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Part serious musical ensemble, part cultural exhibition, the Rumah Gadang Ensemble offers more than just an educational experience. The dancers for the West Sumatran group move their limbs slowly and deliberately to the rhythms banged out by four musicians on small bronze gongs called talempong. A conga player adds additional beats. Throw in two wind instruments and an accordion, plus protruding ceremonial headdresses, and you have a pan-Asian hybrid that even includes hints of jazz and Martin Denny–style exotica.
THE RUMAH GADANG ENSEMBLE PERFORMS AT 3 P.M. ON THE FREER GALLERY STEPS, 1000 JEFFERSON DR. SW. FREE. (202) 633-1000.