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October 30, 1995 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-30

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10A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 30, 1995

The power of the unspoken, internal voice

By Stephanie Glickman
Daily Arts Writer
"Breath, Cough," Dana Reitz (U-M,
BA '69) told the viewing group after
performing a new solo, "Private Col-
lection," at a Lecture Demonstration
Performance on Saturday night in the
dance building.
Twenty minutes of a silent perfor-
mance is hard on an audience. Watch-
ing movements without sound, espe-
cially the very detailed, gestured ones
of Reitz, challenges audiences who are
not used to being so closely connected
to a performer's breath and internal
rhythms. Just like at a symphony con-
cert, people struggled to muffle their
sneezes, coughs and rustlings as Reitz
transferred herself into a personal, ce-
rebral realm, and, through dance, re-
sponded to her internal sounds.
As no two seconds are the same cere-
brally, neither are they physically.
Movements continually transformed as
they responded to Reitz's mental dia-
logue. Sometimes these internal sounds
manifested themselves externally as
Reitz burst into short fits of mumbling,
tongue clicking or finger snapping. They
appeared random but were actually care-
fully conceived by Reitz's mood.
Artists' temperaments differ with

each show and Reitz explained that on
some days her performances are more
animated and lively, even erupting into
words or songs. Because much of her
movement is improvisation out of a set
base and lighting cues, Reitz's pieces
have the freedom to drastically change
moods each time she performs.
Like in "Private Collection," silence
accompanies most of Reitz's pieces,
placing emphasis on the movements
themselves. Her movement, both cho-
reographed and improvised, is some-
times idiosyncratic and quirky, other
times lyrically fluid. She explained her
basic choreographic goal as starting
with a simple movement and seeing
how far her body can expand it and
"find something else" in the gestures.
Reitz has indeed found something else.
Combining her knowledge of ballet and
modern dance techniques with Tai Chi
Chuan and Elaine Summer's concept of
kinetic awareness, shehas createdaunique
style of mesmerizing movement.
Reitz's gestures, strongly echoing the
weighted groundedness of Tai Chi, pre-
sented bursts of sign language and pedes-
trian motions such as face rubbing and
hair smoothing. Reitz smoothly combined
her influences into an enrapturing display
as the eclectic movements bleed into one

w

Dana Reitz
Dance Building
October 281

another organically.
When she took a lighting course in the
Frieze Building's Arena Theater as a stu-
dent at the University, Reitz could not
understand the need for so many gels and
fixtures. Only later in her dance career did
light become a fascination for her and a
major component ofherdances. "Light is
not one particular mood. It comes into
consciousness and than fades into some-
thing else," Reitz explained. Unlike many
dancers who have no part in the lighting
design for their staged works, Reitz knows
the visual impact of light and how to
achieve dramatic effects with it.
"Private Collection" occurs almost
entirely on the central axis of the per-
formance space, with Reitz stepping
into and out of a center light. While in
other dances music evokes the mood,
here the endless possibilities of light
created the continually changing ambi-
ance of"Private Collection." The light's
intensity and source varied each time

Reitz reinhabited the space, emphasiz-
ing different body parts. Reitz per-
formed some sections of the piece in
almost complete darkness in which only
the rippling of her loose white outfit
could be seen.
With her flickering arm and torso
movements contrasting the
groundedness of Reitz's lower body
and the impacting lighting, "Private
Collection" induced a trance-like rap-
ture. So taken in by Reitz's perfor-
mance, the audience took several sec-
onds to realize the piece had finished
and to begin applauding.
A performer in this year's U-M Dance
Department's guest artist dance series
and winner of the 1995 Alumna-in-
Residence Award, Reitz is an indepen-
dent choreographer among whose re-
cent work, "Unspoken Territory," is a
20 minute solo in silence for
Baryshinikov, presently being per-
formed throughout Europe.
Reitz's dance career began as an un-
dergraduate at U-M. Not knowing which
of her many academic interests to pur-
sue, she got involved with dance when
a counselor suggested to her, "Why
don't you take a dance major then?"
Reitz explained,"They didn't tell me it
[dance] was addictive." Dancer Dana Re

The laughter keeps on coming at the Homecoming

By Eugene Bowen
Daily Arts Writer
If someone says Homecoming is a
joke, it means one of two things:
Homecoming really is ajoke, or (s)he
attended the Homecoming Comedy
Jam Friday. Sponsored by Black Folks
Productions, UAC Laughtrack and the
Caribbean Peoples Association, the
Homecoming Comedy Jam was part
of both Homecoming and Black
Homecoming festivities. And, with
few to no exceptions, it was off the
hook thanks to comics Horace Sand-
ers, Bruce Bruce and Montanna Tay-
lor.
University senior Horace Sanders,
who emceed the event, has really
grown and improved as a comic. Fri-
day night he proved just how enhanced
his skills have become. Few people in
the first few rows of the Mendellsohn
Theater were spared his barbs. Of one
thin lady in the audience, he said:
"when she stands up, she looks like
six o'clock." And the funky-fresh fade
(betcha ain't heard that in awhile)
worn by the guy a few rows down, it
"looks like two different people cut

b $W
Homecoming
Comedy Jam
Lydia Mendelssohn Theater
October 27
his hair." The lady who kept heckling
Sanders should've shut up while she
was ahead because "thick as her
glasses are I bet she can look at the
yellow pages and see the stores."
Sanders wasn't the only one to let
crowd members have it. Headliner
Bruce Bruce, an Atlanta native whose
routines have already garnered na-
tional exposure on shows like "Def
Comedy Jam," also let a few good
ones out. Most notably was his re-
buke of University senior Roderick
Beard whose big mouth led Bruce
Bruce to inform him "I was about to
demonstrate being a jackass, but you
beat me to it."
Bruce Bruce is no small man, which
explains why he has two first names

