The Figge Art Museum presents the University of Iowa Dance Company -- April 8

Thursday, April 8, 6:30 p.m.

Presented by the Figge Art Museum

Delivering an original performance boasting a company of 13 graduate and undergraduate dancers, the University of Iowa Dance Company will, on April 8, present a recording of its recent Home Concert in a Figge Art Museum presentation that highlights diverse experiences in American culture via a quintet of thrillingly choreographed vignettes.

In the piece titled root(ed), choreographer Lovar Davis Kidd employs the African beats and rhythms of house dance and hip-hop to explore the connection between the call and response of these rhythms, with footwork and movements that are root(ed) to the earth. Choreographer Armando Duarte De Antonio's de Brincante e Viramundo, based on the compositions of Brazilian artist António Nóbrega, is an abstract interpretation of Carnival parties in Pernambuco, Brazil, where popular dances such as the Frevo are manifested throughout the state. Can’t Catch You, by choreographer Melinda Jean Myers, circles around themes of loss, restriction, shared grief, and embodied expressivity.

Describing her contribution to the Home Concert, choreographer Stephanie Miracle says, “Young Meadows is an exploration of simultaneous events in real and imagined worlds. A longing for springtime after an eternity of winter. This process began with the idea of creating a duet with myself by replicating my body through video. The two dancers, who are also roommates, learned this material and contributed their own choreography based on personal stories and free-association games. A large portion of our rehearsals were conducted through Zoom, during which we explored fantasy landscapes by adding glitching, algorithmic virtual backgrounds of flower dotted fields. Omar Zubair and Hao Zhou joined this process as collaborators, opening audio and visual portals to new worlds.”

The fifth of the five UI Dance Company vignettes is titled And Let's Go and boasts choreography by Alex Bush in collaboration with the dancers and Emily Gumal, Kyleigh Harm, Ianka Hou, Mariko Ishikawa, Brooke Lilienthal, Juliet Remmers, and Carson Simpson. As Bush states, “This work grew out of watching my then two-year-old son Brecken move with joyful and reckless abandon to the music of his father's marching band, and a desire to make a work that reflects the joy to be found in moving for movement's sake. In the last year, we have all become masterful at reaching for connections in ways we never thought possible. My hope is that this work adds another layer of possibility, another place to find common ground, a space to celebrate our connection to each other.”

After sharing the recorded performance, University of Iowa Dance Company directors George de la Peña and Alex Bush will moderate a live discussion about the creation of these works, and also host a Q&A session with audience members. The virtual performance is free, but advance registration is required, and participants will receive an e-mail with a Zoom link two hours before the program begins at 6:30 p.m. on April 8. For more information on the event, call (563)326-7804 and visit FiggeArtMuseum.org.

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