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Release: Oct. 25, 2002

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Spain’s Compania Nacional de Danza, led by renowned dancer and choreographer Nacho Duato, will perform “Bach: Multiplicity” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

The public is invited to a free event preceding the Hancher performance: Duato will discuss his interpretation of Bach’s music at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in the Iowa Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The performance will be dedicated to the memory of dance-lover Larry Eckholt, who was the pioneering fund-raiser for Hancher, and in recent years was a tireless supporter and advocate of the arts in the Iowa City community. Eckholt died last January from complications of pneumonia.

Duato, the artistic director of the Madrid-based Compania Nacional de Danza, danced for many years with the Nederlands Dans Theater and its famed choreographer, Jiri Kylian -- one of Eckholt’s favorites. When Duato returned to Spain, he enlivened the dance culture with an infusion of the spirit and style of contemporary European dance.

Duato’s concert-length “Bach: Multiplicity” -- commissioned by the city of Weimar, where Bach lived and worked for many years -- reflects the composer’s musical architecture with a stage construction of scaffolds and ramps, and the movement varies from abstract patterns to narrative encounters.

Duato says that he built a story-line into “Bach: Multiplicity” “to justify my choice of music. I started off by using the pieces that I could imagine Bach wouldn’t mind me dancing and created a series of solos, duets, and ensemble sections. I felt very daring and thought that maybe I wasn’t ready to handle Bach yet, so I open the ballet with a solo for myself that asks the composer’s permission to dance his music.”

The critic of the Dominion wrote, “This performance will remain imprinted on your brain every time you hear Bach's music.” A Sydney Morning Herald review states, “Duato's diverse selection of music by Bach is a springboard that sounds as fresh and current as the dance looks.” And the critic of Dance International commented, “Duato’s creations are fast and very dancey. They are full of inventions and wicked emotional and technical challenges that fuse to illuminate the elusive harmony between life and art.”

Compania Nacional de Danza was founded in 1979 as Ballet Nacional de Espana Clasico, with Victor Ullate as its first director. The growing reputation of the company was reinforced with the 1987 appointment of the famed Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya as artistic director.

In 1990 Duato accepted the Spanish Ministry of Culture’s invitation to direct the national company and take it in new directions. Under his leadership the 30-member company has advanced its solid international reputation, touring extensively in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia.

Tickets for the Nov. 16 performance are $38, $35 and $32 ($34.40 and $10 for UI students; $34.40, $28 and $26.50 for senior citizens, and half price for audience members 17 and younger.)

Hancher Auditorium box office business 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. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher’s website:< >.

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: <>.

The performance is supported by an anonymous donor, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

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