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Georgian State Dance Company comes to Sangamon Auditorium, UIS

September 18, 2007

Contact: Bryan Leonard, 217/206-8284, leonard.bryan@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD -- The artistry and athleticism of the Georgian State Dance Company will be coming to Sangamon Auditorium on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield for a performance on Wednesday, October 3, at 7:30 p.m.

The Georgian State Dance Company performs traditional folk dances from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.  The company features over 50 dancers accompanied by live musicians.  Along with complex group dances, the Company also performs solo numbers, elegant dances for couples, and even a thrilling fight with real swords.

Many dances express feudal chivalry as the men honor the women and attempt to impress them through displays of skill.  The women gracefully glide across the stage in long flowing gowns while the men perform acrobatic leaps, spinning in the air and landing on their knees.  In a dance style completely unique to Georgia, the men dance on their toes, but without the aid of wooden blocks that ballet dancers use.

The Georgian State Dance Company has performed for over 50 million people in 87 countries.  In 1990 the group’s performances were named the "Best Show of the Year on Broadway."

The country of Georgia is located in Eastern Europe and bordered by Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Black Sea.  Despite a history filled with invasions and war, Georgia experienced a golden age in the 12th and 13th centuries.  During this time the economy, political system, and culture flourished.  In 1991 Georgia became an independent nation and, following some internal conflicts, the country developed into a stable presidential democracy with membership in the United Nations and World Trade Organization and a population of slightly over 4.5 million people.

Tickets for the Georgian State Dance Company are $36 and $31 and can be purchased at the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office or ordered online at www.SangamonAuditorium.org.  Tickets may also be ordered over the phone by calling the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at 217/206-6160 or toll free at 800-207-6960.

A free pre-show discussion will be held at 6:45 in the Studio Theatre on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center.  The discussion will be hosted by Hedy Hoemmen, the founder and artistic director of the Springfield International Folk Dancers.  A member of the Georgian State Dance Company is scheduled to participate, giving audience members the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about Georgian dance.

Sangamon Auditorium is located at the University of Illinois at Springfield and hosts more than 120 performances annually.  Also home to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Ballet Company, it is the only auditorium of its kind and size in the Springfield area, with a seating capacity of 2,018.  Sangamon Auditorium continues to fulfill its mission of presenting and supporting varied cultural and educational professional arts activities to audiences in Springfield, Sangamon County, and the surrounding areas.  Performing arts events are sponsored, in part, by a grant through the Illinois Arts Council.  The auditorium administrative offices can be reached at 217/206-6150 or via e-mail at onstage@uis.edu.

For more information or to request artist interviews: Bryan Leonard, 217/206-8284, leonard.bryan@uis.edu.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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