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October 25, 1966 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1966-10-25

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PAGE TWO

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1966

>;

THE MIHIGANDAILYTUESDA, OCTBER 2, 196

i +r i . r

T H EAT R E -
'The Flies': Excellent
Theatre Experience

U

Mime Troupe: Sex Gymnasts
In the Total Theatre of Life

'

I

By RANDY RING
"The audience will probably be
shocked, certainly excited, perhaps
unnerved-they are bound to find
it a unique theatre experience."
Such is the consensus regarding
the APA repertory company's pro-
duction in "The Flies" by Jean
Paul Sartre, which begins its two
week- run on Oct. 25.
Although the play is based on
Euripides' Greek trilogy, "The,
Oresteia," the company's interpre-
tation will be contemporary. This
production is singular among APA
presentations at Michigan in that
it involves such a large number
of university people (both students
and' instructors) as dancers and
actors. It is a unique phenomenon
in theatre with its background of
electronic music and rhythmic
drums and its use of primitive
style modern dance by the chorus.
Mood music based on pure tone
has been meticulously composed
(with. the help of a computes) to
relate to the choreography. Sup-
plemnented with drums, the elec-
tronic composition is capable of
projecting the sound of thousands
of swarming flies, an impossibility
with instruments.
Miss Syvilla Fort, a choreog-

rapher with a wide background
in African and modern dance,
came to Michigan with ideas for
the dance, but let it develop struc-
turally in relation to the possi-
bilities of the dancers individually
and as a group.
She is very excited about work-
ing with the new medium in
music, although it does impose
certain limitations. Because the
composition is being tailored to
the dance, the choreography must
remain (in timing, at least) as
originally conceived. The style is
a combination of Afro-primitive,
free style modern, and theatrical
movement, very strong and highly
rhythmic.
University performers, b o t h
dancers and actors, were chosen
by competitive auditions. Dancers
are Jody Zirul, Michelle Levine,
Carol Alexandar, Michey Baris,
Louise Smith, Michael Raines, and
Ken Stillwell.
The four PTP acting fellows,
who perform in most APA pro-
ductions, are Keith Jochim, Deb-
orah Packer, Fred Coffin, and
John Paoletti. Other student ac-
tors include Holly Villaire, Mac
Owen, Larry Glover, Catherine
Browder, Katherine Ferrand, Su-
san Dailey, and Don ?Harmes.

By ANDREW LUGG #
There have been many attemptsf
at presenting "political drama."
Most have failed. Simply because,j
as Allain Robbe-Grillet has put ic,,
"Art cannot be reduced to the
status of a means in the service of
a cause which transcends it."
The old theatre with its "uni-
versal" heroes does not ring true
at any time, but particularly when
the hero is equated with a par-
ticula class. The new theatre is
1966 and things are far more
complicated.
The San Francisco Mime f
Troupe, which presents a political
theatre-an urgent, revolutionary
theatre-works magnificently and
brilliantly because, first, the
Troupe recognizes Robbe-Grillet's
thesis and, secondly, because it
exploits by parodying just this
traditional universal hero theme.
The Troupe gradually lays be-
fore us all the myths surrounding
the Negro and his relationship to
the white. One by one the myths
are exploded.
Item: In the sketch on a hypo-
thetical "Negro History Week"
("The Negroes are deserving of a
week-at least a week"), does
George Washington Carver
squeeze his life away for human-
ity? Not at all, he has money and
high society in mind.
Item: Crispus Attucks, Booker
T. Washington and "sacred" Mar-
tin Luther King are equally
knocked and de-mythed.
Item : "I'm Coming - Stephen
Foster's "beautiful song" is a due
for a Negro to j!! !!
Jaded Attempts
The sexual myth, the "rhythm
myth," the African myth, the in-
tegration myth are all satirized
and shown for what they are-
the civil rights worker's jaded at-
tempts at imposing a "culture" on
the Negro. On the other hand, the
feeble justification for segrega-
tion, expounded by' people like the
Wallaces, is equally lambasted.
The satire ranks with the best
of Lenny Bruce. It is just as offen-
sive and just as pertinent. But, the
Mime Troupe does not rely on
satire alone.
The sketches are set within the
Ministrel Show format. At times
the ministrels present the old
songs, dance routines and jokes
with all the stupidity and inanity
of ole' Black Joe. These sketches
often get out of control, despite

the very white, very firm hard of
the interlocutor.
Incorporated in the show is the
film "Oh Dem Watermelons"
which received a prize at the Ann
Arbor Film Festival and has been
shown extensively since, most not-
able at the New York Film Fes-
tival.
One of the finest new short
films, the watermelon is leitmotif;
it is chased, beaten, cut and used
for masturbation. The film has a
rhythm and a mood parallelling
the show into which it fits per-
fectly.
Careful Balance
Mime also plays an important
part in the performance. And it
is the careful balancing of mime
and ministrel show, with satire,
melodrama and straight comedy
which gives the show its rhythm,
its mood and its superb movement
between scenes.
These are aspects of a "total

