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Release: Oct. 20, 2000

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Sener is pronounced "SAY-ner". Armando Duarte is pronounced "arr-MAHN-doh doo-ART-ay." Rompe is pronounced rahm-PAY. Tadeu Coelho is pronounced "tah-DAY-oo QUAIL-yoh. Bailero is pronounced "by-YERR-oh." Pas de duex is pronounced

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Alan Sener may be contacted at 335-2184, or by e-mail at

'New Directions: Dance Gala 2000' fills Hancher with dance variety

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Dance Company will present "New Directions: Dance Gala 2000," the UI dance department’s major performance event of the 2000-2001 season, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11 in Hancher Auditorium.

Dance faculty member Alan Sener, newly appointed artistic director of the UI Dance Company following the retirement of long-time artistic director Alicia Brown, has pulled together the creative forces of the department’s student dancers and award-winning faculty choreographers to continue the popular, two-decade tradition. This fall’s production again displays the breadth and quality of the department’s training.

Sener, whose energetic, lyrical style of dance has been performed in recent Dance Galas to the music of Vivaldi and Mozart, is creating "Teeth," another one of his trademark high-spirited, virtuosic ensemble pieces for Dance Gala 2000. But this season he has chosen a whole different atmosphere, with aggressive urban-contemporary music from Naked Funk, Coldcut and Pressure Funk.

Brazilian choreographer Armando Duarte from the dance faculty returns to the Hancher stage as well with "Rompe!" -- a project made possible by a grant from the UI Arts and Humanities Initiative. For last spring’s premiere, Duarte collaborated with the UI School of Music’s Brazilian flutist, Tadeu Coelho, who will perform live (with computerized string accompaniment) the music of Eduardo Gamboa’s "Transparencias."

Jeffery Bullock is also no stranger to the Hancher stage. The dance department’s most recent faculty addition, Bullock first came to the UI from an active professional performance career to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in choreography. He was a featured dancer in past Dance Galas, and his UI choreography was nationally honored by the American College Dance Festival Association.

This season Bullock is creating "Without/Love/Sanctuary," provocative new contemporary choreography that challenges the "identity politics of gender and race." This work features a sound and text collage, with music from Philip Glass and Edgare Varese.

Two offerings with a more classical touch will be presented by new faculty member Basil

Thompson, former artistic director of The Milwaukee Ballet and long-time ballet master of the Joffrey Ballet. Thompson will make his UI choreographic debut with "Bailero," a new duet set to music from the "Chants d’Auvergne." He also adapted the famous peasant pas de duex from the classical ballet "Giselle" into a women’s quartet.

Dance department Chair David Berkey has had a very busy, high-profile year. His own company performed a full-evening of his original work at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York City, and he created new pieces for the Kansas City Ballet, the Virginia Ballet Theatre and the American Ballet Theatre Studio School.

His personal movement style will again grace the Dance Gala in 2000. This time he has created "White Mountain," a trio set to the music of Michael Nyman, who composed the music for the film "The Piano."

Faculty member Charlotte Adams, who created the American College Dance Festival Association national winner "The Poetry of Physics" for Dance Gala ‘99, is creating another world premiere for Dance Gala 2000.

Her rousing program closer is "Big Bucks for Lulu," set to music by Lidya Mendoza and California recording artist George Hawke. Adams’ work will be featured in New York later this season through the Joyce Theatre, one of New York’s most prominent dance presenters.

Productions in Dance Gala 200 include costume and set design by Margaret Wenk, lighting design by guest artist Laurel Shoemaker and sound design by Gary N. Holmquist. Thompson’s "Peasant pas des Quatres" features costumes from the Milwaukee Ballet.

Tickets for "New Directions: Dance Gala 2000" are $18 and $16 ($12 and $10 for UI students and senior citizens, and $8 and $7 for youth) from the Hancher box office.

Audience members who wish to provide additional, much needed financial support to the UI dance department should purchase patron tickets for $35. Each patron ticket includes a donation to the dance department.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance 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.

Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at <>.

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 UI arts information, visit this new address -- -- on the World Wide Web. The UI Dance Department web site is <>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.