Duquesne Tamburitzans preserve classic Eastern European music, dances


Wadsworth Auditorium was filled with entertaining, enriching Eastern European song and dance on Saturday Oct. 4. Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, student group the Duquesne University Tamburitzans performed a wide variety of folk dance and music from Eastern Europe. The Limelight and Accents Performing Arts Series sponsored the performance. The group began the night with music and dance from the Turopolje region of Croatia. This style of dance was very intricate, with fast-paced footwork and jumps. Performing in traditional Croatian nošnje, or typical native clothing, the group wore white costumes with red, purple and green embroidery. This extravagant number introduced the entire group with a bang, leaving the audience in high anticipation of what was to come.

After a group number, the men later conquered the stage with the “Idegenkedök,” a vigorous Transylvanian dance that exploded with high-energy jumps. The male dancers’ strength and agility was emphasized in this piece which reflected a “dance battle.”


This “dance battle” returned later when the Tamburitzans performed the “Russkyl Prazdnovanie,” a Russian ensemble dance. This piece created a playful atmosphere through character and movement. Another dance battle among the male dancers occurred, displaying relentless energy with acrobatic tricks. According to the storyline, the men showed off their abilities to win the hearts of women.

When the group performed the Ukrianian “Tantsi Z Volyni,” both the male and female dancers exhibited their acrobatic talents. This piece was an interesting union of both the polka and the waltz. The performers demonstrated that these simple styles of dance could be both entertaining and exuberant with a combination of diverse jumps, lifts and turns.

Although there was a lot of focus on dancing throughout the night, the instrumentalists of the group also had their own shining moments. Throughout the night, the band played a wide variety of instruments. The audience was introduced to two Slovakian flutes when a performer demonstrated his impressive ability to play both. He first played the fujara, a deep bass horn. He then continued to play the smaller koncovka, a flute with no holes. The group also introduced the trumpet violin, a unique instrument that originated in Transylvania.


The band’s talent was also highlighted during their performance of music from Vojvodina. Vojvodina is known as the tambura capital. The tambura is a guitar-like instrument of various shapes and sizes––this is where the Tamburitzans get their name. The instrumentalists exhibited their ability to play not only quickly, but also with precision.

For the finale, the Tamburitzans performed the show-stopping Romale Gypsy Ukranian dance. The entire ensemble filled the stage, captivating the audience with vivacious colors and enchanting melodies. The instrumentalists made their way to the front, bringing all performers of the group together. The dancers performed an energetic, fast-paced and intricate dance that mesmerized the audience. In this concluding piece, the troupe also demonstrated some final acrobatic tricks.

The Tamburitzans also performed song and dance from Serbia, Romania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Armenia. After all the numbers, the Tamburitzans were rightfully rewarded with a standing ovation for their incredible energy and talent.u