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November 16, 1977 - Image 6

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-11-16

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Page 6-Wednesday, November 16, 1977-The Michigan Daily


A FUNNY THING happened Mon-
day night when the Pennsylvania
Ballet took the stage at the Power
Center; this exquisite company,
justly celebrated for its characteris-
tically high level of execution, was
sloppy. The timing of the ensemble
dancers was off perceptibly enough
to send a quiet buzz of conversation
coursing through the orchestra seats.
But it must have been a'fluke. After
that slightly shaky start, the com-
pany proceeded to delight the aud-
ience with a program that leaned
heavily on classical ballet, but
included a highly pleasing modern
piece. And after the rough beginning,

the general' level of execution was
quite good, especially in the solo
The company performed two, num-
bers choreographed by George Ba-
lanchine, Allegro Brillante, and
Scotch Symphony, set respectively to
Tchaikovsky's P i a n o Concerto
Number 3 and Mendelssohn's Sym-
phony Number 3 in A Minor. The
company also performed Rialto,
billed as "A suite of Art Deco
Dances" set to the music of George
Gershwin, and Grand Pas Espagnol,
set to Five Spanish Dances by Moritz
AS FAR as technical flaws go, the

Ballet p
only serious problem of the evening
came during Allegro Brillante. The
timing of the ensemble dancers was
shaky throughout the early portion of
the piece. But this in no way
detracted from the performance"of
the principal dancers, Michelle Lucci
and James Mercer.
Lucci has the great quality of being
able to command attention on a
crowded stage; in the midst of a
whirling company her movements
seemed almost effortless, and al-
though the sweat on her neck was
visible a good distance away her face
never once betrayed exertion. She
radiated the warmth of an innocent
while performing sophisticated danc-
James Mercer supported her cap-
ably. Helping with the spins he
looked occasionally mechanical, but

leases at Power Center

for such a large dancer he seemed
well in control of his body.
THE PLEASURE derived from
observing Allegro Brillante comes
from the strong contrasts in the
piece. Typically Balanchine, it alter-
nates stretches of busy, almost
frenetic group dancing with stretches
of pas de deux and solo dancing that
are exquisitely lyrical. Largely on
the strength of the principal dancers,
the company was able to carry the
piece off successfully.
The other Balanchine work, Scotch
Symphony, was classical ballet in the
truest sense of the idiom. The piece
featured a large ensemble, a recog-
nizable story line and lovely solo
dancing. As the prima ballerina,
Alba Calzada was the clear star. Her
arabesques and pirouettes were flaw-

less and her legs were flexible almost
byond the bounds of credibility.
Seemingly at the apex of a leap,
she would find an extra six inches to
extend her foot in. Not once, not
twice did she do this, but throughout
the performance.
TOO BAD her partner, the Scots-
man, played by Steven Majewicz,
was not so capable. Of the Pennsyl-
vania dancers given major roles,
only he was disappointing. His
sinewy, muscled legs suggested
power he never displayed. And,
during his moments of solo dancing,
it appeared as if he was only half
trying; his axial spins lacked convic-
These flaws might be forgivable;
but in addition, he was flatly wooden.

His face never showed an expression
throughout the number. By compari-
son, most of the members of the
company seemed aware of and
pleased with their performances that
Majewicz seemed a scarecrow amid
a group of children happily let out of
school for the semester.
Rialto, a suite of modern dances
choreographed by Rodney Griffin,
was the only nonclassical number
presented. Quite accessible to the
audience, it featured a number of
short dance sketches, similar in tone
to vaudeville blackout numbers.
The idea worked delightfully. The
costumes the dancers wore were
witty variations of formal evening
clothes, and the backdrop, a glowing
Art Deco amalgam of skyscrapers,

. . . . . . . . . .." ..:.: ........:..... ..

the nn arhor f lm cooperative
TONIGHTI Wednesday, Nov. 16
(Francis Ford Coppola, 1969) 7 ONLY-AUD A
Coppola (GODFATHER I and II, THE CONVERSATION) directed this film about a married woman who tires
of domestic life and takes off. Shot on the road with the crew living in and out of a bus, this
sensitive film remains Coppola's personal favorite. Sandra Knight, James Coon, Robert Duvall.
(Paul Mazursky, 1971) 9 ONLY-AUD A
A novice film director tries to find his "Wonderland," not in any specific place, but rather in his
cinematic ideas and fantasies. After the New York success of his first film, he makes the pil-
grimage to Hollywood to start another, only to be haunted by Felliniesque sequences from 8'/. Torn
between being considered pretentious, he is compelled to visit the Master, Fellini: the result,.a
visionary movie from director Mazursky, With Donald Sutherland,,Ellen Burstyn, Frederico Fellini,
James Moreau.
Plus Short: BETTY IN BLUNDERLAND (Dave Fleischer, 1934).
Betty Boop falls asleep over her book and dreams those dreamy dreams. Funny, inventive, a
classic of American animation.

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A MEETING of two generations
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occured when the original "punks" of
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in the punk frenzy sweeping the
nation - appeared together in a
concert-like gig at the Second Chance
Monday night.
Sonic's Rendezvous Band is a
combination of some of the best mu-
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hard rock Detroit groups of the late
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before it became popular, on his first
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rhythm guitarist is Scott Morgan,
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guitarist and leader of the band is
Fred "Sonic" Smith, feedback man-
iac with the old MC5.
Then we have the Sea tbelts. This
group features a smattering of "New
Wave" styles: a Ramone 'on lead
guitar, a N.Y. Doll on bass, a
drummer sporting a pair of those
slick punk sunglasses and a clean-cut
lead singer for a stylistic counter-
THE SHOW was truly a concert-
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iopened the show and provided punk
music at its simplest: songs with
three or less chord changes driven by
an over-miked drum. They were kind
of fun to watch since the musicians
were jumping and moving all over
the stage. But after a while the sim-
plicity gets to you. I wanted to hear
some lead workbut all the guitarist
chose to. do was feedback, which
didn't work because his guitar was
overpowered by the drums.
During their last song, "I Trusted
Yo.u" (the only lyrics), the band
worked themselves up into a frenzy
and a spectacular ending when the
barrage began. First ice, then empty
beer cans were thrown from the
balcony. The band hit the exit.
Surprisingly, the Seatbelts re-
turned to play their best rocker,
called Baby, Baby, Baby. They were
greeted by a glass shattering on the
stage. It seems as if punk music
breeds punk reactions in the audi-
ence. Throwing objects at musicians
who can't defend themselves on
stage is my definition of "punk",
since those audience members knew
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THE CROWD was definitely there
to see Sonic and the band, and
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