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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 18, 1993)
Monday, October 1b, 1993
[Troupe expresses deep meaning in movement
It was about life moving from dark
less into light.
It was about consciousnesvs and the
erriblc struggle it involves.
Sankai Juku, the Japanese dance
roupe, performed Sunday night for a
esponsive Lied Center audience.
A i •
This was their second appearance
in Lincoln. The first time was in
Kimball Recital Hall,before the Lied
Center was completed.
Their dance, entitled “Shijima: The
Darkness Calms Down in Space,”
formed, of itself, a complete cycle.
In the process it told the story of
Life evolved on earth from the
elements, from the darkness of the
mineral world which is without feel
ing, without awareness, totally dark.
And yet we owe an allegiance to
the darkness that is at the center of
Though that darkness is lost to us,
who, except in small and private mo
ments, see only the light of this life,
with it’s distractions — or the dark
ness that awaits us at the end of the
This dance, while not entirely ac
cessible to all, nevertheless was a
complete and cohesive work. It de
picted a world seemingly alien, vet
really representing the spiritual di
mension of our own placid reality.
It is our world as it really appears
in the realm of dream—or to the keen
senses of the gifted artist.
There is always more here than
meets the eye.
It takes a special gift to perceive
the true state of human beings in this
dark and unconscious universe.
It takes great skill to convey the
feeling of wonder and terror that per
It needs a work of art, and no mere
craft, to carry the weight of that com
Ushio Amagatsu, the choreogra
pher/director ofthe piece, has created
a work of art.
Set against a backdrop of molds
taken from the human form, the dance
took place in a temple of stone.
Human bodies seemed about to
emerge from the rough-hewn rock.
The story of the suffering that is
life, and the horror of death — in a
way, the inability to truly die the
death of plants and animals — is the
story of humankinds
“Shijima” is a fundamental story,
on par with our “Gilgamesh” myths
See DANCE on 10
[Action ana intensity make movie guilty on all counts
A powerful movie with a powerful
oundtrack, “Judgment Night” is a talc of friend
hip and fear, loyalty and desperation, exempl i
icd by solid performances and unique situa
The story, however, is not incredibly origi
tal. Four friends get lost in the wrong hood of
Chicago on the way to a boxing match. They
witness a gang execution, and the rest of the
novic is about their attempts to escape with
The acting and intensity arc what raise this
ilm above the standard “chase” movies.
The four friends, held together by their
ndividual relationships with Frank Wyatt
Emilio Estevez), And their loyalty to each
>thcr strained as they run for their lives. Frank,
vith a wife and kid, is the mature foundation for
he group, but h is logical dec isions aren’t enough
o escape the gang.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. is excellent as Mike
’ctcrson, an ultra-confident jock, who almost
>rcaks down after he real izes his own mortal ity.
le is also confused about hisbest friend Frank’s
:hange from the chaotic lifestyle of their youth
o that of a responsible husband and father.
Frank’s younger brother, John (Stephen
Dorfi), is very impulsive, and he often gets into
situations he isn’t prepared to deal with. He and
Frank come to terms with each other during the
course of the movie, which helps them to
survive this judgment night.
Ray Cochran (Jeremy Piven) is the final and
weakest link in this chain of friends. Calm and
confident in the outside world, he is unsure ol
his abilitieson the street and quickly falls apart.
But it is Dennis Leary who gives this movie
its street character. Completely believable as a
minor ruler in the projects of Chicago, his
character Fallon is cruel, cold, sadistic and
The suspense level of this film peaks early
— with an intensity that makes it hard to keep
Live Laraaji gives New Age bad name
better. And how inspired do you have to be
to run your fingernails up and down and up
and down the strings of an autoharp.?
Maybe it’s just me. I haven’t seen a lot of
New Age music performed live. I just didn’t
know it was so mind-numbingly easy.
And Laraaji seemed to be winging it a lot
of the time. Working extemporaneously —
off the top of his head.
But if he’s going to do that he ought to be
better at it. Otherwise, what’s wrong with
sticking to a prescribed format? He’s a per
former, he should have more care for the
kind of show he puts on
in fairness I have to say the audience —
about 50 people — seemed pretty apprecia
I hey listened witn attention to Laraaji s
incomprehensible and dull philosophy. They
laughed at the funny parts and cooperated
with the exercises he asked us to do.
Only a few malcontents left before the
final “OM” circle. How I envied them their
freedom to do so.
