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University of Iowa News Release


May 25, 2010

COLOR PHOTOS: Top photo, dancers Erin Donohue and Steven Hullana rehearse for "Virtually Yours." Lower photo, dancer Amy Barr Holm is lifted by her fellow dancers. Photos by Kirk Murray.

UI Department of Dance presents touring international collaboration

The University of Iowa Department of Dance will present "Virtually Yours," a Summer Dance Concert of choreography by faculty members Charlotte Adams (photo, left) and Jennifer Kayle, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, June 3-5, in the Space Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

"Virtually Yours" is the product of an international collaboration, and the UI performances will be part of a three-stop tour. After previews, master classes and artistic exchanges in Puerto Plata, the production will be premiered at Museo Centro Leon in Santiago, Dominican Republic, on May 27. Following the UI stand, the work will be presented June 11 and 12 in Los Angeles at the Highways Performance Space.

In the first half of the program, the choreographers introduce themselves with previous works: Kayle's(photo, left) "Solar Ghost" and "6 Countries in 6 Minutes," featuring music by Vermont composer Michael Chorney, and Adams' "Imagining Ketchikan (canciones del corazon)" and "Tuba or Not Tuba (What is the Question?), featuring original music by UI School of Music faculty member John Manning and horn player Erin Vang.

The second half of the program will be their new work, "Virtually Yours," featuring text by Kayle (photo, right), an art installation by Misael Amos Reyes, photos and video edited live by Carlos Cuellar Brown, cyberperformances by Mario Alegre-Barrios in Puerto Rico and Peter Carpenter in Chicago.

Brown created the score, combining the music of Ariel Guzik, Café Tacuba, Chalino Sanchez, Conjunto Cespedes, Prozak for Lovers, and Bjork.

The international cast of UI dancers includes alumna Analia Alegre-Femenias from Puerto Rico, Amy Barr, Erin Donohue, Steven Hullana, Jung-Hyun (Ari) Lee from South Korea, Isaac Stauffer and Aya Wilson.

The choreographers say that their new work could be named in many ways -- modern dance, concert dance or contemporary dance: "Whatever the name, it is useful to understand this form as a kind of moving poetry. At times athletic, metaphoric, theatrical, or sensual, there are many ways that this dancing can be enjoyed. Sometimes, one can take an obvious pleasure in just watching the design or inventiveness of the movement. In other moments, the movement can provoke a memory, a feeling or an idea."

They say that "Virtually Yours" responds to their experiences of crossing international borders: "In a series of 'scenes,' we wish to take a multi-faceted view and reveal the complexities that we have experienced. We want to draw attention to national borders as a site of inequity, bureaucracy, hypocrisy and hierarchy. We want to ask if there are new modes of colonialism, obvious and subtle, through tourism, the media, commerce and technology.

"We want to investigate how technology is influencing, even reshaping the notion of border-crossing. Through cellular phones, text messaging, the internet (websites, e-mail, Skype, Facebook) we can experience a cross-border condition that is confounding, asking us to withstand the friction of simultaneous access and restriction, presence and absence, contact and distance.

"Importantly, we want to reaffirm that still, the enormous power of connecting with 'others,' no matter from which country or culture, continues to move people out and across, draws them together, and that such connections have potential for healing and growth."

Carlos Cuellar Brown is a composer, performance artist and music therapist who worked for 16 years in international advertising, writing spots for General Motors, Friskies, Texaco, Ponds, Drug Free America, the U.S. Air Force, ESPN and HBO. His original compositions have been featured in the Chicago Art Institute, the University of Dortmund, the University of Glasgow and Joyce Soho in New York.

Painter Misael Amos Reyes was born in San Fransisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic, and has been working in the city of Puerto Plata since 1984. His contribution to "Virtually Yours" is his third work in installation art for Kayle's contemporary dance performances.

The evening features lighting by Kathy Couch, a freelance lighting, scenic and visual artist based in Northampton, Mass. She has designed for more than 350 performances in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Armenia, Russia, Latvia and throughout New England. She is the resident lighting designer at Amherst College and is currently pursuing her MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Tickets to "Virtually Yours" are $12 general admission, $6 for senior citizens and youth, and may be purchased in advance from the Hancher box office. Admission is free for UI students with a valid UI ID.

The Hancher Box Office, now located on the second floor of the University Capitol Centre near the UI School of Music, is open for phone 319-335-1160 or 800-HANCHER or walk-up business from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Tickets may be ordered online at

Any remaining tickets will be available at the door beginning at 7 p.m. before each performance.

This production was made possible by the UI Division of Performing Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences/Arts Across Borders, the Office of the Provost/Arts and Humanities Initiative, the Office of International Programs and UI Summer Sessions.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Charlotte Adams, Department of Dance,; Jennifer Kayle, Department of Dance,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),