07 MAY 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA–Children and their families are treated to a wide range of international music, dance, and theater this summer, when the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology presents its Summer Wonder 2007 Performance Series. Eight Summer Wonder programs, all free with Museum admission, run Wednesday mornings, June 27 through August 15, at 10:30 a.m. Performances last about one hour. Pre-registration is required for groups of 10 or more.
June 27th – India Beats, an Indian dance group with the contemporary youth dance company, Music & Motion Dance Productions, presents Indian folk and contemporary dances. The troupe will perform several short pieces from various regions of India and “Bollywood” culture and offer visitors the chance to learn Indian dance moves as well.
July 11th – The Vagabond Acting Troupe performs “The Trial of Akhenaten,” a short fictional piece that draws upon ancient Egyptian literature depicting the gods Sekhmet, Bes, Bastet, and the Aten.” This interactive theatre production complements Penn Museum’s exhibit, “Amarna: Ancient Egypt’s Place in the Sun.”
July 18th – Celebrate a variety of Arabic rhythms with accomplished Middle Eastern percussionist and music teacher, Joseph Tayoun, and see Al- Bustan's Percussion Ensemble youth members perform their original arrangements.
July 25th -Learn about the first people of Pennsylvania as Chief Chuck DeMund of the Lenape Nation recounts history through storytelling and percussion music.
August 1st – Malfada’s Afro-Caribbean drum and dance group presents an interactive performance that will engage the audience! Mafalda is an exciting personality, and a past recipient of the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Preserving Diverse Cultures in Dance award. Her breadth of experience includes performances and workshops in Mali, Senegal, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Marteen and most recently in France.
August 8th – Eco Del Sur is a musical ensemble, which consists of artists from Chile, Columbia, and Ecuador. They have united to explore and perform ancient and contemporary music from Latin America. Each member has mastered a variety of interesting instruments such as zamponas, quenas, ocarinas, moxenos, mandolins, bongos, maracas, and rain sticks to give visitors a taste of Latin American sounds.
August 15th – The Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble choreographs powerful and electrifying performances. Inspired by dancers in West Africa, this mesmerizing African dance and drum presentation celebrates the beauty of African culture.
Following each Summer Wonder program, children and their families are invited to explore the Museum’s three floors of galleries, including materials from ancient Egypt, Asia, the ancient Mediterranean world, the Near East, Mesoamerica, North America, Polynesia, and Africa.
The Museum Shops and the Museum Cafe also join in the summer wonder. The Museum’s Pyramid Shop for Children, which features games, toys, and books with stories from around the world, will remain open Summer Wonder days, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Museum Shop, open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, offers a rich assortment of international arts, crafts, and jewelry. The Cafe, open 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., joins with kid-friendly foods on Summer Wonder days.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, located at 3260 South Streets on the Penn campus in Philadelphia, is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage. For general information, visitors may call (215) 898-4000, or visit the Museum’s award-winning website at http://www.penn.museum.