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University of Iowa News Release

Release: April 12, 2004

UI Dance Thesis Concert Features ACDFA Winners

University of Iowa dance department graduate-student choreographers Britt Keel and Daniel Stark -- both winners in American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) competitions -- will present a joint Thesis Concert at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 22-24 in the Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

Keel's thesis work is "Burial," a female quintet set to music by Chopin, Prokofiev and Saint-Saens.

Stark's quartet, "The Hamlet Soliloquies," is based on Shakespeare's famous tragedy, and is set to a Liszt piano sonata.

"The piece is not a close narrative of the play," Stark explains. "Rather, each section captures Hamlet's mindset and emotion of a particular soliloquy.

"Hamlet's intelligence, lucidity and charisma are elusive to simplification or reduction. He has a scope, depth and complexity that is perhaps too much for one person to justly embody, and therefore Hamlet is not represented by a single performer, but by four dancers collectively."

The thesis concert will be Stark's first UI event since his recent triumphs in the regional American College Dance Festival competition in Boulder, Co. A UI production of his Dance Gala choreography, "Diplomacy," was selected for performance at the biennial ACDFA national festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. this summer, and Stark was honored as the regional festival's outstanding performer.

Last season, when a national festival was not staged, Keel's "Sintax," was showcased in the regional festival's gala concert, the highest ACDFA recognition possible in odd years. That piece became part of the touring repertory of UI Dancers in Company last season.

While pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance at Southern Methodist University, Keel accepted scholarship to study at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, where in she performed with the company in 1999.

Stark, a native of Fairfax, Ia., is an alumnus of the UI Dance Department who returned for graduate study in choreography after a professional performing career.

Tickets for the Thesis Concert will be $10 ($5 for UI students). Audience members under 12 years of age will be admitted free.

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 5-9 p.m. Sunday. In addition to cash and checks, the University Box Office accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover cards.

Any remaining tickets for the performances will be on sale at the door.

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. Convenient parking is available in the North Campus Parking Ramp at the northern terminus of Madison Street.

The UI Dance Department is a unit of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, ur-acr@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu

PHOTOS are available at http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa/photos.html.