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April 10, 1998 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-10

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 10, 1998 - 9

'St. Andrew's gets strung out on Cheese Incident

By Reilly Brennan
Daily Arts Writer
The second time seeing a band live in concert
is the turning point in the relationship. It's dur-
ing that second show that you finally realize
whether or not the performers are worthy of
aise beyond the usual, "They rock!"
Wednesday night, at Detroit's St. Andrew's
Hall, was my second String Cheese Incident
show, and even though I know the band better,
have a few tapes and can
r = sing some chorus lines, 1
must admit -- they rock!
String Cheese Not unlike the first
Incident Incident I witnessed, the
group of chewbacca-look-
St. Andrew's Hall ing rockers played long
April 8, 1998 and hard, leaving the audi-
ence completely fulfilled
but at the same time panti-
ng for more Cheese.
String Cheese is a quin-
tet of bluegrass and jam-
rock-influenced late 20-
somethings from Crested
Butte, CO. While only about four years old, the
group's popularity has grown faster than you can
tear the wax off of a gouda cheese wheel. They

have become regulars around the festival scene,
participating in such big gigs as The High Sierra
Music Festival and The Telluride Bluegrass
After a stellar Kellar Williams opening act,
SCI jumped onstage at around 10:15 p.m. and
started off with one of its strongest jam segue
duos, "Little Hands" into "Dudley's Kitchen".
The crowd was going crazy, as "Little Hands" is
normally saved for the middle of a set, rarely a
set opener.
Michael Kang, the group's mandolin and fid-
dle player, took control right away, showing the
audience why he is a pioneer of the five-string
electric mandolin. "Little," a song with vocals as
well as a happy rhythm, started off at its usual
melodic pace, but as soon as drummer Mike
Travis threw down the initial beat of "Dudley's,"
Kang virtually tore a hole in his mandolin.
His open-mouthed grin was contagious, and
after just 10 minutes of Cheese, most of the crowd
of 300 was on their feet and noodle dancing.
Travis, whose drum kit has undoubtedly
grown three-fold since last October's Blind Pig
show, can still bust a serious move despite the
misconceptions of old age caused by his full
head of gray hair. He seemed to prefer palm to
drum sticks, even during a petulant groove.

The happy-go-lucky aura on stage does
indeed transfer into the music, something that
String Cheese manages to do quite well, and cer-
tainly better than any other four year old band. It
was not uncommon for Kang or guitar player
Bill Nershi to bust out laughing during a tune
The first set was characterized by hot licks
from Kang and violent beats provided by Wavae
(Travis's pseudonym). Kang even took on Sam
Bush's "Stingray," a more classic-sounding folk
jam than a normal Cheese tune, and he didn't
miss a chord. Kang looked so enthralled with the
perfection he achieved during "Stingray" that he
kept looking over at keyboardist Kyle
Hollingsworth in joyous disbelief.
Surprising was the work of Hollingsworth,
who seemed a bit timid during the last Incident
in Ann Arbor. Wednesday night, Kyle showed a
great deal of maturity, ripping through a fan
favorite, "On The Road," a song that will be on
the Cheese's new album, "'Round the Wheel,"
due out in June.
In a recent phone interview, bassist Keith
Moseley said the band's lack of'a contract with a
big record company does not bother the group.
"We like the way we're doing it now,"
Moseley said. "We've had offers, but there's no
rush. We like to be able to call the shots."

Courtesy of String Cheese Incident
The String Cheese Incident melted hearts and inhibitions at St. Andrew's Hall on Wednesday.

Moving up from the Blind Pig to St. Andrews
is not a small feat. While Moseley admitted dur-
ing the interview that the past few months have
been instrumental, the band is still very much at
ease strolling through the venue during setbreak
and chatting with fans.
Nershi's older brother Dave was even in atten-
dance, showing that an Incident is something of
a family affair.
Set two was more mellow and segue-oriented,

but didn't really heat up until the set-closing
"Land's End," where Kang really took the final
section of the song to a new level, playing notes,
that most of the audience did not think was post
sible with the little guitar. People danced like.
they've never danced before.
Standard bluegrass tune "Long Gone" closed
the show at around 1:30 a.m., leaving the faith-
ful at St. Andrews tired but content. While only
my second Incident, it will not be my last.

