Magazine article Pointe

Anniversary Special

Magazine article Pointe

Anniversary Special

Article excerpt

The Joffrey Ballet tours five Iowa cities in nine days this summer.

The Jeffrey Ballet embarks on an ambitious five-city tour throughout Iowa from June 29 to July 7 (see below). The $900,000 project kicks off the 35th anniversary celebration of Mancher Auditorium, an arts presenter in Iowa City, and includes free performances at outdoor venues across the state.

"Hancher is part of the University of Iowa, and part of the school's mission is to serve the state of Iowa," says Charles Swanson, executive director of Mancher Auditorium. "We wanted to give a gift to the state. We thought about what organization has really meant so much to the history and the future of Mancher, and it didn't take us long to realize that is The Joffrey Ballet."

The Joffrey connection goes back to 1973, when the company performed during the venue's second season. Since then, it has appeared there 16 times. Mancher also commissioned such notable works as Robert Joffrey's Nutcracker in 1987 and the rock ballet Billboards in 1993. As a result, the anniversary tour program will open with "Sometimes It Snows in April" from Billboards, choreographed by Laura Dean. And in addition to the Grand Pas de Deux from The Nutcracker, the company will also present a ballet by co-founder and Artistic Director Emeritus Gerald Arpino, the Pilobolus work Untitled and a preview of Pedro Ruiz's new work, San Juan; Allegro Con Sabor.

"Because part of our history with Mancher was commissioning new works, a new work on the program was absolutely appropriate," says Cameron Basden. …

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