Detroit Performs

S1 E23 | FULL EPISODE

Orchestra Hall

Detroit's dance scene takes center stage in Dance on Detroit; Artist Gunilla Klingberg uses logos to create her interesting pieces; Dance company Ayikodans puts Haitian heritage front and center; and a unique concert performance by composer Mason Bates and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Plus, host DJ Oliver heads to Orchestra Hall. Episode 123B.

AIRED: August 26, 2014 | 0:25:13
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> IN THIS EDITION OF "DETROIT PERFORMS", THE

CITY'S DRIVING DANSZ SCENE TAKES CENTER STAGE.

AN ARTIST'S INTERESTING WAY OF USING LOGOS.

A COMPANY PUTS HAITIAN HERITAGE FRONT AND CENTER.

A UNIQUE CONCERT PERFORMANCE BY THE DETROIT

SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. AND CRITIC CAR DETROIT

SHARES A DSO REVIEW, ALL AHEAD ON TODAY'S EPISODE OF

"DETROIT PERFORMS". >> MAJOR FUNDING IS PROVIDED

BY:

>> HELLO, AND WELCOME TO "DETROIT PERFORMS".

I'M YOUR HOST, D.J. OLIVER, AND WE ARE AT ORCHESTRA HALL,

HOME TO THE WORLD-RENOWNED DETROIT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.

FOUNDED IN 1887, IT IS THE FOURTH-OLDEST ORCHESTRA IN

THE UNITED STATES. WE'LL SEE A PERFORMANCE

LATER IN THE SHOW. BUT FIRST UP, DETROIT'S

DANCE SCENE IS LAVISH, FROM PERFORMANCES ON STAGES LIKE

ORCHESTRA HALL TO DANCE CLUBS SCATTERED ACROSS THE

CITY AND IMPROMPTU DANCERS ALONG THE STREETS

OF GREEKTOWN. HERE WE TAKE A LOOK AT

WHAT'S HAPPENING TO MOVE THE MOTOR CITY IN DANCE

ON DETROIT.

>> DETROIT HAS BEEN A MECCA FOR DANCE FOR A

HUNDRED YEARS. >>, ISADORA DUNCAN, MARTHA

GRAHAM, BALLY ROOS, HERE AT THE MUSIC HALL, AMERICAN

VALLEY THEATER, HERE AT CITY VALLEY, HERE AT THE

MUSIC HALL. IT'S UNBELIEVABLE.

THERE ARE OTHER THEATERS, TOO, I DON'T THINK THERE IS

ANY MAJOR THEATER THAT HAS NOT BEEN HERE.

>> DANCE THEATER OF HARLEM AND DETROIT HAVE A VERY

LONG RELATIONSHIP. I COME IN THE 70s COMING TO

DO LECTURE DEMONSTRATIONS AND PERFORMING EVERY YEAR

HERE IN THIS WONDERFUL CITY. >> I HAVE TO SAY OVER THE

ALMOST EIGHT YEARS WE'VE BEEN HERE, IT'S BEEN

INCREDIBLE TO SEE HOW MUCH FULLER AND BUSIER AND

ELECTRIC THE CITY IS ON A DAILY BASIS.

PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE INFLUENCE OF DETROIT

DANCE ON NEW YORK CITY, WHAT'S BEING CHOREOGRAPHED,

WHAT'S BEING PERFORMED, WHAT'S GOING ON

AROUND THE NATION. THEY'RE ALL COMING

FROM DETROIT. >> WHEN I CAME HERE, I

DIDN'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT THIS WONDERFUL THEATER, AND I

REMEMBER SEEING THE FIRST SHOW, AND BEING SO IMPRESSED.

THIS IS BROADWAY CALIBER. >> THERE IS A LOT OF

OPPORTUNITY HERE. ALVIN AILEY IS HERE AND

DANCE THEATER OF HARLEM IS HERE, AND I AUDITIONS FOR

THEM AS WELL. WHEN I MET PEOPLE FROM OTHER

PARTS OF THE COUNTRY WHO ARE DANCERS, THEL SAY "I WISH WE

HAD AN OPERAHOUSE WHERE I LIVE," WHERE ALL THESE

PEOPLE AND AMAZING COMPANIES COME AND RECRUIT DANCERS,

BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY.

