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University of Iowa News Release


May 18, 2007

UI Dance Faculty Members Stark, Kayle Share May 31 To June 2 Concert

University of Iowa Dance Department faculty members Jennifer Kayle and Dan Stark will share a concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 31 through Saturday, June 2 in the Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

The program will include a restaging of "Serenade for Goodbye," "Meaningless Variations on No Particular Theme" and a new duet by Stark; Kayle will be represented by "Beauty Head," "JOLT / A Still, Small Voice," two collaborative duets based on contact improvisation, and a site-specific improvisation that will take place outside North Hall and will also be filmed and projected into Space/Place in the 30 minutes prior to the concert

"Serenade for Goodbye" is a melancholic duet to Mozart's Serenade for Woodwinds, exploring a relationship on the verge of splintering. UI dance alumna Maureen Miner, now a faculty member at Illinois State University, will reprise her original role from 2005, when the piece represented the UI at the North Central Regional Conference of the American College Dance Festival (ACDF).

"Meaningless Variations on No Particular Theme" is a very physical "pure movement" piece. "I've never really created a pure 'movement' piece without some kind of metaphor or narrative at its core," Stark says. "I've tried before, but the works always got complicated by my intellectual side, humorous side, or dark side. My plan is to continually repeat to myself 'it's just a dance. It's just a dance.'"

Stark's new duet features Ellie Goudie-Averill and Ed Rice performing to the music of Edgar Meyer. "Ellie and Ed are such wonderful performers, so I gave them complex movement and let them dig in to discoverer what is at the heart of the relationship," Stark said.

Kayle created "Beauty Head" through a commission from the New ARTiculations dance company and the Arizona Council for the Arts. She calls the septet "a choreographic attempt to re-define my relationship to questionable images of beauty, especially those promoted by consumer culture."

"JOLT / A Still, Small Voice" is a collaboration with composer Burton Beerman, featuring a live performance by cellist Amy Phelps.

Beerman's works have been performed at New York's Carnegie and CAMI Halls, Chopin Hall in Mexico City, Town Hall in Brussels, the American Cultural Centre in Paris and Spoleto Festival USA, as well as at venues in Japan, Australia, Hungary, Canada and New Zealand. A Village Voice article asserted that "there is a remarkable clarity in the way Burton Beerman carries out the logic of his materials and he has an excellent ear for sound color. . . . The composer displays an acute sensitivity to the differences between live sound and electronic sound and the music contains extraordinary moments when the sound seems to belong to both world."

Kayle, who has long been involved with improvisational dance, will use music improvised by Beerman for the pre-concert site-specific performance.

The other two works resulted from Kayle's UI Old Gold Fellowship studies in contact improvisation. One is a duet pairing Kayle with Lisa Gonzales, a faculty member at Columbia College, and the other is a collaboration with Rice. Both works incorporate her recent research into improvisational processes for creating dance material that emphasizes making contact and exchanging weight.

Before coming to the UI, Kayle taught and choreographed at Hampshire, Muhlenberg and Amherst Colleges; the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Keene State. Her recent choreographed and improvised work has appeared in the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Black Earth the Collaborative Arts Company in Iowa, the Big Range Dance Festival in Texas, and Immediate Theatre at ADF/Acts to Follow in North Carolina, and it will be performed this year on stages in Iowa, Massachusetts, Arizona and St. Petersburg, Russia. For more information, visit

Stark, an alumnus of the UI Dance Department, was "Outstanding Performer" at the regional ACDF, and he danced professionally with the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre, Corning Dances and Co., the David Berkey Dance Company, Duarte Dance Works and Vandance. His choreography has been featured at the UI Dance Gala in Hancher Auditorium and both the regional and national ACDF. His work has also been performed by Duarte Dance Works and Vandance, and he has choreographed musicals for the Iowa City Community Theatre and the UI Department of Theatre Arts. For more information, visit

Tickets for the May 31-June 2 performances are $12 (UI student $6; Free admission for children under 12). Tickets will go on sale 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 UI Division of Performing Arts in the 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.

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