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February 09, 1969 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-02-09

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, February 9, 1969

Sundy, february 9,.I- f,1969I

festival--

Letters: Defending 'Bang,' Ian

Black spirit without guts

By H. and D. SCHASTOK
Alvin Ailey promised us dance theater surging out of the Afro-
American experience. However, he didn't come across. The image
of a black American dance theater is a spectrum of rhythm, forms
and emotion. Yet Ailey gave us no power and little soul. Blues belted
across the auditorium with all the familiar funk and freedom but
the choregraphy just did not have the guts to match it.
The two most exciting innovations of avant garde art are the
use, celebration, and exploitation of the human body and the con-
frontation of the spectator. Dance and chant have traditionally been
the means by which man attempted to unite with the rhythm of
the cosmos. This basic physical drive, the new freedom to explore,
and the eclecticism of form in today's performing arts have turned
conventional ideas of dance and drama inside out. The Open Theater
and Cafe La Mama take dancing lessons. The Jeoffrey Ballet ap-
parently takes acting lessons. The important thing is connection--
feeling, movement-tuning in. Mr. Ailey calls his dance group-
theater. We have a right to take Mr. Ailey at his word and expect
a total experience. Last night's concert offered tradition modern
dance with a jazz flair. The music was fine, the dancing was fair
but the extended emotion and thematic development found in Jeof-
frey's Clowns, for instance, just wasn't there.
The first two acts were moved only by the tension generated by
Dudley William's elegant restraint. Despite a vaguely dramatic form
in the extended work Blues Suite the ensemble never sustained the
emotional climate long enough to pull its audience towards a cathartic
climax. There were isolated moments of humor and sex but they
didn't add up to total dance theater.
From the folkloristic atmosphere of the beginning period pieces
the company slowly gained momentum. In part three we were reward-
ed with a collage of tense sculptural forms cutting the rhythmic space.
"I been 'Buked'" introduced Mr. Ailey at his best. From then on
everything worked-Music, Lights, Soul. "Daniel" highlighted Michele
Murray and Linda Kent. They alone among the women dancers were
able to project both prowess and personality. "Take me to the Water"
used less of the classical movements characteristic of the majority
of the choreography and allowed some fine full dancing to flow
through a panopoly of contrasting rythms.
Once the mood was moving things fell neatly into place, but
one still remembers the technical lapses. The unfortunate sound
amplification-damaged song and eardrum alike. The dramatic effect
was seriously reduced by inconsistent lighting. Although hamp-
ered by some technical inadequacies, at their best the individual
members of the company were able to impart a certain sharp clarity
to Mr. Ailey's Spirituals.

To the Editor:
As distasteful as we found
Fred LaBour's review (Sunday,
Feb. 2) of Janis Ian's perform-
ance at Canterbury House, we
felt that it still served one
rather important, though unin
tended purpose: it reconfirmed
our suspicions that one should
never allow a review in the
Michigan Daily to have any in-
fluence whatsoever on one's
decision to attend the event
reviewed.
The "achievement" of a hit
record via echo chambers, mul-
ti-track machines, and techni-
cal engineers within the private
confines of a recording studio is
admittedly a questionable one ;
likewise-the mouthing or even
live performance of that song
on a "name" TV show, after
the record has already made the
pop charts. But to electrify a
relatively small, and very dis-
cerning, discriminating, and so-
phistocated SRO audience the
way Janis Ian did Friday night
at Canterbury House requires
not only true ability but genu-
ine sincerity and guts. As such,
Mr. LaBour's accusations of
"phoniness" and "childish con-
tempt for people" are astound-
ing.
Significantly, Miss Ian did
not sing "Society's Child," her
most successful "commercial"
offering to date; she could very
easily have coasted along on
the strength of this two-year-
old laurel. Instead, she chose to
do only her most current selec-
tions-sharing with us her in-
nermost thoughtsroftoday,
which we were free either to
identify with or to rudely reject
at our own prerogative. In this
respect, her performance was
more a "recitaFl' than a "show"
and was certainly not "boring."
Thus, if we may be allowed
to follow Mr. LaBour's well-de-
scribed precedent of being
"isnotty," it is our opinion that
the only thing vaguely appro-
priate or accurate about the
article to which we have re

sponded
be made
author.

