta Ball, a Black woman who produced the original cure for leprosy. Ball sadly passed away at the young age of 24 in a laboratory accident, and it was only a matter of time until her work was stolen by a man. Smith paid tribute to her story and ended with “Hail Alice Augusta Ball.” Though that wording landed weirdly, it is always a good thing for another woman of color’s story to be shared. Smith never explicitly responded to the controversy around her use of the N-word, in her song Rock N Roll N*****, released in 1978. The song was silently retired off streaming services sometime in 2022. She may be using her platform to promote marginalized people to demonstrate remorse. However, without first taking accountability for performing the N-word up until 2019, her use of Ball in her presentation felt performative. Nevertheless, Smith recognizes she is a public figure who is privileged to have a platform and uses it to advocate for and give voice to underappreciated people. Patti Smith's book cover for A Book of Days

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A New Year’s Artistic Blessings

Teen Editorial Staff January 2023 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Audrey Gray and Disha Cattamanchi

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With one turn of a calendar’s page, 2023 has arrived. For many, the new year is a time for self-reflection. Some might make New Year’s resolutions to look back on their year in review; others might set on the path to a fresh start. For the more creatively inclined, the new year is a magnificent chance to delve deep into who you are and who you want to become through art. If you’re interested in experiencing the myriad of artistic perspectives the new year has inspired in the Seattle community, check out the events covered this month on the TeenTix Arts Blog, curated by the Teen Editorial Staff.

For those of you aching to return to theater after the holidays, look no further for some truly exciting events. Seattle Repertory Theatre is welcoming in the new year by contemplating change and transformation with Metamorphoses, a thrilling new theatrical production inspired by Ovid’s classic epic poem. If you’re looking to delve even further into history, check out History of Theatre at ACT Theatre, a production that seeks to explore and celebrate the rich, little-known history of Black theatre in America. To challenge your social perceptions, consider seeing This Bitter Earth at Seattle Public Theater, a beautiful exploration of racial issues, Queer identity, and modern love.

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"Mr. Dickens and His Carol" Lacks a Twist

Review of Mr. Dickens and His Carol at Seattle Repertory Theatre

Written by Teen Writer Daniela Mariz-Frankel and edited by Aamina Mughal

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Amidst 1840s London, a man hurries through the streets trying to figure out the plot of his next book, which will come to be known as A Christmas Carol. In the world premiere of the play based off of a novel by the same name, Seattle Repertory Theatre brings us a compelling story of Charles Dickens struggling to write a Christmas-themed book in order to save his finances. The show has many timely messages about how we overlook relationships for currency and material items when we are asked to do something that is stressful or mentally draining. The show has many good parts but some issues with the narrative execution.

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Celebrate the Season with PNB's Nutcracker!

TeenTix Available One Day Only!

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This year, PNB is once again generously providing TeenTix tickets for TWO (2) performances: Tue, Dec 27, 2022 12:30pmTue, Dec 27, 2022 5:30pm

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability, day-of-show only, starting 90 minutes before showtime. TeenTix 2-for-$10 companion tickets are not available for these performances. We hope to see you there!

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Through the Lenses of "American" Art

Review of American Art: The Stories We Carry at Seattle Art Museum

Written by Teen Writer Maitreyi Parakh and edited by Audrey Gray

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The same contradictions and cohesion that makes art worth exploring is the same thing that makes it so difficult to define. While the American Art: The Stories We Carry exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum presents it as a question to be answered, it would be more accurate to consider it a framework to view each piece by. Within each piece and within each question, the exhibit presents nuance–what is American art specifically? Who gets to decide? Curated by Inye Wokoma, American Art: The Stories We Carry highlights the uniqueness of different racial identities and backgrounds in America, especially in the Pacific Northwest, and perceptions of them here and beyond. It presents Indigenous and African-American ties to the land, contrasted with the perspectives of the first colonists in the area. The gallery uses this contradiction to display the relationship and responsibility settlers have to Indigenous people in the area and how that compares with the connections they have with the land.

