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February 22, 1999 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-22

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 22, 1999

H 0
tinilis
hip-hop
crowd
By Monica L. Beckham
For the Daily
An old Cadillac and truck set the
stage for Outkast to enter the Fox
Theatre on February 18th. With the
R&B group 112 in the audience,
Outkast began with their anthem,
"Hootie Hoo." Big Boi was dressed
in fatigues and an Outkast red, and
Andre was dressed in a green sweats
and a gray and white fur Mexican
sweater and matching sombrero.
After a few selections from its three
albums, the group engaged the audi-
ence in a call and response segment
entitled "Bounce Session." The
hyped crowd was then led into a
mediocre remix of, "Players Ball."

Museum exhibits Jacobson

MARGARET MYERS/Daily

Lauryn Hill is supersexy fine.

By Jenny Curren
Daily Arts Writer
Walking into the new Bill Jacobson exhibit is quite a
disconcerting experience. While there is nothing overt-
ly disturbing about the collection of hazy, yet intimate,
photographs, the images impose a quiet unease upon the
viewer.
The earliest of Jacobson's three series, "Interim
Portraits," deals most directly with the loss and memo-
ry invoked by the AIDS generation, a theme he never
abandons in later work, even if treated more subtly.
Utilizing a solely pristine white background,
Jacobson's portraits never fully focus on their subjects,
conjuring an unfinished and fading sensation. Though
barely visible facial expressions sometimes reflect hap-
piness, the overriding emotion is one of premature loss.
"Interim Portrait # 373," a close range head shot, por-
trays a man with his mouth half open, as if cut off in the
middle of an idea he desperately needs to relay. The
portraits continuously convey a sense of fading memo-
ry and increasing distance.
Portraits "# 613" and "# 616," with sprawling uncom-
fortable angles, simultaneously suggest the stillness of
death and the painful motion of falling.
The white backgrounds, while conveying the sterility
of sickness and death, also function to remove the sub-
jects from a realistic backdrop of pain to a more spiri-
tual realm. Both techniques compliment each other to
convey the idea that lives were
snatched before they were complet-
ed.
The artist's second series, "The
Prtraits of Bil, Songs of Sentient Beings" departs
Tho JhtsofBll further from reality; black back-
Museum of Art grounds illuminate incandescent
figures that lack even the soft-
March 2r1oug focused reality present in "Interim
Portraits." The figures lack external
bodily characteristics, as they are
reduced to the very essence of the
human form.
Interestingly, "Sentient Beings"
relays a more uplifting sentiment
than do the "Interim Portraits." The
increased animation of the figures' movements convey
a renewed sense of weightlessness. But Jacobson does
not completely abandon the connection to mortality.
With "# 1092," a moaning face reminds the viewer that
death and pain are ever-present.
If "Songs of Sentient Beings" is a departure from
reality, Jacobson makes an attempt to return to it with
"Thought Series." Adopting an even- more intimate per-

Ending with "Rosa
Lauryn
Hill
Fox Theater
Feb. 18, 1999
/

Parks," the first
release off of its
latest album
"Aquemini," the
crowd was defi-
nitely satisfied
with the final
song.
As the lights
dimmed follow-
ing the twenty
minute set
change from
Outkast, the
crowd became
vocal while
a w a i t i n g
Lauryn Hill's

ments and speakers, the stage
included a set of lockers, correlat-
ing to the high-school interludes
from "The Miseducation of Lauryn
Hill." The all black and predomi-
nately male band was composed of
two keyboardists, three guitarists,
two percussionists, a saxophonist,
trumpeter, trombonist and three
female background singers. Lauryn
Hill, in a denim outfit with a
magenta shirt and matching head
wrap, presented herself shortly after
the band's appearance . The open-
ing song was a remix of Ex-Factor,
which led into the original version
with a freestyle segment added to
the end.
After a performance of
"Superstar," Lauryn performed
three Fugees songs. The first was
"Fugee-la," followed by, "If I Ruled
the World," and "Ready Or Not."
With the crowd engaged, she
returned to "Miseducation." After a
couple of songs she took an inter-
lude with a reggae segment, then
left the stage. The disc jockey, DJ
Leon, kept the crowd entertained by
mixing recent hip-hop songs, while
displaying his ability of scratching
with his head covered by his shirt.
Switching to the drummer, the
dreadlock-wearing percussionist
showed off his incredible talent on
his drum set, then moved on to two
bucket pails, which amazed the
crowd. After the drummer settled,
the band introduced "The Sweetest

Thing." Lauryn re-entered in blue
jeans, a brown head wrap and a blue
and brown bomber jacket with
"HILL" embroidered on the back.
The crowd did not respond well to
"When It Hurts So Bad," but Hill
quickly regained the its favor during
a competition between the band and
the DJ. Dualing with songs by the
Jackson 5, Notorious B.I.G., Busta
Rhymes, Outkast and Jay-Z, the
crowd became loud and actively
involved.
After the competition, Lauryn
introduced the song, "Zion," by dis-
cussing the inspiration of the song,
her children. After another reggae
interlude, the crowd became
extremely hyped when she started
singing the first single released
from "Miseducation," "Doo Wop
(That Thing)." Hill really played to
the crowd during the song and final-
ly took off her head wrap during the
verse, " ... hair weaves like
Europeans ...," displaying her nat-
ural collection of long, thick dread-
locks. She said goodnight to the
crowd after the song and the band
left the stage. After five minutes of
chanting from the crowd, she and
the band re-entered for an encore of
"Killing Me Softly."
While Outkast's performance was
entertaining but not mind boggling,
Lauryn Hill presented the audience
with everything it could have
expected, and more for the first per-
formance of her new national tour.

