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October 16, 1977 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-10-16

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The Michigan Daily-Sunday, October 16, 1977-Page


The Soviet Georgian Dancers with
the Tbilisi Polyphonic choir gave a
stunning performance Friday evening
at Hill Auditorium. With precision and
vitality they welcomed the audience to
a celebration of Soviet Georgian folk
music and dance.
This was not a presentation of au-
thentic folk art but of spectacle. Since
the essence of folk art is the communi-
cation of shared values and ideas
through a commonly shared idiom, the
degree of authenticity became a moot
point once these Georgian dancers
stepped onto a stage in Ann Arbor.
Seeming to understand this, the
Georgians bridged the cuLtural gap
with a spectacular display of precision
a and raw energy. The Tbilisi Polyphonic
was hauntingly beautiful in its rendition
" of folk songs and as accompaniment to
the dances. This 'all male choir was
masterful, never faltering through
complex rhythms and harmonies.
The audience was' continually re-
minded that this was not an even of
conservation. This was most pro-
nounced as the evening progressed to a
two thousand year old pagan Georgian
'Kille n _s
"Songs are like old friends when
you've lived with them for a long time;
sometimes they leave and then come
back, and it's like a new relationship,"
Lou Killen remarked Friday night at
the Ark. He estimates he has a reper-
toire of at least 300 old friends, leaving
plenty to choose from. Playing some
Northumbrian favorites, as well as a
few of the English ballads he's noted
for, Killen used his sensitive concertina
playing, charming singing, and sharp
story-telling to delight the small Ark
crowd. His contact with the audience
was so strong that it sometimes seemed
the room was filled with hundreds of en-
thusiastic people.
Killen spent a great deal of time ex-
plaining his Northumbrian dialect and
the words used in his material. Without
this information, many songs would
have been hard to understand; with it,
they were fully comprehensible, yet
strikingly unusual sounding. In ad-
dition, he wouldn't let the crowd get
away with being silent. Before each
number he taught the chorus, and if the
singing wasn't loud enough, he'd say
things like, "most of you missed your
chance to sing the chorus. You've only
got two more chances."
Sometimes his instruction had woun-
drous -results. Towards the end of a
sheep shearing song and harvest home
song put together, Killen stopped
singing to concentrate on the sounds his
concertina was making. The audience
carried on the chorus magnificently. He
burst into a grin and said softly, "good
on va."
Down by Black Waters, an Irish air,
was a short stunning concertina piece.
Killen also demonstrated the tuneful-
ness of Pleasant and Delightful, a won-
derful song to soar with. Tommy Arm-
strong's Trenden Grange Explosion
provided an emotional change of pace.
While the first set had many songs
t about sheperds and fox hunts, like The
Cotswell Sheperd and The College
Valley Hunt, the second set featured a
variety of mining and war songs. One
mining tune was called, "a fine Ameri-
can air that we plagerized." Another

e hops
folk song, Kviriya, sung in flawless
five-part harmony.
A folklorist could easily find fault i
the "sugar coating" and showmanship
characteristic of nearly every selec-
tion. But again, folk artists as touring
performers must find ways to com-
municate with people who could not
possibly understand the idiom in its
pure form.
The Soviet Georgian performers gave
much of the spirit of their culture
Soviet Georgian Dancers
and Tbilisi Polyphonic Choir
October 14, 1977
Guran Bakradze, Artistic Director
GeorgiiDarakhvelidze, Principal Choreographer

at Hill
tween the seemingly tireless dancers.
Although the troupe used dazzling
feats and wondrous harmonies to ex-
press the high-spiritedness and nobility
of the Georgian people, they also de-
scribed honesty and a lack of pretdn-
sion through the use of beautiful but
simple lines and geometric formations.
The dancers unabashedly wiped
sweat off their faces and grinned broad-
ly at the executionof jumps and spins.
With a bold "heel first" swagger, dan-
cers and singers exchanged places on
the stage and seemed ever eager to give
more of themselves to the audience...
The final selection was a dazzling
combination of music and dance, "a
stirring climax befitting the Georgian
spirit of music, song, and dance."
Through their high energy perform-
ance, marked by awesome feats of
strength, agility, and sheer talent, the
Georgian performers completely broke
the barrier to their audience. The spec-
tator became participant by exuberant-
ly clapping rhythms for the dancers
and the performers openly acknowl-
edged their presence widely. grinning
and waving through this "stirring cli-

