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Unique perfomances come to ND

Maria Smith | Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Spring break might be the top event on most people’s minds right now, but the week following the break offers a great deal for fine arts aficionados to come back to.The experiences offered in March are truly unique and tickets for more popular shows may disappear quickly, so take a look before heading out for the week.

The National Acrobats of Taiwan, ROCThis troupe of acrobats from the Fu Hsing Academy has traveled around the nation performing spectacular feats.The acrobats are famous for using household items like tables and chairs in their performances. In the past they have been known to balance on stools 30 feet high, spin numerous plates on sticks simultaneously, balance 12 acrobats on a single bicycle and other spectacles.The average acrobat trains for eight years before performing in the show. Their director, Lo Jih-Hung, was also co-director of the Golden Dragon Acrobats during the 1980s.The National Acrobats of Taiwan, ROC will perform Monday, March 14 at 8 p.m. The show is part of ND Presents, a series of international shows brought to the Morris Performing Arts Center by Notre Dame. Tickets are available from the center and range from $20-45.

Ronan TynanThis former member of the Irish Tenors is famous for more than his voice.Tynan has sung for some of the most famous people in the world – including at the wedding of New York Mayor Rudy Guilliani, during the seventh inning at many New York Yankees games and at the funeral of Ronald Reagan.But this remarkable singer only began voice lessons at the age of 33. Tynan had both legs amputated below the knee after a car accident at the age of 20, and before beginning his career as a musician worked as a certified medical doctor in the field of orthopedic sports injuries. Tynan also won 18 gold medals and 14 world records as a multitalented athlete in the Paralympics between 1981 and 1984.Now the singer is famous for his diverse performances ranging from Verdi’s “Requiem” to the hymn “How Great Thou Art” to the pop classic “From a Distance.” No matter what he is performing Tynan’s voice remains one of the clearest and most beautiful in the world.Ronan Tynan will perform in the Leighton Concert Hall Thursday, March 17 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for students, $37 for seniors, $40 for faculty and staff and $50 for the general public.

Emmanuel Ax and Yefim BronfmanClassical pianists and Grammy winners Ax and Bronfman are proof that there are few languages as international as classical music.Ax was born in Lvov, Poland. At the age of six he began to study piano in Warsaw. After his family moved to North America in 1961, Ax began his studies at the Julliard School of Music.Bronfman was born in Tashkent, the current capital of Uzbekistan, which was at that time part of the Soviet Union. Bronfman immigrated to Israel in 1973 and auditioned for the Israel Philharmonic at the age of 15.Both artists have performed around the world. Bronfman, who performed Shastakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in Fantasia/2000, performed the piece in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles for the gala screenings of the film. Ax has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Suisse Romande and DSO Berlin, and is sought for performances around the United States.Ax was awarded a Grammy for his performance of the Haydn Piano Sonatas. Bronfman was also given the award in 1997 for his performances of Bartok’s Three Piano Concertos with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.The two pianists produced their first famous duet collaboration in 2002 with the release of the rarely recorded Rachmaninoff pieces for four hands. Their current tour includes pieces for four hands by Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky.Emmanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman will perform Friday, March 18 at 8 p.m. in the Leighton Concert Hall. Tickets cost $15 for students, $36 for seniors, $38 for faculty and staff and $48 for the general public.

Ladysmith Black MambazoThe sound of Ladysmith Black Mambazo is unmistakable. Over the past 15 years, these singers of traditional South African music have become cultural ambassadors around the world. The group sings a style called Isicathamiya, which was first sung by black South African mine workers. The music was forbidden under apartheid and Mambazo has since become a national treasure as it has been brought back to worldwide attention. Mambazo accompanied the South African President F. W. deKlerk to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Olso, Norway in 1993 and performed at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration in 1994.The full, rich and rhythmic a capella sound of Mambazo is perhaps most famous for its appearance on Paul Simon’s 1997 release “Graceland.” The album was one of the most influential works in a burst of world music that entered popular culture and was certainly instrumental to Mambazo’s fame.”Shaka Zulu,” the group’s first U.S. release, won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. Since then the group has been nominated for six additional Grammys. Mambazo has also performed with George Clinton, Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton and Ben Harper. Their performance on Sesame Street with Paul Simon is also one of the top three most requested segments of the show’s history.Groups with the talent and political power of Mambazo are truly few and far between.Ladysmith Black Mambazo will perform Sunday, March 20 at 8 p.m. at the Leighton Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 for students, $28 for faculty and staff and $35 for the general public.