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April 05, 1981 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-04-05

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The Michigan Daily

Sunday, April 5, 1981

Page 5

A wonderful world of animation

ny LaA nfrE4
Walt Disney is sponsoring presen-
tations of Disney on Film at 33 univer-
sities across the country. Friday night
they brought their presentation to
.Angell Hall with guest artists
diseussing Disney's classic animation
and some of their future projects. They
showed film clips from past
aciievements including Bambi and
Jungle Book, as well as clips from
future projects.
The guest artists included Eric Lar-
son, 75 year old veteran animator who
has been with Disney Productions for 48 John Cu
years animating or directing the ter Mr.
ani.ation of every Disney feature sin- presents
ce Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; night.
*John Musker, one of the leaders of
Disney's new generation of animators, walls w
who is working on a new science fiction scenes
thriller; and Harrison Ellenshaw, a Ellensha
matte painter for Disney's contem- Wars, T
porary movies. Strikes
MATTES ARE paintings on glass modera
The idea is nice - a potpourri of dan- together
ce forms. This is what IMPACT Jazz said. "Tribut
they aimed to achieve in their second choreo
performance since the company's choreog
founding a year ago. Friday and Satur- Both pi
day night at Mendelssohn Theatre the more ef
audience was offered twelve different dancers
dances of varying styles - all full of In tw
energy and creativity - but it was sim- Melkers
ply too much. was the
Unfortunately the company's focus dancer;
*was not clear enough. They offered choreog
everything from ballet to disco, but I ("Syne
found myself hoping they would stick to ("Pride
the form they seemed to understand encoura
best - jazz. It is a common and under- the chor
standable mistake of many new com- "In "
panies: they offer the audience a wide Memory
variety with the hope of providing some and El
thing for everyone. Their plan didn't dancers
work. In some areas there was neither the aud
a ,clear direction within the context of commit
the piece nor the program. In others pieces b
there was a strong sense of theme and humoro
direction and it was here that the com- Mood"
pany was at its best. dancing
In "A Seaside Rendezvous," "A Me
cIoreographed by Kathe Telingator, more te
the dancers performed a smooth and Perha
carefully executed comedy jazz piece called'
about seaside fun. With vibrant By the
costumes (as they were thoughout the many p
whole evening) and energetic music by melt in
Queen, this piece was a pleasure to leaving
watch from beginning to end. The dan- show a
cers were involved not only in the dance their th
but also with each other and their in- sense of
volvement radiated to the audience. The c
There was exceptional fluidity in the lif- freedom
ts of Newt Loken, Jr. and Keith well, bu
Huckaby, and both men, as well as the a compa
four women, showed off their dancing graced
capabilities better in this piece than in cers an
any other. their sty
The same type of commitment and to see vi
energy were present in "Working DAy" the grou
and Night." This piece, choreographed
by Laura Appleton for eight dancers,
was the most lively of the evening,
having both direction and form. The
dancers displayed adept jazz technique
and the choreography held together
well for the group, who kept a clear
sense of both themselves and their
space. They played to the audience, and
seemed to be telling us what fun they
were having (as I'm sure they were),
making the performance all the more
"Country Slickers," choreographed
by Su Addison, William Boyd Jr., and
Michele Melkerson was another piece
with clear direction and theme. Per-
formed to Copeland's "Rodeo," the
three choreographers did an energetic
pas de trois full of life and humor.
William Boyd nearly stole the piece
with his enthralling high jumps, his im-
peccable sense of rhythm, and his in-
timate audience contact. But it was

hard to outshine his two women par-
tners, who showed themselves off to be
very fine jazz dancers.
Enough good said. "Trio,"
choreographed by Lisa Bennett and
"Triangular Woes," was
choreographed by Carol Neubrecht
simply did not hold together for lack of
ballet technique. Although the themes
behind both pieces were adequate and
enhanced with a pleasant sense of
humor, the movements lacked flow, as
is often the case when technique is

