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University of Iowa News Release

Release: March 28, 2003

(Photo credit: Stuttgart Ballet)

Stuttgart Ballet Performs "Romeo And Juliet" April 15-16 At UI

The Stuttgart Ballet will perform its landmark production of "Romeo and Juliet" at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, April 15 and 16, in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus. The Prokofiev score will be performed live by an orchestra organized by William LaRue Jones, director of the UI Symphony.

The performances will feature 22 local performers in a variety of auxiliary roles, including some dancing roles. They will be selected by the company in an audition at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 13. To receive additional information, or to register for the audition, call Hancher at 319-335-1130 before April 4.

All "Romeo and Juliet" ticket-buyers will be eligible for drawings for two pearl necklaces in celebration of Hancher's 30th anniversary, donated by Herteen and Stocker Jewelers. A drawing will be held and a necklace will be presented each evening.

This production of "Romeo and Juliet," based on the Shakespeare play, played a pivotal role in the history of the Stuttgart Ballet. Although the ballet tradition in Stuttgart can be traced back to the early 17th century, the city's ballet company was catapulted to a new level of international prominence by British director John Cranko.

Cranko had been in charge of the company for only a year when his new production of "Romeo and Juliet" was premiered in 1962, and the production's critical success certified that the Stuttgart Ballet had "arrived."

Now considered one of the world's most illustrious ballet companies, the Stuttgart has been a showcase for the early works of now-legendary choreographers including Jiri Kylian and William Forsythe, and under the recent direction of Reid Anderson, the Stuttgart has presented more than a dozen world premieres in the last three seasons.

"Romeo and Juliet" remains a cornerstone of the Stuttgart repertoire and is still regarded as one of the most dramatic and stunning stagings of the Shakespeare/Prokofiev classic. As Anna Kisselgoff wrote in the New York Times, "arguably the best treatment of Prokofiev's celebrated ballet score. . . Here is a ballet to please virtually everyone."

Critic Don Kolman wrote for Showmag.com, "A prominent feature of this ballet is numerous spectacular lifts which Cranko utilized in all his choreography. So unique are these lifts that they have simply become known as Stuttgart lifts. They are fiendishly difficult to execute and are dazzling to watch. . . . one finds oneself constantly gasping at the lifts"

And John Percival wrote in Dance Now, "Nobody could tell a story in dance better than Cranko and his 'Romeo and Juliet' is one of the most satisfying versions."

The University of Iowa Community Credit Union is the sponsor of the "Romeo and Juliet" performances, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets to the Stuttgart Ballet's "Romeo and Juliet" are $50, $45 and $40 ($40 and $10 for UI students; $40, $36 and $32 for senior citizens; and half price for audience members 17 and younger).

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website: http://www.uiowa.edu/hancher .

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, ur-acr@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu.

PHOTOS are available at http://www.uiowa.edu/hancher/media.html.