May 30, 2008
'Spot: The Hancher Family Arts Adventure' presents Rubberbandance Group June 14
Rubberbandance Group, the hip-hop/ballet fusion company that is the second artist in this season's "Spot: The Hancher Family Arts Adventure," will conclude its four-city Iowa residency with a performance at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 14, in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.
The event will include a family picnic on the Hancher Green, included in the price of the tickets. It will be preceded by a series of free events in the Iowa City area June 12 and 13.
Thursday, June 12:
1 p.m. -- K-6 Summer Reading Program in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.
5:30 p.m. -- Master class for area dance students in Halsey Hall. This is a free event but registration is required because space is limited. To register, contact Jessica Netolicky at Hancher, 319-335-0009 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The public is welcome to observe.
Friday, June 13
The Iowa City events follow residency activities and performances in Spencer, Perry and Marshalltown, beginning May 29. Complete information, including parent materials in both English and Spanish, and schedules in each community, is available at http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu/spot.html. The interactive Spot site also includes a variety of activities for children in conjunction with the residencies, and children can sign up to be "Spot Kids."
Rubberbandance Group is taking the dance work by storm with its fusion of the explosive physicality of break dance and hip-hop with the elegance and nuance of contemporary ballet. The Montreal-based company was founded by Victor Quijada, who was first exposed to dance in the hip-hop clubs of Los Angeles, where his flexibility and elastic style earned him the nickname "Rubberband."
After discovering the wider world of dance he became a member of Twyla Tharp's company, and then Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. All of that diverse history comes together in his Rubberbandance Group, where headspins and flares meet jetes and arabesques in a unique hybrid style.
Since its inception in 2002, Rubberbandance Group has become a sought-after guest at both hip-hop and contemporary dance festivals throughout North America, Europe and Japan, where it was the Canadian representative at EXPO 2005.
Spot project residencies began in 2005 as a result of an $800,000 grant to Hancher from the Wallace Foundation, through its "Leadership and Excellence in Arts Participation" (LEAP) program. The grant has enabled Hancher to enhance arts participation through the use of innovative technology and direct interaction with performing artists.
Two artists have been involved each year, with residencies leading up to Hancher performances. Cyro Baptista and Beat the Donkey were in residence earlier this spring.
The Wallace Foundation grant, the largest programming grant in the auditorium's history, built on Hancher's experience partnering with Pella, Decorah and Burlington in the Iowa Network Project, also made possible by Wallace funding. That $300,000 grant was the largest previous grant received by the auditorium.
The LEAP grant is combined with resources committed by several UI programs and offices: Academic Technologies, University Relations, the Division of Student Services, the Graduate College and the office of the Vice President for Research. An endowment that has been established during the four years of the project will enable Hancher to continue its audience development efforts with the technology and expertise developed through SPOT.
The performances and residency activities of Rubberbandance are supported by Peggy Scholz, National Endowment for the Arts and the Wallace Foundation through the University of Iowa Foundation. The picnic is supported by the Iowa City Hy-Vee Food Store on Waterfront Drive.
Tickets are $26, $24 and $23; youth tickets are $13, $12 and $11.50.
Hancher Auditorium summer box office business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
Tickets also may be ordered online at http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu.
Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at email@example.com.
For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.