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October 08, 1993 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-08

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Feld mixes ball
At the ripe old age of 11, Eliot Feld walked into his first
ballet class. The only boy in the class, Feld did not mind
his minority status. His teacher was Ruth Annaboris, and
"she was beautiful," he remembers.
The association between beauty and ballet would
remain with the Brooklyn-born Feld for many years: five
decades and still counting, to be more exact. He has
choreographed 79 ballets, and his ballet company (aptly
named the Feld Ballets / New York) celebrates its 20th
anniversary this season.
Perhaps the longevity of Feld's career has been made
possible by his non-formulaic approach to choreography.
Unlike many artists who have spent years perfecting their
craft, Feld's work remains a mystery to the artist himself.
"I'm unfamiliar with how a ballet comes together," he
laughs, "For me, music always comes first. A piece of1
music makes me want to dance, and that's where it begins.
I go in a room with dancers and I dance. They copy what
I do, and then I turn around, watch them and hate it. Ballets
ecrete, they form themselves."
In an art form that is usually associated with things
past, Feld's spontaneously generated work is known for1
its contemporary edge. Of the ballets that his company
will perform this weekend in Ann Arbor, Feld says, "All
these ballets are about contemporary life - not about
ballet in that dusty way, not like a relic of the past."
Two of the ballets that will be performed this weekend,

Let with beauty
"Ion" and "Evoe," are solos (one for Buffy Miller and one
for Darren Gibson). Feld calls Miller's a dramatic mara-
thon, Gibson's the dance of one who is half man, half
beast. "Doo Dah Day" is "an acerbic anecdote to senti-
mentality," and "Common Ground" is Feld's attempt to
show the relevancy of 300-year-old music (specifically
that of Bach) in contemporary times.
Love and sex also play frequent roles in Feld's work.
"Dance is a good medium for sex without love or love
without sex. Ballet is poetry," he says.
While the end of Feld's career will someday leave a
gap in the world of ballet, he refuses to speculate as to what
mark he will have left on that world. "That would be
presumptuous. I hope I can just keep working as long as
I desire. The rest is in the domain of others."
In the same vein, Feld does not take interest in the ways
he has changed as a choreographer since 1967 with his
first ballet, "Harbinger." "How much I've changed doesn't
interest me. I'm not a historian, I'm not a critic. I'm me.
I'm only interested in what's next."
"What's next" for the 51-year-old Feld can only be
more ballets. He has an undying passion for the ballet, and
hopes only that he "will tire of his work before other
people get tired of it." So far, his luck is holding out.

THE FELD BALLETS/NY will perform at the Power
Center Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2
p.m. Tickets are still available. Call 764-2538 for more

The innovative and intriguing Feld Ballets will be performing at the Power Center this weekend.

Kavafian returns to her roots for a special one-night show

Polish Film Fiesta
The Polish Culture Group will
be sponsoring the Polish Film Fes-
tival this weekend. Three films will
be featured. Tonight at 7:30 in the
Natural Science Auditorium, the
festival kicks off with"Squadron,"
a story about a Russian aristocrat
who seeks fame in the "little" Pol-
'sh War of 1863. On Saturday, also
in Nat Sci at 7:30, the group will
present "The Beautiful Life of
Bronek Pekosinki" which
chronicles the life of a paralyzed
chess champion. The festival will
close in Lorch at 7:30 on Sunday
with "White Marriage" which sen-
sitively examines a young girl's
coming to grips with her sexuality.
Tickets are $3 for each film and
roceeds will benefit the Polish
Culture Group.
Sugar Break
Taking a quick break from
Sugar, Bob Mould will give a solo
acoustic performance at St.
Andrew's Hall this Saturday Night
at 7 p.m. Hard-core Mould fans
sanowdwhat a special occasion this
is and have had their tickets for
weeks; for those who don't know
what a gifted and influential musi-
cian he is, there is no better way to
get acquainted with the man who
kept punk alive in the '80s and
helped spark Nirvana and the en-
tire Seattle sound in the '90s. Al-
thdugh this concert will have none
f his trademark blistering electric
guitar, it is a superb showcase for
his songs, which form one of the
most melodic, uncompromising
and altogether brilliant bodies of
work in the past twenty years. Tick-
ets are only $7.50 in advance; don't
miss it.
ere We are Now...
On the heels of the Billboard
Chart-topping "In Utero,"'Nirvana
is embarking on their first major
U.S. tour since changing the face
of contemporary music with 1991's
"Nevermind." The tour, which fea-
tures additional musicians in the
form of another guitarist and a cel-
list, will pass through theMichigan
State Fairgrounds Coliseum on Fri-
y, October 29th at 8p.m. Tickets
are $18.50 for this general admis-
sion, all-ages show. They will go
on sale TODAY at 10 a.m. at all
Ticketmaster locations.

