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Release: Immediate

UI Dancers in Company will open season with home concerts March 7-9

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa department of dance will present the annual home concert of its touring repertory ensemble, Dancers in Company, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 7-8, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 9, in the Space/Place Theatre of North Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will kick off a touring season for the company. In addition to performances in a variety of settings, the touring season will include special presentations for children in which the process of choreography and dance techniques will be discussed.

Since its inception in 1986, Dancers in Company has brought dance to communities in eight states and to the 1990 Hong Kong International Dance Festival. The award-winning ensemble presents works from classical to contemporary, in traditional and non-traditional spaces. The company has been praised for its exuberance and its rapport with audiences.

Directors of the company are UI dance faculty members Armando Duarte and Linda Crist.

Duarte launched his dance career in Brazil with the Black Swan Dance Company. His work has been performed throughout Brazil and the United States and has been featured in the American Dance Festival International Choreographers Workshop. His work for Dancers in Company includes: "Youwarkee," "Just for Fun," "Once Every Morning," "A Taste of an Orange" and "Bum Bum."

Crist teaches ballet and Labanotation, as well as serving as the coordinator of the Dance Skills Program and graduate recruitment. Her work in Labanotation, a form of dance notation, includes Bournonville's "Flower Festival," "Bamboo Grove," "Six Fairy Variations," "Aerobic Pas de Deux," Weidman's "Brahms' Waltzes" and Buzz Miller's "Not for Love Alone." She is currently reconstructing Valerie Bettis' "Desperate Hearts" for a UI concert this spring. Crist has taught at Ball State University and Luther College.

The program this year features different styles chosen to appeal to a variety of audiences.

Included in the program are two pieces -- "Rush" and "Pulse" -- choreographed by Master of Fine Arts dance graduate student Cecil Slaughter, a former dancer from Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in Ohio.

Graduate student Rise Karns will present "The Reunion," which represented the UI at the American College Dance Festival. Karns, a native Iowan, has returned to Iowa to pursue her Master of Fine Arts degree in dance after spending most of her dance career in New York.

David Berkey, an associate professor of dance at UI, will present "Sky Fire," a modern dance trio done on pointe, and "Personal Gravity," a duet set to the music of J.S. Bach. Berkey has danced with companies in Germany and the United States, and his works have been presented by companies in Canada, France and the United States.

Guest choreographer Jennifer Plunkett from Montgomery, Ala., will present "Cascade," which won the Capezio Award for choreography. Plunkett's resume includes the Lewitzky workshops, Joffrey Ballet School, American Dance Festival and the Paul Taylor II company workshops.

Graduate student Kaye E. Richards will present "A Bold Day." Richards, who for years was a Martha Graham Company dancer, is a native of British Guyana who has spent most of her career in New York.

Duarte will present two pieces -- the duet "A Taste of an Orange" and a group work titled "Youwarkee," which is based on short story written by the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges. This piece was chosen to represent the UI at the American College Dance Festival Association competition.

Dancers in Company was created to give UI dance students the practical experience of performing in a touring repertory company, while providing performances and educational activities to Iowa communities and schools, many of which rarely have opportunities to experience live dance of high quality and variety.

Admission to the March 7-9 performances will be $5 ($4 for UI students) at the door.

For more information about the concert, call the UI dance department at (319) 335-2228. For additional information about the Dancers in Company touring program, contact Arts Share program director Allison Cox at the UI, (319) 335-1618.