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Sierra Nevada Ballet collaborates with Jean Paul Comelin on NEW production of ROMEO AND JULIET

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Nicholas Martin Kearney Phone: (775) 750-8357  Development@sierranevadaballet.org  
            Sierra Nevada Ballet director Rosine Bena teams up with international choreographic heavyweight Jean Paul Comelin for an innovative new take on a classic favorite:  Romeo and Juliet!     
   July 25th,  8pm     Barkley Theater, Oats Park Arts Center, Fallon, Nevada/1 E. Park Street, Fallon, NV 89406/775-423-1440     www.churchillarts.org   General:  $22; seniors, students, military, $18.  Box Seats: $44 & $36. Ticket Sales by Credit Card: Call Churchill Arts Center 775-423-1440 Ticket sales in person at Jeff’s Office Supply in Fallon. 


July 27th, 7:30pm   Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Sand Harbor State Park, Nevada 2005 Highway 28, Incline Village 89451/775-832-1616    www.laketahoeshakespeare.com    Single Tickets: $25.-$75. / Tables: $140.-$280. (Tables seat 2 or 4.) Online Ticket Sales: http://tickets.intermountainarts.org/single/SYOS.aspx?p=4345 By Phone: 1-800-747-4697 


August 1st, 7:30pm  Nightingale Concert Hall, University of Nevada, Reno/1335 N. Virginia Street Reno 89557/775-784-4278 General:  $22.; seniors, students, military, $18.    


Reno, NV June 20 2015 -Complete with all the soaring and exquisite movement of the traditional R&J, Sierra Nevada Ballet’s new version features an intriguing twist – the ballet is presented from the point of view of Lady Capulet, Juliet’s heartbroken and often overlooked mother.  The juxtaposition of the two relationships, the conventional arranged marriage of the Capulets with the passionate true love of Romeo and Juliet, presents a penetrating glimpse into the received roles of women in society and the tough and painful choices that accompany them.  The ballet draws many affecting parallels between conventional female participation in society and current social and behavioral trends.     “I have long wanted to choreograph Romeo and Juliet, partly because I love the hauntingly beautiful music of Prokofiev and partly because I have wondered about the feelings of Lady Capulet (the mother of Juliet).  Being a mother myself, I wonder how this woman must have felt having lost her daughter through prejudice, and I feel the need to give her the opportunity to tell her version of the tragic love story.” –Rosine Bena, Artistic Director, Sierra Nevada Ballet  
  The piece is even more unique by virtue of the artistic collaboration between Bena and internationally renowned choreographer Jean-Paul Comelin.  Bena’s keen sense of theater coupled with the billowing lyricism of Comelin’s airy pas de deux creations make SNB’s world premier Romeo and Juliet an artistic event not to be missed!     Romeo and Juliet will feature Ihosvany Rodriguez (Ballet San Jose, Nacional de Cuba) as Romeo; Erica Chipp (Smuin Ballets SF) as Juliet; Ananda Bena-Weber (Reno Ballet, Jazz Tap Ensemble) as Lady Capulet; Domingo Rubio (Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Hispanico) as Lord Capulet; Oliver Adams (Sacramento Ballet) as Mercutio and Alexander Biber (Sacramento Ballet) as Tybalt.                                          


