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Release: Immediate


KO-THI AT THE MUSEUM, JAN. 22 -- The Ko-Thi Dance Company, Wisconsin's largest African-American arts organization, will give a free mini-performance followed by a question and answer session at 3 p.m., Thursday, Jan 21 in the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

The performance will take place in the museum's sculpture court. Limited seating will be available for the performance.

The performance is part of a week-long residency by Ko-Thi and the University of Iowa's celebration of Martin Luther King's birthday. The residency will include activities for students in Cedar Rapids and Mt. Vernon and will culminate with a performance at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22 in Hancher Auditorium.

The hour-long mini-performance at the Museum of Art will be an informal presentation in which a narrator provides the audience with a historical background and description of each work performed. Dances will be chosen from culturally distinct areas of the African continent to reflect different stylistic approaches to music and dance and will feature eight to 10 members of the Ko-Thi company in full costume.

The Ko-Thi Dance Company, deriving its name from the Shebro word meaning "to go black," is dedicated to preserving and performing African, African-American and Caribbean dance traditions, with their flair, rhythmic energy and spiritual depth. Founded in 1969, Ko-Thi uses a wide variety of drums and other traditional instruments, as well as authentic costumes and ornamentation to produce electrifying performances.

The company has presented performances and residencies throughout the country, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Dance Africa Festival and Lincoln Center in New York City. They have toured internationally and have been honored by selection as a national touring company for Dance USA.

Tickets for the Jan. 22 Hancher concert are $26, $23 and $20. 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.

UI Men's Intercollegiate Athletics is the sponsor of the Hancher performance through the University of Iowa Foundation. The performance and residency are supported by the Heartland Arts Fund.

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.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. Learn more about the Ko-Thi Dance Company on the World Wide Web at