Courtesy of the University Museum of Art
Bill Jacobson's haunting "Portrait # 373" Is on display at the
Museum of Art in Its current exhibition of the artist's
thoughts, portraits and songs.
spective, the photographer closes in on specific areas of
the figure. Head shots are tighter, hands and torsos fill
the entire frame; even the focus is crisper.
Included in this section are water images, unusual
not only because of Jacobson's characteristic blurred
treatment of his subject matter, but also for their lack
of horizon or intruding objects. Whereas water tradi-
tionally appears as a backdrop for the subject of inter-
est, Jacobson's lake images emphasize the water itself
as a subject, linking nature to the series' reflective fig
ures.
As a photographer, Jacobson's treatment of the figure
is innovative and unique. In a broader artistic sense, the
medium is an appropriate choice for his themes. The
world of photographic art often presents crisp and real-
istic images, so when Jacobson blurs the lines of recog-
nizably real subjects, the viewer may struggle to grasp
the meaning. In this way, the photographs function to
mimic the process of straining to retain the memories of
lost moments.

appearance. Shortly after the audi-
torium went dark, Bob Marley's
"The Redemption Song," began to
play. After a short pause, the audi-
ence became quiet as they looked at
a set that resembled blue and purple
stain-glassed windows of a church
while hearing Lauryn Hill's voice
singing the gospel song, "His Eye Is
On the Sparrow."
After the beautiful rendition of
the well-known gospel song that
introduced Lauryn Hill in the movie
"Sister Act," the band entered the
stage. Aside from music instru-

Thnroso' gives raw emotion, energyv
ByL. a gs

By Leah Zaigwr
Daily Arts Writer
Suspended in the air, the Meryl Tankard
Dancers soared through Ann Arbor this
weekend. "Furioso," a unique piece, ran
65 minutes, each of which consumed the
beholder through
sound, sight and
suspense.
A cornucopia of
Meryl Tankard rich autumn colors
Australian flowed over the
Dance's 'Furioso' muscular bodies of
Power Center the five women.
Feb. 19, 1999 Beginning gradu-
ally with the lights
still raised, the
women, one-by-
one, appeared on
stage, slowly, and
inde s nltly
moving, luring the
spectator in, until
the lights finally went down.
The female dancers were then joined by
five male dancers and, eventually, the
accompaniment of percussion-based
music. The first part of the show was quite
a dramatic representation, the women

standing still as the men emerged, one at a
time, engaging each in a battle to keep his
female partner. The scene was intriguing
and far more expressive than the others
because it seemed to tell a story.
But what the story explained remained
unclear until the question/answer session
with Meryl Tankard and her dancers fol-
lowing the performance. Tankard explained
that "Furioso" was based on an idea of what
one does when they seem to be losing the
one they love. She asked the dancers an
abundance of questions, originally with the
plan to do a modem version of "Sleeping
Beauty" But she felt their answers to the
questions were the most genuine, passion-
ate and compelling. With this in mind, she
set out to create the piece and completed it
- extremely successfully
Later in the performance came the part
for which the audience had been waiting.
Who says you need to have your feet on
the ground to dance? Not anymore. Four
of the female dancers were suspended in
the air by a rope and harness hidden by
their vibrant apparel. Paired with four
shirtless men, they moved with vast ener-
gy and vigor. With long hair and skirts
flowing in the air, the overall presentation

was exciting and beautiful, leaving the
observer fulfilled and energized.
But the roles reversed and the male
dancers took to the ropes. The power and
physicality of themotions continued until
the women sank slowly to the ground and
the men took over the scene, who followed
in a series of leaps and bounds, propelling
themselves up into the air and then onto
the ground in a graceful landing.
Together, they rushed forward with firm
bodies turning themselves upside-down,
twirling through the air as if letting all of
their frustration and aggression fall out of
them.
With the stage dimly lit, they performed
in shadows. With a simple set, gray and
stone-like, the enchanting music, th0
ideal costumes and overwhelming energy,
Meryl Tankard's "Furioso" left viewers
invigorated in every sense. At the end of
the piece, the women, reattached to the
ropes, climbed up the stone-like wall.
When asked what this symbolized,
Tankard explained that it's about birth ad
renewal. Even in the worst scene of
destruction, there is always something
sprouting, blossoming; something comes
out of everything.
Are you an
opinionated
person? Do you
ave passionate
views about art?
Tell them to the
world . If you
enjoy writing, you
can contribute to
Daily Arts.
Call 763-0379 and.
ask for an editor.

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