through such bravura. A Georgian folk
war dance, Parikaoba featured a dis-
play of swordmanship which literally
made sparks fly. The program notes
that it is "all in the spirit of a mountain
tournament," and the Georgian per-
formers' total involvement in the dance
transformed Hill Auditorium into an
arena for the breathtaking contest be-

Steve Miller

Miller flies like

. n n a . r r rrrrrrirrrri . r r.r r r r rirr .rrrrrr

Tommy Armstrong song, a "border la-
ment," was a sad anti-war number. Kil-
len chose not to sing the words.to Flow-
ers of the Forest, but he seemed so
deeply involved in the song that though
there were no words, the anti-war mes-
sage was clear.
These songs would have given the
second set an overly somber tone had
Killen not taken the time to tell a few
jokes and tales. "It's almost what - 60
shopping days 'til Christmas?" he
queries as he retold, in utterly irrev-
erent fashion, the story of the first
Christmas. Killen's brand of dialect
humor was most evident as he describ-
ed this absurd tale. He then said, "we
should follow it with a hymn." Instead
of breaking into song, however, Killen
began another story. This part of the
evening was oddly reminiscent of
Ramblin' Jack Elliot's recent perform-
ance at the Ark.
"I don't learn songs like other sing-
ers," Killen commented. With so many
songs to pick and choose from, its that
surprising that he doesn't feel a real
need to be learning new ones. "Twenty
years ago, I was soaking them up," he
said. "Now a song has to really hit me
to learn it."
If you count the albums he's appear-
ed on along with his own, Killen has
over thirty albums. His next Front Hall
record will be called Louis Killen - Old
Songs, Old Friends. It should be out by
the end of November, but he warned
that due to the great demand for "get-
rich-quick Elvis albums, it is hard to
get other albums pressed," so it might


be out later.
Killen spent four out of the fifteen
months between September of 1975 and
December of 1976 at home in Barnard
Maine on Mount Desert Island. That's
unusual for him, but since he sold his
house recently, it's easier for him to
just travel.
"We'll finish with a couple of drinking
songs," Killen said towards the end of
the evening. He sang a good song about
New Castle Brown Ale, and then broke
into a jaunty version of John Barley-
corn, one of Killen's old friends who re-
cently returned to him. On songs like
this, his feet didn't just tap, they dan-
"The night is officially over," he an-
nouned nn bhhlf nf "hnc ef t hi


Basic, ,unadorned, All-American
rock 'n roll has become Steve
Miller's formula for mass popularity.
This formula is apparently work-
ing because his two most recent
albums Fly Like an Eagle and Book
of Dreams, each have become double
Miller and his band gave Ann
Arbor a taste of his success Friday
night at Crisler Arena.
Former Miller band member Nor-
Buffolo and his band The Stampede
opened the show with a good mixture
of country-rock and blue-grass mu-
sic. An energetic, percussive climax
got -the crowd ready for Miller.
Steve "Guitar" and his six man
band glided through jubilant versions
of Space Cowboy, Take the Money
and Run, The Joker and the dreamy
utopian called Wild Mountain Honey
where the audience reaches the

euphoric feeling of being in a tranquil
What surprised everyone was the
way the feature act started. The
lights dimmed and a tape of The
Victors roared through the PA
system which got the crowd standing
and clapping as if they were at a
football game.
Miller then dedicated the concert
to Elvis Presley and played Swing-
town. Next Stevie donned the har-
monica with Buffalo and traded solos
and harmonies for a song. Livin' in
the USA and Jungle Love followed,
charging the crowd up again with an
abundance of on-stage energy.
The lights slowly went out and
Miller. and his gang left the stage
with Stevie 'saying "Have a nice
The keyboard wizard took the
audience on a synthesized, magical
trip accompanied by a sparkling,

