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Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Sparkle power
. . . .

Sparkle power

Kristi Kates - February 21st, 2011
Sparkle Power: Aluminum Show puts the pedal to the metal
By Kristi Kates
Combining movement, plenty of dance, astounding visual theater, and even a
little humor, The Aluminum Show is perhaps one of the more unusual
performances to step onto the City Opera House stage in Traverse City.
An Israeli-based company that’s garnered worldwide recognition for its
artistic and unique approach, the Show has toured across the globe, making
what at first appear to be simple hardware-store implements into an
intriguing and futuristic on-stage world.
The show’s creator, Ilan Azriel, had a one-man puppet-type show that he
was operating across the world several years ago. A stop in Las Vegas
exposed Azriel to shows by the likes of Blue Man Group, inspiring him to
return to his homeland of Israel to create something bigger.
“He didn’t want to copy the shows he’d seen in Las Vegas,” explains
Aluminum Show producer David Azulay, “he wanted to be inspired to make
something big and new that was his own.”

HARDWARE INSPIRATION
Azriel began searching for materials to use in a new stage show, looking
everywhere for ideas, including hardware stores.
“He was actually at a hardware store when he saw some aluminum tubes up on
a shelf, the kind that were used for air conditioning,” Azulay explains.
“As he pulled a box off of a shelf, one of the tubes fell out. He put it
on his hand, and started moving his hand around as if it were a puppet. He
liked the way it came to life, and he thought, ‘if I can do this with just
my hand, what would this tube look like if I put a dancer in it?’”
That is precisely what Azriel did. Acquiring a range of industrial factory
materials from castoffs (“factory leftovers,” Azulay calls them) to
custom-created tubes adapted from the original air conditioning tubes
(made more flexible so the dancers could ‘wear’ them), Azriel put together
a roster of items to help his performers build the set, dress the cast,
and interact with the audience.
“Some of the materials are just regular things you could buy at Home
Depot,” Azulay chuckles, “and some are custom. In addition to the tubes,
we use mylar, aluminum foil, and we built our set from sheets of aluminum.
We try to use the aluminum in everything we use in the show.”
Hence the show’s theme, of course - and it’s accompanying storyline, which
outlines the tale of a machine determined to reunite with its family,
traveling through a bizarre technological world and acquiring friends -
one of them human - along the way.

METAL TRANSFORMATIONS
The challenges, Azulay explains, mostly lie with the performers
themselves, who have to be specially trained in order to adapt to
performing with these unusual costumes-slash-props.
“The dancers dance inside and outside of the tubes,” he points out, “so
they are not in the tubes all of the time. But they still have to learn,
especially when wearing the tubes, a sense of direction onstage, how to
find their place on the stage, and how to ‘humanize’ the tubes so as to
relate to the audience.”
The dancers - 10 of whom were selected for this particular tour - were
auditioned in New York City in August, sent to Israel in September, and
returned to the U.S. in December to begin this tour, after about three
months of training. They will stay with The Aluminum show’s U.S. run until
late May, and then it’s on to Spain and South America.
The creator’s, producer’s, and dancers’ efforts, are succeeding, according
to great critical reviews of the show, and according to Azulay himself,
who seems just as impressed by the show as the audience, even though he’s
essentially part of it.
“You look at these cold, metal things sitting on stage,” Azulay says,
“and, at first, they are nothing. Then, you can suddenly see emotions in
them - you can see they’re happy, you can see they’re sad, you can see the
audience relating to them. It’s amazing.”

The Aluminum Show will hit the stage at the City Opera House in Traverse
City on February 24, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $35/$20. For tix or more
information, visit
www.cityoperahouse.org or telephone
231-941-8082.

 
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