theatre" (in the sense that An-
toine Artaud used the phrase), in
which the audience actor distance
is broken down, and mood and vis-
ual aspects of the show are em-
phasized. This depends on superb
acting, committed actors and a
simple ararrhich exuberance; all
of which the San Francisco Mime
Troupe have.
Nothing in this show is overt or
dogmatic. The ministrels present a
whole string of conflicting, con-
fusing scenes rather than argu-
ment. It is a brutal assault on
those emotional truths (preju-
dices) that we all have (and who
has never felt prejudice, eh?). It
is the audience's duty to resolve
prejudice through this confusion.
The immediacy and intensity of
the performance forces us to do
this.
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By JOHN NOLAND
The Moscow Chamber Orches-
tra under the splendid direction
of Rudolf Barshai gave the Ann
Arbor public one of the most re-
freshing insights into classical
music last Saturday and Sunday
evenings that is likely to be view-
ed this year.
With a subtleness of maturity
that is only to be gained through
experience, Barshai clearly il-
lustrated why this Chamber Or-
chestra is so internationally
known for its excellence. Here is
an orchestra of brilliant soloists
whose repertory instrumentally
gives each an opportunity of per-
forming a solo part, as Sunday's
concert convincingly pointed out.
The core. of the orchestra,. aug-
mented by other instruments for
special works,. is a permanent
group of fourteen string players,
all graduates of the Moscow Con-
servatory.. Evidently, like .the
nusical custom of the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries, the
group performs without conduc-
tor. Barshai is its lead violinist.
Beginning with the works of the
mid eighteenth century, Barshai
takes over the role of conductor.
Barshai, one of today's truly
outstanding violinists, has headed
the orchestra since its inception
in 1955. He has acquired his musi-
cal education at the Moscow Con-
servatory and is considered by
many to be one -of the great musi-
cal personalities of our age.
Saturday's concert included the
Symphony No. 40 in G minor by
Mozart, Symphony No. 5 in B-flat.
major and Haydn's "Farewell"
Symphony in F .sharp minor, Op.
45.-

Barshai's reading of the Mozart
symphony was a purely delightful
introduction to the program. With
subtle shadings of lyrical preci-
sion, the orchestra effectively
made the Andante movement into
one of particular beauty.
As a complete work one cannot
praise Barshai too highly for his
superb treatment and understand-
'ing of the symphony. From the
vitality expressed in the Allegro
to establish a rising emotional
molto to the impecable phrasing
of the Finale the work did much
tone , that few conductors can
create so naturally. To the appre-
ciation of all present he virtually
made Mozart sing.
The "Farewell" symphony was
in many ways the most interest-
.ing part of the evening and for
this reason it is not surprising
that the orchestra chose to end
the concert with this number.
Graceful and completely elegant
in their style, the ensemble made.
a parting in much the fashion of
the original playing, each soloist
at the termination of his part,
blowing his candle out softly and
withdrawing from the stage.
Sunday evening's performance
was a chronological sequence of
three of the works of Haydn
rounded off with five Minuets by
Shubert.
Haydns' 7th symphony taken
exclusively provided some of the
finest example of solo precision
and harmony of the entire eve-
ning. Eugene Smirnov, lead voilin-
ist, and Alla Vasilieva, cellist, de-
lighted the audience in the Menu-
etto movement of the symphony
with their solo harmonies and
amazing tonal quality.

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"HIGH LOW COMEDY. It is a strange and effecting film that
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(Continued from Page 1)
Viet Nam. Our research is not de-j
signed to develop weapons."
The ICR released for publica-
tion its first annual report in 11;
years on some of the research it-
had done. Krieger cited the anti-
ICR demonstrations as "ineu-
mental" in causing the policy
shift. The report described only
three unclassified projects carried'
by ICR.
During the summer, Ramparts'
magazine published an article ac-
cusing Penn of maintaining "com-
promising relationships with the
U.S. military establishment."
In September, Harnwell an-
nounced the liquidation of ICR,
with its research contracts to be'
transferred to the university pro-
vost's office. The controversial.

contracts are still in operation
presently. The chairman of the
faculty senate said that only the
question of publication would be
considered and not, the propriety
of the project's content.
Thus the situation at the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania remains
essentially the same as a year ago.
The SPICERACK and SUMMIT
projects are still in operation,
policy on sponsorship is still the
same, although an eight-man fac-
ulty advisory board on publication
rights has been set up.
And the PACEWV, Prof. Kolko,
and other critics continue to agi-
tate, debate and stir up attention
ardund the country to the place of
classified research on chemical
and biological warfare at a univer-
sity campus.

5b4

plus FRANK HUBBELL and the STOMPERS

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Shows ot
1:004-3:35
6:15-9:00

ALPHA PHI OMEGA and the PERSHING RIFLES

the
slickest,

on fighting*
}, binlanpq!

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co-starring

the grounc

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in

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