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October 15, 1991 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-15

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily
'Mr.
Bones'
*heals
with
0
99
by Liz Patton
Titania: What, wilt thou hear some
music, my sweet love?
Bottom: I have a reasonable good
ear in music: let's have the tongs
and bones. [rural music]
-A Midsummer Night's Dream,
Act 4, scene 1
This afternoon is a special treat
for the members of the University
Hospital community: a concert pre-
sentation of the Gifts of Art pro-
gram, with Professor of Composi-
tion Bill Albright on piano and
Percy "Mr. Bones" Danforth on the
bones.
Mr. Bones is an Ann Arbor insti-
tution with quite a following. But
what, you may ask, are the bones?
Picture two pairs of rib-shaped
wooden strips about eight inches
long, held between the fingers and
shaken so that they click satisfacto-
rily together. The effect is reminis-
cent of the castanets or the spoons,

Tuesday, October 15, 1991

Page 5

Bolshoi Ballet displays style;
Pavarotti's power motto do ice

Ekaterina Maximova and
Vladimir Vasiliev:
Stars of the Bolshoi Ballet
and Company
The Power Center
October 13, 1991, 2 p.m.

Going strong at 91, Percy Danforth can still rattle them bones

though Danforth is far more sophis-
ticated. "With Percy, it becomes a
real solo musical instrument," said
Albrigh t.
As Danforth tells it, the history
of the bones covers thousands of
years. In the 15th century, bones
players are mentioned disparag-
ingly, and in Shakespeare's time,
mockingly. The bones came to the
U.S. through the Black slave music
traditions, eventually becoming
part of American popular culture

through minstrel shows.
In 1843, a group of musicians
known as the Virginia Minstrels
helped establish a standard ensem-
ble of fiddle, banjo, tambourine and
bones. Though offensive by today's
standards, blackface minstrelsy was
for a time immensely popular, as
others imitated the Virginian
Minstrels. Joined by musicians ap-
propriating Black musical tradi-
tions, white comedians with black-
See BONES, Page 8

Classical ballet can be inter-
preted as visually beautiful, but po-
tentially sexist. Although the
University Musical Society pre-
sented a well-balanced ensemble at
the Power Center in Sunday's
Ekaterina Maximova and Vladimir
Vasiliev: Stars of the Bolshoi Ballet
and Company (with four female and
four male principals from the
Bolshoi and Kirov Ballets, plus
premier danseurs Maximova and
Vasiliev), a large portion of the
concert repeatedly teamed female
dancers with slow, dainty music,
while male principals whirled
around to more upbeat selections.
One instance of this interpreta-
tion could be found in the initial
"Suite Nostalgique," which was de-
signed like a Degas painting that had
leapt off the canvas. Set in a class-
room complete with full mirrors, a
grand piano, extra tulle skirts
thrown on chairs and a practice
barre, the four female principals
(Irina Piatkina, Elena Radchenko,
Lubov Kunakova and Elena Evteeva)
rehearsed at the barre while
Vasiliev, in the role of teacher (and
Noticeably, the
women remained at
the barre, while the
male dancers filled
the rest of the
rehearsal space with
sweeping leaps and
fluid pirouettes
as choreographer of the piece) in-
structed his pupils.
Noticeably, the women remained
at the barre, while the male dancers
(Victor Baryckin, Valery Anisimov,
Eldar Aliev and Sergei Berezhnoi)
filled the rest of the rehearsal space
with sweeping leaps and fluid
pirouettes. Fortunately, the female
dancers were "freed" from the barre
at the entrance of the males, and the
performance was under way. At
first, several of the male principals
were shaky, occasionally losing
their footing and wobbling a bit as
they came out of synchronized
turns. But as the concert progressed,
their work grew stronger, matching
the caliber the females had previous-
ly set.
The first part of the performance

