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March 12, 2004 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-12

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March 12, 2004



By Adam Rottenberg
and Doug Wernert
Daily Arts Editors
"I'm really looking forward to
this. It's going to be bigger than
the Super Bowl," Ric Flair
remarks, in reference to the
upcoming Wrestlemania XX. The
yearly Pay-Per-View event, pro-
duced by World Wrestling Enter-
tainment, is a household name and
is regarded as the biggest event in
professional wrestling. On Sunday,
the 20th installment of the compe-
tition will take place at Madison
Square Garden, and Ric Flair, a
legend in the wrestling business, is
A veteran of the squared circle
for over 30 years, Flair has been a
part of some of the greatest match-
es in sports entertainment history.
During his stints in many different
wrestling companies, including
WWE, Flair has been World
Champion 16 times. "I like to
think I've had a lot of good match-
es with a lot of different guys," he
Among those are his famous
series of contests with Ricky "The
Dragon" Steamboat in the late
'80s, considered by many, includ-
ing Flair himself, as the best in his-
tory. These 40-plus minute matches
can never be replicated today due
to the fast-paced nature of the
business. Many of these encounters
took place in the now-defunct
World Championship Wrestling,
where Flair was thought of as the

stealing, wheeling-dealing son of a
gun" lifestyle he is known for
today. Now, at the ripe age of 55,
Flair can no longer be the life of
the party. "Just part-time, and only
when my wife doesn't know about
it," Flair laughs.
Known as the "Nature Boy" to
wrestling fans, Flair came back to
the WWE in 2001 and has never
looked back. He feels that he has
passed the torch to younger stars
such as Shawn Michaels and Triple
H, although he added, "They had to
wait until I was in my 40s to get it
from me." When his illustrious
career finally ends, Flair said he will
enjoy the public relations aspect of
the business. "I feel like I've been in
the business so long ... I can talk
about it ... I think I'm good at carry-
ing the word."
No longer an everyday competitor,
Flair will be lacing up the boots for
Wrestlemania XX, teaming up with
young wrestlers Randy Orton and
Batista to take on the team of Mick
Foley and The Rock. It will be his
third time wrestling at the event, but
his first tag-team match there.
Featuring other WWE stars such
as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The
Undertaker, Kurt Angle and Gold-
berg, the five-hour extravaganza
will provide entertainment for both
avid and casual fans. The event
itself will be huge, and the Madi-
son Square Garden venue only
adds to the magnitude. "They're
bringing it back to their baby,"
Flair says. "New York will be on
Wrestlemania will air Sunday at
7 p.m. on Pay-Per-View.

Smithers! Get the amnesia ray!
Innovative dance
company tours 'U'

By Rachel Berry
Daily Arts Writer

Events like the weeklong 50th
anniversary celebration of the Merce
Cunningham Dance Company remind
us of the importance of the arts and how,

Courtesy of World Wrestling Entertainment

Science be damned! Ric Flair lives!
cornerstone of the company.
Despite this fact, Flair actually
enjoys his WWE career much
more, commenting that "WCW
was a failure from day one."

While being a member and
leader of the popular wrestling fac-
tion The Four Horsemen in the
'80s and '90s, Flair developed the
"limousine-riding, jet-flying, kiss-

through dance, one
man can influence
people's percep-
tions of the world.
As a pioneer of
modern dance,
ideas represent a
pivotal moment in
20th century art.

Friday and
Saturday at 8 p.m.
$16-$44 Adults
At th Pna C atr


Derelict punk-rocker Courtney
Love nose dives on Sweetheart

By Hussain Rahim
Daily Arts Writer

choices: to hate her or tolerate her
with a grimace. America 's Sweet-

Who is Courtney Love? Celebrity
opportunist, female punk-rocker or
washed-up celebrity? All of the
above? It's impossible to review
Love's music without reviewing her,
since her image is so entangled
with her sound. That leaves two

heart comes
across as a lost
cause. Conceptu-
ally it's part
Celebrity Skin,
exposing the
predatory nature


of Hollywood but it has little of that
album's intensity.

She employs Pink and Christina
Aguilera's songwriter, Linda Perry,
as her co-writer - a far cry from
her previous relationships with Kurt
Cobain and Billy Corgan. With ;
Elton John's lyricist in tow, it's hard
to tell if she's aiming for Avril Lavi-J
gne's fanbase or giving a history -'
The lead single, "Mono" is tyi-
cal Love - self-important and
melodramatic. She's not saving Sucky
rock. Much of the album seems as
clunky and lost as the single. It's
hard to tell what she's singing
about, or to whom. As part of the
bleak alt-rock movement of the mid
'90s, it's sad to hear her sing "I see
London / I see France / I can see
your underpants."
Love's aiming for an audience
shift in the vein of Liz Phair or
Jewel, so the song about a boyfriend
who can't stop playing Led Zep-
pelin is misguided. No 14-year-old
mall girl gets that. Too often the
album is desperate and panders.
Often when artists attempt
crossovers they alienate their fan-
base as well as failing to attract new
fans. This is no exception. The title,
America's Sweetheart, is a wink at
her past as she tries to repackage
herself. Everyone would be much
happier with a Nirvana box set.

Where previous [I Hie rowe r uenIeI
emphasized how music and dance relate
to one another, Cunningham presents
movement and music that are independ-
ent of one another. In fact, he often cre-
ates phrases where the movements
themselves lack sequence.
Through this unlikely combination, he
achieves what dance prof. Peter Sparling
calls "a thrilling experience." He likens
Merce's select group of dancers to the
best racehorses in the world. "Their bod-
ies are precision instruments. They
become graceful images on stage."
Sparling admits that these pieces can be
very disorienting for the uninitiated, but
emphasizes the extent to which they can
open up one's mind.
The weeklong series of lectures, pre-
sentations and dance lessons for stu-

dents will culminate with two perform-
ances at the Power Center. The pieces
scheduled for Friday night's perform-
ances include works from 1965 entitled,
"How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run."
Cunningham will accompany the
dancers with select readings throughout
the performance. The Saturday per-
formance will feature live music by the
Kronos Quartet.
Company member Daniel Roberts
comments that it can be nerve-wracking
to dance to music that is being per-
formed independent of the choreogra-
phy. "You never know what will happen
in the background." He hopes that the
audience enjoys the visual spectacle of
animated dancers.
After attending a class, dance sopho-
more Leah Ives remarked that she
appreciated "seeing dance from another
perspective." Dance and computer sci-
ence freshman Rachel Jakens plans on
attending both performances. She rec-
ommends that if you "go in there with-
out expecting anything you will find
something that is really interesting that
you haven't seen before."
At the third annual "Dance on Cam-
era Festival: Merce on Camera," dance
sophomore Katie Zeitvogel noted the
interesting ways Merce used the camera
to present his vision in video format.
She added "Whether you are a dance
major or not, it is amazing how much
you can learn from going to his show"
Sparling said the event will "repre-
sent the best of the university,
because it can bring so many differ-
ent minds together."

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