Thursday, March 03, 2011

White Water to perform Finnish Dance as "Rockland" fundraiser in Brownstone Hall Mar. 5

ATLANTIC MINE -- White Water (Dean and Bette Premo along with Emma, Carrie, and Susan Dlutkowski) will perform for a Finnish Dance from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, 2011, at the historic Brownstone Hall, 46925 Huron St. in Atlantic Mine. The dance will be a fundraiser for the Pine Mountain Music Festival (PMMF) New World Premiere performances of its new opera Rockland. The event will feature the rich dance music of composer Konsta Jylhä.

The Brownstone Hall, with its recently remodeled stage and dance floor, is now a favorite dance venue, thanks to owners Susi and Tim Landers, who have spent months remodeling the building. Here dancers do a lively Finnish schottische during the Pasi Cats' Pikkujoulu (Little Christmas) dance on Dec. 12, 2010. Click on photos for larger versions. (Keweenaw Now file photo)*

Rockland will be performed on July 15 and 17, 2011, at the Rozsa Center for Performing Arts at Michigan Technological University. This opera is based on a long-forgotten incident in Rockland (Ontonagon County) when in 1906 sheriff’s deputies confronted a group of striking Finnish copper miners. Shots were fired and two miners were killed. A survivor of the confrontation, miner Alfred Laakso, wrote an account that has served as inspiration for the opera.

Arts supporters John and Pauline Kiltinen championed the project with PMMF. The Kiltinens raised money for the commissioning phase, partly from themselves and partly from Gloria Jackson, who has family roots in Nivala, Finland (where the Old World Premiere will take place in early summer). Jussi Tapola, stage director at Finnish National Opera, was hired as librettist; and renowned composer Jukka Linkola was engaged to write the music.

In offering the fundraiser dance, White Water continues its longtime and diverse relation with the PMMF. Dean and Bette Premo have made music as White Water since 1985. For much of that time, son Evan and daughter Laurel have been part of the band. These days White Water takes on several forms (duo, trio, quartet, and more). For the special fundraiser dance Dean and Bette will be joined by Houghton-based "fiddlers" Emma and Carrie Dlutkowski and their mother Susan (piano). Despite their young ages Emma and Carrie are long-time members of the U.P. classical music scene and for the last three years they have been frequent performers with White Water.

Whitewater band members Bette Premo (far left on stage) and and Dean Premo (right at microphone) are joined by young fiddlers Emma Dlutkowski (second from left) and Carrie Dlutkowski of Stanton Township during the June 2009 Finnish Music Festival in Covington. Dancers include Kay and Hal Seppala (left foreground) of Chassell. Kay Seppala's Kivajat Dance Group also performed during that festival. (Keweenaw Now file photo © and courtesy Susan Dlutkowski)

The White Water ensemble will feature the music of Konsta Jylhä (1910-1984), a folk-virtuoso who made the traditional pelimanni-style folk music a Finnish cultural phenomenon. The current Kaustinen Finland folk-virtuoso violinist, Mauno Järvelä, has made it his life work to document and make available to fiddlers worldwide the music of Konsta Jylhä. Järvelä provided the music to White Water.

Finnish snacks and coffee will be available at the March 5 dance. Tickets will be available at the door for $10. For more information contact the PMMF at (906) 482-1542.

* See more photos of the Brownstone Hall in our Dec. 13, 2010, article "PasiCats' Pikkujoulu warms Brownstone Hall with song, dance."

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