>> TO BE A PROFESSIONAL DANCER, YOU HAVE TO KNOW AND

SET A GOAL, AND CONSTANTLY TRY TO ACHIEVE IT AND REACH

IT, AND ONCE YOU MAKE THAT ACHIEVEMENT, ONCE YOU GET TO

THE END, YOU SET A NEW GOAL. YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT

YOU FEED YOUR BODY, NOT JUST GOOD FOOD BUT GOOD ENERGY,

SURROUND IT WITH GOOD PEOPLE SO YOU CAN, IN TURN, SEE

SOMETHING LARGER THAN YOU AND REACH WHERE THEY ARE.

>> ONE OF THE REASONS WHY MANY ARTISTS COMES THROUGH

TO DETROIT IS BECAUSE THERE'S SUCH A WEALTH OF

ARTISTS HERE, AND YOUNG ARTISTS, AND GROWING ARTISTS

WHO ACTUALLY HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHATEVER -- AN

UNDERSTANDING OF WHATEVER GENRE THEY'RE DOING, WHETHER

THAT BE DANCE OR VISUAL ARTS.

I FOUND THROUGHOUT THE YEARS WHEN I WAS IN THE ALVIN

AILEY GROUP AT THE MASONIC TEMPLE, THERE WERE FOUR

MEMBERS IN THE COMPANY FROM THE DETROIT AREA AT THAT

TIME, SO IT PUT IT ON THE MAP FOR ME, BECAUSE I DIDN'T

KNOW MUCH ABOUT DETROIT EXCEPT OBVIOUSLY MOTOWN AND

THE MUSIC THAT HAS COME OUT OF HERE.

>> NEW YORK IS A VERY TRANSIENT PLACE; DETROIT IS

A FINAL DESTINATION, WHERE YOU BUILD YOUR HOME AND YOU

PUT YOUR KIDS IN SCHOOL, AND WE'RE EXCHANGING CULTURAL

IDEAS, AND OUT OF THAT COMES THIS PROLIFIC, YOU KNOW,

ARTWORK AND CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION.

>> THERE ARE STUDENTS, AND CHILDREN IN PARTICULAR, WHO

ARE NOT NECESSARILY LITERARY LEARNERS; THEY ARE KINESTHETIC

-- KINESTHETIC LEARNERS, AND WE HAVE TO HELP THEM BE

JUST AS COMPETITIVE AND SUCCESSFUL IN SCHOOL.

THAT'S ONE THING WE CAN USE IN SO MANY DIFFERENT

ATMOSPHERES, AND SO MANY SENIOR CITIZENS, YOU PUT ON

MUSIC, AND YOU WILL SEE EVERYONE SMILING RIGHT AWAY.

>> DETROIT IS NOT THE EASIEST PLACE ON EARTH TO

LIVE, BUT I THINK WHAT IT DOES, IT PROVIDES YOU WITH A

BACKGROUND AND A STRENGTH AND A CONVICTION, BUT ONCE

YOU HAVE THAT CONVICTION, THEN YOU UNDERSTAND THE

DIVERSITY THAT IS AVAILABLE WITHIN THIS REGION.

YOU'RE SET FOR THE WORLD, AND YOU'RE READY TO GO AND,

YOU KNOW, EXPLORE THE WORLD AND MOVE ON, AND I THINK

THAT'S WHAT GIVES DETROITERS THIS GREAT -- GIVES

DETROITERS THIS GREAT FOUNDATION.

>> DANCE TAUGHT ME TIME MANAGEMENT FOR SURE, WITH

DOING A.P. AND HONORS CLASSES AND SCHOOLS AND OVER

25 HOURS A WEEK HERE, IT'S MADE ME WELL ROUNDED AND

ALLOWED ME TO PLAN MY DAY AND KEEP SCHEDULES STRAIGHT

AND BE RESPONSIBLE. >> DANCE IS A PART OF LIFE;

IT'S NOT A TOOL OF ENTERTAINMENT.

IT HAS BECOME A TOOL OF ENTERTAINMENT BECAUSE THE

WESTERN WORLD HAS EMBRACED IT AND SELLS IT AS A

COMMODITY, BUT IT'S A WAY OF LIFE TO CELEBRATE LIFE,

BIRTH, MARRIAGE, CALMING DOWN THE GODS AND THE

GODDESSES, IT'S A SPIRITUAL PLACE WHERE PEOPLE CAN

TRANSCEND WITH SPIRIT AND COMMUNE WITH GOD, A PLACE

WHERE PEOPLE CAN ALLOW THEMSELVES TO TRANSCEND INTO

THE ANCESTRAL WORLD BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE DANCING YOUR

SPIRIT INTO THE ANCESTRAL WORLD.

SO DANCE IS LIFE. >> YOU DON'T HAVE TO DANCE

IN THE COMPANY TO BE A DANCER.

