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Release: April 9, 1999

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Bujones is pronounced boo-HOH-nays)

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Bujones will present master classes 10-11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, April 19-23, in the Loft studio of UI Halsey Hall. Print and TV cameras are welcome, with advance warning. Your contact in the dance department is Alicia Brown, 319-335-2189.)

Ballet star Fernando Bujones will give master classes at the UI dance department April 19-23

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Fernando Bujones, acknowledged to be one of the greatest male ballet dancers of the 20th century, will present master classes at the University of Iowa dance department April 19-23.

Bujones was catapulted to stardom when he became the first American male dancer to win the coveted Gold Medal, as well as a special award for Highest Technical Achievement, at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria -- considered to be the Olympics of dance.

He has appeared as a principal dancer or guest artist with more than 60 companies -- including American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada -- performing in more than 30 countries. He became a principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre in 1974, becoming one of the youngest principal dancers in the ballet world.

Over a performing career of more than two decades, he partnered many of the world's most celebrated ballerinas, including Dame Margot Fonteyn, Natalia Makarova, Cynthia Gregory, Carla Fracci, Gelsey Kirkland and Marianna Tcherkassky.

Bujones has been the artistic director of ballet companies in Brazil, Mexico, Spain and the United States.

Among the many honors Bujones has received are the New York Times Award, the Dance Magazine Award and the Hispanic Heritage Award. Dance Magazine noted that the exuberance of his dancing "stimulated audiences around the world to deeper insights into the joy and beauty of dance." And Alexander Brand of the London Observer asserted, "Bujones is a class of its own."

Learn more about Bujones on the World Wide Web at the following sites: