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November 01, 1994 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-01

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TS

The glory of 100 years of Graham revisited in one weekend

After 50 springs, 'Appalachian'
doesn't fail to move an audience

Opening performance operates
with stunning intensity and
characteristic Graham style

By LIZ SHAW
Over a month of artistic indul-
gence culminated in the grand perfor-
mance of Martha Graham's "Appala-

Appalachian
Spring
.Power Center
October 30, 1994,
chian Spring" on Sunday, the 50th
anniversary of the premiere at the
Library of Congress in 1944.
The afternoon's performance
opened with various speakers who
were associated with Martha Graham
herself and the Graham Company.
Susan Clampitt (Deputy Director of
Programs at the National Endowment
for the Arts [NEA]) and Sali Ann
Kriegsman (Director of Dance Pro-
grams) lauded Graham as one of the
greatest contributors to modern dance
in the world. It was through one of the
first grants given by the NEA that
Martha Graham got started as a force
in the modern dance world.
Pearl Lang, a former principal
dancer for the Graham Company and
current artistic advisor/senior instruc-
tor at the Martha Graham Center made
a stirring speech about her time work-
ing with Graham and personal remi-
niscences about their time and work
together.
"Do it as if you were shouting I
have Jesus by the foot!"' Lang re-
called Graham having once said to
her about the level of exuberance for
a particular jump.
Lang was one of the original danc-
ers in "Appalachian Spring," along
with Eric Hawkins. Hawkins was
scheduled to appear, but due to poor
health sent an audio recording of some
of his memories from working with
the company.
The pre-performance also in-
cluded two pieces by Aaron Copland
presented by the U Symphony Band

Brass and the U Chamber Choir which
were beautifully done, and worked as
soothing interludes in between the
different speakers. Copland composed
the original score for "Appalachian
Spring" (commissioned by Graham
for a then plentiful $500).
"Appalachian Spring" itself was a
spectacular example of Graham's
genius in choreography. The sparse
sets were a beautiful contrast with the
colorful, fanciful costumes and the
trademark techniques. The emotions
came through as clearly as if they
were speaking lines in a play, or sing-
ing lyrics in a musical. The bounce of
the steps and slapping of knees danced
the excitement of the scene right into
the audience.
The bride and husbandman (Joyce
Herring and Ethan Brown) leapt joy-
ously around the stage, rarely leaving
each other's side or failing to mirror
the other's movements. They danced
as the unit of a newly married couple
moving through life together, flaw-
lessly.
The emotion conveyed by the in-
tense movements of the Pioneer
Woman (Denise Vale) had the audi-
ence experiencing her wonderment
and sense of discovery. Peter Sparling,
of the University Department of
Dance, was spectacular as the Reviv-
alist, prancing around the stage with a
preachy skip, and holding a spirited
revival with the wonderfully chirpy
and especially accurate followers
(Elizabeth Auclair, Sandra Kaufmann,
Rika Okamoto, and Alessandra
Prosperi). The followers, clad in pale
blue and white, added a sense of light-
ness to the scene; their spinning and
bouncing on the lighter notes of
Copland's music almost made them
seem like they were flying around the
stage like little birds fluttering through
the sky, adding to the buoyancy of
this spring day.
The piece was exciting and beau-
tiful - just as the entire festival -
revealing all the exciting aspects of
what Graham did with her time in

By JESSIE HALLADAY
The works of legendary choreog-
rapher/dancer Martha Graham are
renowned for the intensity and unique

1w

Martha
Graham Dance
Company
Power Center
October 28, 1994

style of movement which make up
each dance.
This weekend at Power Center
several of those works were recreated
by the Martha Graham Dance Com-
pany in stunning fashion.
Friday night's performance high-
lighted several of Graham's best
known dances. Each was performed
with incredible force and emotion.
leaving the audience with much to
grab onto.
"Satyric Festival Song" was the
opening piece which warmed the
crowd to the Graham style with the
dancer (Denise Vale) jumping and
springing from the floor in a playful
round of dance. Dressed in a form-
fitting costume of green stripes, the
dancer using animated and coy ges-
tures was reminiscent of Spring.
Grief personified describes the
next dance of the evening, "Lamenta-
tion." Joyce Herring recreated this
powerful Graham piece with amaz-
ing precision. Dressed in a tube of
cloth, the dancer pushed and strained
against the boundaries in which she
was encased. She was struggling to
free herself from the pain which sur-
rounded her.
A highlight of the evening was the
recreation of "Panorama." This work
used local dancers in a complex ar-
rangement of movement. Originally
performed in 1930, this dance incor-

