The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 10, 1998, Page 12, Image 12

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Page 12 __Thursday, December 10,1998
Founder hopes new dance troupe
revives cultural arts in Omaha
Initial funding for Heinrich’s organization will
provide the biggest challenge, said Scott Jackman, the
company’s executive advisor. Because of Ballet
Omaha’s experience, he said, some people may be
reluctant to invest in a new company.
“A lot of people expended a lot of resources for
(Ballet Omaha), in terms of time and money. It’s sort
of like once burned, twice shy,” Jackman said.
As a new company, the Central Dance Theater
will have to work to prove its potential for longevity.
“People love to see a track record,” Jackman said.
‘Tor United Arts Omaha, you cannot even apply for
funds until you’ve been running for five years. Also,
many people don’t know (Brian) even though he is a
native Nebraskan.”
Staff writer
Three months ago, the fixture of professional
dance in Nebraska looked bleak.
But now, Nebraska has two potential professional
companies preparing to present seasons next fall: the
Central Dance Theater and the Omaha Theater
The Central Dance Theater, the brainchild of
dancer Brian Heinrich, will present its first public per
formances today and Sunday.
These performances come a week after the Omaha
Theater Company announced its presentation of a pro
fessional dance season next year.
The Central Dance Theater hopes to fill the gap of
professional dance left by the demise of Ballet Omaha.
Ballet Omaha, which disbanded its professional
troupe at the end of its 1994-1995 season, officially
dissolved Aug. 31. Its death left Nebraska without the
presence of a professional dance company.
In response, the Omaha Theater Company and
Heinrich started forming separate companies.
Both newly founded organizations plan to audi
tion professional dancers next year. Both also plan to
present a full season, each complete with a production
of “The Nutcracker.”
Despite their presence in the same market,
Heinrich believes the two organizations can comple
ment each other.
The dancers from OTC can benefit from the
chance to perform with the Central Dance Theater, he
said, while Heinrich’s company can benefit from the
contact with local talent
Robin Welch, the director of dance at OTC, said
she felt both she and Heinrich would work their hard
est to see their respective companies flourish.
“I’m sure that (Brian’s) working really hard on it,
as I am and as anyone would,” Welch said. “When you
work this hard, you don’t have time to focus on outside
things. I’m just focusing on our company right now.”
Heinrich hopes the Central Dance Theater will
bring professional dance back to Nebraska. a
“As far as ballet goes, there are some really [
valiant efforts made toward professional work in f
Nebraska,” Heinrich said. “But, we’ve lost that pro-\
fessional feeling. We need something that puts V
Omaha on the map”
For Nebraska to gain recognition in the dance I
world, Heinrich said, a company must present dance in ]
a more accessible form. * '
“Most Nebraskans have only been able to pre
sent it in a frou-frou way,” he said. “To get past
that, we need to let everyone enjoy the arts. They
need to learn not only about the classical works
but about the moments that they can get on
the stage with us.”
To accomplish this, the Central
Dance Theater will have a diverse reper
toire consisting of contemporary
dance from companies such as the
Joflrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance
Chicago and the New York City
The Central Dance Theater also intends to present
unaltered versions of the Romantic classics like
“Giselle” and “Swan Lake.”
“People like these ballets done full-length and in
proper form,” Heinrich said. “When they are done in
other forms, they do not sell in Nebraska.”
Heinrich hopes to begin educational endeavors as
well. Plans include a ballet school providing training
in a variety of dance and outreach programs with
the Omaha and Lincoln school systems. .
With such grand schemes in the making,
some may question the organization’s ability to 4,
accomplish the tasks. "<
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lj\ forraances will increase ihe
Mformance is part
ption held by
Nelson. Dancers
Shirley will pre
Heinrich during
5 to 6:30 p.m. at
will have anoth
er performance Sunday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at
the Destiny Cafe, 1217 Howard St in Omaha.
