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November 30, 1989 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-30

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily-Thursday, November 30, 1989
'U' pros k
strut stuff

Coming to light
Poet portrays wonders in familiar language

BY GREGORI ROACH
TONIGHT marks the opening of
the fifth fall season of the Ann
Arbor Dance Works. Consisting of
acclaimed performers and choreogra-
phers, Dance Works is the profes-
sional dance company in residence at
the University's Dance Department.
The program contains a number of
revivals and three premieres. As a
collective group, they present a col-
orful collage from the wide spectrum
of dance.
The presentation, in the intimate
surroundings of the School of Mu-
sic's McIntosh Theater, will be a
collaboration between five members
of the dance faculty: Gay Delanghe,
Bill De Young, Jessica Fogel, Peter
Sparling, and Linda Spriggs.
Highlighting the program is The
Griot, a new piece choreographed by
Pearl Primus. Primus is a noted ex-
pert on both African and Carribean
dance and has an extensive classical
dance background. The Griot is
based on the folk lore of the Yoruba
people of Nigeria; it was adapted by
Primus especially for Spriggs.
Sparling, head of the dance de-
partment and associate professor of
dance, will present two of his works,
Rounding the Square and Winter-
tanze II. Sparling has an extensive
resume that includes stints as a prin-
cipal dancer with the Martha Graham
and Jose Limone companies as well
as his own New York-based
SoloFlight dance troupe. He has also
taught extensively throughout the
world from London to China, and a
few places in between.
Rounding outathe concert will be
Fogel's The Path Between, De-
langhe's Going to the Market: A
Tragedy in One Act and De Young's
At Last Departs And Now.
ANN ARBOR DANCE WORKS per-
fPrms in the McIntosh Theater in
the School of Music tonight, tomor-
row, and Saturday nights at 8 p.m.
and Sunday at 3 p.m. General ad-
mission is $7; students, $5.

BY MARK WEBSTER
CONTEMPORARY poetry best conveys the fractured
experience of modern times while offering soulful com-
ing to terms. The universe expands to its outer limits as
we race to uncover it. Boundaries lose definition; the
poet seeks the sense of the moment.
Lisa Malinowski Steinman's new book of poems,
All That Comes to Light (Arrowood Books, 1989),
places the reader in a world where associations hinge and
come unhinged. Natural order is a perpetual shuffle. Ob-
servations are twisted with imagination and emotion.
The individual struggle to relate becomes her topic.
"We are not at home here, and more,/ do not know what
we lack." Observation, measurement, and perception all
are problematic: "We must make light of ourselves to
follow..."
The Poet becomes chronicler of the alien in its trans-
formation to the familiar. Experience is defined via rela-
tionship. The reworking of experience is our comfort.
We must keep assembling bridges as the world moves
on.
Steinman establishes categories of images that work
as signboards for the present moment. Birds take wing,
pigeons, ducks, bush-tits are "flinging their voices out,"
then later, turned loose, choose to "come home to
roost." The moon moves in and out, at times clear and
ensnaring, then returning, "...as if one corner of the sky
has been erased with a #2 pencil, badly." Trees fix per-
spective, then cancel speech. Steinman writes, "I want
to settle the language and the landscapes into which we
curl ourselves... I mistrust the moonlight, but also call
out, 'Change me...'."
Language has the power and the helplessness of

science. "I am losing poems again these days;/ the ones
that get away could change our lives." A world is de-
scribed ("The tongue attempts an architecture, evolving
a city for the eye./ The streets fill slowly with
speech..."), then lost: "Our language and our cities evict
us.
At times, the impurities of experience cause poems
to fall short. "Keeping Pigeons: Foolish Grace Com-
poses a Poem to the Muse" begins, "It bothers me that
my curses return./ They are like pigeons, banded.../
Traitors, they betray my charge." But in the natural
order there is a good chance improvements will be fol-
lowing. "Foolish Grace Gets Ambitious; Lectures the
Moon" begins, "Ridiculous to set our sights so high./
All these high-flown phrases," but aims high nonethe-
less: "You spark that old come-hither, and we quiver and
thrill." Nature pulls at us, miming order, as "Waves
edge upon the shore like nervous fingers;/ on the bald
rocks, gulls place and replace each other like fleas," but
like birds on wing the poet pursues risk; "we land on
sheer precipice,/ require constantly to keep the air be-
low."
These are poems of engagement; in asides, the poet
admits there is no lordly truth; yet when vision sails,
we are carried to the crest. Steinman sticks to the famil-
iar in language and style, speaking in phrases, each line
makes a reference, though often meanings are doubled or
trebled in relation to lines before or following. When
the poems are read singly, the reader wonders if there
couldn't be more to it. Assembled in this collection, the
patterns of our world, newly stamped, become apparent.
LISA MALINOWSKI STEINMAN will read today at S
p.m. in the Rackham East Conference Room.

