Rachael Devecka Yamato Cultural Commentary

Walking into the Duke family performance hall, I was unsure of what to expect from a drumming show. Certainly I did not expect the mix of dance, ritual, and vocals that complemented the drumming. One of the interesting things about the performance to me was how multisensory it was. The ritual and dance emphasized vision, while the drums emphasized sound and physical feeling. The vibrations of the drums affected the rhythm of my own heartbeat and made me feel physically connected to the performance. Besides this, the performers wordlessly encouraged audience participation, getting us to yell, clap, and more. In Humes we have discussed the isolating of academic disciplines, but one area we didn’t mention much was art. To me, the arts are tremendously interconnected. I attended an arts-focused middle school in which music, acting, dance, sewing, knitting, painting, creative writing, and almost any other art form you can think of were made one. For this reason, I am always frustrated by how Western society insists on breaking them apart. At Davidson, we have separate buildings for visual arts, music, and theater. While focus is not necessarily a bad thing, I believe depth can be lost from failing to explore interconnections and interdisciplinarity. We need to take a leaf out of Japanese tradition and realize that “drummers” can do far more than just tap out the beat. They – and all of us – can be so much more.

Leave a Reply