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Release: Jan. 19, 2001

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Receipt of this release indicates that school children from your community attended the Stage Door performance by Philadanco Jan. 18 in the UI Hancher Auditorium. Participating groups are listed at the end of the release, alphabetically by town, with the number of participating students from each school.)

School groups attended Stage Door series performance in Hancher by Philadanco

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Nearly a thousand eastern Iowa school children attended a Martin Luther King Jr. Week performance by Philadanco Jan. 18 in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium. The Philadelphia-based dance company, which has won international acclaim for its performances and educational activities in African-American dance, performed on Hancher’s Stage Door series as part of a week-long residency.

Hailed by critics as "exuberant" (The New York Times), Philadanco in its three decades of existence has established itself as one of America’s foremost dance ensembles. The company has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Louis Bellson Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra and with world-renowned pop celebrities. Philadanco has also made several national television appearances.

They have performed at top venues including New York’s Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, Jacob’s Pillow and the Joyce Theatre, the Kennedy Center, as well as appearances throughout Europe and Asia.

A Los Angeles Times critic described the company as "high speed wonders," and a Philadelphia Inquirer review observed, "This is a daring approach to dance . . . extraordinary stamina as well as a real flair for sensuous, rippling movement."

A Dance Magazine article stated, "Philadanco’s dancers are a miracle of skill and energy. They work in a range of idioms most companies don’t even try to possess. . . A company that can do more than just anything. It can represent the possibilities of human spirit through dance."

Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Week, founded in 1993, is coordinated by the UI Office of Student Life, and it is sponsored by numerous UI departments, which organize events to promote awareness of issues ranging from diversity to social change. Hancher’s observance will also feature a concert by the Mingus Big Band on Saturday, Jan. 20.

The Philadanco residency and performance are made possible by UI Men’s Intercollegiate Athletics through the University of Iowa Foundation, and by the F. Wendell Miller Trust Funds and the Iowa Arts Council.

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

CEDAR FALLS: Southdale Elementary School, 32 students

CEDAR RAPIDS: Johnson School of the Arts, 130 students
Wright Elementary School, 50 students

CORALVILLE: Kirkwood Elementary School, 98 students
Montessori School, 15 students

FAIRFIELD: Fairfield Home Schoolers, 28 students
Maharishi Elementary School, 32 students
Maharishi Middle School, 55 students

IOWA CITY: Christian Home Educators, 16 students
City High School, 100 students
Hoover Elementary School, 111 students
Horn Elementary School, 102 students
Sacred Heart Homeschooler, 6 students
Shimek Elementary School, 92 students
Willowind School, 19 students

TIFFIN: Echo School, 26 students

TROY MILLS: North Linn High School, 65 students

WEST BRANCH: Scattergood School, 70 students