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Cultural musical smorgasbord served up by AMAN

Joyce Rudolph

For those who dream of experiencing colorful and exciting

entertainment offered by cultures around the world, this weekend an

eclectic program of music and dancing comes to you. The AMAN Folk

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Ensemble has created a show honoring the integration of new Americans in

its West Coast premiere Sunday at The Alex Theatre in Glendale.

“The Immigrants” is a perfect complement for a Thanksgiving weekend,

reminding us of the Pilgrims’ first holiday after arriving from England,

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says Romalyn Tilghman, AMAN’s executive director.

“All of us came to America from some place else, but everybody has

brought something with them in the line of tradition,” she says. “In our

show, all these artists working together exemplies how cultures can come

together. And while there are lots of bad things inbetween, this is

living out the best of the American dream.”

The show’s prologue features a Yupik maskmaker, a Northwest American

Indian, who performs a chant about journeys. It’s a great way to start

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off the program, Tilghman says.

Several other pieces have been brought here by other performers who

want to share music and dance from their native countries.

Hungarian dances, the Mehkereki, man’s solo dance, and the bottle

dance, are traditional dances brought here by dance director Istvan

Szaboborn, who was raised and learned to dance in Hungry.

The bottle dance has beautiful costumes, Tilghman says. Szaboborn went

to the village to have them made. Each has its own individual patterns,

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so no two are alike. The skirt, apron, petticoat, blouse, vest, hat and

handkerchief of each of the four women dancers are in a different

pattern. The skirts are pleated -- each the size of woman’s hand.

As this is a harvest dance, they are all dancing with bottles on their

head, and the bottles are filled with liquid. “They twirl with them on

their head, and build bridges with their hands and walk under the bridges

-- there’s a lot of movement,” Tilghman says.

In contrast to that, there is a South African Gumboot dance, a man’s

dance that came out of the gold mines of South Africa. It’s a protest

dance, a chance to let off steam, she says. It was brought to the company

by associate dancer David Mabowe, who is from South Africa.

“The dance movements incorporate stomping and slapping of the boots,

maybe to get the gold dust off,” Tilghman says. “There is some yelling,

which may represent protests against the mine owners or missing your

sweetheart, she says. Tilghman says the program features the best this

country has to offer as a result of all the groups that have come

together. “I think it’s an excellent expression of what it’s like to

live in Southern California at the turn of the century,” she sayd.

Sunday’s show begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are from $15 to $35 and can be

purchased at The Alex box office, 216 N. Brand Blvd., or through

Tele-charge 24 hours a day by calling (800) 233-3123.

SPECIAL EVENTS

THREE STOOGES RETURN TO BIG SCREEN

Those kings of madcap comedy, the Three Stooges, star in today’s

screening sponsored by the Alex Film Society at 2 and 8 p.m. at The Alex

Theatre.

Fans will be able to see an early MGM Stooges short, “Plane Nuts”

(1933), which has never been released on TV and hasn’t been seen in

nearly 50 years. Also shown will be pristine prints of their first

Columbia Pictures short, “The Women Haters,” (1934), Oscar nominee “Men

In Black” (1934), “Violent is the Word for Curly,” (1938) and “Brideless

Groom” (1947) featuring Shemp.

The cartoon presentation will be a rare color cartoon “Musical

Musketeers,” featuring the Stooges and other Hollywood caricatures.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for kids under 12 for the evening

performance and $10 for adults and $6 for children under 12 for the

matinee. Society members get in for $6 for both shows. Purchase tickets

at The Alex Box office, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, or call Tele-charge

at (800) 233-3123.

The Alex Film Society is a nonprofit community arts organization

dedicated to film preservation through exhibition at Glendale’s Alex

Theatre. Visit its homepage at keyconnect.com/alexfilmsoc.


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