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September 20, 1993 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-20

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The Michigan Daily -Monday, September 20, 1993-- 9

'Airborne' has shaky take off

Roller blades, surfing, skateboarding, BMX biking...
"Airborne" has it all. Every high school sports fad and
every high school character clich6.
written by Bill Apablasa; directed by Rob Bowman; with
Shane McDermott, Seth Green and Chris Conrad.
Upbeat? Irreverent? Funny? Well, yes, although as the
only member of the audience over the age of 12,I have to
be honest and say that going through puberty puts most
people out of the demographic range of this movie. Oh,
and anyone from Cincinnati should avoid the movie, too,
unless they feel like craning their necks trying to spot their
house in the frame.
Our hero, Mitchell Goosen (Shane McDermott), is a
California surfer boy spending the semester with his Aunt
Irene (Edie McClurg) and Uncle Louie (Patrick O'Brien)
in Cincinnati while his parents spend six months in Aus-
tralia. Mitchell shares a room with his cousin Wiley who
is played by Seth Green, the kid from the Rally's commer-
cials who caused 'Cha-Ching' to join the ranks of annoy-
ing media-derived mantras.
New kids never fit in well at school, at least not in the
movies, and Mitchell, despite his instant popularity with
the girls, isn't an exception. Hockey is the sport of the
century in Cincinnati, according to the movie, and Mitchell
doesn't know too much about the rules. He loses 'the big
game' to his school's arch-enemies 'the preps' and be-
comes the victim of three weeks worth of vicious pranks

as a result. He becomes the lust-object of the biggest guy
in school's girlfriend and then further endears himself to
her by dating her sister.
All of these torments come to an end, however, once
Mitchell's parents mail him... you guessed it! His roller
blades! And boy can ole Mitch skate. He can skate over
things and under things and if this movie does nothing else
it makes you wish those people that whiz by you on the
Diag would take a few skating lessons from Mitch.
Despite this movie's utter predictability and the fact
that it's geared towards the limited attention-span crowd,
it's just not that bad. The individual performances are
slightly surrealistic, and the film's treatment of current
slang is reminiscent of more underground teen angst films
like "Heathers." Mitchell's California surf-jargon is mind-
numbing and incomprehensible, especially to the Mid-
western teens he has to talk to.
The style of the film is MTV all the way, but manages
to both emulate and mock that style without being a
straight-up spoof of the genre. The dialogue is realistically
paced and smoothly performed. The screenwriter, Bill
Apablasa, sets out to tell the story of a laid-back California
pacifist who clashes with the macho mentality of Cinciq-
nati teens, and Mitchell, unusual for a modern hero,
manages to attain his goals without resorting to violence.
The director, Rob Bowman, lavishes loving attention
to detail on the roller blading scenes. The admittedly
impressive professional in-line skating displays are sup-
plied by the wonderfully lithe Team Rollerblade.
As far as films about roller blading go, "Airborne" is
the best one ever made.
AIRBORNE is playing at Showcase.

At least lute player Toyohiko Satoh had cool hair, even if his performance was lacking technical prowess.
Viln and l lack polish

J.S. Bach is normally associated
with beautiful, serene music.
Saturday's all Bach lute and violin
Toyohiko Satoh and
Shigetoshi Yamada
Kerrytown Concert House
September 18, 1993
concert at the Kerrytown Concert
House, however, mostly made me feel
like banging my head against a wall.
Toyohiko Satoh and Shigetoshi
Yamada gave an extremely uneven
performance which was frustrating
not only because of the bad parts, but
because there was so much unful-
filled potential.
Satoh's first solo (the Sonata No.1
in G Minor for Solo Lute) was a good

example of this. He is a world-re-
nowned lute player, and coaxed a gor-
geous, resonant tone from his instru-
ment. So far, so good. But he had
frequent technical difficulties, miss-
ing runs and twanging notes just often
enough that I worried about when the
next mistake would come, rather than
enjoying the music. His trouble with
the notes destroyed a lot of the musi-
cianship and sensitivity that it takes to
make Bach beautiful, too. The whole
piece just sort of lurched along in a
bland, anesthetic way, punctuated by
Satoh's bobbing head and the occa-
sional missed passage.
Yamada, on the other hand, made
me wish for anesthetic, the stronger
the better. He was playing the only
1679 Jacobus Stainer violin still avail-.
able to musicians, but it couldn't help
his intonation or extreme troubles with
bowing technique. The usually grace-
ful Partita No. 2 in D Minor for Solo