Traditional Indian
dance hits campus

Dreamworks''Prince of Egypt' balances
religious themes, children's animation

By Maicie Jones
Daily Arts Writer
A dance tradition that dates back
2,000 years has found its way to a
University stage. Tomorrow at 8
p.m., a group of students from
California, led by internationally
renowned dancer and choreographer
Ramya Harishankar, will perform
Bharata Natyam, a classical Indian
dance, at the Mendelssohn Theatre
in the Michigan League.
The Arpana Dance Company
originates from Orange County,
California and is comprised of
Ramya Harishankar's most profi-
cient students. The group's Website
can be accessed at
http://wwwnos.net/ramya said.
The group has not only traveled
throughout much of the United
States, but performed worldwide in
places including Delhi, Mumbai,
Baroda, Hyderabad, Austria and
Germany. Specializing in the art of
Bharata Natyam, five members of
the group will be present at their
Ann Arbor appearance, promising a
good show, first-year Law student'
and show organizer Meera Deo said.
Bharata Natyam is one of India's
six classical dance traditions.
The group's Website describes the
dance as an intensely physical syn-
thesis of all of India's major arts (
poetry, sculpture, literature and
music). The tradition which follows
strict rules, has been handed down
from teacher to student in South
India for centuries.
The dance has two main parts:
Nritta (pure dance) and Abhinaya
(interpretive dance). Through ges-
tures and expressions, the dancers
convey a specific story or idea to
the audience. Before each dance
in the performance, there will be a
brief explanation of its themes
and origins given by the perform-
"My favorite dance of the perfor-
mance portrays the many aspects of
love in a woman," Meera said.
"The first type is the love
between a woman and a child, the
second is between a man and a
woman and the third is between a
woman and God. The dancers use
physical symbolism, gestures and
movement to express these themes."
Harishankar founded the Arpana

Dance Company 15 years ago. Since
then, the group has grown to be rec-
ognized as one of the United States'
premier Indian dance companies.
Twenty-seven of its past and present
performers have performed their
arangetram (solo debuts), and the
group has danced in many major
cultural events, including the Center
on Tour program of the Orange
County Performing Arts Center.
On the Website, Harishankar said
she aims to present the Indian dance
to as diverse an audience as possible.
She said that she has taken the

experience that she;
Tomorrow at 8

gained through
her teachers
and tried to
rely their mes-
sage of "beau-
ty and integri-
ty" to her
She has
become a
teacher of the
dance herself
now, and aims
to continue the
precedence set
by her educa-
t o r s .

Los Angeles Times
Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and
David Geffen have got guts.
When they formed DreamWorks
SKG in 1994, it was the first new
movie studio created in Hollywood
in more than 50 years. Now, they're
trying for another audacious first: a
cartoon for adults.
DreamWorks' first animated fea-
ture film, due in theaters Dec. 18,
will have "no princess, no singing
teapots, no singing animals and no
checking with marketing to see if
they could sell it," said Walter
Parkes, the studio's production
The biblical tale of the life of
Moses, titled "The Prince of Egypt,"
will have a line of collectible figures
and books, but "no burning bush
night lights, no Red Sea shower cur-
tains that split in the middle, no 40-
days-in-the-desert water bottles" or
other merchandise tie-ins, said
Sandra Rabins, one of the film's pro-
And if DreamWorks gets its wish.
the epic project known around
Hollywood by the nickname "P.O.E."
will be rated not a kid-friendly G,
but PG, carrying this warning:
"Some material may not be suitable
for children."
Guts? The DreamWorks folks
have certainly got them. But their
deliberate departure from formulas
that have ensured the success of ear-
lier animated musicals has prompted
some to ask: Have they lost their
Many movie industry insiders,
who are watching the project with a
mixture of skepticism and awe,
agree that "The Prince of Egypt" has
one key thing going for it:
Katzenberg. The former chairman of
Walt Disney Studios, whose shep-
herding of "Beauty and the Beast"
and other Disney animated films
was widely seen as brilliant, consid-
ers this project his baby. And that
alone discourages people from pre-
dicting its failure.
"One thing you can bank on is
Jeffrey is a good movie-maker," said
one executive who asked not to be
But to succeed, Dream Works must
do something daunting: Change the
moviegoing habits of American

adults, many of whom see animation
as kids' stuff. Perhaps even more
challenging, given this movie's reli-
gious plot line. DreamWorks must
convince grown-ups that animation
can be serious without being
"The danger is if they treat it as
too self-important," said another
industry observer. who believed that
the fledgling studio made that mis-
take with "Amistad," Spielberg's
1997 drama about slavery. "They
misstepped drastically when they
put it in the 'important' category and
'good medicine' category. ... (This
time) if they come off as the reli-
gious zealot poster child, that's
going to keep a lot of people away."
Already, eight months before its
premiere, DreamWorks has begun
maneuvering to position the film,
whose budget has been reported in
the S60 million-S70 million range.
Last month at ShoWest, the annu-
al convention of theater owners in
Las Vegas. the studio unveiled a pro-
motional reel that portrayed "The
Prince of Egypt'' as the ultimate
action-adventure story.
"It isn't your father's animated
movie," Terry Press, the executive
who heads up DreamWorks' strate-
gic marketing, boasts as she points
out a huge swarm of computer-gen-