consisted of individual sequences,
where each member of the company
had a chance to flaunt a favorite
step, such as numerous leaps exe-
cuted by Anisimov or precise pointe
work by Piatkina. But the highlight
of the first act was its culmination
in the form of a pas de deux per-
formed by Maximova and Vasiliev.
The two dancers entwined very
gracefully as troubled lovers who
could not be together. Maximova's
dramatic facial expressions de-
scribed the emotions her character
was feeling, as did her body lan-
guage, which conveyed grief and joy
through flawless movements. Vasi-
liev had a great deal of energy
behind every executed step, but oc-
casionally could have tempered his
dazzling power in order to express a
more tender moment. Overall, the
two collided and melted in each
other's arms with practiced, awe-
some precision.
Following an homage to Eugene
Power and the 20th anniversary of
the Power Center during the inter-
mission, the company performed a
series of pas de deux, with a singu-
lar exception. "The Dying Swan"
was performed by principal dancer
Evteeva, and the piece was a remark-
ably elegant interpretation of the
solo made famous by Pavlova.
Evteeva seemingly transformed her
long, sinuous arms into feather-like
wings that flailed in the air as she
came to her end.
Musically, the concert ranged
from Tchaikovsky to Saint-Saens. A
fabulous performance was given by
Emma Lippa, the pianist of the
Bolshoi Theatre, in the first act. The
live accompaniment was sorely
missed in the second act, to the point
where the poor recording/sound sys-
tem almost detracted from the
dancers on stage. However, even too
much bass couldn't take away from
the stunning visual imagery of
Maximova and Vasiliev enmeshed
as one, or from the rest of the tal-
ented ensemble in equally delicate
poses.
-'Diane Frieden
Luciano Pavarotti
Joe Louis Arena
October 13, 1991

house project at Grand Circus
Theater. Pavorotti returned on his
birthday for his second Detroit per-
formance since his area debut in
1988. He is currently celebrating his
30th anniversary as an operatic
singer.
Something about the atmosphere
resembled a rock concert - the vast
arena was filled with the sparking
of camera flashes and audience
members shouting, "Happy Birth-

What Madness brought her?

0 by Christine Slovey
H ave you ever awakened a person whom you don't
know at five a.m. with a phone call? How about a fa-
mous writer whom you don't know and hope to get an
interview with? Math has always been one of my weak
points; converting Eastern Standard time is another. But
did Colleen McElroy hold this against me? NO. She
laughed a little "I can't believe you really woke me up
"...he was just a man / With a
hawkish face and long steps
/ Ending in feet that emptied
puddles'
-Colleen McElroy
at five a.m.-take a class in common sense-hang up the
phone and I might forget this happened" laugh and asked
me to call her back in about five hours.
Regardless of my grosse faux pas, McElroy still
plans to visit the University this afternoon. She will
read from her most recent work, What Madness Brought
Me Here: Collected Poems 1968-88, and will possibly
offer some new poems or essays.
While McElroy currently writes in all genres (add-

ing, most recently, essays and plays), her favorite style
is poetry. "It gives me more of a lift than the other
genres," she says. "I mean, if you want to talk about
the passion of writing, that would be the passion."
Some of McElroy's poetry reflects and addresses
Black culture, but much of it is largely autobiographi-
cal. Her poetry offers sharp, realistic images of life ex-
periences, past and present.
One of her books, Music from Home, contains po-
ems so vivid they remind you of places you've never
been and people you've never known: "Papa's not too
hard to understand; he was just a man / With a hawkish
face and long steps / Ending in feet that emptied
puddles," she writes in "Try to Understand Papa."
McElroy began writing when she heard poetry that
she didn't like and decided that she could do better. With
expressive language, which she learned to control
through training as a speech pathologist, McElroy sees
readings as an opportunity to give her own nuance to
her poetry. "The way I read the poem," she says, "the
musicality of the poem becomes more evident."
COLLEEN McELROY will read today at 4 p.m. Eas-
tern Standard Time in the Pendleton Room of the
Michigan Union. That's 1 p.m. Pacific. No admission.

