Page 8 -The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 9, 1989
BY JILL PISONI
EVERY possible position that the body can move
through was demonstrated in Tuesday night's per-
formance by the Paul Taylor Dance Company. On
the ground, in the air, and often connected with
other dancers, the company moved with ease, grace,
and almost perfect coordination with one another.
Their first piece, "Arden Court," set to the sym-
phonic music of William Boyce, developed a sense
of spring. The feeling began with the projection of
a rose in the background, and it grew with each leap
and bound of the scantily dressed dancers in their
blue pastel. The dancers were having fun. Their in-
novative ways of showing familiar movements -
cartwheels and leap-frogs - brought smiles and
sometimes outward laughter to the audience.
One of the very impressive aspects of the com-
pany was the diversity of the dancers' backgrounds.
Paul Taylor's members come from all over the
Excitement and shock
world, and possess a variety of body sizes and
shapes that seem rare for dancers - from very short
to big and bulky. All reflected the strength needed
for modern dancing.
It would have been wonderful to have the first
piece accompanied by live music. The occasional
static and jump heard through the p.a. system made
it apparent that live music makes dance that much
more exciting. But the music was not as troubling
in the rest of the pieces, such as the second, "Big
Set to a collection of band machine music, "Big
Bertha" - and she did look big - was part of a
mechanical music and dance machine. The surpris-
ing, and disturbing, piece showed Bertha, dressed as
a circus ring-leader, controlling the movements of a
young '50s family of three. The dancers showed the
resistance of the family, as their dance moved from
smooth to very jerky and then mechanical. But the
tension of their bodies was not enough to stop
Bertha's choreographing the father's rape of his
daughter and the death of the entire family.
Making use of experimental types of music,
such as voices recorded in reverse, "Post Meridian"
demonstrated the expressive possibilities of all
parts of the body, including the feet. In both this
and the final piece, "Counterswarm," the dancers
created very interesting forms with their body
movements and worked to not only utilize, as in all
their pieces, but also to manipulate the space of the
stage. It was like watching abstract art come to life.
The Paul Taylor Dance Company demonstrated a
wide array of modern dance styles. The strong
dancing and the variety found in the pieces made for
a very enticing evening. It was not surprising -
the company has been touring for 33 seasons and
has a repertoire of 90 dances. This was their sev-
enth visit to Ann Arbor, sponsored by the Univer-
sity Musical Society. The company performed a
second program last night.
A Shanya Maidel:
New and i*mproved
BY MARK MAIRE offering since the company's first:
show in 1987. That production, of
HOLOCAUST play." The the play Elee Mosynary, won the
phrase has become a catch-all for Ann Arbor News Best Drama
plays dealing with the events and Award for 1987. The company is*
repercussions of that Jewish or- professional, employing Equity
deal. However, A Shanya Maidel actors and other actors from the
(Yiddish for "a pretty girl"), Detroit area, including one Uni-h
opening tonight at Hillel, is not versity student. The set is de-
primarily about the Holocaust. signed by Gary Decker, a designer
"It's the second Holocaust play for University productions.
I've done this year - but I just The play itself, by Barbara
said something I don't like people Lebow, was presented in 1987 in
to say, because this play is not New York, where it received criti-
about the Holocaust, says direc- cal acclaim. It was also recently
tor Yolanda Fleischer. And, in- named one of the four best plays
deed, it is not. Rather, the terrible of the year by Time magazine.
events of the Hitler era form a This production should provide a
backdrop for a portrait of a Jewish fresh interpretation of the play,
family trying to reunite in the af- according to director Fleischer.
termath. She laughed, "We saw it in New
Set in post-World War II York and said, 'We can do better
Brooklyn, the play details the re- than this.' And we have, I think."
Continued from Page 7
rooted psychosis that gives validity
to her incessant smoking and eye
twitches. We learn the root of her
torment in an unsettling monologue
in which she reveals her bitterness
towards her mother. In addition, her
domination of her husband, Sturgis,
well-played by Andy Millot, pro-
vides much of the humor of the
Furthermore, Don Frega could
have taken the easy way out when
playing the long-haired surfer Ned
Waters, by doing a chichdd imper-
sonation of Jeff Spicoli from Fast
Times at Ridgemont High, but in-
stead he creates a more original, free-
and-easy surfer who just can't under-
stand why people get irritated by his
long blond hair. His characterization
was interesting and above all, real.
Erica Heilman plays the
psychedelic Destiny St. James. Des-
tiny doesn't mind if the world thinks
she's crazy, because "sanity is quite
strategic." Heilman's interpretation
of this character was interesting and
insightful, except for the few lines
that she unnecessarily said in a val-
Wowie Kazowie! is all in all en-
tertaining, especially in its use of
the stage and of the audience. At one
point the audience sings "Home on
the Range" in unison, and later, Ned
Waters says "I'm not leaving until
you stand up and surf with me!.
WOWIE KAZOWIE! enters its sec-
ond weekend tonight at the Perfor-
mance Network, 408 W. Washing-
ton, playing Thursday-Saturday at 8
p.m., Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Late
shows Friday and Saturday at 10:30
p.m. Tickets are $6.
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Complete the coupon below for detailed information.
un~ion of a concentrationi camip
survivor with her sister and father
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The story is presented on a realis-
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A Shanya Maidel is the Ann
Arbor Repertory Theatre's third
A SHANYA MAIDEL will be
performed Thursdays, Saturdays
and Sundays at Hillel Auditorium,
1429 Hill St., tomorrow through
March 26: Thursdays and Satur-
days at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 and
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March 11, 1989
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