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September 19, 2014 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily -- michigandaily.com

Friday, September 19, 2014 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com Friday, September19, 2014- 7A

RC theater to open

Deutches champions
experimental
format
By COSMO PAPPAS
DailyArts Writer
Theater, like any other artis-
tic medium, makes an argument
about rep-
resentation. RC Deutches
On this
side of the Theater and
Atlantic, a Tanz Tangente
naturalis-
tic function Open
in drama Workshop
- the idea Friday September
that the-
ater repro- 19,8:00 p.m.
duces the Keene Theater
real world Free
by virtue
of an illu-
sion of stage design, acting meth-
ods and other factors - is very
often assumed. Even the device of
"breaking the fourth wall" takes
for granted any "walls" at all. Cer-
tain radical traditions in theater
have attempted to reinvent theat-,
rical practice by challenging these
fundamental assumptions.
Janet Hegman Shier, the
founder and director of the Resi-
dential College's German Theater
(Deutsches Theater), counts the
company as an inheritor of these
rebellious traditions. The Deputsch-
es Theater, which is entering its
30th year this season, began as a
classroomexperience whenShier's
students asked to perform a-more
"typical" play, and has since grown

intoaninstitutionknownfor push-
ing the envelope in aesthetic terms,
withinthe Universityandbeyond.
"In his country there is a ten-
dency, at least in theater, to do
very representational - for me,
very boring - theater, and it's
very different in Germany," Shier
said. "When you go to see a per-
formance in Germany, it's good if
you don't understand everything
that's going on, and I tell my stu-
dents that it doesn't matter what.
language it's in.You're going to get
so much out of seeing it since it's
not so literal"
The Deutsches Theater cham-
pions the experimentation of the
dramatic arts so well known to
German audiences and so obscure
to most American audiences. Thus,
this Friday the doors to the Keene
Theater of the Residential College
will welcome German-speaking.
and non-German-speaking guests
alike for an open workshop with
Tanz Tangente, a Berlin-based
dance company, that specializes
in community engagement and
working with amateur dance stu-
dents.
This event concludes the triad
of events put on the past couple of
weeks by the RC called' "Remem-
ber Me," which also included a
concert by Professor Michael.
Gould,andamultimediaexhibit by
Gould, featuring the poetry of RC
poetry professorKen Mikolowski.
Four dancers from the com-
pany and its choreographer,
Nadja Raszewski, have been
working with the RC's intensive
German students in a two-week
residency, which culminates on
Sept. 19 with the open workshop.

There, students will be working
with and "translating" into dance
and movement a pair of texts by
Ulrike Meinhof, German militant
and journalist, and Elias Canetti,
Bulgarian-born German-language
writer.
"What we try to do is not to
bring out the text in a kind of pan-
tomime, not describe what we just
read, but to associate by move-
ment," Raszewski said. "It means
that what you can see as a public,'
what you can feel, what you can
experience while you see the com-
position - you can make up your
ownworld. So it's not, 'This is what
you should see."'
The notion that dance or theater
trades in "ideas and associations,"
according to Raszewski, rather
than straightforward images, radi-
cally alters the representational
possibilities of a performance. This
dramatic practice emphasizes
more than others the centrality of
the body in theater.
"For my students, even in Ger-
man Theater, we try to get out
of the situation where everyone
resides 99 percent of the time
between here and here (pointing
to her head), since it's so impor-
tant to involve and understand the
body, and ultimately to understand
language," Shier said.
While it may be beyond the
means of most to travel to Berlin
for the express purpose of seeing
plays, this workshop presents an
opportunity for American stu-
dents to upset many of the norms
and standard practices in theater,
internalized by so many, through
the expert guidance of Shier and
the members of Tanz Tangente.

The trouble with
Olivia Wilde's
breast

Have you see
have. The past
internet has be
about Olivia W
photo shoot for
magazine's
September
issue, in
which she
is featured
beastfeeding
her five
month old
son Otis.
Olivia
Wilde: her
name will
forever be

