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June 24, 2008

Birmingham-Southern dance professor to perform in summer festival featuring original composition of “Romeo and Juliet”

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern College adjunct professor of dance Teri Weksler will perform with the Mark Morris Dance Group in the upcoming world premiere of Morris' new production of “Romeo and Juliet, on Motifs of Shakespeare” composed by Russian composer Serge Prokofiev.

The ballet will be performed along with the American Symphony Orchestra at the Bard SummerScape 2008 Festival at The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., just outside New York City, July 4-9. It will be followed by a world tour next year ending at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

The production will feature two alternating casts dancing the lead roles, including the roles of the lovers' parents, the Montagues and Capulets. BSC's Weksler will dance the role of Lady Montague.

The historical production is a new, fully-staged production by Morris set to Prokofiev's original 1935 score, which was discovered in Russia's state archives and restored. The piece had been altered because of political pressure during the Stalinist period. It includes 20 more minutes of music, six new dances, a different orchestral arrangement, and a surprising ending: Romeo and Juliet live! Morris' summer's production will be the first time Prokofiev's music for Romeo and Juliet will be performed according to the composer's instructions.

Weksler, a resident of Homewood and a Juilliard graduate, was a founding member of the Mark Morris Dance Group from 1980-90. She is a winner of the New York Dance and Performance Award for “a career of virtuosic dancing” and a Bessie Award recipient. She was featured in Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project which showcased “the country's best modern dancers.” She has choreographed projects for the Alabama Ballet, Alabama Symphony, and Southern Danceworks where she serves as artistic director. In addition to teaching at BSC, she also teaches at the Alabama Ballet and this summer is in residence at the Boston Ballet.

For more information on “Romeo and Juliet, on Motifs of Shakespeare,” go to www.mmdg.org, or www.lovelives.net.

 

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