On Friday night, the student group Groove put on an energetic, fast paced performance in the Michigan Theater. The bi-annual event has a different theme each year and this season the subtitle was “Innocent Until Groovin’ Guilty.” The evening opened with a spoof film of a criminal case in which Groove members were prosecuted for making too much noise. The convicts were detained in a cell and when they were finally freed, they sprang forth from the silver screen onto the stage and began drumming with spirit. Using non-traditional instruments, such as garbage cans, bicycles, ladders, umbrellas, newspaper, and more, the show turned regular objects on their heads and made them entertaining in a whole new way. The performers also demonstrated their talent with traditional instruments, like guitar, drum set, electric violin, and keyboard. Each scene told a story using a variety of wild costumes and lots of bold singing and acting. One of the funniest sketches was a rap battle between two sections of a middle school band in which the lyrics spoofed off of popular rap songs but using lyrics associated with pre-pubescence and the terrible awkwardness of middle school. Another memorable sketch was a play on the James Bond theme, where some Groove members were taken hostage while others came to the rescue, all the while hammering away a beat.

The audience was totally packed and seemed to love every second of the show. It takes a lot for a student group to pack a full house at the Michigan Theater!  Some fans were also there to support to opening acts, EnCore and Rhythm student dance groups, as well as interluding musicians James Cornelison and Julian Allen.  The exciting evening concluded with a sentimental- albeit comedic- farewell to the senior Groovers as well as an audience shout out from a large sum of Groove alumni who had returned to Ann Arbor for the special event. It was a totally energetic evening, full of comedy, musical talent, and pure entertainment.

PREVIEW: Who is Luther Burbank?

Who is Luther Burbank?

WHO IS LUTHER BURBANK?– a new piece in eighteen parts. Three students from a variety of arts related disciplines have teamed up to create an original work of experimental theater. Willie Filkowski, an Interarts Performance major, Corey Smith, a composition major, and Nola Smith, a dancer major, have designed an extracurricular, innovative performance involving a variety of curious media: “dancing, text, video, original music, potatoes, prizes, costume changes, a LOT of dirt.” Inspired by a 1914 found text, Our Wonder World Vol. X: The Quiz Book, the collaborative event will entertain and puzzle, but ultimately answer the questions “Who is Luther Burbank?”

Presented with support from Basement Arts and Arts at Michigan, “WILB?” will run Thursday April 18-Saturday April 20. Performances are FREE and begin at 7 pm each night, with an additional late show at 11 pm on Friday the 19th. The show will be held in the Walgreen Drama Center on North Campus. See you there!

REVIEW: DANCE MFA Looking Back, Moving Forward

DANCE MFA Looking Back, Moving Forward

This weekend, dance MFA candidates J. Lindsay Brown and Jessica post showcased their year long choreographic projects. The first half of the piece included live string and brass instruments (composed performed by Music school MFA’s). The piece featured three undergraduate dancers who performed a narrative about movement and the human condition. The stage was designed such that there were three sides to it. During intermission, the chairs were moved and the second half of the performance took place with audience members watching from all four sides of the room. The second piece told the non traditional versions of several well known fairy tales, including Rapunzel and Sleeping beauty. The reenactment seemed to be made of a collage of ancient renditions as well as contemporary ones, like Disney. Again, this piece featured undergraduate dancers. It was exciting to see such an experimental performance in such a familiar setting. I greatly  enjoyed both the stories the pieces told as well as the steely technique they exhibited.

REVIEW: Covered: Gifts of Art


This semester, I am taking  Barbara Brown’s Book Arts class through the School of A&D. Over the course of four months, my class and I have bound several styles of books in various media: wood, leather, paper, metal, thread, digital design, collage, photography, illustration, text, printmaking, and more. Some books tell literal stories while others show illustration. Some books have blank pages while others have full spreads of design. These artist books are so much more than simply spaces for narration or illustration, however. They are gorgeous, laborious, contemporary artifacts that pay homage to  that ancient and dying art of bookbinding.

With a range of skill sets in the course- from artists, to engineers, to architects, to writers- these books have grown into a beautiful collection of work. From now until June 10th, a selection of these artist books will be on display at the Taubman Health Center’s Gifts of Art show. In the lobby of the main entrance to the hospital is a gallery that features a rotating collection of local artwork. Be sure to stop in and look around at the student work. The variety and talent on display is worth the visit! To learn more about artist books, check out Barbara Brown’s website. The gallery is open from 8 am to 8 pm. See you there!

REVIEW: Dance Mix

Dance Mix

Last Friday at The Power Center, Dance Mix took the stage and blew the audience away. The show was high energy, exciting, and full of variety. The program included dances from about ten student dance groups. The Dance Mix Core- comprised of Impact, FunKtion, Element 1, Encore, and Rhythm- organized the event. Earlier in the year, other dance groups auditioned to be featured. Among the groups selected, Cadance, Groove, Photonix, Outrage, Michigan Raas, Bhangra, and Manzil performed. From jazz, to tap, tap, from  lyrical to hip-hop,  from  traditional Indian dance to dance theater, from glow sticks to STOMP style drumming, the evening exhibited a vast array of techniques. Some groups were all female, others were all male. Some were athletic while others were dainty. No matter who showed what,  everyone brought great energy but with their own style. The audience was packed and, throughout the nearly three hour event, remained equally as hyped as the performers. It was a fantastic event and a wonderful culmination to a year of hard work for these dancers.

PREVIEW: Last Word of Mouth StorySLAM of the Year!: Liberation



Thursday, April 4th 2013


Doors at 8:00 pm, stories at 8:30

Word of Mouth is back for our final event of 2013. Never been to our slams before? Audience members tell five-minute stories from their lives related to a theme. The friendly competition includes appetizers and live music.

In collaboration with Hillel, this month focuses on stories of Liberation. In light of the recent Passover holiday, which recognizes a historic Liberation, we’ve chosen the theme. But it does not have to pertain to history, Judaism, or religion at all. Perhaps the theme is pertinent because graduation is on the horizon, or summer vacation.

If you have stories of release, renewal, letting go, or breaking free, come share them at our slam!

You should notice that we’ve moved! If you’re used to seeing us at Work Gallery on State Street, don’t fret. We are trying a new space. The UM Hillel is located just off campus. Click here for directions.

Can’t wait to see you there!

In the meantime, check us out online:




To get emails about more upcoming events and workshops or to join our planning crew, shoot us an email.