Romeo & Juliet Performs to Sold-Out Audience
MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 15, 2004 -- The Metropolitan Ballet Project’s one-night performance of Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet sold out February 14, 2004. It is the first ever sellout at the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium.

Romeo & Juliet featured a remarkable performance by the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS), led by conductor and GTCYS Artistic Director, Dr. Jean Montès.

Some of the Twin Cities’ most accomplished professional dance artists performed the venerable and beloved work, with Minnesota Dance Theater’s Mifa Ko as Juliet and Abdo Sayegh as Romeo. Several acclaimed guest artists starred 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, Barry Leon as Mercucio, Michael DeLeon (Ballet of the Dolls) as Benvolio, Pavel Homko (MTD) as Tybalt and Stephanie Karr-Smith as Lead Harlot.

The 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”.

Internationally acclaimed master choreographer Gregory Drotar served 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.

About Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies

Greater 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 in the forefront of the local arts community with a busy concert schedule that includes fall, winter and spring concerts for all of its orchestras. Led by Artistic Director Dr. Jean Montés, GTCYS provides an exemplary orchestral experience for the metro area’s preeminent musicians.

About the Twin Cities Metropolitan Ballet Project

The Twin Cities Metropolitan Ballet Project was formed in spring 2003 to showcase the most gifted dancers from the Twin Cities area ballet studios and 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.

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