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UMS Concert Program, October 16, 1987: International Presentations Of Music & Dance -- Erick Hawkins Dance Company

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Season: 109th
Concert: Eighth
Power Center For The Performing Arts Ann Arbor, Michigan

Erick Hawkins Dance Company
Friday Evening, October 16, 1987, at 8:00
Power Center for the Performing Arts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Cynthia Reynolds Laura Pettibone Gloria McLean Katherine Duke Mariko Tanabe
Randy Howard Daniel Tai James Reedy Michael Moses Mark Wisniewski
Erick Hawkins
The Hawkins Theatre Orchestra
Glen Cortese, Conductor
Lee Wilkins, Violin William Kannar, Contrabass David Stanton, Bass clarinet
Brad Garner, FlutePiccolo
Ben Neil, Trumpet
Glenn Kenreich, Bass trombone
William Krigg, Percussion
Robert Engstrom, Lighting Designer
Richard Dorfman, Stage Manager
This concert is supported by Arts Midwest's members and friends in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.
Cameras and recording devices are not allowed in the auditorium.
This season of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company is made possible in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Eighth Concert of the 109th Season Seventeenth Annual Choice Series
SUMMER-CLOUDS PEOPLE First Performance: Joyce Theater, New York, February 9, 1983
Choreography by Erick Hawkins
Music by Michio Mamiya
Set by Ralph Dorazio
Dancers Gloria McLean
Randy Howard Cynthia Reynolds Daniel Tai
Laura Pettibone James Reedy Mariko Tanabe
Michael Moses Dedicated to George and Helena Franklin
The commissioned score was made possible by Helena and George Franklin. The costumes and sets were made possible by Jean and Richard Pettibone, and the choreography by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
First Performance: Cambridge, September 4, 1986 for Harvard University's 350th Anniversary
Text from Herman Melville's Moby Dick
Scenario and Choreography by Erick Hawkins
Commissioned score for the Hawkins Theatre Orchestra by Ross Lee Finney Set by Ralph Dorazio Masks by Ralph Lee
The Characters
Ishmael, Interlocutor................................................ Michael Butler
Ahab, Captain of the Pequod......................................... Erick Hawkins
Tashtego, Gay Head Indian.......................................... Daniel Tai
Daggoo, African .................................................James Reedy
Queequeg, South Sea Islander.................................... Michael Moses
Fedallah, Parsce................................................ Michael Moses
Starbuck, First Mate............................................... Randy Howard
The Action
Ahab's Leg
The Doubloon
Baptism of the Harpoon
The Chart
The Whale-line
The Unfaltering Hunt
Sleep of Anguish Nightmare Dead Reckoning A Human Eye The Chase Epilogue
Program Note
Ahab is the story of a man who is irreconcilably determined on his self-destruction, and who carries his whole ship's crew with him. The text spoken by Ahab and Ishmael is from Melville's book, but in no way can Melville's book be translated to the stage. The text can only suggest the action and never does explain that the whale swims head-on against the Pequod and actually sinks it. But the dance can start out from the book, as Aeschylus starts from the Iliad, or Shakespeare from Plutarch, to write a play. This leads to an approach to a dance work which one might call "high style"; the audience is asked to regard the theatrical immediately by which suggestions are made by physical, imaginative actions on the stage, rather than through attempted actuality or literalness of imitation. Ahab's lines in the text are spoken by Ahab. Ishmael speaks his lines as interlocuter and chorus. The sense of tragedy portrayed on the stage serves the purpose, as I see it, of alerting us to the mistakes human beings can make. Being alert, we can arrive at courage. With courage, we can be reconciled. I am glad I did not proceed to do the work when I first envisaged it 35 years ago. Having lived a while now, perhaps I can, a little, understand Ahab.
-Erick Hawkins
Ahab has been commissioned by the Harvard Office of the Arts, the Mary Biddle Duke Foundation, the Sokoloff Foundation, Dr. Sigmund Koch, Mrs. Mary Strudwick, George S. Franklin, and David Rockefeller, Jr.; it has also been made possible in part with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts.
HEYOKA First Performance: Alice Tully Hall, New York, September 14, 1981
Choreography by Erick Hawkins
Music by Ross Lee Finney
Sculpture by Ralph Dorazio
Laura Pettibone Cynthia Reynolds James Reedy Katherinc Duke
Randy Howard Daniel Tai Gloria McLean Mark Wisniewski
Heyoka is the Sioux Indians' word for their clowns, who, through their fooling around, open the people to the immediacy and poetry of the action to come. Here, this aesthetic principle has been used to introduce the poetry of the dance, performed just for its own sake -in the aesthetic dimension and with aesthetic urgency.
The commissioned musical score has been made possible by gifts from George S. Franklin and Humphrey Noyes; the designs by a gift from Sallic Wagner; the choreography in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ross Lee Finncy, Professor Emeritus and Composer-in-Residence Emeritus of the University of Michigan School of Music, has gathered critical acclaim for his collaboration with dancer choreographer Erick Hawkins. Three of Mr. Hawkins' dance works with scores by Ross Lee Finncy are being performed in Ann Arbor this weekend -Ahab, Heyoka, and The Joshua Tree, or, Three Outlaws. In a recent review, New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff writes of Hawkins' unity of spoken dialogue, music, dance, and scenic elements, with this praise for Mr. Finncy: ". . . perhaps the finest integration comes from Ross Lee Finney's commissioned score (for Ahab) . . . (it) never intrudes upon the drama and always, by its own sensitive nuances, enhances it."