French-born, choreographer, and director Jean-Paul Comelin choreographed his first Ballet, Autumn Songs, for the National ballet of Canada for Ballerinas Veronica Tennant and Karen Kain. A second work, Idylle. a silver medal winner in Varna was also added to the repertoire a year later. He became choreographer in residence for the Pennsylvania Ballet and then proceeded to create and stage over 100 works for companies on five continents for over 50 years. As a Choreographer and Master Teacher, he organized choreographic groups and schools in San Diego, and Washington DC., a professional companies in Sacramento and Milwaukee, where he was Artistic Director.  He created the Milwaukee Ballet school in 1975.  He formed a company in Tucson, the Arizona Dance Theatre which eventually merged with Ballet West Arizona in Phoenix and became Ballet Arizona.  He then created unusual Fund raising projects such as the Beer and Ballet series in a converted Bowling alley in Milwaukee and brought 1500 new subscribers to the Company’s annual  season at the Performing Arts Center.  He also presented special performances with local theatre companies, symphony and opera companies at state fairs, street festivals, ball parks and school classrooms. Comelin worked with such notable dancers as Rudolf  Nureyev,  Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova, Lawrence Rhodes, Carla Fracci, Marcia Haydee, Richard Cragun, Vladimir Vasiliev, and Ekaterina Maximova.,Mikhail Lavrovski, Evelyn Hart, Violette Verdy and Edward Villela. He has received many grants from the National Endowment for the Arts,  the Ford Foundation,  the Pew foundation , The Milwaukee Foundation, The Evinrude and Flinn Foundations of Arizona and the Alberta foundation for the Arts. Returning to Europe Mr. Comelin was invited by Artistic Director Marcia Haydee to be Ballet master of the prestigious Stuttgart Ballet. He created two New works for the company, and was in charge of the repertoires of Jiri Kilian, John Neumeier, Maurice Bejart and John Cranko.          
As Artistic Director of Ballet du Nord in France, he created and staged several works each year, including an original work on Christopher Columbus, a new version of the Nutcracker with original music, a new version of the Firebird in collaboration with painter Majhoub Ben Bella live on stage painting a backdrop as the ballet developed.  He choreographed the Mozart Requiem, ( Lux Aeterna ), Daughters of Mourning, Les Nuits D’Ete, and several pas de deux, presented at home and on a tour of Europe and South America.   
ABOUT ROSINE BENA: Sierra Nevada Ballet Artistic Director, Rosine Bena was a professional ballerina who danced throughout the US and Europe with the Stuttgart Ballet under John Cranko as well as with The Washington Ballet, and Peninsula Ballet Theatre. She received critical acclaim as a "Prima" for principal roles in ballets such as Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo & Juliet, Coppelia, La Fille Mal Gardee and contemporary works by choreographers such as John Cranko, Jiri Kylian and many others.  In addition to guest performing with various ballet companies, Bena danced opposite Patrick DuPond of the Paris Opera in the movie, She Dances Alone.  The recipient of numerous grant awards, Rosine was given the title of "Outstanding Individual Artist 1992" by the San Mateo County Arts Council and honored by the US Congress and the CA State Legislature for her work in the arts. Bena is the former Artistic Director of two professional ballet companies, The Reno Ballet and Perspectives Dance Theatre.  She has choreographed and directed over 60 professional productions and numerous non-professional productions, and her choreography has been favorably compared to the work of choreographers such as George Balanchine, John Cranko, Kurt Joos and Michael Smuin.   Ms. Bena is the former director/founder of the dance program for Kollage Community School for the Arts which serves over 8,000 students in the SF Bay area and the former Arts Education Specialist for the Arts Council of San Mateo County.  Having taught ballet for over 40 years, Rosine presently directs the professional ballet company for Northern Nevada, the Sierra Nevada Ballet, and is the Founder/Director of Sierra Nevada Ballet Academy and Director of Ballet at Western Nevada Performing Arts Center in Carson City, Nevada. She is a guest master teacher for the Regional Dance America Ballet Festivals, and was elected RDA Adjudicator for the national festival in Montreal for 2012 and Adjudicator for the Pacific Region in 2013.    
Bena is a certified member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, lecturing and teaching ballet and injury prevention throughout the US and Europe.  She writes a monthly article on Dance for the Arts Section of the Reno Gazette Journal Newspaper.  As a former graduate of the Academy of the Washington School of Ballet, Rosine was one of the alumni honored at the Kennedy Center and the White House by the Clintons and is in Who's Who in America in the category of Outstanding Americans. Rosine was invited by American Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director, Kevin McKenzie, to take part in the ABT Alumni Curriculum training and was one of the first master teachers to be fully certified to teach all levels of the curriculum and act as
ambassador. Bena joined the staff of ABT in 2010 teaching in two of their five national ballet summer programs. In 2008, Bena was awarded an Endowment from the Sierra Arts Foundation and a Fellowship from The Nevada State Arts Council for her outstanding artistic work as a choreographer and director.  She continues to lecture and guest teach throughout the USA and Europe.  Bena is also a certified grant writer with an excellent track record.  ABOUT SIERRA NEVADA BALLET:   The Sierra Nevada Ballet is a non-profit dance company created to cater to the increasingly culturally diverse audience of Northern Nevada.   The purpose of Sierra Nevada Ballet is to bring cultural enrichment and arts education to the Reno/Tahoe/Carson communities and to collaborate with other arts organizations in expanding and educating the dance audience.    SNB is designed in two branches: the performing branch and the educational outreach branch.  This design promotes, educates and sponsors the art and beauty of ballet and dance in the Northern Nevada region.  This design also helps to create artists, build future audiences and develop and further the art of Dance for future generations.   As part of this effort, SNB formed an Apprentice/Trainee Program; an Educational Outreach Program (started in Dec. 03), and began the Young Choreographers Program (Jan. 03) which later developed into the New Choreography Program (2012) to include choreographers of all ages and a Dancing In the Schools Program (started in Sept. 05). The DITS program, which is based on the highly successful program originally designed by Rosine Bena for schools in the SF Bay area in the early 1990’s, enables SNB professional dancers to teach in public schools in the Northern Nevada area.  The Trainee/Apprentice Program has produced 18 professional ballet dancers in it’s short existence. When the company began in 2001–there were two professional dancers and seven apprentice /trainees. This year the company has expanded to include 19 company members and eleven apprentice/trainees. Since its formation, SNB has grown rapidly, presenting quality dance performances throughout the year annually.  In 2008 SNB began a formal affiliation with American Ballet Theatre. SNB has been featured in numerous cultural events and performed in collaboration with such organizations as the Nevada Museum of Art, the Nevada Opera and orchestra,  the Nevada Shakespeare Company,  the Reno Jazz Orchestra, the Carson City Symphony, the Mile High Jazz group, the Bruka Theater, the Brewery Arts Center and, this year, with the Reno Little Theater.. SNB has been a part of the annual Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival since 2005; has performed annually at the Pioneer Center since 2004, has begun an annual tradition of presenting Brew Brats and Ballet (an evening of new choreography) in both Reno and Carson City and has presented a summer series at several venues in northern Nevada and California annually since 2002.                                                      

