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October 21, 1980 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-10-21

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, October 21, 1980

Page 5

Dancers leap

By AUDREY KRASNOW
Officially formed in 1978 by director
Christopher Watson and assistant
irector Kathleen Smith, Dance
eatre 2 and Dance Theatre Studio
form a microcosm of the dance com-
pany/dance school combination typical
of major national dance companies.
Many of the instructors for Dance
Theatre Studio are dancers in DT2. Asa
one who taken classes through the
studio, Saturday evening's chamber
concert of Dance Theatre 2 seemed like
a small recital for a few close friends.
Performed in the dance studio where
classes are usually held, dance students
omprised a large part of the 45 or so
people who viewed the dances from the
dance floor itself. The atmosphere was
one of intimacy and warmth.
Watson has trained with the Chicago
Ballet, the Chicago Moving Co., Merce
Cunningham and the Jeoffrey Ballet
School, and has also earned an MFA for
the ,U of M School of Music. As product
of all of this training, Watson's
choreography is of the purer modern
ype, marked by difficult-to-sustain,
adagios, contractions and curved,
grounded movements. Through his
choreography, he does not try to tell a story
but,' rather he creates a mood or ex-
presses a feeling. Saturday's piece
Facade conveyed a bright mood with
an undercurrent of teasing. Danced by
Denise Tazzioli, Wendy Arden, Deborah
Delorenzo and Laura Winslow, the
mood was spritely and energetic. It was
performed to excerpts from William

Walton's "Facade," which is a series of
Revolutionary War-era ditties.
Although the technical executions of
quick foot movements and extensions
were excellent, the content of the dance
was a - trifle disappointing. The
movements were simple and exacting.
Although this was well-done, I was left
waiting for at least a couple of exciting
or daring jumps and leaps. Perhaps the
dance space was too small to allow for
any spectacular movement. Whatever
the reason, its absence was felt.
SIMILARLY, GUEST choreographer
Lynn Slaughter Rosenfeld's piece, Idle
Conversation, was lively and playful.
Dancers Kathleen Smith and Tazzioli,
created a solid rapport with one
another, alternating sustained exten-
sions with staccato stabs; yet their
solid eye contact established the foun-
dation of the rapport. The music was a
modern, disjointed work which did not
play consistently throughout and con-
tributed to the startling quality of the
piece.
Kathleen Smith, assistant director of
the company, has also earned an MFA
for U of M and shares Watson's
background of Cunningham, as well as
Jose Limon and Nikolais. Her piece,
Short Threads, continued the concept of
dance as a mood rather than a story.
Danced to a series of traditional music
of various ethnicities, her three dancers
embodied each mood, convincingly por-
traying everything from the essence of
Scotland to that of Latin castinettes.
Smiths' style incorporated body con-
tact, rolls and progrressions which

orward
created a rather personal relationship
between the dancers. Here, too, it
would have been nice to see a flying
leap or two; but they never appeared.
IN BARBARA Djules Boothe's
Prayer, two male and two female dan-
cers described incredibly supportive
and deeply caring relationships bet-
ween man and man, woman and woman.
and woman and man. This choreography
was noticeably more lyrical than the
other pieces, marked by stunning
double pirouettes and body holds.
Throughout the dances were piano
works by Debussy and Al Jarreau, per-
formed by Rose Siri and Becca Segal.
In the small studio, the grand piano
sounded impressively beautiful, and it
provided an added dimension and
balance to the modern dances.
Dance Theatre 2 is doing exciting
things in creating a living and growing
dance life in Ann Arbor. Very impor-
tantly, the performing members of DT2
are professional, well-trained and high
quality dancers. They interject energy
and an exciting enthusiasm into every
movement. Each revealed potential to
burst out of the small dance space in
dazzling jumps and leaps, but the
choreography redirected this energy.
The intimacy of this concert afforded a
keen look at good dance, but it also
limited the space which is so crucial to
dance. Perhaps, if given a full stage, or
at least a larger studio, Watson, Smith
and company, whose next concerts are
in December, will reach even greater
heights as well as a greater audience.

i

Andy 'speculiar path /
By JENNIFER GAMSON me." His comparisons of the incon-
Andy Breckman's melodies them- sequential and the Very Serious are so
selves aren't of the rousing clap-wildly- unpredictable that listeners plummet
and-sing-along style. In fact, he openly from a giddy height to a puzzled low in-
admits to knowing no more than the few stantaneously.

basic chords and up-down strum that
every amateur guitarist dabbles with.
However, Andy's crusty, zany, but
loveable spontenaeity so charmed this
weekend's Ark Coffeehouse audiences,
that it knocked them right off their

