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November 13, 1997 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-13

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IOA- The Michigan Daily -Thursday, November 13, 1997
Stravinsky's 'Rossignol' takes flight at Power enter
* 'l a~a

By Christopher Tkaczyk
Daily Campus Arts Editor
Two rarely performed one-act operas will be presented this
weekend for the Opera Department's fall production.
"UEnfant et les SortilIges,' by Maurice Ravel, and "Le
Rossignol," composed by Igor Stravinsky, are two short
operas not often performed due to their challenging scores as
ell as their demand for larger casts.
Major opera companies often neglect
one-act operas because of their shortness P
it is also difficult to find a combina-R
tion of short operas that reflect one LRossii
another in style and theme. et
Translated from their original French
fneanings, the English titles of the operas
'are-"The Child and the Enchantments"
rand "The Nightingale."
Based upon popular children's fairy tales, the stories fea-
ture lessons of wonder and imagination. Written by the
trench novelist Colette, "L'Enfant et les Sortileges" tells the
story of a naughty child who learns a lesson through one
urtselfish act of kindness.
'Based upon the popular children's tale "The Emperor and
ihe- Nightingale" by Hans Christian Andersen, "Le
Rossignol," follows the tale of an
emperor who is saved from death by
the'music of a sweet nightingale who
sings at his bedside.
The beauty of music and the way it
Adds to the fulfillment and enjoyment
'ftiife is the major thematic aspect that
characterizes the story, and
Stravinsky's music plays heavily upon
the importance of music within our
lives. The sophisticated score that
brings out the dramatic aspect of the
story is what makes the opera such a
'Directed by Joshua Major, the head
of the Opera Department, the operas
ane vocally challenging. "These works
are masterpieces. The music of 'Lea
Rossignol' is very difficult, and the<
sore for 'L'Enfant' is a work of
genius," explained Major.
"L' Enfant' is an opera about a child
,ho learns to be responsible and Scott Piper and Ruth
respect its mother. It is about the joy of featured in "L'Enfan


our own human existence. Our natural world holds many
things things that connect us to one another through beauty
and nature."
"The music of 'Le Rossignol' is mysterious and hypnotic.
It is complex and vivid," he added in describing Stravinksy's
It complements the story in many ways, mostly through its
expression of how powerful art is to our
human existence. We must have music in
E V I E W order to appreciate all that is beautiful
within nature. The simplicity of the
lo & L'Enfant nightingale's existence illustrates the
es Sortileges finer points of life that are often over-
>night through Sunday looked.
Power Center Too ften our culture and abilities are
ignored and the endless possibilities of
what we can achieve are shadowed. Our horizons are limited
when we ignore our connection to nature.
Yes, it is a play upon Thoreau's idea that in order to further
develop our lives and move to a higher spiritual ground we
must get back to nature, and find out the history from which
we've evolved. A simple bird has the power to heal a dying
man - not entirely believable in context, but through the
understanding of our music and our existence, we can realize
when and where the tale of "The
Nightingale" sings true.
"We've selected these particular
works because they complement each
other well. They're both about the beau-
ty of our human existence. 'Le
Rossignol' addresses specifically the
power that music has over us, as well as
the beauty of art?'
Under the direction of university pro-
fessor Kenneth Keisler, the University
Symphony Orchestra will accompany
the opera casts. Kiesler, the symphony's
resident director, worked most recently
with Major on last fall's production of
"L'Elisir d'Amore," (The Elixir of
Love), an excellent production that
showcased many of the the Opera
Department's amazing talent.
The operas will be presented in a fan-
tastic, fairy tale setting. "This will be a
very eclectic, abstract show," Major
Christensen are offered as to how he wanted to illustrate
the dreamlike aspect of each show.

William Gustafson, Jennifer Larson and Christopher Warren star in the Opera Theatre presentation of Igor Stravinsky's "i.e
Rossignol," opening tonight at the Power Center.

