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International Programs
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Release: April 27, 2001

Slavic Bazaar May 6 features song, dance, food, educational displays

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Everything from music and dance to children's theater and cooking demonstrations will be part of this year's Slavic Bazaar, which organizer Thomas Klobucar sums up with two words: "cultural enrichment."

The Slavic Bazaar will be Sunday, May 6 from noon to 4 p.m. in the International Center Lounge on the University of Iowa campus. The bazaar is sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) and International Programs. Additional support comes from the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids. The event is free and open to the public.

The UI and Iowa are host to a large number of scholars and immigrants from Slavic countries in Eastern Europe, parts of Central Europe and Northern Russia. With music, instruction on Slavic dancing, a children's performance, audio-visual presentations and displays of foreign money from the Slavic world, the bazaar will highlight some of the ways Slavic culture has enriched local Iowa communities.

"This event is one of the highlights of our community outreach because it combines education and entertainment for the entire family," said William Reisinger, CREEES director and UI political science professor. "This is a great opportunity to have fun, relax and learn about the diverse cultures of this part of the world."

The Luther College Balalaika Ensemble, an instrumental group, will be performing a variety of music of Slavic origin, starting at 1 p.m. In addition, they will serve as accompaniment to dance instructor Pine Wilson, who will demonstrate traditional dances from Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Russia. Wilson, also a member of the Ensemble, has taught Slavic dances at a number of fairs and multicultural celebrations. There will be two sessions of dance lessons and performances by the ensemble. The dance lessons will be given starting at approximately 2 p.m.

The Russian Children's Theatre will perform again at this year's bazaar, starting at approximately 3 p.m. The group, made up of Russian children living in Iowa City, was formed a year and a half ago by Leonid Stepanov when he came to Iowa from Russia. He has 30 years of theater and puppet theater experience. Last year the children performed the play, "The Wolf and Seven Goats." The bazaar was their first major performance. This year the group will present a lively mixture of music, singing and dancing.

The bazaar will not be all music and dancing. Participants will be able to view contemporary television programming from Slavic countries, including cartoons. In addition, they can view a display of currency from a number of different regions. Cooking demonstrations and samples of food such as pirozhki and kolachky will also be a part of the bazaar.

The UI International Center is located at the end of Ferson Avenue in Iowa City, off of Park Road or by foot up the stairway from Riverside Drive. For more information about the Slavic Bazaar, contact Blythe Burkhardt at (319) 335-1436.

CREEES is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and training.