The gallery opens with two landscapes paintings with similar settings: Mount Rainier, Bay of Tacoma – Puget Sound (1875) by Sanford Robinson Gifford and Mitchell's Point Looking Down the Columbia (1887) by Grafton Tyler Brown both portray the terrain of the Pacific Northwest, with majestic mountains towering in the distance and expansive waterways laid out beyond. The scenery juxtaposes with the role of Indigenous people in the paintings—in Wokoma's words, Indigenous people are considered to be "wild and remote," but even more than that, their role in the environment is significantly diminished. In both paintings, Indigenous people are pictured as diminutive and less than, with their faces blurred out and the focus being on the landscape over the people present on it. They're disregarded on their own land, despite Wokoma's note that land serves as both an origin story and a significant cultural element for many Indigenous groups. Clearly, landscapes weren't the paradigm of impartiality they masqueraded as. This dynamic sets the stage for the rest of the exhibit, which reclaims the role of Indigenous people and changes the position from which viewpoints are centered. Mitchell's Point Looking D own the Columbia, 1887, Grafton Tyler Brown, oil on canvas, 18 x 30 in. Bruce Leven Acquisition Fund, 2020.26

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Paddington Saved My Christmas

Review of Paddington Saves Christmas at Seattle Children's Theatre Company

Written by Teen Writer Lily Fredericks and edited by Kyle Gerstel

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It’s been two years since the pandemic put us under house arrest, condemning us to our pajamas and confining us to our bedrooms. Left to our own devices (quite literally), we missed out on the joys of live performance that our pixels fail to provide.

Now, our cells have since swung open, opening with them fresh arts venues to explore. Emerging from our dwellings into this crisp December month, the air is teeming with holiday spirit along with a hankering for festive antics.

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The Holidays Are a Time for Traditions, and Breaking Them

Teen Editorial Staff December 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Aamina Mughal and Kyle Gerstel

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As we enter the depths of winter and the holiday season, art in Seattle is picking up a familiar festive theme—with a twist, of course. Tradition connects us to our heritage and identity, but it can also feel limiting. The ability to evolve traditions and create something new and interesting for the present is and has always been integral to art. Rest assured, there will be plenty of opportunities to revisit and reconstruct our favorite holiday classics this December.

Seattle Public Theater is bringing a Christmas classic to the mix with a revival of their A Very Die Hard Christmas, running from December 3 — 30. Similarly, A Very Drunken Christmas Carol is coming back to the Seattle Opera after a sold-out run in the 2021 season.

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Tan Dun Conducts His "Buddha Passion" at Seattle Symphony

Review of Tan Dun Buddha Passion at the Seattle Symphony

Written by Teen Writer Olivia Qi and edited by Teen Editor Kyle Gerstel

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Epic, exciting, and innovative, Tan Dun’s 2018 masterpiece Buddha Passion refuses to be categorized. It’s an oratorio—a huge musical work for orchestra and voices, typically religious and without costumes, sets, and staging—but it’s almost an opera as well. It’s Western classical music, but it’s also Eastern religious music. It’s sung in Chinese and Sanskrit by both white and Asian musicians in America. It’s ancient and avant-garde, simple and opulent, lyrical and percussive. The massive work, which calls for a full adult choir, children’s choir, symphony, five singers, and a dancer, is a patchwork of inspirations working in harmony to preach love, forgiveness, sacrifice, and salvation.

It’s little wonder that Buddha Passion is a fusion of many styles as the composer is a man of many labels. The Seattle Symphony describes the Chinese-born, American-based Tan Dun as a “shaman and showman,” and he’s also a prolific composer and conductor.

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The Bloody Madness of Seattle Shakespeare’s "Macbeth"

Review of Macbeth at Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Teen Writer Carly Callas and edited by Disha Cattamanchi

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“Life ... is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” ― William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Seattle Shakespeare’s Macbeth intensely portrays how the blind chase for power can wreak havoc on one’s life if left untamed. The story follows Scottish general Macbeth (Reginald André Jackson) on his quest to become king, following a prophecy from the weird sisters promising his ascent to the throne. With Lady Macbeth’s (Alexandra Tavares) help, he kills King Duncan (Charles Leggett) and spirals into insanity, plagued by the insecurity and shame of his deed. The cast interpreted the characters beautifully, but some of the special effects were distracting at times.

