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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 24, 2007

UI Faculty/Graduate Concert Features Work From International Dance Festival

Faculty member Eloy Barragan's work created for New York's International Dance Festival will be featured when the University of Iowa Department of Dance presents a concert of choreography by faculty and graduate students at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 1-3, in the recently renovated Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

Barragan's "Retratos" (Portraits) was premiered at the festival in July 2006. In addition to "Retratos," the concert will feature works by faculty members Barragan, Daniel Stark, Charlotte Adams, Deanna Carter and Armando Duarte, and graduate students Vladimir Conde-Reche and Sarah Perry.

The version of "Retratos" (Portraits) that will be performed in this concert was adapted from the original 18-minute version performed in New York, and made possible by funding from the UI Arts and Humanities Initiative. An image from the International Dance Festival performance is viewable in the festival's 2006 photo gallery at

It is a collaborative, interdisciplinary work involving Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Alan McPherson of the UI Writers' Workshop, painter Steven Erickson, and student dancers Julius Carter and Megan Rumery. Barragan and Erickson conducted research on Hispanic culture and talked with families from Columbus Junction, Iowa. Their conversations with these families helped Barragan to find new movement vocabulary to express a spectrum of human emotions.

"We are talking about the stories behind the family portraits we have in our homes," Barragan explains. "It's an abstract impression of the pictures in the minds and hearts of people, including their dreams, goals and desires, and obstacles in their lives."

This performance features spoken text written by McPherson, and costumes designed by Erickson and Barragan. Erickson has also created an evocative painting that reflects the movements and emotions of "Retratos."

For this project, Julius Carter was awarded the UI Research Experiences for Undergraduates grant. This award assisted him in his collaborative research with Barragan and enabled him to travel to New York City to perform and conduct interviews with choreographers.

In other works on the program, Stark's "Stillness and Light," a collaboration with fight choreographer Jason Tipsword, is set to music by Radiohead. The work was originally produced for the "Love and Rage" concert presented by Rage Theatrics at the Space/Place Theatre.

Adams created "She Should Know Better," featuring music by Schumann, in collaboration with her dancers.

Deanna Carter's "Llorencita," with music by the popular Mexican artist Jaramar, was originally created for Ballet Met of Columbus, Ohio. It is part of Carter's response to the vibrant cultures of the Mediterranean. A performance of excerpts from her "Bach Orchestral Suite" will showcase dancers from Ballet Quad Cities.

Duarte will premiere the duet "Essência," which will feature original music by Armenian composer Hayk Arsenyan, who will perform live. Arsenyan, who has been a piano student of Ksenia Nosikova in the UI School of Music, has been a top prizewinner at several international competitions.

Conde-Reche took inspiration from the characters Iago and Desdemona in Shakespeare's "Othello" for his new duet, "Shadowy Betrayal," danced to Christopher Gainey's 2005 composition, "Iago."

Perry's "Learning Curve" is set to music by rising Canadian avant-cellist Zoe Keating, who is based in Portland and San Francisco. (See:

Tickets 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.

The Dance Department and the School of Music are units 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, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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; cell: 310-430-1013;