Mr. Finney is universally regarded as one of America's most eminent composers, continuing to compose works marked by his distinctive vigor and originality. A prolific composer, he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 for his First String Quartet, followed by a succession of other awards. They include two Guggenheim fellowships, the Boston Symphony Award, the Brandcis Medal, and election to both the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His works have been widely performed in the United States, Europe, and South America.
After his early training in Minnesota, his native state, Mr. Finney studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, and later with Alban Berg in Vienna. He studied at Harvard University in 1928 and the following year joined the faculty of Smith College where he remained until his appointment at The University of Michigan in 1948. Under his direction, the composition program at U-M took enormous strides. Many of his former students, some on the Michigan faculty, are among today's most talented young composers. Mr. Finney continues to make his home in Ann Arbor.
Erick Hawkins and Company
"True dance radicals number only a few . . . George Balanchine, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham. To these obvious choices one should add the name of Erick Hawkins," wrote New York Times critic Anna Kisselgoff. An original, independent, American artist, Erick Hawkins continues to lead his company, now in its 36th year, with enormous spirit and vitality. In his constant quest for creativity, he is led to quote Emerson: "People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them."
At the core of Hawkins' style is a unique collaboration with contemporary composers, artists, sculptors, and designers. He has worked with artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Isamu Noguchi, Ralph Lee, and Ralph Dorazio. He has probably commissioned music from more American compos?ers than any other choreographer; among them are Virgil Thomson, Alan Hovhaness, Wallingford Riegger, Lucia Dlugoszewski, and Michigan's own Ross Lee Finney. In his profound belief in the power of live music in the theater, Hawkins has never once performed to a record, tape, or other electronic facsimiles. One who attends a Hawkins performance can experience it as much as a concert of new American music as new American dance.
The September 1986 Joyce Theater season in New York City featured the New York premiere of Ahab -perhaps Hawkins' most important work to date -with score by Ross Lee Finney. At 72 years young and in excellent health, Erick Hawkins performed the title role of Ahab at Harvard University on September 4, 1986, as part of the university's 350th anniversary celebration. A 1930 graduate of Harvard, Hawkins and his company were the sole professional dance troupe taking part in the celebration.
In 1926 Hawkins went to Harvard from a small town in Colorado to study the Classics. During a vacation break, he attended a concert by German modern dancers Harold Kreutzberg and Yvonne Georgi and immediately recognized his interest in dance. In 1934 he became the first student of the School of American Ballet (later to become the New York City Ballet) and had the opportunity to work with George Balanchine. In 1938 he enrolled as the first male dancer in Martha Graham's modern dance company, where he remained until 1950. During these years with Martha Graham, he created many of the leading roles in such celebrated works as Appalachian Spring and also choreo?graphed his own pieces, including_oi Brown and Yankee Bluebritches. In 1953 Erick Hawkins opened his own school and created a new theory of dance training that was based upon the principle of "self-sensing" and profound knowledge of human anatomy. His choreography defies easy categorization or definition; he has distinguished himself by creating an extraordinary modern dance repertory characterized by a totally different movement technique, elaborate visual design, and live, original music.
Erick Hawkins and his company have traveled across America providing performances, lecture-demonstrations, and workshops for audiences of all ages. They have also performed in Paris, London, Toulon, and Naples. Hawkins and his company are now at the height of artistic achieve?ment, and "when history records great American artists of the twentieth century, Hawkins will be at the top of the list." Washington Dance View
Tomorrow Night
Erick Hawkins Dance Company
Power Center, 8:00 p.m.
The Joshua Tree, or, Three Outlaws (1984) -music, Ross Lee Finney Plains Daybreak (1979) -music, Alan Hovhaness Today, With Dragon (1986) -music, Ge Gan-Ru
In the belief that increased understanding brings increased pleasure, the University Musical Society is pleased to offer these Pre-concert Presentations to our concertgocrs through December -all will be held in the Rackham Building on East Washington Street.
Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 7:00, preceding Vienna String Trio
Speaker: Norman Fischer Topic: Chamber Music: A Listener's Feast
Associate Professor of Music, Oberlin College; former cellist of Concord String Quartet
Friday, Nov. 20 at 7:00, preceding Elena Obraztsova, mezzo-soprano
Speaker: Leslie Guinn Topic: Between Studio and Stage: Exploring the Singer's World Professor of Voice, Director of the Division of Vocal Arts, U-M
Thursday, Dec. 10 at 7:00, preceding The Swingle Singers Speaker: Donald Bryant Topic: Humor in Music Choral Union Conductor, Musical Society; Director of Music, First Presbyterian Church
These presentations are open to the public at S3 per person, with tickets available at the door; complimentary admission to Encore and Cheers! members and students with valid I.D. cards. (For information about joining Cheers! or Encore, call 764-8489.)
Watch for announcement of 1988 Pre-concert Presentations.
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1270 Telephone: (313) 764-2538

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