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Release: Nov. 30, 2001

Hancher Gets $20,000 NEA Grant For Kronos, Bill T. Jones Premieres

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support two spring 2002 world premieres: the collaboration of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company with the Orion Quartet and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Jan. 25 and 26; and the Kronos Quartet's "Nuevo" concert, March 2.

The NEA funds will support both commissioning and presentation of the two events, which will tour nationally and internationally following their premieres at the UI.

Hancher has presented and commissioned Bill T. Jones and Kronos many times in the past, enabling Iowa audiences to follow -- and participate in -- their artistic development and direction. For example, Jones used the voices and images of Iowans with terminal illnesses, recorded in "Survival Workshops" held at the UI, in his acclaimed dance/theater production "Still/Here," which had its American premiere in Hancher and was documented by Bill Moyers on PBS.

One of the many Kronos premieres in Hancher was a concert focusing on African composers, which was partially broadcast on National Public Radio's "Performance Today" and led to the release of the "Pieces of Africa" CD, the largest-selling string-quartet recording in history.

But the spring 2002 events also include special new aspects that the auditorium will emphasize in educational and auxiliary activities.

In a discussion the day before the premiere, Jones and the Orion Quartet will explore the challenges of combining live music, played without a conductor, with dance. And the focus of "Nuevo" on the music of Latin America -- particularly Mexico and Cuba -- will provide opportunities for Hancher to connect with the Hispanic population of eastern Iowa. The 2000 census revealed that Iowa's Hispanic population jumped by more than 150 percent during the 1990s.

Tickets to both world premieres are available from the Hancher box office.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu.