The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 27, 1993, Page 9, Image 9

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    Audience finds
dance troupe’s
tribute stale
When the principal dancers of the New Y ork
City Ballet come to town, you expect to see an
extraordinary show.
The audience at the Lied Center on Friday
evening were treated to something just a little
less than that in a “Tribute to Balanchine.”
All of the dancers were very good, and there
were some moments of great passion and inten
The troupe — which also performed Saturday
— were talented professionals.
But, with a couple of exceptions, audience
reaction was a little lukewarm.
It was ballet, which makes for problems with
some viewers, and it was Balanchine—which
causes problems for others.
Ballet is not for everyone — not even for
everyone who likes dance.
It’s a very traditional, even stodgy, dance
form. Things change very slowly in ballet.
While dance was going through a revolution
in the jazz age, ballet remained almost un
In the modem and post-modem era, ballet
has experienced something of a crisis: How to
retain vitality within the limits of the form.
George Balanchine was an innovator in his
day, producing choreography to pop tunes like
“EmbraceaWe You” and “I Got Rhythm” by
George Gershwin.
He amazed old-school critics of ballet by
introducing to the dance's rigid forms a little of
the graceful swing of old soft-shoe routines.
He was a maverick in a medium that resists
change emphatically.
But some of his work has not weathered
It’s not entirely his fault. The enormous
impact of his innovative style carried over to
other, less formal styles of dance.
In the middle of tnc 1970s it was possible to
tune into any of the numerous “variety shows”
and see the spiritual ancestors of today’s Fly
Girls churning through the big production num
ber that every such show required.
In any given TV-watching evening, you
would experience several Balanchine moments.
Certainly it's no fault of Balanchine that his
work was successful enough to be copied by
every two-bit choreographer in the country.
Still, it makes it difficult to watch the orig
inal with any sense of freshness.
The Balanchine style has become associat
ed, through no fault of his, with a great deal of
formula, mass-produced work.
It is of course possible to watch Balanchine' s
See BALLET on 10
Wilkam Lauer ON
The Millions play to a lull house at The Edge on Saturday night with new guitarist Benjamin Kushner. Also
pictured Is lead singer Lori Allison.
A fresh Million
Band’s second album, ‘Raquel,’ reflects major changes
By Matt Woody
Staff Reporter
Lincoln’s The Millions are back—with
a new album, a new label, a new band
member and a new outlook.
Bassist Marty Amsler said the changes
were the result of hard lessons the band
learned in the last few years.
The first lesson had to do with the band’s
major label debut, “M is for Millions.”
The record, which was produced by Ter
ry Brown and released in 1991 by SMASH
Records, wasn’t exactly the album the band
wanted to make.
“It was more of what the label wanted and
what Terry had in mind than what we did,”
Amsler said.
By the time the record was completed,
Amsler said all of the songs had “the same
kind of vibe.”
When the band broke with SMASH and
began to shop around fora new label, finding
one that would let them do their own thing
was of major importance, he said.
The band signed with Dream Circle, a
record label based in Hamburg, Germany.
“We went with the one that would give us
the most freedom,” Amsler said.
The band recently completed its first
album for the label, titled “Raquel.”
The artistic freedom the band members
were given shined through in the completed
project, Amsler said.
“I would say it’s more of a representation
of what we are as a band,” he said.
“We really saw eye-to-eye with them on
capturing the songs and the band. It wasn’t
this huge sales-onented production.”
Lead singer Lori Allison said the album
benefited from the lack of corporate pres
“The energy is flowing a lot freer. It’s a
lot more raw, a lot more versatile,” she said.
Part of that energy comes from the bands
newest member, Benjamin Kushncr.
i -- —
The energy Is flowing a lot
freer. It’s a lot more raw, a
lot more versatile.
— Lori Allison
lead singer
-ff -
Kushner, who joined the band last April,
plays guitar along with Million’s guitarist
Harry Dingham III.
Originally, the band had intended to use
Kushner as a guest soloist on the album,
Amsler said.
“He just added so much to the band and
the recording that we had to have him,” he
“He and Harry really play off each other
well. They just really click together well,’’
Amsler said.
Allison said Kushner brought an added
See MILLIONS on 10
f ■
Willis’ ‘Distance’ strikes target
despite its predictable script
Striking Distance
Bruce Willis returns to the big
screen, and guess what—he’s a cop.
“Striking Distance" is Willis’ lat
est effort to return to the box office
glory of his “Die Hard” days. This
time he’s Tom Hardy, a fifth-genera
tion cop in Pittsburgh, honest and
honorable to the end...
... which makes him more than a
little unpopular with the other mem
bers of the police force.
His first claim to defame among
the force was his testimony against
his cousin/nartner on a police brutal
ity charge. The second was an accusa
tion against the force that sent him
down to River Patrol.
The story begins in 1991, and Pitts
burgh women are being terrorized by
the Little Red Riding Hood Killer.
Tom, then a detective, is sure the
killer is a cop, or a former cop. The
killer knows too much about the way
the police operate and too much about
police procedure.
En route to the Policemen’s Ball,
Tom and his father get involved in a
high-speed chase. His father ends up
dead, and the suspected serial killer
gets away.
When a bum is brought in as the
suspected killer, Tom protests, saying
that the charges are trumped up —
he’s sure the force is hiding one of its
own. He makes accusations and is
demoted to River Patrol.
Two years later, Tom’s battling
alcoholism when he’s assigned a new
partner—Jo Christman (Sarah Jessi
ca Parker).
At about the same time, bodies
start bobbing up in the river and Tom’s
sure the same killer is at work again.
He starts snooping around on his own,
much to the chagrin of the homicide
The acting on the whole is good.
Robert Pastorelli does a great job in a
role that is a complete departure from
his part as Eldon on “Murphy Brown.”
Paricer is fine, but she’s really just
window dressing — what else could
she be in another male-oriented ac
tion flick? At least she gets to keep
most of her clothes on.
But Willis is in top form. He’s
charismatic, wry and sarcastic. The
trademark smirk only pops up occa
sionally. His real trouble is getting
bogged down in bad scripts.
Striking Distance” isn’t a bad sto
ry. It’s actually kind of involving the
first 30 minutes or so. But the climac
tic fight at the end lasts a little too
long, and the romance is a little too
But then again, that’sto be expect
ed from an action movie.
, —Anne Steyer