I MEAN, I'M NOT DANCING NOW, BUT I STILL FEEL DANCE.

§

>> IN A WAY, DETROIT'S RENOWN AS A CULTURAL CENTER

IS MORE NOTED OUTSIDE DETROIT THAN HERE.

WHEN I'M IN EUROPE, PEOPLE IN EUROPE ARE EXCITED ABOUT

THE DETROIT CULTURAL HISTORY AND MUSIC AND THE ARTS.

WE ALL KNOW AND ARE PROUD OF WHAT WE HAVE IN DETROIT, BUT

I THINK IN SOME WAYS WE DON'T VALUE IT THE WAY

OTHERS DO OUTSIDE THE CITY. >> WE SAY DANCE ON DETROIT

BECAUSE EVERYBODY IS GOING TO BE DOING IT, WHY DON'T

YOU JOIN US? >> DANCE ON DETROIT!

§

AS YOU SEE BEHIND ME, THE DETROIT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

HAS A BEAUTIFUL LOGO, JUST THE TYPE OF LOGO SWEDISH ARTIST

GUNILLA KLINGBERG MAY BE INSPIRED TO USE IN ONE OF

HER VERY CREATIVE PIECES OF ART.

§

>> FOR A LONG TIME, I'VE COLLECTED THESE FROM MY

EVERYDAY LIFE AND EVERYDAY SHOPPING.

YOU CAN SAY THAT THESE BRANDS LINK US ALL TOGETHER

T. HAS TO DO WITH EVERYDAY ROUTINES AND EVERYDAY

RITUALS, AND I THINK THE WAY THAT THESE BRANDS COME INTO

OUR PRIVATE SPHERE, WE CARRY THE PLASTIC BAG WITH US FROM

THE PUBLIC AREA OR THE SUPERMARKET.

IT ALSO LINKS THE PRIVATE AND THE PUBLIC AREA.

>> I MAKE THE PATTERNS ON THE COMPUTER FOR THIS, THEN

IT TAKES SOME TIME TO MAKE THE SELECTION AND TO TRY OUT

DIFFERENT VERSIONS, AND THEN IT'S A VECTOR FILE THAT IS

BLOWN UP, AND PUT IN VINYL. EVEN THOUGH IT'S COMPUTER

WORK, IT FEELS LIKE CRAFT WORK TO ME, ALMOST LIKE

EMBROIDERING OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

THIS IS A COMBINATION OF HOW THEY GRAPHICALLY WORK FOR

THE PATTERN AS WELL AS IF I DO FIND THE BRAND

NAME INTERESTING. IT'S MADE AS A PATTERN.

YOU MIGHT NOT FIRST RECOGNIZE ALL THE LOGO, BUT

QUITE QUICK, OKAY, THIS IS A FAMILIAR LOGO, AND THAT.

SO MAYBE THESE LOGOS WILL BECOME INTO OUR MINDS IN AN

UNCONSCIOUS WAY. THE COMBINATION, ICONOGRAPHY

TAKEN FROM THE WESTERN WORLD, CONSUMER WORLD.

WITH THIS IMAGE WHICH IS LIKE A SACRED MANDALA THAT

CAN HELP US IN MEDITATION. YOU NEED TO TAKE THAT IN,

THAT THIS MIGHT BE A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE PASS TWO TIMES

A DAY, FIVE DAYS A WEEK, BACK AND FORTH TO WORK, AND

THE REASON WHY I WANTED TO EXTEND THE PATTERN OUT FROM

THE GALLERY AREA INTO THE FOYER AREA IS THAT I WANTED

THE PATTERN TO BE OUT IN A MORE PUBLIC SPACE.

THE VIRAL ASPECT OF THE ARTWORK THAT IS ACTUALLY

CONTINUING AND IT'S GROWING AND SO YOU'RE SURROUNDED

MORE OR LESS BY THE PATTERNS. NOT UNLIKE THE IDEA THAT

SORT OF MERGE THE ARTWORK INTO THE ACTUAL ARCHITECTURE,

AND TO ME THAT WAS MORE OF A CHALLENGE AND INTERESTING

WAY OF WORKING WITH MY IDEAS, HOW AND WHY, IF IT'S

PRESENTED HERE AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN.

>> TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT GUNILLA, HEAD TO DETROIT

PERFORMS.ORG. NOW LET'S CHECK OUT SOME

EVENTS HAPPENING IN AND AROUND DETROIT.

