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University of Iowa News Release

June 12, 2006

Duarte Dance Works Celebrates Fifth Season With Englert Debut

Duarte Dance Works, the company that spotlights the choreography of University of Iowa Dance Department faculty member Armando Duarte, will celebrate its fifth season with its Englert Theater debut at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 23 and 24.

Duarte will invite audience members to remain after the performance for a discussion with his company members and collaborators.

The program will be:

-- "Six or seven studies for Sanfona de Boca," set to music by Brazilian composer Tavares da Gaita;

-- the reprise of the 2002 work "Baque," featuring Brazilian music by Tom Zé & Zé Carlos Wisnick, Chico Science & Ortinho, Paulo Rafael & Marcio Miranda, Lucio Maia, Sinba, Mauricio Alves & Walter Junior, and Siba & Lenine;

-- the new, full-length version of "Blanche," which premiered at Dance Gala 2005, with music by J. S. Bach; and

-- the premiere of "De Zunido e Rosa" (of Whistling and Rose), set to a collage of music by Brazilian composers interpreted by artists Renata Rosa and the Cordel do Fogo Encantado. and inspired by the "Literature of Cordel" (Pamphlet Literature), one of the most important expressions of Brazilian popular culture.

UI alumni guest artists Diego Carrasco, Courtney Johnson and Jennifer Medina will be featured along with Duarte's company of UI student dancers -- Mary Davies, Meagan Fickel, Nicole Hussain, Jennifer Otto Kray, Tara Lederbrand, Phillip Olemburg, Alison Riazi, Jackie Stewart and Trevor Szuba-Schneider.

Artistic collaborators include costume designers Margaret Wenk and Alexzandra Caldwell Wenman, and lighting designer Gary N. Holmquist. The assistant director is Jennifer Otto Kray.

Throughout his career, Duarte has developed a highly eclectic movement style, fusing his own cultural background -- expressed in the beauty and diversity of Brazilian music and dance -- with the techniques of American modern dance. The five seasons of Duarte Dance Works have enabled him both to expand his movement vocabulary and to develop a repertory of work created at the UI, for performances not only in Iowa City but also in other cities, including Houston, Louisville and, most recently, Grand Island, Neb.

"When I was watching the David Berkey Retrospective this spring, his beautiful choreography reminded me that many of the works the faculty creates here are worthy of preservation," Duarte says. "But most of the work we create here, we may work on for months but only present once or twice, and that's it. So one of my goals with Duarte Dance Works is to keep a repertory alive."

He views the fifth anniversary of the company as evidence of both the authenticity of his commitment to establish a unique contemporary dance company in Iowa City, and the commitment of the UI and the Iowa City dance community in supporting his goals. "We have much more to do," he says. "This is only the beginning. But what has been achieved has only been possible because I have been encouraged to pursue these goals by so many people inside and outside the university and the generous support of the Dance Department, the Division of Performing Arts and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"It seems appropriate that we are celebrating a fifth season by going off-campus, into downtown Iowa City to perform in an important historical landmark, a venue whose very existence is testimony to the entire community's commitment to the arts."

To learn more about the company, visit

Duarte holds a bachelor's degree in physical education from University of Sao Paulo and a Master of Fine Arts degree in choreography and performance from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

He toured the world as a founding member of the Cisne Negro (Black Swan) Dance Company from Sao Paulo. Early in his career he received a Best New Choreographer award from the Sao Paulo Association of Arts Reviewers, and in 1989 he was one of the guest choreographers in the International Choreographer Workshop at the American Dance Festival.

Since coming to the UI in 1993, he has choreographed more than 40 dances and has restaged several works from his repertory.

He has received UI awards including two Iowa Old Gold Summer Fellowships, a grant from the Support Program for Arts and Humanities, three grants from the Arts and Humanities Initiative Program and the conference grant for the American College Dance Festival.

Duarte has directed two National Choreography Conferences for Regional Dance America (RDA) and is currently one of its national adjudicators. He has directed the RDA's Pacific Region Festival, the Southwest Region Festival and the Southeast Region Festival.

His choreography has been commissioned and performed in Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Switzerland and the United States. Recent guest-artist appearances include visits to Milan, Udine, Geneva, Lausanne, Paris, Natal and Sao Paulo, and American work with Brigham Young University, the Santa Cruz Ballet Theater, Crockett-Deane Ballet, the Columbia Dance Ensemble in Portland, the Clear Lake Metropolitan Ballet, the Sandra Organ Dance Company, the Victoria Ballet, the South Atlanta Ballet and the Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico.

Tickets for Duarte Dance Works are $12 (UI students $6; free admission for children under 12). Tickets may be purchased in advance from the Englert Civic Theater at 319-688-2653, or visit Englert's Website at The Englert Box Office, at 221 E. Washington in downtown Iowa City, is open 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday. Tickets can also be purchased at the door prior to show time.

The mission of the Englert Civic Theatre, Inc., is to own, maintain and operate the Englert Theatre as a community arts center and performance space, enhancing the vitality of Iowa City's historic downtown by preserving its last historic theater.

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

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

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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