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November 16, 1994 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-16

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s

'U' festival of female
films is experimental

and1
By ALEX
"Growing u
aseries of film a
and about womr
intriguing explc
contemporary
c hat it meanst
erica.
As presente
Department oft
and Video, and'
grams, the serie
nity to both e:
social issues an
good experimen
"Blood Ora
-ndrea, portray
g on the edg
confusion that g
Out" by Tamn
autobiographica
hood, using dia
"The Politi
Debusk, explor
women are affe
lence. "GoodDi
,parringer and
ttina Fabos c
placed homema
Probably m
group are Tran T
culum" and Lu

challenging
(ANDRA TWIN ing Stones."
p Female," the third in "Operculum," a 14-minute explo-
nd video showcases by ration of eyelid surgery and its preva-
en, is a capacious and lence as a measure taken by Asian
oration of the lives of women, is an initially underwhelming
women, questioning but ultimately disturbing documentary.
to grow up female in A powerful split-screen image con-
trasts stills of a young Asian girl con-
d by the University's templating surgery with an explicitly
Communication, Film detailed account ofone doctor involved
Women's Studies Pro- with theoutrageous, under-the-eye, pre-
s provides an opportu- frontal lobotomy process of the 1950s.
xamine contemporary The juxtaposition of the horror of lo-
nd to see some really botomy and of what this girl is doing,
ntal film. coupled by the sheer callousness of
nges," by Kirsten D' both surgeons is striking, to say the
vs a young girl, teeter- least.
e of puberty and the "Casting Stones" is a stark narra-
goes with it. "Odd Girl tive that combines surreal imagery,
1y Rae Carland, is an stop-motion animation and eerie, cere-
al look at a queer child- bral home-videos. It offers a startling
ry-like memory clips. portrayal of a mother's life lost to can-
es of Fear," by Cara cer, told as a memory piece by her
es the ways in which daughter. Visually, the high-quality and
ected by fears of vio- general innovation of the project serves
nner, Hon," by Corinne to transcend the assumed limits of such
showcase organizer a low-budget production.
oncerns an older, dis- The same may be said of the festi-
ker. val as a whole.

Apartheid hits
all imthe 'RSA'
By J. DAVID BERRY
The University Department of Theatre and Drama's latest endeavor is an
in-depth, personal look into the horrors of apartheid in the Republic of South
Africa. "Born in the RSA," written by well-known South African playwright
Barney Simon, opens Thursday at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre and runs
through the weekend.
The play shows apartheid through the eyes of the people it touches each day,
whether it be a Black activist or a white victimizer. Simon, the playwright, has
strung the show together with monologues by each of the characters to make it
more clear just how deeply each of these people are affected. The play is meant
to take the audience step-by-step down the trail apartheid has blazed in the war-
torn country, examining it from every possible angle and taking in every possible
viewpoint.
Creating this kind of intense experience in a University production has been
a challenge for new University faculty member Dr. Renee A. Simmons. As to why
Simmons chose this play for her Ann Arbor directorial debut, she said, "I've done
this show before and me being new to the University, I wanted to make a strong
statement about who I was." She also feels that it is important to continue to focus
on South Africa and try to understand exactly who these people are. Based on real
life interviews, these characters are very much alive with a strong foundation in
reality.
Though she has performed in "RSA" before, Simmons chose to take this
production in a different direction. The script has very little stage direction or
choreography, so Simmons has added singing and dancing to help move the show
along and create a more real "soundtrack" to the action. This will also serve, she
feels, to embody the joy and the spirit of these repressed people who fought so
long for freedom. Contributing the music will be the six-member Bichinis Bia
Congo Company.
Of course, Simmons' main resources for creating the proper feel of the show
were her actors themselves. She witnessed each actor going on a very long and
exciting growing process to reach the intense emotional commitment needed for
this production. "Each actor needed to go through stages," said Simmons. "It
See RSA, Page 8
ATTENTION DISPLAY ADVERTISERS:
The Michigan Daily has scheduled the following
EARLY DEADLINES for Thanksgiving Break.
PUBLICATION DATEE 9
Monday, November 28 Monday, November 21
Tuesday, November 29 Tuesday, November 22
Wednesday, November 30 Tuesday, November 22

ost revelatory of the
t. Kim-Trang's "Oper-
cretia Knapp's "Cast-

GROWING UP FEMALE is playing
November 16 & 17at1210 Chemistry
Building. Admission is free.

