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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 1, 2004

UI Afro-Cuban Drums And Dancers Perform Oct. 15 And 16

The University of Iowa Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble will give a percussion/dance concert at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15 and 16 in the Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

A joint effort of the UI School of Music and Department of Dance, the 25 student performers of the Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble are directed by UI faculty members James Dreier and Paul Cunliffe and dance graduate assistant Daniel Stark.

The Oct. 15-16 concerts will be the premiere performance at Space/Place for this relatively new UI ensemble.

The Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble (ACDDE) studies the folkloric music and dance traditions of Cuba, which draws from both African and European roots and has in turn greatly influenced the music of North America and the world. Styles studied by the group include the rumba, guiro, bembe, palo, mozambique, conga de comparsa, yesa, bata and many others.

The ACDDE was started three years ago after Dreier and Cunliffe attended a workshop in Matanzas, Cuba, led by the internationally recognized rumba group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas. Since then, the ensemble has grown and developed into a cross-listed class in Music and Dance -- the first such interdisciplinary course offering in the UI Division of Performing Arts.

In 2002, Dreier and Cunliffe returned to Matanzas with Stark and 10 UI dance and percussion students for another workshop. In addition to study in Cuba, the ensemble has had clinics and workshops in Iowa City with world-renowned percussionist and Afro/Cuban scholar Michael Spiro. In December of last year, Spiro and Cuban dancer and percussionist Roberto Borrell were visiting guest artists of the UI Department of Dance, giving master classes and assisting in the creation of instructional materials on folkloric Afro/Cuban drum, dance and song.

The ensemble performs every semester for the percussion area's World Percussion Concert and does frequent community outreach concerts and clinics through the UI Arts Share program for schools throughout Iowa. This year, the ensemble has been invited to perform at the Percussive Arts Society's International Convention, Nov. 12 in Nashville, Tenn.

Tickets for the Oct. 15 and 16 concerts are $12 for adults and $6 for UI students.

Tickets may be purchased in advance from the University Box Office in the Iowa Memorial Union. In addition to window sales at the Iowa Memorial Union, the University Box Office may be reached by phone at 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. In addition to cash and checks, the University Box Office accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover cards.

Any remaining tickets will be on sale at the door.

North Hall is located at the north end of Madison Street on the UI campus. It is accessible from both Madison Street and the Anne Cleary Walk. Parking is available in the North Campus Parking Ramp.

The School of Music and Dance Department are part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,

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