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Linda Cajigas
Jacobs School of Music

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2011

IU Ballet Theater presents 'New York, New York!'

WHAT: New York, New York! IU Ballet Theater's Spring Ballet
WHEN: March 25-26 at 8 p.m.; March 26 at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Musical Arts Center, Bloomington
TICKETS: All Students $8-$16; General $12-$20. Available from the Musical Arts Center box office Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. or phone 812-855-7433. To order tickets through Ticketmaster, phone 800-745-3000, or purchase online at A discounted price through the MAC Box Office is available for all students who wish to attend. Bursar Billing is also available through the MAC Box Office. Please NOTE: tickets billed to your bursar account must be purchased by 5:30 p.m.

A ballet banquet of three contrasting choreographies

March 4, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Taking traditional ballet to the edge of expression and back again, Indiana Univeristy Ballet Theater offers three major choreographies by three leading 20th-century New York choreographers in its upcoming spring ballet program New York, New York!. Two 8 p.m. performances will take place in the Musical Arts Center March 25-26. A 2 p.m. matinee performance is scheduled for March 26.

"With contrasting styles from Paul Taylor, Anthony Tudor and George Balanchine, this is an inspiring and sophisticated show," said Michael Vernon, artistic director of IU Ballet Theater and chair of the Jacobs School's Ballet Department. "The program has given our students an opportunity to work in a very professional way. It's an experience very similar to one they would have in a leading U.S. ballet company."

The production opens with Paul Taylor's Cloven Kingdom, considered a masterpiece by major dance companies around the world since its premiere in 1976. The work explores animal nature lurking just below the surface of society's civilized veneer. Taylor, one of the last remaining choreographic giants of the 20th century, worked with ballet dancers from American Ballet Theatre and other New York companies as he broke out of the traditional mold of ballet to explore new dance forms.

"This is a very physical, yet philosophic work, with brilliant costumes," Vernon said. "It's perfect for the athleticism of the IU Ballet Theater dancers." The work comes to life with music by Arcangelo Corelli, Henry Cowell and Malloy Miller performed in this production by the Jacobs School's University Orchestra.

Lilac Garden, a work by British choreographer Antony Tudor, set to Ernest Chausson's Poem for Violin and Orchestra, is a psychologically powerful story of love lost through marriage. "Almost like a play, this is ballet drama at its best," Vernon said. The protagonist, Caroline, attending a lilac-scented party on the eve of her marriage of convenience, meets up with her past lover and has to grapple with her destiny.

"Perhaps because of his British roots, Tudor brings a deep sense of theater to his work," Vernon said. The violin soloist for the performances is Jacobs School competition-winner Benjamin Hoffman, a student of Professor Alexander Kerr.

Who Cares?, one of George Balanchine's most playful and energetic choreographies, completes the Spring Ballet with an intense, jazzy feel, modeled on the virtuosity of Fred Astaire -- one of the choreographer's favorite dancers.

Set to music by George Gershwin and performed by Jacobs students, IU Ballet Theater presents the unabridged version of Who Cares?, with a full corps de ballet of 10 women as well as five couples, three principal females and one principal male dancer.

"This is an amazing work of great intricacy," said Vernon, "a wonderful integration of ballet with all its traditions and the emerging jazz styles of the 20th century."

Broadening expressive horizons, challenging the athleticism of ballet and contrasting styles gives the 2011 Spring Ballet a unique feel.

"Our dancers have to be incredibly strong, while maintaining an inner calmness in this show," said Vernon. "It's a ballet banquet and hopefully, our audiences will feel thrilled by the physicality on stage."

For more about the IU Jacobs School of Music, visit