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Release: May 14, 1999

Milwaukee Ballet artistic director Basil Thompson will join UI dance faculty

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Basil Thompson, the artistic director and ballet master of the Milwaukee Ballet, will join the faculty of the University of Iowa Dance Department in January 2000. Thompson will fill the faculty line vacated by the retirement of long-time faculty member Francoise Martinet.

During his acclaimed performing career Thompson was a soloist with the Covent Garden Opera Ballet of London, a member of the Royal Ballet and a soloist with American Ballet Theatre.

He became assistant ballet master of American Ballet Theatre before becoming ballet master of the Joffrey Ballet for 18 years. In 1981 he accepted the position of ballet master with the Milwaukee Ballet, where he later added the responsibilities of artistic director.

In a May 1999 article in Dance Magazine, Milwaukee Ballet soloist and UI Dance Department alumna Kim Marsh commented, "One of the things I like about him so much is the stories he can tell. When we're in rehearsal and he's setting 'Swan Lake' or 'Giselle,' he'll go off on some story from when he was with American Ballet Theatre or the Joffrey or the Royal Ballet, and you're just in awe -- this guy really knows his stuff."