§

§

>> IN THE WAKE OF THE 2010 DEVASTATING EARTHQUAKE IN

HAITI, A PROMINENT PORT-AU-PRINCE DANCE COMPANY

FACED TRAGEDY WHEN THE STUDIO WAS DESTROYED.

WITH HELP FROM MIAMI COMMUNITY LEADERS, THE

STUNNING ENSEMBLE HAS SINCE RECEIVED GLOWING

INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION FOR THEIR PERFORMANCES ON STAGE.

>> YOU'RE GOING TO GET AN IDEA OF HAITI, I MEAN, THE

REAL HAITI, THE ONE YOU DON'T SEE IN TV, THE ONE

THAT'S BEHIND. >> AYIKODANS IS HAITI IN

CREOLE, THAT'S CREOLE THAT'S THE NAME THAT'S ALWAYS

SAY HAITI. CONTRA DANCE IS A KIND OF

DANCE WE HAVE IN OUR TRADITION, IN OUR

TRADITIONAL DANCE. IT'S LIKE A VALSE.

IT DANCES 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3. I SAW THE COULDN'T RADANCE.

IT'S A KIND OF DANCE RELATED REALLY TO WHAT I AM DOING.

IT'S NOT 100% HAITIAN, IT'S NOT 100% EUROPEAN OR

OCCIDENTAL, BUT THIS IS THE KIND, THIS IS WHY I HAVE

DECIDED TO PUT HAITI CONTRA DANCE.

IT GIVES YOU AIKODANCE.

§

>> IT'S CRUDE. IT'S REAL.

THERE'S NOTHING AT THAT MOMENT FOR THAT SPECIFIC

TIMING OF DANCING IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT.

THERE'S DIFFERENT STORIES, DIFFERENT VIBES GOING ON

BETWEEN THE DRUMMERS AND THE DANCERS.

SO IT WILL ALWAYS BE DIFFERENT, AND THAT'S WHAT I

LIKE ABOUT IT.

§

>> AY DANCERS OR MYSELF, WE ARE HERE TODAY; WE DON'T

KNOW WHERE WE WILL BE TOMORROW.

SO EVERY TIME THESE DANCERS THEY STEP ONSTAGE, IT'S LIKE

THEY ARE STRUGGLING, AND THEY ARE TRYING TO TELL

THEIR REAL STORY. >> THEIR PHYSICALITY IS

EXTRAORDINARY. THEIR WAY OF DANCING

TOGETHER ON THE STAGE IS EXTRAORDINARY.

AND THEY DANCE AS IF THEY ARE NEVER GOING TO

DANCE AGAIN. WHETHER YOU'RE A DOCTOR OR A

PRESIDENT OF AN ARTS CENTER, A BRICK LAYER, A CARPENTER,

WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING, IF YOU SEE, HEAR, AND FEEL THIS

EXPRESSION OF DANCE, I GUARANTEE YOU, YOU WILL BE

HIGHLY UPLIFTED AND READY FOR YOUR NEXT DAY OF WORK.

THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS TO THE ENERGY LEVEL INSIDE

YOUR OWN BODY.

§

>> I LIKE LIGHT, BECAUSE WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE

PIECE, YOU SEE THE MOVEMENT, YOU KNOW, HOW YOU MOVE IN

SPACE AND THE COLOR. THIS IS PART OF HAITI'S

STORY, THE DANCE, AND THE BLUE DISCOLOR, BUT THE

BEAUTY OF IT, IT'S SOMETHING VERY ARTISTIC.

WE DIDN'T WANT TO BRING ON STAGE THE MISERY.

EVERY TIME THEY THINK ABOUT HAITI, THEY WILL THINK THAT

WE ARE CRYING. WE CRY INSIDE, WE FEEL IT.

WE CREATE THROUGH THIS STRUGGLE.

BUT WE DON'T NEED PITY; WE NEED TO SHARE THE BEAUTY OF

WHAT WE HAVE WITH PEOPLE. >> THE MAN FOR AIKO DANCE

WAS CREATED BECAUSE HAITIANS ARE HERE, AND ALONG WITH

OTHER DIVERSE COMMUNITIES THAT ARE HERE.

>> OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ART CENTER IS SOMETHING

VERY SPECIAL. IT'S MORE THAN BEING IN A

THEATER; IT'S A PARTNERSHIP, IT'S FRIENDSHIP, AND

HOPEFULLY WE WILL BE TOGETHER FOR YEARS.

>> IT'S A PERFECT -- PERFECT KIND OF MATCH.

