Premiere and repertory
works highlight 'Dances'
By JODY FRANK
Every year in September certain
things occur -the air turns brisk, the
leaves change color, the population of
Ann Arbor increases and "September
Dances" presents a diverse program
of both premiere and repertory works
BarbaraDjules Boothe, the found-
ing producer of "September Dances,"
will premiere "Refuge." She said of
hernew dance: "It speaks of the search
for refuge from the social suppression
of society against an African-Ameri-
can man. It's something that I felt
myself, so I wanted to express it in a
dance. Despite the fact that there has
;beenheadway made, there is still an
oppression thatis felt by BlackAmeri-
cans in this predominately white soci-
ety. Refuge is a very powerful word to
-me because it brings up a lot of imag-
ery to mind - that's what I'm trying
to convey in my dance." .
Influenced by Martha Graham, the
dance is modern. Boothe said, "I cho-
reographed the first half in my living
room and taught ittomy dancer (Kevin
Clayborn), the next half was improvi-
sation in the studio. I really like im-
provisation, but I felt that to save time
I should have a base to start with."
"Kaddish," is Jessica Fogel's new
solo, she said, "I've taken material
from the last section (of "Dance for
Eighteen") and drawn it into a solo
work. In comparing the music of the
new solo and the third section of the
original group piece, Fogel said, "The
music of course changes the tone.
Instead of the driving beat, it's just a
female voice which seemed more apt
for a female solo. The dance, musi-
cally, is in two sections. In the first
section the woman's voice sounds
more like a wail - concerned. In the
next part it's more like a poignant
lullaby. There is a hanging book and I
reach out toward the power and beauty
of words which is an image of my
father (to whom the piece is dedi-
"'Certified' is basically a dance,
not so much about being crazy, but
just about the weird feelings you some-
times have, kind of about feeling nutty,
you know-insecure, awkward," said
Carmen Moyer about her premiere
solo. There isn't a deep meaning in the
piece, she said, "I've seen a lot of stuff
with apolitical meaning and I haven't
liked it, so mine doesn't try to say
anything except the little blurb in the
The music Moyer uses incorpo-
rates the poem "The Love Song of J.
Alfred Prufrock," by T.S. Elliot and
various other background voices.
Moyer said, "The germ of the idea to
do this dance occurred when I saw this
really strange science fiction movie,
'T.H.X. 1136.' It's a futuristic thing
- very stark. In one part, Robert
Duvall is on the floor rocking back
and forth and I thought 'wouldn't it be
interesting to write a piece saying
how crazy I am."'
Scott A. Read's premiere "One
View" is "based roughly on the tango
and the feelings evoked by the tango,"
he said. "It's basically one person's
view of a relationship - the good and
the bad. The piece starts off as a solo
and goes off into the remembrance of
the past - there's a duet, a trio, and a
quartet. The beginning and end are the
only ones in the here and now."
Read uses excerpts of music which
he said "has very enticing sounds that
inspired me. (The dance) is based
loosely on the tango, but it's really
modern, it has that feeling of fall and
rebound and suspension, but we do
use a lot of tango movements in the
"Middle Ground," Amanda
Stanger said, "Is very much a music
visualization. It's about the rhythms
and the feelings the music evoked in
me. It's the first time I've made a
piece with amale partner, so I've been
experimenting with different
partnering moves. It has elements of
social dancing in it, it's also sort of
Music is very influential for
Stanger, the music in this piece is by
the Chieftains, a traditional Irish folk
music ensemble. Stanger said, "My
choreography is often inspired by
music and I like to show through my
dancing the effect the music had on
me, and hopefully effect the audience
with my dancing."
Stanger said that she wrote "Lisa,"
her other dance, "In response to losing
a close friend. It's created more out of
emotions, it has an inner focus. It's set
to Cat Steven's song 'Lisa' and some
of the images that he sings about are in
SEPTEMBER DANCES will
perform Thursday through Saturday
at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 7:00
p.m. at the Performance Network.
Tickets are $10 for the general
audience and $7 for students and
seniors. Call 663-0681 for tickets
The "Festival of Sick & Twisted Animation" returns to town with Beavis, Butthead and aii our other cast of aDsolute wasteoids.
Dy U Iu u rL&IU
This year's "Festival of Sick & Twisted Animation,"1
produced by Spike 'n Mike, is just as, well, sick and
twisted as the last installment. The show is for adult
audiences only and after viewing the festival, this seems
like a pretty oxymoronic requirement. Only those people
18 years old or older can attend the show, but the material
doesn't seem geared towards anyone out of diapers.
The Festival contains 23 animated shorts by various
artists. These shorts run the gamut of modern animation,
from the gorgeous computerized color-fest of "Dead-
head," where a huge Grateful Dead symbol floats through
a miasma of liquid accompanied by pictures of the band,
to mish-mash scatological cartoons like "Shittin' To The
Oldies," where a Richard Simmons look/sound-alike
hawks his newest work-out tape.
