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University of Iowa News Release


March 19, 2009

Tickets go on sale March 23 for Joffrey Ballet benefit for Hancher/School of Music

When times are tough, you learn who your friends are. Soon after the flood of June 2008 extensively damaged the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium/Voxman Music Building complex, UI arts administrators heard from both the Joffrey Ballet and the Des Moines Civic Center, wondering if there was anything they could do to help.

The result of those generous offerings of help and support will be a benefit performance by the Joffrey Ballet on Sept. 11, 2009 -- the night before the Iowa/Iowa State football game in Ames -- in the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, followed by a reception with the Joffrey dancers. The proceeds of ticket sales will be shared by Hancher and the School of Music.

The Joffrey Ballet will perform "Kettentanz" choreographed by the late Joffrey Ballet co-founder and artistic director emeritus Gerald Arpino, with music by Johann Strauss and Johann Simon Mayer; two works that celebrate the music of Richard Rodgers, "... smile with my heart" by UI alumnus Lar Lubovitch and "Carousel (A Dance)" by Christopher Wheeldon; and "Age of Innocence" by New York City Ballet soloist-turned-choreographer Edward Liang, to music by Philip Glass and Thomas Newman.

Tickets will be on sale March 23 through April 17 at the Hancher box office and will later become available through the Civic Center.

"I'll never forget the success of our evening in Des Moines on June 29, 2007 when the Joffrey Ballet performed in the Western Gateway Park during our 'River to River' tour," says Chuck Swanson, Hancher's executive director. "It only seems appropriate that we bring the Joffrey back to Des Moines for another memorable evening.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Hancher, the School of Music and the UI, due to the generosity of the Joffrey Ballet and the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines. It is a true celebration of the arts in Iowa."

Collaborations between Hancher, the UI Division of Performing Arts and the Joffrey Ballet began with the company's first Hancher performances in 1974, which were accompanied by an orchestra organized by UI School of Music faculty. The School of Music has provided live music for the Joffrey Ballet on several visits to Hancher, most notably for the world premiere performances of Robert Joffrey's "Nutcracker" in 1987. Residencies by the Joffrey II Dancers in the 1980s were hosted in collaboration with the division's Department of Dance, which escaped major flood damage.

The Joffrey Ballet has presented more than 100 performances in Hancher or around the state of Iowa through Hancher's sponsorship. The most ambitious collaboration with the Joffrey came in the summer of 2007, when beautiful weather welcomed the company to Iowa for the "River to River" tour of free, outdoor performances in celebration of Hancher's 35th anniversary.

For a history of Hancher Auditorium, the UI Division of Performing Arts and the Joffrey Ballet visit

For a profile of the Joffrey Ballet visit

Tickets for the Des Moines performance are $250, $100 and $50. Tickets may be ordered online March 23 through April 17 at

The Hancher box office is open for phone or walk-up business in Suite 107 in the south building of the Lindquist Center, at the corner of Madison and Burlington streets, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Parking is available in the metered lot by the UI Main Library on Madison Street, or in the Old Capitol Town Center parking ramp at the corner of Clinton and Burlington streets.

From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. 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.

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.

For UI arts information and calendar updates visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Farrah Malik, Joffrey Ballet,; Chuck Swanson, Hancher Auditorium, 319-335-1133,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell), 319-338-4274 (home),