Ashley C. Wheater, Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet, Announces its 2009-2010 season: "Legends"

February 5, 2009
Press Release

Content

From:
Harand/Farrah Malik
The Silverman Group, Inc.
(312) 932-9950
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February 25, 2009
  ASHLEY WHEATER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE JOFFREY BALLET, ANNOUNCES THE 2008-2009 SEASON
SHOWCASING THREE MIXED REPERTORY PROGRAMS AND THE ANNUAL HOLIDAY PRODUCTION OF THE NUTCRACKER

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE WORLD PREMIERE WORK BY EDWAARD LIANG;
THE COMPANY PREMIERES OF CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON’S CAROUSEL (A DANCE)
AND JEROME ROBBINS’ IN THE NIGHT;

A 100TH ANNIVERARY SALUTE TO BALLET RUSSES;
AND THE REVIVAL OF ROBERT JOFFREY’S POSTCARDS
AND GERALD ARPINO’S KETTENTANZ  

February 25, 2008 – The Joffrey Ballet proudly announces its 2008-2009 Season, opening with a The Fall Program featuring the World Premiere of a new work by New York City Ballet soloist Edwaard Liang, Jerome Robbins’ In the Night, and Robert Joffrey’s Postcards, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of his death,October 15 – 26, 2008.  The season will continue with The Joffrey Ballet’s magical family favorite, The Nutcracker, December 18 – 28, 2008.  In the Winter of 2009, The Joffrey will present a Salute to Ballet Russes, a centennial celebration in recognition of its huge contribution to dance, featuring Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces, Vaslav Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (reconstructed and staged by Millicent Hodson), and selected sections of other groundbreaking works by the celebrated company, February 18 – March 1, 2009.  Closing the 2008-2009 Season will be a repertory program featuring Gerald Arpino’s Kettentanz and the Company Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance), April 29 – May 10, 2009.

The entire season will feature live orchestral accompaniment by the Chicago Sinfonietta under the baton of Joffrey Music Director and Principal Conductor Dr. Leslie B. Dunner.  The Joffrey Ballet will perform in its home venue, the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, in downtown Chicago at 50 E. Congress Parkway.

“This diverse season of programming honors both Jerome Robbins and Robert Joffrey – two great contributors to American dance – and also salutes Ballet Russes in its centennial year,” said Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet. “We will also look forward to the young talent that is emerging in America today, such as Edwaard Liang and Christopher Wheeldon, whose contribution is vital to the future of ballet.  Gerald Arpino’s beautifully choreographed Kettentanz also makes a triumphant return to the repertoire in the Spring.”

In the Fall of 2008, The Joffrey Ballet will present a repertory program highlighting the Company’s past, present and future, opening with Jerome Robbins’ romantic In the Night.  With music by Frederic Chopin, this work explores human relationships in all their complexity.  The program continues with a World Premiere work by New York City Ballet soloist-turned-choreographer, Edwaard Liang.  In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the death of Robert Joffrey, The Fall Program will close with his evocative Postcards, a suite of dances set to music by Erik Satie.  This presentation marks the first Company performance of the work in 30 years.  The Fall program will be presented in nine performances, October 15 – 26, 2008.

Chicagoland’s most popular holiday tradition, Robert Joffrey’s production of The Nutcracker, will again transform the Auditorium Theatre into a land of beauty, fantasy and wonder. The Tchaikovsky masterpiece, featuring the full Joffrey company, local children’s choruses and more than 120 young dancers, will be presented December 18 – 28, 2008.    

In the Winter of 2009, The Joffrey Ballet will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Ballet Russes with a repertory program featuring some of the company’s most celebrated works.  Founded by seminal arts impresario Serge Diaghilev in Paris in 1909, the Ballet Russes introduced the world to the avant garde arts movement.  The program will open with Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces (The Wedding), a vibrant depiction of the rituals and revelry of an ancient Russian peasant wedding set to music by Igor Stravinsky for a mix of piano, percussion instruments and vocalists.This work wasfirst presented by the Ballets Russes in 1923 and last performed by The Joffrey Ballet in 2003.  The program will close with Vaslav Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), a bizarre story of a sacrificial fertility rite, whichinspired audience members to storm the streets of Paris following its 1913 debut.  Set to the strident, now classic, commissioned Stravinsky score, with scenery and authentic Himalayan costumes by Nikolai Roerich, this ballet was last performed by The Joffrey in 2003.  The program will also include a selection of works from the Ballet Russes repertoire to be announced. The Joffrey Ballet will present Salute to Ballet Russes, February 18 – March 1, 2009.

The 2008-2009 Season will conclude with a final repertory program opening with Joffrey Ballet co-founder and Artistic Director Emeritus Gerald Arpino’s Kettentanz.  With music by Johann Strauss and Johann Simon Mayer, this 1971 work pays tribute to Old Vienna and the exuberance and grandeur of its dances. The program will close with the Company Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance), asalute to Richard Rodgers first performed by the New York City Ballet in 2002.  Wheeldon’s choreography, set to the "Carousel Waltz" and "If I Loved You" from the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, echoes the circular movement of carnival rides, evoking the gaiety and romance of the scene.  Bridging Kettentanz and Carousel (A Dance) will be another Company Premiere to be announced at a later date.  The Spring Program will be performed April 29 – May 10, 2009.

Three-program subscriptions, which do not include The Nutcracker, start at $75.  Subscriptions are now available online at www.joffrey.com, by mail (Joffrey Ballet Subscriptions, 70 E. Lake Street, Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601); telephone (312) 386-8905, fax (312-739-0119), or email subscriptions [at] joffrey [dot] com

Single tickets for the entire season, priced from $25 to $145, will go on-sale this summer at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University box office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by telephone at (312) 902-1500, or online at www.ticketmaster.com.  

The Joffrey Ballet extends special thanks to its 2008-2009 Season Sponsor the Abbott Fund and special thanks to United Airlines, the Official & Exclusive Airline of The Joffrey Ballet.

For more information about The Joffrey Ballet and current productions please call 312-739-0120 or visit www.joffrey.com.