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University of Iowa News Release

March 15, 2004

Pilobolus Thrills Iowa Students In Special Matinee Event

Approximately 1,600 Iowa elementary-school students laughed, gasped, squealed and cheered in response to the acrobatic and comic feats of Pilobolus Dance Theatre, during a special March 5 matinee performance on the Stage Door series presented by the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium. The matinee preceded a nearly sold-out public performance by the company that evening in Hancher.

Members of the company also talked with the audience about how costumes, music, lighting and movement work together in a dance performance, and they discussed the collaborative process Pilobolus uses to create their pieces.

Pilobolus -- named after a sun-loving fungus -- was founded in 1971 and was almost immediately acclaimed for its startling mix of humor, invention and acrobatic athleticism.

Over the years Pilobolus has probably invented more witty, acrobatic ways to stack, balance and propel performers than any dance company in history -- causing audiences to alternately chuckle and gasp, and leading Newsweek to dub them "as zany as the Marx Brothers, as clever as Houdini."

Generations of Pilobolus dancers (and their offshoot, Momix) have been hosted by Hancher, including the commissioning of "Rejoyce -- A Pilobolus Finnegans Wake" and "Tsu-Ku-Tsu," which was part of Hancher's Millennium Festival.

Communities and schools represented at the March 5 performance were:

Cedar Rapids: Write Elementary Homeschool

Fairfield: Fairfield Homeschool, Maharishi School

Iowa City: Grant Wood Elementary, Kirkwood Elementary, Lemme Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, Mark Twain Elementary, Sacred Heart Homeschool, Shimek Elementary

Lone Tree: Lone Tree Elementary

Kalona: Mid-Prairie Homeschool

Monticello: Carpenter Elementary

Hancher's 2003-2004 Stage Door and ICN series are supported in part by funds from Herbert A. and Janice A. Wilson Arts Education Fund, Bud Pearson Fund for Arts Education, West Music Company, John W. and Ellen K. Buchanan, Richard P. Nelson Memorial Fund, Rockwell Collins Charitable Corporation, Iowa Arts Council, and Shakespeare in American Communities-an national touring initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,

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