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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 2, 2004

Young Dancers Have Opportunity Of A Lifetime In Joffrey "Nutcracker"

More than 70 young eastern Iowa dancers will have the opportunity of a lifetime when they perform in the Joffrey Ballet "Nutcracker," Dec. 9-12 in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium.

The dancers are now in the midst of an extensive schedule of rehearsals with Grace Snider, director of the UI Dance Forum. Children are featured prominently in the Joffrey version of "The Nutcracker."

The dancers were selected in September auditions, and they will work with Snider until the Joffrey Ballet arrives for the final rehearsals with the company and the Cedar Rapids Symphony, leading up to the five Hancher performances.

The Joffrey "Nutcracker" -- Robert Joffrey's final project before his death in 1988 -- had it's high-profile 1987 world premiere in Hancher as "Iowa's Holiday Gift to the Nation," and the original group of young Iowa dancers accompanied the Joffrey to Washington, D.C., for a run in the Kennedy Center, where they were the subject of a national TV news story.

"The Nutcracker" has become an annual mainstay in the Joffrey Ballet repertory, and has returned to Hancher several times -- most recently in 1996. Over the years, the "Nutcracker" performances have enabled more than 250 Iowa children to perform with one of America's leading ballet companies.

Tickets for the "Nutcracker" performances are now on sale at the Hancher box office.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to 319-353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail:

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

The Joffrey "Nutcracker" children's corps, 2004

(The young dancers are listed alphabetically by hometown. Each listing includes the dance's roles in the production, and indicates whether they are in Cast 1 or Cast 2, or both. Cast 1 will perform at the Dec. 9 and 11 evening performances and the Dec. 11 matinee. Cast 2 will perform at the Friday evening performance and the Sunday matinee.)

CEDAR RAPIDS: Megan Anderson, doll, cast 1; Rachel Brandt, doll, cast 1&2; Hannah Catron, party scene, cast 1; Clancy Haase, angel, cast 1&2; Chessa Loushin, doll, cast 1&2; Jessica Morosky, soldier, cast 1&2; Allie Setter, soldier, cast 1; Emily Sohl, party scene, cast 1&2

CORALVILLE: Amanda Bartels, party scene, cast 1&2; Kelsey Blocklinger, angel, cast 1&2; Courtney Bode, Polichinelles/mice, cast 1; Taylor Fehlberg, mounted mice, cast 1&2; Madison Fung, angel, cast 2; Emma Hermiston, party scene, cast 1&2; Emily Medd, soldier, cast 1; Jennifer Sluka, party scene, cast 1&2; Katelyn Swearingen, angel, cast 1&2; Victoria Zhu, angel, cast 1&2

HEDRICK: Maleaha Earnest, doll, cast 1&2

IOWA CITY: Emily Belding, party scene, cast 1; Cara Braverman, party scene, cast 1&2; Maddie Bushnell, Polichinelles/mice, cast 1&2; Ada Cassell, Polichinelles/mice, cast 1&2; Cassandra Ceurvorst, party scene, cast 2; Ainsley Cooper, doll, cast 2; Francesca Crutchfield-Stoker, angel, cast 2; Caitlin Danielson, party scene, cast 1&2; Kellee Darner, doll, cast 1&2; Jenna DeBoer, party scene, cast 1&2; Clare Dehn, mounted mice, cast 1&2; Rachel Deutsch, angel, cast 1&2; Ashley Fuller     cast, mounted mice, cast 2; Amanda Gerard, angel, cast 1&2; Christina Hamilton, party scene, cast 2; Erin Helm, soldier, cast 1&2, , Elisabeth Hottel, Polichinelles/mice, cast 1&2; Paola Jaramillo-Guayara, angel, cast 1&2; Elizabeth Laikhter, soldier, cast 1&2; Anna Mondanaro, doll, cast 1; Lauren Mondanaro, angel, cast 1; Rachael Mysnyk, doll, cast 1&2; Baylie Ostler, Polichinelles/mice, cast 1&2; Cat Rudolph, party scene, cast 2; Zoey Salisbury, angel, cast 1&2; JoJo Silverman, Polichinelles/mice, cast 1&2; Rachel Stewart, mounted mice, cast 1&2; Catherine Suchanek, soldier, cast 2; Caitlin Ward, party scene, cast 1; Hannah Weeks, Polichinelles/mice, cast 1

LONE TREE: Ella Feldman, party scene, cast 1&2; Lindsey Woodiwiss, doll, cast 2

MANCHESTER: Autumn Reeder, soldier, cast 1&2

MARION: Breanna Flater, party scene, cast 1&2

MONTEZUMA: Shena Bryan, angel, cast 1&2; Colleen Johnston, doll, cast 1&2

MOUNT VERNON: Xena Plaut Fitzgerald, party scene, cast 1&2

MT. PLEASANT: Haley Overton, angel, cast 1&2

NORTH LIBERTY: Summer Burch, party scene, cast 2; Ariel Hayes, soldier, cast 2

OTTUMWA: Mary Paluska, soldier, cast 1&2; Kaela Paris, soldier, cast 1&2; Madison Smith, soldier, cast 1&2

SWISHER: Katherine Kohnen, angel, cast 1

TIFFIN: Miranda Decker, Polichinelles/mice, cast 1&2; Paige Tomson, soldier, cast 1&2

WEST BRANCH: Kelsi Fryauf, mounted mice, cast 1

WEST LIBERTY: Gina Montagna, Polichinelles/mice, cast 2; Samantha Smith, Polichinelles/mice, cast 2

WILLIAMSBURG: Alison Brinkman, soldier, cast 1&2; Mackenzie Freeman, soldier, cast 1&2; Kiley Ritchie, party scene, cast 1&2

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,

PHOTOS of the Joffrey "Nutcracker" -- but not of this year's children -- are available at