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Release: Aug. 25, 2000

(NOTE TO EDITORS: The media -- including cameras -- will be welcome at most Pilobolus Institute events, and the Pilobolus Institute dancers will be available for interviews. Give us a call for schedule details and contact information.)

Educational residency by Pilobolus Institute leads to two Pilobolus performances in Hancher

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Pilobolus Institute, an educational venture that explores the unique style and unusual creative methods of Pilobolus Dance Theatre, will lead more than three weeks of school and community activities in September, leading up to the Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 performances of Pilobolus in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium.

The residency, through Hancher's Arts Across the Curriculum Project, will take two Pilobolus Institute members into 12 schools in six Iowa communities. Free community events, open to the general public, will be presented in each town. The reach of the residency will become statewide through a Sept. 25 interactive broadcast on the Iowa Communications Network.

The Pilobolus Institute dancers will be at:

-- West Branch Elementary on Monday, Sept. 11;
-- West Branch Middle School on Tuesday, Sept. 12, with a free community event at 7 p.m.;
-- Mt. Vernon Schools on Sept. 13 and 14, with a free community event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14;
-- Roosevelt Elementary in Iowa City on Sept. 15, with a free community event at 7 p.m.;
-- McKinley Middle School in Cedar Rapids on Sept. 18, with a free community event at 7 p.m.;
-- Johnson School of the Arts in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Sept. 19, with a free community event at 7 p.m.;
-- Horace Mann Elementary School in Iowa City on Sept. 20, with a free community event at 7 p.m.;
-- Wellman Elementary School on Sept. 21;
-- Mid-Prairie Middle School in Wellman on Sept. 22, with a free community event at 7 p.m.;
-- Columbus Junction Middle School on Sept. 26; and
-- Columbus Junction Elementary School on Sept. 27, with a free community event at 7 p.m.

In conjunction with the residency, the entire Pilobolus company will present a performance on Hancher's Stage Door series for school groups at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 28.

In 1971 the founders of Pilobolus Dance Theatre at Dartmouth College weren't certain exactly what they were going to do, but they were adamant that it was going to be different. One of the differences was a collaborative approach to creativity, developing choreography from improvisation and creative play rather from the codified movements of any dance tradition.

The group was immediately acclaimed for its startling mix of humor, invention and acrobatic athleticism -- particularly noted for its clever "living sculptures" -- and Pilobolus soon became a completely self-sufficient organization, its members choreographing, dancing, managing and publicizing their own programs. Pilobolus became one of the world's most influential and popular dance companies, and it remains committed to its original unconventional approach.

Pilobolus has performed several times in Hancher Auditorium, including the world premiere of the Hancher-commissioned "Rejoyce -- A Pilobolus Finnegans Wake." This season's performances will feature another Hancher commission, "Tsu-Ku-Tsu," featuring former Kodo taiko drummer Leonard Eto from Japan.

The success of the Pilobolus approach became an element of considerable interest, so in 1991 the company founded the Pilobolus Institute, an outreach program that uses the art of choreography as a model for creative thinking in any field.

Institute activities have included major projects for the Lincoln Center Institute, the Juilliard School, and the Joyce Theater Arts in Education Program in New York City, as well as ongoing residences in the Theater Studies Program at Yale University and the Cleveland School for the Arts. The Institute also offers choreographic workshops at various sites throughout the country, notably an annual week-long program in Northeast Harbor, Maine.

Hancher's Arts Across the Curriculum Project is supported by the Alliant Energy Foundation, the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, Dain Rauscher, the DeMuth Family Foundation, Homer E. and Genevieve B. Dudley, Phyllis Fleming, M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Doug Hansen and Sue Deibner, Hills Bank and Trust Company, Scott A. and Jan A. Johnson, Sheraton Iowa City, and Herbert A. and Janice W. Wilson.

For ticket information about the Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 Pilobolus performances in Hancher, contact the box office 335-1160 or toll-free 1-800-HANCHER.

Learn more about Pilobolus on the World Wide Web at < >. For UI arts information, visit this new address -- -- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.