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Dance, dance, dance

BY DI STAFF | 2015 EDITION

The University of Iowa’s Dance Department, based in Halsey Hall, has earned a national reputation for creative productions and high standards of teaching that place it among the top-10 dance programs in the country. Students working toward a degree in dance have the opportunity to perform in up to 12 productions each year.

Degrees in dance include a B.A., a B.F.A., an M.F.A in choreography and a M.F.A. in performance. The department hosts numerous productions, including performances by the world-renowned Joffrey Ballet. There is also an annual Graduate/Undergraduate recital, Faculty/Graduate show, and Dance Gala. The show takes places in the fall, and tickets are usually around $5 for students, while tickets are otherwise $10-20.

The department is known to team up with the UI English, theater, and art students as well. The shows are displays of various emotions the students and audiences all face --— insecurity, heartbreak, and rejection. The show demonstrates talent from both majors and non-majors, including choreographers who are famous for dance. To dance in a performance, students are almost always required to do an audition. Aside from Dance Gala, other opportunities include the Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance and collaborative performing in December. The UI Dancer’s In Company, the student performing company, also tours during the spring semester.

The show focuses on the dancers acting as “painters” focusing on themes to paint an image for audiences. But students shouldn’t be fooled — it’s not a show for clichés. This premise for the gala, as well as the department, is based on the idea that art and education are part of the human experience.

Faculty members of the department include professional dancers such as department head George de la Peña, an accomplished performer from the American Ballet Theater. Audiences can stay updated on dance events through arts.uiowa.edu.


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