CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 22, 1999
Joffrey Ballet veterans to preview ABT performance
of Pas des Deesses
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Three veterans of the Joffrey Ballet
-- University of Iowa emeritus faculty member Francoise Martinet, Brunilda
Ruiz and American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie --
will preview the Nov. 2 and 3 ABT performance of Robert Joffreys "Pas
des Deesses" in a pre-performance discussion at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov.
2 in the greenroom of Hancher Auditorium. The discussion is free to ticketholders
for the Nov. 2 ABT performance.
Joffrey choreographed "Pas des Deeses" in
1954, in his early 20s, before he founded the company that first put a distinctively
American stamp on the art of ballet. The work was a staple of the Joffrey
Ballet repertoire in the early days when it was a small company barnstorming
the country in a station wagon.
Martinet, Ruiz and McKenzie performed in the work
when they were members of Joffreys company. Ruiz set the work on ABT.
Joffreys company became one of the most influential
forces in the ballet world, including the sort of eclectic repertoire -- featuring
masterworks by modern-dance choreographers as well as ballet standards and
contemporary works in the ballet idiom -- that has become common for American
ballet companies, but Joffreys personal choreographic output was small.
And yet his few, painstakingly crafted works were
landmark events for the Joffrey Ballet, including "Remembrances,"
"Postcards" and "Astarte," the multi-media spectacle that
landed the Joffrey Ballet on the cover of Time magazine.
In "Pas des Deeses," Joffrey paid tribute
to the styles and personalities of several of the greatest ballerinas of the
19th century. Englands Ballet Rambert put Joffrey on the choreographic
map when it took this work into its repertory and performed it on tour. When
Ballet Rambert performed in the Soviet Union, Joffrey became the first American
ballet choreographer to have his work performed there.
In addition to performing in "Pas des Deesses"
while she was one of the earliest members of the Joffrey Ballet, Martinet
has also set the dance on members of the UI Dance Company and the UI touring
ensemble, Dancers in Company.
Tickets for the ABT performance are available from
the Hancher box office, 319-335-1160, or toll-free in Iowa and Illinois, 1-800-HANCHER.
(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: "Pas des Deesses"
is pronounced "pah day Day-ESS." Francoise Martinet is pronounced