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Folk Dance Federation of California, South, Inc.

Folk Ensemble

1994 Program
By Dick Oakes



AMAN 30th ANniversary

30th Anniversary Concert

June 19, 1994
The Alex Theatre
Glendale, California

with special guests


and featuring the West Coast Premiere of




Ronda Berkeley
Steven Buckley
Joaquin Busquets
Pat Crosswhite
Rosina Didyk
Albert Epetein
Joann Fox
Robert Fox
Jane Glaser
  Barry Glass
LynnAnne Hanson
Darrell Haynes
Lorraine Knight
Greg Mayne
Christopher Miller
Asako Oshiro
Inga Prikule
Terri Prizant
  Susan Shapiro
Eve Sork
Don Sparks
Deanne Sparks
Donna Speckman
István Szabó
Hector Varela


Chuck Corman
James Knight
Vic Koler, Jr.
David Markowitz
Jerry Milstein
Marcus Moskoff
  A. Jihad Racy
Dušan Ratkovich
Jerry Robin
Larry Saunders
Sonia Tamar Seeman
Don Sparks
  Salaheddin Takesh
Ali Tamer
Ergun Tamer
Çoskun Tamer
Abdurrahaman Tauriöġen
John Zeretzke


Carla Angel
Amy Bonner
Wanda Bryant
Shelly Stern
  Trudy Israel
Janice McGlaze
Susan North
Carol Akawie Schneider
  Barbara Slade
Sue Smyle
Robin Van Zak

Artistic Staff

Artistic Director
Associate Artistic Director
Music Director
Assistant Directors
Vocal Director
Staff Arranger
Music Consultant
Artistic Associates
Founding Artistic Director
  Barry Glass
Don Sparks
John Zeretzke
Ronda Berkely, Susan Shapiro, Deanne Sparks
Deanne Sparks
Stuart Brotman
Larry Saunders
Yves Moreau, France Borque-Moreau
Leona Wood

Administrative Staff

Managing Director
Development Director
Company Manager
Director of Education
Artist's Representative
Finance Manager
  Timothy Ney
Sylvie Braun
Don Sparks
Robert Fox
Davie Lieberman
Liusha Hua
Michael Pritchard
Brotemarkle & Sadd

Production Staff

Technical Director
Lighting Design
Stage Manager
Sound Engineer
Wardrobe Supervisor
Assistant Wardrobe Supervisor
Folklore Research Associate
  John Feinstein
Terry Kaye
Ian Mitchell
Scott Fraser
Deanne Sparks
Susanna Szewiola
Robin Evanchuk

The Program

In this region of central Croatia along the Sava River, traditional folklore played an important role in the life of the people up to recent years. The dances, costumes, and musical structure reflect an order of former times. Here, the most popular and widespread dance form was the drmeš or "shaking" dance. The tamburica, an all string ensemble of instruments, provides the accompaniment for the dancing.

One of the most popular dances in this area of former Yugoslavia is the Čoček. These two, in a lively 4/4 rhythm, are also popular in South Serbian where it is sometimes known as Sasa. This music, often played by Gypsy orchestras, has some Turkish influence in melodic structure and is characterized by a basic melody followed by improvisational musical interludes or "breaks" by various instruments.

This ancient Central Asian city -- prize of conquerors from Alexander to Tamerlane -- now lies within the Republic of Uzbekistan. Since even before the days of the khans, a classical dance tradition has been taught to children destined to be professional dancers in the courts of the local rulers. In recent years, that trust has been preserved by the government. The dancers' costumes reflect the splendor of an almost legendary past. An improvised interlude or taksim on the "Tar," a banjo-like instrument from the area, precedes the dance.