Some of the shorts are so poorly drawn that they look
like the pictures your parents hung on the refrigerator
when you were two, while others are unbearably hilarious
and irreverent. All of the subject matter, with the possible
exception of "Deadhead," is guaranteed to offend you..
Jokes -about people with no necks and little girls who
smash birds' heads in with hammers and then lick the
brains off run rampant throughout the film, so don'teat too
much before you attend.
Despite the prevalence of scatological humor (that
means there's a lot of jokes about shitting), some of the
pieces do stand out. Several of them deal with the defi-
nitely joke-worthy situation which took place in Waco,
Texas not long ago. "Chainsaw Bob" tells the story of a
huge, be-muscled, chainsaw-wielding, mask-wearing
'hero' who is sent in to relieve David Koresh of his head
and rescue any innocent bystanders. Bob finds Koresh
surrounded by a harem of naked women, reading the Bible
out loud and bemoaning the fact that he'll never catch up,
to Solomon, who had hundreds of children. Feel free to
cheer when Bob slaughters him.
There are Terminator jokes galore in the Festival. One
short aptly titled "The Bulimiator" replays the entire gun-
store scene from the first "Terminator," only this time the
setting is a theater concession stand. "Hey buddy, you're
gonna get fat," the clerk tells 'Arnold.' "Wrong," he
replies, and proceeds to vomit all over the poor guy.
Another Terminator appears in the guise of a pig, who
avenges the rest of his sty-mates in "Slaughter Day."
"Pork you, asshole," is this piginator's parting line.
The Festival ends with an interesting comment on
television commercials and how sex is sold on TV entitled
"Wrong Hole,"which bears no more mention, this being
after all a family newspaper.
The "Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation" is exactly
what it purports to be. It will no doubt join the ranks of
other animated cult classics like "Fritz the Cat" and
"Heavy Metal," whose company it very much deserves.
Not that any of these shorts are that bad, they're just
infantile. Of course, if that's what you're into, have fun.
SPIKE 'N MIKE'S FESTIVAL OF SICK & TWISTED
ANIMA TION is showing at the Michigan Theater.
maddtneadneshlra h nvriy ilb efriga SpebrDne"ti ekn.
The dreamy, iconoclastic British
independent label 4AD has gone folk.
And they couldn't have picked a bet-
ter way to do so than the release of this
mature and accomplished album.
"Heidi Berry" is actually Berry's sec-
ond album for the label - she was
signed and released her debut in
1991- but her approach to folk mu-
sic is so fresh and remarkable that it
feels like an introduction to a brand
new genre of Berry's creation. Not
only does she use traditional instru-
ments such as acoustic guitar, but adds
modern touches such as organs, syn-
thesizers and state-of-the-art produc-
The main feature of this album is
its cohesiveness. Each song flows into
the next gracefully and naturally; the
songs wash over the listener with ease.
Particularly beautiful are "Little Fox,"
"Follow" and "Ariel." All of the com-
positions have a warm, intimate feel-
ing and showcase the most important
thing about "Heidi Berry" - Heidi
Berry. Her voice is rich and warm,
reminiscent of Joan Baez, but deeper
and more supple. Though she covers
Anna McGarrigle's "Heart Like a
Wheel," her original compositions are
poetic and timeless enough to com-
pete with any folk standard. Berry's
folk roots can be traced to fellow
British folk singers Richard Thomp-
son and Nick Drake, but her music
and career should grow beyond this
rich tradition to embrace and create
new folk styles. "Heidi Berry" is a
lush and timeless album that is the
new face of folk.
See Heidi Berry at Schoolkids'
Records on Friday at 4 p.m., and later
that day with the Red House Painters
at the Blind Pig. Tickets are $5 and
doors open at 9:30 p.m.
- Heather Phares
Red House Painters
Red House Painters
Few albums convey such an over-
whelmingly stark and melancholy at-
mosphere as the self-titled debut of
the San Franciscan quartet, Red House
Painters. No other band recording to-
day is quite like Red House Painters;
their post-punk folk-rock is like noth-
ing else in either genre. Every song is
ata slow, lethargic tempo, winding its
way through the sparse musical land-
More than anything "Red House
Painters" is amoodpiece-individu-
ally, the songs aren't that distinguish-
able from each other, they are all
mournful tales of sorrow and loss in a
minor key. On occasion, the writing is
succinct, filling an impressive amount
of detail in to three or four minutes,
but more often the songs stretch out
over a vast amount of space: "Katy
Song" runs eight minutes, "Things
Mean a Lot" over nine and "Mother"
unfurls over an epic thirteen minutes.
All the songs are stark, slow and
ethereal, built upon a clean strum-
ming or jangling guitar. Beneath the
vocals and rhythm guitar, the drums
are barely audible and when the band
locks into a methodical groove, the
layered distorted guitars aren't jar-
ring, they are simply adding texture.
Despite the lack of stand-out tracks,
"Red House Painters" works amaz-
See RECORDS, Page 10
Cambridge Paperback Encyclopedia