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IU Ballet Theater completes season with works from legendary choreographers Bournonville and Balanchine

WHAT: Indiana University Ballet Theater's "Old World New World" Spring Ballet
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, March 22, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 23, with a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. each night
WHERE: IU's Musical Arts Center, 101 N. Jordan Ave.
TICKETS: Purchase tickets at the Musical Arts Center box office (812-855-7433) 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday or online at Bursar billing is available for students.

March 6, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Weaving two eras of dance together, Indiana University Ballet Theater will bring its 2012-13 season to a close with a program featuring three ballets from two legendary choreographers -- August Bournonville and George Balanchine.

The spring ballet "Old World New World" will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday, March 22, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 23, in Bloomington's Musical Arts Center. "To The Pointe" pre-concert talks will be offered at 7 p.m. each evening.

"It's very exciting to bring excerpts of the world's oldest known classical ballet choreography to Bloomington with 'Bournonville Suite,'" said Michael Vernon, chair of the IU Jacobs School of Music's Ballet Department and director of IU Ballet Theater.

Guest Karina Elver, a renowned expert on the Bournonville style and traditions, will stage this collection of some of his most famous choreographies, including "The Jockey Dance" and scenes from "A Folktale," "La Ventana" and "Napoli."

"August Bournonville's training and ballets have been a big part of my life since I was a little girl," Elver said. "I am so happy to give my love of his work to all these great, hard-working dancers here in Bloomington."

Bournonville, born in Copenhagen in 1805, was a dancer and choreographer who directed the Royal Danish Ballet for nearly 50 years and established the Danish style based on bravura dancing and expressive mime. He had a strong impact on the development of ballet training, and the Royal Danish Ballet School continues to teach his technique.

"The Four Temperaments," with choreography by Balanchine and music by Paul Hindemith, will be staged by Victoria Simon, one of the first dancers selected by Balanchine to restage his ballets, now a ballet mistress for the George Balanchine Trust.

The ballet, which was immediately recognized as a choreographic work without precedent at its 1946 premiere, is based on the ancient medical concept of humorism, which suggests that four bodily fluids affect human personality traits and behaviors. The temperaments are melancholic (introverted and thoughtful), sanguinic (pleasure seeking and sociable), phlegmatic (relaxed and quiet) and choleric (ambitious and leader like).

Balanchine's classic "Western Symphony," with traditional American melodies orchestrated by Hershy Kay and staging by Bart Cook -- a repetiteur for both the George Balanchine Trust and the Jerome Robbins Rights Trust -- will close the program.

The iconic choreographer's idea was to mount a formal ballet which would derive its flavor from the West but which would move within the framework of the classic school. Kay's music supports this idea, in symphonic form.

"This is the first time IU Ballet Theater has performed Balanchine's fun and famous 'Western Symphony,' said Vernon. "A tribute to America's 'Wild West,' it is filled with 'cowboy' tunes arranged into a symphonic score that will have everybody's toes tapping!"