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University of Iowa News Release


March 16, 2007

PHOTOS: Jenna Riegel in "At Rest," choreographed by Alan Sener; click on thumbnail photos for high resolution (300 dpi) images

UI Dance Department Presents 'Redirect' Thesis Concert March 29-31

The University of Iowa Dance Department will present "Redirect," a thesis concert by choreographer Sarah Perry and dancer Jenna Riegel, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 29-31, in the Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

The concert will feature a new work by prominent New York choreographer David Dorfman, including a member of his company, Joseph Poulson, an alumnus of the UI Dance Department.

Perry's thesis work, "For the Benefit of Future Generations," is an octet set to music performed by Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, Mark O'Connor and Béla Fleck. She examines American attitudes and laws about marriage, with a text read by the dancers that is taken from historic legal and religious documents addressing bans on interfaith, interracial and same-sex marriage, among other topics.

"A set of four large, moveable doorways is employed to reorganize the performance space and delineate boundaries for the dancers," Perry says. "At its core, the work is about the juxtaposition of the emotional power of love with the cool, clearly defined elements of law. It is an exploration of the parallels between specific moments in history and how they have shaped society's perceptions and opinions regarding marriage."

Riegel will perform in modern dance works choreographed by Dorfman and by faculty members Alan Sener and Jennifer Kayle.

Sener's "At Rest" is a new solo that will combine Riegel's dancing with video projections.

In Kayle's quartet "Another Search Party: essays in InterPOTATiOn" Riegel will be joined by Eleanor Goudie-Averill, Edward Rice and Paul Christiano.

"Another Search Party" is the fifth installment in Kayle's ongoing series "talking directly to the audience." As Kayle explains it: "Through viewing instructions, Q&A, rehearsal flashbacks, diagrams and Powerpoint presentations, the audience is lovingly given all the interpretive tools necessary to be more confused than ever."

Dorfman's "Planting," made possible by the Zeta Phi Eta Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Performing Arts, is a duet for Riegel and Poulson. "'Planting' is a duet of cinematic proportion," he explains. "The sound score ranges from Smetana's Czechoslovakian national anthem of the 1880s to the Toronto band Broken Social Scene's pop ambience to the plaintive calling of new music composer Michael Wall.

"The two performers speak and deftly dance as themselves and as characters in search of meaning for their lives and for their actions. It is a cathartic dance of inner survival."

Dorfman, the recipient of a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship, has also been honored with four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, three New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, an American Choreographer's Award, the first Paul Taylor Fellowship from The Yard, and a New York Dance & Performance Award ("Bessie") for David Dorfman Dance's community-based project Familiar Movements (The Family Project).

Dorfman's choreography has been produced at the BAM Next Wave Festival, the Joyce Theater, the Kitchen, the Dance Theater Workshop, the Duke on 42nd Street, Danspace Project/St. Mark's Church, P.S. 122 and Dancing in the Streets.

His work has been commissioned widely in the United States and in Europe, most recently by Bedlam Dance Company in London, d9 Dance Collective in Seattle and the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia for the musical "Green Violin," for which he won a 2003 Barrymore Award for best choreography.

Poulson relocated to New York City in 1999 after graduating from the UI. He is currently working and performing with the Susan Marshall Company, Creach/Co., Bill Young and Dancers, Jeanine Durning and, since 2001, with David Dorfman Dance. He has also worked with many other choreographers in New York, including Alexandra Beller, Gerald Casel, Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris, Melinda Ring and Peter Schmitz.

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 to 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 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, 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;