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October 01, 1983 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-10-01

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The Michigan Daily

Saturday, October 1, 1983

Page 7.

More than a music-maker

The Ballet Nacional Espanol performs the 'Three-Cornered Hat' dance
Wednesday evening at the Power Center.
Spanish dancing

By Ellen Rieser
B ALLET NACIONAL Espanol, Spain's
official dance company, brought
the house down at the Power Center for
its Wednesday evening performance.
Not only was the dancing superb, but
Ballet Nacional Espanol arrived with
the sort of elaborate scenery and sum-
ptuous costumes that Ann Arbor sees
but infrequently.
The program began with Sonatas,
choreography by Antonio (Antonio
Ruiz-Soler), principal choreographer of
the troupe. Sonatas, a work in the style
of Spanish ballet, featured the com-
positions of Padre Antonio Soler, one of
18th century Spain's greatest com-
posers of keyboard music.
Zapateado, also choreographed by
Antonio with music by Pablo Sarasate,
followed Sonatas. The zapateado is a
male solo dance characterized by stac-

cato footwork and rhythmic stamping
of the feet. Paco Romero's Zapateado
on Wednesday night was an exciting
celebration of this flamenco dance.
As shouts of encouragement rang out
from the audience, Romero
energetically tapped, slapped, stam-
ped, and stomped his way through the
piece. Such an exhibition of male
flamenco virtuoisty was more than the
Power Center audience could bear. The
enthusiastic applause and "oles"
prompted Romero to reciprocate by
dancing an encore zapateado. The en-
core was not presented with mujsical
accompaniment and served to accen-
tuate the absolute precision of
Romero's footwork and rhythmic
As the first concert in the Music
Society's "Choice" series, Ballet
Nacional Espanol got the new season
off to an exciting start, and the Music
Society is to be complimented for its
excellent selection.

By Mike Drongowski
S INCE THE inception of his celebrated
career as a concert violinist at age
15, Isaac Stern has been a man in con-
stant, restless motion. Whirlwind tours
at breakneck seem to be his trademark
- his energy is legendary. Conductor
and close friend Zubin Mehta once said
of Stern, "I have never seen him take it
easy. He gives 120 percent all the time;
he has no automatic pilot."
Isaac Stern's energy takes him in
many directions, one of which makes
him an ambassador, or sorts. He was
the first American performer to enter
the Soviet Union during the Cold War
era. A trip to the Far East resulted in
the award-winning documentary From
Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China.
Stern is also a, strong defender of
Israel, champion of the America-Israel
Cultural Foundation as well as the
Jerusalem Music Center, a training in-
stitute where visiting masters offer
classes to young Israeli musicians.
Up-and-coming talent is of special in-
terest to Stern. Looking beyond his own
career, he has helped many young
musicians establish careers of their
own. Under his close scrutiny, these
young performers are aided by one of
the world's foremost masters. "With
whom did you study? Why did you
choose that piece?" Stern demands of
young violinists that come under his
tutelage. He offers himself as critic
("I give them my unvarnished
opinion," he has said,) as well as per-
sonal mentor.
Of all the causes for which he has
fought, one of Stern's most famous was
his effort (in 1960) to save Carnegie
Hall. It was being threatened with
demolition, but Stern, in the role of
tenacious underdog and organizer -
spearheaded the drive that eventually
saved it, and has remained its president
ever since.

Isaac Stern brings more than just his classical violin to Hill Auditorium tonight at 8:30 p.m.