n it? You must
few weeks the
en buzzing
ilde's radical
Glamour
NATALIE
GADBOIS

Z Nation' challenges
typical zombie tropes

synonymous
with the word Goddess.
Beautiful, talented, funny,
smart, formerly married to an
Italian prince and currently
engaged to an American
jester (actor and comedian
Jason Sudeikis, for all you
celebrity gossip virgins),
Wilde is lauded in Hollywood
for her grace and easygoing
personality. And now this,
her public celebration of
motherhood, a valid attempt
to cast away the mindset
that women must be boxed
into categories - mother vs.
sex symbol, ambitious vs.
nurturing - and then shamed
when any of these overlap.
In some ways this cover is
revolutionary, much like when
a very pregnant Demi Moore
posed nude for Vogue in 1991.
Another public disavowal of
anyone who subconsciously
doubts women's complexity.
This is a good thing. I kept
repeating that to myself as I
read more and more articles
with titles like "Wilde stuns
while breastfeeding son,"
and "Olivia Wilde gushes
over being a mom!" It's a
good thing, right? Giving a
woman a spotlight for both
her professional and her
personal life. Removing the
stigma against breastfeeding
in public, and baring skin
not as an act of sexuality
or objectification, but
motherhood and serenity.
If I could sit there and
acknowledge all of these
positive things, then why
was I inwardly so itchy, more
anxious each time I saw that
picture? Something was off.
I spent the better part
of my summer catching
up on old "Parenthood"
episodes with my family.
(I lead a wild life). In an
episode in the third season,
Kristina Braverman (whose

overbearing neediness how far she misses the mark,
normally incurs my strongest how unsuccessful she is
disdain), is deeply relatable at being a woman. Wilde's
as an insecure new mom. photos intone that a real
Weeks after giving birth woman can have it all, and
to her third child, she has must be it all: successful and
to go to her husband's hip nurturing, confident and sexy.
recording studio opening in I know what many people
the Haight. She reluctantly must be thinking. "It's
borrows a dress from her Hollywood, everything is
sister-in-law, feeling out unrealistic." "Women can't
of her skin and unwieldy. compare themselves to her,
At the party, her breasts she's a movie star." And even,
begin leaking milk in front "She looks great, you're just
of her husband's hot new jealous and won't admit it."
assistant, seeping through So I'll admit it: of course
the borrowed dress. Kristina I'm jealous. A woman who
cries from embarrassment, recently pushed a child
from exhaustion, from self- through her vajayjay is now
consciousness and feelings of on a magazine cover looking
inadequacy. better than I will ever look
Nursing Olivia Wilde is - jealousyis only human.
not this. While her photo And no, one Glamour photo
spread is a step forward does not change the course
to re-imagining women of history, nor does it show
as multifaceted workers, us anything about the way
caregivers, artists and lovers, Wilde actually lives her life.
all she serves is to raise She could be just as scared
the standards of perfection and insecure and confused
once again. ClickHole, a as other new moms. But we
subsidiary of The Onion don't get to see that. We
that satirizes sites like see perfection,'the way
BuzzFeed and Gawker, all women could be if they
worded it with blinding tried a little bit harder, if
clarity: "Breastfeeding in they lost one more hour of
Public Should No Longer be a sleep to work off the baby
Taboo For Mothers Who Are weight, if they miraculously
Conventionally Attractive." regained their confidence
(Shout-out to Erika Harwood, to pose for photos. Because
summer Onion intern and Wilde, in both the article
current Daily editor, who and the photo, does not set
herself apart as a glamorous,
Hollywood enigma - no, she
is like every new mom! She
Standards of loves her baby so much she
perfetion ren't breastfeeds him in public and
pere are giggles with him at a diner!
She is no exception, she is just
always helpful. lip r in
& W yS e pU . ike yeryone gy gding
her. How dh m ake
every other ne'w moan eel?

By. CATHERINE SULPIZIO
Daily Arts Writer
When I first started "Z
Nation," SyFy's entrance into
the "Walking Dead" zombie
market, I wasn't sure if I was
watching the latest version of
some "Halo" game or an actual
TV show, Which makes sense,
seeing as it is produced by Asy-
lum Studios, which is respon-
sible for the 'unapologetically
campy "Sharknado" franchise.
Despite these roots and the low
production value, "Z Nation" is
not what Susan Sontag joyfully
called thing as pure artifice.
There is a lot hiding beneath
the much-hyped zombie genre.
Monster genre seems as if it
is constantly fighting an uphill
battle with viewers' respect.
And for some greater reason,
the zombie genre carries more
reflexive disdain than the vam-
pire or supernatural ones. Why
is that? Part of it must be brand-
ing, and the vampire genre has
managed to subvert audience
expectations with shows like
"True Blood" which, at least
initially, changed the direction
from a traditionally singular
study to a social allegory. But
also, the vampire is a human (a
super human, really). Thus, the
vampire accepts individuation,
its monster-ness not subsum-
ing its human-ness. The zom-
bie, on the other hand, resists
that individuation. Its mind-
and therefore its ability for
characterization-is destroyed.
The fear of the zombie is root-
ed in its physical rather than
its psychological menace. Thus
the zombie mob. While vam-
pire genre is man vs. super
man, zombie genre is man vs.
environment.
There must also be teem-
ing social forces that are
unearthed by various itera-
tions of horror. With the
vampire genre, we see youth-
obsession take an immortal
form that would make even the
Kardashians jealous; the ugly
aspects of eternal beauty sym-
bolized by a parasitic depen-
dence on other's lifeblood.
After all, a beautiful surface
lives off the penetrating gaze
of the other, if not some shard
of that reflected identity. Guy
Debord described the recipro-
cal nature of havingvs. defining

