CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
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."