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University of Iowa News Release

March 22, 2005

Indian Ballet Tells Story Of 'Ideal King' March 26

A group of University of Iowa faculty, staff and students will collaborate with a Texas dance troupe to present a classical Indian ballet Saturday, March 26, in Iowa City.

The performance of "Uthama Chakravarthi" (The Ideal King) is presented by Kala Mandali, a UI Indian cultural group, and the Dallas-based Srutilaya School of Dance. It will be held in the West High School Auditorium beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $7 for students, $12 for all others, and proceeds will benefit tsunami victims in South India.

The story is drawn from "Vikrama Charitha," said to be written in the 11th Century AD by a poet in King Bhoj's Court. In this story, King Bhoj unearths a glittering throne guarded by 32 statuettes. Each time he tries to ascend the throne, one of the statuettes comes alive to stop him because he is not as worthy as King Vikramaditya, who once held the throne. The ballet presents three stories of King Vikramaditya's greatness, each depicting an important attribute of an ideal king.

The lyrics are written in multiple Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. The English narrative is creatively interwoven within the acts so that the audience can understand the ballet as it is being enacted. About 20 dancers from Dallas and Iowa City will perform the ballet.

This performance is part of the UI Year of the Arts and Humanities. UI President David Skorton's determination to increase public awareness and support of the rich tradition of arts and humanities on campus and throughout Iowa led him to declare academic year 2004-2005 the Year of Arts and Humanities, a time to celebrate that rich tradition and forge cultural linkages between the academic community and communities around the state. The Year of the Arts and Humanities is supported by the Office of the President, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Graduate College.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu; Program: Satish and Sheila Rao, satish-rao@uiowa.edu, sheila.rao@mchsi.com