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See the Paris Opera Ballet’s ‘Giselle’ performance simulcast in Millennium Park June 27

Updated: July 25, 2012 6:24AM



For Michael Tiknis, director of the Harris Theater, “One of the most exciting elements in our plans for the Paris Opera Ballet’s visit to Chicago is having a simulcast of the opening night performance of ‘Giselle’ [Wednesday, with a Thursday rain date].

“It will be seen on a state-of-the-art, 161/2-by-321/2-foot LED screen in the Pritzker Pavilion of Millennium Park, with Bruce Bryant of Staging Solutions Inc. [who produced the Chicago Opera Theatre’s “Don Giovanni” simulcast in May 2008] directing. And will give 15,000 people the opportunity to see this performance free of charge.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a big supporter of the simulcast.

“The Paris Opera Ballet’s decision to open its U.S. tour in Chicago is just another step in putting this city on the map as a dance capital,” said the mayor. “And the simulcast is another step in our plan to build the audience for dance here, and increase access to the arts. If it’s successful, other companies that have never used this tool will turn to it. And sure, life is dicey, so it might cut into ticket sales. But as I always say, people don’t like the status quo, and they’re not too happy about change, either. Many of those who will see ‘Giselle’ on the screen would never have thought of going to the Harris.”

Another component of the Paris Opera Ballet’s visit will be master classes open to dancers in Chicago’s top companies. Will Emanuel be showing up at the barre?

“It wouldn’t be pretty,” quipped “the dancing mayor.”

Hedy Weiss



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