§

>> IN TERMS OF ART, IN TERMS OF WHAT THE ART IS OVER

THERE, WANTS TO SAY, I THINK YOU SHOULD COME AND SEE THIS

OTHER ANGLE OF HAITI AND WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY ABOUT

OUR COUNTRY, ABOUT OUR CULTURE, ABOUT OUR COLORS

AND OUR JOYS, OUR PAIN, EVERYTHING.

I HOPE I DO LEAVE PEOPLE WITH A CERTAIN MESSAGE THAT

I HAVE IN MY HEART. IF YOU WANT TO CRY, IF YOU

WANT TO LAUGH, IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE MAD, THEN I DID

MY JOB; THEN I'M GLAD WITH THAT.

>> THE CULTURE OF HAITIAN MOVEMENT AND DANCE AND

EXPRESSION IS SO POSITIVE, SO UPBEAT, AND THAT'S A PART

OF HAITI WE THINK WE CAN HELP CREATE THE PLATFORM FOR

THE REST OF THE WORLD TO SEE. >> TO LEARN MORE ABOUT

AYIKODANS AND ALL THE OTHER ARTISTS TODAY, HEAD TO

DETROITPERFORMS.ORG. >>> COMPOSER MASON BATES IS

KNOWN FOR CREATING SYMPHONIC MUSIC THAT BLENDS

ELECTRONICA WITH CLASSICAL ORCHESTRAS.

THE FINAL MOVEMENT OF HIS WORK "B-SIDES" WAS ACTUALLY

INSPIRED BY THE BIRTHPLACE OF TECHNO: DETROIT.

HERE IS MASON BATES PERFORMING THAT MOVEMENT

CALLED "WAREHOUSE MEDICINE" WITH THE DETROIT SYMPHONY

ORCHESTRA.

§

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[ APPLAUSE ]

[ APPLAUSE ]

>> TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BATES AND THE DETROIT SYMPHONY

ORCHESTRA, HEAD TO DETROIT PERFORMS.ORG.

NEXT UP, MOBILE ARTS JOURNALISM TEAM CRITIC CAR

DETROIT CAUGHT UP WITH FRENCH HORN PLAYER MARK

ABBOTT AFTER THE DSO JOHN WILLIAMS PERFORMANCE.

§

>> HI, MY NAME IS MARK ABBOTT.

I'M THE FRENCH HORNIST WITH THE DETROIT SYMPHONY

ORCHESTRA, AND WE PLAYED A CONCERT BY JOHN

WILLIAMS TONIGHT. JOHN WILLIAMS WROTE FOR THE

FRENCH HORN JUST IN A WAY THAT NO OTHER COMPOSER

MAYBE SINCE MAHLER HAS WRITTEN, JUST FANTASTIC WORK

FOR THE HORNE, AND IT'S A LITTLE UNIQUE THAT WE DO ONE

COMPOSER ON ANY GIVEN CONCERT, BUT IT SORT OF

DEPICTED HIS LIFE AS A COMPOSER ALL THE WAY FROM I

THINK ONE OF HIS FIRST COMPOSITIONS, "JAWS", WHICH

WAS 1970s ALL THE WAY UP TO HARRY POTTER AND ONE OF THE

MOST RECENT, I BELIEVE, WAS "LINCOLN", SO WE HAD SORT OF

A CHRONOLOGICAL, YOU KNOW, ORDER OF WHAT HE WROTE

DURING HIS LIFE. ONLY SCRATCHED THE SURFACE,

AS A MATTER OF FACT. A UNIQUE CONCERT.

I LOVED EVERY SECOND.

§

>> YOU CAN VIEW MORE OF CRITIC-CAR DETROIT'S CITIZEN

REVIEWS ON THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE AND YOUTUBE CHANNEL,

WHICH YOU CAN FIND THROUGH DETROITPERFORMS.ORG.

THAT WRAPS IT UP FOR THIS EDITION OF

"DETROIT PERFORMS". FOR MORE ARTS AND CULTURE,

VISIT DETROITPERFORMS.ORG, WHERE YOU'LL FIND FEATURE

VIDEOS, BLOGS, AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING ARTS

EVENTS, AND DON'T FORGET TO LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AND

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER. WE'D LIKE TO THANK ORCHESTRA

HALL FOR HAVING US HERE TODAY AND FOR ALLOW USING A

SNEAK PEEK INTO A CONCERT. UNTIL NEXT TIME, GET OUT

THERE AND SHOW THE WORLD HOW DETROIT PERFORMS.

I'M D.J. OLIVER. THANKS FOR WATCHING.

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