erated locusts (7 million of them),
the parting of the Red Sea (a com-
plex, four-minute scene that took 12
people three years to create) and the
spooky rendering of the death of the
first born. But she admits that the
movie presents a marketing chal-
"I'm the first person to say the
movie's a huge risk. People think of
animated movies as things that come
with Happy Meals," she said.
"Jeffrey's theory is that animation is
a tool to tell stories. That doesn't
mean you just have to tell fairy tales.
But I'm not kidding myself. ..
Getting people there will be hard."
Dream Works is gambling by omit-
ting another time-tested ingredient:
humor. Disney has successfully used
humor to accomplish what might be
called bilevel storytelling - the
genie in "Aladdin," for example,
who amuses the kiddies with slap-
stick antics while also delivering
sarcastic, suggestive zingers that
entertain adults.
The makers of "The Prince of

Egypt" appear to be going for a
more singular, sophisticated vision
- in part because the tale they are
telling doesn't easily lend itself to
"There's not as much humor as
you're used to" in animation,
F1inkelman Cox said. "We tried. We
had cute sheep. We wanted Ramses
to have cats. We had it all. ... But we
found we couldn't impose humor on
this story. We couldn't put in talking
gargoyles. It could be offensive."
According to his associates.
Katzenberg is not merely hoping for
a PG rating. He has said that if he
doesn't get one - if, by chance, the
Motion Picture Association of
America rates the film a G - he
will appeal.
"This is not a movie that parents
can drop their kids off at for the
afternoon. Parents need .to be pre-
pared to answer tough questions,"
Rabins, the producer, said soberly.
"Is God an angry God? Why does he
allow slavery' Why does he kill?
This is not a movie for toddlers."

Harishankar said that she is commit-
ted to keeping her students motivat-
ed in the dance.
She created the Arpana Dance
Company to give her students a cre-
ative outlet through which they can
express their dance to audiences.
Harishankar has more than 20
years of experience touring and per-
forming in places such as Canada,
France, Denmark, Japan, Hong
Kong, Singapore, Thailand,
Australia and Kuwait. She has been
the recipient of the Choreographer's
Fellowship from the National
Endowment for the Arts and the
Multicultural Entry grant from the
California Arts Council.
This will be the Arpana Dance
Company's only performance in the
Ann Arbor area and proceeds from
the production will be donated to a
The Arpana Dance Company will
p/k'rm tomorrow night on/v
Tickets are $3 and can he reserved
in advanced hv calling Meera De(o
at (313) 332-6018 or e-mailing her
at indeox{ umnich.edu.

The University of Michigan
School of Music
Friday - Sunday, April 10- 12
Theatre & Drama
Sophocles: Antigone
Glenda Dickerson, director
Trueblood Theatre, 8p.m. (Fri. & Sat.); 2 p.m. (Sun.)
Admission $14; for information phone (734) 764-0450
Saturday, April 11
Faculty/Guest Recital
Timothy Cheek, piano
Diba Alvi and Kate Fitzpatrick, sopranos
Margaret Bragle and Elizabeth Warner, mezzo-sopranos
Mark Beudert, tenor
* Janacek: The Diary of One Who Vanished
Britton Recital Hall, E. V. Moore Bldg., Ip.m.
Monday, April 13
Saxophone Studio Recital
Students of Donald Sinta perform saxophone repertory
Britton Recital Hall, E. V. Moore Bldg., 8 p.m.
Composers' Forum
McIntosh Theatre, E. V. Moore Bldg., 8p.m.
Tuesday, April 14
Early Music Ensemble
Edward Parmentier, music director
Blanche Anderson Moore Hall, E. V. Moore Bldg., 8 p.m.
Small Brass Ensemble
Charles Daval, director
McIntosh Theatre, E. V. Moore Bldg., 7 p.min.
Wednesday, April 15
Contemporary Percussion Ensemble
"Brave New Works"
Britton Recital Hall, E. V. Moore Bldg., 4 p.m.
Campus Band
Jamie Nix, conductor
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Michigan Student Opera Works
Handel: Semele
George Shirley, director
Tania Miller, conductor
McIntosh Theatre, E. V. Moore Bldg., 8 p.m.
complementary tickets required; phone (734) 763-2697
Thursday, April 16
Flute Studio Recital
Flute students perform flute repertory
McIntosh Theatre, E. V. Moore Bldg., 5p.m.
Chamber Choir
Jerry Blackstone,. conductor

Looking forward to summer movies? Next week
Daily Arts, along with Touchstone Pictures will
be giving away cool stuff from Spike Lee's "He
Got Game" and Robert Redford's "The Horse
Whisperer." So stay tuned for your chance to
own a part of summer movie magic.

. . .

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