BY MELISSA REESE
Salisbury University hosted a performance by the Tamburitzans Oct. 28.
The Tamburitzans, which are in their 81st season show entitled “Passages––the Journey of our Ancestors,” are the longest running multicultural song and dance company in the U.S.
The Tamburitzans attend Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa., on scholarship for their activities.
The Tamburitzans are folk music dancers and band members. Their music and dance covers a wide range of Eastern and Central European countries’ cultures including Croatian, Hungarian, Romanian, Greek, Russian, Bulgarian and Spanish culture.
Matea Pranjic, a member of the Tamburitzans, said there are junior groups which recruit people at the age of five. She has been a member of the Tamburitzans since she was five years old.
Pranjic said that she feels passionately about European music and dance because of her heritage.
“My family’s actually from Croatia,” Pranjic said. “My parents immigrated here in 1999, so it’s really important to, kind of, keep up our culture and still stay involved while being here in America, and this is probably the best way I could have asked for.”
Christy Nale said her story of joining the Tamburitzans is different from most of the other members, who were part of the junior groups.
Nale said she has always been passionate about dance, particularly ballet.
“I did ballet my entire life, for 15 years, and a few of the Tammy guys came to my studio to do the Russian segment in ‘The Nutcracker,’ so I told them I was going to Duquesne University, and they were like, ‘You should try out for the Tamburitzans,’ so I did,” Nale said. “I got in, and here I am.”
Nale said that many of the Tamburitzans are from European countries. She believes the fact that they get to share their culture with their audience makes the experience of being part of the Tamburitzans even more rewarding.
“Most of the group, as do I, have European roots, so my family’s from Greece and Russia,” Nale said. “It’s just fun; it’s different. It’s fun…to share our passion for our ancestry.”
Nale said this show is representative of people from many different cultural backgrounds. She said when people see the Tamburitzans, they are exposed to many different cultures and traditions, which makes them more educated about diverse cultures.
“Our show is chock full of a ton of different ethnicities and cultural representations and traditions and…everything,” Nale said. “Just coming to our shows, seeing our costumes…our costumes are all handmade…and just the work that people put into this is extraordinary.”