Page 10-The Michigan Daily- Friday, October 18,1991
Africain dance troupe celebrates culture
by Lynn Geiger
Tonight, Ann Arbor is in for a unique African experience. Thirty-five
musicians, dancers and acrobats comprise Les Ballets Africains. Tonight's
show, only the third stop on the energetic dance company's 54-city
American tour, marks the group's first ever Ann Arbor appearance.
Les Ballets Africains hails from Guinea, a small republic on Africa's
west coast. The dance company displays its cultural heritage with pride.
Their performance gives Westerners a chance to be surrounded by the sights
and sounds of Africa, and also allows all Africans to reflect on what
formed their native traditions.
Les Ballets Africains, founded in 1952, stirred immediate positive audi-
ence reactions. It was the first time this type of African culture was dis-
played. The touring company was virtually brought to a halt, however, dur-
ing the '60s and '70s, when Guinea's government was reformed.
In the aftermath, the group, regained its freedom, and was driven more
than ever by the emotion of having fought for independence, to portray the
culture of its land. Since that time, Les Ballets Africains has gained much
I ^ l
recognition; its tours are now spanning the globe. The troupe performs in
such diverse places as Moscow and Tokyo.
Under the artistic direction of Italo Zambo, the company's main focus is
on Guinean dance, although other African traditions are also included. The
group's dances represent the four regions of Guinea: Haute Guinea,
Maritime Guinea, Forest Region and Fouta Djallon.
Another new discovery for Ann Arbor audiences may be the kora. This
stringed instrument, resembling a Western harp, is native to Guinea, and is
prominently used in the musical pieces. The "African beat" which
Westerners strongly associate with Guinean culture is produced by the
Djimbe and the Doundoun, two other well-known Guinean instruments.
Besides the dances and the instrumentation, the company presents tradi-
tional legends expressive of Guinean lore. The legends are told through
humans, spirits and animals, celebrating the country's past and inviting all
to share in it.
LES BALLETS AFRICAINS will perform tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $24
and $16, and rush tickets will be available today for $8. Call 764-2538 or
763-TKTS for ticket information.
Les Ballets Africains, a group of musicians, acrobats and dancers, bring
the culture and history of Guinea to virgin Western eyes.
reading from his fiction
Continued from page 9
not sure I could for Emperor of the
KS: When did you start writing?
E C: I guess I first started at
KS: What advice do you have for
EC: I would give two pieces of
advice to anyone who wants to be-
come a writer. First, if you're look-
ing for inspiration, don't get on a
merchant marine ship, don't ride
flat cars across the country... just
read. That's such ignored advice. So
few people read, and so many people
are afraid of getting their inspira-
tion from other writers, but that's
what it's all about. The second is
write every day. It doesn't matter if
you write one sentence one day,
that's fine. If you write two words,
that's fine, because some days you'll
write five pages. A third piece of
advice is if you're writing some-
thing and it's going well, stop. Stop
in the middle of when it's going
well, and the next day, you'll want
to start again. Never write out an
idea. You need to ride those highs
from one day to the next.
KS: What do you read?
EC: I like big books. Big in scope,
not necessarily long in length. I like
things that err on the side of excess
rather than on the side of minimum.
I've been inspired by so many things.
I always loved the stories of John
Cheever. He's a beautiful prose
KS: After you graduate, how will
you divide your time between
medicine and writing?
EC: It's a wonderful mix to do two
things. Maybe that's the fourth
piece of advice I would give to writ-
ers: do something else, if you can,
that does not involve writing, just
as a source of motivation as much as
inspiration. I'll do medicine half
time and I'll write half time, and
who knows what the world will
ETHAN CANIN reads tonight at 8
p.m. at Rackham Amphitheatre. Ad-
mission is free.
Continued from page 8
five years," says Jeter. The actors
sign most of their lines, with a
summary of the plot developments
given to the audience throughout the
play. Fight scenes with guns and
swords are heightened by drums,
cymbals and bells, so the "deaf au-
dience can feel with the drum," says
Expressiveness, both physical
and vocal, is the foundation of the-
ater. For a deaf actor, the challenge
of giving a performance in sign lan-
guage for a hearing audience is great.
As Jeter stresses, "We are the
National Theater of the Deaf, notfor
the deaf." She also hopes that the
audience comes away with "an un-
derstanding of our sign language."
After all, pirates and yo-ho-ho's are
The National Theater of the Deaf s
production of TREASURE ISLAND
will be performed on Sunday,
October 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the
Power Center. Call 763-TKTS for
Friday, October 18
Rackham Amphitheater, 8 pm
Three years ago, a 27 year old medical student took the
literary world by storm, publishing a first volumn of short
stories to astonishing acclaim. Emperor of the Air spent
two months on the New York Times bestseller list. Ethan
Canin's eagerly awaited new novel is called Blue River.
BORDERS BOOK SHOP VISMTNG WRITERS
and the Department of English at the University of Michigan
A sophisticated musical about
a misguided search for the perfect mate
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by George Furth
Musical Theatre Program
Oct. 17 - 19at 8 PM
Oct. 20 at 2 PM
Student tickets $6 with ID
at the League Ticket Office
The University of Michigan
ml SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Saturday, Oct. 26 8pm
Albums: Nouveau Flamenco, Poets & Angels, Borrasca
The U-M School of Music
: ; i
^t jy. .
v f'f" 1 :'PPI
Sun. Oct. 20
Tue. Oct. 22
Thu. Oct. 24
Fri. Oct. 25
Faculty Cello Recital
by Erling B16ndal Bengtsson
Hindemith: Sonata, op. 25, no. 3
Dallapiccola: Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio
Ysaye: Sonata, op. 28
Kodaly: Sonata, op. 8
School of Music Recital Hall, 8 p.m.
University Symphony Orchestra
Gustav Meier, Cindy Egolf-Sham Rao,
Ricardo Averbach, conductors
Gluck: Overture to Ipheginie en Aulide
Yossifov: excerpts from Pagdne - The
Copland: Symphony no. 3
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Recital/Masterclass by Wes Jacobs,
School of Music McIntosh Theatre, 6:30 p.m.
University & Michigan
Ed Sarath, director
Rackham Lecture Hall, 8 p.m.
University Chamber Choir
Theodore Morrison, conductor
Brahms: Gypsy Songs, op. 103
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Dance Guest Artist Series
A Celebration of Alumni Dancers
Tickets: $8, $5 (students)
B A R T O N ,\Combo Coupon!
FI K -(Present this coupon for a free large
Johnrr- drink when you purchase
John Turturro alar e corn
John Goodman ( . . M 117M.
L., rY., j ,v.
"Gus Van Sant makes a big bold leap to join Jim Jarmusch
and the Coen brothers in the front ranks of America's most
innovative independent film makers. The film itself is
invigorating - written, directed and acted with enormous
insight and comic elan." - Vincent Canby, N.Y. TIMES
"****! Exceptional.... so delightfully different and daring
that it renews your faith." - Marshall Fine, GANNETT NEWS SERVICE
"****! Van Sant performs the same miracle he did with
Vatt Dillon in 'Drugstore Cowboy.' Nothing could prepare yon
for this unapologetic, uncompromising piece of renegade
cinema. A deeply moving experience." - Lawrence Frakella, US
"A tenderly comical and beautiful piece of work."
- David Denby, NEW YORK MAGAZINE