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University of Iowa News Release

May 18, 2006

Deanna Carter Dances Presents 'Alma Y Tierra' June 1-3 At UI

Deanna Carter Dances will present "Alma y Tierra" at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, June 1-3, in the Space/Place Theatre of University of Iowa North Hall. 

Carter (left) is a faculty member of the UI Dance Department, and her ensemble comprises undergraduate and graduate students from the department, with professional guest artist Yuka Omori.

In this concert-length work, Carter assembles a series of impressions of Mediterranean life, with its rich fusion of cultures and its passion for life. The music includes traditional and folk-based songs from throughout the region, including Italy, Spain, Portugal and Sardinia, and even music of the Mafia. The singers include the well-known Mexican artists Jaramar and Duquende.

Carter has been investigating her choreographic reaction to the Mediterranean, which began with "Colores de Alma," created for Ballet Met, the professional ballet company of Columbus, Ohio, which performed the work in its New York debut at the Joyce Theater.

"Alma y Tierra" directly incorporates some of that movement, but also provides an opportunity to explore more facets of the region's diverse cultures.

"Since I have lived and worked in the Mediterranean and in Mexico, I feel that I have been strongly influenced by the culture," she explains. "In these 'hot' countries there tends to be more use of gesture and body language -- people talk more with their hands -- and because they are not restricted by their clothing, they can move more freely, with more physicality.

"And I am also crazy about world music, its beauty and suitability for dance. I like to use music that is not generally thought of as ballet music."

Carter conceives the piece as a collection of sights and sounds and emotions one might experience if suddenly transported to the Mediterranean for a few days. "There is no story line," Carter says. "It's sort of a landscape with all the colors of human experience. There are moments that seem to be taken from a plaza or piazza scene, and then there are sections that seem to be taking place in the mind or in a dream -- kind of an emotional landscape."

And all the sections draw directly upon the moods and rhythmic life of the songs. She says simply, "I am inspired by music to move."

Carter's choreography of ballet and contemporary dance has been presented in more than 15 countries, and she has created works for companies in countries including Germany, Denmark, Italy and Mexico, as well as for several Regional Dance America companies.

She has also served as ballet mistress or teacher for companies in Italy, Germany, Mexico, the United States and England.

Carter's "Same Old Song" was a prize winner in Russia's Nureyev International Festival of Kazan, and her "Bach Concerto" received honors at the North Central Regional Conference of the American College Dance Festival Association, hosted by the UI this winter.

Guest artist Yuka Omori has danced professionally in the Oakland Ballet, the Minnesota Shubert Performing Arts and Education Center and other companies.

Tickets -- $12 (students $6; free admission for children under 12) -- will be available at the door one hour before curtain time.

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 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,