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February 22, 1978 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily, 1978-02-22

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, February 22, 1978-Page 5

Care marks DSO show

Feld Ballet scores

T HE PERFORMANCE of the Detroit Symphony Or-
chestra last Saturday night at Ford Auditorium
ranks as one of the best this season. Maestro Paul
Freeman, the DSO's conductor-in-residence, was able to
blend the various degrees of talent in the orchestra so that
each of the three pieces, Serocki's Sinfonietta for Double
String Orchestra, Sibelius' Symphony No. 7, C major,
Opus 105, and the Concerto No. 3 for Piano and Orchestra,
C major, Opus 26 by Prokofiev, became sheer perfection.
The small audience at Ford Auditorium was so over-
whelmed by the excellent musicianship that they gave
each piece at least one standing ovation.
The evening opened with the DSO's premiere perform-
ance of Kazimiery Serocky's Sinfonietta for Double String
Orchestra. The unusual scoring of two identical string en-
sembles lends itself well to the contemporary Polish com-
poser's polyphonic technique. The avant-garde textural
12-tone base for which Serocki is noted is not evident in
this piece's opening movement. Rather conservative in
content, the strings joined together rather than diverging,

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Ford Auditorium
Detroit, Michigan
February 18, 1978
Serocki.............Sinfonietta for Double
String Orchestra
Sibelius............. Symphony No. 7, C major,
Opus 105
Prokofiev ............. Concerto No. 3 for Piano
and Orchestra, C major, Opus 26
Paul Freeman,bconductor
Alexis Weissenberg, piano

has conducted major orchestras in the composer's native
Scandinavia). The initial exposition of the symphony
opened extremely well with heavy strings, building into a
horn chord. This often understated sound was given per-
fectly, leaping out at the listener, as Sibelius intended it to
do, throughout the denouement of the high strings and into
the simple flute statement. Not only were the horns well-
controlled by the stiff-postured Freeman, but the DSO's
usually ungovernable trombones were maintained at their
very finest, forceful yet still with a tastefully rendered.
The final selection of the evening was Prokofiev's Con-
certo No. 3 for Piano and Orchestra in C Major: The piano
solo was admirably performed by Alexis Weissenberg, the
Romanian-born virtuoso pianist acclaimed in Israel and
South Africa at the age of fourteen, who rose amid ac-
claim at America's Juilliard School of Music to receive
the 1948 Levintritt International Award, plunged into a 10-
year self-imposed retirement from public performance in
order to study. Reappearing in 1966, he has been lauded as
"one of the classical superstars of the age.''
The theme of the first movement of the symphony,
however, is introduced not by the piano, but by an unac-
companied clarinet solo. During the few bars of this An-
dante statement, the soloist demonstrated the crystalline
purity that has come to be expected of the outstanding
DSO woodwind musicians. Soon the strings took over with
rapid unusual musings in a marked tempo change of
Allegro time that Prokofiev described as "semi-wavers".
HERE THE initial meditative opening is transformed
into a lively outburst that flows into the principal subject
of the movement stated by Weissenberg's piano. This is
carried a bit until the piano closes the theme while
castanets back up the oboe as it opens the second subject.
This is soon adopted by the piano, with Weissenberg
building this into a virtuoso display .of the exposed
passage in triplets. As the first movement reaches a
climax, it reverts back to Andante briefly and then is
followed by an exciting rising crescendo restatement of
the allegro theme once again brilliantly captured by
The opening orchestral theme of the second movement
is led by a firm woodwind line in a slow, almost marchlike
procession. The piano then enters upon five variations.
The first Andantino variation easily fulfilled what
Prokofiev himself described as a "theme in quasi-senti-
mental fashion" but Weissenberg sounded a bit held back
in emotion and lent the variation an unusually tense sen.,
The sharply contrasting Allegro tempo of the second
variation was repeatedly stated by surprisingly controlled
trumpets, as the piano frantically unfolded its inter-
pretation of the theme. Freed from the brass in the third
variation, Weissenberg slowed down somewhat in a more
moderately paced Allegro. Having slowed, the resum-
ption of an Andante tempo in the fourth variation was less
awkward than is often the case in the performance of this
Quietly accented by the French horn, the piano sunk in-
to a deeply reflective dream sequence. Finally the piano
bursts into a thrilling explosion in Allegro guisto for the
fifth variation. This proved to be Weissenberg's most

