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University of Iowa News Release


March 21, 2007

UI Dance Department Again Makes Strong Showing At Regional Festival

Both productions submitted by the University of Iowa Dance Department for adjudication at the North Central Regional Conference of the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) were selected for the Gala Concert, March 20 in Milwaukee.

Faculty member Jennifer Kayle's "at the receding edges . . ." and Master of Fine Arts candidate Ed Rice's "A Solo Surrounded" were chosen for the performance in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts Mainstage Theater.

Dance departments from 25 Midwest colleges and universities were represented at the Milwaukee conference, and 40 dances were submitted for adjudication. National ACDFA festivals are held only in even years, so inclusion in the regional gala concerts is the highest honor possible in the 2007 ACDFA competition.

"This is exhilarating," said Alan Sener, chair of the UI Dance Department. "For college dance departments and student dancers, the ACDFA is our March Madness. And I'm proud that once again this year we made it to the Big Dance."

Kayle's choreography was premiered during the UI Dance Company's 2006 Dance Gala at Hancher Auditorium, and Rice's solo was premiered on the program of the 2006 "Five Alive" graduate thesis concert in the UI Space/Place Theater.

UI students who performed in Kayle's piece were Rachel Barger, Julius Carter, Keera Herbst, Alison Riazi, Ed Rice, Anna Adams Stark, Jackie Stewart and Aya Wilson.

The festival performances also included a non-adjudicated informal concert. UI undergraduate student Tara Leaderbrand's "Laboring Transitions" was performed on that program by UI dancers Keera Herbst, Rachel Wise, Kathleen Pryzwara, Jenna Ely and Tiffany Cheng.

The UI's strong showing at the regional festival continues a remarkable run of ACDFA success. Since 1990, productions from the UI Dance Department have been selected for every regional festival Gala Concert, and UI dances have been showcased at all but two of the biennial National College Dance Festivals. Individual UI students have also won top honors at both regional and national festivals.

ACDFA exists to support and promote the wealth of talent and creativity at college and university dance departments throughout the United States. ACDFA's sponsorship of regional conferences and the national dance festival provides the venue for students and faculty to engage in performances, workshops, panels and master classes taught by instructors from around the region and the country.

The conferences also provide the opportunity for students and faculty to have their dance works adjudicated by a panel of nationally recognized dance professionals in an open and constructive forum. Culminating with the presentation of pieces selected for their exemplary artistic quality, the conferences are the primary means for college and university dance programs to perform outside their own academic setting and be exposed to the diversity of the national college dance world.

ACDFA has established 10 regions for organizational purposes, but colleges and universities may attend any regional conference and may present one or two works for adjudication. The UI hosted one of the regional festivals last year.

Learn more about the organization at The page for the north central region is at

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;