Heinrich said these performances will pro
vide audiences with a taste of what the Central
Dance Theater has to offer Dance an audience
can relate to and
“Dance is
something that‘
to do, and if present
ed that way it can have
an incredible audience,”
Heinrich said.
• s Matt Haney/DN
Christmas is time of good cheer, bad presents
Steve Jabby
To many people, Christmas is a
time to give thanks, visit with loved
ones and get a lot of presents.
To me, Christmas is a time of shar
ing. Oh, and eating lots of food, and
sometimes drinking ... heavily.
Ultimately though, it’s about sharing, so
allow me to share with you a Jabby
Christmas experience.
I’ve always loved Christinas. I love
everything about it - the Christmas din
ner, decorating the tree, opening pre
sents and watching my little brother Jeff
Jabby try to pretend he’s surprised while
my brother Jared Jabby tries to hide his
excitement and still look “cool.”
I feel warm just thinking about
watching my sisters frantically open yet
another Barbie or some gaudy play jew
elry that, to them, just lodes fabulous.
It’s great visiting with the family and
talking to my great-grandma, even
though she always calls me Ricky. I
even enjoy conversing with cousin
Crystal and her new (and often inebriat
ed) hubby Dale. (They’re not Jabbys.)
However, despite all the holiday
cheer, one little thing always bothered
me - crappy presents.
I don’t mean to sound like an
ingrate, but it just seems that every year,
despite valiant attempts on the part of
my parents, I get a bunch of things I
don’t want. I’m sure this has happened
to a lot of people. In recent years gifts
don’t really matter as much to me, but,
man, when I was a kid I sure got worked
I remember dreaming of Construct
icon Transformer figures for weeks and
weeks, only to get the lousy Go-Bot
equivalent on Christmas mom.
“Awesome,” I winced, trying not to
let on how crushed I was! “Ican’twaitto
play with these... these Go-Bots.”
Then there was the time when I
received pajamas. Now I wanted paja
mas, mind you, but they were supposed
to be “Dukes of Hazzard” pj’s, not the
“Care Bears.” I mean what does stupid
Happy Bear have on die freakin’ Duke
boys? -
While the list of unwanted gifts is
long, there is one memory that really
stands out. It’s a sad story of a boy and
ms aream gin: a t-asio Keyooara.
It goes a little something like this:
I was a ratty little Jabby in third
grade. I had square brown glasses, a
shaved head (except for my bitchin’ rat
tail), and I fancied slip-on shoes quite a
With Christmas approaching, I
began to think of my future career as a
rock star and the tools I’d need to get the
job. Obviously, to be the next Huey
Lewis, I’d need a Casio Keyboard, com
plete with sound effects, various beats
and lots of neon colors.
I was a pretty reserved kid, and I
didn’t want to blatantly tell my parents I
wanted a keyboard, so I tried to just drop
hints. I’d watch the “Chipmunks” car
toons and comment to my mom how
cool I’d look with one of those key
boards you wear like a guitar. Then I’d
go around singing the “Kids
Incorporated” theme song and pretend I
was playing in the band. I was sure she’d
pick up on it, and so far my rock ‘n’ roll
future was right on schedule.
Every night I’d go to bed imagining
myself with that keyboard slung across
my shoulder, rockin’ out with my para
chute pants and Vision high tops,
singing love songs with Martika (who
later went on without me and recorded
the short-lived pop tune “Toy
Soldiers”). In my dreams, I was the
dude surrounded by girls with leather
hot pants as all the jocko chumps stared
in amazement at my keyboard-playing
ability. It was beautiful - and all I need
ed was my Casio.
The night before Christmas I could
n't sleep a wink, and my fantasy was
going on for so long that I had already
made sfhdsquandered millions, saw my
career go down the tubes and was m the
middle of a custody battle over my son,
a9-year-oid drug-addicted child acton
Eventually the moment arrived, and
I was down the stairs and in the living
room within nanoseconds. I labored
through opening a small assortment of
gifts, many of which were nice, but not
keyboards, and slyly scanned the room
for a keyboard-shaped item.
