sealPurdue News

January 25, 2002

Underground swing dance opens Elliott stage for dancing

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Opportunities to dance on the Elliott Hall of Music stage usually remain reserved for professional companies putting on lavish shows, but Purdue Bands' annual Underground Swing Dance on Friday, Feb. 1, will open Elliott's spacious stage to all dancers.

The Purdue Night Train Dance Club will offer free swing lessons and dance coaching from 7-8 p.m., with live music provided by American Music Review and the Purdue Lab and Concert Jazz bands from 8-10:30 p.m. Dancers from the club will stay to dance so aspiring swing dancers can duplicate their moves. Admission is free.

The Underground Swing Dance was introduced last year as a casual alternative to the more formal Evening of Romance Valentine's event sponsored by the Purdue Jazz Band.

Kathy Matter, Purdue Bands public relations director, says she hopes the event will attract a large crowd who enjoy music from the big band era and want to experience it on the big stage.

"We're constantly looking for new ways to have fun with music," Matter says. "That led us to the idea of having an 'underground' dance in a usually off-limits location."

Much of the evening's music was made popular in the 1940s when ballrooms were crowded with dancers.

"Music then really was for dancing, particularly with swing bands and big bands," says American Music Review director William Kisinger, whose band and singers pay homage to the era.

Glenn Miller's famous "Pennsylvania 6-5000," a standard from the big band era, is just one of the tunes on the dance card, which also includes Billy Strayhorn's "Take the A Train," Duke Ellington's "Cottontail" and Paul Lopez's "Cha Cha in G." The modern swing era gets its musical due with tunes like Brian Setzer's "Rock This Town."

Emphasizing the underground nature of the dance, those attending will not enter Elliott through its normal entrances. The loading dock entrance, which will be marked with signs, will be used. It is located on the north side of the building, just off the Armory parking lot.

Purdue University Bands also offers a more formal jazz/dance event in its Evening of Romance set for 8-10:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Maize Catering on Columbia Street. The cabaret-style event includes hors d'oeuvres and desserts. The Purdue Jazz Band will perform with guest vocalist Kathy Kosins of Detroit. Tickets are $15 per person. For ticket information call (765) 494-3933.

CONTACT: Kathy Matter, (765) 496-6785,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Media interested in interviews should contact Kathy Matter, Purdue Bands public relations, (765) 496-6785.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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