Celebrate Joffrey's 'Rising Stars' in new program

May 5, 2011
Eloise Marie Valadez


Compelling and entertaining works will be in the spotlight during The Joffrey Ballet's newest show.

The program "Rising Stars," running through May 15, at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre, features a company premiere as well as two world premieres.

"We're featuring three choreographers who are established on a certain level already but they're also on the up and up," said Ashley Wheater, the Joffrey's artistic director.

Wheater said the "Rising Stars" program will star the work "Woven Dreams," which is a world premiere by choreographer Edwaard Liang as well as "Bells," a world premiere by Yuri Possokhov. Choreographer Julia Adam will present her company premiere "Night."

According to the artistic director, it's important to periodically set new works on the dancers. Wheater said the troupe is constantly expanding its repertoire and talents by working with innovative choreographers.

"When you have creative work set on your company, it really strengthens the company," Wheater said. He said the Joffrey's Chicago audiences have come to expect exciting and excellent new works from the troupe each season.

"We actually have a whole season of premieres," Wheater said, adding the fall program will include some noteworthy debut works as well.

Wheater said it's also been important for him to showcase the diverse talents of all the troupe's members.

"I'm a big believer in giving young talent opportunities. I believe in spreading the wealth and not giving the same dancers all the roles," he said.

This is an exciting time for the troupe, Wheater said, as it continues to work with a range of creative choreographers.

On the "Rising Stars" program,  Possokhov's "Bells" is a sweeping piece set to Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 while Liang's "Woven Dreams" offers a journey through dream-like sequences set to music by four composers.

Adam's "Night," is "very whimsical," according to Wheater. The piece was inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall.

The program, like many of the Joffrey's shows, showcases a mix of emotions, weaving together poignant scenes, humor and drama.

"People come to the theater to be inspired and to be taken someplace emotionally," Wheater said. FYI: (800) 982-2787. Tickets are $25 to $145. The Auditorium Theatre is at 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago