4 TT.3 D!!y Tsr Hssl Tussdty, April 6, 197S
Chuck Davis: a tribal explosion
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Above the Dandelion
Richird Ih Lionheart
n o n
by Linda Sobsey
The Chuck Davis Dance Company is indeed a
company in the truest sense. From observing them
in a master class to experiencing them on the stage,
it is quite obvious that they trust and believe in
each other, and in what they are doing. Together
they create minor and major explosions, as well as
tense, moving moments on stage.
Their uniqueness comes from a combination of
influences. They are Martha Graham-trained,
ballet disciplined and guided in spirit and
philosophy by Davis. In two of the three master
classes I attended, every company member took
an active part in helping to transmit their art to the
students. We were, at times, physically moved
across the floor with African ethnic gyrations,
while primitive drum rhythms moved us
spiritually. Mr. Davis professes that anyone can
dance. The transition from the first, inhibited,
awkward and tense moments at the beginning of
the first class to the total abandonment of
inhibitions, released energy and the sheer joy of
movement on the part of the students by the end of
the second class was a performance of sorts in
The accompaniment by the company's
musicians, or as Mr. Davis refers to them "our
existence, built from a slow, easy, almost
inaudible start into a frenetic, deafening
crescendo by the end of the second class. It was
certainly clear that "The drums are held in high
esteem because they bring the Gods to the dancing
floor (as noted in the program).
If these class participants were told before class
that they would be moving as they did, and that by
the end of the second class they would be
individually celebrating the Drum through
improvised movement in an ending circle, they
would never have believed themselves capable of
it. But Davis has a way of communicating his
assumption that "dance is universal through an
African theme." .
He spoke to us, giving us a piece of his
philosophy at this anti-climatic ending moment, in
"No. 1 hard-rock
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At 4:00 and 8:30 p.m.
THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 1976
S3 .bizarr.ecaravan.of elves, exiled,.
dukes, lovers and a shipwrecked
drunkard will arrive at PAGE AUDITORIUM.
THE NEW SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
OF SAN FRANCISCO IN
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S, THE TEMPEST
Tickets are $3.00 for the Matinee and
$3.50, $4,50, and $5.50 for the Evening
Performance and are available at the Page
A PRESENTATION OF THE DUKE UNIVERSITY UNION
COMMITTEE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
tilt, ilfciiSi .fiif u iii!i?. .iraii.i fibm- (i -iniT$!titui
I i I
FINE ARTS FESTIVAL VOLUNTEERS MEETING
FOR SPRING 1977 FESTIVAL
All students interested in volunteering their much needed assistance
for the Festival should attend this meeting.
APRIL 6, TUESDAY 5 P.M. GERRARD HALL
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For Sale: 1970 Simca 30.000 miles, $200. Contact Doug
Monroe - telephone number 968-9147 or 968-9309.
Hundreds of Comic Books, Marvels, DCs and others: 10
and up. Plus several science! iction and fantasy paperbacks
at half original price. CaU 933-1567 anytime.
Fender Amplifier (Princeton Reverb). Good sound and
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Only one month old. 929-3871 after 5.-00.
Austin Healy 3,000 (2 42) restored - new paint, interior,
Semperit radlals, rebuilt engine with overdrive. Call after 4
Wanted to rent beginning In tall: House In country with at
least 3 bedrooms. Anyone with Information call 942-1896.
Towne House apartment tor rent for aummer three
bedroom, two bath, alr-condltloned, pool, within walking
distance of campus and or bus route. Call 933-4359.
Wanted: 2 bedroom house for professional students. Need
In May or June. $25 reward. Call Jim Whiteside at 933-2175
and leave message.
Male roommate wanted: for May through Aug. In furnished
Kings wood Apt. next to laundry and pool. Own room - $55
month. Call 967-7818.
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much the same way he spoke to us as an audience
after the performance. This is a most unusual
approach in a dance concert, but it somehow
seemed appropriate and acceptable. After these
two classes I knew I would not be disappointed by
the all-black company of eleven dancers and five
The program was divided into two parts:
modern and African. It got off to a slow start with
"Reflections." But "Primal Birth" with Abdel
Salaam, the assistant choreographer, and Juanita
Tyler began to show us how beautifully trained
these members are. Their movements were clean
"Prisoners" with Charles Wynn and Nomadien
Gibson was painfully convincing with Wynn's
writhing, contracting, dramatic movements. It
was executed .perfectly and a beautiful piece of
acting on his part. I would like to see, in addition
to this one. another piece choreographed foi
Gibson. She's captivating to watch. "Prisoners'
had such a riveting, gripping effect that it was
difficult to recover from the tension it created and
to shift gears for "Simple Prayer." This was
danced once again by Wynn. Abdel Salaam and
Marilyn Banks to the music of Miriam Makeba
and the Staple Singers. By placing their bodies in
continjual perfectly complemented balance, a
visual imagery of simple, beautiful abstractions
The second half of the program began with
"Africa Speaks" with the lithe, long limbed and
beautifully costumed Normadien Gibson
illuminated by a background projection of Africa.
