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Utah Valley University Department of Dance to Hold Congolese Dance and Drum Classes

30 September 2009 No Comment

September 29, 2009
For Immediate Release

For more information: Kim Strunk (801) 863-7225
University Marketing & Communications: Erin Spurgeon, (801) 863-6807
Written by: Jenny Ostraff (801) 863-6820

“Through dance we can bring the world to our students,” said Kim Strunk, UVU associate professor of dance and cultural exchange coordinator. And the UVU Department of Dance is doing just that. Acclaimed African dancer, choreographer, musician, teacher, singer and healer Titos Sompa from Congo, Brazzaville, will be in residence in UVU’s Department of Dance for 11 days, Monday, Sept. 28 through Thursday, Oct. 8. Sompa will be accompanied by lead drummer Milandou Sita Romeric.

The focus of the residency is to provide a rich cultural experience for UVU dance majors, as well as the general student population, faculty, staff, high school students and the local and regional community.  Students from all levels of modern, ballet, dance education and ballroom dance will have an opportunity to take classes and interact with Sompa and Romeric. Sompa is also choreographing a new work for the Contemporary Dance Ensemble, one of the department’s modern dance student performing groups.  Additionally, the two will visit Kearns and Timpview High Schools for a series of master classes with young dance students.

In the spirit of UVU’s commitment to community engagement, the residency includes drum and dance classes on Saturday, Oct. 3 and an informal performance Thursday, Oct. 8. All activities will take place on the UVU campus in studio, Physical Education Building room 152. On Oct. 3, Romeric will teach a mixed-level Congolese drum class from 1-2:30 p.m. and Sompa will teach a mixed-level dance class from 3-5 p.m., which will be accompanied by the live drumming of Romeric and other local drummers. The classes are open to the public and cost $15 per person, $10 for students. Group discounts are also available. The informal performance will be held Thursday, Oct. 8 from 4-5 p.m. Physical Education Building room 152 and is free for UVU students, faculty and staff.

As stated on his Web site, “Titos Sompa is a charismatic and extraordinarily gifted performing artist, teacher, and healer … Titos designs educational programs, primarily for elementary and high school age students, as well as students of the university, that teach self esteem, promote values and behaviors that build community awareness, and help them imagine a future.”

For more information on the residency contact Strunk at (801) 863-7225 or kim.strunk@uvu.edu.

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