The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Friday, March 9, 2007 - 5
Courtesy of Fox
Is this freaking you out?
OK, good. It's not just us.
Fox finds itself a
'Winner'! *.! sort o
Element1 and its members will bring their hottest moves Saturday. If they look anything like they do on camera they'll be just fine.
Break it down
ATHLETIC BREAK CREWS TO COMPETE. BOGGLE MINDS
By IMRAN SYED
Daily Arts Writer
Browsing through Fox's cur-
titles like "American Idol" and
"Are You Smart-
er than a 5th
Grader?" Next ***
to those ster-
ling examples The Winner
there are dra- Fox
mas like "24"
and animated series like "The
Simpsons," but, notably, not many
Then again, what would Fox - a
network that suffocated the great-
est sitcom of this decade ("Arrest-
ed Development") - know about
good sitcoms anyway?
"The Winner," the wayward
network's latest addition to its
Sunday comedy- lineup, comes
from the writing team behind the
abrasively funny "Family Guy."
In its first few episodes (already
streaming on Fox.com), the show
proves sharp enough. Situated
among the banal growlings of
Michael Rapaport ("The War at
Home") and Brad Garrett (" 'Til
Death"), it's easily the funniest
sitcom Fox has on the air. On any
other network, however, "The
Winner" would be just another
half-hour chunk of procrastina-
Rob Corddry ("The Daily
Show") plays Glen Abbott, a mid-
dle-aged man looking back on his
boring pre- success life. But Glen,
now the richest man in Buffalo,
doesn't have to look back too far
- 1994's not so long ago. In that
blissful year of "Hangin' with Mr.
Cooper," "Wings" and Jodie Fos-
ter's "Nell," Glen is 32 years old.
And his best friend is a 13-year-
old named Josh.
As if that wasn't creepy enough,
there's also Glen himself, who
still lives with his parents, works
at the local video store with a
bunch of teenagers and has never,
as he would put it, "fornicated a
woman." But Glen and Josh really
are best buds (and that's really all
they are), and from their unlikely
friendship the show's rather rou-
tine themes take on an eccentric
character and some true original-
ity. What charm "The Winner"
has (and, despite its subversive
nature, it does have charm) comes
from its outlandishness.
Propelled by the slick-yet-
naive demeanor that left Corddry
among the most beloved of all
"Daily Show" correspondents,
Glen is a deeper comedic hero
than those of most sitcoms. But
the question remains what (if
Eh. It's got
enough kick for
a season or two.
anything) the show gains by his
character's depth. So far, the show
has left Corddry forced to carry
every situation, with no plots or
supporting characters capable of
feeding off of his energy. As lik-
able as Corddry is, that schtick
will get old really quickly.
Much like "Happy Hour," a
Fox sitcom which debuted and
was quickly cancelled earlier this
season, "The Winner" has enough
kick to make for a memorable sit-
com. Though the network will
never have another "Arrested
Development" on its hands (and
doesn't deserve to), a few shows
like this one will be enough to
rebuild a commendable comedic
After all, Fox won't be able to
play its "Simpsons" card forever.
By ABIGAIL B. COLODNER
Daily Fine Arts Editor
If you've heard of breakdancing, you've
probably heard wrong.
This Saturday, crews from all over the
country will gather at the
University for a firsthand
demonstration of the acrobat- Master
it dance styles' often referred the Art:
to as breaking and popping.
The University's own stu- Breaking
dent breaking and popping and Popping
group, Element 1, has orga-
nized its fourth annual Mid- Competition
west competition in which
both disciplines will take over Tomorrow
the Michigan League tomor- Doors at 6 p.m.
row night. Show at7 p.m.
"In Ann Arbor, we're pretty At the
much the hub of the scene in League
Michigan," said LSA sopho-
more Nick Kovach, a popper $5 presale,
in Element 1. More than 20 $8 atthe door
crews participated last year
and this year's event, Master
the Art, will be the biggest of its kind in the
state, with competitors gathered from Internet
forums like MySpace.
By solidifying far-flung groups, Element 1
aims for community building as well as greater
exposure for its art forms. While both styles
are present in popular media, they're often
inaccurately associated with more mainstream
forms like hip hop, and their finer stylistic
points remain hotly debated by the dancers
Breaking and popping began in New York
and California, respectively. The acrobatic,
flashy dance style in which dancers spin on
the ground and support themselves in grav-
ity-challenging poses is not breakdancing but
bboying, bgirling - or, simply, breaking. It
can be used as a challenge, a display of skill
that invites a one-up response, with breakers
dancing to rhythmic break beats that suit the
aggressive and precise movement.