WHAT:  Sierra Nevada Ballet presents a daring new version of Romeo and Juliet – a choreographic collaboration between international favorite JEAN-PAUL COMELIN and SNB artistic director ROSINE BENA.   

WHEN:   July 25th, 27th, and Aug 1st   
WHERE:    July 25th,  8pm     Barkley Theater, Oats Park Arts Center, Fallon, Nevada/1 E. Park Street, Fallon, NV 89406/775-423-1440  July 27th, 7:30pm   Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Sand Harbor State Park, Nevada, 2005/Highway 28, Incline Village 89451/775-8321616/www.laketahoeshakespeare.com  August 1st, 8pm  Nightingale Concert Hall, University of Nevada, Reno 1335 N. Virginia Street Reno 89557 


TICKETS:      July 25th:  Barkley Theater.  General:  $22; seniors, students, military, $18. Box Seats: $44 & $36.  Ticket Sales by Credit Card: Call Churchill Arts Center 775-423-1440  Ticket sales in person at Jeff’s Office Supply in Fallon. www.churchillarts.org                          July 27th: Sand Harbor. www.laketahoeshakespeare.com    Single Tickets: $25.-$75. / Tables: $140.-$280. (Tables seat 2 or 4.) Online Ticket Sales: http://tickets.intermountainarts.org/single/SYOS.aspx?p=4345 By Phone: 1-800-747-4697                         Aug 1st:  Nightingale Concert Hall.  General:  $22. seniors, students, military, $18.  775-784-4278 


FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.sierranevadaballet.org/ For high resolution photographs and interview requests, please contact Nicholas Martin Kearney: Development@sierranevadaballet.org         

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