As with all of his operas, Major approached each of these
pieces with the same process. "I look at each of them and
bring them down to a human level. I perceive them as com-
plements to our human selves, and see how they can be attrib-
uted to our own lives."
in his attempts to humanize the tales, Major has brought to
this campus a lesson to be learned by all -- students includ-
ed, who sometimes forget what it is to be human. When
caught up in the busy daily schedules of study, work, and
social circles, many college students forget what it is to expe-
rience life through a spiritual level.
Redeeming themselves through music, especially operatic
music, isn't always on the agenda of citizens of Generation
X. A simple evening at the opera can take one back to what it
means to be human, and appreciate the beauty which binds
one to nature,

Themes of redemption run prevalent in both shows, which
make for an enlightening evening of opera. The combination
of both pieces is quite an event-something not often pre-
sented by professional opera companies. With two superb
casts of both graduate and undergraduate students, "U'Enfant
et les Sortileges" and "Le Rossignol" look to be an excellent
offering of classical repertoire not often observed on the,
operatic stage.
Every production offered by the School of Music's Onera
Department tends to sell out quickly, so don't be hesitant in
assuring your procurement of a ticket.
A limited number of two student tickets can be purchased
for S7 apiece with one student ID at the League Ticket Office
before 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at the Power
Center box office one hour prior to curtain on performance
dates. Call 764-0450 for more information.


. . . .. ..

Tnuatron dance troupe burns
bright at Michigan Theater

it r


Free concert at Espresso Royale.
Right around the corner from Schoolkids. Call 662-2770 for more information.
S a tu rda y m .
1 p.m. ~

By Lucija Franetovic
For the Daily
Tnuatron, a professional Israeli
dance troupe, will bring colors and
moving shapes to the Michigan Theater
this Saturday as they spark the dreams
and emotions of their audience in an
innovative and gravity defying modern
dance perfor-
The event is part R-i P F
of the 1997-98 Mid
East / West Fest, a
community effort
geared towards
breeding cultural $___for_
under stan ding
between people from the Middle East
and middle Aierica as well as celebrat-
ing the 50th anniversary of the modern
state of Israel.
Tnuatron is one of two performing
arts tours that will visit eight cities in
five Midwestern states as part of a year-
long arts and education festival.
The dedicated group of 21 women
aged 13-22 has prepared a highly per-
fected, dream-like, artistic exploration
which can hardly be categorized into a
dance style.
Though it draws from karate, classi-
cal, modern and jazz techniques, artis-
tic director and choreographer Dorit
Shimron has incorporated the influence
of painting and sculpture into "Beyond
the Rainbow" so that the performance
brings these otherwise two-dimensional.
art forms to life. Many of the composi-
tions are theatrical and very emotional;
it is definitely art and not a flowery


show of smiles.
Part of the influence comes from the
paintings of Tal Elohev, an artist who
uses a technique discovered in
California in the 1960s. Elohev projects
her art onto a screen of moving liquid
Tnuatron similarly interact with each
other, using bal-
anced acrobatics
E V I E W and a smooth and
effortless fluidity
Tnuatron so that each dancer
Saturday at 8 p.m. and each moment
Michigan Theater spills into the next.
hildren, $20 for adults Another inter-
esting effect is the
"air sleeves," a special technique devel-
oped by Doron Gazit.
In general, the costumes are captivat-
ingly non-ordinary and integral to the
flowing and transfonnative effect of the
For the majority of the pieces the
bodies are encased in a stretchy cloth
which takes shape as the dancers
move, sometimes helping them merge
together into composite sculptures and
often having extra curtain-like materi-
al that invades the dead space around
Tnuatron's dancing is about balance
and working together, which is exactly
what their success has demanded from
these full-time students who balance
educational goals with a professional
dance career.
With four hours of daily practice five
to seven days a week, the dancers have
a schedule that requires much commit-

Their routine has been performed
nation-wide throughout Israetas well*0
abroad since its establishment in the
director's native Ramat-Hasharon 20
years ago.
"It started as a dream, like sQ many
childhood dreams which we somehow
forget about and put aside" said
Shimron. "I decided on a plan that
would include all the dreams ... circles
of dreams, without end and in motion.'
Tnuatron's "Beyond the Rainbow" is
a show about youth and dreams
The innovative effects create a spin-
tual and dream-like experience which
entices the emotions of the viewer. The
youth from Tnuatron will not be the
only performers at Saturday's show.
Students from Clague Elementary
School will join the Tnuatron. dancers
for a joint finale, dancing israeli dances
only taught to them a couple of: days
The Tnuatron troupe will also be gi
ing workshops, classroom visittio
with local students, talks orn oprsonal
life and social gatherings. They will
engage in an American/Israeli folk song
exchange at six Ann Arbor middle
schools and will learn an American
dance from the students of .Qlague
The University Musical Society is
the host organization presenting this
unique experience to Ann Arbor alor-
with the promotional and organizatioi
al help of other community organiza-



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