Dance: Ballet with a Savvy Street Beat

Courting young audiences, the Joffrey sets a bouncy new work to songs by Prince

It's rare to hear a wolf whistle from the crowd when the curtain goes up on an evening of ballet. But that's what happened last week at Minneapolis' Northrop Auditorium as the music of rock star Prince zoomed toward bombination. The occasion was Billboards, a new work presented by the Manhattan-based Joffrey Ballet in a frank attempt to link the world of ballet to the life of young people in the streets. The company desperately needs a hit, and Billboards -- loud, generous of spirit, heart-on-sleeve romantic -- looks to be it. Last week the 4,800-seat Northrop was nearly sold out....

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