A whirlwind extravaganza of brilliant costumes, dance, acrobatics and music will take the stage in Corbin Saturday when The Tamburitzans roll into town as part of the Fine Arts Association of Southeastern Kentucky’s 58th annual performance series.
The Tamburitzans has the distinction of being the longest continuously running stage show in America. Founded 83 years ago, the group was a part of Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh, until 2014 when it became an independent, non-profit organization.
While many of the performers are still students at Duquesne, Tamburitzans Artistic Director George Kresovich said going independent widened the talent pool a bit. The group now recruits from other Pittsburgh area universities, and can now even accept graduate students.
“We did have a security blanket when we were with Duquesne because they provided funding, and now we are on our own two feet,” Kresovich said. “I don’t think it’s really affected the program too much. We are still trying to put out a high quality show, and I think we do that.”
Kresovich, a former Tamburitzan himself in 1976, learned the ropes in live entertainment production with big entertainment companies, including Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. He’s come full circle, and set about increasing the production values of the show — adding multimedia elements, more lighting and effects, and an increased focus on explaining the cultural significance of what the audience is seeing on stage.
“We are trying to appeal to a wider audience,” Kresovich said. “We are a variety show. I think we draw from a lot of different elements that is appealing to a wide audience. There is something in this show for everyone, and it’s very family oriented.”
This season, the Tamburtitzans are calling their show “Symbols: Expression of Culture.” Kresovich said it incorporates elements from Croatian, Georgian, Nordic, Serbian, Polish, Celtic and Russian cultures. Twenty-nine performers will be on stage for the show.
The Tamburitzans will perform Saturday in the Corbin High School Auditorium starting at 7:30 p.m. Doors open about 6:00 p.m. Individual tickets, or season subscriptions, can be purchased at the door or online at www.fineartsseky.org.