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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 13, 2009

UI dance faculty member Eloy Barragan is commissioned for Mexican Bicentennial

Eloy Barragan, a faculty member in the University of Iowa Department of Dance, is one of only three choreographers commissioned to celebrate the 2010 Mexican Centennial and Bicentennial with a work for the Companía Nacional de Danza (National Ballet Company). A performance will re-open the remodeled Palace of Fine Arts next fall.

In 2010 Mexico will celebrate both the 200th anniversary of independence and the 100th anniversary of the revolution.

Barragan has re-choreographed "Y Por Ti..." (And for you...) -- originally created for the Richmond Ballet -- for the company's "Noche de Coreografos Mexicanos" (Night of Mexican Choreographers) in Mexico City. Barragan is the only one of the three selected choreographers who does not reside in Mexico.

"This project is very important for me because most of my career as dancer, teacher and choreographer has been in Europe and United States," Barragan says. "It was a dream for me to show my work to the people of my own country. The National Ballet Company in Mexico City is amazing, not only for the quality of the dancers but for their commitment and dedication to work with new choreographers."

The 2010 anniversary celebration will highlight the art, culture and history of Mexico, including exhibits of pre-Hispanic, Spanish, modern and contemporary Mexican art with shows, publications, seminars, the opening of 10 new archeological sites, maintenance to the country's most important pre-Hispanic sites and the remodeling of 30 museums that will serve as venues to the Independence's Bicentennial and the Revolution's Centennial.

Barragan's contemporary ballet choreography has been presented at the Bolshoi Theatre, the Finnish National Opera House, Conservatoire de Paris - Cité de la Musique, the Alvin Ailey Studios Citigroup Theater, City Center in New York City Center, and two entire evenings of his work were presented at El Teatro Nacional de la Republica de Panamá.

Iowa audiences have seen his works frequently in Dance Gala productions and faculty/student recitals, including works that were invited, including works showcased at the International Dance Festival and the American Dance Guild's 50th Anniversary.

He has created original works for the American Dance Repertory Company, the Utah Ballet, Ballet Real de Costa Rica, the Dance Theater of Oregon, the Ballet Theater of Spokane, and the American Festival Ballet. He received a choreographer's fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Boise Arts Council to create new work for the Eugene Ballet Company and Ballet Idaho. He was awarded the 2000 Lifetime Career Fellowship by the Idaho Commission of the Arts.

As a student, Eloy trained at the Escuela Nacional de Danza in Mexicó, the Royal Academy of Dance in London, the Boston Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet in New York. His professional career began with Joffrey II and the Washington Ballet before he became a soloist for Compañía Nacional de Danza in Mexico City.

His career led him to Europe where he was a soloist for the Ballet Royal de Wallonie, Mainz Stattheater and Dortmundt Stattheater. He then returned to Mexico to perform as a soloist for Ballet de Monterey and Compañía Nacional de Danza.

Upon returning to the United States, he danced for Rebecca Kelly Dance Company and the New York Theater Ballet before he became a principal dancer, regisseur, and ballet baster from 1996-2002 for the Eugene Ballet and Ballet Idaho.

In July 2006, he was invited to present the world premiere of "Retratos" (Portraits) a collaborative, interdisciplinary, multicultural project with author James Alan McPherson of the UI Writers' Workshop and painter Steven Erickson at the 5th International Dance Festival in New York City.

The Department of Dance is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information visit

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Eloy Barragan,; Winston Barclay, UI News Services, 319-384-0073,