T'S EXCITING to see a performing
arts company like the Eliot Feld
Ballet. To see a dance company,
created and nurtured by a man who
considers himself a "classicist", per-
form works which expand the tradition
of ballet is exciting. So few classical
choreographers can do it - so few can
take the classical technique beyond
lines, planes, positions, and the brilliant
execution of steps. Feld has expanded
Eliot Feld Ballet
Power Center
February 20, 1978
Serge Prokofieffb....... .. ......Harbinger,
Albert Roussel..................... Impromptu
Emmanuel Charbrier ..,.......Cortege Parisien
Beethoven.................... A Footstep of Air
Choreography by Eliot Feld
the classical idiom by exploring the
"total" space and by ingenious play
with rhythm.
The first piece performed Monday
evening in the Power Center was Har-
binger. This mainstay was Feld's first,
premiered in 1967. The five-part dance
begins with a solo male figure' who
languidly stretches out and then curls
in his body. He is joined by six females
who quickly and lightly fly about the
stage never to fully acknowledge his
presence until the end when they en-
compass his coiled body.,
The duet which follows is terribly fast
with an abundance of sharp, intricately
small movements. This was the
audience's first taste of Christine
Sarry's brilliance as a dancer. What an
introduction! Sarry, who seems hardly
able to contain her energy, effortlessly
moves at speeds which are almost
"faster than the eye." In the second
part of Harbinger, she tries constantly,
through the rush of speed, to escape
from her partner, Gregory Mitchell. He
grabs her back, half protectively, half
selfishly. In the end she repeats what
the solo male figure did in the first
part; she doubles over in a tight ball as
her partner snatches her from the air.
THE NEXT TWO movements have
doubles, trios, and solo figures dancing
in front of or intertwined with ensem-
bles. Solo figures emerge only to be
caught up by groups :of dancers. Feld
seems to be playing with the separation
of individuals from groups or as seen in
the coiling-recoiling movement theme,
the tension between moving out into
space or remaining a part of the group.
It can be seen as the conflict between
conformity and individuality ..,or
aggression and pass iyity.'
The symbolic meaning of Harbinger
is important only because it helps the
audience see the development of the
apiece from the beginning, when the solo

male figure easily moves about the
stage stretching his limbs and coiling
tightly in a low hunched position, to the
end when in the final sharp climax, the
men grab the women out of the air. The
women coil tightly around the men's
arms and the curtain falls.
Impromptu is a solo work danced by
Helen Douglas. Out of all the repertory
seen Monday evening, this was the least
satisfying. To begin with, the perfor-
mance was uneven. The soft, lyrical
quality of the dance, which at times
seemed to be a classical homage to
Isadora Duncan, was marred by bumps
and stutters.
THE DANCE itself seems too sparse
and repetitive. I kept looking for the
fullness that characterized Harbinger
but found instead a rather flat piece
which only dabbled with a few
movement possibilities. Harbinger is
built around very few movement
themes, but they are developed fully by
using spatial dimensions. Impromptu,
on the other hand, barely explores two
dimensions of space; the result is a
dancer who listlessly floats on a flat
The final piece, A Footstep of Air, is
absolutely delightful. Feld used the
Irish and Scottish folk songs of
Beethoven to create a dance work
which has a highly interesting and
complex rhythmic structure. When
working with duets and trios, Feld is
able to manipulate the bodies by giving
each dancer a different rhythmic pat-
tern, but with identical movements. His
duets and trios are therefore intriguing
to watch because dancers seem to be
asserting their individuality while
trying to keep the group together.
The men's dancing in A Footstep of
Air was outstanding. I think that it is
the first time I have seen ballet dancers
feel the weight of their bodies. Without
losing any of the articulation of the

lower leg and foot,, the dancers were
able to feel the pull of gravity and used
it in quick level changes and large jum-
ps: Without giving the men the audien,
ce-pleasing tricks of classical dance;
Feld has them performing very dif-
ficult steps which rely on constant
rhythmic accuracy.
The men easily move from one level
to another making fast changes of
direction. They are never used as
"hauling machines." When partnering
is used it seems to grow out of the dance
as a necessary progression. We are
able to see how a list works and are npt
expected to suspend our belief to thinik
that the women are somehow floating
above their strong, earthbound par-
The University Musical Society-spon-
sored event was a welcome change
from the traditional classical dance
performances usually given in Ann AT-
bor. Eliot Feld may not be as in.-
novative as many working modern
dance choreographers, but he offers.a
new side to the often stale world of
classical dance.
In a nutshell!
March =of Dimes
T 1

