Proclaimed “Unique in All the World,” The Tamburitzans have been lauded and reviewed both here and abroad. Ten international tours have earned the ensemble critical acclaim in France, the former Soviet Union, Greece, South America (10 countries), and all of Eastern Europe from Poland to Bulgaria. American audiences are most appreciative of the opportunity to view a slice of life from “The Old Country,” and critics share that appreciation:
TAMBURITZANS BRIGHTEN STARBRIGHT
-Hal de Becker – To the Pointe
www.callbacknews.com – posted June 5, 2017
Starbright Theatre – Las Vegas, Nevada
“While remaining true to the original folkloric sources, the ‘Tams’ transformed festivities that might be seen in a simple village square into a rich, full scale theatrical presentation . . . Swirling skirts, multi-layered dresses, elaborate head dresses, billowing shirts and intricately decorated jackets filled the stage with a magical feast for the eyes.”
Review: A travelogue of Eastern European rhythm and movement
“Dance in Review,” from The New York Times
“At every stop on this theatrical journey, the troupe’s dances, singers and instrumental musicians looked at home… what helped make the presentation particularly agreeable was the way the Tamburitzans avoided the hard-sell approach of some folk-dance groups. These young people sought to display not merely their athletic prowess, but their deep love of dancing.”
Concert Review – The Tamburitzans
New York Folk Music Society
“…unforgettable performance featured the impulsive rhythms and colorful costumes typical of the Balkans, all presented with the highest level of professionalism…”
Tamburtizans – East European Folk-Music & Dance
“Glenn Loney’s Show Notes,” New York Theatre Wire
“This handsome young ensemble – in which everyone seems able to sing, perform a wide variety of intricate dance-steps, and play several instruments – is almost a United Nations of Eastern Europe … One of the wonders … is how rapidly they can dance into the wings, only to return a few minutes later in a different folkloric costume. They are not only quick-change artists with their 500 costumes, but they can just as quickly change their languages, musical styles, and demanding dance figures.”
Tamburitzans delight Kirby Center audience
-Al Choman, Arts Critic
The Citizen’s Voice, Wilkes Barre, PA
March 11, 2002
“Whether it is the simple artistry of the opening folk song number… or the pageantry within the entire ensemble’s efforts… the Tamburitzans bring a deep respect and devotion to their craft.
Attired in brightly colored, culturally derived costuming, the Tamburitzans display a non-stop effort of song and dance. There is little lapse between numbers and the troupe moves with uncanny precision displaying not only incredible musicianship, but great athleticism during demanding dance routines… one of the most diverse, unique performing units in the world.”
The Duquesne University Tamburitzans
Vegas Entertainment Archives
May 24, 2002
“Duquesne University’s Tamburitzans performed at Horn Hall on the Community College Campus in North Las Vegas… the color, choreography, and dance talent was first class. It’s hard to believe it would be so good from college students touring on weekends! This is a feast for the eyes… really a first class professional show as good as any in Las Vegas.”
Center Stage’s Transformed
“Review,” from The Hartsville Messenger,
Hartsville, South Carolina
“…The dances were always youthful, energetic and even acrobatic… The costumes were a show in themselves, and they changed with every number.”
Dance troupe wows audience
Inland Valley Voice, Los Angeles Times
May 21, 2002
“With energetic flare and elaborate detail to costumes and music, the DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY TAMBURITZANS clapped, stomped, and jammed for the troupe’s annual concert Monday for the Fontana-Rialto Concert Association.
‘It was wonderful and very entertaining,’ said Fontana resident David Swedlove, who first caught the show 22 years ago. ‘My children really enjoyed it and were dancing in the aisles.’
Twelve-year-old Lauren Barton of Redlands wasn’t earning any class credit for attending [the] performance. She just wanted to enjoy the show again. ‘I’ve seen it once before and I like how it’s fast-paced and how they dance and move.'”
New York Times Dance Critic
“The Tamburitzans is a joyous explosion of youth and spirited dance and music”
First Night – Haddonfield, New Jersey
December 31, 2003
“Bless my soul! What a night! The breathtaking Tamburitzans of Duquesne University alone were worth the cost of my First Night button.”
Lake Worth, Florida
January 10, 2004
“I wish to thank you all for the wonderful renditions…of traditional European folklore. You present yourselves as true professionals. The costuming, instrumentation and dance interpretation reach the heights of artistry.”
February 7, 2004
“My wife and I saw your show in Lowell, MA. We loved it! Keep up the good work.”
February 8, 2004
“We had the distinct pleasure of being at your performance in Scranton on 2/8/04 and once again, were thrilled and amazed at the quality and energy of the performance. We have seen the group perform many times over the past years and will continue to see them whenever possible. Please pass along a ‘job well done’ to the entire group… Again, great performance.”
February 22, 2004
“My wife and I want to express our deep appreciation of the show we saw yesterday afternoon at Sacred Heart University. We think that everyone should see this show and watch the young men and women of the group perform.”
February 29, 2004
“All I can say is that the performance was outstanding! The talented musicians, high energy dancing, beautiful costumes – what a show! Thank you all for your hard work. We will spread the word that your performance is something no one should miss.”
Hamlisch leads Pops on musical tour of world
Friday, June 16, 2000 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
By Rebecca Redshaw
Frequently in the middle of a whirlwind tour, a reveler may wish he had planned fewer stops on his itinerary and spent more time in special places. Last night at Heinz Hall, the Pittsburgh Pops finale for the season, “Around the World,” barely stopped long enough to musically unpack before moving on to the next country.
Movie themes were a highlight for the orchestra, which offered “Around the World in 80 Days,” “Out of Africa,” “Never on Sunday” and “The Cowboys.” Marvin Hamlisch, the principal Pops conductor, was at home with these scores, eliciting seamless transition from one contracting theme to another.
Pittsburgh is often touted as having an ethnically varied background but seldom have four such diverse groups performed on the same program with the symphony.
The Duquesne University Tamburitzans are world renowned for their interpretation of Eastern European folk music. In colorful traditional costumes in a very limited space, this troupe of college students danced the Russian “Polyanka” with boundless energy and precision.
Representing another continent, and performing on the second half of the program, an equally colorful but totally different rhythmic experience was shared by UMOJA, an African dance company based in Pittsburgh and dedicated to the promotion of African culture.
The complex 11/16 meter written for the Tamburitzans and the syncopated African rhythms were balanced throughout the evening by the predictable and familiar 3/4 time of a Strauss waltz and a lively Irish jig, courtesy of an artful arrangement by LeRoy Anderson.
Additional artists from different parts of the world were the Colberg-Them Duo, who hail originally from Spain and Puerto Rico, and The Dog Run Boys, from Pittsburgh, who represented the “down home” aspect of American music in their two-song set.
Somehow, in between the tour’s country hopping around the world, Aaron Copkand’s “Fandfare for the Common Name” found its way to the program. After so many different melodies, rhythms, customs and costumes were experienced, it was like a taste of cool, clear water on a hot day to hear the pure, powerful tones of this piece echo in the hall.
Keeping the tempo rock steady, Hamlisch led the brass and percussion sections in a straightforward and impressive interpretation of Copland’s most recognizable work.
Hamlisch seems to enjoy the repartee with the audience and performers as much as his time on the podium. Interacting with the four sets of musical guests, his natural wit put the performers at ease.
Rebecca Redshaw is a free-lance writer who reviews classical music for the Post-Gazette.