beauty in his essay," Society of
the Spectacle." This is also why
there are'lmostfne riampire
outbreak plots - the vampire
A new crop
of horror
programming.
belongs to a dark class of celeb-
rity amid an average world. As
much as it is feared, the vam-
pire is an aspirational figure.
On the other hand, the zom-
bie genre manifests the deep-
set fears of society imploding
on itself. It's similar to the
primordial chill of books like
"Lord of the Flies" and "Heart.
of Darkness," except with the
added layer of uncanny famil-
iarity. In the zombie genre, the
zombie mob isn't some unified
structure; instead it's a barely
contained throng of automa-
tons. Three years past the
Occupy Wall Street chaos (both
inside and out), along with the
well-documented low party
identification of young people
and the surge of breathless
coverage following libertari-
anism's newfound trendiness,
one can read the zombie mob
as Baby Boomer's nightmare
fantasy of Gen Y-ers. Espe-
cially since the narrative of
the zombie genre always rests
in the perspective of uninfect-
ed "sane." Anytime sanity is
labeled by perspective of nar-
rative, there's an ideological
mechanism in place organizing
sanity and insanity.
In denying the mob perspec-
tive (save for exceptions like
Isaac Marion's genre-resisting
novel "Warm Bodies"), we also
miss what could be a vehicle for
some fascinating pondering on
a wide range of philosophical
themes - things like the mind-
body connection or the nature
of simulacra, at the very least.
But I digress, the traditional
zombie plot is represented par
excellence in "Z Nation," i.e.
the plot of survival in a world
where reassuring social order
has collapsed. Though predict-
able, the zombie plot is well
equipped to poke at questions
of the public sphere, whether

it's aware of this fact or not..
For example, in the first scene
of "Z Nation," under flickering
lights, three convicts are read
a hastily-passed order that
waives tester consent for test-
ing new drugs. It's arguably
the most horrifying part of the
episode and provides the half-
monster, half-human who
survives the antidote without
turning into a zombie (unlike
the two others). He's the
unlikely savior of America's
future, abandoned by the gov-
ernment until his body serves
some utility.
Deeper analysis of the seem-
ingly banal reveals much. Can
you watch "Z Nation" for its
video-game style gore and
bombard of nonstop action?
Sure, but it's almost more fun
'to look beneath that and probe
at the plight of the Living Dead.

didn't write this article but to
whom I give credit anyway).
Wilde's photo illustrates a
modern Madonna - her face
calm, her waist already thin,
even her breasts sans stretch
marks. Her baby is naked
and glowing, a paragon of
infant innocence and grace.
What purpose does this
humble-brag serve? What is
the cost that one of the few
public representations of new
motherhood now establishes
even more impossible
standards for women?
Imagine Kristina, exhausted
and soft, still trying to regain
her dignity after her body
has grown and reshaped to
accommodate a-whole person,
reading that article. Seeing

So congrats, Olivia.
Seriously, you seem happy
and your baby is adorable.
You were perfect before, and
now your title can 'include
"Goddess with Babe in
Arms," like a 2nd century
Greek statue. Feminism is
complicated and often at odds
with itself, and navigating
a public image as a woman
is nearly impossible, so you
can't be blamed. Who knows
who is to blame. I'll just
be on the couch, watching
"Parenthood" and eating ice
cream from the carton, in
solidarity with the Kristinas
of the world.
Gadbois is eating ice cream
out of the carton. To join her,
e-mail gadbnat@umich.edu.

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