Minn., December 24, 2003—The Metropolitan Ballet Project
is pleased to announce a unique collaboration of professional
and young Twin Cities dancers and musicians in a production
of Romeo & Juliet. The staged ballet will be presented
on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, 2004 at 7:00
p.m. at The O’Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul, Minn.
Metropolitan Ballet Project’s objective is to provide
a unique and highly creative opportunity for both professional
and aspiring dancers and musicians to participate in the production
of a classical ballet. “We want to celebrate the diversity
that unites theater, music and dance, while creating a rich
experience for youth in the Twin Cities community,”
said Erik Sanborn Johnson, founder of the Metropolitan Ballet
Project. “One of the most exciting aspects of this project
is the presentation of dance set to live music, an element
that is most often missing from dance performance”
Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) will perform Sergei Prokofiev’s
score under the direction of GTCYS’ Artistic Director,
Dr. Jean Montès. Established in 1972, GTCYS is one
of the nation's largest youth orchestra organizations with
six academic year and three summer orchestras serving over
600 young musicians through the 12th grade.
the Twin Cities’ most accomplished professional dance
artists will perform the venerable and beloved work, with
Minnesota Dance Theater’s Mifa Ko as Juliet and Abdo
Sayegh as Romeo. In addition, several acclaimed guest artists
will star in this production: Shen Pei (Artistic Director
CAAM Chinese Dance Theater) as Juliet’s Nurse-Maid,
Danny Buraczeski (Artistic Director/Founder of JAZZDANCE)
as Lord Capulet, Judith Brin Ingber as Lady Capulet ("Voices
of Shepard" and "Thirst"), Wendy Lehr (Jungle
Theater / Guthrie) as Lady Montogue, Bob Davis (Guthrie) as
Friar Lawrence, and Stephanie Karr-Smith as Lead Harlot;
seasoned performers will share the stage with dancers from
a variety of local professional companies and schools, including:
Academy of Russian Ballet (Eden Prairie); Ballet Arts Minnesota
(Minneapolis); Barbi Lee Dance Studio (Edina); Butterfield
Gallery of Dance (Maple Grove); CAAM Chinese Dance Theater
and School (St. Paul); Dance Works (Lakeville); Minnetonka
Dance Theater and School; Minnesota Dance Theater and School
(Minneapolis); Midwest Youth Dance Theater (Roseville); St.
Paul City Ballet and the University of Minnesota Dance Program.
dancers and musicians in our community rank among the finest
performing anywhere and this project brings their artistry
to the community in a way that is both educational and exciting,”
acclaimed master choreographer Gregory Drotar will serve as
Romeo & Juliet’s choreographer. Drotar has worked
with the Royal Swedish Ballet, several American regional companies,
and is the recipient of the Dance Ambassador’s Award.
& Juliet tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster
and The O’Shaughnessy Auditorium Box Office. Tickets
are $12 for children, $17 for students and seniors, and $22
for adults. Groups and Minnesota Public Radio members may
receive a $3 discount.
of Romeo & Juliet is made possible by funding from Marshall
Field's and Target, and through generous donations of time
and talent from the Twin Cities community.
About Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies
Twin Cities Youth Symphonies was established to provide an
exemplary orchestral experience for young musicians. GTCYS
is the nation's largest youth orchestra organization with
eight orchestras serving over 600 young musicians through
the 12th grade. GTCYS is at the forefront of the local arts
community with a busy concert schedule that includes fall,
winter and spring concerts for all of its orchestras. GTCYS
is led by Artistic Director Dr. Jean Montés.
the Twin Cities Metropolitan Ballet Project
Cities Metropolitan Ballet Project was formed in spring 2003
to showcase the most gifted dancers from the Twin Cities area
ballet studios in partnership with the Greater Twin Cities
Youth Symphonies. The Metropolitan Ballet Project provides
a strong educational platform for aspiring artists, enabling
them to participate in an artistic cooperative that uniquely
fuses the talents of amateurs and professionals.