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Release: July 12, 2002

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Duarte is pronounced “doo-ARR-tay.”)

Houston Ballet Stars Help Launch Duarte Dance Works At UI

Stars of the Houston Ballet will help Armando Duarte celebrate a decade on the faculty of the University of Iowa Dance Department with “Ten,” the debut of Duarte Dance Works, at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27, in the Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall. (Please note the late starting time.)

“Ten,” performed by a 12-member company of professional guest artists and UI dance students, is drawn from choreography Duarte has created or presented during his tenure at the UI, including works that have been produced in the UI Dance Company’s annual Dance Gala and performed throughout the region by the Dance Department’s touring repertory company, Dancers in Company. Duarte’s choreography has been produced in his native Brazil and well as in Argentina, Japan, Switzerland and the United States.

Houston is strongly represented in Duarte’s company: In addition to Houston Ballet principal dancer Dominic Walsh ( ), originally from Chicago, and Houston Ballet soloist Fernando Moraga (, a native of Santiago, Chile, the company includes two other artists active in the Houston dance scene -- Chilean dancer Paola Georgudis and UI dance alumna Alessandra Herszkowicz, a Sao Paolo, Brazil, native who is now a member of the Sandra Organ Dance Company.

The UI students in the company include Nichole Wong, Meagan O’Connor, Erin Huismann, Kate Hirstein and Rebecca Evans. Three of the student dancers also have professional performing credentials: Duarte’s assistant, Tamara Schreiber, who danced with Chicago’s Perpetual Motion, Inc.; Emily Price, a veteran of the Western Oklahoma Ballet Theatre; and Tokyo native Marina Fukushima, a former member of the Omaha Theater Company Ballet.

“I promise, it’s going to be awesome,” Duarte says of his dancers. And he also is confident that the repertoire they will perform provides an unusual and intriguing combination of elements: “I think I can offer something that’s unique on the dance scene here, because a lot of my work draws on my Brazilian heritage, but I can also work with Rachmaninoff or Brahms or Debussy.”

The “Ten” program includes the premiere of “Here, in this time,” a solo created this summer for Fernando Moraga, and the large-ensemble piece “Baque,” set to traditional Brazilian music.

Other works on the program are “A Taste of an Orange,” a duet set to piano music of Brahms, performed by Lyle Juracek; “Preludio,” a duet to music by Debussy, performed by Walsh and Herszkowicz; “There is something out in the country that I think you want come and take a look at,” a solo for Paola Georgudis; “Duo,” to flute and cello music of Joaquin Gutierrez Heras; “Lay of Errantry,” a solo featuring poetry of Aime Cesaire read by dance faculty member Jeffery Bullock; and an excerpt from “Noir,” to music of Rachmaninoff.

The concert features costumes by Margaret Wenk and Erin Howell-Gritsch; and lighting by Gary N. Holmquist of the Dance Department staff.

Duarte toured the world for 14 years as a founding member of the Cisne Negro (Black Swan) Dance Company in Sao Paulo. Early in his career her received a Best New Choreographer award from the Sao Paulo Association of Arts Reviewers, and in 1989 he was a guest choreographer at the American Dance Festival.

He has choreographed more than 25 works at the UI, an he has also been awarded two Old Gold Summer Fellowships for the completion of “Floresta,” a dance based on the Brazilian rain forest; and a grant from the Support Program for Arts and Humanities for the creation of “National Passion,” a collaborative project with composer/percussionist Paul Cunliffe based on Brazil’s soccer mania. Most recently he received a grant for the “Dance and Music of the Americas project, “created with dance colleague Charlotte Adams and flutist Tadeu Coelho from the UI School of Music.

With “Ten,” Duarte is beginning to explore the feasibility of establishing an on-going professional company, based in Iowa City. “When you create a piece for the Dance Gala, you work for three months creating the choreography, it is performed a couple of times, and then it’s gone,” he says. “You serve the students with your creativity, but it would also be desirable for the work to have an extended life. I was encouraged to put the work together -- and there is already enough work to form a repertory -- and it just clicked.”

Tickets for Duarte Dance Works are $12 ($6 for UI students) and may be purchased in advance from the University Box Office in the Iowa Memorial Union, 319-335-3041 or toll-free 800-346-4401. The fax number is 319-335-3407. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 5-9 p.m. Sunday. Any remaining tickets will be on sale at the door. In addition to cash and checks, the University Box Office accepts MasterCard, Visa , American Express and Discover cards.

The Dance Department is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts. For UI arts information, visit on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact Learn more about Duarte at < >.