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Release: Immediate

NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Carbone 14 is pronounced in French: car-bone ka-tawrz

Carbone 14 tours haunted house in 'The Dead Souls' March 24-25 in Hancher

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Carbone 14, the acclaimed Montreal company known for its powerful melding of dance and theater, will return to the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium to perform "The Dead Souls" at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, March 24-25. The performances are part of the Iowa City Press-Citizen Millennium Series.

In "The Dead Souls" Carbone 14 tours an old, haunted house, inhabited by the spirits of the many generations who have lived there. The past and present collide in the beauty, violence and sensuality of their overlapping stories of love and passion, celebration and addiction, death and betrayal.

The inhabitants include a couple at the turn of the century, a 1950s family, and a pair of heroin-addicted lovers in modern times. Through these intertwining stories moves what artistic director Gilles Maheu calls "a timeless pair," an elderly man and his granddaughter who encompass the past and the future.

Although the production includes bits of dialogue, most of the stories -- with their shifting images and layers of meaning -- are told through Maheu's movement, a seamless combination of dance, gesture and theatrical action.

Carbone 14 is known for the daring physicality of its movement, and in "The Dead Souls" the performers hurtle through space, with both drill-team precision and wild abandon.

The action is augmented by music of growing intensity, and by highly dramatic lighting, which functions as a metaphor for memory illuminating the past, at times cold and austere, but at other times warm with affection and passion.

The Toronto Globe and Mail called the production "an unforgettable visual and aural experience from beginning to end." The critic of Montreal's Le Devoir wrote, "'The Dead Souls' belongs to the type of theater which heightens the senses to stir the spectator's soul more profoundly. Not a second is wasted with the extraordinary troupe, and the audience never has the feeling that life is anywhere else."

Le Soleil in Quebec City concluded, "Ritualistic, sensual and interpreted with the physical exactness that we have come to expect from Carbone 14, the dance-theater-play 'The Dead Souls' hums with life. Its strong images send us deeply into ourselves, into our own vision of time. Emanating from it is that overwhelming and penetrating emotion that makes long-lasting theater memories."

The choice of the name Carbone 14 -- the radioactive isotope used in scientific dating --speaks volumes about the Maheu's company. Carbone 14 productions probe the mysteries of history, both personal and communal, searching for the ineffable truths and haunting paradoxes at the heart of experience.

Maheu founded Carbone 14 in 1980, developing his distinctive theatrical language from his study of European corporal mime.

In explaining his aims, Maheu wrote, "We have to rediscover the art of disturbing, or unsettling. I believe in a theater of emotions, a theater of the body. The stage is the source of the fire, a hurricane, a storm where primal and dangerous forces clash. Props, actors, movement and speech are but the external expression of a hidden discourse, a deeper mystery that is at the heart of any theater piece and is the true 'script' of the performance."

Many of the company's 14 productions have toured internationally, notably "The Dormitory," which has been seen in 18 countries on four continents, including an engagement in Hancher Auditorium. The film of "The Dormitory" won an International Emmy Award and the FIPA d'Or at Cannes.

"The Dead Souls" follows in the tradition of "The Dormitory," where the nature of memory and what is remembered interact to create a provocative, heightened theatricality.

"The Dead Souls" includes nudity and adult subject matter. Potential audience members who are concerned about whether it is appropriate for them should request additional information.

Tickets for Carbone 14's "The Dead Souls" are $28, $25 and $22. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20 percent discount, with Zone 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and

1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial

(319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen is the corporate sponsor of the Millennium Series, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

More information about Carbone 14 is available at the company's World Wide Web site: <>. For more information about Hancher programming, visit <>.