IC performance combines local music and dance talent


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This weekend, Iowa City's Poetic Rebound Performance Company will combine local musical and dance talent to deliver In the Axis, a show that displays numerous artistic platforms to entertain its audience.

The group will host a festival of live music and local contemporary dance in collaboration with three other dance studios from the area. Colorful lighting design and eclectic costuming aids the variation of styles from pedestrian movement to more elaborate dances.

"I wanted to integrate modern dance more into the artistic scene," said Nicole Morford, the Poetic Rebound artistic director. "Dance is just starting to really grow outside of the studio setting and I wanted to emphasize local groups [coming together]."

Poetic Rebound will host the event in collaboration with City Ballet of Iowa under the direction of Eloy and Sarah Barragán, Nolte Academy of Dance, and Kate Carol and Company Dance represented by Lisa Lewis, Elizabeth June Bergman, and Analía Alegre-Femenías.

The show will open at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Coralville Center for Performing Arts, 1301 Fifth Ave. Admission is $15 for the general public, $12 for students.

Morford graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.F.A. in dance, which led her to form her own nonprofit dance organization in 2007.

The nonprofit's mission is to increase accessibility to contemporary dance in both small and large towns in Iowa. The dancers perform yearly in the area and travel throughout the state. The troupe completed its first Midwestern tour this summer.

"For me, [In the Axis] represents the center of everything, all of us coming together to present what we've been working on over the past year or so, and to share the stage," Morford said. "I hope we can make an annual event."

Poetic Rebound will present three works from its 2011 season, including the very first piece the dancers ever performed as a company, "… rooted in each moving force."

The show will also feature a 2009 duet collaboration created by Morford and Katie Robbins, a UI graduate and former company member, titled "to set at stillness the underside of."

Another goal of the company is to work with other artists and musicians to give audiences a richer experience.

The Iowa City-based band Tallgrass will open the show to enhance the local feel of the event, adding to the variety of artforms featured in the performance.

The band is originally from Des Moines. It has shared the stage with the company in the past and has played at local venues including the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., and Deadwood, 6 S. Dubuque St. The group will play at 6:30 p.m. before the dance performance begins, adding to the richness of the experience for the audience.

"It's old folky music with a new twist," drummer Adam Morford said. "We write all original songs."

He said that the musicians hope to draw the audience in through lyrical storytelling.

Megan Flanagan, the managing director of the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, said this is the first dance show to occur on the venue's stage since it opened a few months ago.

"I am a big fan of contemporary dance, it's something you can really immerse yourself in," Flanagan said. "Dance is music set in motion, and if you go in with an open mind and let yourself experience it, [you will be amazed]."

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