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February 03, 1999 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-03

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Tomoiow !n Daily Arts:
Weekend, etc. Magazine returns with a look at the work of
photographer Gordon Parks, inspired by the new exhibit visit-
ing the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Wednesday
February 3, 1999

5

Courtesy of David Smith Photography
perform a rendition of "An American in Paris."

Michael Spencer Phillips and Nicole Palczynski1

Razzm.atazz to give

light I
By Jenny Curren
Daily Arts Writer
This weekend a flying trapeze will breeze
into the Power Center, but not because the
circus is in town. The trapeze plays an inte-
gral part in "Aquarium," one of four dance
pieces that make up "Razzmatazz," the
University Dance Company's annual winter
performance.
All of the pieces use jazz music as a jump-

to

Paris

I

Razzmatazz
Power Center
Tomorrow through
Sunday

ing board, but none so
blatantly as the headlin-
ing piece, a revamped
version of "An American
in Paris," choreographed
by visiting Arizona State
dance master Cliff
Keuter.
C e l e b r a t i n g
Gershwin's 100th birth-
day, the music is set to a
plot that differs from the
1957 Gene Kelly musi-
cal, which focused more
on post-World War II
Europe. Keuter's version

experiments with various unique sounds,
including such rarities as the farfisa and sev-
eral mechanical instruments.
University dance Prof. Gay Delanghe sur-
passes the trance-like state of "Delirium
Waltz" crossing into the realm of surrealism
with her three-part dance entitled
"Passageways." The first movement,
"Mazes," re-enacts the Greek myth of the
Minotaur.
Gargantuan three-footed puppets join
female dancers in flowing Greek tunics,
cavorting about the stage to an electronic
score by faculty composer Steven Rush.
The second movement "Triggers," features
a collaboration between Delanghe, Rush, and
Art and Design Prof. Michael Rodemer, pro-
ducing an interactive floor that reacts to a
dancer's movement. Because the floor
responds randomly to video and audio cues,
each performance will create it's own origi-
nal technological landscape.
Finally, with "Labyrinth" Delanghe resur-
rects the ancient ritual of labyrinth dancing,
which for centuries was used in religious
worship. The dancers themselves create the
patterns that form the maze, to reflect the
human connection to the paths and their
guiding forces.
Even an interactive floor, however, could-
n't give Evelyn Velez-Aguayo the kind of
expression she was looking for with
"Aquarium." Inspired by the University
choreographer's own experience at a yoga
retreat in the Bahamas, she incorporated a
jazz score by Music Prof. Edward Sarath and
tranquil yogic poses into a piece with a big-
ger metaphor- the ocean.
"It occurred to me that all of the Caribbean
is connected through its reefs, and that we
can find our inheritance through the beauty
of the ocean.... It is the sea...that joins us and
our history together,"Velez-Aguayo said.
Instead of modifying the floor to depict an
ocean scene, she decided to abandon it, using
the low-flying trapeze to transport her
dancers into the weightless world of the sea.
Martineau commented, "The movement is
very organic and raw in this piece. Each
dancer brings his/her own experience to the
dance. It's delicious."

creates a female protagonist who falls hope-
lessly into a love triangle when she pursues
an already attached Parisian pretty boy.
Music senior Jessica Martineau, one of the
dancers in "Aquarium," remarked of Keuter's
segment, "It has the familiar Gershwin
music, and it's a love story. It's really acces-
sible to the audience."
Another portion of the program that draws
heavily on the influence of jazz is "Delirium
Waltz," featuring choreography by
University Prof. Peter Sparling. Twenty
dancers and a narrator will enact scenes
based on an eponymous poem by Mark
Strand, in which the author re-experiences
his life through the metaphor of a ballroom,
while people and memories make their
entrance and eventually recede back into
oblivion.
Local musician/composer Frank Pahl
penned the original jazz score that will
accompany the dancers in their dream-like
waltz through a '50s-style ballroom, clad in
tuxedos and gowns. Though the score
adheres to a traditional three-four time, It

1~_1

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