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University of Iowa News Release

March 31, 2005

UI Dance Department Presents Thesis Concert April 14-16

The University of Iowa Dance Department will present "(In) Junction," a thesis concert by Marina Fukushima and Diego Carrasco at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 14-16, in the Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

Fukushima will be featured in the duet "Executive Suite," choreographed in 1985 by Alan Sener, chair of the Dance Department. Sener describes the piece as "from the era that coined the term 'Young Urban Professionals,' a duet about career competition, the pressure of success and the need to excel and conquer."

Faculty member Jennifer Kayle choreographed "(W)rung" to a soundscape including music by John Cage and Ruth Seeger, and Fukushima's voice.

Kayle describes the dance as a portrait: "It is an elaborated picture of a psychological situation, an emotional landscape with themes of control and abandon, facades of calm acceptance, and emotional ruptures in that facade. The text, both spoken and recorded, provides a context for the movement and acts as a partner in describing the dancer's shifting state of being."

Fukushima choreographed "Spiritual Machine" with original music composed by UI alumnus Michael Cash. She says, "The dance is inspired by a unique rhythm and sound incorporating minimalist orchestral music that features the unusual combination of percussion and pipe organ."

"Dreaming, Flowers Pass," choreographed Diego Carrasco, is dedicated to Joe Koch and Basil Thompson. "While not outwardly meant to be a 'Mexican-American dance,' 'Dreaming, Flowers Pass' nonetheless represents the first work I have created that is wholly inspired by my Mexican-American heritage -- in particular the ideas and beliefs surrounding the Day of the Dead (or, los Dias de los muertos) celebrations that take place in Mexico on and around the Feast of All Saints," he explains.

"During this time ofrendas, or offerings, are created within households for the visiting spirits of the family's deceased. Ofrenda refers collectively to the decorated seasonal altar, the items placed on the altar that evoke the memory of the family's dead, and the specially prepared food that is shared with the visiting spirits. The work explores the premise of los Dias de los muertos that the boundary between the living and the dead is porous, allowing for interaction between the two groups at a certain time.

"Further, the work and the space in which it occurs can be considered a kind of ephemeral ofrenda of my own, built from the medium with which I work: dancing bodies."

Carrasco created the piece in collaboration with video artist Mindy Theisman, an M.F.A. candidate in the School of Art and Art History; composer Scott Shoemaker, a doctoral candidate in the School of Music; and local lighting designer Tim Kaufman, a UI alumnus.

Carrasco staged "SATTO (Wind Dance)," choreographed by Salvatore Aiello, with music performed by Manheim Steamroller, presented in accordance with the Salvatore Aiello Trust, Jerri Kumery, curator. Carrasco was a member of the North Carolina Dance Theatre 1987-91, under the artistic directorship of Aiello. During that time he performed "Satto" numerous times around the country. 

He notes that, "Restaging and rehearsing 'Satto' has given me the opportunity to remember those years and my close working relationship with Sal, as he was known to us. Marina Fukushima and I will be performing this 10-minute, Japanese-influenced duet in which the male represents the wind and the female a leaf."

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

Tickets for the April 14-16 performances are $12; UI student $6; free admission for children under 12.

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.

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

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