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Loyola Ballet celebrates National Dance Week with spring performance

April 17, 2009

The Loyola Ballet and the Komenka Ethnic Dance Ensemble celebrate National Dance Week with performances on Friday, April 24, and Saturday, April 25, at 8 p.m., in Roussel Performance Hall, located in the Communications/Music Complex, on Loyola’s main campus.

The performances, directed by Laura Zambrano and Gayle Parmelee, include character and contemporary works, and excerpts from “La Fille Mal Gardee” and act one from “Giselle.”

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $8 for all students and Loyola faculty and staff, and are available online at www.montage.loyno.edu or by calling (504) 865-2074. Tickets will also be available at the door 30 minutes prior to the performance.

Featured performers include students from Loyola’s acclaimed ballet program and Komenka Ethnic Dance Ensemble. Other guests include Scott Spivey of the Memphis Ballet; Loyola alumna Colleen Murphy; Kimberly Matulich Beck, formerly of the Alabama Ballet; and Loyola alumnus Kenneth Bryan.

National Dance Week, hailed by former President George W. Bush as “an opportunity for people to celebrate and recognize dance as a unique and inspiring art form,” was established to bring greater recognition to the art of dance. Held annually at the end of April, the week features dance organizations from across the country who celebrate by presenting educational and programmatic concerts for all ages.

The Loyola Ballet has been presenting semi-annual ballet performances to the public since 1964. The first director of Loyola Ballet was New Orleans born, internationally acclaimed dancer and teacher Lelia Haller. The institutionalization of a dance program within Loyola fulfilled Haller’s dream of college credit and academic recognition for the study of ballet. Parmelee became artistic director of Loyola Ballet in 1977, after a successful professional dance career in classical ballet, theatre and television in New York and abroad. After pedagogical studies in New York, Chicago and Russia, Parmelee introduced ballet technique classes based on the Russian method of training named for Agrippina Vaganova to Loyola. Following the retirement of Parmelee from the in 1999, Zambrano was named artistic director of Loyola Ballet.

For more information, contact Zambrano at lzambran@loyno.edu or call 504-861-2778.

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