Sunday, November 22, 2009

Extending the Vibe

I did just as I’d intended this weekend… I took it easy… or at least easier than I usually do, and guess what?  No headaches!  In fact, I had a really wonderful weekend and I feel more like my adult self than I have in months.

Yesterday, I got up bright and early and checked out the Barkley Hendricks’ symposium, The Evolution of the Cool at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA).  Hendricks’s The Birth of the Cool will be on exhibit through to Jan. 3, 2010.  I recently became familiar with Hendricks’ work and it’s incredible.  He mainly does portraiture, with bold colors and subjects exuding a.t.t.i.t.u.d.e.  He’s also a native Philadelphian and a PAFA alumnus.

The portion of the symposium I attended featured Hendricks, jazz musician Randy Weston and dance scholar, Brenda Dixon Gottschild. I spent two hours on the edge of my seat listening and absorbing.

This morning I made it to my floor barre class and spent an hour on my back while the instructor, Miss Rhonda Moore, worked the class of both professional dancers and non-dancers to the bone.  This class is no joke.  It’s intense, difficult and I feel so accomplished at the end of the hour.

After today’s class, I checked out Precious with Loverman and my girl. Lori.  Yes, it’s a difficult movie, but I do think my expectations were a bit tempered by everything I’ve heard from folks who saw the movie last weekend.  Lee Daniels did a great job with the casting.  Precious, played by Gabourey Sidibe, is fabulous and Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz and even the too brief appearances of Sherrie Shepherd are also incredible. I’ve never been a huge fan of Mo’Nique, and I’m not too sure this role was a real stretch for her, but she is really scary in this flick.

I’ve already had a few heated discussions with both Loverman and my mom regarding the tone of the film, but the three of us agree that the fat, black, illiterate is an overworked character type in American film. Why is it that when White depravity is portrayed on film it’s ensconced in suburban accoutrements, but Black depravity is showcased in grease-laden fatback and urban filth? Overall, I enjoyed the film, but just once, it would be nice to have a Black story heralded that isn’t coming from such a dark, suffocating place.

Well, tomorrow’s it back to work, but fortunately, it’s a short holiday week and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to extend my newly acquired cool vibe through to next weekend too!

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