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Merilyn Jackson
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts
United States
Philadelphia, PA

London's Royal Ballet in Only East Coast Appearance in Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake

by Merilyn Jackson
June 22, 2007
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts
5201 Parkside Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131
215.546.7900 x100
The Royal Ballet
Mann Music Center
Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA
Jul 10 – 13
Romeo and Juliet:
Jul 10th principals: Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg
Jul 11th principals: Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson

Swan Lake:
Jul 12th principals: Tamara Rojo and Federico Bonelli
Jul 13th principals: Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares
For tickets: 215-893-1999

For info on classes, pointe shoe demos etc, or reporting as an extra:
Call 215 636 9000, x 109
In its only East coast appearance, the swooning elegance of The Royal Ballet comes back to the Mann Music Center for the first time since it opened 31 years ago. The Mann replaced the Robin Hood Dell, which had free lawn seating for up to 33,000 people. Indeed, thousands of people used to park in Brewerytown and hike up there for the likes of Van Cliburn and Anna Moffo. I don't know how many were at the Mann for Great Britain's Royal Ballet back in 1976, but at least they were guaranteed 5,000 covered seats under the new outdoor space's canopy. For stars, you had to start looking to the stage, not the sky.

On their 2007 opening night, the stage will shine brilliantly with Royal principal dancers Leanne Benjamin and Johan Kobborg as Romeo and Juliet. Boris Gruzin conducts the classic Prokofiev score to the Shakespearean ballet adaptation, Romeo and Juliet. Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson take the title roles on the 11th.

Swan Lake holds up the tail end of the run, with principals Tamara Rojo and Federico Bonelli on Thursday evening, and Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares on closing night, Friday, July 13th. The Royals dance to the Marius Pepita and Lev Ivanov original choreography. Valeriy Ovsyanikov conducts Tchaikovsky's timeless score.

Dance Celebration director, Randy Swartz, is co-presenting the Royal Ballet's visit to the Mann. "Other than the Mann performances," he says, "the engagement is essentially a residency at the University of the Arts. Instructors from the Royal will give classes designed for students from area dance groups." On Thursday, June 12 from 2 – 5 p.m. they will give a Pointe shoe seminar with open demos on fitting pointes and the Gaylord Minden company, which supplies many of the ballet slippers for the Royal Ballet, will give away a number of pairs of shoes.

"A select group of 5 - 10 dancers will be chosen from the classes to take company classes with the ballet," said Swartz.

The Royals really plan to get down with the commoners on this visit. They are inviting adults to be supernumeraries to perform with the Royal. In Swan Lake, they'll need ten women, ten men and four young men, and in Romeo and Juliet, 22 men, 11 women and two boys to be townspeople, guards, and other extras. "You don't have to be a dancer," assures Swartz. "All that's required of you is availability and whether or not you can fit in the costumes."
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