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Release: Immediate

Luis Fuente, ballet master of Joffrey Ballet, is guest of UI dance department

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Luis Fuente, ballet master of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, will be a guest artist in the University of Iowa dance department Sept. 8-21. Fuente will create new choreography that will be premiered by the UI Dance Company in "Departures"/Dance Gala '97, Nov. 14-15 in Hancher Auditorium.

A native of Spain, Fuente was 18 years old when he joined the Joffrey Ballet as a leading dancer. In seven years with the Joffrey he danced an extensive repertory, including "Viva Vivaldi," "Olympics," "Fanfarita" and other roles created for him by Joffrey choreographer Gerald Arpino. In 1969 he was chosen as the best male dancer at the Dance Festival of Vienna.

He later became a principal dancer with the National Ballet in Washington, D.C., the National Ballet of Holland and the London Festival Ballet. In all three companies Fuente performed leading roles in the classical repertory, including "Swan Lake," "Giselle," "Coppelia," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella," as well as ballets by 20th-century masters including Balanchine, Tudor, Ashton and Cranko.

Fuente returned home to Spain in 1975, establishing a ballet school and directing Ballet de Luis Fuente. In 1976 his company was awarded a special prize as the best dance company of the year.

He returned to the Joffrey Ballet in 1980, winning great acclaim for the leading role that Robert Joffrey created for him in "Postcards."

Fuente has been co-director, choreographer and ballet master for the Classical and Spanish National Ballets of Spain, and his choreography has been broadcast by TVE, the Spanish television network.

In addition to setting his new choreography, Fuente will teach advanced-level ballet class in the UI dance department.