Star Tribune from Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 1, 1990 · Page 30
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Star Tribune from Minneapolis, Minnesota · Page 30

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Sunday, April 1, 1990
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4B SundayApril 11 990Star Tribune Once again, Mata draws best from Chamber Orchestra By Michael Anthony :Staff Writer The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra played its first concert Friday night at the Ordway Music Theatre since returning last weekend from a three-week tour of Europe. Given the rigorous schedule of the tour, signs of fatigue in the playing Friday night could have been expected. Instead, the orchestra performed, in nearly all instances, in alert, stylish fashion. The two days off the orchestra was given early in the week may have helped. (Rehearsals for the weekend that normally start Monday were held off until Wednesday.) The presence of Eduardo Mata as guest conductor may also have helped. The orchestra tends to play its best for Mata, who is music director of the Dallas Symphony. He knows this orchestra, and the players know him. He has been perhaps the most frequent guest conductor here the past decade. When the search was on a few years back for a principal guest conductor, Mata's name was said to head the list. His schedule, it was said, didn't permit him to take the position. Mata's program showed a nice coherence. The first half was devoted to Stravinsky's two Suites for Small Orchestra and the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1 in which the Bulgarian pianist Juliana Markova was the soloist. In the second half Mata conducted a recent work by a countryman of his, the Mexican composer Gutierrez Heras, and concluded the evening with Haydn's Symphony No. 100 ("Military"). The tongue-in-cheek tone of the Stra- A review St. Paul Chamber Who: Eduardo Mata, guest conductor; pianist Juliana Markova, guest soloist. Review: In a nicely coherent program, Mata drew the best from this orchestra, as he always does, and Markova played a vivid account of Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 1. vinsky Suites, played back-to-back, as one eight-part suite, proved a suitable prelude to the Shostakovich, in which the comedy, especially in the finale, ranges from sarcasm (with numerous near-quotes from other composers and unpredictable false starts and endings) to outright hilarity. Mata easily underscored the wit in the Stravinsky set, the technique of which is principally a matter of keeping a steady beat and sustaining high dynamic contrast. For her part, in the Shostakovich, Markova demonstrated nimble fingers and a vivid musical sensibility. She played with a dry tone that works well in this music, but it was a sound less brittle than one hears from the composer himself in the old recording he made (now on the Seraphim label). Markova managed to bring some welcome shading to the part, and she infused the morose middle movement with a steady stream of color and feeling. Gary Bordner brought a sensitive touch to the trumpet solos. f I f 1 W&Mm Update on Amy Brazil: Jewelrymaker's ambition pays off better than ever Eduardo Mata The Heras piece, "Postludio," was first played in 1987 by the Chamber Orchestra of the Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico. No one hearing the work would identify it as coming from a Mexican composer. Its style is international and quite Romantic. Heras uses traditional forms and devices pedal points and a fugue but his sensibility tends toward the expressive and lyrical. "Postludio" is a rich, involving piece that lasts just 1 1 minutes. Mata's Haydn showed a. touch of the Romantic as well. This isn't to say he led an old-fashioned grand-orchestra reading full of ripe inflections and personal emphasis. His tempos, in fact, were brisk and his woodwinds always prominent, in accord with modern-day views of the Classical era. But the weight and intensity he drew forth in the opening movement, along with the energy of the finale, painted a quite convincing portrait of the late Haydn who looked toward the Romantic period and especially to Beethoven. At the end, Mata, who bears an uncanny resemblance to a young George C. Scott, was warmly applauded by audience and orchestra. Asked if she had ambitions to make it big. Amy smiled and said- "Of course, and I will." Amy Brazil at age 19 Well, Amy is now 21. And she is making it, if not big, much bigger. I wrote about this very young woman, for entrepreneurs, when she was 19. She was president of Brazil USA, had a halfnlozen employees and 280 retail-outlet customers in 10 states. Now, she is president of Amy Brazil, has tripled her employees and has ' 600 customers in 25 