Lakeisha Harrison stars in "Born in the RSA," opening tomorrow night.

Empire strikes brass with a fresh, new sound

By BRIAN WISE
"It's funny," explained Rolf
nedvig, leader of the Empire Brass.
"When you think of the string quartet,
with 400 years of literature to choose
from, we just don't have it. We have to
make our own music - which is really
half of the fun."
Regarded as one of the world's
finest brass quintets, EmpireBrass have
accepted the factthatthere isn'tawealth
of"pure" repertoire currently available
,r a medium only some 40 years old.
Nevertheless, they are a group that
refuses to be limited by such conven-
tion. Attesting to that fact is a series of
best-selling CDs featuring an output
that extends from Bach and Handel to
blues and Broadway arrangements.
The five players in this Boston-
based ensemble have all held leading
positions with major American Orches-
. It currently consists of Smedvig
4z Jeffrey Curnow on trumpet; Eric
Ruske on French horn, R. Douglas
Wright on trombone and Kenneth Amis
on tuba. While the group has periodi-
cally undergone membership changes
in its 23-year history, Smedvig has
maintained his role as a sort of com-
mander-in-chief.
The year was 1971, when a group
of young musicians from the summer
*isic program at Tanglewood were
selected to perform a landmark piece
that was to be premiered in Washing-
ton D.C. later that year. That piece was
Leonard Bernstein's "Mass," and it
was to be directed by the composer
himself.
"As with any piece," Smedvig said,
"you get familiar with it, and all of the
sudden you want to play some other
*Jsic as well. So, about the fifth week
'ofperforming, several ofus (brassplay-
ers) started playing in quintets back-
stage. We began playing these Bach
Trio Sonatas, and Lenny would come
back and help us, and show us how to
breathe and take time, and so on.
"We enjoyed playing together
enough, and when we got back to Bos-
ton we started this group called Empire
Brass ... It was kind of an incestuous

little bunch from Tanglewood." This
incestuous bunch eventually went on
to regularly tour North America and
Europe, as well as the Far East a num-
ber of times.
The quintet performs over 100 con-
certs a year and seems to accept no
limits in its possibilities, as Smedvig
explained, "We're musical whores.
We'll go anywhere and play with any-
body and do anything. We feel right at
home either alone on the concert stage
or collaboration with an ensemble,
which is something not all chamber
music groups can put a claim to."
The Empire Brass' most recent re-
cording is entitled "Passage (138 B.C.
- A.D. 1611)." As the title would
suggest, it is a collection of modal
chant-based music, dating largely from
Medieval and Renaissance times. Their
approach, however, is hardly an au-

thentic rendering of the medium. The
group's sound is augmented on several
pieces with rhythm tracks and atmo-
spheric effects provided by a synth,
fretless bass, percussion and guitars.
"It's kind of a dark, haunting, spiri-
tual record," Smedvig said. "For me,
it's the first record I've put together
that conveys a real mood."
Smedvig admits that by broaden-
ing their own musical horizons, the
group wishes to attract new, younger
listeners. "I'm hoping to get into a
younger person's head music-wise,
because I'm watching classical music
audiences die right before my very
eyes. I really hope that people can
listen to and relate to this music, and
understand that this is classical music."
For the Empire Brass, the word "clas-
sical" doesn't have to connote rigidity
or being bound to the same old musical

conventions and formulas.
THE EMPIRE BRASS will perform
with the DSO and Erich Kunzel at
Orchestra Hall, Thursday at 8 p. i.
Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are
$15-$50 and are available at
Ticketmaster or at Orchestra Hall
Box Office. Call (313) 833-3700.

m

UBS Securities Inc.
cordially invites you to attend
an informal presentation on
Opportunities in
Trading & Sales
and
Investment Banking

New York

";yid,
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Los Agee
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Toronto
San Frncsc
London
Paris
Zurich
Frankfurt
Milan
Madrid
Tokyo
Taipei
HongKon
Sina po ,
Sydney

Wednesday,

November 16th, 1994
at 7:00 PM
The Michigan League
"Michigan Room"

IRec eption Immediately 1Follown

i =1

_- u

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