The Duquesne University Tamburitzans present a new production each year. During the two-hour program, the ensemble encapsulates the joys of life and the beauty of the cultures which it artistically represents.
The multitude of cultural influences from the countries and ethnographic regions of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, including:
- and many others - presents a virtual mother lode of possibilities for the performing stage.
The Tamburitzans have capitalized on this cultural wealth for over 75 years, returning the dividends to their audiences.
Wherever the Tamburitzans perform, their stage becomes a kaleidoscope of sight and sound. Songs are sung in many languages and dialects. Footwork is articulated in hundreds of styles. Folk instruments such as the bandura, tambura, gadulka and cimbalom are plucked, picked, bowed and hammered. Costuming alone is a great reason to see a Tamburitzans show. During the course of a single performance, over 400 original and authentically reproduced costumes are worn by the performers. Each costume design is meticulously researched for authenticity, then created for the stage. The result is a carousel of style and color from the first note to the final stomp. (To view some of these costumes, click here.)
New York Times dance critic Jack Anderson noted:
"Thanks to the Duquesne University Tamburitzans, it's easy to believe that Eastern Europe begins in Pittsburgh ... The company, which was founded in 1937, is an unusual one. Its 40 members attend Duquesne on scholarship and are enrolled in academic courses there. But they also present 80 concerts a year on weekends and during semester breaks. Paul G. Stafura, their managing director, has trained an attractive ensemble of folk dancers and musicians . . . These young people . . . display not merely their athletic prowess, but their deep love of dancing."
Jack Anderson, Dance in Review, New York Times