Kovach mentioned Latin-style dance and
capoeira - a Brazilian martial art form where
dancers spar to music - as possible origins of
"There are a ton of influences from every-
where, and there's a lot of controversy about
where popping and breaking come from,"
According to Kovach, popping originated
with the'60s "robot" dance and mixed in mus-
cle tensing and pulsation to create the street
dance "popping," which is typically done to
funk and '80s electro music. Poppers manipu-
A dance showcase with h
late their muscles with rhythmic tensing to
create motion that can be both beautifully fluid
and jarringly unnatural.
"When you first start the muscle tensing it's
really hard to grasp because in real life, you'd
never do it," Kovach said. "Then when you get
those foundational moves you use the tech-
nique to interpret the music."
Often what's involved in breaking and pop-
ping seems like a physical impossibility - but
as the talented and even famous dancers com-
ing to the League this weekend will show, it's
only an implausibility.
Competing breakers will challenge each
other in sets of five vs. five for a $1,200 prize,
as they generally form groups called crews to
practice together and craft routines. Poppers,
meanwhile, compete one-on-one for a top prize
of $400. The dancers will be judged on style
and skill, but Kovach admitted that each of the
judges will be looking at performers with their
own particular tastes in mind.
"We do a lot of collaboration with other
dance groups, but breaking is in your face, and
you don't see it as much as hip hop," Kovach
said. "With breaking there's that wow factor."
Doors are at 6 p.m. and the show may sell
out, but tickets are also on sale at the Alice
Lloyd, Bursley and East Quadrangle residence
lso perform Given that even Impact Dance only
igh energy, accepts a small number of students
said. each year, many dance lovers can
e Christina feel excluded from the dance com-
n and Los munity.
erformanc- "Youhave to be proactive,"Scharf
in addition said. "There are many dance groups
ts and trios on campus, but you have to seek
ual talent, them out. Everyone who wants to
dance duringcollege can and should
be able to do so."
So what makes Impact stand out
)w to fromother dancegroupsoncampus?
It's the only dance group backed by
mCo University Activities Center, whose
funding allows Impact to accent
iars. its performances with costumes,
sets and other aesthetic perks typi-
cally-not available to other troupes.
Scharf has no illusions about how
ortunity to University money has helped her
iece. group: "The money makes it pos-
ts position sible to do what we want artistically
University, without financial constraints."
icially open With an interspersed program of
for begin- comedy and song, Impact's upcom-
obviously ingshow promises more ofavariety
people like show feel than a straightforward
xperienced dance performance, while their tal-
ly not cho- ent and broad range of style will sat-
uate career. isfy any dance aficionado.
By WHITNEY DIBO
To say the Impact Dance compa-
ny is selective is an understatement.
This season the
mance group has Impad
only 11 members, Dance
newcomers and Tonight and
just three dance tomorrow
majors, although at 8p.m.
night-long audi- Atithe
tions typically Mendelssohn
draw hundreds of Theatre
For those who
made the cut, the
time to shine has come with this
weekend's two performances of
the group's biggest show. ComCo
Improv Troupe and Glee Club
spin-off The Friars will join Impact
onstage at the MendelssohnTheatre
tonight and tomorrow at S p.m.
In fall 2003, Kinesiology senior
Taylor Scharf was the group's only
new member. Four years later, she's
finishing off her second season
as the group's co-chair. A Florida
native, Scharf studied dance at The
Edge in Los Angeles and the Broad-
way Dance Center and Steps in New
York City and spent a summer with
the Chautauqua Ballet Company.
Such intensive prior training is
standard for Impact company mem-
bers. Most of the girls are trained in
ballet, jazz and modern dance and
many have also danced with com-
But even beautiful triple pirou-
ettes, gorgeous leaps and polished
form might not be enough to secure
you a spot in the company.
"We are looking for girls who can
really perform," Scarf said. "People
may not notice if your toe is per-
fectly pointed, but they will notice if
you're smiling. You have to be able
to sell it."
Impact uses a broad range of dif-
ferent dance styles to keep their
show fun and accessible, blending
modern, lyrical and jazz dance. The
group stays away from the more
esoteric modern dance technique
characteristic of the University's
top-notch Dance department.
"We have a couple of more serious
modern pieces, but we al
numbers that are more h
sultry and sexy," Scharf,
Music from artists lik
Aguilara, Jack Johnsoi
Lonely Boys gives their p
es a modern flavor and,
to the range of-solos, due
that highlight individ
and The Fr
each member has an opp
choreograph their own p
Scharf understands i
as a dance outlet at the
given the only classes off
to non-dance majors are
ners - courses which
don't meet the needs of
Impact's members, e
dancers who have simp
sen it for an undergradu
POPPING AND BREAKING
The School of Information will hold two information sessions
for students from ALL undergraduate majors who want to
know more about the Master of Science in Information (MSI)
and the many career opportunities available.
MSI Session Emphasizing K-12 School Media
Tuesday, March 13
MSI Session Emphasizing All SI Specializations
Thursday, March 15
Apply by May 1 for fall 2007
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