lhane, who inspired the charac-.
Snoops (above), moderated the
ation "Disney on Film" Friday
hich are used for background
in animated movies. 'Some of
law's achievements include Star
he Black Hole, and The Empire
Back. John Culhane, the
tor, is a veteran journalist,
the company performed
r, they were at their weakest. In
e" and "The Contest," both
graphed by Boyd, the
raphy was lost in all the bodies.
ieces could have been much
fective with half the number of
on stage.
wo pieces choreographed by
son, "Pride" and "Synergy," it
music that helped to get the
s through slightly thin
graphy. Danced to Gershwin
rgy") and Elton John
e"), their unison with the music
ged the audience to overlook
eographic lapses.
We're in the Mood" and ". . . A
Y," choreographed by Addison
len Kramer respectively, the
' lack of communication with
ience as well as their lack of
ment to the steps held both
back. However an engaging and
ous ending to "We're in the
(a good imitation of chickens
g) left the audience smiling, but
mory" seemed only to grow
'dious as it progressed.
aps this review should have been
a little too much for everyone.'
end of the evening I had seen so
pieces that they all started to
to each other with only a few
clear impressions. They did
level of sophistication in some of
emes and their well-developed
fhumor. -
company's refreshing sense of
n from discipline could work
it they have taken it too far. For
any only a year old, IMPACY is
with some very strong jazz dan-
d choreographers. If they define
yle and stick to it, we can expect
ery positive performances from
up in the future.

writer, teacher, and historian (and Mr.
Snoops in The Rescuers).
Larson explained how Disney blends
realism with fantasy. The characters
must have the proper weight and height
proportions, in order to look believable.
But the personality of the character
must be believable as well. For exam-
ple, for Thumper, the rabbit in Bambi
they had to research the characteristics
of the rabbit family, such as the way it
hops and wiggles its nose. In addition,
they had to research the personality
appropriate for the young boy, who was
the voice of the rabbit. Larson said a
character is a success if the audience
can feel that "I've met him
Disney on Film answered questions
such as what it takes to be an animator
for Disney (take drawing courses and
submit a portfolio to Disney Studios),
whether different animators draw the
same characters (usually several
animators draw each character and
one person supervises), and other
questions related to animation.
LARSON SAYS he learned a great
deal from Walt Disney, whom he says
"had the quality of being able to tell a
story .. . to act out almost any charac-
ter in the story. He was a pretty hard
person to please, but very considerate
and understanding ... He was a great
person." Larson worked with Walt
Disney for 33 years until Disney's death
in 1966.
The presentation .showed some of
Disney's current projects, including

Fox and the Hound (to be released this
June) and The Black Cauldron (to be
released sometime in 1984). Parts of
these film clips were in black and
white, depicting sketchy characters. In
the preliminary stages, the cartoon
character is drawn in black and white
with little detail so that modifications
can easily be made. Disney enters the
computer age with a film about a com-
puter programmer who gets sucked in-
to a computer and is forced to play
video games like Asteroids. This movie
is also scheduled for release in 1984.
The presentation was fascinating,
giving the audience an insight into the
amount of work, creativity, and genius
required to produce a quality animated
movie. My only criticism is that the
guest artists should have answered
more audience questions, but perhaps
that would have required more than a
two hour presentation.

tm 5th Ave. at Liberty 761-0700
Natassia "Tess" Kinski
- Brute Williamson. PLAYBOY I

$2.00 til 6:00
We're back to
our old tricks
Fri-7:30, 9:30, 12:00
Sat-1:20, 3:20, 5:30
7:30, 9:30, 12:00
Sun-1:20, 3:20, 5:30, 7:30, 9:30
Mon-7:30, 9:30

An mE'xlosion of Sound


ivajor Events incVites you to

X ith J nimliation (Mf hld.11n necdm t t)n r
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Hi chigan Hen's
Friay. April MO S

Gales Club

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Taw s,8p~nm., HE Auditorium
Tickets Available: Hill BoxOffice, April 6-11, 9a.m.-5p.m.
One Concert $4.50, $3.00,$2.O0lstudenti
Series Discount Available
x ncnunto ih wctgrV~gI aiew conference

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