Lying within the borders of present day Hungary is the village of Méhkérek, where a largely Romanian population predominates. The Méhkéreki repertoire of dances is rich, with a large movement vocabulary. Here, we show an example of the men's solo dancing in which the rhythms created by the dancers are an integral part of the music supplied by the string orchestra.
SOLOISTS: Robert Fox, Don Sparks, István Szabo

Hungarian folk music has influenced composers such as Bartok, List, and Kodaly, as well as many others. This medley is from the region known as the Dunántul in southern Hungary and features ancient peasant instruments, the "Tilinko," a fipple flute with no finger holes, the "Duda," a Hungarian double-chantered bagpipe, and the "Tekerő," a hurdy gurdy.
MUSICAL ARRANGEMENT: Don Sparks and John Zeretzke
MUSICAL CONSULTANTS: Don Sparks and Ferenc Tobák

One of the earliest groups of Hungarian settlers in what is nowadays Romanian Transylvania is that group known as Szekely. Although their music and dance is notably related not only to other groups of Hungarians throughout the region but also to their Romanian neighbors, the dance cycles in this area exhibit distinctive styles. Typical of the dances and music of the Szekely people are the Keserves or soldiers' lament, the Verbunk or recruiting dance, and the lively Forgátos or twirling dance. The Lassú Csárdás and Szöktetös complete the dance cycle. The orchestra in this part of Transylvania often includes the three-stringed "Brácsa," a chord viola.

NEVENKA -- Bulgaria
Under the direction of Trudy Israel, Nevenka is a group of women dedicated to the singing and performance of music from Eastern Europe. Formed in 1976 by alumnae of AMAN, this group has given numerous sold-out performances in California and has produced recordings of their work. Their director has conducted many workshops on folksong repertoire and style both in this country and abroad. We are pleased and proud to have them with us tonight. In this segment, Nevenka sings music of Bulgaria. The first song, Pročula se moma Nedelja, speaks of the wedding of Nedelja and her sweetheart in the forest. The wind lifts her veil so that her husband can kiss her. Grozda moma describes a beautiful town being built. And Grada se Gradi sings of a walled city being built stone-by-stone and log-by-log. The earliest risers will be the workers who build it.

This selection of dances from the French Polynesian island of Tahiti are called ote'a, which are ceremonial dances performed by groups of people. They were often used to entertain and welcome visitors as well as to generate group strength and spirit in times of war. We will present ote'as from Bora Bora and from the village of Ake, as well as traditional salutes, a dance about spearfishing, called Patia, and the dance Ti Tau, whose name is onomatopoeic, and imitates the sound of the drums. Music for the ote'as is provided principally by the "toeres," small hollowed logs of various sizes which provide the intricate rhythm patterns for the dancers.
MUSICAL ARRANGEMENT: Deanne Sparks and Vic Koler, Jr.
RESEARCH: Jack Kinneer


MEXICO -- Regional Music
The country of Mexico boasts a wide variety of music which differs significantly from region to region. We present here three examples of regional traditional music from Mexico.
VOCAL SOLOISTS: Larry Saunders and Deanne Sparks

MEXICO -- Festival Norteña
Dance fads and fashions of 19th Century Europe crossed the Atlantic with lightning speed and spread into the remotest corners of North and South America. In the cattle country of El Norte (Northern Mexico), dances such as the polka, shotis, and redova became the standard favorites of all social strata, from the small-town elite to the rough-and-ready "vaquero" (cowboy). Even today, the rollicking Polka Norteña is the single most popular dance of Mexico's ranch country.
CHOREOGRAPHY: Gayle Armstrong

Improvisation in various styles of music can be discovered throughout the world, and the masters of the Egyptian "Nay," or cane flute, are some of the finest players anywhere using this technique. The eastern Egyptian musical scale, or Makam, is different from the western musical system that most of us are familiar with in that it uses semi-tones or quarter-tones, thus allowing for a diverse and sometimes complex structure of the music played. Musicians are acknowledged for being able to easily and creatively perform a solo or taksim using the scales found in Egyptian music, thus creating beautiful, haunting melodies and images that reflect centuries of this ancient tradition.
MUSICAL CONSULTANTS: Abdurrahman Tauriöġen and Ergun Tamer
VOCAL SOLOIST: Abdurrahman Tauriöġen