Then as I crawled around behind the
tree, there itwas-an elongated package
that even smelled of rock ‘n’ roll. My
eyes lit up, and I started to squeak in
weird tones I didn’t think even my new
keyboard could make.
I grabbed it up and jumped out from
behind the tree like a ninja with a new
sword. I looked to my proud parents and
my eyes welled up with tears. I couldn’t
believe it, my dreams were coming true
right before my eyes. I looked to my
brother Jeff Jabby, and between the sobs
of joy, I said, “Look, Jeff, I finally got a
Casio! We finally made it, dude!”
Jeff didn’t care, but I went on like I
was accepting an Oscar, thanking all the
little people who stood by me for so
Then my dad said, “Wait buddy, you
better open it first.” So I ripped into it,
and between the tears my blurred vision
made out a... BB gun.
It was hard to keep those tears of joy
from turning into tears of sadness, but
somehow I did it
Needless to say, that morning was
followed by about two weeks of phony
smiles, half-hearted hunting excursions
and no music or chicks.
Tf mor fAiirtk 1a T imr mvoif
ed when all my dreams of fortune and
fame just went up in smoke, but I got
through it. I toyed with the notion of
being a famous hunter, but then I real
ized there were no famous hunters,
especially ones who were allowed to
shoot only sparrows.
Oh well, by the time my birthday
came that May I must have dropped
enough hints, because I was the proud
recipient of a belated Casio Keyboard,
and everything was great
Of course, the rock star thing is a lit
tle sketchy still, but maybe this
Christinas I’ll get the parachute pants
and pull it all together.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Steve Jabby is the alter ego of Jason
Hardy,a senior staff writer at the Daily
Nebraskan. This stuff really did happen,
Grade: C
Jewel’s dedication of her
new album, “Spirit,” couldn’t be
more appropriate, considering
some of the songs are ones that
only a mother could love.
“Spirit,” Jewel’s follow-up
album to her 1995 multi-plat
inum “Pieces of You,” is dedi
cated to her mother, Nedra
Carroll, and has been touted as
showing a deeper side of the
artist’s personality.
Jewel herself referred to it as
“an anecdote towards all the
worrisome things in the world.”
Since the lyrics on the
album are about as deep as
Jewel’s recently publishedpoet
ry, it doesn’t necessarily fulfill
this prophecy, but there are
some noticeable changes in her
sophomore effort.
This time around, Jewel has
surrounded herself by a core
group of musicians and guest
artists with well-known names,
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist
Flea among them.
The album is more of the
same that has come to be
expected from Jewel - folky,
earthy tunes matched with the
unmistakably airy, yodel-like
voice, many of which begin to
sound the same about hallway
through the album.
There are, however, slight
variations between the 13
tracks. On “Down So Long,”
Jewel’s voice takes on less of the
high warble and swings down
into the deeper, fuller range that
is a lot more listener-friendly.
Paired with the bluesier instru
mentals, it’s easily the best track
on the album.
Following is “Do You,”
which sounds a little bit like
Sheryl Crow and a lot like Joan
Osborne, and while not neces
sarily great, is definitely a turn
for the better with its rhythmic
keyboard and chant like
t_•_HH1_ _ _1I_1_*_
ijriii'd. i iiw aiuum iu
descend into poppy repetitive
folk after these two songs, and
when Jewel sings with a back
up of only her acoustic guitar,
such as in the lamenting “Fat
Boy,” she ends up being more
ear-piercingly screechy than
touching. * ; -
The album doesn’t have a
standout top-40 radio hit like
“You Were Meant For Me” or
“Foolish Games,” and instead
consists of soft ballads without
many noticeable differences.
Unfortunately, what ends up
standing out more than anything
else are the Matthew Ralston
photographs both on the album
cover and inside the liner notes.
The pictures include inter
esting closeups of Jewel’s hands
and feet and definitely deserve a
second look, even if the album
doesn’t deserve a second listen.
- Sarah Baker