The Joffrey Ballet announces Joffrey Tower opening event series, September 11-15, 2008

July 28, 2008
Press Release




Chicago (July 21, 2008) – Clear your schedule Chicago. It’s time to “Save the Week” celebrating the opening of the Joffrey Tower at 10 East Randolph Street! An incredible sequence of not-to-be-missed opening events will welcome the world-renowned Joffrey Ballet to its first permanent home in style, September 11-15, 2008.

Helen Melchior, Chair, and her Joffrey Tower Opening Events committee have planned an unforgettable weekend of celebratory activities that will honor and entertain Joffrey Board members, Joffrey dancers, ballet lovers and event enthusiasts.

An Evening of Remembrances, Honoring the Victims and Families of 9/11, takes place at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Thursday, September 11, beginning at 6 p.m.  The performance, free and open to the public, will showcase Joffrey favorites and new works, and is sponsored by Bank of America and the McCormick Foundation.

The official Opening Night of the Joffrey Tower will be a black tie gala on Friday, September 12, beginning at 7 p.m. Cocktails and tours of the new space will precede dinner, with guests seated in two of the seven stunning studios. Two Joffrey Premieres will be performed, followed by desserts and a costume retrospective in a third studio.  Tickets for the event are $1,000 per person with tables available for $10,000 and $15,000.  Event sponsors include The Private Bank, Jewell Events Catering and CS Magazine. Helen Melchior is chairing the event with the help of Honorary Chairs Jim O’Connor, Bruce Sagan and Fred Eychaner. Seating is limited and tickets can be reserved by calling (312) 386-8907.

The public will be welcomed to view the Joffrey Tower at a Community Open House on Saturday, September 13, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Guests will be invited to tour the incredible new dance studios with floor-to-ceiling skyline views, along with featured appearances by the Exelon Strobel Step-Up dancers, an interactive photo display of vintage Joffrey performances, a costume retrospective and other surprises. Sponsored by Boeing, Exelon and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the event is chaired by Janet Melk, Christine Ott and Leslie Zentner.  The Open House is free of charge; guided tours will be scheduled every half-hour.

Opening week at the Joffrey Tower culminates on Monday evening, September 15, at 6:30 p.m., with the splashiest "must attend" party of the season, Couture & Cocktails, chaired by Candace Jordan. Held for the first time at the Joffrey Tower, this amazing event will feature the space transformed with a dazzling fashion show by renowned designer, Maria Pinto, debuting her fall collection. True to its name, guests will sip cocktails in their evening best while mingling with The Joffrey dancers, enjoying fun, food and dancing to the latest sounds. There will be a silent and live auction including Van Cleef and Arpels diamond earrings valued at over $25,000 and tickets for two to Wimbledon, including air fare and hotel, courtesy of legendary tennis player, Jimmy Connors.Tickets for Couture & Cocktails are $250 and can be reserved by calling (312) 386-8921.

All Joffrey Tower opening events will feature fabulous cuisine from Jewell Events Catering and cutting-edge décor by Jonathan Ryan from A Perfect Event. 

About the Joffrey Tower
The new permanent home of the world-renowned Joffrey Ballet – the Joffrey Tower at 10 East Randolph Street –will confirm the company’s commitment to Chicago, and allow its creative leadership, artists, administration, technical staff, and students to work together under one roof, creating streamlined operations and a more efficient and accomplished organization.  This home will also allow the company to expand its education and community outreach programs and provide the space needed to open a school for dance in the city.  This school will not only train future members of the company, but offer dance and movement classes to the rest of the community.

The new facility will at last allow the artists of the company to train and perform in a state-of-the-art studio that will accommodate the staging of full-length ballets. The planned space will give The Joffrey the opportunity to rehearse and present more repertoire, mount additional full-length ballets, launch additional revivals, and allow young dancers and choreographers the opportunity to train and present their new works in a new black box theater. Furthermore, the new space will place artistic and administrative personnel under one roof, further strengthening the sense of mission and connection to the art on stage and the work done behind the scenes in the office. 

The Joffrey Tower was developed by Smithfield Properties and designed by Larry Booth of the Chicago architecture firm, Booth Hansen Associates, with interior design by Nate Berkus Associates. The Joffrey’s permanent home will include:

  • A black box theater space (144 seats) where the company can host viewings of intimate works-in-progress, a public lecture series, open rehearsals, and VIP performances, as well as providing an affordable performance venue for new works by emerging choreographers and for smaller dance companies in the community.
  • Approximately 18,000 square feet of the new 48,000 square feet facility will be dedicated to education and outreach efforts. This expanded studio and rehearsal space will provide the students in The Joffrey’s Education & Community Engagement programs a place for comprehensive hands-on training, learning and creative expression as well as more access to The Joffrey’s dancers and exposure to a professional dance environment.
  • State-of-the-art rehearsal studios (7) for the company, with high ceilings, temperature control, and unencumbered surface areas to allow for the rehearsal of full-length ballets, difficult lifts, and soaring jumps. All studios face State Street, offering passersby a direct and unique observation of the dancers in motion.
  • Important amenities/services for the dancers and guest artists including offices for visiting choreographers and guest artists; dressing rooms, wardrobe and laundry suite; dancers’ lounge; and a physical therapy suite for the dancers which is three times the size of the current space devoted to these treatments.
  • The Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet  (to open in 2009) that will strengthen The Joffrey Ballet’s commitment to the future of dance by training young dancers in the unique Joffrey style and allowing students an access point to exploring dance as a career.

The Joffrey Tower will make its mark on one of the country’s busiest corners – State and Randolph Streets – thanks to a 60-foot-high vertical stainless steel sign, backlit to read JOFFREY BALLET.

For more information about The Joffrey Ballet, the Joffrey Tower, or its opening festivities, please visit

Amanda Puck | XA, The Experiential Agency | Amanda [at] expagency [dot] com | 312.239.2370
Eric Eatherly | The Silverman Group | Eric [at] silvermangroupchicago [dot] com | 312.932.9950Chicago (July 21, 2008) –