This was the beginning of the real excitement that
would speak to us. "Dyembe and Chant" and
"Yarabi" celebrated the body in all its primitive
forms, spotlighting the strengths of each dancer.
All the dancers have the incredible ability of
moving their bodies in seemingly impossible ways
"Phenomenal. ..an extraordinary
commune of dedicated artists, los Angefes
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have the best for less - Phone 919-726-5664 day or night or
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My dog and I need summer roommate May-Aug; 2 bedroom,
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Excellent location for walker N-bus route. $85, a Vt
utilities. Call Mark Triplet!, 942-2358 anytime.
Need to sublet 2-bedroom apartment May 1 thru August
Walking distance from UNC off East Franklin. Call 967
9084. TEACHERS WANTED: at all levels. Foreign and domestic
teachers. Box 1063, Vancouver, Wash. 98660.
NOW interviewing elementary teachers for next fall, Judea
Reform Temple Religious School. Contact Mrs. Ruth
Krlgman (Chapel Hill) 929-6544. Mrs. Margie Gutnlk
Wanted: exotic dancers. Good salary. Call Dell Pub after 8
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and multiple directions simultaneously. The
interplay between musicans and dancers cannot be
ignored. They build from each other and it's
difficult to know who is following and who is
In "NTore Danse (Royal Watusi Warriors,"
when Chuck Davis appears for the first time, his
towering presence takes command. This piece is
danced totally by men costumed in warrior head
dress and garb which displays the super macho
attitude that the warrior possesses. It's a long,
drawn-out segment, but perfectly executed.
Through its high and low spots the warrior strut
and posture is ever-present.
"Sea Ritual." the final piece, is another vehicle
which highlights the dancers in celebration of their
bodies while paying homage to the sea spirits for
continued prosperity. At times the choreography
gets a little theatrical but it's done with such vigor
and enthusiasm that we are not offended.
Some general distractions were the continual
loss of pieces of costume and the little
conversations amongst each other that
occassionally took place, and were thought to go
unnoticed by the audience. The stage talk caused
one dancer to bump into another while talking to a
third. This was inexcusable and highly
unprofessional. It was out of character with the
rest of their performance, which was highly
polished and professional.
Their overall enthusiasm, shine and sparkle,
along with their true ensemble work, certainly
helped negate these flaws. The troupe was at peak
energy despite the painfully empty house.
Davis informed us at the end of the performance
that "This is not entertainment. It is a means of
communication." Originally from Raleigh, Chuck
Davis says he would like to come "home" for a
w hile to free the inhibited South. If it can be done,
he could be the one to do it.
MICKEY ONE Arthur Pnn nightmarish and offbeat
drama of a night club s!ngr ( Warran Baatty) running from
unseen killers. A dark study of paranoia and fear.
(Alternative Cinema. Shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m. today m 101
Greenlaw. Admission: $1.25.)
STEAMBOAT BILL JR. Buster Keaton In a hilarious
' comedy about rtverboat rivalry, which includes the climactic
"Cyclone" sequence, one of the funniest disasters ever
filmed. (Alternative Cinema. Shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Thursday in 101 Greenlaw. Admission: $1.25.)
PLAYTIME Jacques Tatl dons the persona of M. Hulot
again as he wanders through a modernized Paris in this
satire on the crazy tackiness of modem civilization. (Union
Free Flick. Show at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Great Hall.)
THE UNC MEN'S GLEE CLUB, with Robert Porco
conducting, performs at 8 p.m. today in Hill Hall. Free
Duke Dance presents LAPIS LAZULI, an evening of
dance and music, at 8:15 p.m. April 7 In Page Auditorium,
Duke. Tickets are available for S2 at the Page Boi Office.
The UNC PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE, with Lynn Glassock
conducting, performs at 8 p.m. April 8 in Hill Halt Free
The Gallery Theatre will hold auditions for LINE, a new
play by Israel Horovitz, at 8 p.m. today at the The Art
School, 150 E. Main SL, Carrboro.
The Duke Players present Terrance McNally's BAD
HABITS at 8:15 p. m. April 8-11 and 15-18 in Branson Theatre.
Tickets are available for $3 at the Page Box Office.
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Desperately need one Phi Beta Kappa banquet guest ticket
Willing to pay well. CaU 933-8518. Keep trying. Thanks.
Los!! Lost! Lose Lost! Lost! A blue Shakespeare notebook
lost In the general vicinity of somewhere. Reward: free
audition for Wayne Newton Show! Cat! 829-3425.
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