Clive Romney Directed Group Invited to Represent USA at World's Most Popular Sporting Event
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The Clog America International Festival
Ensemble has received an invitation to represent the USA in the
International Arts Celebration associated with the 2002 World Cup
Soccer Championships to be held in Korea and Japan this summer. The
honor is significant, as the World Cup is one of the most widely
watched sporting events in the world. Held every four years, the
soccer championship is regarded around the world as the pinnacle of
"This is the biggest invitation we have ever received," says Clive
Romney, the group's music director. "We are honored to have this
opportunity to represent the United States and Utah on truly a world
stage. Now it is simply a matter of raising the money we need to
make it happen."
Clog America faces the immediate challenge of raising the funds
necessary to provide airline tickets, special costumes and festival
gifts for the 32 volunteer dancers and performers who would travel to
Seoul and Tokyo this summer.
The entire company is composed of 47 skilled dancers from throughout
Utah and Wyoming, up to 20 accomplished bluegrass musicians and three
Polynesian and Native American dance specialists from Hawaii. From
these numbers, different ensemble configurations are formed for
festival tours and special performances. Most of the performers are
college or high school age, and although they represent the United
States on a professional level, all are volunteers. They donate their
time and energy, usually pay their own way and even load, unload and
carry their own props and costumes (enough for over 10 costume
changes per show).
Since the ensemble was formed in 1990, Clog America has traveled
throughout Europe, Canada and the United States sharing American
traditions, a love of dance and a message of peace. Because of
popular demand, the ensemble recently converted from a biannual
schedule, with tours on odd- numbered years, to a year-round schedule
filled with tours and local performances.
This year, Clog America will participate in the North Carolina
International Folk Festival known as "Folkmoot" and the Fiestas de
Santa Lucia International Festival in Monterey, Mexico. This
February they will be featured in 12 performances during the major
international winter sports competition being held in Salt Lake City.
As part of the 2002-2003 Utah Performing Arts Tour, the ensemble has
been scheduled to present a "pre-fireworks" concert on July 4 for
During two tours in the summer of 2001, Clog America dancers and
musicians represented the United States at nine international dance
festivals in France, Belgium, Italy, the Czech Republic and the
United States. The ensemble was featured in over 40 performances in
20 cities and towns throughout Europe.
Clog America's show includes contemporary and traditional clogging,
as well as dances representing various periods of American history
including pioneer dances, the cakewalk, Charleston, rock 'n roll,
dances from the 60's and contemporary country dances. The ethnic
diversity of the United States is also portrayed through Polynesian
fire-knife and Native American hoop dances.
Accurately representing the history and heritage of the United States
takes many hours of practice and planning for both the directors and
performers, but all agree that the ensemble has something even more
important to share-love. The messages of peace and hope that the
performers share touch the hearts of everyone they meet, from host
families and audiences to performers from other nations, and are
remembered long after the ensemble heads home.
Clog America, directed by Shawnda Bishop, is based in West Valley
City, Utah and is a division of the Worldwide Association of
Performing Artists. For more information, contact Bishop at
Utah Dance Group Invited to Represent USA at World's Most Popular Sporting Event
Excel Entertainment Group Press Release 21Jan02 A2
Group Now Faces Challenge of Raising Private Funding