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University of Iowa News Release


May 23, 2008

Summer Dance Concert features choreography by UI faculty

Faculty of the University of Iowa Department of Dance will be the featured choreographers, and in one case the featured performer, when the department concludes the UI three-week summer session with a Summer Dance Concert at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, June 5-7, in the Space Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

The program will feature:
--Eloy Barragan's "It Can Happen," a quartet set to Vivaldi's Concerto No. 2 in G minor;
--"Estória Cega" (Blind Story) by Armando Duarte, set to a collage of Brazilian popular songs and "The Passage Measures" by David Lang, a UI School of Music alumnus who recently won the Pulitzer Prize in music;
--Department of Dance Chair Alan Sener's solo choreography "Dance for Leigha Mena in Space Place with No Production Support";
--"Missed Connections," created by Charlotte Adams in collaboration with her dancers, set to a collaboration between composer C.C. Brown and poet Christopher Merrill, director of the International Writing Program, and also featuring a recorded performance by violinist Zoran Jakovcic, a member of the School of Music faculty and the Maia Quartet;
--faculty member Jennifer Kayle, performing a new solo by guest choreographer Peter Schmitz; and
--Deanna Carter's "The Thin Line," a large-ensemble ballet about borders and the permission to cross them, featuring the music of Philip Glass.

Adams explains, "The project began in December 2006, with Merrill and I ruminating on an irate traveler missing a connecting flight to Washington -- later referred to as 'The Rant.' With this seed of an idea, Merrill developed a heartbreaking text of missed moments, memories and being carried by the tide of time. The text floated with me until March 2008 when she heard Carlos Cuellar's beautiful, challenging composition 'Lamento.' At that moment the text and music came together and the dance began to take shape."

The text was recorded by C.C. Brown, featuring Merrill, School of Music voice student Molly Gallentine and dance faculty member George de la Pena, who is also a professional actor. A video image of the text, layered onto the dancers' bodies, was developed for the piece by dance major Jennifer Runnfeldt.

"The dance has evolved with bodies as obstacles, partnering that first contains and then releases the other, hands slip away, and intense contact among dancers, which leave physical images of longing that dissolve and reform -- all accompanied by Zoran's beautiful rendition of the score," Adams says.

Duarte's piece is based on the Brazilian documentary "A Pessoa é para o que nasce" (Born to be Blind), about the life of three blind sisters who earn their living by singing in front of churches in Northeastern Brazil. Their singing tells amazing stories full of drama, heartache, poverty, death and hope.

"In the process of creating this work, I wanted to first explore all possibilities of developing movement material based on the sisters' amazing story; and then I wanted the dancers to experience these movements using all of their senses but the vision," Duarte explains. "I asked the dancers to perform the movements with their eyes closed as often as possible. . . . By doing that, the 'nature' and 'feeling' of the movements changed dramatically, generating interesting movement ideas. The dancers have accepted the challenge and have been outstanding throughout the process. Their performance is truly inspiring."

Schmitz, the guest choreographer for Kayle's solo, is a member of the dance faculty at Middlebury College in Vermont. As freelance teacher/choreographer/performer, he has worked in numerous communities throughout the United States, Europe and New Zealand, and he shares with Kayle an interest in improvisational performance.

His professional theater credits include A.R.T. and the Triangle Theatre in Boston, the Potomac Theatre Project in Washington, D.C., and video and film projects. He has received Meet the Composer grants in Massachusetts and Vermont, a Dance Umbrella commission, guest artist residency at Rhode Island College, and a Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities Award.

Other artistic contributors to the Summer Dance Concert include lighting designer Willie Barbour and costume designer Juliana Waechter.

Admission is $12 (UI students $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.

The Department of Dance and the School of Music are units in 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 CONTACTS: The choreographers can be reached through the Department of Dance, 319-335-2228; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office) 319-430-1013, (cell),