The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, February 20, 1979-Page 5
Members of the Dance Theater 2 perform in "Spatial Etchings," their finale number during this weekend's exhibition at
Slauson Junior High School. Under the direction of Christopher Watson, this dance was choreographed by Barbara Smith.
'Dance 2' the' music
By KATIE HERZFELD
I've always had a problem understanding abstract art.
All those shapes "motivated" by lines or curves or other
weird shapes have always seemed to me just a big secret
But Friday night at Slauson School, Dance Theate'r 2,
Ann Arbor's professional repertory company, demonstrated
that art doesn't need a story to be understood and enjoyed.
The troupe explains that "the art of dance as interpreted by
Dance Theatre 2 encompasses a spectrum of images: sculp-
ture-like forms, energy patterns carved in space and the
creation of fluctuating designs and shapes; all emerging
from the fluid architecture of the human body."
The company's first formal concert did indeed encom-
pass this spectrum. Beginning with Down Under, a work
choreographed by EMU staff member Sarah Martens, four
dancers first appeared on stage in an intricate, pyramid-like
formation, and then broke up to form triangles, squares, and
Circles. They used one another as slides and made a human
rope, all the while moving precisely and fluently. Clad in
simple green leotards, the dancers returned to their opening
CHRISTOPHER WATSON'S Wheels ... and Then Some
followed. Watson, the company's director, demonstrated
splendid extension and use of space throughout the evening.
Much of the choreography for this piece seemed influenced
by "touch improvisation" wherein a dancer touches another
and then rebounds off of him to create the movements which,
for this piece, were subtle, lyrical, and quite pleasing..
Barbara Smith soloed next in her own work called Scenic
Turnout. Accompanied by a tape collage which defined'dance
elements: "Plie - a small bend of the knees" and then'
requested: "Teach me to dance." Wearing a white sweat-
shirt, red shorts and knee socks and clunky street shoes, Ms.
Smith wiggled everything she had, tried lifting herself to
jump, and worked feverishly to keep up with the fast Greek
music. She began the "lesson" pulling her hair in frustration,
but ended stroking it in delight.
THOUGH THIS PIECE was truly original, energetic,
and funny, it could have been much more enjoyable had
Smith given us more expression. The choreography had all
the potential for agonizing winces, shows of exhaustion, and
self-satisfied smiles, but Smith limited her expression only to
the treatment of her hair.
Kathleen Smith's Sweet Bluegrass was accompanied by
Mary Smith's live singing of Tom Paxton and Bill Monroe
songs. Alas, as the choreographer herself began with a solo,
her visage did indeed betray that showing emotion was "The
Last Thing on (Her) Mind." The dancers who followed Smith
must have enjoyed the innovative lifts as Watson twirled both
Jan Engholm and Barbara Smith in a cartwheel and they did
a bit of "I'll swing yours and you swing mine," but their lack
of expression hampered our enjoyment of the piece.
The final work, Spatial Etchings by Barbara Smith
perhaps encompassed all of Dance Theatre 2's objectives.
Splendid sculpture-like forms, energy patterns, and fluid
designs were danced out by the five-member troupe with the
same technical precision and unpretentious style that had
been demonstrated all evening.
Technique, synchronization, and originality are Dance
Theatre 2's strongest assets. One hopes that this first formal
concert is the first of many for Ann Arbor. These dancers, all
products of the UM dance department, have quite a lot to of-
By ANNE SHARP
It was your average student film
The Ninth Ann Arbor 8 Millimeter
Film Festival opened its final evening
Sunday night with an extremely long,
dull, abstract rendering of an
oscillating figure 8, the show's logo.
This set the tone for the rest of the
evening. As is typical in student film
competitions, the winning entries which
were screened Sunday tended to be cen-
tered around images rather than plot
structure. The films were discon-
tinuous, "arty," and technically well
done for the most part, given the limits
of the 8mm medium. Few if any of the
films judged to be superior seemed to
have been designed to capture or
sustain an audience's interest. To be
honest, the show was pretty tiresome:
One kept trying not to fidget in the
awkward presence of "art".
Occasionally, the audience got fed up.
One Italian prizewinner, Introduction
to the Use of the Camera, featured dull,
lingering shots of what looked like an
abandoned parking structure, giving
way to two men going up and down, up
and down on a makeshift seesaw. "Is it
over yet?" cried an irate viewer, at one
point, then, "Fellini it ain't."
Prizes awarded to filmmakers in-
cluded a Beaulieu Super-8 sound
camera and cash prizes amounting to
$2,349.35, donated by local
businessmen, film co-ops and patrons
of the cinematic arts.
ANN SCHAETZEL won the film
camera for her 11-minute feature, Pat's
Tow. Scratch -1, an animation created
by painstakingly scratching designs in-
to the film's emulsion, won Phil
Hawkins, its creator, a copy of the
Handbook of Super 8 Production. Frank
De Palma's Atonement, a suspense
film about a man imprisoned in a gar-
den, won $25, while Disco Dog snapped
up a $115 prize for Willard Small.
All of the films in the 8mm com-
petition, including three that arrived
after the official entry deadline, were
screened during the two nights
preceding Sunday night's showing,
which highlighted the winners of the
festival. The festival was sponsored by
the Ann Arbor Film Co-op, one of the
largest non-profit film groups in the
area. Among the five judges who selec-
ted the winning films were Carolyn
Balducci, who teaches creative writing
at the University's Residential College;
Rick Greenwald, manager of
Millenium Film Workshop in New
York; and Betsy Lebron, an assistant
professor in Speech Communications
and Theatre at U-M.