A medley of dance songs from the Kara Deniz region on the eastern coast of the Black Sea begins this piece. Although the songs are in different meters and tempos, the same dance -- Horon -- can be performed to all three. An example of the Horon for women shows the complicated footwork patterns common in this area. The unusual traditional style of harmony in the instrumental accompaniment is in current use throughout the area. The vigorous and energetic men's dances close the suite.
KEMENCE: John Zeretzke
SOLOISTS: Joaquin Busquets, Robert Fox, Don Sparks

NEVENKA -- Russia
Nevenka sings the music of old Russia. In Pasidu Vydu g Bystray R'echke, a young woman waits by the river for her lover to return. Her heart aches until she sees him again. And in Nye Dumala Ya Gulyat, a young girl goes to the town to dance. Her friends warn her to stay away from a certain young man, but she can't help herself and she dances with him all night.


The Alex Theatre performances represent the premiere of this work created for AMAN's 30th Anniversary season by Laura Dean. The instrumentation for "Light" is:
Part I: Voice, Violin
Part II: Native American Frame Drum; North African Naquarat; West African Talking Drum; North African Bendir; Turkish Davul; Irish Bodhran
Part III: Violin; Turkish Davul; Moroccan Tabl; Iraqi Darabuka; North African Naquarat.
MUSICAL BY: Laura Dean and John Zeretzke
SHOES SUPPLIED BY: Shelley's, Los Angeles

The Laura Dean / AMAN Collaboration was made possible by a grant from the National Dance Repertory Enrichment Program (REP) a partnership of Phillip Morris Companies, Inc. and the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Fund, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. REP was conceived and is administered by Pantacle. Composer and choreographer commision fees for this collaboration were made possible by a grant from Meet the Composer's Composer/Choreographer Project, a national program funded by the Ford Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Additional funding was provided by the Ahmanson Foundation.

BARRY GLASS -- Artistic Director

Barry Glass originally joined AMAN in 1967 and quickly moved into directorial positions. In 1969, he became Vocal Director and a year later, Dance Director, becoming Artistic Director in 1978. After a three-year hiatus, Mr. Glass returned to the company in 1985 to his position of Artistic Director. In addition to his directorial responsibilities, Mr. Glass has been one of AMAN's leading soloists, and has performed regularly with the company. He also is a founder and director of AMAN's busy smaller performing unit, MEMBERS OF AMAN, a group that is responsible for a large number of special presentations, including hundreds of performances and workshops in schools each year. Mr. Glass personally conducts many workshops in music, dance, and other forms of folklore and is widely recognized as an educator. Mr. Glass received his undergraduate degree in Classics and French from the University of California/Irvine, where he graduated magna cum laude. A Woodrow Wilson Fellowship helped him to pursue his graduate studies in Classics, Folklore, and Mythology at both the Irvine and Los Angeles campusses of the University of California. Mr. Glass has gained national recognition as he serves the Arts community. He has served on several panels for the Dance Program of the National Endowment for the Arts as well as for the California Arts Council. He serves as a consultant to both of these agencies and conducts site visits for them. Mr. Glass also serves on several panels in Los Angeles including the Advisory Council for the International Festival of Masks and as an adjudicator for the Bravo Awards program of the Los Angeles County Music Center Education Division. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for Dance/USA and co-chairs their national task force on dance education. Mr. Glass continues to conduct many workshops nationally including several for the Carlisle Project in Pennsylvania. He has been a guest instructor at the summer program of the San Francisco Ballet School.

DON SPARKS -- Associate Artistic Director

Don Sparks has been a part of the company since 1977, and has demonstrated the artistic flexibility to participate in and direct the full range of AMAN's presentations. Mr. Sparks also possesses a depth and breadth of professorial experience unusual in the world of traditional dance: he is a guest artist with western ballet companies, and has been an Equity theater/musical comedy performer as well. He is welll-known as an educator, conducting folk music and dance workshops nationwide. With AMAN, Mr. Sparks has performed as a dancer, solo singer, and musician; and, he has served the company's artistic mission as a Choreographer, Dance Director, Music Coordinator, Artistic Director, and presently as Associate Artistic Director and Company Manager.

