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May 19, 1989 - Image 59

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-05-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ENTERTAINMENT

GOING PLACES

WEEK OF
MAY 19-25

SPECIAL EVENTS

Diann Sichel trained at the University of Utah and tried her luck with New York dance companies.

Bob McKeown

SHALL WE DANCE?

Diann Sichel
settles in
as the new
artistic director
of the
Harbinger
Dance Company.

STEVE RAPHAEL

Special to The Jewish News

he cheering is
over for now for
Diann Sichel, the
artistic director of
the Harbinger
Dance Company. Her first
dance concert a critical suc-
cess, Sichel must now turn
her attention to strengthen-
ing the struggling dance
company.
A native Californian who
made her mark in New York
City dance circles, Sichel has
to be more than just a good
dance teacher, she has to be
a savior.
Harbinger "feels strongly
that the artistic director is

the critical position on the
staff," said Steven Ibrok, a
Harbinger board member.
Harbinger was looking for
an artistic director with
"spunk and ambition" who
could bring new ideas to the
company, Torok said. "Diann
has the right blend of artistic
philosophy and community
commitment. She has a high
energy level . . . is disciplined
and is equipped with a wide
range of modes to express
herself."
Harbinger is a well-
respected, 20-year-old modern
dance company. It is peren-
nially operating in red ink,
and had been drifting ar-
tistically since 1986 when
Lisa Nowak, the company's
artistic director, quit to pur-
sue other interests. The
troupe, based on Oakland
Community College's Or-
chard Ridge campus, normal-
ly has four women and three
men, but used a fifth woman
at its recent concert.
The non-profit company
began a national search for
Nowak's replacement in 1987
and chose Sichel in early
1988.
Sichel took the helm of Har-
binger last September, when

the company's fall recital was
already planned, and most
dances were already being
rehearsed.
Sichel put her stamp on
Harbinger at a late April con-
cert at the Music Hall for the
Performing Arts in Detroit,
another struggling artistic
jewel.
Sichel, who will only say
she is in her 30s, knows her
job is not easy. But she is
undeterred because of the
dancers who, she said, "have
a strong repertory, which
gives me a good base to work
from."
The feeling is mutual.
Sichel "is totally different
from anybody whom I have
danced with," said Laurie
Zabele, 26, a veteran Harb-
inger dancer. Zabele received
a rousing ovation at the Fri-
day night concert for a dance
solo.
Zabele was liberal with the
adjectives in describing Sichel
as "honest," "accessible,"
"demanding" and "in-
novative." She said she also
likes the "definite sense of
humor" that Sichel incor-
porates into the dances.
Sichel "doesn't make things
boring . . . we are not her

robots," Zabelle said. "She
gives us a premise and we go
from there. We decide how to
make the premise work.
"She makes us challenge
ourselves and push ourselves.
She is tough in a good way."
Sichel grew up in Marin
County, Calif., just north of
San Francisco. Her mother,
Betty, was a housewife who
reared two other daughters,
one older, one younger than
Diann. Sichel's father, Bill, is
a businessman.
Sichel said she had the
typical California childhood,
leaping, running and jumping
in the relative warmth and
sun of northern California.
She ran track, participated in
gymnastics and swam a little.
She decided to go to Utah
State University for college to
study liberal arts, but
primarily to ski. She said her
life changed when she took a
dance class. Immediately
hooked on dance, Sichel decid-
ed to transfer to the Univer-
sity of Utah in Salt Lake City,
a hotbed of dance. She was
graduated from Utah with a
Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Sichel said she then taught
dance at Utah Sttate for a few
years, and then decided to

DETROIT
INSTITUTE OF
ARTS
5200 Woodward,
Detroit, Arts
Auditorium, "Hispanic
Night of Arts,"
Saturday, 6 p.m.
reception and 8 p.m.
concert, admission,
832-2730.
HISTORIC FORT
WAYNE
6325 W. Jefferson,
Detroit, "Seventh
Annual Spirit of
Detroit Car Show and
Swap Meet," 9 a.m.
Sunday, admissioin,
297-9360.
CULTURAL
COUNCIL OF
PONTIAC
Lawrence Street
Gallery Co-op, Gallery
Building, 29 W.
Lawrence, Pontiac,
"Silent Auction," with
Renaissance music and
mime, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, free,
334-2390.

COMEDY

COMEDY CASTLE
2593 Woodward,
Berkley, Wayne Cotter,
today and Saturday;
Thom Sharp, Tuesday
through May 27,
admission, 542-9900.

THEATER

SMITH THEATRE
Oakland Community
College Orchard Ridge,
27055 Orchard Lake
Rd., Farmington Hills,
A Midsummer Night's
Dream, 3 p.m. .
Wednesday and 8 p.m.
Thursday, admission,
471-7700.
READERS THEATER
Jewish Community
Center Maple/Drake
Building, 6600 W.
Maple, West Bloomfield,
Aaron DeRoy Theater, 4
p.m. Sunday,
complimentary wine
bar opens 3:15 p.m.,
admission, 967-4030.
DETROIT
REPERTORY
THEATER
13103 Woodrow Wilson

Continued on Page 70

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

59

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