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March 20, 1986 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-03-20

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The Michigan Daily

Thursday, March 20, 1986

Page 5

Tribute brings nostali Records

Ir '%oo W- w - qw- q% Or w -w- I

By Malia Frey
songs evoke," according to Bill
DeYoung, choreographer.
T ONIGHT, STUDENTS AND "Day on Earth," choreographed in
faculty of the University's 1947, features music from Aaron
Dance Department will perform An Copland. The solo part in Humphrey's
American Tribute at The Power Cen- piece will be performed by Peter
ter, The show features original dance Sparling. Sparling learned the dance
works by faculty members Bill in 1972, from Jose Limon, for whom
DeYoung, Vera Embree, Jessica Humphrey choreographed this and
Fogel, and Peter Sparling. A revival many other pieces. As the foremost
of Doris Humphrey's "Day on Earth" choreographer or the 1930s and '40s,
will also be performed. The produc- Doris Humphrey was known for her
tion opens the Power Series, a sub- philosophy of fall and recovery,
scription series featuring dance, balance and unbalance.
drama, musical theatre, and opera Sparling describes "Day on Earth"
students in the School of Music. as "a piece of great eloquence-simply
An American Tribute is just that: A coreographed to present the brief
nostalgic look at American dance span of a man's life."
from the '30s and '40s. "A Little Works by Vera Embree, Jessica
Show" is a "lighthearted tribute to the Fogel, and Peter Sparling focus their
music of American songwriter Kay attention on modern life. Vera Em-
Swift, and to the era which these bree describes her "Changes" as a

"serio-comic look at the roles humans
have to play." "Modern Life" by
Peter Sparling, currently a soloist for
the Martha Graham Dance Company,
focuses on the dilemmas faced by
today's youth culture. Original music
for the piece is composed by Univer-
sity Dance Department Chairman
David Gregory.
The program is dedicated to Vera
Embree, who is retiring after from
the Dance Department at the end of
this year. Embree has been with the
department since Septmeber 1968. An
American Tribute will be her last per-
Tickets are available at the League
Ticket Office. Prices for the perfor-
mance are $8.00 and $5.00 (reserved
seating) and $3.00 for students with

Fela Anikulapo Kuti-"No
Agreement," "Shuffering
and Shmiling" (Celluloid)
For many a year, Fela Anikulapo
Kuti has been a prime mover in the
dynamic world of African popular
music. Leading bands with up to
twenty members (including quite a
fair number of o1' Fela's wives on
backup vocals),
Fela has used his composing and
producing skills to awaken a spirit of
pan-African consciousness and in-
dependence in both Africans and non-
Africans alike. Currently serving a
five year sentence in a Nigerian
prison on trumped up charges of
"currency smuggling," Fela has
somehow hooked up with New York's
ever so hip Celluloid record label to
re-release these two late '70s Fela

classics for mass consumption in the
United States.
The sound of Fela and the Africa 70
is certainly unique but by no means
unaccessable. Characterized by den-
se, powerful rhythms, cascading
waves of horns, guitars and keyboards
and highly spirited call and response
vocals, Fela's music draws as much
from western pop/funk and Carrib-
bean reggae as it does from in-
digenous African sources. Danceable
and inspiring, his songs usually tend
towards building from their purely in-
strumental beginnings into red-hot
ensemble climaxes (and when
everyone in the Africa 70 grooves
together, you'd better believe that it's
one big, bold and uproarious musical
storm that invades yer living room).
To Fela, music is about freedom, and
whether that freedom is of the popular

political variety or the simple and
exhilirating type felt when rockin' in
the eye of an Africa 70-type cyclone of
jam, his music remains central to the
Of the two single releases sampled
here, "No Agreement" is the stan-
dout, demonstrating all of the above
Fela traits with the highest quality
and greatest consistency imaginable.
"Shuffering and Shmiling" is no
slouch itself, but it lacks the per-
sonality and distinctiveness of "No
Agreement" and seems a bit bur-
dened by its excessive length.
Overall, however, either of these
babies are guaranteed to add a
vibrant and exciting, "world-beat"
dimension to your never too im-
poverished musical existence.
-Rob Michaels

Simplistic ideals inhib
By Kurt Serbus praiseworthy for their abundance of
political integrity. Like Reefer Mad-
ness, it's manipulative modus
N FILMING Latino, writer- operandi is blatant and transparent.
director Haskell Wexler and his It's childishly simple politics are
crew went above and beyond to create thinly-very thinly-disguised as a

)it 'Latino'

a realistic depiction of the covert war
in Central America. The film was shot
over 16 weeks in the very bowels of the
fighting in Nicaragua, an undeniable
tribute to human dedication and
idealism, and was shown on Sunday
as part of the Berry Bullard Film
All very fine and noble. Now the bad
news. The movie that resulted from
this courageous crusade is poorly
executed, as contemptable in it's lack
of artistic integrity as it's makers are

Robert Beltram plays Eddie
Guerrero, a chicano Green Beret who
is sent to Honduras to train contras
and conduct a few off-the-record raids
into Nicaragua. Of course, he falls in
love with a Nicaraguan woman, and is
eventually forced to confront the
callousness of his (and America's)
actions. That is, he continues killing,
looting, and torturing, but he starts to
do it with a confused look on his face.

With this skeletal storyline in place,
Wexler sets out to beat his messages
into the audience's heads with a
sledge-hammer. Eddie is the only
gray area in the picture; the rest of
the characters are either uncorrup-
tively good or unredeemably evil. And
just because Eddie is ambiguous
doesn't mean he's engaging. It all
boils down to Wexler's apparent lack
of interet in telling a story. He is so
concerned with making the peasants
look proud and oppressed while they
deliver heart-stirring speeches (pun-
ctuated by thunder claps, no less) at
funerals, that he forgets that your
average movie audience needs to feel
some sort of emotional involvement
before it will start coming around
It's a shame Wexler didn't have more
respect for his audience when he con-
cocted this film. The subject is an im-
portant one, and people need to know
about it. A more serious, realistic
treatment, especially one with the
production history of Latino, could
have gone a long way towards
educating and enlightening the public.
As it is, this film just confuses the
issue more by trying so desperately to
black-and-white it. Wexler may be
cautiously optimistic about human
perserverance, but when it comes to
human intelligence, he's an out-and-
out pessimist.

Arts and Programming
DATE: Mon., March 17th thru
Fri., March 21st
TIME: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
PLACE: Michigan Union
Ground Floor Mall

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