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March 26, 1990 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-26

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ION.
IN viewv

* People did fly
African Americans have experi-
enced an enduring struggle, and,
throughout their history in this
country, progress has been difficult.
However, beyond the obvious op-
pressive conditions imposed on
African Americans, there has been a
spirit that originated in Africa. This
embodiment of pride and freedom is
S the theme of The People Could Fly,
which was performed at the
Mendelssohn Theatre over the week-
end. Proceeding in chronological
order, the show conveys events that
occured in African-American history
with song, dance and descriptive nar-
rative. Beginning with traditional
African spirituals and progressing
through a present-day rap song, the
performance takes an enlightened
view of a culture that is often mis-
represented in annals of American
history.
Act one begins with "The Bird
Dance," a free floating dance repre-
senting the peace and harmony exist-
ing in Africa before these people
were drawn into slavery. "Sarah-
song" is an expressive number de-
picting the fate of a young black
mother. The dancers move in sym-

bolic form to represent the pain felt
during this time. The effect is highly
visual, and continual movement en-
hances the piece. "Camptown Ra-
ces," an act representing the Amos
'n' Andy era of African-American
society, makes use of stereotypical
depictions perpetuated during this pe-
riod. A humorous number with a
clowning group of Black musicians
stumbling all over each other,
"Camptown Races" uplifts the pre-
vious acts of somber song and
brings flavor to the perfomance.
Act two begins with the mourn-
ful "Swing Low." With an eruption
of song at the rear of the theater, the
performers emerge into the aisles,
clapping and singing fervently. The
group rises onto the stage and begins
to speak of civil rights. The final act
begins with a rap song accompanied
by a slew of dancers and flows into
the grand finale, which involves the
entire company. "We Can Fly" pro-
vides the finale with a colorful and
optimistic message but does not re-
ally end the musical as powerfully as
it could have. The overall perfor-
mance holds the attention of the au-
dience, but fails to get one moti-
vated. With the energy of some of

The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 26, 1990 - Page 7
Tracy Mishkin, Daily's own
Jay Pinka to read at Guild
by Mark Swartz
TRACY Mishkin has found that minding her own business has gotten
harder since she moved to Ann Arbor. Tonight at Guild House, Mishkin
will read from Minding My Business, her recent book of poems which
chronicles her social and political awakening that has come about since she
began her graduate studies at the University and became involved in pro-
choice activities and The Ann Arbor Food Co-op. "It's something I came
to late in life," Mishkin explains, referring to her incipient awareness.
"My last book of poems, In a Strange Country, was full of nature and
being alone in nature." The new work, in challenging contrast, takes on
issues ranging from recycling ("The Recycling Deity") to her own
experience visiting Dachau. The closing lines of "In Dachau" read, "I was
glad to take the road back to Munich/ thinking about words, what they
mean, thinking/ I could never live there, but people do, people do."
Ann Arbor's unique atmosphere has also influenced Jay Pinka, the
other poet reading at Guild tonight. She has learned, she says, "to try and
communicate more, to work towards being accessible." The thriving poet's
community here, including Guild House and The Yawp student literary
magazine, has given her a critical audience sharp enough to tell her when
her penchant for obtuseness has gotten out of hand. The lessons she has
learned have helped her to produce playful lines like these from "Walking
Into Where Rob Lies Half-Sleep Deep": Shriek-sleep could walk on/ your
white, moist eyelids/ in freakish/ -fox trot-/ Of the unwary conscience.
Today, the tables are turned on Pinka since on most Mondays her
byline graces the Guild House poetry previews in the Daily. But Pinka is u
poet in her own right, with a finely - if idiosyncratically - tuned ear for
"the music of words crashing against one another." On a personal note, I
have known Jay Pinka over a number of years and a number of hairstyles,
even driven her cobalt-blue Yamaha scooter on Cross Street one afternoon,
and can say hers is a richly imaginative young mind with a lot to say and
an especially unique way of saying it.
TRACY MISHKIN and JAY PINKA read from their work tonight at Guild
Itouse, 802 Monroe, at 8:30 p.m.

The People Could Fly, "a musical celebration of the African American.
Spirit," was presented over the weekend by the University of Michigan
Black Media Coalition and Access Productions.

the pieces, it is surprising how pas-
sive the audience response was.
Aside from some audio problems
and technical difficulties, The Peo-
ple Could Fly is an energetic and in-
teresting historical perspective of

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African Americans. The African
spirit prevails throughout the musi-
cal and stresses the importance of
cultural unity and the maintenance of
this spirit in African-American soci-
ety today.
-Jennifer Rosen
HELP WANTED
FULL TIME KINDERGARTEN AIDE be-
ginning Sept. '90 to June '91. 8:15 am to
3:30 m. Hebrew language exp. preferred.
Send letter or resume to Hebrew Day School
2937 Birch Hollow Rd, Ann Arbor,
48108.
GYMNASTICS INSTRUCTORS
WANTED. Part-time. Must be great with
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JOBS FOR PEACE. Spring into a career in
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for a sorority of 25 girls for Fall/Winter
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MARTY'S MENSWEAR, for part-time now.
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FOR SALE
2 MICROSCOPES. Professional quality.
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ANSWERING MACHINES, unopened,
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I)ENTAL ENGINE chrome w/ handpiece.
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NORTHWEST airlines! Bring your NWA
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$50 OFF any North West Airlines flights. Fly
before Apr. 6. Call Dave 930-9788
CRUISE THROUGH THE SOVIET UNION
this spring or summer. Program for interac-
tion with Soviets. Low pnce. For more info,
call Rachelle at 665-9436.
EUROPE SPECIALS: Amsterdam fr.
$449;Frankfurt fr. $449; Glasgow fr. $469.
London fr. $379; Paris fr. $46 IntemationA
Student/Faculty cards $10. Eurail Flexipass
fr. $198. REGENCY TRAVEL 665-6122.
Ask for Dan or Deb.
FOR YOUR LOWEST OVERSEAS AIR-
FARESask for Student Travel Network,
800-36 -1929.
HEADING FOR EUROPE THIS SUM-
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ORIENT SPECIALS: Bangkok fr. $967-
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REGEN'CY TRAVEL 665'-6122. Ask for
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RIDE IN STYLE & PAY LESS than the De-
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TRAVEL 665-6122. Ask for Vivian or
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ROUNDTRIP AIR - Anywhere in US.
Cheap!! Call Jim at 973-7012 and make of-
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SPRING FEVER? WINTER BLUES? Get
away to a log cabin in the woods. Sleeps 2-4.
Boats & canoes included. Outdoor hot tub
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STUDENT TRAVEL BREAKS at STAMOS
TRAVEL
For best European/Greece airfares. We're at
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ABLE PEOPLE to work outside clean upnite
& day time work dependable hard working.
Others need not apply. 677-1754.
ALASKA SUMMER EMPLOYMENT -
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CAR BILLER Full-time position for poised
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HELP WANTED
ORGANIZER WANTED- the Graduate Em-
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SUMMER JOBS
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Call 1-800-343-8373
THE MICHIGAN THEATRE
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experience preferred, 30 hrs/wk. Work study
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The Michigan Daiy's
SUMMER SUBLET issue.
Deadline: March 28
$29 per ad 4

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