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April 05, 1984 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-04-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Thursday, April 5, 1984

The fading of
The Michigan Daily

ABT dances, dazzles &

I

By Julie Edelson

ISOMETHING HAS to be done. The
newspaper I work for is slowly
vanishing.
No, the Daily isn't about to go
bankrupt (yet). There is no mass
uprising demanding censorship such
as occurred after last year's "Jap"
Weekend feature. But there's a
gradual fading going on.
It's a common phenomenon. Many
. of the student organizations which
flourished during the '60s and '70s are
"suffering from low membership, lack
of interest, and, most significantly,
'lack of new ideas.
' Sure, people complain about the

typos, the grammatical errors, the
~misprints, inaccuracies, and
misquotations. Anyone who readsathe
Daily regularly is used to such
frustrations. 'All 'newspapers make
mistakes; maybe college papers
nake more than most.
But it's more than that. The
-problem is that the Daily is relatively
dull. I just don't get a big thrill when
the mailman drops off my copy. What
we have here is not so much a
bankruptcy of cash as one of ex-
citement and creativity.
The Proud Tradition -
What's going wrong (or right) and
what could improve the situation?
I ask Bill Spindle, the bleary-eyed
editor-in-chief (like a good reporter),
who, being the sage man he is,
declines comment.
David Spak, former Opinion Page
editor points out the basic deficit: "I
think the biggest problem is not
enough staff."
This simple lack in numbers leads
to 'difficulties in passing the proud
newspaper tradition from one
generation of Dailyites to the next,
according to Spak. "There is not
enough attention paid to long-term
planning - things like teaching
people how to write; how to report,"
he says. "It comes down to people not
being taught properly, because
there's not enough people to teach
them."
Barry Witt, former editor-in-chief,
argues that not only are there too few

staff members, but those who do
make it to 420 Maynard may often be
as dull as their writing.
"You don't have the motivated,
politically aware, socially aware,
culturally aware people coming into
the building, those you might consider
to be the most desirable staff mem-
bers," he says.
"Extracurriculars are just not the
place where people want to go. People
are still doing things that might be
considered extracurriculars, they're
just not of the same type. They, just
don't challenge people anymore,''
Witt says. "(The Daily needs more of)
those who take an interest in the way
the world works, not just the way their
personal lives work. And the world
doesn't have to be the problems in In-
dia, the world can be where we live,
the University."
Almost all student organizations
suffer from this general apathy, in-
cluding student government. The
problem isn't the lack of dedication or
talent of those who volunteer, says
Scott Page, the new president of MSA.
"I think the people are very com-
mitted and they work very hard, but
there's a limited number of them,"
says Page. "I see a lack of interest in
the mainstream of the student
population in getting involved in any
organization."
Page says that most students are
too preoccupied with academics to get
involved, or even informed. The
people who end up in organizations
like MSA or the Daily are often those
who are "bored with the regular
academic schedule," he says.
The thing is, most people don't
realize what they're missing, nor
what they could accomplish. It's easy
to point out the errors if you're not
going to do anything about them.
"You can get a lot out of the Daily
even if you're not going into jour-
nalism," says Spak - and he's right.
This place can open a lot of doors.
Give it some thought. Do
something. Be interested and in
teresting. Who knows - you could be
the next C.E. Kreil.

W HENEVER A national ballet
company comes to Detroit, it is
truly an event. The Tuesday night per-
formance of the American Ballet
Theatre at the Masonic Temple was a
benefit for the company and Channel
56, and the audience, dressed in tuxedos
and gowns, anxiously awaited the
evening of dance.
The company got off to a slow start,
but they quickly picked up speed and
ended their concert with a fabulous
finale.
Unfortunately the exciting Spanish
music and bright pink and red
costumes did not bring enough ex-
citement to the piece Paquita.
Although the dancers had wonderful
facial expressions, their movements
were somewhat stilted, and they
seldom managed to execute smooth
transitions from one series of steps to
the next. Also, the group's technique
was unpolished. Corps members were
unable to keep time with one another in
the various jumps and turns, and the
length of leg extensions varied from
person to person. As a result the
classical dance appeared amateurish.
The company was fortunately able to
get their bearings after this initial,
disappointing dance. Most of the pieces
performed included some aspect of
drama, be it comic or romantic and
sensual.
We saw the romantic side presented
in Sinatra Suite. The set resembled a
1940's ballroom, with a dark backdrop
filled with stars. Mikhail Baryshnikov,
in his usual style, was dashing and
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debonair, dressed in a tuxedo. He par-
tnered Elaine Kudo, and as they
swayed to the various songs of Sinatra,
there was a remarkable sensual kinetic
energy between them.
In Sinatra's song, "That's Life,"
Baryshnikov became a tough, reckless
playboy, while his partner chased him
in a playful, comic sequence. The piece
ended with Baryshnikov's solo, where
he proved that he is as adept at
classical jazz as he is at ballet.
The company performed flawlessly
as a corps in the last two numbers. The
Leaves are Fading captured the essen-
ce of nature with lightweight costumes
of sheer leotards and flowing chiffon

skirts. The partnering sequences were
the most breathtaking, as the lifts were
particularly unique and inventive.
Gelsey Kirkland was the highlight of
the piece. She appeared like a
weightless bird - effortlessly perfor-
ming intricate lifts, turns, and leaps.
She was able to make complex com-
binations appear simple, and con-
sequently she was a delight to watch.
The dance that was the most fun was
the company's last piece, Push Comes
to Shove. Here ballet and modern dan-
ce joined forces, as Twyla Tharp
choreographed a number which lightly
pokes fun at classical dance.
This was, by far, one of the most in-

Page 5
delights
novative pieces. The group executed a
variety of zany stunts that were
atypically classical: People forming
crooked lines, women being lifted in
embarrassing positions, company
members leaving the stage in the mid-
dle of a number, and bowing with one's
back to the audience. This was all set to
traditional music by Franz Haydn and
Joseph Lamb.
The purpose of this last dance may
have been to show what happens when
ballet does not work, but the American
Ballet Theatre certainly should not be
concerned with that. They were able to
convince us of their talent, with a show
for dancers and non-dancers alike.

C
,o
nrr i

The Ark Presents
Holly
Near
wth Janet Cuniberti
& Susan Freundlich
IN CONCERT
Tues., April 10
The Michigan Theater,
$11.50. $9.50, $8.50
8 00 p rn
$25 Sponsor Ticket
Available through U C A M
Tickets
Schoolkids Records. P J 's Used
Records. Ticket World. the Union
Ticket Office

Choose from small
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Special
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upon request
We accept
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OPEN 7
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ECONO-CAR
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ANN ARBOR

When did you last challenge yourself?
Or do something truly out of the ordinary? If
it's been too long, go Outward Bound this
year. Climb a mountain. Captain a raft.
Explore the canyons. While at the same
time, learning. About nature. About people.
About yourself.
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Dept. C-17
945 Pennsylvania St.
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 837-0880

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