THE 8MM FILM medium poses
problems for the filmmaker and
exhibitor not found in conventional 16
and 35mm film, which are used for
most theatrical films. Because of its
small size, 8mm film produces a grainy
image when prpjected on a screen
larger than six feet square, about the
size of the screen in the School of
Education's Schorling Auditorium. It is
also more difficult to edit than larger-
sized films, and sound tends to be
distorted. 8mm film is widely used for
home movies and by beginning auteurs
since it is relatively inexpensive to pur-
chase and develop, and the equipment
is light and easy to handle.
the Ann Arbor Flm Co f presents of Aud. A
TUESDAY, EBRUARY 20
ON THE WATERFRONT
(Elia Kazan, 1954) 8:30 & 10:30-AUD. A
Graphically evokes the brutality of the New York docks. MARION BRANDO
gives one of the towering performances in the history of films as a young
worker on the fringe of the underworld. Flawless supporting cast: KARL
MAIDEN, LEE J. COBB, EVA MARIE SAINT. Academy Awards for Best
Picture, Actor, Director, Screenplay.
Tomorrow; BEWARE THE BLOB and EATED ALIVE-
Leonard Bernstein's 1 st Musical Comedy
ON THE TOWN
New Look for showbar music
Tickets on Sale
Tuesday, Feb. 20
Ticket Central Michigan Union
"New York, New York! It's
Helluva town I .!
For Info. call 763-1107
By MARK COLEMAN
On almost any given night, one could
walk into Second Chance (t a similar
club in any city) and expect to Bear the
'same songs no matter who is playing.
There is a code (sometimes actually
written) that bar bands will play the
popular, FM radio playlist songs that
11he patrons have presumably paid to
hear. Musical deviants usually play
their experimental of original rock and
roll in obscure dives catering to
"punks" or, three bands at a shot, on
designated "new wave" nights at the
larger clubs. But the bread and butter
of the rock circuit is the week-long
three set a night engagement; some
club owners even "suggest" playlists of
If this seems artistically
strangulating, more dehumanized than
disco, or just boring, take heart. There
are people trying to beat the system.
LAST WEEK Second Chance
featured a band known as the Look, and
if last Friday's performance is any in-
dication, there is hope left for dynamic,
local mainstream rock and roll.
I arrived between songs to find
myself surrounded by a well dressed
crowd. Not knowing what to expect, I
turned to the band as they launched into
"Take Me to the River". Not Talking
Heads, but loud blues based funk that
turned Al Green's gospel influenced
song into something seducingly
sacreligious. Next was a Cheap Trick
song and the obligatory Stones number,
then a sledgehammer reggae version of
Harry Belafonte's ''Man Smart,
Woman Smarter" which motivated a
rather vocal Aerosmith fan next to me
to hit the dance floor. The band finished
MAPLE VILLAGE SHOPPING VNTER
Starts Friday, February 23rd
Starring ROBERT DENIRO
MON.-FRI. SAT. & SUN.
6:30, 9:00 1:45 6:30
Ends Thursday, 3:45 9:00
A MAN CAN FLY
the set with an original called "Music
Every Day" and as the dancers;went.
wild I stood stunned: These guys were
THE LOOK is a young, five-piece
group from the Royal Oak-Pontiac area
which is trying to make it in a tough
business on their own terms. They have
only been together for a year and have
thirty original songs plus their unusual
assortment of cover material.
"We're a modern band," asserts lead
singer Dave Edwards. "We do either
our own tunes or stuff the kids might
not have heard before: "Underground"
and new versions of older things." Ap-
parently this formula has worked; the
Look was voted number two (behind the
Rockets) as the best new band in
Michigan by radio station WABX.
The Look have played some big dates
backing names like Bob Seger and Ed-
die Money, but they vow to keep Detroit
as home base. It makes sense since
their sound is powered by the dual
guitar assault made famous by
The rhythm section really drives this
band: Rick Cochran (bass) and John
Sarkisian (drums) vary the beat and
rhythmic pace without ever losing that
high paced energy. They hurtled the
band through a set of originals, and the
dancers just didn't get a chance to sit
down. Stinging guitar licks from both
guitarists meshed well, etching songs
like "Race Against Time" and "Do You
Want Me To?" into the memory.
THE AFOREMENTIONED Edwards
was exemplary on vocals. He showed
tremendous range, considering the
acoustic situation, and his rapport with
the audience was the epitome of cool
professionalism; he neither engaged
the crowd in misguided cheerleading
attempts nor exaggerated displays of
Anyway, the Look are a tight, pretty
exciting rock and roll band. Their
music is fast and forceful the way good-
time bar music is supposed to be, as
well as refreshingly original and inven-
tive. When the Look sings a simple song,
like "We're gonna play our music every
day", one has to respect them. Unlike
most aspiring musicians, they are get-
ting paid for it.
Now Show - - - --------
Ing ._Campus Area Bv"erf ield Theatrel
WEDNESDAY IS MONDAY IS
"BARGAIN DAY" "GUEST NIGHT"
$1.50 until 5:30 TWO ADULTS ADMITTED
FOR PRICEOF ONE
ADULTS FRI., *AT..SUN.
EYE. & HOLIDAYS $3.50
MON.-THURS. Ev. 53.0
ALL MATINEES $2.50
Wayside Theatre WALT DISNEY'S
3020 Wshtnaw n iani Ave. Irregulars"
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