Get ready for Dance Gala

Get ready for Dance Gala

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2012 event features works by UI dance faculty, signature piece by Jennifer Muller
dancers performing on stageDance Gala, the University of Iowa Department of Dance's major annual event, will be held this year Oct. 25-28 and Nov. 1-4. Photo by Tim Schoon.

Dance Gala 2012, the University of Iowa dance department's major annual event, will feature the early signature piece by legendary choreographer Jennifer Muller, as well as new and reimagined works by dance faculty Charlotte Adams, Eloy Barragán, Deanna Carter, Armando Duarte, Jennifer Kayle, and Alan Sener.

The performances will be at 8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 25-27, and Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 1-3; and at 2 p.m., Sundays, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, in Space Place Theater of North Hall.

The program will feature:

  • Speeds, a restaging of Jennifer Muller’s 1974 modern classic
  • Bach Concerto Re-work for Nine Women, a reconstruction choreographed by Deanna Carter
  • in three easy steps, a premiere by Jennifer Kayle
  • Untitled Dance, a premiere by Alan Sener
  • Beyond Anatomy, a premiere by Charlotte Adams
  • Bajo los Puentes del Silencio—Under the Bridges of Silence, a premiere by Eloy Barragán
  • Noiva, a premiere by Armando Duarte

A graduate of Juilliard and an artistic force in dance for more than 40 years, Muller’s work has been seen on stage in 41 countries and on television in the United States, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Russia, Costa Rica, Australia, China, and Japan. With a history of notable collaborations, she has worked with such artists as Louis Falco, Keith Jarrett, Keith Haring, and Yoko Ono.

Speeds was premiered by the Louis Falco Dance Company on May 22, 1974, at Alice Tully Hall in New York City and continues to be re-staged throughout the world.

Muller, who has been in residence at the UI as an Ida Cordelia Beam Visiting Professor, describes some aspects of Speeds: “Dance works at that time were often based on grand themes and historical figures—Othello, Clytemnestra, and the Emperor Jones—or alternatively, formal constructions choreographed to ‘serious’ composers such as Bach. And here came Speeds, an elaborate theme and variation that combined virtuosic dancing with a celebratory but casual atmosphere—emphasis on casual.

“The performers related to each other, not as dancers but as people: jaunty, romantic, competitive but, most often, cheerful, smiling to beat the band, at each other, and the audience. The music by Burt Alcantara was revolutionary—confusing in its mix of genres and composed on a self-constructed synthesizer. The piece was quirky, irreverent, even humorous.”

The UI restaging of Speeds combines the efforts of Muller, two members of her Jennifer Muller/The Works dance company, Jennifer Peters, and Duane Gosa Jr., UI dance costume designer Margaret Wenk-Kuchlbauer, lighting designer Laurel Shoemaker, and elite UI dancers.

UI dance faculty member Deanna Carter’s Bach Concerto Re-work for Nine Women is a reconstruction of her Gala 2005 premiere featuring the UI Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Eneldo Oliviera, featuring oboe soloist Mark Weiger and violinist Scott Conklin. Weiger has since passed away, and the reconstruction is dedicated to his memory. The original work was for three men and nine women and was performed at Hancher Auditorium. “I am revisiting ideas from my original work for this rework. I have approached it as a laboratory for my ballet students to apply what they are learning in class to the choreography,” Carter says.

Bajo los Puentes del Silencio—Under the Bridges of Silence, the premiere by UI Dance faculty choreographer Eloy Barragán, features American Sign Language and the songs “Falling Spaniels” by Rob Burger, “Last Minute Garage Band Thing” mashup by UI dance faculty member Paul Cunliffe, and “The Cause” by Avi Belleli. Belleli has been the lead vocalist and bass player of the Tel Aviv-based rock band Nikmat Hatraktor (Tractor's Revenge) since its formation in 1988. Lyrics for “The Cause” (translated from Hebrew) begin, “I must cry, but these are cruel tears…”

Continuing the musical focus, UI dance faculty choreographer Alan Sener will premiere his “Untitled Dance,” which is inspired by composer Kevin Keller’s “Riding the Purple Twilight,” recorded by UI favorite JACK Quartet.

Tickets for Dance Gala 2012 performances are $20; $15 for audience members 65 and older; $10 for youth 17 and younger; and $5 for UI students (with a valid UI ID). Patron tickets, which include an $80 contribution to the Department of Dance through the UI Foundation, are available for $100.

Free parking for gala attendees is available in the North Campus Parking Ramp next to North Hall and in Lot 18 behind North Hall. Both parking areas are accessible from North Madison Street.

The Hancher Box Office, in the Old Capitol Town Center, is open for phone (319-335-1160 or 800-426-2437) 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 for sale one hour before show time at the door. For accommodations to attend the event, contact Department of Dance, 319-335-2228.

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


Christopher Clair, University Communication and Marketing, 319-384-0900


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