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. Some of her new customers include Disney World and Dayton Hudson. She was doing $85,000 in sales in her first year in business. A sign that she is doing much better is that she won't tell how much she's doing in sales now. Amy, an Edina native, graduated from Bloomington Jefferson High School and attended Normandale Community College for two years. Her bit: she creates hand-crafted, hand-painted jewelry, everything from bracelets to necklaces to earrings and so on. Since she was a little girl, she has loved art. But she does no flowers, no animals, no skies, no trees. Her art is original, mostly abstract and now to her liking. "Before I did things I thought might Ethnic Dance Theatre performs whirling, swirling, varied program By Mike Steele Staff Writer Calling a dance concert "colorful" is right up there in the pantheon of descriptive cliches, somewhere between "exciting" and "pretty." But the performances of Ethnic Dance Theatre now performing in St. Paul as part of the O'Shaughnessy Dance Series are, above all, colorful, so what's a person to do? But let's be precise about "colorful." On one hand it means vividly colored, full of colors, and that certainly applies to EDT's performances. Artistic directors Donald LaCourse and Jonathan Frey are obsessive about the troupe's costumes, whether authentic, brightly colored folk outfits from the Balkans or re-creations of the brooding earth tones of Arago-nese fashions from northern Spain. The entire palette is used, and one always leaves these concerts with memories of whirling, swirling colors. But "colorful" also means full of interest and variety, picturesque. This too gets to the heart of the matter. While the core of EDT's repertory has always been dances of the Balkans this program includes dances and songs from Croatia, Uzbekistan, the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Greece and Hungary the troupe has consistently widened its world view. For this concert, dances from Pakistan and Spain also are included, and to good effect. Authentic Balkan folk dance as a concert form invariably fights a certain sameness in style, A review Ethnic Dance Theatre Who: Dances and music from Croatia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, the Ukraine, Greece, Bulgaria, Spain and Hungary; presented by the O'Shaughnessy Dance Series. Where: O'Shaughnessy Auditorium, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul. When: Today, 8 p.m. Tickets: $10; call 690-6700. Review: Authentic costumes, , broad, sweeping choreographic patterns, rollicking music and a savvy sense of the theater add up to a colorful and satisfying evening. usually beginning at a stately pace and picking up speed and energy as it moves along, diagonal lines turning into spinning circles, the same skim-mering, heel-toe steps getting ever faster and more interwoven. So it's nice to see the expressive women's dance from Pakistan with waving scarves and spinning, ballooning skirts for variety's sake, just as the raised arms, the clattering castanets, the fast, soft footwork and the showy panache of the "jota" in the Spanish dance brought some rhythmic diversity to the show. In watching EDT it's worth remem bering that these are participatory dances, created more to be danced than to be watched. LaCourse and Frey have always understood the theatrical demands on the form, the need to turn inward-looking dances outward, opening up circles to allow the audience in, the requirements of performing, and they put on a good show. But these are amateur dancers of variable abilities and performing skills. There are few virtuoso dancers in the group, and a few are, frankly, pretty stolid, their total concentration going into counting beats and remembering steps. But to EDT's credit, they don't hide this. Rather they use it, as a reminder that these dances are of the folk and that even those of us in the audience could do them too. The choreography is fairly simple, with large, clearly drawn patterns, mostly uncomplicated footwork, nothing demanding outsized techniques. Yet they weave this simplicity into colorful designs, turn on enough flash to communicate to the crowd and radiate the sense of joy that ultimately underpins these works. On its own terms, it's always a satisfying evening. Included are a couple of turns for an a capella women's chorus, this time doing songs from Croatia and Bulgaria, and a superb, often witty folk orchestra that's filled with virtuosity and an easygoing charm. These ensembles together certainly add variety and picturesqueness, in other words the essence of colorful, and in this case that hoary old word is just going to have to suffice. Robert T. Smith be more commercial," she said. "But now I'm doing my thing. More high fashion, more me." Although