Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tango with zip and ZUM

The Center presents eclectic musical weekend

Express Staff Writer

Jenna Rohrbacher and Joseph Leonardo. -Courtesy photos

Get your fingers snapping, your toes a-tapping, and your hands prepped for some serious percussive clapping. The Sun Valley Center will present some gypsy and tango music courtesy of the British quintet ZUM. The band will perform at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood, in Ketchum on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m. In addition, ZUM will be joined, for a spell—on stage—by professional tango dancers, Joseph Leonardo and Jenna Rohrbacher from Portland. The duo will also conduct a weekend long series of tango classes that are open to the public.

The music of ZUM is well suited to tango, a dance that began in Argentina with the African and Cuban communities in Buenos Aires, spread to Uruguay, went to Spain and circled back again. It was one of the earliest forms of dance adopted by Europeans, after the Viennese Waltz, to feature a man and a woman facing each other.

As a part of the multimedia exhibition currently at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, "Lines in the Earth: Maps, Power and The Imagination," ZUM's music crosses real and imaginary borders. The band mixes gypsy, tango, Klezmer Celtic, salsa, bluegrass, Arabic and calypso. An eclectic mix, to be sure.

Considered "neuvo tango," it's distinguished by the virtuoso fiddling (and compositions) of Adam Summerhayes, the jazz styling of pianist David Gordon, the virtuosity of bassist Jani Pensola, accordion mastery from Eddie Hession and the lyricism of cellist Chris Grist.

"ZUM tears it up on all levels," said Sun Valley Center for the Arts Performing Arts Director Dan Mankin. "They play a mode of music that shows the artificiality of boundaries."

In fact, the diverse genres adopted by the band prove the non-existent aspect of barriers when it comes to enthralling music.

Complimenting the dazzling array of music, dancers Leonardo and Rohrbacher will teach tango workshops for two days leading up to the performance. The workshop will culminate on Sunday afternoon where participants will have the opportunity to dance to the live accompaniment of ZUM at the Church of the Big Wood.

As a treat, Mankin also planned a special authentic Argentinean Tango Dinner at Ciro's Restaurant, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, prior to the concert.

The menu begins with Empanaditas and grilled Chorizo, Ensalada de palmitos and Ensalada de Naranja. Prepared by chefs Rodrigo Herrera and Pier Herrera, there will be four entrée choices. These include Pollo De Chimichurri (roasted chicken with chimichurri), Trucha Fresca a la Crema (fresh trout in cream sauce), Matambre (roulade of flank steak with seasonal vegetables) and Parrillada Criolla (mixed grill of steak, chorizo and sweetbreads). Torta de Flan will finish off the meals. Argentinean wines will compliment the menu.

For reservations, tickets and to participate in the workshops call The Center, at 726-9491.

Adult dance workshops

Take Argentinean Tango Workshops with Joseph Leonardo and Jenna Rohrbacher.

All workshops are at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood Gym in Ketchum Friday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 14.

The cost is $45 for members and $50 for non-members, per person for the entire dance program. Introduction classes can be taken separately if space is available, $12 each.

· Introduction to Argentine Tango I: The Art of Connection & Movement.

Fri, Oct 12, 7--8:30 p.m., followed by practica.

· Introduction to Argentine Tango II: Essential Turns.

Sat, Oct 13, 12--1:15 p.m.

- Technique for Leads & Technique for Follows.

Sat, Oct 13, 1:30--2:45 p.m.

- Milonga & Musicality

Sat, Oct 13, 3--4:15p.m.

- Dance with ZUM

Sunday, Oct. 14, 2--3 p.m.

Tango Dancing with Joe, Jenna and ZUM.

(Open only to workshop participants)

- Performance by ZUM

Sunday, Oct 14, 7:30 p.m.

Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum

- Purchase tickets online at or call 726-9491 ext. 10

$20 members/$25 non-members $10 children 12 and under.

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