and entered upon a strong, vibrant work in sonata-allegro
The Adagio second movement constituted an absolute
change of pace. Here the theme was carried by one or-
chestra in a series of slow, haunting chordal blocks while
broken by quiet bursts of sliding pitches from the violins
and violas of the second orchestra, backed by pizzacato
meanderings of the low strings., The DSO handled the
meditative free form of this movement with stirring sensi-
tivity, setting a mood of pensive quiet. The wrenching con-
version from the Adagio to the Vivace third movement
seemed typical of Serocki's work. Just as the contrasting
rhythms and tempos within each movement differentiate
the "indeterminancies", of the composer's 12-tone
"fields" of sound, the sharp contrasts of tempo and
rhythmic base of each movement as a unit serve to dif-
ferentiate one from the other..
THE SECOND SELECTION of the evening was Jean
Sibelius' Symphony No. 7 in C Major. This, the last of the
Finnish national hero's completed symphones, is a
brilliant intertwining of ideas in one movement, and wa
fully realized under the baton of Freeman (who himself

Around the World

Fall 1978

Noted trumpeter,


HE WOODY SHAW Ensemble will
visit the University this Friday,
February 24, adding yet another dimen-
sion. to the Eclipse Jazz series this
term. Shaw's trumpet playing has often
been compared to Freddie Hubbard's
but he has been influenced more by the
ideas of John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy.
He started out with Clark Terry and
then played in Europe with Kenny
Clarke and Bud Powell. Years of work
as a sideman for artists such as Jackie
McClean, Nathan Davis, Herbie Han-
cock, Andrew Hill and Art Blakey, ser-

ved to heighten his reputation as a
much sought-after trumpeter.
Shaw has said of another colleague,
McCoy Tyner: "I'm very honored to be
one of the few trumpet players that he
has used ... I think he can hear where
I'm coming from on the trumpet. My
style blends with his music. Now that's
some of the best playing I've ever done.
The goals were so high."
Pianist Onaje Allen Gumbs, bassist
Clint Houston, drummer Victor Lewis,
and trombonist Steve Turre are part of
Shaw's Ensemble, which also includes
Carter Jefferson on Saxophone and

)up to play
Jimmy Vass on alto sax and flute.
The Woody Shaw Concert Ensemble
will appear at Hill Auditorium for one
show only. Tickets are still available at
the Michigan Union Box office.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The eyes of
Texas may get a little watery on two
occasions in 1978. Both, the AAU
National Swimming Outdoor and In-
door championships will be held in
The indoor title meet is scheduled for
April 5-8 at the University of Texas in
Austin. The outdoor competition will be
held in Woodlands fin early August.


Join the
Semester at Sea of the
University of Colorado for an
unparalleled international
educational experience. Sail from
Los Angeles Sept. 9, by way of the
South Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Africa..
Applications now being accepted.
For Free Color Brochure, call or write: Semester at Sea, Taj Mahal Building,
P . Box 2488, Laguna Hills, CA 92654. Telephone (800) 854-0195 (toll-free
outside California) (714) 581-6770 (in California). SS. Universe is fully air-
conditioned, 18,000 tons, of Liberian registry.

Enjoy THE GOOD COMPANY of Susan Sneider, Gabe Kaimowitz,
perhaps Meg Gelbert, even Charles Stallman reading The Lady Is The
Tiger and other works by hgk after 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23, at the
GUILD HOUSE, 802 Monroe.
Once upon a time,
there were two people-hgk
This world is not large enough for the both of us big people as we are hung out
over the edges, every now, and then, a glimpse of an ass, or nose, or a boot that
fits much too tight on one of our legs

MON. thru SAT. 10 A.M. tl I:3a P.M. SUN. & HLSE.12 Noon til 1:30 P.M.
Monday-Saturday 1:30-5:00, Admission $2.50. Adult and Students
Sundays and Holidays 1:30 to Close, $3.50 Adults, $2.50 Students
Sunday-Thursday Evenings Student & Senior Citizen Discounts
Children 12 And Under, Admissions $1.25
1. Tickets sold no sooner than 30 minutes
prior to showtime.
2. No tickets sold later than 15 minutes
after showtime.


The Office of
Major Events Presents .



Woody Shaw






RESERVED TICKETS $7.50 - $6.50 & $5.50

The Mouse and Her Child 10:15
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lAIKIT {~py tCb

Boom MWAMI D i m [ %AN. .7 J . T

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