Andy Breckman is an unmistakably
Jewish boy from Haddonfield, New
Jersey. His mainer is open and per-
sonable, alternating from self-
depreciation to stinging criticism. Af-
ter a brief stint as a student ("college is

o stardom
great. Three weeks in a life time is just
right") seven years ago, he began as a
standup writer and cartoonist, taking
up guitar on the side. Although he
barely knows enough music to get
along, he is aspiring to make a million
dollars-hopefully in rock and roll-so
he can get performing "out of his
system", take his woman away and
write comedy in comfortable solitude
"happily ever after." Now he plays-
bars in Greenwich Village, still writing
TV scripts here and there for a living.
In 1979, he won an Emmy for "Hot Hero
Sandwich," a children's variety series
on which he worked as a writer, singer
and actor.
$reckman's Ann Arbor audiences
will be disappointed to learn that hi
musical plans for breaking into bi
money do not include such favorites a
"Where is Rabbi Finkelman?" and "
Didn't Throw Up," in their simple,,
outrageous one-man forms. When h'
"makes it big," Andy Breckman will no
longer be the same off-the-wall chara--'c
ter with the unbelievable "chutzpah,,
but another New Jersey idol who can,
fill up Crisler Arena.
n'-

f. ^
Songwriter-humourist Andy Breckman (left), shown here with his backup
band of avant-garde art rockers, appeared solo last Friday and Saturday at
the Ark Coffeehouse. In the tradition of Loudon Wainwright III, Breckman
pens tunes about the absurdities of everyday life.

cushions and had them rolling on the
floor with appreciation.
Each one of Breckman's songs
proves that one needn't ever be em-
barrassed to display an obscure sense
of humor. He defies customary rules of
what "most people" will do or say in
public; he's a true comedian in the
"anything-for-a-laugh" sense of the
word. In Andy Breckman's songs, God
sits in his underwear and a young girl
strolling to church on her wedding day
is killed by a sheepdog falling from the
sky. "I Have Lived Before" is a ditty
about a woman reincarnated a
thousand times-each time as a
prostitute.
NOTHING IS sacred to Andy Breck-
man.
But within the ridiculousness of his.
humor there is an element of
sophistication. "Railroad Bill" is a con-
frontation between Breckmen, the
author, and Bill, the character in his
song, who challenges that "No stupid
folk singer's gonna make a fool outta
Join the race!
prevent
Birth
Defects
March
of Dimes
THIS SPACE CONTRIBUTED BY THE PU8LISHF
me

Dance Theatre 2's concerts this past Friday and Saturday night featured 'Facade,' a dance work by
company director Christopher Watson. Performers seen here are, from left to right, Denise Tazzioli,
Laura Winslow, and Deborah Delorenzo.
* Music School to bring Sippie Wallace

Spotlighting black jazz-its history,
its performance, and its enduring ar-
tists, a Thursday evening (Oct. 23)
program on the U-M campus will be
presented by local experts who are
nationally known to jazz buffs and
music historians.
Sippie Wallace, recording star and
*once a vaudeville favorite, and School
of Music Professors James Standifer
and James Dapogny will be featured in
the 8 p.m. event in the Rackham
Building. Admission is free, as the
result of a gift to the sponsor, the U-
MInstitute of Gerontology, from the
Colonial Penn Insurance Group. Com-
plimentary tickets may be obtained at
the Institute offices at 520 E. Liberty
(across fromthe Michigan Theater) or
at the door on the night of the concert.
Ipi A LECTURE preceding the Sippie
Wallace concert, Standifer will
describe the late-life creative spirit of
jazz artists he has interviewed in
researching jazz history. His lecture,
.one of a series presented this month on
creativity and aging, will be on the
theme "The Jazz Artist's Perspective
on Creativity and Aging." Ms. Wallace
will then entertain with the blues music
for' which she has been famous since the

Her public career included extensive
tours nearly 60 years ago as an ac-
claimed blues singer, followed by three
decades in which she sang gospel music
almost exclusively. In the 1960's, at the
urging of Ron Harwood, a blues scholar
and now her personal manager, she
returned to the- blues and has again

received ovations in this country and in
Europe. With Dapogny she has ap-
peared in the past three months in New
York City, Tanglewood, Columbia,
Maryland, Sacramento, Berkeley, San
Francisco, Los Angeles, and Santa
Barbara, as well as the Montreaux-
Detroit International Jazz Festival.

A
WARRIOR
WITHOUT
A WART
GREAT!
RAREI
Wed $1.50
til 5:30
(or cop.)

4-,

COMING THIS
THURSDAY
to the
MICHIGAN THEATRE
... will you ever
shower again?

(
I

CC frl

Classic Film Theatre

N

THE RUDOLF STEINER INSTITUTE OF THE GREAT LAKES AREA
OCTOBER 24-25, 1980
ART WEEKEND
Rudolf Steiner's Impulses in the Arts of Movement and Form
A tUPROGRAM
At the RUDOLF STEINER HOUSE, 1923 GEDDES, Ann Arbor
- * n e n n i i n n 4 ._ n 1 + ' - .. - e . a 4 . . . n a t " ^ A ^ -

1 AA.. . ..,. I...r.:7fA1l1

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