Pavarotti
day!" and "Luciano Pavarotti!"
While seemingly inappropriate, the
hooting only further ignited energy
in the Joe.
The extent of Pavarotti's impact
is displayed in the number of un-
likely fans he attracts to the art of
opera, not only in Joe Louis, but
around the world. He has reached
countless audiences on stage, in con-
cert and on television. His most re-
cent film projects include a docu-
mentary of his trip to the People's
Republic of China and a television
special filmed in Naples.
The Pavarotti recording career
has assumed legendary proportions.
His collaborative London record-
ings with Placido Domingo and Jose
Carreras, Carreras Domingo Pava-
rotti In Concert, has been a top-
selling CD recording since its re-
lease in late 1990.
Pavarotti made his American
opera debut in 1965 with Dame Joan
Sutherland in the Miami Opera pro-
duction of Lucia di Lammermoor.
His Metropolitan Opera debut fol-
lowed in 1968 in La Boheme, and
subsequently, he has appeared in sev-
eral "Live from the Met" "Live
from Lincoln Center" productions,
with artists such as Sutherland and
Marilyn Horne.
The first half of Pavarotti's
show on Sunday displayed his rich
voice, on Verdi's "La mia letizia in-
fondere," from Lombardi, and on
the more sweetly passionate
"Pourqoui me reveiller," from
Werther by Massenet.
Pavarotti flirted with the emo-
tions of many in the more lively
second half. In "Recondita armo-
nia" from Tosca by Puccini, he
touched the inner soul, while the
somber, sensual "E lucevan le
See SOLO MIO,Page 8

All that was missing was some
Italian wine and perhaps some gnoc-
chi. World-renowned tenor Luciano
Pavorotti stirred the souls of about
14,000 with his powerful operatic
voice last Sunday afternoon at the
Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Greeting
the audience with outstretched arms
and the infamous hanky in hand, he
demonstrated the moving vocal
power for which fans adore him.
The extravagant show included a
selection of popular opera arias and
Neopolitan songs, Italian guest
flutist Andrea Griminelli, and ac-
companiment by the Michigan
Opera Theater's orchestra. The bene-
fit concert helped to raise money for
the 20-year-old MOT's new opera

Vinx? Naw, he's not at all like Sting!

by Matt Sailor

How do you derive the name Vinx
0from Vincent De Jon Parrette? Well,
the percussionist comes from Texas,
where people were unable to pro-
nounce his name.
Did it bother him? Nah. Nothing
brings this guy down. To him, ob-
stacles are just another way to prove
himself. In addition to being a mu-
sician and a world-class athlete, he is
a poet, a dancer and a photographer.
Vinx had your standard musical
childhood. Everyone in his family
sings and Vinx says that they were

always a source of encouragement
and inspiration.
Vinx taught himself how to play
drums as a kid by banging on pots
and pans in the kitchen. In college,
he studied music to find out what it
was all about and if it was right for
him. Obviously it was. Vinx soon
found himself backing up Taj Mahal
and Herbie Hancock.
But Vinx wasn't put on this earth
to be a backup man, so he struck out
on his own. He played clubs all over
the world, but his big break came in
a chance meeting with Sting. Vinx
says he wasn't really suprised to see
Sting - it's just one of those Los
Angeles things.
At the time, Vinx had several
record offers on the table. Sting was
welcome change because he didn't
want to force Vinx to change his

style. "It's a producer's world, not an
artist's," Vinx says.
Later, Vinx embarked on a nine-
month world tour with Sting.
Looking back, he remembers the
tour fondly, but he loves being on
his own.
Vinx says he feels confident that
eventually he would have made it
with or without Sting. Now he
looks forward to producing his own
albums. He has also considered pu-
blishing some of his own poetry and
accompanying it with photographs

that he's taken.
Vinx says he would prefer that
his music remain unclassified, but if
he had to stick a label on it, he'd call
it Vinx. He admits that sometimes
life with the jet set can get tiring,
but, he maintains, "I'm not that
famous. I still have to take out the
trash when I get home."
VINX plays two shows tonight at
the Ark at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Tickets are $10.50 in advance at
TicketMaster (p.e.s.c.).

i

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