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Explore North America’s Rich Multi-Cultural Heritage in ‘Festival of Traditional Arts’ at Frostburg State University
10/01/2007

Concert, Workshop Showcases Unique Music, Dances of Different Nationalities

Enjoy a spirited evening of folk dancing and music and learn what makes North America’s cultural history so vibrant when Frostburg State University presents the North American Festival of Traditional Arts with a daytime percussive dance workshop at 2:30 p.m. and an evening concert at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14.

The North American Festival of Traditional Arts showcases heroes of folk music and dance from Mexico, French Canada and the Southern Appalachian region of the United States in a lively demonstration of the Spanish, French and English heritage in the continent of North America. Check out how each nationality has created its own unique folk music with passionate singing styles and instrumental virtuosity, complemented by different forms of percussive dance.

Grupo Mono Blanco, hailing from Veracruz, Mexico, are acknowledged as champions of the revitalization of the son jarocho musical style. They have performed extensively, throughout Mexico and on numerous international tours. Their music features virtuoso lead jarana (the guitar-like instrument of Veracruzanos), juxtaposed with improvised vocal dialogues and accompanied by an energetic rhythmic dance and percussion played on a donkey’s jawbone.

Rapetipetam, an explosive sextet hailing from Montreal, expertly fuses music and dance, energy and refinement and tradition and creation. Their Quebecois music, played on fiddles, accordions and piano, is driving and precise and matched by the flamboyant and complete step dancing that is the hallmark of French culture in the New World.

Heidi Clare and AtaGallop are the hot young band currently at the pinnacle of Southern Appalachian old-time music. Fiddler and clog dancer Heidi Clare was featured in the film soundtrack to “Cold Mountain” and the national tour of “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” Her vocal style is straight out of the mountains, and her clog dancing adds excitement to her performances.

Kick up your heels and learn a few steps of your own earlier in the day by checking out a percussive dance workshop at 2:30 p.m. in the Alice R. Manicur Assembly Hall in FSU’s Lane University Center. Participants will be introduced to three styles of folk dancing: Quebecois, a precise and rapid step dance similar to Irish step dance; Southern Appalachian clogging, a more relaxed and freewheeling dance style with high kicks and jumps, and veracruzano, a physically aggressive style with metered stomping that creates a powerful percussive drive. Those who attend this workshop will get to learn the basic steps and perform them to music. The workshop is free and open to the public. Space is limited and reservations are required: call Carol Clites at (301) 687-7420.

Then later that evening, the North American Festival of Traditional Arts brings its talented performers to the stage for a concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Art Center’s Pealer Recital Hall. Take a cultural tour without leaving your seat as dancers demonstrate steps and styles from Mexico, French Canada and the South Appalachian region, performed to diverse folk music. Tickets are required for this event and are $16 for the general public, $14 for FSU faculty and staff, $13 for children under 17 and $5 for FSU students. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the FSU Cultural Events Box Office at (301) 687-3137 or toll free at 1-866-TIXX-CES, or visit online at ces.frostburg.edu.

This tour of North American Festival of Traditional Arts is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and is sponsored in part with the Folklore & Folklife Programming at FSU and the Best Western Braddock Hotel. FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services, and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. You may request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office at (301) 687-4102, TDD (301) 687-7955.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu