■ March 17, 1970 The N. C. Essay
Y’HISTOIRG DU SOLDflT”— fl RGUIGUU
(Cont. fron page 2)
acquires new stature and his dancing
is graceful and buoyant; his body
is more in harmony with both the
musical rhythms and his own role.
In part I attribute this to
Svea herself, who is beautifully
etheral. Her movements seem to
flow out of her own body naturally
and flawlessly, as though her body
is an instrument of the music.
When we see her, she is shrouded in
white, like a spectre, and in her
dancing she seems weightless and
unreal, like the illusion of love
and happiness she represents.
The final scenes between’ Svea
and Rick should be the key to the
performance. Both the dancing and
the music convey a sense of tragedy
and loss, not comedy and farce.
Comic counterbalance is trampled
upon by rampart farce. ^ But
not even Svea can remain untouched.
The scene in which she screams is
(Cont. from page 2)
a haphazard fashion.
I can state other examples, but
I have already stated my position
in print at least twice, and
after reiterating them to the
Faculty Council I refuse to do so
Censorship at NCSA does not
take the form of outright deletion
of material, although this has been
suggested. Censorship here is of a
more insidious nature. It takes the
form of violent reactions on the
part of the performers, and such
actions on the part of the directors
as to make students fear that they
will be denied a role and will incur
the wrath of the director who also
happens to be their teacher. The
implications are clear. A student's
career lies in the hands of his
teacher who must recommend him or her.
The fear of reviewing at NCSA is often
(But I was amused when a stu
dent who had reviewed an orchestra
performance was intimidated by
orchestra members before I had even
seen the review. The orchestra
committee asked a faculty member to
write a review. Ironically he
agreed with the student on nearly
every point. The orchestra committee
has been impossible to please.)
It seems that in order to be a
qualified reviewer at this school,
our critics demand two things.
First, the reviewer must be qualified.
Students, they maintain, are not
qualified, so they are out. Faculty
usually balk at the idea of doing
reviews. They are extremely busy
with important matters - namely
the development of their students.
I believe that they should not have
to do reviews unless they want to.
Who does this leave? No one.
slapstick comedy, and Job Sanders
was not content to let Doug the
Narrator remain detached. He too
is brought in and is allowed to
get in a few whacks.
But David Wood should not be
credited with all the blame for
excessive mess. ^ As a director Job
Sanders should have demanded more
restraint rather than have encouraged
unchecked farce. And the red
devil's costume, complete with tail
is pure Korn w^en Dave Wood tries
to imitate Burt Lahr in the Wizard
To be successful, L'histoire
must be reorganized so that there is
a balance between the comic and
the tragic. Then the audience will
be able to leave the performance
feeling as though they have seen a
work by Stravinsky rather than the
Marx's Brothers in a Night at the
Opera. Didn't you notice^ David
Wood smoked long cigars and
managed to shove one in Rick's mouth.
^ So is this review. It is shameful
when something that could be con
structive and helpful is used des-
»■ ' ■ ^ ..
The second requirement, al
though it has never been openly
stated, is that the reviews must not
be critical. Some of the reaction
ary statements made by student
reviewers has been prompted by their
feelings that the audience politely
applauds while they mutter curses
under their breath as they leave
the performance. Perhaps reviewers
would be less violent if they felt
they had more freedom of express
ion. After all, it is only one
man's opinion. If a performer or
a director thinks that the reviewer's
criticism has no merit, then why
doesn't he simply disregard them?
A performer must learn to with
stand criticism. Should this not be
a part of his artistic development?
But no, they maintain, if you
are going to criticize, then he
should offer "constructive criticism."
Frankly I consider this lies outside
the realm of the critics function.
If he does offer "constructive
criticism", then it is optional.
Moreover, if the director and per
formers have not been completely
successful, then how can a re
viewer hope to reorganize the pro
Learning to endure criticism is
part of the game. Antonioni's
current film Azhviskie Point has
been hailed as a complete bomb. He
has tried to clarify his position,
and he also maintains his composure.
It would seem that this type of
composure is sorely lacking at NCSA.
tructively, perhaps to air personal
hang-ups or dislikes.
^ If anything is worth doing, it's
worth doing all the way. To be made
to laugh before a dramatic point
is made is one thing. But if one has
just guffawed, the serious point,
if it is made strong enough to match
the guffaw, is even more pointed, and
dramatic. One is forced to keep
switching emotions from slapstick,
to serious point-making time. Un
fortunately, as in this example, people
prefer to be spoon fed one bland
and unchanging, eye-appealing,
sense-numbing time killer. They re
fuse to let their emotions be changed
from one extreme to another, thus,
they dislike something that attempts
Good for you. That's exactly the
way I wanted it to come off. The
devil wins in the end. What is more,
the devil knows he will. Sure, he
may lose a few battles, but not the
War. Consequently he bides his time,
amuses himself at the soldier's ex
pense. The devil is killing time,
waiting for the man's soul. I-Jhile
he waits he plays with the soldier as
a cat would toy with a mouse. Why
be bruesome, and insanely wicked.
That's no fun. So the devil enjoys
SO HAS ANY OTHER STRAIGHT MAN. IT'S
^ Lon Chaney, master of horror, once
said: "There is nothing funny about
a clown in darkness at midnight." It
is easy to play evil like Bela Lugosi,
but it is much more of a challenge
and so much more effective to make
evil laughable. It becomes disguised,
as it so often is in reality. It is
still just as deadly, but now, it's
harder to hate, therefore, easier to
fall for as the soldier finally did.
^ Any actor, dancer or musician must
face this porblem. However, if one's
concentration is broken by sounds
from the audience, it must not have
been very great to begin with.
^ Wouldn't it be nice, if once we
were defeated by fate, to be left
alone to lick our wounds? Un
fortunately, life isn't that way.
Fate has a habit of moving from one
extreme to another, trampling us
mercifully into the earth. Sure we
don't like it...it's too real, isn't
^ THAT'S RIGHT. NOT EVEN WHEN NEWS
PAPER REVIE\^?ERS CAN'T EVEN OFFER
CONSTRUCTIVE ADVICE ANYMORE. EVERY
THING MUST BE DESTRUCTIVE. But,
what the hell, you can air your own
personal dislikes, and let that
EXCESSIVE MESS attract more readers. *'