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An Educational Arcade

Review of Artificial Intelligence at MOHAI (Museum of History & Industry)

Written by Teen Writer Daphne Bunker and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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At Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), Artificial Intelligence: Your Mind & The Machine currently resides in the special exhibit hall. It’s a quiet, secluded corner among MOHAI’s bustling attractions. An array of brain teasers, touch screens, sci-fi movie posters, and robot models line the room’s edges, while interactive puzzles and pillars of text fill the center. Created by The Relayer Group, this traveling exhibit explores the relationship between the human mind and computers, charting the development of artificial intelligence from its ancient roots. It’s a fun, worthwhile exhibit for both kids and adults interested in learning more about A.I., but it dulls in comparison to MOHAI’s other offerings.

The exhibit hall doors open to an olive green wall with a few lines of white serif text: what is the difference between a human mind and a computer? The exhibit quickly answers this question, leading visitors through optical illusions that perplex our eyes but go unnoticed by computers. Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s paintings of fish and fruit, arranged to look like portrait heads, hang on the wall. An A.I. would simply recognize these as fish and fruit rather than the portrait heads humans recognize. A Tower of Hanoi puzzle sits below, comprised of stacked rings that must be placed in ascending order without putting bigger rings on top of smaller ones. A program could solve it in seconds, but it might take you and a friend a bit of extra effort. As Artificial Intelligence explains, conversation around A.I. swirls with sensationalist claims that computers will render human minds obsolete. These first few displays clarify that the human brain and A.I. each have strengths and weaknesses; A.I. is not a looming threat to civilization, but a tool we use to solve problems. The rest of the exhibit builds off this foundation to further explain the relationship between “your mind and the machine,” getting into how A.I. functions, its heights and limitations, its representations in pop culture, and its history. There are touchscreen games, translators, and hands-on activities as the exhibit continues to tell the story of artificial intelligence.

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The Terrific Trashiness of "Terrifier 2"

Review of Terrifier 2

Written by Teen Writer Valentine Wulf and edited by Teen Editor Aamina Mughal

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Terrifier 2, directed by director and special effects artist Damien Leone, is not particularly well-written, compelling, or even all that terrifying. Gross, yes, but not scary. The characters are flat, the dialogue is bad, and the plot is absurd; it fails to build any suspense and therefore lacks the stakes that make a psychological horror film scary. But Terrifier 2 is not a psychological thriller, nor is it pretending to be. And that’s why it’s fantastic.

Terrifier 2 is the follow up to Leone’s equally incomprehensible Terrifier, which starred the killer mime, Art the Clown. In Terrifier 2, Art once again goes on a Halloween rampage, this time hunting the 12-year-old Jonathan (played by appropriately cast Elliott Fullam) and his teenage sister Sienna (played by the not at all appropriately cast 44-year-old Lauren LaVera). Though it was originally intended for a one-week limited theatrical run, audience demand led to it being extended for several weeks, and I managed to score tickets for Terrifier 2’s closing weekend. Despite viewers allegedly throwing up and fainting in theaters due to the extreme violence, the audience I sat amongst did nothing of the sort. Instead, we all shared several guffaws as we watched a killer mime try on novelty sunglasses, go for joyrides on a tiny tricycle, and peel a woman’s arm in half like string cheese.

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Dancing To Our Humanity

Review of BODYTRAFFIC at Edmonds Center for the Arts

Written by Teen Writer Amelia Stiles and edited by Teen Editor Audrey Gray

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An intertwined collaboration of classic styles and modern ideas drives compelling stories, as told by the dancers of the Los Angeles contemporary dance company, BODYTRAFFIC. The four-part program, presented at Edmonds Center for the Arts on October 26, uses aspects of mid-20th century music and dance to display BODYTRAFFIC’s style and technique while combining modern acting with inventive ideas. In this show of immensely imaginative pieces, the dancers use their bodies to tell emotional and innovative stories of human experiences. Although the impact of the storytelling fades as the final piece is performed, the company’s breath-taking technique is never absent.