laser show. The Stake, Rockin' Me,
Jet Airliner, and Fly Like an Eagle
got the crowd rowdy again with each
player taking the spotlight in an
extended version.
The band left the stage only to be
summoned back for two bluesy
encores followed by a fifteen minute
Stevie "guitar" Miller was flying
high Friday night and he may never
come down. He is producing hit after
hit and his next album promises to be
as good as his last two. But he still
knows how to entertain an audience
and I don't think anyone left discour-
aged when the stage was emptied for
the last time.

Hilberry gives Shaw
a delightful reading

**4*5L.U MI a J* osI4 oPi yUn u Y w a
wish to go home after the official songs
are done.'' Almost everybody decidedn.a1
to stay, making a wise decision. After Jo n the Daily's FEM
doing a traditional broadside, he sang
two songs about sea wrecks. KillenAeive 3free lessons onPur 9I 430
seemed to have the energy to do A rts Denartm entP ndoor Ski Deck. Plus o s e
another complete set, but it was late, rge a at.orstopbyThePeak
and people were getting tired, so Killen 76"A!'-D552There's no obigation. 31
decided to call it quits. It had been a PhOne / 4 Uisours.onus. ainn
wonderful evening, professional to the
very end.
e"The Louis Company offered mar-
velous theatre, absorbing choreography,
M onday, ctober17"and an immediately gripping show"..
M This is a splendid company with a Tuesday, uctober 18
Schubert (1977) superb creator at its helm"... Chicago Porcelain Dialogues (1974)
Deja Vu (1977) Deja Vu (1977)
"Louis himself is a brilliant dancer,
G(one of the best in modern dance . . .
an exceptional beauty of line and a
crystal bright imagination". . . New

Without question George Bernard
Shaw would have strongly protested
the opening production of the Hil-
berry Theatre's 1977-78 . repertory
this past Friday. He would have
protested because the problems of a
"progressive" matron pressed to tell
her children the identity of their
father can hardly stretch the umbrel-
la of relevance over the dark and
dread which haunts the city of
- Detroit. And without question he
would have applauded the quality of
the performance.
Under the direction of. Robert
Emmett McGill, the cast of You
Never Can Teil. gave a crisp,
well-paced performance, true in
accent and manner. When a "pro-'
gressive" matron returns from a
successful writing career in Spain to
England, her children become curi-
ous about the identity of,their father.
A Mr. Valentine, appropriately
named, enters the scene and woos the
eldest daughter and unknowingly be-
comes the dentist of her father.
Everyone eventually meets and are
alternately soothed and provoked by
a waiter whose son happens to be an
overwhelming lawyer.
These meetings and leavings give
Shaw the- nerfet nnnnrtunity ti

You Never Can Tell
By G. B. Shaw
THiberry Theater
Detroit, Mich.
Dolly Clandon................Mary Ottmann
Mr. valentine..... ...........Richard Gustin
Parlor Maid..................Rhonda Smith
Philip Clandon .................... John L. Beem
Mrs. Clandon...................... Joyce Ramsay
Gloria Clandon..................... Barbara Acker
Fergus Crampton ...............Jim Birdsall
Robert Emmett McGill,;Director
Repertory Company blended with
such ease that no player over-
shadowed another, they were all
excellent, from the parlor maid to
Mr. Valentine.
The play was begun in 1895, first
arriving in London in the late autumn
of 1899. It has been performed by
England's best: Richard Burton,
Peter O'Toole, Sir Laurence Olivier,
and a family of Redgraves.
But to sit immersed in a turn of the
century England setting with charac-
ters scoffing lightly over the prob-
lems of money and unemployment;
to immerse oneself in what is largely
fantasy and to the citizens of that city
and then to come out of the theatre
and face the undeniable realities of
Detroit would appall the social sensi-
tivities of one G. B. Shaw, not to
mention this reviewer

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