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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 13, 2004

Joffrey 'Nutcracker' Children Will Be Selected In Sept. 26 Auditions

The corps of young dancers who will perform with the Joffrey Ballet and the Cedar Rapids Symphony in the Dec. 9-12 performances of "The Nutcracker" in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium will be selected in Sunday, Sept. 26, auditions at Hancher.

The auditions are open to second-year through advanced ballet students between the ages of nine and 13, and between four and five feet in height. Both girls and boys are encouraged to audition.

Second-year ballet students will be auditioned at 8:30 a.m.; third- and fourth-year students at 10:30 a.m.; and fifth-year and advanced students at 1 p.m.

There will be no advance sign-up or reservations for the auditions. Parents should bring their young dancers to the hall an hour in advance of the auditions to fill out paperwork, and should be prepared to remain for callbacks. Volunteers from Hancher Guild will be on hand throughout the day as hosts.

For complete audition information and a schedule of the extensive rehearsals leading up to the arrival of the Joffrey Ballet, contact Hancher Auditorium at 319-335-1130, or send an e-mail to

The rehearsals, which begin Sept. 28, will be directed by Grace Snider, artistic director of the UI Dance Department's Dance Forum/UI Youth Ballet.

Children play an prominent part in the Joffrey "Nutcracker," which was co-commissioned by Hancher and given its 1987 world premiere in the auditorium as "Iowa's Holiday Gift to the Nation." The corps of 44 Iowa children in that production accompanied the Joffrey to Washington, D.C., where they performed in the run of "The Nutcracker" in the Kennedy Center.

Each subsequent run of "The Nutcracker" in Hancher has featured a new children's corps, so that a generation of young Iowa dancers have had the opportunity to perform with one of the world's leading ballet companies -- and some have even been inspired to pursue careers in dance.

Since its debut 17 years ago, Robert Joffrey's distinctively American "Nutcracker" -- realized on the Hancher stage less than a year before his death -- has remained the company's biggest selling attraction, and it has been a favorite of audiences and critics throughout the country.

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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,