July 3, 2007
Slideshow 1: A series of images portray the debut of the first two stops of the Joffrey Ballet's "River to River" tour as part of Hancher Auditorium's 35th anniversary season gift to the state of Iowa. To view images from Des Moines and Council Bluffs, visit Large (76MB) | Medium (19.4MB) | Small (11.2MB).
Hancher Auditorium's Joffrey Ballet 'River To River' Draws Huge Crowds
Beautiful weather and gorgeous dancing have drawn enthusiastic crowds in the thousands to the first two stops of the Joffrey Ballet "River to River" tour, presented by the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium.
Hancher is celebrating its 35th anniversary season by giving a gift back to the people of Iowa (and anyone else who chooses to attend) this summer -- free outdoor performances by the Joffrey Ballet in Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Muscatine.
The opening performances jammed Des Moines' Western Gateway Park, as the June 29 kick-off event of the Des Moines Arts Festival, and Council Bluffs' Bayliss Park on July 1.
The remaining performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, in Muscatine's Weed Park; at 8 p.m. Friday, July 6, at Brucemore in Cedar Rapids; and at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 7, on the Hancher Green, just outside the auditorium along the Iowa River in Iowa City.
The Joffrey Ballet's education director, Pierre Lockett, will lead movement workshops for all ages at each of the sites on the days of the performances: 9 a.m. in Muscatine, 9:30 a.m. in Cedar Rapids and 10 a.m. in Iowa City. For additional information, contact Hancher's education programming director at email@example.com or 319-335-0009.
For complete information about the tour, visit http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu/hancher35/index.html.
The performance program at each site features two works that represent the fruitful, three-decade relationship between Hancher Auditorium and the Joffrey Ballet. Laura Dean's "Sometimes It Snows in April" was a section of the Joffrey/Prince collaboration "Billboards," which was co-produced by Hancher, where the world premiere performances were staged in 1993.
Robert Joffrey's acclaimed production of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," now a mainstay of the company's performance seasons, was premiered in Hancher Auditorium in 1987 and will be represented in the "River to River" tour with the "Sugar Plum Pas de Deux."
Each performance also includes a preview of "Allegro con Sabor," with choreography by Ballet Hispanico member Pedro Ruiz and music by pianist Eric Lewis, which will be given its official world premiere this fall.
The two other works on the program are classics of recent American dance -- Pilobolus Dance Theatre's comic "Untitled" and the exotic "Light Rain," choreographed by Joffrey Ballet co-founder and Artistic Director Gerald Arpino.
Major funding support for the Joffrey "River to River" tour has come from the Iowa West Foundation; John and Sue Strauss from Iowa City; the Des Moines Register; HNI Charitable Foundation in Muscatine; W.A. and Nancy S. Krause of West Des Moines; Fresh Food Concepts of Iowa City; Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids; CRST International Inc. in Cedar Rapids; the Gazette Foundation of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City; Great America Leasing Corporation of Cedar Rapids; Arts Midwest; the Iowa Arts Council; and the National Endowment for the Arts. Many other businesses, foundations and individuals have contributed to the project, and are listed in an honor roll distributed at the events.
For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.
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; cell: 310-430-1013; firstname.lastname@example.org