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VALLEY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

May 09, 1996|JAMES E. FOWLER

WEEKEND: SONG AND DANCE

If the sounds of balalaikas and tupans are music to your ears, you won't want to miss the Tamburitzans' show at Cal State Northridge on Saturday.

The 38-member folk music and dance troupe from Duquesne University in Pennsylvania celebrates the varied cultures of Eastern Europe, including Croatian, Slovenia, Serbian, Macedonian, Hungarian, Slovak, Jewish, Ukranian, Russian, Moldovan, Polish and Bulgarian.

The Tamburitzans was founded in 1932 by Lester A. Pierce, who wanted to perpetuate the music of the tambura, or tamburitza, a family of instruments indigenous to southeastern Europe.

The troupe, which is made up entirely of students on scholarship at the university, performs approximately 80 concerts per year. All members go through an extensive audition process and most leave the group after they graduate.

Some like managing director Paul Stafura, however, stay on. He has been associated with the group since 1967, first as a performer and as director since 1988. A glance at the company's roster reveals that members are more likely to be majoring in psychology or economics than in music or the performance arts.

Numbers scheduled for the show include a Hungarian shepherd's stick dance, a Macedonian bride's dance, a Moldovan laundry girl dance, and an eastern European Jewish wedding dance.

The Tamburitzans sing, dance, and play authentic ethnic instruments, performing in colorful, ethnic costumes. Each show involves some 500 costume changes for the 38-member group.

* The Tamburitzans perform at 3 and 7 p.m Saturday at CSUN's Student Union Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Tickets are $20. Call (818) 785-8885.

FREE SOUNDS

The Summer Concert series in the Santa Monica Mountains kicks off this weekend with a show featuring folk blues artists Maureen and Rich Del Grosso at Peter Strauss Ranch.

The Del Grossos, winners of the 1989 Blues Foundation's Handy Award for "Keeping the Blues Alive in Education," perform the acoustic blues of the 1930s. They have been performing together for about 15 years.

Concert-goers should take the Ventura Freeway to Kanan Road exit; go south to Troutdale Road, turn left on Troutdale to Mulholland Highway; turn left on Mulholland Highway, and then right under the arch into the parking lot. Walk back across the bridge on Mulholland Highway and enter the main gate of the ranch.

Other free concerts slated for later this summer include a giant folk music hootenanny on June 16 and a performance by the Inca Dancers and Musicians on Aug. 11. Attendees are advised to bring a blanket, lawn chairs and a picnic basket.

* Maureen & Rich Del Grosso perform in concert at 2 p.m. Sunday at Peter Strauss Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains. Admission is free. Call (818) 597-9192, Ext. 201.

RIDE 'EM, COWBOY

Pierce College will hold its annual rodeo this weekend in its football stadium to benefit the school's Agricultural Department. The rodeo continues a 40-year Pierce tradition. The participants are college athletes from all over California and Nevada.

The event will include a barbecue and live country music by the band South 40. On Sunday, Mother's Day, mothers and grandmothers will be admitted free with a paid child's admission.

* Pierce College Rodeo festivities start at 5 p.m. Saturday and at 11:30 a.m. Sunday with a barbecue at the school's stadium, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills. Admission is $8 general, $6 students, children 4-12 and seniors. A rodeo-barbecue combo ticket is $16. Call (818) 719-6463.

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