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August 01, 1978 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-08-01

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Page 6-Tuesday, August 1, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Ballet Rep: The Bolshoi it's not

By STEPHEN PICKOVER
Havelock Ellis once said, "Dancing is
the loftiest, the most moving, the most
beautiful of arts, because it is no mere
translation or abstraction from life; it
is life itself." After watching the Ballet
Repertory Company at Meadow Brook,
I can agree with the latter part of Elis'
statement. For life itself it strewn with
problems, unhappiness, distasteful
situations. And garbage. Mounds of
garbage. Cascades of trash. And
Richard Englund, director of the Ballet
Repertory Company, with the excep-
tion of one piece, has chosen to portray
his slice of life with the more seedier
sections. I'm sure the sanitation
engineers enjoyed the offerings.
The program opened with the selec-
tions from the Hanson Piano Concerto,
choregraphed by Kevin Haigen. It was
here, in the small ensemble pieces, that
the company gave us a glimmer of what
was to follow. Both sexes were
somewhat stiff in posture, not like oaks,
sturdy and swaying in the breeze, but
rather like slender obolisques, sturdy
and rigid. The dancers never coin-
cided, always looking like a delayed ac-
tion film, the leaps and pliets coming
directly after the other, as if late.
Haigen's choreography did not enhance
the Piano Concerto, did not become
legato or burst with energy in the
louder passages. It, like us, was content
to sit and listen.

piece shone as much as pitted chrome
was not entirely their fault. The
choreography, after Marius Petipa,
was hardly envigorating or enticing,
but pedantic. Bissell, rather than just
looking jubiliant and masculine,
seemed less vigorous. His leaps seemed

remainder of the concert, imagine my
surprise when the exquisite ballet,
Elusive Garden, a somewhat
autobiographical account of Frederick
Delius, graced the stage. To quote the
program: "Frederick Delius-a com-
poser dreamer, wanderer . . . his

relationship with Jelka Rosen, a lover.
The fantasy shows us Delius as a young
man, remembering childhood
alienation from his siblings and paren-
ts. Suddenly, the memory is real, the
children come on stage, playing and
taunting him. The six members of the
ensemble, who were sometimes
representative of a consciousness,
other times society, had a precision
lacking in other pieces, probably due to
Gardner's and Megan Murphy's
(Rosen) superlative performance.
The two leads, especially Gardner,
were exquisitely lithe and graceful.
Their gestures were sweeping,
seeming to flow as breeze curls around
a tree or playfully tickles a rock. Gar-
dner's hands were brimming with ex-
pression, emoting a powerhouse of
feelings. The pas de deux between the
two developed into a relationship, a
rapport that slowly melded them
together as one. The restraint was well
placed-not a gushing embrace but a
slow, tender, warm one expressing
more nassion and love.
NOT ONLY WAS Domy Reiter-
Soffer's choreography agile and in-
teresting, holding our attention
throughout the ballet, but Anthony Tuc-
ci's expressive and elegant lighting
heightened the total experience. The
fades were well executed, making
Delius' loneliness even more evident. A
delicious dance.
Brown and Bissell returned with a
Bournonville Divertissement, excerpts
from several of his ballets. They were a
bit better here, especially during the
Tarantella from Napoli, even though
tle tamborines were off beat. The en-
s mble took turns with the soli, doing a
fair job and ending the concert on a nice
note. However, the memory of Elusive
Garden overpowered the entire con-
cert. Gardner and Murphy danced for
their applause.

Megan Murphy and John Gardner perform in "Elusive Garden," during the
Ballet Repertory Company's Saturday night performance at Meadow Brook.

like aborted airplane attempts in the
early days of flying. Brown fared a bit
better, with the piece she danced in The
Turning Point. She was less than
coquettish, however, a smug cuteness
accompanying her fan waving. The two
seemed to expect the applause, rather
than dance for it.
Since there seemed little hope for the

loveless childhood and loneliness as a
young man led him to search for his in-
spiration in nature - an ever-changing
garden, elusive but eternal."
JOHN GARDNER played Delius,
dressed in a business suit of the period
(late 19th century). The fantasy depicts
the lonely life of the composer and his

AND THEN came Leslie Brown and
Oatrick Bissel, billed as the "guest ar-
tists," plodding their way through the
flirtatious pas de deux from Don
Quixote. However, the fact that the
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Beethoven cycle ends splendidly

By OWEN GLEIBERMAN
Henry Szeryng and Gyorgy Sandor
may not have played as perfectly
Friday night as in their previous per-
formances Monday and Wednesday,
but I still enjoyed the last concert best
of all. Unlike the other performances
(especially Monday's), where every
note was polished and impeccably
precise, this concert sputtered and
stumbled a few times, but hit peaks that
transcended any technical problems.
The extra power of Friday's perfor-
mance might have been due to it being
the final night, or it might have had
something to do with the programming

of the Kreutzer Sonata, an inspired
piece that, in turn, seemed to inspire
the performers to new heights of ar-
tistry. This celebrated work's wonder-
ful second movement, Andante con
variazioni, was the highlight of all three
performances.
A LONG, melodic movement with in-
finitely complex and subtle develop-
ment, it enabled the players to inter-
twine with the spirit of the music and
build upon the written score with
profound assurance.
The first half of the program fared
less well, though it is difficult to pin-

ATTENTION ARTISTS
CANTERBURY LOFT (formely Canterbury House) is looking for a new
logo design.
THE FIRST TEN LOGO DESIGNS submitted will earn ten dollars
each.
THE WINNING DESIGN will earn one hundred dollars (All entries
become the property of Canterbury).
ARTISTS INTERESTED should first call 665-0606 for specifications.
Deadline for submission of designs is Monday, August 14, 1978.
CANTERBUY LOFT, now located at 332 South State Street, second
floor, is the Episcopal campus ministry at the University of Michigan and
sponsors programs in the arts which have an ethical or spiritual theme.

point precisely what was wrong. On the
other hand, perhaps this amorphous
aura was the problem. A nagging
feeling that neither of the performers
knew what they wanted hung over the
6th and 8th Sonatas. Occasional
technical gaffes didn't help matters.
Sandor mushed a lot of his runs, and
Henry Szeryng, violinist
Gyoegy Sador,piani"t
Rackham Auditorium
Sonata No. 6 in A major,
Op. 30, No.6.....................Beethoven
sonata No. 8 in G major,
Op. 30. No. 3 ..................... Beethoven
sonata No. 9 in A major,
Op. 47 ("Kreutzer") ..........C..'Beethoven
Presented by the University
both players' attacks were unsure an-
d jerky. Though he soared intermitten-
tly, Szeryng's tone was scratchy, and
he often seemed to be fumbling for the
right texture.
These first two pieces, however, were
not without their moments. The 6th
Sonata's Allegretto con variazioni was
a tad shakey but extremely spirited,
and played with a consumate feeling for
dynamics. The lovely Tempo di minuet-
to from the Sonata No. 8, a richly
gorgeous movement in E-flat, was
superb. In contrast to the preceeding
Seb BEETHOVEN, Page 12

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