World Music & Dance Festival

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intro-to-african-dance-w800Intro to African Dance with Tarn Ream of Unity Dance & Drum

Missoula Senior Center, 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Tarn will teach an introductory West African dance class for people of all ages and abilities, accompanied by live drum music. She will teach moves specific to a traditional celebration dance, and show how the rhythms drive the movement. This is an energetic event, and fun family activity for First Night celebrators!


flamenco-mt-w800Flamenco Montana

UM Dennison Theater, 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Celebrate Southern Spain’s gift to the world, designated an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010. Spanish regional dance, Sephardic song, and flamenco embrace the range of the human spirit from the joy of love and life to the pain of despair and death, in passion born of Indian, Byzantine, Arabic, Jewish and Andalusian cultures. The poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca inspires our show this New Year’s Eve, at the close of the year marking the 80th anniversary of his death. With performers from Flamenco Montana, Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre, and Chutzpah!

Greek Folk Dance Class

Missoula Senior Center, 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Jerry Duke, professor emeritus in dance ethnology has been teaching folk dances for over 50 years. Stop by the Missoula Senior Center and let him lead you through a series of fun and simple Greek folk dances.

contra-w800Contra Dance

Missoula Senior Center, 6 pm to 7 pm

The Missoula Folklore Society will guide all comers through fun, easy-to-learn group folk dances — mainly New England contra (Americanized English country dance), circles & squares. Callers teach each dance, & with the help of experienced dancers, guide the beginners through the dance. No partner or experience needed. Sassafras Stomp will accompany the dances with lively old time music on fiddle and guitar. Dances work well for dancers aged 8 to 80; younger kids will need an adult guide.

unity-dance-and-drum-w800Unity Dance & Drum

UM Dennison Theater, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Unity Dance and Drum performs high-energy African music and dance—from the interlacing songs and mbira (thumb piano) music of Zimbabwe to the athletic, drum-driven dances of West Africa—we bring you an exciting cultural experience complete with bright costumes, traditional songs, and tantalizing musical arrangements. This performance includes many opportunities for participating in singing and dancing in the new year!


gamelan-manik-harum-w800Gamelan Manik Harum

UM Recital Hall, 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Enjoy the mesmerizing sound of gamelan music from the tropical island of Bali, Indonesia. Entrancing melodies, beautiful dancers and ornate hand-carved instruments will captivate your senses. It is Manik Harum – a powerful force that gives you a good feeling like a pleasant aroma.

salsa_loca_2-w800Salsa Loca

University Center Ballroom, 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Salsa Loca is Montana’s hottest Latin music ensemble, made up of some of the area’s finest musicians. Seasoned fans of Latin and Salsa music, as well as those new to this exciting style, will all appreciate their sizzling variety of sounds and rhythms. This is some of the best party and dance music in the world.

Celtic Dragon Pipe Band

First United Methodist Church, 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm

A perennial favorite at every First Night Missoula, the Celtic Dragon Pipe Band plays ensemble music with bagpipes and drums in the Scottish Regimental style. Montana’s premier pipe band is pleased to perform throughout the Northwest and Canada, and especially at home for the holidays.

Drum Brothers

University Center Commons, 10:30 pm to 2017

Closing out our World Music & Dance Festival, as well as 2016, the Drum Brothers present high energy performances that celebrate a diverse mix of world instruments and sounds: West African Djembe and Dunun Drums, Middle Eastern Fram Drums, Australian Didgeridoo, close harmony vocals, acoustic guitar, flute, saxophone, and original arrangements and compositions. Audience participation will be encouraged as Drum Brothers move through the crowd and share simple steps with those interested. The ensemble is comprised of Matthew & Michael Marsolek, Lawrence Duncan, and Colin Ruggiero.