The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 02, 1987, Page 6, Image 6

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    Arts & Entertainment
Laser rock shows zap
Mueller Planetarium
By Richard Egger II
Staff Reporter
Each Friday and Saturday night,
and Sunday afternoons, the Ralph
Mueller Planetarium presents “Laser
Fantasies,” and this year the museum
has added a new five-color projection
Easing into the softness of the
high-backed chair, you notice hum
ming voices around you. Asyoureyes
adjust to thccircular,dimly lit ceiling
above you, a spherical tranquility
surrounds you. You feel a strange
sense of security, unique to the hard
edges of your cosmopolitan routine.
Then the dimness changes to dark
ness and the voices fade. 2500 watts
of music fills your ears. Imposing,
but tasteful, these are the melodic
signatures you’ve come to hear. But
the sound is just one reason you are
A bright flash of light pierces your
eyes, followed by brilliant pulses of
electronic red, blue and aqua. They
dance upon the sphere above you,
creating shapes unlike any you’ve
seen before.
Have you entered the Twilight
Not quite, but what you are expe
riencing carries an uncanny resem
blance to such perceptions.
Dubbed by the planetarium as
“Nebraska’s best hour of rock ‘n’
roll,” the shows are sponsored by
Lincoln radio station KFMQ and arc
produced by Coherent Productions
and the planetarium staff.
Jack Dunn, coordinator of the
planetarium, said people should
come to these shows “to sec what’s
new and exciting at the planetarium.”
“No two of our shows are the
same,” he said, “and people will
always sec something different. Even
when the same music is being played,
they will experience different visual
performances with each show.”
In past years, planetarium shows
were produced wiin omy one rea laser
on a system that did not allow nearly
as much computer imagery as the
present system, Dunn said. The new
five-color laser projection system
utilizes shades of red, green, blue,
aqua and a combination of the latter
three, which can produce other
shades, like violet.
Dunn said this system also allows
more use of computer animation,
gives vast programming capabilities
and allows those in the control booth
to actually draw images with the la
ser. In addition, certain laser images
can be projected through various fil
ters and appear on the ceiling while
other laser images arc superimposed
upon them. This produces an atmos
pheric, three-dimensional effect.
“These things are expensive,”
Dunn said.
The new system’s estimated cost
is about $65,(XX) and is owned by
UNL junior engineering student Wall
Simmons, founder of Coherent Pro
The planetarium has a 50-50 con
tract with Simmons, Dunn said. It
previously had a similar contract with
Laserworks of Cincinnati, he said.
Dunn said Simmons designed the
computer software and built the laser
controls for the system.
Dunn first became interested in
lasers at a planetarium meeting in Des
Moines, Iowa, several years ago.
“I was introduced to Larry
Goodrich of Cincinnati. He believed
in a philosophy that ‘less is more,’ and
that it is not how much you can do with
a laser, but rather what you actually
do with it,” Dunn said.
He said he believes the subtlety of
laser-light shows are his most intrigu
ing aspect of this kind of work.
Although lasers are often thought
of as dangerous, the ones used in these
shows can only be dangerous if they
are used in the wrong way, he said.
“The lasers that we use emit only a
small percentage of 100 milliwatts of
power. The only way that somebody
^ Courtesy of Mueller Planetarium
A laser guitar at Mueller Planetarium.
could get hurt at one of these shows is
if they somehow got in the path of the
beams and stared directly into them
for 10 or more seconds. Even then,
though, the eye would be inclined to
shut by its natural reaction to such
heated light,”
Dunn said.
The planetarium gets its musical
ideas from what is regarded as the
most popular music in the Lincoln
“We’ll do what sells the most.
People wanted U2, so we’re doing
some U2 shows this year. If the
people wanted Slim Whitman, it
would be a judgment call, but we
would probably decline to do such a
show,” Dunn said. “Other than that,
we will continue to do what people
want to see.”
The planetarium works on a per
formance contract with various local
radio stations to provide these shows
to the public.
“They advertise our shows on their
stations, and we advertise their sta
tions at our shows,” Dunn said.
Five local stations now assist in
these shows. KFMQ sponsors Laser
Fantasies, which are performed on
Friday and Saturday nights. KLDZ,
KH AT, KFRX and KLIN all sponsor
shows that appear on Sunday after
noons at 3:30 p.m. Each show has a
different theme, including music by
the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Fresh Aire,
Fleetwood Mac, Kenny G., Chuck
Berry, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and
Young, and several others.
Laser Fantasies by KFMQ in
cludes music by Genesis, Van Halcn,
Boston, U2, ZZ Top, Pink Floyd, the
Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and
The show times are 8,9:30 and 11
p.m. through Nov. 21.
Admission is $3.50 for adults, $3
for students with ID and $2 for chil
dren 12 and under.
Interested parties can also rent out
the planetarium for private shows for
“People can choose the music that
they like from the selections that we
have available,” Dunn said.
It takes two to three weeks to pro
duce the individual shows because
most of the work involved has to be
done at night.
“During the day there are usually
too many distractions, so we work
mostly at night,” Dunn said.
Home, heartache, youth, politics in ‘tango-dy
By Geoff McMurtry
Staff Reporter
UPC Foreign Film Series’ “Tan
gos, The Exile of Gardel,” (125
minutes, Argentina/France) plays
Sunday at the Sheldon Film Theater
at 2:30,4:45,7 and 9:15 p.m. Admis
sion is $2.75 with student ID, $3.75
Movie Review
“Smash all the ready-made formu
las. Don’t be afraid of risks. Make
your own art form.”
