Two troupes dance into Iowa summer

BY TANNER KOOMAR | JUNE 18, 2009 7:21 AM

All things have an inside and an outside. Whether a physical object (such as a building) or an abstraction (such as a relationship), one is either on the inside or the outside. Then (to get really philosophical), there are the doors. They are the spaces in which the transition from being outside to being inside is made. In those spaces, a transformation occurs, and everything changes.

Local dance company Duarte Dance Works examines and expresses these spaces in Portas. The new work, choreographed by UI Professor Armando Duarte, kicks off the first concert of the company’s seventh season at 8 p.m. today in Old Brick, 26 E. Market St.

Traditionally, Duarte Dance Works premières its season in Iowa City before leaving to tour other parts of the country. Recently, however, the company has focused on local community involvement.

“My major goal is to establish a dance company outside the university but within the community of Iowa City,” Duarte said. “I am still in the making of that.”

Teaming up with Duarte Dance Works for this performance is Poetic Rebound Performance Company, headed by UI alum Nicole Morford. Poetic Rebound has goals for Iowa City similar to those of Duarte Dance Works — in fact, tonight’s performance is in support of both the Old Brick Community Center and the Table to Table program for the Crisis Center. Those attending are encouraged to bring cans of nonperishable food items to support the programs.

“We do a lot of community outreach, and we do performances in nontraditional settings,” Morford said. “We’re really just trying to bring concert dance to everyone.”

In addition to choreographing both pieces Poetic Rebound will perform, she will dance in all the pieces. to set at stillness the underside of, her latest work, premièred in May.

“The piece is about two beings who are going through a time of passage,” she said. “One is moving on from one phase to the next, and that evolves the relationship.”

Her other work, É rooted in each moving force (originally choreographed for 2007’s EarthExpo), examines “a group of beings going through their daily life and how they cope with changes in their atmosphere and their environment.”

Duarte Dance Works will also perform Blanche, a piece Duarte choreographed to Bach’s Whitsun Cantatas. The dance originally called for more than a dozen dancers, but he said the excerpts that will be performed tonight are more intimate.

“There are the massive parts [of Blanche] that require a lot of dancers, but there are also some very quiet moments set for solos or duets or trios,” he said.

Morford and Duarte agree the partnership of Duarte Dance Works and Poetic Rebound is about bringing dance to a community that is already rich in many other arts.

“In the summer, there is the Summer Rep, and Shakespeare Fest, and the opera, but nothing for dance,” Duarte said. “That’s what we wanted to create.”

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