CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Baryshnikov and White Oak Dance Project perform at UI March 18-19
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mikhail Baryshnikov and his White Oak Dance Project will
perform a classic of modern choreography by Merce Cunningham and new works
by modern-dance legend Erick Hawkins and young American experimental choreographer
Meg Stuart at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, March 18-19, in the University
of Iowa Hancher Auditorium.
Baryshnikov and his eight dancers will perform Cunningham's 1953 "Septet"
with music for piano four-hands by Erik Satie, Hawkins' "Journey of A
Poet," and Stuart's "Remote," commissioned especially for the
White Oak tour. "Journey of A Poet," which Hawkins created for White
Oak shortly before his death, and "Remote" are receiving their world
premieres on this tour.
Live music will be performed by musicians of the White Oak Dance Project.
The 1974 defection of Baryshnikov from the Kirov Ballet, where he was a star
soloist, made world-wide headlines. After coming to the West, he solidified
his stature as the greatest and most popular male classical dancer of his
generation. He was a principal dancer in the New York City Ballet for two
years before becoming artistic director of American Ballet Theatre.
His popularity was enhanced by his performances in the feature films "The
Turning Point" with Shirley MacLaine and "White Nights" with
The end of Baryshnikov's ballet career was the beginning of his career in
modern and contemporary dance. He performed in Hancher four seasons ago with
Twyla Tharp, in two sold-out performances of Tharp's choreography.
When Baryshnikov left American Ballet Theatre in 1989 after nine years as
artistic director, he teamed with American choreographer Mark Morris in 1990
to create the White Oak Dance Project, a highly select group of dancers gathered
to both present landmarks of modern dance and to commission new works. The
company was named for the White Oak Plantation on the Florida-Georgia border,
which serves as a retreat for the company as it rehearses new projects.
In more than 20 tours, the White Oak Dance Project has revived works by dance
legends including Hanya Holm, Martha Graham, Meredith Monk and Jose Limon,
and has commissioned works from leading choreographers including Paul Taylor,
Twyla Tharp, UI alumnus Lar Lubovitch and Jerome Robbins.
In the second half of the 20th century, Cunningham has been one of the towering
figures of American contemporary dance. He described the "Septet"
as a "conventional dance done to the music," one of the last pieces
in which Cunningham used "a wholly intuitive process" to create
dance in response to music. A short time later he broke radically from the
traditional ways of making dance and began using chance processes that disconnected
movement, music and design.
"Septet" was premiered by the Merce Cunningham Company in 1953,
with an original cast that included Cunningham, Paul Taylor and Carolyn Brown.
Hawkins, who died two years ago, gained fame both as a choreographer/dancer
and as the husband of Martha Graham. A month before his death he received
the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton, and the Erick Hawkins Dance
Company is now celebrating its 45th anniversary. His "Journey of A Poet"
was set to music by his long-time collaborator, Lucia Dlugoszewsky.
Stuart founded her own company, Damaged Goods, in 1994, and the company has
already performed throughout Europe, Canada and Australia. The recipient of
a choreographer fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Stuart
has also been honored with two Arts International Grants and the Mobil Pegasus
Award at the Hamburg Sommertheaterfestival. Her choreography includes works
for the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Ottawa's Le Groupe.
Tickets for the Baryshnikov and White Oak Dance Project performances are
$49. $45 and $40. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent
discount, and tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.
Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319)
335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER.
Fax to (319) 353-2284. 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.
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should
dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel
prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and
seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with
TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
Further information about this event is available on Hancher's World Wide
Web homepage, at <http://www.uiowa.edu:80/~hancher/>.
Sponsors of the White Oak Dance Project performances are Dahl Ford; Group
5 Hospitality Management Division of Highlander, Inc; Parsons Technology;
andRoberta McCoid of Mt. Pleasant, through the University of Iowa Foundation.