-to fit him. Actually his name should
be Bruce Bruce Bruce, and this he
knows. "People pick on you 'cause
you fat," he lamented recalling when
a smiling little girl followed him
around in a store saying "Hey fat
daddy." He especially hates family
reunions where his grandmother and
aunts would greet him with motherly
statements like "Hi baby. How ya
doing? Big as a butterball, fat as you
wanna be." Yet he loves the fact that
"old women have cakes and shit in
their pocketbook. That's the only rea-
son I go to church."
Bruce Bruce wasn't the only comic
with family-reunion stories. Comedi-
enne Montanna Taylor, a Texas na-
tive who has also appeared on "Def
Comedy Jam," had a few things to say
about her uncle who "got so drunk he
took some charcoal, put three sixes on
his head and went knocking on the
doors of Jehovahs Witnesses saying
'You going to Hell?"' Taylor, petite
as she wanna be, opened her act com-
plaining about the service she got
flying here from Texas on Southwest
Airlinpc Chp n w;trn't tnnI keen

with the limo ride Sanders' Black'
Folks Productions arranged. "There
was a coat hanger in the antenna
thing," she said. "Ol' limo driver had
a jehri curl saying 'We gotta stop by
K-Mart. I need some activator."'
But, Taylor should be used to less-
than-first-class accommodations. She
admits "My whole family's poor. I
traced my roots and it led to a pawn
shop." In case you were wondering if
you were poor or not, she has some
hints for you. "If you ever finish with
the ketchup bottle and fill it with wa-
ter ... If you ride in a cab, get out and
walk the rest of the way home.... If
you're almost finished with a tube of
toothpaste and have to squeeze it from
the bottom and roll it up, you're po'."
Bruce Bruce gave some advice that
Taylor would probably do good to
follow. "Wanna know how to get
rich?," he asked. "Watch what poor
people do, and don't do it." Bruce
Bruce's complaints were equally
grassroots. He especially hates nosy
neighbors saying, "Every time your
door opens, their door opens." He's
also not too fond of smokers. "Ever

talk to a smo
entire sente
smoke's abo
Bruce also th
with stuff we
Like Luke (C
Taylor agre
woman rap gr
Problems. Wh
Bunions?" Ta
going to startr
the PMS Poss
and DJ Bloat.'
Taylor first h
son getting ma
just a rumor."
Michael Jacks
woman, I said
a rich, white v
Taylor als
weird experie
you ever be
opened you ey
right at you? (
to make youre
don't know?'
plates more ab
cies calledv
people are th

Comedy Jam
ker, but he can't get an who can fire you and keep smiling."
nce out because the In the end, Bruce Bruce admits"Ilike
ut to kill him?" Bruce white people 'cause they're always
inks "rappers get away on time."
'd never get away with. The Homecoming Comedy Ja r
:ampbell) Oh my God!" started 40 minutes late.
es. "There's even an all- Other memorable routines included
oup out called Ho's with Bruce Bruce's thoughts on church,
hat's next? Bitches with illiterateministersandbusdriversign
.ylor has a solution. "I'm language and Taylor's thoughts on
my own rap group called sex with young men versus older ones
se featuring MC Cramps and her opinions of bad kids. Sanders,
'Speakingofmusic,when with the help of University seniors
eard about Michael Jack- William "Nookie" Du Bose and Ian
arried, she thought it was Crick, performed a song to the tune o
"When they first told me Mary J. Blige's "I Remember" that
son married a rich, white should be required listening for all
'No. Michael Jackson is women.
woman."' There was rarely a break from
o ponders some of the laughter. Craziness, zaniness and the
ences of her life. "Have fun the audience had watching the
en kissing somebody, comics have fun on-stage made the
yes, and they're looking event a spectacular success. The
)r, has anyone ever tried Homecoming Comedy Jam brought
emember somebody you with it a laid-back atmosphere where
" Bruce Bruce contem- no one was self-conscious or trying
out that interesting spe- to impress anyone. It was different,
white people. "White almost un-University of Michigan-
he only people I know like. It was beautiful.

ol.n

us0

Lehman Brothers cordially invites undergraduates to attend
an information session on career opportunities in
Corporate Finance
Monday, November 6,1995
4:30 p.m.
Wolverine Room
Assembly Hall Building
If you would like to be considered for our closed schedule, please send
a cover letter, resume and transcript to:

m

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