Violin became Torture in Five Excru-
ciating Movements with a Very Old
But that was the first half of the
concert. The second half reconfirmed
my faith in the idea that good things
come to those who wait. Satoh made
the whole evening worthwhile with
his stellar performance of Bach's
Chaconne from Partita No.2 in D
Minor for Solo Lute. There were still
slight tempo inconsistencies, but not
enough to take away from the overall
breathtaking effect. Satoh was fabu-
lous as he expertly managed the inter-
woven melodies, finally fulfilling the
promise of mastery shown earlier in
the evening. Yamada improved after
the break too, though I still wished
that he'd sat out the final duo (Inven-
tion in C Minor for Violin and Lute)
and just let Satoh play alone. Not only
was Satoh a far better instrumentalist,
he had much cooler hair.

'Dance Works' proves impressive

The Ann Arbor Dance Works
opened with a somewhat confusing
but humorous dance "Satiana," incor-
porating bizarre Dadaist poetry. The

Ann Arbor
Dance Works
Power Center
September 18, 1993

words created a contrast to what the
music and dancing seemed to be show-
ing, particularly when the feeling was
gentle and languorous but the narra-
tive, although beginning with images
of nature, twisted into: "The forest is
0flammable," "the brook is dry" or
"like aNightingale with a toothache."
The dance was a light-hearted comic
piece with colorful costumes and in-
teresting movements.
In a more meaningful piece "Un-
der The Bodhai Tree," the dancer,
played by choreographer Linda
Spriggs, went through a spiritual jour-
ney. Her movements began on the
ground, dragged out and wrenching,
showing her grief and strugglTe - she
covers her eyes, mouth and ears to
block everything out. As the dance
still ti
" cartoorm
have th

progresses, her dancing gets wilder
and more open, until finally she sees
the BodhaiTree illuminated on ascrim
which then rises to reveal a wooden
tower that is a vision of tranquillity.
The beautiful lines of the tower and
the prayer-like movements of the three
dancers on the tower emitted waves of
peace. The music was meditative, and
the graceful dancers -Jennifer Shea,
Lei Maxwell and Danielle Archer -
looked like goddesses.
Anothermoving piece was "Dance
For Eighteen" choreographed by Jes-
The beautiful clean lines
of both the tower and the
prayer-like movements of
the three dancers on the
tower emitted waves of
peace. The music was
meditative, and the
graceful dancers -
Jennifer Shea, Lel
Maxwell and Danielle
Archer - looked like
sica Fogel. The energetic dancers, the
colorful, theatrical costumes and the
* i
, etc. is :
.osfr a
;t. If you
e talent

striking configurations made this
dance exciting from the start. There
were at times fragments of traditional
Jewish dances which, together with
the festive mood setby clapping, made
parts of the dance seem like a Shabbat
celebration. The second part was ef-
fective in sending a chill down your
spine at the juxtaposition of the sleek,
classy dancers celebrating life in the
foreground and the silent line of danc-
ers walking off to their death in the
background. In the third section, the
curtains are pulled away, opening ev-
erything to the audience, taking away
the magic, baring the soul, saying
'this pain is real.' It was exciting to
see so many dancers on stage together
- all those arms reaching up together.
The only problem with this section
was the music. The Kaddish was beau-
tiful, but the music that played along
with it didn't seem appropriate, in-
stead of creating the feeling of power
and renewal of life, it was distracting,
particularly the unintelligible words.
Bringing a bit of ballet to a pre-
dominately modern concert, the guest
artists Karen Brown and Keith
Saunders were marvelous. Their el-
egance and the dramatic expressions
of their bodies created the story. Beau-
tiful costumes complemented the

'Airborne' targets the youth of today by capitalizing on the recent fascination with roller blading.

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and write
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