JOHN ZERETZKE -- Music Director

John Zeretzky has been the Music Director with the AMAN Folk Ensemble since 1985, performing as a soloist on a variety of unique and exotic traditional instruments. As Music Director for AMAN, he has conducted ethnic ensembles, arranged music for performances, and supervised recordings. Mr. Zeretzke has done field work in Louisiana (Cajun music), Turkey, and Greece. His areas of expertise in violin styles include Greek, Hungarian, Romanian, Appalachian, Cajun, Gypsy (Rom), jazz, American country, Near East, and Middle East. Mr. Zeretzke was recently awarded a grant from "Meet the Composer" to support his participation in composing music for AMAN's collaboration with choreographer and composer, Laura Dean. His composition work for Ms. Dean has continued with pieces for such companies as the Ohio Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet. John Zeretzke has created and produced numerous ethnic ensembles on the West coast and has worked in the field of film scoring and television music production. He has recently co-composed and performed for two Paramount Home Video feature films, released also on compact disc. His dedication to education has led Zeretzke to the development of world music curriculum programs for children as well as adults. In 1989, he became a Master Artist/Educator with The California Arts Project (TCAP) as a teacher-trainer and has worked on staff since then at the regional sites at the California State University at San Bernardino, California State University at Northridge, and California State University at Dominguez Hills. He was on staff at TCAP's 1990 Leadership Academy Institute in Marin County, California. He continues to consult for school districts nationally conductiong teacher-training programs and working in the classroom with students. He is involved with arts education projects through the California Arts Project, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kennedy Center.

TIMOTHY NEY -- Managing Director

Timothy Ney joined the AMAN staff in 1991. He has an extensive background in arts administration, film, and the performing arts. In New York, Mr. Ney directed the Loan and Artist Sponsorship Program at the New York Foundation for the Arts and founded Dance on the Lower Side Festival at La Mama, ETC. He was a member of Le Snif Theatre in Paris, studied at the American Dance Festival (New London, Connecticut) and established dance therapy programs for handicapped children (New York) and prison inmates (Massachusetts). As Executive Director of the independent Feature Project, Mr. Ney provided fiscal advisory services to independent filmmakers and marketed films abroad. Among other projects, he was president of Harvest Films, Ltd., and co-producer of the acclaimed Public Broadcasting System (PBS) production, "Balanachine's Ballerinas."

LEONA WOOD -- Founding Artistic Director

Miss Wood has had two careers in the arts. She gained her first fame as a painter, and has exhibited in Europe as well as in New York and on the West Coast. She studied ballet with the Novikoffs in Seattle and has since spent many years acquiring a mastery of the demanding techniques necessary to the performance of a wide variety of Asiatic, Middle Eastern, and North African dances in which she is an acknowledged authority and frequent consultant. In 1964, Miss Wood co-founded AMAN and for many years was the company's outstanding soloist. Much of her time and energy was spent in planning, research, choreography, design, and staging for the company. Today, Miss Wood is a prolific painter and writer and, although retired from company duties, continues to contribute to AMAN's well-being as she consults with the artistic staff on a regular basis.

Tonight's program is made possible in part by support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The California Arts Council, and the County and City of Los Angeles.

Design and typesetting for this program and the Spring Newsletter was produced and made possible by LynnAnne Hanson and Jerry Robin of J. Robin & Associates, Pasadena.

Thanks to Tise Chao for the cover art direction and Ricardo Salas for the cover photo.

The reception was made possible by the Support Council, Joan Bauer and Sophia Poster, President of the AMAN Support Council.

Wine donated by Red Carpet Wines, Glendale.

Food donated by Gelsons, Hughes Market, and Lucky Market.

Special Thanks to Judy Scalin, Loyola Marymount University, Department of Theater Arts & Dance.