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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 24Jan02
By Excel Entertainment Group Press Release
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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 international sports.

"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 Murray City.

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


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