Classic favorites flavor The Joffrey's new 2012-2013 season

February 9, 2012
The Examiner
Janet Arvia


The 2012-2013 season is set for The Joffrey Ballet, which begins in October with James Kudelka’s Pretty BALLET, Jiří Kylián’s Forgotten Land, and Kurt JoossThe Green Table. This December marks the 25th anniversary production of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker. And, in 2013, the February program features a Chicago Premiere by Stanton Welch and the return of Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs and Jerome RobbinsInterplay. The season will close in the spring with Lar Lubovitch’s Othello, presented in honor of the choreographer’s 70th birthday.

The season also includes live orchestral accompaniment by the Chicago Sinfonietta conducted by Scott Speck, Music Director of The Joffrey Ballet. All performances will take place in the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, in downtown Chicago at 50 East Congress Parkway.

“Throughout its history,” explains Ashley C. Wheater, Artistic Director, “The Joffrey Ballet has celebrated the broad diversity of our art form, embracing the classical and modern, abstract and narrative, traditional and avant-garde. Underlying this eclecticism is a love of excellence, and, always, a deep regard for the human spirit. This exploration continues in 2012-2013, as we present a wide range of work, created new for the Company or drawn from the best of the past.” 

Among the best pieces from the past is Jiří Kylián’s 1981 work Forgotten Land, which has not been performed by The Joffrey since its Company Premiere in 1985. The 2013 performance will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten, who wrote the music for the Edvard Munch-inspired dance. 

German choreographer Kurt Jooss’ seminal anti-war ballet The Green Table was originally choreographed in 1932.  Subtitled "A Dance of Death in Eight Scenes” and set to music by F.A. Cohen, The Green Table is a commentary on the futility of war and the horrors it causes.   

With music by Morton Gould, the light-hearted and brightly colored 1945 Interplay by Jerome Robbins was first performed by The Joffrey in 1972, while on the same program, Twyla Tharp’s popular Nine Sinatra Songs captures the social dancing of the1950s with costums by Oscar de la Renta. 

In celebration of Lar Lubovitch’s 70th birthday in 2013, The Joffrey’s 2012-2013 season concludes with the return of the native Chicagoan’s three-act ballet Othello, which was A Joffrey Premiere in 2009.

Three-program subscriptions, which do not include The Nutcracker, start at $81.  Subscriptions will be available for purchase starting February 13, 2012, online at; by phone at 312-386-8905; and email at subscriptions [at] joffrey [dot] org.  For more information about The Joffrey Ballet and current productions, call 312-739-0120.