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University to present ĎA Celtic Celebrationí March 17 - 21

Irish culture and traditions will come to life through dance, poetry, art and music in “A Celtic Celebration” March 17 – 21 at the University of South Carolina.

The USC Dance Company, along with the university’s Arts Institute and the department of art, will offer a series of cultural events for the public that will explore the ancient culture of Ireland.

The three-day celebration begins Tuesday, March 17, with “Celts: Plowing the Hard Earth,” an event that weaves music, visual art, poetry and theater in a single evening presentation of all things Irish. The USC Dance Company will take the stage Friday, March 20, in “A Celtic Collaboration of the Arts,” which includes the rousing ballet, “Celts.” The company will perform “Celts” a second time March 21 with principal dancers from the New York City Ballet as part of company’s annual gala.

“Celts: Plowing the Hard Earth,” which is free and open to the public, will take place at 7 p.m. in Longstreet Theatre. Three Columbia poets of Irish descent – Dr. Ed Madden, Ray McManus and Charlene Spearen – will read their poems, some of which they wrote specifically for the event. Junior music-education major Monica Johnston of West Columbia will perform traditional Irish music for violin, while media-arts students will bring to life central characters from Irish legends and myths through artwork projected on-stage.

Finally, the evening of eclectic Irish performances will feature nine undergraduate theater majors in a staging of “Dancing at Lughnasa” by award-winning playwright Brian Friel. Set in 1936 on the west coast of Donegal, the play follows the Mundy family in a summer of sorrow and hope.

“A Celtic Collaboration of the Arts” will take place 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. March 20 in the Koger Center for the Arts. Tickets are $16 for the public; $14 for faculty, staff, military and seniors 60 and older; and $10 for students and are available at the Carolina Coliseum box office or by calling 803-251-2222.

While the student dancers perform selections of Lila York’s “Celts,” a popular ballet performed by professional companies, students from the School of Music and departments of English, theater and art will share visions of Irish history and myth through voice, sound and visual art.

Principal dancers from the New York City Ballet will return to Columbia Saturday, March 21, for the USC Dance Company’s fourth gala concert, “Stars of the New York City Ballet,” at 7 p.m. in the Koger Center. The stars from the famed company will join students in a reprise of the ballet, “Celts.” The program also will feature three works by George Balanchine: the grand pas de deux from “Stars and Stripes”; “Rubies” from the ballet, “Jewels,” with an ensemble of 15 student dancers; and “Walpurgisnacht Ballet” with 23 student dancers.

Tickets are $35 and $30 for the public; $25 for faculty, staff, military and seniors 60 and older; and $15 for students and can be purchased at the Carolina Coliseum box office or by calling 803-251-2222.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 00/00/00 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 02/26/09 @ 11:52 AM | Permalink

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