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October 27, 1982 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-27

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Zagreb dances night away,

By Colleen Egan
0 HE CURTAIN rose to a simple set
T sa Strauss overture played. Ten
straight-backed chairs and a purple
curtained entrance-way upstage
created a ballroom. The schoolgirls
darted back and forth in white-collared,
purple satin-sashed dresses. Their
headmistress rushed about excitedly,
scolding and primping the girls.
Sound like a bunch of girls getting
ready for a senior prom turned into a
play? Well, not quite.
Graduation Ball, as this simple
story is entitled, in actuality is a one-act
ballet performed by the Zagreb Grand
Ballet Saturday evening in front of a
full Power Center house.
This ballet, as are most ballets, is
theatre minus speaking, plus dancing
and with a set of very strict ruiles.
It sounds absurd that the recollection
of a dance, a simple set, and a bunch of
non-speaking dancers can tell a story
let alone be enjoyable. But a ballet is a
collaboration by choreographers, dan-
cers and musicians through which a
successful piece of poetic theatre for-
In Graduation Ball the vivid faces
and strong stacatto-like dance steps
and effortless leaps by the energetic
Zagreb dancers exhibited precisely the
nervous excitement easily shown
through speech in a regular play. Add a
Pippy-Longstocking hairdo to skillful,
lively, and charming Almira
Osmanovic and a class clown comes to
life with one of the superior performan-
ces of the evening. Mix these with a
rather large, carrot-topped head-
mistress played by a leading male dan-
cer, Ion Barbu, a group of spiffy cadets
and their general, Juras Mofcan, and a
collage of Johann Strauss' best pieces
to produce an easily identifiable story
The storyline of Graduation Ball
S makes it an appropriate piece for an in-
troduction to the theatrical quality of
ballet and as a first piece on the Zagreb
In this piece with such a simple set-
ting, costumes, and lighting, one's con-
centration is on the dancing. A single
missed step presents itself boldly. The
members of the company did miss a
few steps at the beginning of the piece
(they later complained that the floor
was sticky and the mat was poorly
placed), but eventually warmed up
their movements as well as their
'emotions and enjoyed and enhanced the
rest of the performance. The highlight
of the piece, although, was the competition
between the schoolgirls, played by
Osmanovic and Suzana Bacic. The girls
have totally contrasting styles that
made for a very exciting display of
skill which brohght applause from the
Also notable about the Graduation
Ball, was the comical affair the head-
mistress and the general had
throughout the piece which climaxed
at the end into ungraceful, yet skillful
and funny partnering by the two
leading dancers in the company.
For those who like modern dance, less
structured and much more interpretive
than ballet, the Zagreb Company began
the second part of their program with
Promethens, a rather abstract yet
dramatic ballet that uniquely and har-
moniously followed a very definite
Beethoven score.
Clad in all-white sleeveless leotards
and flowing leg-drapes, the group of
male and female dancers moved as a
whole through elementary staccatto
movements on an all black stage, broke
into groups of solos, duets, tercets and
quartets, reached a fluid yet energetic
climax and then returned to their initial
state. White costumes against an all
black stage and modern balletic
movements to classical Beethoven

Queen of
the blues
to perform
American Cafe (611 Church) will
be a special one for local blues fans, as
Koko Taylor marks an always en-
joyable return to Ann Arbor. With ap-
pearances all over the world and
several album releases, including live
recordings from Montreux and from
the recently acclaimed Chicago Blues
festival, Taylor is often, and justifiably
called the first lady of Chicago blues.
Tickets are $3.50.

showed Prometheus to be a dramatic
ballet of contrasts performed by the
Zagreb troupe.
As the third piece in the program,
The Black Swan Pas deDeux, from Act
III of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake
dramatized splendidly the classical en-
ticing of Prince Siegfried by Odile the
Black Swan. Vesna Butorac-Blace dan-
ced an almost flawless seductive part in
her gold-sparked outfit. Except for a
slight fall off in the last whipped
pirouette of 35 difficult fouettes in a
row, her performance exemplified her
status as leading dancer in the com-
Her partner, Joachim Pura, lifted her
effortlessly through the air and also
danced his own difficult solos quite
For their final piece of the program,

the company performed Polovtzian
Dances from the Prince Igor opera. It
displayed the ethnic dance of peasants,
slave girls, and warriors in the Tarter
Khan's camp. The magnificent showing
of savage dances and dramatic
costumes by the, Zagreb company
brought to life the celebration of voc-
tory over the Russian Prince Igor.
The Zagreb Grand Ballet's program'
had something for everyone in the
audience to enjoy. In all aspects, music,
story, feeling, and steps the program
showed how varied and strong of a
ballet repertoire The Zagreb Company
The extra applause at the end of the
performance not only welcomed the
Company to the United States but it also
encouraged the company to return in
the future.

The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, October 27, 1982-Page 7
Will be interviewing on campus
Friday, October 29,1982
at the Career Planning and Placement Center
RGI is an integral part of The Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, California. Its
curriculum consists of interdisciplinary study, combined with compensated
work, leading to award of the Ph.D. in Policy Analysis. The Rand Graduate
Institute is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
A Master's degree or equivalent post-bachelor's degree training and experience
is required for admission.
For more information, please contact the Career Planning and Place-
ment Center, 3200 Student Activities Building at 763-1484.
Read and Use Daily Class if ieds

u Shabbat

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