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January 19, 1982 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-01-19

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, January 19, 1982

Page 5

?II5IsSII I

Need a ride
out of town?
Check the BI It1
classifieds under
transportation

Joffrey II dancers
captivate audience

Joel Mabus
. highlighted the evening show
Diversity hallmark
of Arkfolk festival

By Lesa Doll
T HERE IS nothing as entrancing as
a young, nubile dancer. In-no other
persona can we find such illuminating,
raw talent; a talent strengthened by un-
fettered ambition. The Joffrey II is the
most reputable example of the
utilization of talented youths, and they
certainly did not disappoint their
discerning audience at the Power Cen-
ter Friday and Saturday nights.
The Joffrey II, an offspring of the
highly lauded Joffrey Ballet, is a unique
proving ground for some of America's
most able dancers-a stopping place to
refine and embellish before moving on
to one of the American touring com-
panies. A Joffrey II dancer does not
retain his or her company status for
long-it is willingly traded for a place
with the Feld Ballet, the Martha
Graham Dance Company, Twyla
Tharp Dance Company, or, for most,
the Joffrey Ballet.
This past weekend, the company
proved that is should be considered a
valid, competent dance company; one
that does more than thrive off the name
of its famed mentor, Robert Joffrey.
Although minor flaws should be expec-
ted from such young performers, Jof-
frey II offered an interesting montage
of dance with an expressiveness to
which experienced dancers often
become callous.
During all of Saturday night's
choreographies, the dancers performed
with a mature lack of self-indulgence
that is also characteristic of the Joffrey
Ballet; never thriving on its own pieces,
like Martha Graham, or becoming cap-
tivated with its own uniqueness, like
Pilobolus or Alwin Nikolais. There were
no principles or stars in the performan-
ce Saturday night, and likewise, no
great failures.
Margorie Mussman's Random Dan-
ces, four scenarios that relied on a lack
of divertissement, was one of the
nicest pieces on Saturday's repertoire.
Depending on an almost neoclassical,
flowing port de bras, the dancers drif-
ted upstage with a recurring theme of
grand jete dessus en tournant,
'haines turns and pirouette en
arabesque. Although Random Dances
did have a few comic moments that
neither seemed necessary nor apropos,
it was performed with a youthful aban-
donment and sweeping, romantic
frivolity that was definitely charming.

Rothko Chapel, by Bill D. Young, was
a striking, abrupt chance from the gen-
tleness of Random Dances. Dance to
Morton Feldman's macabre,
foreboding piece of the same name,
Rothko Chapel was a chilling, ac-
cessible statement of doom and
inevitability. This was emphasized with
an illusion created by a dancer slowly
rolling backward on the floor as the
others stepped over him or her. This
desperate continuity set the mood for
what was a moderately well-performed
piece. The male dancers, however,
seemed a little too unsteady for the
great amount of lifting that was
required.
Antony Tudor's obscure Continuo, a
fine example of classic expressiveness,
was perhaps the highlight of the Satur-
day performance. Although a little un-
steady, en point at times, this sweetly
sentimental sextet was performed with
a light, elegant touch. Among the
barrage of little-known composers that
usually make-up a Joffrey repertoire,
this classic piece was extremely
welcome.
Another familiar piece was
Coppelia, a time-honored and often per-
formed story of a doll that comes to life.
Although Joffrey should be applauded
for tackling such a classic pas de deux,
See JOFFREY, Page 7
x6
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By Mitch Cantor
For a while, it was almost like an old
Ed Sullivan show. And one of the bet-
ter ones, at that.
And almost perfectly executed. But
the Fifth Ann Arbor Folk Festival, at
the Michigan Theater Saturday after-
noon, stretched itself a bit too far,
giving up what could have been a near-
perfect show.
Diverse and unique acts were the
hallmark of the three and one half hour
show. Brilliantly emceed by Irish folk
singer and storyteller Owen McBride,
the afternoon performance included
five different acts, finishing unclimac-
tically with a half-hour set of songs
from headliner David Bromberg.
McBride got the crowd going from
the very beginning, coaxing it to join in
on two songs at the outset of the after-
noon. His delightful ballads and
anecdotes between acts saved the
audience from what could have been
very tiresome set changes.
Following a short introduction of the
festival, McBride brought on Gemini, a
duo composed of local identical twins.
Sandor and Laszlo Slomovits. An a
cappella version of "With a Little Help
From My Friends" and a few other
songs were enjoyable, though slightly
blase (fortunately the afternoon was
still young).
}Dominating the set, however, was the
bones playing of Sandor and Percy
Danforth, an 81-year-old bones virtuoso
tiewhom the festival was dedicated. (If
you've never seen anyone play bones,
they are played with one in each
hand-like spoons-but sound like tap-
dancing.) A bones duet between the two
was one of the highlights of the after-
noon and certainly made the set worth-
while.
,Following Gemini was another duo,
Billy Novick and Guy Van Duser, which
astonished the crowd with its swing-era
music.! Combining on guitar and
dtarinet, and then guitar and tin
whistle, Novick and Van Duser artfully
recreated a couple of jazz tunes, a blues
suicide chant ("Ready for the River"),
an Irish instrumental medley, and the
Harlem Globetrotters' theme song
(whatever it's called). The musician-
ship was brilliant, the act composed.
They will be returning to Ann Arbor in
ANN ARBO1R
2 INDIVIDUAL THEATRES
5th Ave at Liberty 761i9700
Part Burlesque
Part Satire
P Morcello
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FELLIN
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Daily-7:00, 9:30 (R)
WED.-1:50, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30
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$1.00

March to appear at the Ark. Don't mss
it.
The organizers of the festival were
smart enough not to allow a musical act
to follow Novick and Van Duser. In-
stead, they presented 0. J. Anderson, a
local mime. Several bits, which in-
cluded music in the background ("The
Hustle," "Theme from 'Rocky' "),,
were entertaining, though a bit exten-
ded. A serious mime piece in the middle
of his 30 minute set showed Anderson to
be more than just a silent jokester. The
act was a bit loose, but what Anderson
lost in pizzazz, he made up in freshness.
For more on the Folk Festival,
see page seven
The Hot Mud Family, a country and
bluegrass quintet, was the act the
festival could have done without.
Following the three other unique acts,
Hot Mud had nothing unusual or even
very good to offer. The songs, in-
strumentation, and vocals were all'
mediocre.
David Bromberg, while certainly a
relief from Hot Mud, was only as enter-
taining as the early acts. While Brom-
berg has gained popularity from a
combination of folk ballading and
bluegrass playing, he is far more talen-
ted in the latter. His guitar leads on
several quick bluegrass songs were
brilliant; his performance of "Will You
Still Love Me Tomorrow?" was em-
barrassing. Despite his shortfalls,
however, Bromberg's stage manner
and apparent enjoyment of his craft
made his set at least tolerable and a
pleasant wrap-up of a slightly
repetitive afternoon.

/

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