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January 24, 2003

Underground swing dance opens Elliott stage for dancing

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Opportunities to dance on the Elliott Hall of Music stage usually are reserved for professional companies staging lavish shows, but on Friday (1/31) Purdue Bands' annual "Underground Swing Dance" opens Elliott's spacious wooden stage to all dancers.

The Purdue Night Train Dance Club will offer free swing lessons and dance coaching from 7-8 p.m. on the stage, with live music provided by the American Music Review and the Purdue Lab and Concert Jazz bands from 8-10:30 p.m. Club members will dance with the crowd to provide inspiration to those wishing to duplicate their moves.

Kathy Matter, Purdue Bands public relations director, says the Underground Swing Dance was introduced in 2001 as a casual alternative to the more formal "Evening of Romance" Valentine's Day event sponsored by the Purdue Jazz Band.

"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."

Admission is free. The event is open to those who enjoy music from the big band era and want to listen, as well as to those wishing to dance.

American Music Review director William Kisinger, whose band and singers pay homage to the era, says 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," Kisinger says.

Among the mix of tunes that will open the evening are "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "In a Sentimental Mood," "Jump, Jive and Wail," "Beer Barrel Polka" and "Shake, Rattle and Roll."

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 Elliott just off the Purdue Armory parking lot.

Purdue University Bands will offer a more formal jazz/dance event in its "Evening of Romance," set for 8-10:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at the Holiday Inn Select in downtown Lafayette. The cabaret-style event includes a dessert buffet and dance music by the Purdue Jazz Band. For ticket information call (765) 494-3933.

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

CONTACT: Kathy Matter, (765) 496-6785, kcmatter@purdue.edu.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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