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Release: Immediate


UI DANCE DEPARTMENT PRESENTS FALL SPACE-PLACE CONCERT DEC. 5-6 -- The University of Iowa dance department will present its fall Space/Place Concert, featuring the best new works by its student choreographers, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 5 and 6, in the Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

All the works in the concert were selected by a faculty adjudication panel from among works auditioned by the students.

The concert will feature:

-- two works by Kuan Chew -- a humorous contemporary duet, "Whatever," with music by the Turtle Island String Quartet, and an untitled lyrical ensemble piece set to music by Mozart;

-- Courtney Walrath's "Basket Case," a humorous ballet about basketball rivalries, with music by Chopin;

-- "Animalia" by Emily Power, a humorous contemporary dance using music by Miles Davis and movements mimicking the animal kingdom;

-- an untitled work by Lana McAllister, danced to Dada poetry;

-- Jill Emerson's "Girl Beyond Silence," set to Libertango;

-- an untitled work by Lana McAllister, with music performed by the Kronos Quartet;

-- Mandi Bedbury's "Boadicea," set to music by Enya;

-- Amy Ruzic's choreography to the rock standard "Blue Moon"; and

-- Shannon Brown's "Procession," set to music by Gorecki.

Admission to the Space/Place Concert will be $5 ($4 for UI students, senior citizens and children) at the door.

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JAZZ LAB BAND DEC. 8 -- The Jazz Lab Band from the University of Iowa School of Music will perform a concert of big-band jazz, from Ellington and Basie to Thelonious Monk and Toshiko Akiyoshi, at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The band, which is directed by graduate student Denson Paul Pollard, has the full big-band instrumentation of large reed and horn sections, plus a rhythm section of drums, bass and piano.

A part of the instructional program of the jazz area in the UI School of Music, the band aims to give student performers experience in a wide variety of big-band jazz styles. The Dec. 8 program will reflect that diversity, with pieces from the swing era up to contemporary jazz.

Ellington is represented on the program with two pieces, "Battle of Swing" and "Jack the Bear," and Basie is on the program with his "Hay Burner." Other swing-era pieces will include "Isfahan" by Ellington's long-time collaborator Billy Strayhorn and Tommy Dorsey's classic "I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You."

1950s jazz appears with Monk's "Well You Needn't," and contemporary big-band jazz is represented with Toshiko Akiyoshi's "I Ain't Gonna Ask No More." Other pieces on the program will be Steve Coonley's "Takin' It Easy," Paul Lopez's "I Ain't Gonna Ask No More" and Tom Kubis' "Exactly Like This."

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ELECTRONIC MUSIC CONCERT DEC. 9 -- The Electronic Music Studios of the University of Iowa School of Music will present a free concert of music compositions created in the studios during the fall semester, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The program will include "Thought-Forms" by Lawrence Fritts, the director of the Electronic Music Studios, as well as works by seven students who have worked in the studios during the fall.

The works on the program are representative of the new "acousmatic" style of computer music composition. This music takes sounds from a variety of real-world sources, then transforms and combines them to create new unified compositions.

Student works on the program will be: "Elevator Operator" by composition graduate student Mark Chubb; "Head Voice" by undergraduate voice and electrical engineering student Joss Nichols; "Falling" by undergraduate music student Sarah Mertens; "Zohar" by undergraduate cello student John Ritz; "Solitude is Espionage" by undergraduate English student Jesse Seldress; "Objects and Verbs" by undergraduate composition student Eric Durien; and "The Expanse of Dreams" by graduate composition student Andrew Hauschild.

Fritt's recent acousmatic work "Minute Variations" has just been released on a CD on the Innova label, along with works by other leading acousmatic composers. The piece will be presented at the Futura 98 Festival Acousmatique in Lyons, France, next year. It has also been recently performed in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Glasgow and Thessaloniki, Greece, as part of the International Computer Music Conference.

Fritts has completed a doctorate in musical composition at the University of Chicago, where he studied with some of the leading figures in contemporary music. His music has been performed in Chicago by the Contemporary Chamber Players, the University of Chicago New Music Ensemble, New Music De Paul and New Music Chicago. His electronic works have been featured in a series of concerts at Columbia College and have been broadcast in the United States and Europe. He has been interviewed on National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Company about the history of electronic music.

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UNIVERSITY AND CONCERT BANDS WRAP UP FALL SEMESTER DEC. 10 -- Two bands from the University of Iowa School of Music -- the University Band and the Concert Band -- will close their fall semester activities with a concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The two groups are open by audition to all students at UI. They are conducted by graduate assistants in the UI band department.

The University Band, directed by Andrew Mast, will play Frank Tichelli's "Cajun Folk Songs," "Don Not Go Gentle in that Good Night" by Ellliot Del Borgo, "The March of the Belgian Paratroopers" by Paul Leemans, Vernon Hogg's "Llwyn Onn," the "Koenigsmarsch" (Royal march) by Richard Strauss, and an arrangement of J.S.Bach's Fantasia in G.

The Concert Band, directed by Brian Dewald, will play Percy Grainger's "Lads of Wamphrey," the "Fanfare for a Great Hall" by Jack Stamp, Vincent Persichetti's Divertimento for band, an arrangement of the Polka and Fugue from "Schwanda the Bagpiper" by Jaromir Weinberger," and Ron Nelson's "Morning Alleluias."

The concert by the University and Concert bands will be free and open to the public.

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GALLERY SERIES PRESENTS 'LAST ORBIT OF BILLY MARS' DEC. 11-14 -- The University Theatres Gallery series will present "The Last Orbit of Billy Mars" by Iowa Playwrights Workshop graduate Robert Alexander, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 11-13, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, in the David Thayer Theatre of the University of Iowa Theater Building.

"The Last Orbit of Billy Mars," directed by Keisha Ector, is the latest installment in Alexander's "Erotic Justice" play cycle, which includes "I Ain't Yo Uncle" and "Preface to the Alien Garden."

"I Ain't Yo Uncle" was toured nationally by the San Francisco Mime Troupe, including UI performances presented by Hancher Auditorium. "Preface to the Alien Garden" was premiered at the Iowa Playwrights Festival and was presented on University Theatres Mainstage season last year before professional productions in San Francisco, Baltimore, Seattle, Providence and Atlanta.

Alexander's capsule description of the play is, "She was his sun, his moon, the center of his universe, as love proved stronger than gravity."

More than 20 of Alexander's plays have been produced in regional theaters, including the acclaimed and controversial "Servant of the People," a play about Huey Newton and the Black Panther Party. Alexander's plays are about issues in the black community, with a strong message for all Americans.

Alexander is the National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group playwright-in-residence at Jomandy Productions in Atlanta, and he is the newly installed writer-in-residence at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. He the co-editor "Colored Contradictions," a volume of African-American dramatic literature.

Admission to "The Last Orbit of Billy Mars" will be $4 ($2 for UI students, senior citizens and audience members 17 and younger) at the door.

"The Last Orbit of Billy Mars" includes materials of an adult nature, including explicit language, violence and nudity. Potential audience members who are concerned about whether the production is appropriate for them should call the department of theatre arts at 319-335-2700 for additional information.

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