Stern was born in the Ukraine in 1920
but his parents moved the family to San
Francisco when he was ten months old.
He began playing the violin at age eight
- not because of any deep love for the
instrument, but because ^ a neigh-
borhood child played. Quickly en-
thralled with the instrument, he drop-
ped out of school to study with Naoum
Blinder, concertmaster of the San
Francisco Symphony.
He made his debut with that same
symphony in 1936 at age 16, playing the
Brahms Concerto. Only seven years
later, he was heard in Carnegie Hall,

and soon after began playing with the
New York Philharmonic. Since then he
has performed with the Phil over 80
times, more than any other violinist in
Aside from his concert performan-
ces, Isaac Stern's career has included
feature films (he has done several very
fine character portrayals), television,
and he performed the sound track for
the movie Fiddler on the Roof.
With all of his outside involvement, it
has been said that Stern doesn't prac-
tice enough. He has responded "I'm
happy. I have a wonderful wife and

three wonderful children. I should tride
that for another fifteen hours of prac-
Stern's secret seems to be that, he
makes good use of his time, he makes
each minute of the day count. "We do
not know how many hours Isaac Stern
lives in a day," Zubin Mehta has said.
"We only know it must be more than
Isaac Stern will be performing
tonight at Hill Auditorium, accom-
panied by pianist Andrew Wolf. The
University Musical Society has sold out
the performance, but last-minute
seating may be available.

Love Tractor grinds
out smashing tunes

By Larry Dean
A gdodsize audience. Neat pants.
MTV. All these things-plus much
more-played a part in Love Tractor's
concert Thursday night at Joe's Star
22 Cave Gods, an import from East
Lansing, opended the show. I quivered
in anticipation of 22 bodies crammed
onto the stage at Joe's, but was vastly
disappointed when a mere four per-
sonages wandered out-three males,
one fe-. To make a long and painful
story short, the 'Gods pumped out a
septic tank's-worth of danceable tunes
that sounded like a wicked cross bet-
ween early Doobie Bros. and Martha
and the Muffins.
In the course of the evening, they
managed to demolish the Temptations'
"Psychedelic Shack" in one of the wor-
st displays of ineptitude ever
viewed/heard: sacriledge! They even
brought along their own groupies-an
entourage of reformed hippies who
grooved and grinded in pensive slow
motion to the tunes. Danceable,
yes-listenable, no.
However, joy came finally to the stage
in the guise of four diminutive young
men from Athens, Georgia, collectively
known as Love Tractor. These folks
immediately made their chipperness
known when they bustled out, smiling
happily and waving briskly to the
already-busy dance floor patroned by
eager fans. Then, with little fanfare,
they launched into a tune and the place
was hoppin'.
Love Tractor are a different story
live then on disc. The suppleness of
their recorded performances was in-
tact-so was the stalwart musicianship.
There was an added feature, though, in
the heat of the music-making:
aggression. In the very together band

interplay, Love Tractor's music took on
an edge of authority that isn't missing
on record, but which also isn't readily
there to jump out and capture the
audience's ear. The key, of course, is in
the presence and the execution, and
Love Tractor had a flair for both.
For presence we had the casual-yet-
kinda-country garb. Guitarist Mark
Cline and bassist Armistead Wellford
wore identical pants, comfy-looking
things which tapered down to ties
'round the upper ankles. I was ex-
tremely jealous of this, much in the
same way C.E. Krell is jealous of Mar-
tin Frye's lame jacket, but took it in
stride and stopped my coveting. All
four members wore white socks, which
I wasn't jealous of.
Beside the clothes, Love Tractor paid
great attention to each other while on-
stage, smiled a lot, and not one member
ever stole the spotlight. This
camaraderie and lack of pretension
made the band a band and their music
followed suit, carefully crafted and
pleasant. I totally forgot that they are a
mostly-instrumental group once I got
involved in the music, and realized af-
terward that I had not missed the
vocals' lack of predominence. Love
Tractor worked.
In fact, my biggest complaint about
the evening was in reaction to the band's
request of the audience to pick up some
post cards pre-addressed to MTV and
send them off, thanking the moguls in-
volved with that anti-music medium,
for adding the Love Tractor video of
"Spin Your Partner," the first video by
an independent act, to their roster.
Plaintive and sincere their request
might have been, plaintive and sincere
MTV ain't.
Two sets of fine music from Georgia's
Love Tractor. Nothing spectacular, but
a success nonetheless.

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The love spoken of in the Bible verse above is a love where actions
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