Violinist Ani Kavafian is a very
happy woman. Her career is right
where she wants it: 93-5 concerts a
year. She gets to travel all over the
world (she rattled off a list that in-
cluded Italy, Santa Fe, Vale and Port-
land). And she's playing a 1736
Stradivarius ("It's inspiring to open
the case up in the morning!").
She's also very busy. Not only is
she traveling to perform all of those
concerts (and the necessary rehears-
als, of course), but she's also a wife,
mother and teacher. She's been teach-
ing for about nine years at the Man-
hattan School of Music, and enjoys it.
"It actually helps me to be a better
performer by verbalizing what's go-
ing on. Seeing the problems students
have makes me look at my own play-
ing more analytically."
But she is emphatic that she is first
and foremost a performer. "It's al-
ways been a love." The only question
was which instrument she'd play. "I
started piano when I was three and a
half with my aunt, she's a wonderful
teacher. I was going to be a pianist;
there was no question that was what I
wanted to do." But then the school
orchestra needed violinists and gave
her a scholarship to take lessons ...
and "Violin won out because I loved
playing with the orchestra and play-
ing with other people." Besides, her
mother is a violinist and Kavafian

"heard violin in the womb - it was
the most natural thing in the world for
me to play."
Her career took off when she won
the Young Concert Artists' Competi-
tion in New York. "It is for young
people who are starting up and need a
place to play. I won it in 1972 and it
really helped." She got to play con-
certs everywhere, and got a lot of
good experience. "You learn how to
be with people - you give master
classes and mini recitals."
In 1979 she won the Avery Fischer
Award, which led to a concert with
the New York Philharmonic, which
really prompted everything else. "It is
given by peers and really reinforces
the fact that you should be perform-
ing solos. It's like a recommendation
- it makes you feel like people be-
lieve in you."
Kavafian is currently doing a lot
of solo work, which includes debut-
ing two concertos this year. She also
plays violin duos with her sister, who
is a member of the Beaux Arts Trio.
As an Artist Member of the Chamber
Music Society of Lincoln Center,
Kavafian does chamber music as well,
which is how she came to be part of
the Evening of Chamber Music with
Andre Watts group which will be
performing here on October 9th. She's
very excited about the collaboration:
"This is the best kind of music mak-
ing ... a new and fresh collaboration.

They have something to give and you
have something to give back. The
best word is inspiring. You bring the
best together and hope for a really
great performance."
She's also happy to be coming
back to Ann Arbor. "I grew up near
Detroit and we were always coming
for performances and stuff. My fam-
ily and friends will be here for the
performance. Michigan is my state!"
She also likes playing at Hill, al-
though she lists Severance Hall in
Cleveland, Ordway Hall in St. Paul
and Carnegie Hall "before it was over-
hauled," as some of her favorites.
"You feel really privileged to be play-
ing in these beautiful places ... A
beautiful hall with great acoustics
makes you feel surrounded by a classy
And what kind of sound is that?

"When I think of violin sound the
most important thing is range. It
should have a tremendous range, the
depth of a viola and the height and
etherealness of a flute. As close to a
human voice as possible." She says
her violin has a rich, dark sound,
which is a decided contrast with her
bright, enthusiastic personality. It will

be interesting to see what her perfor-
mance is like.
Ani Kavafian will be performing
with Andre Watts, Gary Hoffman,
David Shifrin, George Schenk and
Marcia Butler this Saturday night
at Hill Auditorium. Tickets are
available from the University
Musical Society.



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