porated groups of dancers all over the
stage in synchronized motion, recre-
ating a mechanical image. The pow-
erful music created a background for
the sharp, but not jarring, actions *
the dancers.
Clearly the dancers are still devel-
oping the Graham style, as all their
movements were not always in sync
and legs sometimes shook with ex-
tension. But this could not detract
from the force of the choreography.
The only dance of the evening
driven by plot was "Cave of the Heart,"
which is based on the Greek legend
the jealousy of love-spurned Med*
Graham's interpretation told the story
of a woman whose husband leaves
her to marry a princess and the re-
venge she takes upon them. Each
movement of the characters conveyed
a new emotion which explains the
story.
Graham choreographed jarring
movements which ripped through the
bodies of the dancers to illustrate t-
intensity of emotion. Terese Capuci
was marvelous as Medea and Miki
Orihara performed the death scene of
the Princess as if she were dying her-
self.
The final piece of the evening,
"Acts of Light," was by far the best.t
was a work performed in three sec-
tions: the first was a dance depicting
two lovers in a conversation, the s t
ond a version of a lamentation.
the agony of the central dancer was
apparent in her motions, it was not as
forceful as the solo dance.
It is the third portion of the dance
which made one's hair stand on end.
All the dancers were clad in a gold
unitard which represented the rays of
the sun, performing a ritual worship-
ping the sun. Full extended arm move-
ments reached up in a prayerful act
adoration. Each dancer moved in uni
son with the others which added to the
intensity of the work and leaving the
audience feeling jubilant.

A shot from the original production of "Applachian Spring."

dance, and the undeniably enormous
contribution she made to the very
concept of modern dance.
As Pearl Lang said of "Spring,"

which applies as well for all of
Graham's works, "It is a brilliant,
beautiful and pious dance that even
after 50 years never fails to move us.",

Wisconsin loses to Femmes at Hill

By KAR JONES
"We understand there was a little
misunderstanding between Wiscon-
sin and Michigan today," Violent
Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie yelled
to a crowd of screaming fans at Hill
Auditorium Saturday night. "But it's

not like that at a Violent Femmes
concert. At a Violent Femmes con-
cert ... everyone wins!"
Overall, the Wisconsin based
band succeeded in putting their foot-
ball rivalries aside for a show that was
never anything less than explosive.

The Femmes mixed things up by add-
ing erratic horn arrangements to their
normally non-brassy music and blow-
ing bubbles on stage. Ritchie even

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN VS. OHIO STATE
November 19, 1994
$99.00 plus tax based on availability

Femmes
Hill Auditorium
October 30. 1994

EACH PACKAGE INCLUDES:
*A DELUXE ROOM FOR TWO

*TWO DRINK TICKETS PER PERSON AT SEBASTIAN'S PUB,
BEFORE OR AFTER GAME
*TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM O.S.U. FOOTBALL STADIUM

*COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST FOR TWO

brought out a black, cylindrical horn,
during the middle of the show through
which he made strange elephant
sounds for almost an entire song.
Standard Femmes tunes like "Con-
fessions" and "Blister in the Sun"
started off the show, but fans who
came expecting to hear the "old Vio-
lent Femmes" may have been a bit
surprised. Much of the concert con-
sisted of songs off the band's latest
release "New Times."
While these songs may not have
been familiar to some fans, Violent
Femmes still has the stage presence to
make anything sound amazing. With
instruments ranging from a giant
conch shell to a xylophone, the band
proved that the word "classic" does

;:_;:>>

(Does not include football tickets)
THE HISTORIC GREAT SOUTHERN HOTEL IS LOCATED DOWNTOWN,
JUST 3 MILES SOUTH OF O.S.U. EASY ACCESS FROM 1-70 and 1-71
THE GREAT SOUTHERN HOTEL HISTORIC
310 S. High Street HOTELS of
Columbus, OH 43215 AMERIC
For reservations 1-800-228-3789 or 1-614-228-3800

Even though they're from Wisconsin, the Violent Femmes still put on one heck of a show on Saturday.

not just apply to their old material.
"Mirror Mirror" and "Breakin' Up"
drew just as many screams from a
crowd of dancing fans as "American
Music" and "Please Do Not Go."

The rest of the songs were from
various points in the Femmes' career,
including the ultra-recent "Color Me
Once" from the soundtrack to "The
Crow" and "Gone Daddy Gone" from

___i

0

PI LAMBDA PHI FRATERNITY

SAFE WALKI
NORTH WALK
IS ACCEPTING NEW VOLUNTEERS
Join the campus nighttime
Walkinn O n~mR

every college kid's favorite album,
"Violent Femmes." Even the finale
was a mix, of new songs like "I'm
Nothing" and classic material like
"Add it Up."
The only weak point in the sh4
.came when vocalist/guitarist Gordon
Gano "accidentally" lapsed into the
Wisconsin fight song. He redeemed
himself to the crowd, however, by
giving his apologies "to the people
who came to the show not knowing
this was going to be turned into' a
sports bar." And when Ritchie added,
"So when we say dance ... you better
dance mother fucker!" the crowd
just that.
At this point in their career, it
seems difficult for the Violent
Femmes to top the popularity of their
earlier work, but if the way they played
one armazing new song after another

The International Headquarters of Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity is hosting an Informa-
tional Meeting tonight from 9:00-10:OOP.M. in the Henderson Room located on the
second floor of the Michigan League. If you are interested in being a founding
member in the reorganization of our MI -Epsilon chapter we encourage you to at-

I

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