Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552
ahayes@semo.edu

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SOUTHEAST, DANCE ST. LOUIS, U.S. BANK BRINGING MIAMI CITY BALLET TO CAMPUS IN APRIL

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 8, 2002 – Dance St. Louis along with Southeast Missouri State University and U.S. Bank present the internationally renowned Miami City Ballet April 8-10 in Cape Girardeau.

With its entire complement of 50 dancers, Miami City Ballet will be in residency on the campus of Southeast Missouri State to conduct master classes, lecture-demonstrations, panel discussions, a keynote address, and a full-length performance at Forrest H. Rose Theatre. Tickets for the performance go on sale March 11 at the Performing Arts Box Office in the Grauel Building.

The company also will present several outreach activities for students in the Cape Girardeau and Sikeston public school systems. The ballet company previously performed to a nearly sold-out audience on the Southeast campus in October 1998.

Edward Villella, artistic director of the Miami City Ballet since its inception in 1987, will highlight the residency as the company performs the “Rubies” section of George Balanchine's 1967 masterpiece “Jewels,” as well as two new ballets choreographed by Villella himself. In addition to the master classes in classical ballet and the outreach experiences for Cape Girardeau and regional students, two other programs will be offered to the public.

The residency will culminate with a full-length evening performance by the Miami City Ballet on Wednesday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Forrest H. Rose Theatre. The concert will feature the “Rubies” section of George Balanchine's 1967 masterpiece “Jewels,” originally created for Villella and Patricia McBride of the New York City Ballet, and presented in its entirety to music by the great 20th century composer Igor Stravinsky. “The Quickstep: Unspeakable Jazz Must Go!” with choreography by Villella to music by Duke Ellington and other jazz/blues greats, and “Mambo No. 2 a.m.,” with choreography by Villella to Latin music by Cuban pianist and bandleader Pérez Prado, also will be presented.

Tickets for this event are $15 for students with ID; $20 for faculty, staff, alumni, and senior citizens; and $25 for the public. All seats are reserved and go on sale March 11 at the Performing Arts Box Office in the Grauel Building of Southeast Missouri State University. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Also featured during the residency will be a panel discussion and keynote address entitled “From Russia With Love: Balanchine and Stravinsky in America,” scheduled for Monday, April 8 at 7 p.m. in Academic Auditorium. Guest panelists will include Marc Strauss, event moderator and associate professor of theatre and dance, Southeast Missouri State University; and Villella, keynote speaker and artistic director, Miami City Ballet. Also serving on the panel will be Sally Brayley Bliss, executive director, Dance St. Louis; Robert Fruehwald, professor of music, Southeast Missouri State University; Christine O'Neal, senior artist-in-residence in dance, Washington University; and Carol Pardo, New York correspondent for the international dance journal DanceView.

Tickets for the event are $3 for students with ID and $5 for the public (at the door).

This residency is made possible through the support of Dance St. Louis, Southeast Missouri State University, U.S. Bank, Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds, the Missouri Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, Southeast Missouri State University Department of Theatre and Dance, College of Liberal Arts, School of Graduate Studies & Research, the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, and a host of other individuals and organizations in the Cape Girardeau community and region.

For further information, call (573) 651-2265.

MIAMI CITY BALLET
BACKGROUND

The Miami City Ballet is among the largest ballet companies in the United States, with 50 dancers and a fiscal year 2002 budget of $9.95 million. Established in 1987, the Company is in its 16th year and has 97 ballets in its repertory, including many of George Balanchine's masterworks, most notably “Prodigal Son” (1929), “Apollo” (1928), “Agon” (1957), and “Jewels” (1967), and dances by contemporary choreographers such as Paul Taylor and Lynn Taylor-Corbett. Ballets by Frederick Ashton, Marius Petipa, August Bournonville, and Villella also highlight the repertoire.

Founding Artistic Director Edward Villella was the first American-born male star of the New York City Ballet (1957-1975), and his career established the male's role in classical dance in the United States. Villella's vision and style for MCB is based on the techniques established by the highly esteemed 20th century neo-classic choreographer George Balanchine (1904-1983). In 1997, Villella received the highest and most prestigious cultural honor that can be bestowed upon an artist by the United States, the National Medal of Arts, presented by President Clinton. Also in 1997, he was named a Kennedy Center Honoree and was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.

The dancers of the Miami City Ballet are an international mix, coming from a wide diversity of companies, such as the Ballet Nacional de Caracas, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the Boston Ballet, the Deutsche Opera Berlin, the Joffrey Ballet, the New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Royal Ballet of Belgium, and the Royal Danish Ballet, and countries as varied as Albania, Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, France, Germany, Russia, the United States, and Venezuela.

Miami City Ballet has toured 29 states and danced in 83 U.S. cities, with national performances at the Kennedy Center, the 1996 Olympic Arts Festival in Atlanta, the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Wolf Trap, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, DanceAspen, and the Chautauqua Festival, among many others. Internationally, the MCB has performed in Europe, Great Britain, South America, Central America, and Israel, and has participated in festivals including the 1994 and 1995 Edinburgh International Festivals (Scotland), the Festival Internacionel de Cultura Paiz (Guatemala), and the Torino Danz 2000 Festival (Italy).

The Miami City Ballet's education program is experienced by tens of thousands of young people annually, who are treated to performances narrated by Villella, such as “Ballet for Young People.” MCB artists are rehearsed to perform not only with great speed, energy, and technical clarity, but also with the combination of force and delicacy needed to interpret musical scores from Bach to Stravinsky. Body types are slender, but there are no height requirements. Villella looks for dancers with the ability to move with quickness in the neo-classic manner. The Miami City Ballet School focuses on providing complete preparation for the demands of a professional career, including technique, role characterization, presentation, and the various elements of staging. Nevertheless, their primary goal is to develop a love of dance in all students. Symbolically, the students at the Miami City Ballet represent our future — not only as potential MCB members but also as exponents of art and culture in their communities and the world at large.

 

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