Eight pairs of feet peek out from under the rising grand curtain, posed and placed evenly across the stage. Soon, the dancers turn into a gallery of silhouettes as the curtain disappears and the stage fills with light. The music of the famous 1940s jazz singer, Peggy Lee, opens the show’s first piece, A Million Voices. The dancers’ intricate and playful movements aptly convey the rhythmic quirkiness of jazz dance. Quick head turns, subtle heel raises and small articulations of their hands, paired with exaggerated facial expressions, give the piece a cheeky attitude. The upbeat music of Peggy Lee added excitement and peppiness to the dancers, with joyful sounds of a saxophone animating their high-energy motion. The dancers interact with each other in brief moments of tender romance with intimate lifts or quick swing duets. Comedic stories grasp my attention throughout, with water-filled wine glasses being dumped on the dancers by their fellow performers, avant-garde costumes inspired by ‘40s fashion, and theatrical expressions that create a lighthearted scene. The charming comedy soon shifts when the extravagantly dressed dancers clear the stage and one dancer remains. He repeats a locomotive action, moving his limbs in circles like wheels of a train but staying in one place onstage, as if he is stuck in the same movement. His repetitive actions soon turn harsh and rigid as he unexpectedly starts losing his balance and falling to the floor, the soulful lyrics of “The Freedom Train” by Peggy Lee amplifying throughout the theater. He personifies the train in the song, being held back by the obstacle of his own body. After the music ends, he continues this battle with himself in silence. Without the distraction of any music, the audience is pulled into his emotional battle, hearing every breath, fall, and footstep on the stage. It’s an almost uncomfortable experience—the audience has no choice but to endure his painful conflict with him. With the silence and the vulnerability of the solo dancer, I started questioning why the last ten minutes of cheeky jazz was paired with this distressing ending phase. The audience witnesses a moment of solitude where personal struggle and hardship is brought to the surface, directly after seeing a social scene where joy and love thrive. The piece captured how easily personal struggles can be hidden in the chaos of a community, compared to how someone can really struggle on their own. BODYTRAFFIC in A Million Voices choreographed by Matthew Neenan, performed at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in LA. Photo by Rob Latour

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The Subdued Desire of "Decision to Leave"

Review of Decision to Leave at the Northwest Film Forum

Written by Teen Writer Olivia Lee and edited by Teen Editor Yoon Lee

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“If she’s young, beautiful, and foreign, does that make her a murder suspect?” This is the question Decision to Leave (2022), the latest film from enigmatic South Korean director Park Chan-wook presents, never giving a straight answer and throwing off both the characters as well as the audience.

Insomniac Detective Hae-joon (Park Hae-il) is indifferently married to his wife Jung-an (Lee Jung-hyun) and by the way he commits to his investigations, you’d think he’s married to his work. He wades through each day lifelessly until a mysterious new case arises; a man’s mangled body is discovered at the foot of a climbing rock. Hae-joon is electrified by the new case and begins to wonder how the man died. Was it suicide? Was he pushed? He meets the deceased man’s wife, the alluring and suspicious Seo-rae (Tang Wei), and their attraction towards each other grows stronger and eventually beyond professional boundaries, blurring the truth about her husband’s death.

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Experimenting with Environmental Anthropology in "Laboratory for Other Worlds"

Review of Laboratory for Other Worlds at the Bellevue Arts Museum

Written by Teen Writer Olivia Qi and edited by Teen Editor Aamina Mughal

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Climate change is real and dangerous, but you do not need this article to tell you that. There is an abundance of scientific knowledge about environmental collapse, so why is it so hard for our society to develop cultural responses and policies that prioritize the environment? Patte Loper, the artist behind Laboratory for Other Worlds at the Bellevue Arts Museum, takes French philosopher Bruno Latour’s stance: we need art to translate scientific data into political knowledge. In the “Laboratory”, Loper experiments with connecting the human world and other worlds of plants, animals, spirits, and land. She uses her distinct visual language to encourage unity between humans and nonhumans, proposing a spiritual solution to climate change.

