Thursday, February 4, 1988
The Michigan Doily
By Juliet James
Tonight the Performance Network
will host the premiere of Winter
Dances, a collaborative effort by six
local choreographers. The producer
of the event, Barbara Djules Boothe,
has brought together these choreog-
raphers to showcase the diversity of
the Ann Arbor dance community's
Boothe, who earned her Master's
degree in Fine Arts at the Univer-
sity, has prepared two pieces - a
duet entitled "Distant Thoughts" and
a theatrical solo which pays homage
to the life of Vincent Van Gogh.
Mary Fehrenbach, who also holds
a Master's degree from the Univer-
sity, is currently a dancer with the J.
Parker Copley Company of Detroit.
She will present a ballet solo that
celebrates youth, called "For a
Entering her second year as a
faculty member of the dance depart-
ment of Oakland University, Laurie
Eisenhower has composed two duets,
"Rohatsu Haiku" and "No Time."
After earning both a Bachelor's and a
Master's degree in Fine Arts from
Arizona State University, she danced
with several modemn dance troupes in
New York City, including the Pi-
lobolus Dance Theatre. She has also
worked with the Harbinger Company
Rebecca Weitz, yet another recip-
ient of a Master's degree in dance
from the University, has created
"Flying Turtles." This solo work is
meant to express the whimsy of the
natural domain of the universe.
Presently working towards her
graduate degree in Fine Arts, Patricia
Plasko has put together a solo called
"Doing Choreography," set to the
music of Irving Berlin's soundtrack
to the movie White Christmas.
Following her undergraduate studies
at Western Michigan University,
Plasko performed with the Well-
spring Dance Company of Kalama-
zoo. Her comedic composition
makes a mockery of the clich6s and
stereotypes associated with the world
of dance performance and choreogra-
An outstanding feature of the
concert will be Peter Sparling's
solo, entitled "Ode," which makes
its debut this evening. Once a dancer
with both the Josd Limon and
Martha Graham companies of New
York City, Sparling is currently a
faculty member of the University's
Dance department. The choreogra-
pher finds the limited space at Per-
formance Network interesting be-
cause he finds it more challenging A
for a dancer to have a small area at
one's disposal. The formal premiere
will occur in May when Sparling
travels east. Set to the music of
Ralph Shapey, the choreographer
describes his presentation as an ar-.
ticulation of space and a muscular
reaction to the music.
Winter Dances will serve as a
link between the Dance department
of the University and other regional
choreographic interests. This
cooperative endeavor promises to be
an intriguing and variegated show-
case of several area dance artists.
WINTER DANCES will be per-
formed at Performance Network
tonight through Saturday at 8 p.m.
Ticket prices are $7 and $5for stu-
dents and seniors.
Faculty member and professional dancer Peter Sparling displays his form. He choreographed a solo piece,-
'Ode,' that debuts at tonight's collaboration, 'Winter Dances.'
, t I
By David Hoegberg
The New York City Opera Na-
tronal Company will redecorate the
Power Center tonight for a single
performance of Rossini's ever-fresh
Aarber of Seville. The performance
anticipates the opera's 172nd birth-
day by only 16 days - it premiered
in Rome on February 20, 1816.
The opera Bugs
Even more popular than
Donzetti's Don Pasquale, which
came to Power Center from S an
Fransisco last October, Rossini's
Barber also tells a story of youthful
lovers outwitting a greedy and
disapproving older generation.
The delightful score seems to
have seeped deep into our popular
culture. First-time listeners can
regularly be heard whispering, "So
that's where this is from!" as the
melodies fly by. Figaro's dazzling
aria, "Largo al factorum," was paro-
died in a now legendary Bugs Bunny
cartoon in which Bugs plays the fa-
mous conductor Leopold Stokowski
to the consternation of the star bari-
tone. A few bars of it can even be
traced to a current television ad for
Hertz Car Rental in which it is im-
plied that Arnold Palmer and O.J.
Simpson could use some singing
Rossini, whose sense of humor
was boundless, would probably have
enjoyed such dubious homage, but
the real genius of his melodies lies
in how perfectly they fit the drama
in which they occur. Arias and or-
chestrations are matched to both
character and mood with consum-
One of Rossini's innovations was
the tendency to locate important
dramatic events in the musical num-
bers themselves instead of in the
recitative. This effect gives a sense
of theatrical urgency to set pieces
that, in many other composers,
merely comment upon the action.
The duets "All' idea" and "Dunque io
son" are perfect examples of this
In his old age Rossini boasted
that he composed Barber in 11 days.
In any case the 24-year-old composer
could not have taken more than 30
days to compose this enduring oper-
atic masterpiece. He was spurred on
by contractual deadline and by the
fine libretto of Cesare Sterbini,
based on the first play in the famous
"Figaro trilogy" of Beaumarchais.
The result was an opera that
would ensure Rossini's international
reputation for centuries to come. It
is adaptable to the needs of both
grand opera companies and younger
companies like tonight's, the City
Opera National Company.
The Company was founded in
1979 by Beverly Sills to provide a
national showcase for America's tal-
ented young artists. Their produc-
tions feature City Opera's much
praised 'supertitles,' an innovation
that clarifies the action on stage
while the opera is sung in its origi-
Making his debut with the com-
pany in this performance is conduc-
tor William Robertson, who earned
his master's degree from the Univer-
sity in 1983. After studying in Bel-
gium and Germany, Robertson re-
ceived the Julius Rudel Award for
young conductors and made his New
York City Opera debut in South Pa-
cific last spring.
Tonight's performance, under the
sponsorship of the University
Musical Society, is sold o.ut. For
further information contact UMS at
764-2538, 9 to 4:30, weekdays. The
opera will be preceded by a pre-con-
cert presentation from Jay Lesinger,
stage director for the University's
Opera Theatre and a former member
of the New York City Opera staging
staff His lecture is entitled "Rossini
in Seville" and will begin at 7 p.m.
at Rackham. Tickets for the lecture
The Personal Column
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1988 Landes Prize Announcement
Undergraduate students currently registered in the Engineering College
are eligible to compete for the George M. Landes Prize ($800). This is an award
presented annually to an undergraduate student who demonstrates excellence of
both technical work and the presentation of that work in written or graphic
form. The prize is presented in memory of George M. Landes, a 1977 graduate
of the Mechanical Engineering Department and a Ford Motor Company
engineer who was killed in an automobile accident in 1981.
To enter, a student must submit a single piece of technical work. This
presentation -- written, graphic, or some combination of communication media
-- ra h at rhlr.r31 rtrlanr'l~~Acanjrart n i~ anp f rhE nijeial iniirn'ialicm ,nr
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