This is the message “talented but
mad” writer/poct Juan Uno sends
from his Argentine homeland to his
exiled friend and collaborator, Juan
Dos (Miguel Angel Sola). While
meant to describe the music they
work on together, it also applies to
this film.
Beautiful, brilliant and surreal,
Argentine director Fernando E. Sola
nas’ “Tangos” flutters through several
cinematic forms - tragedy, comedy
and musical - but always revolves
around the dancing of the tango.
always revolves around the dancing
of the tango.
A small group of exiled Argentine
artists are living in Paris, missing
their politically troubled homeland
and, between the trials of their daily
lives, rehearsing an experimental
dance based on the tango. Mixing
tango, tragedy and comedy, the ex
periment is called a tango-dy, and
represents the despair and longing of
exiles for their home. Still, it retains
the optimism and beauty of people
who refuse to give in to pessimism
and inertia.
Any reservations about something
called a tango-dy disappear soon
enough. Deeply thought-provoking,
yet vibrant and full of life, the tango
dy and, in a larger context, “Tangos,”
charms and entices the viewer.
As we watch him work to put
together his tango-dy, <uan Dos’s
enthusiasm and conviction are too
seductive to ignore. Through every
setback, trial, frustration and lull he
keeps believing in the tango-dy, until
we believe in it as much as he docs.
We are caught up in the beauty of the
dance, its passion, energy and mes
Twenty-year-old Maria (Gabriela
Toscano) is the focus of the film and
the daughter of the enchanting Mari
ana (Marie Laforet), who’s the fea
tured dancer of the tango-dy and a
well-known actress in her native
Argentina before she left for Paris
eight years before.
The story is narrated by Maria and
Tier friends in a scries of musical
interludes in the streets and parks of
While the biggest concern for
most of the exiles is when and if they
can safely return to their strife-tom
homeland, the exiled youth of
Maria’s age arc more concerned with
the problems of growing up than with
their parents’ longing to return to a
land they left at a young, unsentimen
tal and barely remembered age. They
miss their homeland, but they also
realize they arc young in Paris.
“Tangos” offsets the hopeful longing
of Mariana and the adults vividly
against the youthful, exuberant opti
mism of her daughter, Maria, and her
teen-age contemporaries.
The story gets complicated, occa
sionally writhing between the many
central characters who come and go
in and out of Paris, events in Argen
tina and events in Paris. While the
English subtitles work very well, a bit
of knowledge of South American
history is helpful and at times neces
Carlos Gardel was a legendary
Argentine tango singer in Paris, who
died in a plane crash in 1935. General
Jose dc San Martin helped Simon
Bolivar liberate South America from
Spanishcontrol inthe early 1800s and
spent the last 25 years of his life in
exile in Boulogne, France. Disccpolo
was a popu lar tango poet of the 1930s.
These characters all appear, despite
being dead, in surrealistic sequences
that torment and inspire the charac
ters in their continuing efforts to
complete their lango-dy.
“Tangos” is not a “political” film,
but politics arc central to most of its
conflicts. A sign asks, “Dondc es
tan?” (Where arc they?) referring to
the hundreds of thousands who’ve
disappeared at the hands of various
death squads. But the beauty, opti
mism and vision oi director Solanas
cannot be tarnished or undermined by
the sobering statements he makes.
The ending scene of Maria and her
friends dancing on the street in front
of a gathered crowd (shot from an
upper story of a building across the
street so the crowd doesn’t know
about the camera), is visually stun
ning, leaving the viewer with an in
delible breathlessness that captures
the majestic beauty of “Tangos: The
Exile of Gardcl.”
The UPC Foreign Film Scries
schedule for the remainder of the
semester is:
Oct. 18 — “Marathon Family,”
Yugoslavia (95 minutes)
Nov. 1 — “Package Tour,” Hun
gary (75 minutes)
Nov. 15 — “Sacrificed Youth,”
China (95 minutes)
Dec. 6—“NoEnd,” Poland (108
Screening times arc 3, 5, 7 and 9
iiiM.JLjmiyg3Bs^gEKgfese!^g;; ~ '
UNL Orchestra to perform Dvorak
The University of Ncbraska-Lin
coln Orchestra, under the direction of
Dr. Robert Emile, will give a free
evening performance at 8 p.m. Sun
day in Kimball Recital Hall.
Two works will be performed by
the 5()-piecc ensemble:
the “Overture” to Fra Diavolo, by
Daniel Francois-Esprit Auber, and
Anton Dvorak’s “New World” sym
phony in E minor.
Talent applications due on Monday
Homecoming Talent Show appli
cations arc due Monday at 4 p.m., said
Jill Kcidcrling, Walpurgisnacht
All UNL students are eligible to
audition for the Oct. 21 talent show,
which will be at 7 p.m. in the Ne
braska Union Centennial Ballroom.
Auditions will be Oct. 8 in the
Centennial Room.
Applications can be picked up in
the CAP office, Nebraska Union 200.
Ten to 12 acts will be selected to
perform in the contest. Prizes will be
$150, $100 and $50, Kcidcrling said.
The event is sponsored by UPC’s
Walpurgisnacht committee.
For more information call the CAP
office at 472-2454.