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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 20, 2009

UI Dancers in Company launches 2009 season March 5-8

Dancers in Company, the University of Iowa Dance Department's touring repertory company, will kick off its 2009 season with their "home concert" at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 5-7, in Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall. In addition, the company will perform an hour of excerpts from the repertory in a free Arts Share Community Concert for families at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 8.

Receipts from the concert help to offset the costs of touring, which is coordinated by the UI Arts Share program. This season's tour will take the company not only throughout Iowa, but also to a weeklong residency in Puebla, Mexico, through a new exchange with the University of the Americas. A national Mexican TV channel will document the Dancers in Company residency, including two performances.

The 2009 repertory features:

--"Concerto Vivaldi," a contemporary ballet by Dance Department faculty member and Dancers in Company co-director Deanna Carter.
--"Woman" by Thaddeus Davis, who was a visiting faculty member in the department last fall and a guest artist in Dance Gala 2008.
--"Cuerpo a Cuerpo," by faculty member Eloy Barragán, co-director of Dancers in Company and Dance Gala.
--"Valse-Fantasie" by George Balanchine, which was set on UI Dance Gala company members last fall by New York City Ballet veteran Leslie Peck.
--"Taking Flight" by guest choreographer Gina Patterson.
--The espionage spoof "Sax and Violence" by Harrison McEldowney.

The performance of “Valse-Fantaisie,” a Balanchine® Ballet, is presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust, and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique®.

Davis was featured in Dance Magazine's January 2002 issue as one of "25 To Watch In The World." The premiere of his first choreographic work, "Once Before Twice After," was named one of the top ten moments in dance for 2002 by The New York Times, calling it "reassuring evidence of New York dance's promising future." A year later he was the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Choo San Goh Award for Choreography. In 2006, he received First Prize in Ballet Austin's New American Talent/Dance Choreography Competition.

He danced with Donald Byrd/The Group for four years and also served as Byrd's creative assistant. He has created choreographic works for Fugate/Bahire Ballet NY, Donald Byrd/The Group, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Ballet Austin, Ballet Memphis, Configuration Dance Company, Reflections Dance Company, Nashville Ballet, Ballet Met and his own Wideman/Davis Dance.

Patterson started her dance career as an apprentice with the Pittsburgh Ballet. In 1988, she joined Ballet Austin, dancing principal roles in both classical and contemporary works. In 1996, she joined Ballet Florida as a principal dancer. She participated in the Step Ahead choreographic workshop, creating four new works, one of which was presented at the Ballet Builder's Showcase in New York, was commissioned by Ballet Florida and is now in the repertoire of Ballet Austin.

McEldowney is particularly known for his theatrical work, for the 1992 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremonies and for Carnegie Hall's "Give My Regards to Broadway: A Salute to 125 Years of Musical Theater." He choreographed the 35th Anniversary Tour of American Bandstand and choreographed and directed the Australian Tour of More Dirty Dancing.

He has worked with the Hubbard Street Dance Company, River North Chicago Dance Company, the Civic Ballet of Chicago, Ballet Met (Columbus), the Louisville Ballet, the Chicago Shakespeare Repertory, the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet, Ballet of Texas and the Configurations Dance Company. McEldowney contributed choreography to the films "Road to Perdition," "Children on Their Birthdays" and "Vanilla City."

Dancers in Company is made up of both undergraduates and graduate students, selected each year through auditions. The company reflects the mission of the Dance Department in preparing dancers and choreographers for professional careers while providing a quality liberal arts education.

Through extensive touring that requires adapting to an array of venues (theaters, art museums, school cafeterias), the dancers learn to hone their craft and develop their talents as performers. The dancers commit to a rigorous rehearsal and touring schedule in addition to their regular academic courses at the UI.

The dancers have the chance to work with talented choreographers who utilize many styles of movement, enriching both the dancers' educational experience and the viewing public's experience.

The goal of Arts Share is to strengthen the arts in underserved areas and to provide access to life-enriching arts experiences throughout Iowa. To serve that goal, Arts Share makes artists available in music, theater, dance, the visual arts and creative writing. The available activities range from workshops to ensemble coaching to concerts to lectures -- and even special, custom-designed projects.

The 2009 Arts Share roster includes more than 100 individual artists and ensembles.

Arts Share and the Dance Department are units of the UI Division of Performing Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Tickets are $12 (UI student $6; Free admission for children under 12).

Tickets to the March 6-8 performances 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 to 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 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 T. Anne Cleary Walkway. Parking is available in the North Campus Parking Ramp.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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 (office) 319-430-1013 (cell), 319-338-4274 (home),