University of Pittsburgh
February 29, 2000

PITT SUNDANESE GAMELAN ENSEMBLE IN CONCERT Event includes free dance workshop and drumming demonstration


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH, March 1 -- Pitt students will perform the rich and exotic sounds of Indonesia at the annual Pitt Sundanese Gamelan Spring Concert on Saturday, March 18, at 8 p.m., at the Bellefield Hall Auditorium, 315 S. Bellefield Ave., Oakland. This year's concert features guest dancer Laksmi Purwanti Margarani, who will perform classical dances of West Java, and guest master drummer Undang Sumarna.

Concert tickets are $5 general admission and $3 for students and seniors. Pitt students will be admitted free of charge. For more information, call 412-624-4125.

Pitt is one of only 15 universities in the country to own a rare Javanese gamelan—a 40-piece collection of large and small gongs, chimes, xylophone-like keyed instruments, and drums. The iron and bronze instruments were custom made in Java, the main island of Indonesia, and shipped to Pitt in 1995. Courses in gamelan are offered to Pitt students every semester through the Department of Music. At the concert, students and local community members in the Pitt Gamelan Ensemble, under the direction of professor of music Andrew Weintraub, will sit cross-legged on the stage floor and strike the instruments with padded mallets, producing the rich and enchanting music of Java.

Dance Workshop

Monday, March 13, 2 - 4 p.m., Bellefield Auditorium

Laksmi Purwanti Margarani, Indonesian dancer and choreographer, will demonstrate and teach the classical Indonesian dance she studied as a young girl. As a teenager, she performed in several independent dance troupes throughout Java. A specialist in the refined female dance style, Margarani has performed as a solo artist and as part of dance dramas in cross-cultural artistic and educational missions to the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. She has received numerous awards and is recognized as one of a new generation of dancers trained in classical dance. This event is free and open to the public.

Drumming and Dance Lecture/Demonstration

Wednesday, March 15, 11 - 11:50 a.m., 332 Cathedral of Learning

Undang Sumarna is well-known to Pittsburgh audiences for his performances in Pitt gamelan concerts during the past two years. Sumarna learned the complex art of Sundanese drumming from his grandfather, and has been teaching gamelan at the University of California, Santa Cruz since 1974. In addition to introducing thousands of American students to gamelan, he has toured throughout the United States as an "Ambassador for Sundanese Arts." Sumarna will be joined by Laksmi Purwanti Margarani at this free demonstration, and both will perform with the Pitt Sundanese Gamelan Ensemble at its March 18 Spring Concert.