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Vintage Dance Ensemble to perform Smithsonian concert

STANFORD -- The Stanford Vintage Dance Ensemble will present a full concert of 19th-century social dances at 8 p.m. Friday, April 15, in Roble Dance Studio, Santa Teresa Street.

The same concert was presented in March at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., earning an enthusiastic response from the audience and a favorable review in the Washington Post.

The program marks the sesquicentennial of the great dance craze that swept Europe and America in 1844. Stanford Dance Division historian and instructor Richard Powers says that 1844 brought "a tremendous interest in dancing, sparked by the polka. Those who discovered the joys of spinning in the arms of another wanted more and more dances that they could enjoy."

The polka craze also produced the Congo Minuet, schottisch, and cancan quadrille (precursor of the cabaret cancan), and swept in the older waltz, galop and mazurka.

Those dances will be among the 14 performed, along with the five-step waltz (in 5/4 time) and a later ragtime version called the half-and-half. Also on the program will be a tango described in an 1856 publication and a contemporary Argentine tango.

Powers will supplement the concert with a historic overview of 19th-century social dance and hundreds of projected color lithographs.

The Stanford Vintage Dance Ensemble is composed of 40 graduate and undergraduate students at Stanford. Many took part in the Smithsonian concert and a concert tour last October in Japan.

Ensemble soloists will include undergraduate Angela Amarillas and Kenneth Delmar. Delmar is the Dance Division's ballet instructor and a former soloist with the Stuttgart Ballet, National Ballet of Holland and Joffrey Ballet. His partner for the Argentine tango will be Mariela Franganillo, a renowned choreographer and instructor of tango visiting from Buenos Aires.

Admission is free, with an optional contribution. Call the Dance Division at 723-1234 for further information.



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