The University Record, April 3, 2000

‘Border Crossings’ transforms Rackham

Border Crossings 2000, a special theatre of the arts performance, featured cabaret and popular American songs as part of a multi-media, multi-talent production that transformed the Rackham Building itself into part of the show. Its transformation was the work of filmmaker and artist Robert Anderson. Above, Peter Sparling, professor of dance, performs in one of the many multi-media scenes offered free to the public under the sponsorship of the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Media Union, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, the School of Music and the Gallery Dance Foundation. Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services


Young and old enjoy ‘Dance for Mother Earth’

Young and old Native American and First Nation peoples gathered at Crisler Arena March 24–26 for the 29th annual ‘Dance for Mother Earth’ Pow Wow. The first Ann Arbor Pow Wow was held in 1972 in a field just outside of town. One of the most celebrated gatherings of its type in the country, it attracted numerous well-known and established dancers, singers and artists, as well as thousands of spectators.

The modern-day Pow Wow evolved from Grass Dance Societies that formed during the early 1800s. The dances were an opportunity for the warriors to re-enact their brave deeds for all the members of the tribe to witness. The growth of reservations gave rise to the modern Pow Wow, one of the few celebrations allowed during an era when tribal customs and religions were outlawed.

The modern Pow Wow is based on the fundamental values common to Native Americans—honor, respect, tradition and generosity. Along with their families, thousands of singers, dancers, artists and craftspeople follow the ‘Pow Wow Trail’ all over North America to celebrate their culture.

Major events at a Pow Wow include the Grand Entry, marking the beginning of each session. Dancers line up behind the head veteran, flag carriers, head dancers and the princes from different communities. The head veteran carries the Eagle Staff (the Native American flag) and is responsible for retreating the colors at the end of each session.

Being selected as head veteran is a considerable honor, as is the case with the head dancers (one man and one woman), who lead the dancers into nearly every dance. Photo by Bob Kalmbach

Cabaret hits the stage April 6–9

Cabaret will be performed at 8 p.m. April 6–8 and at 2 p.m. April 9 in the Power Center for the Performing Arts. The production is directed by Linda Goodrich, assistant professor of dance (musical theatre), who appeared on Broadway as a Kit Kat Girl in the 1987 rendition of Cabaret and later directed and choreographed the musical for its European tour. During the 1988–89 tour of the show, Goodrich was an understudy for all the female roles in the production and became assistant stage manager.

Cabaret also will feature musical direction by Ben Whiteley, who recently finished conducting Cats in New York City; costumes by Nephelie Andonyadis, assistant professor of theatre and drama; and lighting design by Justin R. Burleson. Cabaret, set in a squalid early-1930s Berlin nightclub, has enjoyed enduring popularity since its 1966 debut.

Tickets, $18, $14 and $7, are available 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon–Fri. at the Michigan League Ticket Office and at the Power Center one hour prior to performance. For more information, call (734) 764-0450.

Diseased trees removed

Scotch pine trees on North Campus that were diseased with pine wilt were removed last week to keep the wilt from spreading to other stands of the same variety. Scotch pine, particularly older trees, are susceptible to the disease, which is carried from one to another by pine sawyer beettles and bark beetles.

Wood from the trees is chipped and removed to be used as fuel in power plants. Because it is diseased, it is not suitable for firewood or mulch.

The next step for Grounds and Waste Management staff is to add native grasses and plants that will help to control erosion at the hilly site. Roots from the pine trees also will be left in place to help control erosion.

The stand of trees was near the intersection of Bonisteel and Fuller.

Photo by Britt Halvorson