Lee S. Kraft, Grad
Roger G. MacPhee, '70
To the Editor:
In his review of Bang! Bang!
You're Dead! of Jan. 30 in the
Daily, Michael Allen demon-
strates that he has an eye for
stage techniques and theatrical
effects, for his criticism of di-
rector J. Ramsey's production
was sensitive and convincing.
The reviewer's comments about
-Owen's play per se, however,
show a surprising lack of in-
sight. The bitterly relevant
theme, namely the governmental
abuse of the politically naive
scientist, 'is distorted by his de-
scription of Dr. Sachmenz as
one who "tries to con Colly for
his own unscrupulous ends." The
fact is rather that'Sachmenz, a
paranoid nationalist in a pow-
erful political position, is aim-
ing for the application of Colly's
invention in the national in-
terest as he conceives of it, i.e.
for a world-wide elimination of
dissenters.

is the pun which could
on the last name of its

From this distorted perspec-
tive. "the whole thing is turned
into a spoof," indeed-by the
reviewer! It is not unexpected,
therefore, that he misses the
whole import of the basically
revolutionary ending in which
the fanatic nationalist is wiped
out instead of the dissenters. In
fact, the reviewer goes so far
as to blame his lack of under-
standing on the author by self-
assuredly declaring that Owen
is "using ideas only for their
fun value; he is not really in-
terested in them. .'.
The "fun value." not of the
ideas but of their dramatic
treatment, is in fact a quality
of Bang! Bang! that deserves
special notice. For Mack Owen
succeeded in writing a protest
play which for once does not
fall into its own trap of alienat-
ing the audience; indeed, with
his good sense of humor, Owen
even manages to delightfully
entertain the a u d i e n c e. To
achieve this without betraying
the presented ideas is a rare
achievement to which I would
like to congratulate Mr. Owen.
H. Goldberg, Grad

iil

s--- s-

APA deficit nearly eliminated

THE SOUTHERN'ER
directed by
JEAN RENOIR
Renoir, in exile in the U.S. when his native
France was overrun by the Nazis, made one
of the greatest masterpieces of humanism in
the history of the cinema.
AT THE ARK-1421 Hill

The March 3 performance of the APA-Phoenix
"Hamlet" will be presented as scheduled fol-
lowing :a recent announcement that the group
has received about two-thirds of the money need-
ed sto wipe out a $1.5 million deficit.:
Subscribers were warned last November that
a financial crisis hadc compelled the organization
"to proceed step by step." This warning followed
the trial engagement of the play last October
in -Ann Arbor.
The sum collected will help replace an ex-
pected $250,000 federal grant the National Endow-
ment for the Arts failed to make. The elimination
of, thefgrant was due to Congressional cuts in
appropriations.
With the money raised, the APA-Phoenix will
complete the matching requirements in order to
claim the Ford Foundation's second-year grant
of $300,000.
The APA-Phoenix fund-raising campaign was
helped -by a profit of $240,000 from the, 14-week
tour of "The Show-Off," a revival of the George
Kelly play. House attendance records were set
in six of the seven cities where it Was presented.:
-'When the financial crisis was at its worst
last fall, T. Edward Hambleton, managing direr-

tor, sent out 100,000 letters to subscribers and
friends, stating that support must come from the
community if the season's program was to go
ahead.
The 4,000 donors responded in gifts totaling
$100,000,
At an October meeting called by New York's
Mayor John V. Lindsey, representatives of cor-
porations and cultural leaders donated $50,000.
Additional contributions, amounting to $40,000
came from board members of Theater Incorpo-
rated, the parent organization of the APA-
Phoenix, other individuals and foundations.
The March 3 performance will be the same
version presented in Ann Arbor. The title role in
"Hamlet" will be acted by Ellis Rabb, artistic
director, who also stages the production. '
Rabb said their version, in which the cast
wears a combination of modern and traditional
costumes,- is based on the earliest printing of
"Hamlet," the 1603 Quarto.
This version attempts to "de-emphasize the
political elements in the play' and rather em-
phasize the story and characters on their most
personal level," Rabb said.

