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University of Iowa News Release


Free UI Dance events to feature alumni, Afro-Cuban Ensemble

The University of Iowa Department of Dance will celebrate the culmination of its Alumni Week with two performances on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 13 and 14. Both performances are free and open to the public and will be followed by question and answer sessions with audience members. Audience members are encouraged to arrive early to ensure a seat.

The Saturday, Nov. 13 performance will begin at 8 p.m. in the Space Place Theatre of North Hall on the UI campus. It will feature Iowa Dance alumni as well as current faculty and students.

The Sunday, Nov. 14 performance, part of the Arts Share/Community Foundation of Johnson County Concert Series, will begin at 2 p.m., also in North Hall’s Space Place Theatre, and will feature the Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble.

Featured performers in Saturday’s Iowa Dance Alumni Showcase are:
-- UI alum Joanna Rosenthal and Company: "Same Planet Different World."
-- Ballet Quad Cities with Artistic Director Courtney Lyon: Selections from "I, Vampire," choreographed by UI Dance faculty member Deanna Carter.
-- Alums Nicole Hussain Morford and Katie Robbins: "To set at stillness the underside of (2009)."
-- Afro-Cuban Dance Ensemble: “Elegua,” “Rumba guaguanco.”
-- Alum Amanda Hamp: “The Rest of Alice.”
-- Alum Jacqueline Stewart: “It’s Not Enough To Close Your Eyes.”
-- Current students Erin Donohue and Kendall Rutherford.
-- Alum Sabrina Madison-Canon: “Welcome to Holland.”

After sharing the billing with others on Saturday, the Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble will be front and center on Sunday. Members of the group have traveled to Cuba to learn the music and dance of its island culture; then through Arts Share, the UI outreach program, they have performed on the UI campus and in public schools and colleges throughout Iowa.
Modei Akyea, Paul Cunliffe and James Dreier are the ensemble’s instructors. Former UI student Jeffrey Adams will perform as guest vocalist. Dancers are students from the Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance performance class: Jonathan Cohen, Lisa Dorado, Jahan Hamilton, John Lorenz, Kotheid Nicoue, Eliana Parnas, Nikolai Qual, Nikki Rizzo, Cuneyt Sahin, Habie Timbo and Parisa Williams.
The ensemble will perform five works: “Elegua,” “Oya,” “Rumba guaguanco,” “Ochosi,” and “Makuta.”

The Department of Dance and Arts Share are both units of the UI Division of Performing Arts in the College of Liberal Arts Sciences. Arts Share’s goal is to strengthen the arts in underserved areas, reaching out to provide access to life-enriching arts experiences throughout Iowa. For more information, see and

The Community Foundation of Johnson County has a simple mission: building an endowment for the greater community good. People interested in becoming a Friend of the Foundation can learn more at

UI arts events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar: For additional arts information, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: JD Mendenhall, Division of Performing Arts, 319-335-3213;; Steve Parrott, University Relations, 319-384-0037,