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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 18, 1978)
monday, September 18, 1978
arts and entertainment
Imagination and dance techniques combine in newart
By Alexander Germaine
Wagner did not like to call his work
"Opera." Instead he used the word
"Gesamptkunst" which means combined
art, or total work. Mis reasoning was that
the things which he wrote encompassed
more than the term opera had come to
mean to the public.
This also is the case with the "Pilobolus
Dance Theatre" which performed on the
Kimball Hall stage Friday and Saturday
evenings. One cannot rightfully define their
work as modern dance. It certainly is not
classic dance and maybe it can't even be
defined as dance at all. It too is more
of a "combined art."
Their method of movement has to do
with the combining of bodies in the most
obsecure ways imaginable. These combina
tions create a vehicle for movement and
interpretation that doesn't seem to fit into
any of the predetermined dance vocabul
ary. Indeed these talented artists are
scratching at the surface of what could be a
totally new type of dance.
Form a story
The movements are formed after the
arts of mime, acorbatics, interpretive
dance, and a good deal of imaginative
theater. Used in the formulas and portions
of these different arts the performers
created a unity of thought, a pursuit of
ideas that form a story.
Some of the scenes done were remini
scent of what a medieval jester might have
done to entertaittyhis king or the town's
people in the village square. While the idea
is new, it does have some roots in this type
The opening set is probably the most
unified and entertaining of the entire even
ing. "Molly's Not Dead" had the touch of
humor and mixed with the abundance of
flowing color, light and shapes, it provided
a treat for the eye. Every movement was
filled with a direction. It captured the
imagination like a good painting.
Solos less original
The pieces that were combinations of
two or more people seemed to develop
better than the solos. When the solos were
By Mary Fastenau
Hal Floyd says his mother is to blame.
He explained that the first day of ele
mentary school there was a program where
any of the kids could perform.
"My mother had me prepare a skit,"
he said, "and I was ruined forever."
Hal Floyd, UNL theater arts professor,
may have followed the road to ruin, but
if he has, a lot of people would like the
Floyd, an actor turned professor, pro
fessor turned actor, is currently being seen
on movie screens throughout the nation
for his role in Burt Reynolds' movie,
Floyd said he plays a special effects man
in the movie that is about a movie. The
chracter he plays sets up explosive rigging,
harnesses and engineers a rocket car which
must jump over a 300-foot canyon, he ex
plained. Professional actor
He admitted that his professional acting
career did not being with the filming of
He said he became a professional actor
in 1952, or at least he got his first pro
fessional acting role that year in the movie,
Abbott and Costelb Go To Man.
His interest in acting, however, goes
back to his elementary and high school
days where he performed in class plays.
He said it was after World War II that he
deckled to become an actor. Floyd realized
performed they seem to lose the identity
that separates Pilobolus from the rest of
the dance companies. Then the dance be
comes more interpretive and less original.
Not to diminish the performance, but they
should stick with the form that they have
developed since that is where their true
It wasn't as if the entire evening of
dance was as entertaining as a professional
company should be. But the excitement of
that with the GI bill he had an opportunity
to study some type of vocation.
He said he had entered the service right
out of high school and had never given
much thought to an occupation. When he
did think about it, he said he decided to
do somethin he loved and had always
Though Floyd admitted that he fit the
"once an actor, always an actor" image, he
never played the role of the starving actor.
"I never went through starving periods,"
he said.. 'Tm not fond of starvation."
He added that to avoid starvation, it was
necessary for him to supplement his
income from acting with part-time work in
an aircraft plant and in an office.
He explained that once you get an act
ing job, it can be a lucrative profession, but
there is a problem that when die job is
finished, there is nothing more.
It takes a "certain amount of disci
pline," he admitted, to make your money
last until the next job.
During the time he was a "starving
actor," which lasted through the SOs and
early 60s, he said he had about 55 televi
sion roles, eight or nine stage plays and two
off-Broadway productions in New York
Floyd puffed oia his cigarette and told
stories about those early days.
He said he remembers one time when
he arrived home about midnight and found
a newer dance form and a young group of
people with an obvious excitement about
their own work was such a treat after the
myriad performers who treat Lincoln as a
podunk town with an audience who is not
aware of what's good and what's junk.
Money will spend
Costuming was good when present, and
when not present it worked in the context
of the pieces performed. Lighting design
was especially effective and despite the pre-
a script stuck in his mailbox with a note
from his manager. He said the note told
him to learn the lines because he would be
appearing on a live television show at noon
the next day.
Floyd said he walked on the set with
the other actors who had been practicing
for a week. He had to play a husband who
was in the middle of a divorce when he
had never been introduced to the woman
who was playing his wife.
When on stage or on set, he said you
think of the actor as the role he is playing.
He said he has never felt in awe of
people like Burt Reynolds and Brian Keith,
whom he worked with in Hooper.
"Very natural and very down to earth"
was how he described die majoity of the
Too impressed with glamour
"The general public gets too impressed
with the glamour," Floyd said.
He described actors as craftsmen who
really know what they are doing and are
well-trained as well as talented.
It is the exception, rather than the rule,
when people shoot to the top of the acting
profession he said. People like Burt
Reynolds and Gint Eastwood have started
as stuntmen and worked themselves up
to the star status they now claim, he said.
They (the stars) are what provide
jobs for people fake me, and enteral inment
for people like you."
Floyd said he also finds his other job,
show problem of not enough lighting in
struments in Kimball Hall, the effects were
Whether this is a new form of dance, an
embryonic company that will someday be
known as well as Martha Graham's or The
Royal Winnepeg Ballet, is yet to be seen.
But for the Lincoln audience the money
was well spent and a most enjoyable night
was had for the first of the new series at
Kimball Hall. May there be more.
as a UNL professor, rewarding. He
admitted, however, the rewards are
Through teaching, he said he feels like
he has never been away from the theater.
He admits that he would not enjoy
teaching if his subject were not the theater.
"Theater is the word, not the teaching,"
What would Floyd do if one of his stu
dents asked him if he or she should enter
the acting profession?
Floyd said his reply would be discour
aging, but it would be a picture of reality.
He said persistence is one of the keys to
professional acting, and he would tell his
students how important it is to really want
to be an actor.
He explained that it takes "a year or
two or three or more" to get the first
professional job, and an actor may have to
wait that long for another chance.
Floyd said he has been married to the
same woman who has stuck beside him as
he waited between chances and said the
only separations they have had have been
After his role in Hooper and his current
role as a UNL professor, Floyd has dreams
of other roles. He said he has thought of
going back to strictly acting and has also
considered directing and writing.
Right now he said he is in the middle
of writing two filmstrips. One he des
cribed as a comedy suspense and the other
as a "very unusual love story."
Photo courtesy Pilobolus Dane Theatre
The Pilobolus Dance Theatre, performing at Kimball Hall, combines bodies in the most obsecure ways imaginable in a new dance
professor now professor turned actor
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