IKT/TAF

"FASCINATING . . . DEDAZZLING NUDES
AND NEAR NUDES! A DELIGHTFUL EXPER-
IENCE!" ' World Telegram
"WONDERFUL--A TREASURE HOUSE! WHAT
WAS ALLOWED WOULD CURL A CENSOR'S
HAIR TODAY!" Cue Magazine

Monday, Feb. 10

7:30 & 9:30

I

The Daily
Sports ,Staff

HELD OVER!,
8 BigWeek !
Shows at 1 :00-3:00
Info: 662-6264 5:00, 7:10 & 9:15
ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING
AUTO CHASE SEQUENCES
SEEN IN YEARS
-Variety

1'

r

GUILD HOUSE
802 Monroe

r

--- ----- --

Friends of the ALTERNATIVE
announce:

PLUS: "IDOL OF THE JAZZ AGE-
RUDOLPH VALENTINO"

onday Noon Luncheon Series:
"THE FUTURE"
BUFFET 25c
THIS MONDAY, FEBRUAR.Y 10
Prof. David Singer, Political Science,
Mental Health Research
Institute:
"THE FUTURE SHAPE
OF THE GLOBAL SYSTEM"
FEBRUARY 17-PROF. MARSTON BATES, Zoology
FEBRUARY 24-HENRY WALLACE, School of Social Work and
Community Systems Found.
MARCH 3-PROF. DONALD MICHAEL, Psychology, Head of
Systems Design for Columbia, Md.
MARCH 10-PROF. ROBERT HEFNER, Psychology, Center for
Research on Conflict Resolution
MARCH 17-PROF. JOHN PLATT, Physics, Assoc. Dir. Mental
Health Research Inst.
MARCH 24 - PROF. MANFRED KOCHEN, LibraryScience,
Mental Health Research Inst.
MARCH 31-DEAN WILLIAM HABER, Economics, Advisor to
Univ. Executive Officers
APRIL 7-PROF. SPENCER HAYLICK, Conservation, Inst. for
Social Research, Research with Doxiodes Associates

PLUS: "BOGART'S BEST"

DINER BENEFIT
For the ALTERNATIVE*
Student-Faculty Co-op Coffee House
TOMORROW 5-8:30 P.M.
at Newman Center Basement
331 Thompson St.
MENU:
REAL ) TACOS-35c each
MEXICAN CHILI-50c a bowl
REAL KOSHER DOGS-35c each
DELI BAKED BEANS-15c a serving
STYLE COLE SLAW--15c a rvina

Thcrc

PLUS: "BOGART'S BEST"-Highlights from "The
Maltese Falcon," "Dark Passage" and
"Treasure of the Sierra-Madre"

0

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STEVE TVCCAE[N
AS TIJ[EII
t::q6SE O MT UI~CETECHIICOLOIIEROM IWARNER DROS.-.SEIENAART IN

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290

Saturday and Sunday
THE GOLDEN COACH
Directed by JEAN RENOIR, 1954. (Color-English)
Starring ANNA MAGNANI in her greatest role.
"Renoir is the most sensual of great directors, Magnani the
most sensual of great actresses. Though he has taken Prosper
Merimee's vehicle and shaped it for her,.it will be forever

"Deeply moving film l"-ArcherWinsten, N.Y. Post
"Definitely one to see!"-Ann Guarino, N.Y.DaityNews
"Explosive, revealing drama brought
to the screen with extraordinary skill!"
'-Wil"iamwolf;'cue
"Brims with laughter and tears!"-Newsday

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