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Intellect

Marriott Center to swing for Homecoming Spectacular Oct. 10-11

If anyone in the audience at Brigham Young University's Homecoming Spectacular doesn't tap a toe at least once during the annual talent extravaganza, it's a pretty safe bet he or she has left a sense of rhythm at home.

That's because motion and music will dominate an evening of entertainment that supports the Homecoming theme, "Never Stand Still." Homecoming Spectacular will be presented Friday and Saturday, Oct. 10 and 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Marriott Center.

Tickets are $12 below the concourse, $10 above the concourse and $6 with BYU ID. For tickets, call (800) 322-BYU1 or visit http://ticket.byu.edu.

The Young Ambassadors and Ballroom Dance Company, as well as swing and tap groups will show why jitterbugging, swinging, and other styles of lively dancing were so popular in post-World War II America. Additionally, Synthesis, University Singers, Dancensemble and Harps in Motion will demonstrate why they are among BYU's most talented student artists.

"'Never Stand Still' is an ideal theme for us because it implies the movement and energy we hope to accomplish during Spectacular," says Janielle Christensen, artistic director of the show. "It was only natural to bring in such groups as Synthesis and University Singers as well as so many dance teams that can easily portray and embody that theme."

The first half of the program will showcase signature numbers from the various groups; the second section could be dubbed "Swing, Swing, Swing." As a tribute to the 1940s and the swing era, it will feature several production numbers from that era, including the "Boogie, Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Sing, Sing, Sing."

"We are looking at a big swing finale combining most of our groups as a reflection of the joyous period of time," Christensen says.

"The postwar era is something we haven't touched on before and has been an interesting period to investigate," says Michael Handley, the show's producer and lighting and scenic designer. "It was ideal to add Synthesis because this is the music that it plays so well and so naturally. The group celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and this show provides a way for Synthesis to take center stage and anchor the entire evening."

As part of that celebration, director Ray Smith plans to bring several of Synthesis' star performers of the past as featured musicians.

Christensen and Handley will make use of a back screen with images that help evoke the late 1940s era. "We are at the point in the history of BYU where there may be film footage of this time. This is part of our search as we prepare the program," Christensen says.

The screen will also be used to highlight the life of Howard S. McDonald, BYU's sixth president and the founder who is being honored this year. Recipients of the university alumni awards and college honored alumni will also be recognized.

Homecoming Spectacular will come at the end of a week of highlights that will begin with opening ceremonies Tuesday, Oct. 7, and continue with a kickoff party at Brigham Square, daily noonday activities, a hike of the "Y," a baby pageant, an alumni big-band dinner, a 5K Cougar Run, Kids' Run, and True Blue Football. College honored alumni will also deliver guest lectures, and groups will meet throughout the week for reunions. Other key events are the Thursday evening BYU/CSU football game, Homecoming dances, a free pancake breakfast, reunions and a Homecoming Parade.

Additional details about Homecoming 2003 can be found at alumni.byu.edu.

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