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On a Spanish kick

Kenneth LaFave
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 4, 2003 12:00 AM

Herlinda Lopez's return to Arizona from California eight years ago was a full-circle event. Her grandfather Felipe Lopez had taught music throughout Arizona in the early part of the 20th century. Her father and uncles also led musical lives in the Phoenix area, playing in 1940s dance orchestras at the Arizona Biltmore and on KTAR-AM (620) when it broadcast live music.

But for the younger Lopez, it was dance, not music, that allowed her to express her traditions. Having studied jazz and modern dance in California, she vowed to devote herself to Spanish dance in the Valley. That devotion blooms in the performance at 7 tonight of Las Lindas at the Glendale Library auditorium, 5959 W. Brown St., (623) 930-3573.

"Linda Machado and myself formed the group," Lopez says. The first names of the founders - Linda and Herlinda - gave the ensemble its name. A passion for the regional, classical and flamenco dances of Spain gave it a profile.

Deanne Poulos and Lynneta Neuner joined Las Lindas shortly after it was started last year. Among the four of them, they've experienced a range of instruction in Spanish dance, including years with Valley Spanish dance doyennes Laura Moya and Lydia Torrea.

"We dance for the love of it, fulfilling a need to continue the heritage," Lopez says. "It's a part of the Southwest."

A favorite returns

In 1997, when he played for the first time in Arizona (Tucson), German pianist Markus Pawlik pointed out that only about 100 people worldwide make a living exclusively by playing the piano.

Pawlik couldn't be reached to be asked whether he has joined that august century of classical keyboardists, but we do know he has become an Arizona favorite, both in Tucson and the Valley.

He's making his third set of appearances on the Steinway Series at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 E. Second St. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Tickets: $20, (480) 994-ARTS (2787) or www.scottsdalearts.org.

Pawlik will play the Brahms F-minor Sonata, op. 5, both nights, and different sets of Chopin each night: on Sunday, a selection including the Polonaise-Fantasie, op. 61, two nocturnes, and the Grande Valse, op. 42, in A-flat major; on Monday, the op. 10 etudes.

Series coordinator Dayton Grafman says Pawlik keeps coming back because he's good, and because Arizona provided him with something more than a gig or three:

"His in-laws live here in the Valley."

2 pianos, 1 'Amen'

If one piano isn't enough for you, try two:

At 7:30 tonight, in Arizona State University's Katzin Hall at the School of Music in Tempe, pianists Ja-Hyang Lim and Walter Cosand will perform Visions of the Amen, by Olivier Messiaen. Messiaen's music, written in 1943, depicts the meaning of the word "Amen" throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

The one-hour event is free.


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