handmade, it is not expensive: Her stuff ranges from $15 to $35. We're not talking diamonds and rubies here. Her creations are mainly brass pieces plated with gold and silver, painted a la Amy. One new item: She now designs the metal pieces, too. Her production studio is in Bloomington, but her headquarters is in the office of Cindy Babcock, her sales representative in the Hyatt Regency Merchandise Mart In recenf times, Amy has appeared on both Channel 4 and 9 news reports. She is looking into exporting and last June traveled to Spain to explore fashion trends there. She is now dickering with the likes of Neiman Marcus and Marshall Field stores. Her fall collection will come. . out in May. She is active in a new organization, The Fashion Alliance, a group of local designers of clothes and jewelry dedicated to make the Midwest a ., fashion hub. "You have New York and the West. Coast now," said Amy. "Why not the Midwestr - Amy never misses a chance to hustle. When Oprah Winfrey was in town, ; Amy sent her some jewelry. Oprah loved it, sent a thank-you note and 7 wore it on her television program. , The young entrepreneur speaks at local high schools, telling other young people that they can succeed in running their own businesses, no , matter how young they are. All it takes is some talent, dedication, hard work and luck, she tells them. . It doesn't hurt if you also are a hustler. One relative of Amy's put it this way: "Amy could sell Bibles to atheists, , philosophy treatises to anteaters." Well, maybe. But, as I said in the first column, she's a dynamic, energetic young woman who is determined to have a ' billion-dollar business one day. , ' And I wouldn't bet against her. . i-fnv'V'i11 I mV W' h ......,.....,,3? . This composite drawing shows a suspect in last week's armored truck robbery. Drawing released of robbery suspect The FBI released a composite drawing Saturday of a suspect in last week's robbery of a Brink's armored truck in Burnsville. The drawing is of a white man with graying hair. He was described as being 6 feet or slightly taller and between 30 and 40 years old. The man is one of three or four people believed to have robbed the Brink's truck Tuesday while guards were loading money from First Bank Burnsville on County Rd. 42 near Burnsville Center. The suspects took several bags of money before a guard drove off, ending the robbery attempt. - -The FBI is investigating similarities between the robbery and an armored car heist in Eden Prairie last year, in which nearly $1 million was taken. The FBI requests anyone with information about the man to call investigators at (6 1 2) 339-786 1 . Engineer arrested in kickback probe Federal and Hennepin County law- enforcement agents arrested a consulting engineer early Saturday in an investigation of alleged kickbacks sought from subcontractors working on a building in Chanhassen. The FBI said that Arkady Sigal, 41, of Plainview, N.Y., was arrested at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport while allegedly trying to collect a $30,000 kickback from a Min-netonka contractor. A news release by the FBI and the Hennepin County Sheriffs Department said Sigal is expected to be charged with fraud. He was taken to the county's adult-detention center, where he will be held until a court appearance Monday. Sigal is a consulting engineer employed by a Long Island engineering firm. The firm was hired by an Eden Prairie electronics company to oversee the construction of the building in Chanhassen. MERC PRESENTS MINNESOTA MINORITY JOB FAIR Thursday, April 5, 1 990 1 0 a.m. -5:30 p.m. ROY WILKINS Auditorium Ballroom St. Paul Civic Center, 1 43 W. 4th St., St. Paul, MN Prior registration is not required. ADMISSION FREE! 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Kick the smoking habit. Live a long healthy life. Be in control. Join the thousands who have stopped smoking with Dr. Patton's safe, effective program. It works! Now you can get the help you need with Dr. Patton's award winning program. Dr. Patton is a nationally recognized expert in the use of group behavioral hypnosis and her program is endorsed by doctors, hospitals and businesses. One session does it No need for gum or expensive follow-up courses. Be smart Be successful. Attend this programl You won't regret it MINNEAPOLIS THIS COULD BITHI BEST CHAMCX YOU'LL KVUHAVriTO "STOP SUOXINO- 0 1 ' U Dr. Shari K. Patton, PhD. SEMINAR DIRECTOR Or. Sht Pitton, Ph,D It certified end registered Hypnotherapist Region! Vic Praafchnt of the Nitond Boerd br Hypnotic Mammixw. txexuftn Soerd member of National Society of Hypnotherapisti Autw , and con-Jftant to phyaUini. dentists, church, ducatlonal Institutions md Industry. Dr. Patton Is often a popular guest on radio and totoritaon. 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