Big Chief, Big Chief, let
down your hair
Sorry, boys and girls, this ain't no fairy tale. Big Chief vocalist Barry
Henssler may resembfe Rapunzel but the band's funky, hard driving
Agent Orange-Parliament hybrid takes listeners light-years away from
Never-Never Land. Henssler and crew will stomp all over the U Club
tonight in their last A2 performance of the year. Big Chief will soon be
touring the U.S. and move on to the Continent, so catch 'em while you
can. For a preview of tonight's "sonic infiltainment," be the first person
on your block to check out the band's new single, "Brake Torque" b/w
"Superstupid," which hit record stores today. Ann Arbor's Wig will
open the festivities around 9:30 p.m.; cover is $3.

Billy. Joel
Storm Front
Columbia Records
Billy Joel recently, and somewhat
unceremoniously, released Storm
Front, his follow-up to The Bridge.
Storm Front is a ten-track album,
with six of its songs dedicated to his
not-so-newly acquired wife, Christie
Brinkley. This probably accounts for
the repetitiveness of the sound and
content of the songs on the album.
"That's Not Her Style" is Joel's

description of what the "real"
Christie is like. "Some people think
that she's one of those mink-coated
ladies.... That's not her style," Joel
explains.
In a similar vein, "When In
Rome" describes the false pretense
Billy feels Christie needs to display
in order to survive. "You can't let
them see you cry.... When you're
home all it's gonna be is me and
you/ But when in Rome, do as the
Romans do."
"I Go To Extremes" and

"Shameless" are vehicles for Billy's
expression of his love for Christie.
On "I Go To Extremes," he pro-
claims he is, "Eager to please, ready
to fight." Similarly, he blatantly
states, "Well I'm shameless when it
comes to loving you/ I'd do any-
thing you want me to," on
"Shameless."
"State Of Grace" boringly consid-
ers the trials and tribulations of the
Billy-Christie relationship, as he
maintains, "There you go, slipping
away into a state of grace."
With the last song on the album,
"And So It Goes," Joel turns out a
song about Christie and himself that
reaches someone outside of the im-
mediate family. The piano and his
voice march in unison as he delivers
the lines, "So I would choose to be
with you.... And you can have this
heart to break." Finally!

The remainder of the songs, ex-
cluding "Storm Front" - a ridicu-
lous metaphor connecting Joel's life
and a ship, consider others' prob-
lems. "The Downeaster 'Alexa"' is
another dull boat saga, but "We
Didn't Start The Fire," and
"Leningrad" are genuine.
"We Didn't Start The Fire," the
album's first single, is a recount of
events of the past fifty years. Joel
wrote the song for a boy he met who
told him that nothing has happened
in the past fifty years. The tune defi-
nitely grows on you, mainly because
you are trying to memorize the mile-
a-rn ute lyrics.
"Leningrad" was written as a ded-
ication to Billy's recent trip to the
Soviet Union. It is touching and
powerful. Joel concludes, "We never
knew what friends we had/Until we
came to Leningrad."

Obviously, Billy Joel is a tal-
ented musician, but this album has
nothing much more to offer than a
character sketch of Christie. Consid-
ering that a musician usually needs
to release new material prior to tour-
ing, one is led to conclude that this,
outside of Ms. Brinkley, is the sole
inspiration for the album.
My advice is listen to "We Didn't
Start The Fire" on the radio, save the
$7.99 that the album would cost you
for a ticket and see Billy in concert
in the hope that Mr. Joel has not
forgotten the good old days of
"Scenes From An Italian Restau-
rant".
-Kim Yaged~

Have you considered a career which offers:
" job opportunities in every part of the country
" a career which helps others care for themselves
" starting salaries ranging from $25-$30,000
. career flexibility and lifelong learning

Express yourself
in Daily Arts
Call 763-0379

I

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If you want a career which
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rewards, consider nursing.
Contact the School of
Nursing for more infor-
mation (763-9438).

4

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