Cultural concert series kicks off Sunday at Peace Arch State Park

Published on Fri, Aug 6, 2010 by Tara Nelson

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Those wanting to get a taste of international flavor should check out the Peace Arch International concert series beginning this week at Peace Arch State Park. The free event is hosted by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission’s Folk Arts in the Parks Program and features music and dance performances from around the world.


Program manager Jens Lund said organizers broadened the series this year to include other cultural events such as a traditional Mexican dance group and ethnic Croatian ensembles.


The series kicks off at 2 p.m.  Sunday, August 8, with performances by two local Croatian musical ensembles: Ruže Dalmatinke, formed by sisters of immigrant Franulovic family and led by Alma Plancich, Maria Petrish and Binki Spahi; and Bonaca, a newer, all-male vocal ensemble. Both groups perform the music and songs of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Lund said the event was created to celebrate the Pacific Northwest’s international cultures and artists’ fees for the concerts are paid for by an Arts and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act “economic stimulus” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to Northwest Heritage Resources of Lake Forest Park.


Upcoming shows

August 15 – Hmong Association of Washington: Performers include musicians Chong Moua Vue on the xim xos, a bowed string instrument; Blia Ya Xiong on the qeej, a bamboo wind instrument; the dance group Paj Ntshia Nplaim Haam, featuring Jenny, Sheng and Mee Hang and traditional singers A Ying Cha Hang and Lao Xiong. Yee Xiong of the Hmong Association of Washington and ethnomusicologist Jill Linzee of Northwest Heritage Resources will explain and interpret the performances. The Hmong are a mountain tribal people from Laos who came to North America as refugees following the end of the Vietnam War.


August 22 – Hướng Việt Performing Arts Group: This troupe of musicians and dancers from the Everett and north King County area is the Northwest’s leading ensemble of traditional Vietnamese music and dance. Founded and directed by Việt-Hải Hồng of Everett, the group has performed on many stages in the United States, Canada, Vietnam and most recently, Shanghai.


August 29 – Los Bailadores del Sol: This folklórico dance ensemble from Washington’s Yakima Valley performs the dances of Mexico’s many regions and an interpretation of the Aztecan dance tradition. Known for its spectacular Mexican regional and historic costumes, the group includes children, youth and adult performers. Established in 1982 by Basilio Rodríguez, Boks Deloza and Cynthia Sifuentes have led the group since 2009.


For a full schedule of Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program events throughout the state, visit www.parks.wa.gov/events