“There is another world but it is in this one,” reads the Paul Éluard quote on the wall facing the exhibit’s entrance. Entering the exhibit, I understood that Loper’s art belongs to that other world, the world of nature. Loper’s three Paintings for Trees (2022), which look like silver scraps on sticks, hang on a wall behind little sculptures of clay, cement, glass jars, dirt, and wood. These little sculptures are Plant Companion Devices (2022), a Painting for Plants (2021), and Lichen Incubator (2022). The Plant Companion Devices are relatively small and made of clay and sticks, and some have a tangled mass of cardboard reminiscent of tree roots. The Lichen Incubator drips water through bendy tubes into glass flasks for a rock or piece of wood. Patte Loper's Laboratory for Other Worlds, The Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh, PA) 2019-2020. Photo courtesy of Mark Woods Studio.

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Review of Little Shop of Horrors at the Village Theatre

Written by Teen Writer Elle Vonada and edited by Teen Editor Kyle Gerstel

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Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Village Theatre’s production of Little Shop of Horrors brings the classic horror comedy to life through thoughtful set design, choreography, and blocking. Little Shop of Horrors opened in 1982 as an off Broadway production with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and a score by Alan Menken. Broke botanist Seymour Krelborn (Kyle Nicholas Anderson) has a breakthrough growing a fantastical plant. Seymour thinks his financial issues have been resolved when the plant attracts customers to the store he works at, Mushnik’s Flower Shop. However, the plant grows a mind of its own, and things go awry.

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Rain and Leaves, with Hints of Snow

Teen Editorial Staff November 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Yoon Lee

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Welcome to the “Thursday” of the year! November isn’t exactly the Wednesday of the week, but it definitely isn’t Friday either. As we float towards the weekend of the year (December), the local arts scene too begins making the shift from fall to the holiday season. Various arts events of holiday spirit now coexist with cultural exhibitions that redefine the giving season, culminating in a Mariah Carey-esque thawing as the festive fun begins. So please you, enjoy yourself this November with productions of all kinds, holiday-themed or not!

Thanksgiving season is a time to reflect on our cultural identities, identifying how they will shape our futures. American Art: The Stories We Carry, an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, does just that, highlighting a diverse array of experiences that give new meaning to the term “American.” The exhibit opened on October 20th, and is a fun way to spark conversation with family and friends as you trudge about Seattle’s art scene in the remaining fall weather.

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Behind the Art of "Beyond the Mountain"

Review of Beyond the Mountain at the Seattle Asian Art Museum

Written by Teen Writer Olivia Qi and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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There’s a mountain of historical Chinese art, and many people are familiar with its loose inky style. But what lies beyond the mountain? The answers, present in the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Beyond the Mountain exhibit, are thought-provoking performance art, painting, photography, and multimedia installations. The exhibit is organized around five themes and five artists. The themes are combinations of a traditional motif and concepts gaining traction in the modern world, with names like ink/protest, artifact/culture, proverb/nature, landscape/cityscape, and landscape/escape. Beyond the Mountain shows how contemporary Chinese artists react to a modern world while staying rooted in tradition. Furthermore, it shows how their Chinese art breaks national boundaries, becoming internationally relevant in the face of globalization.

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A Trip to the Depths of Seattle Through Music

Review of Shred Flinstone, Sailing Camp, Shudder, and Miss Prince at the Vera Project

Written by Teen Writer Calvin Lundin and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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On a random Wednesday night in the middle of October, the last thing most people would expect to do is to see a four-band punk show. Nonetheless, the Vera Project hosted just that, with bands from Seattle and across the country. The lineup included 3 Washington bands—Miss Prince, Sailing Camp, and Shudder—and the New Jersey trio, Shred Flintstone. Though the crowd was small, each band brought their A-game, powering through high-energy (and high-volume) sets that had everyone in the room bobbing their heads, cheering loudly, and eventually, moshing.

The night began with Miss Prince, a five-piece band that came straight out of the 90s grunge scene. With long hair blocking their faces, Miss Prince delivered a set of punk-infused hard rock tunes with solid melodies and organ solos, bringing a psychedelic vibe to the performance. Though the crowd left an awkward amount of empty space around the stage, the band wasn’t fazed, jumping around with happy faces and an undeniable aura of pure confidence. Miss Prince’s performance certainly made an impression on me; after their set finished, I kept an eye on Instagram to find out when they’ll play next.

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