But I kept hoping against hope that Laraaj i
would do something cool, say something
worth hearing, actually play his instruments.
It never happened, or not $10 worth.
What’s funny is that I’d already heard
Laraaji’s latest CD, “Flow Goes the Uni
verse,” and found it very nice.
Like most New Age music it was relaxing
and made excellent ambient sound. It fit the
role of background to conversation admira
bly. I enjoyed it.
But then I didn’t have to watch Laraaji. I
didn’t have to put up with him fumbling at
the controls of his equipment, or stopping in
the middle of a song to say something.
Laraaji didn’t talk on the CD.
In concert Laraaji spewed rambling ser
mons between songs.
At every juncture I thought he was on the
verge of actually saying something that didn’t
sound like it was cribbed from a parody of some
quasi-mystic self help book.
He never did.
But again, the audience didn’t groan, or
walk out cn masse.
I couldn’t decide. I thought maybe they were
just too far gone into New Age to give a damn
about anything being actually wise — maybe
they were so hungry for meaning that they’d
swallow anything, no matter how incoherent or
Maybe it was just the opposite. Maybe they’d
never thought of this stuff, or heard it any where,
even in parody.
Maybe it was all new to them.
Or maybe it was me.
Maybe I’m a jaded critic who can’t sec the
sincerity in the simple, very simple, child-like,
or childish, stylings of a performer who, at
every opportunity, made a little advertisement
for his own enlightenment.
All I know for certain it that Laraaji in
performance is something that should not be
forced on anyone.
Maybe I should grow my hair out, grow
my beard, get a karate tunic and hit the road.
With my wild-man act I’d tour the country
charging $ 10 a pop to let the rubes watch, me
mumble and caper about the room.
And I wouldn’t feel badly about it, not in
the least. I’d still be offering as much value
Laraaji, who performed Saturday night at
the Bern is Art Gallery in Omaha, rides high
on the New Age bandwagon. I’m just sorry
it’s too late for me to jump on.
Once the market supports his kind of
nonsense, the show’s about to close — you
can count on it.
Laraaji played an electric zither, two of
them, that he’d made from autoharps.
He also “played” windchimes. Not chimes
like you see on Neal Peart’s drum set —
windchimes, the kind they hang above a
storefront door to announce a customer.
He also had a synth and an effects ma
chine that he seemed incapable of program
In fact, except for the effects, I could have
done pretty much his whole show for him.
I sing at least as well and play drums
From left, Emilo Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jeremy Piven and Stephen Dorff play four friends who make a wrong
turn off an expressway and must face a test of friendship, loyalty and courage in “Judgment Night.”
your pants clean. Excellent acting, combined
with alien environments, keeps the audience
guessing. No one is ever sure where the next
assault will come from.
Another bonus is the movie’s completely
original and excellent soundtrack. The music
adds to the movie in many scenes and even
appears in the cast, as House of Pain member
EnkSchrody makes his acting debut as Rhodes,
a member of Fallon’s gang.
Not the movie of the year, “Judgment N ight” is
what it set out to be—a terrific thriller that
combines humor and intrigue with action and
violence. It will appeal to many moviegoers.
— Joel Strauch
Jim Rose video
of the real thing
It’s bizarre... it’s outlandish... it’s nauseat
ing ... it’s The Jim Rose Circus Sideshow, last
year’s Lollapalooza surprise hit unleashed on
Filmed at Seattle’s Moore Theatre in Febru
ary, Rose and his five sick buddies secure the
rank of Champions of Disgust.
As an appetizer, Rose started the show him
self by, among other things, driving a nail into
The main course offered The Amazing Mr.
Lifto, who lifted irons and cinder blocks with
sensitive body parts, like his nipples and ear
lobes. He used other more-sensitive organs, but
this is a family newspaper.
The delicacies abounded, with Rose cheer
ing on his partners and the audience Sam
Kinison-style. “Beautiful ... everybody say
‘beautiful,’” he howled.
A charming fellow named The Torture King
demonstrated fun things to do with meat skewers
and your face, as well as munching on fire.
Tattooed head to toe as one big jigsaw
puzzle, the mysterious Enigma swallowed as
sorted insects, ini luding maggots. Rose point
ed out the little critters could cat their way out
of his stomach if not properly chewed. Enigma
followed the bug supper with a sword chaser.
For dessert, Matt “The Tube” Crowley
pumped a concoction of beer, chocolate syrup,
See ROSE on 10
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