Joffrey Ballet

May 5, 2011
Chicago Reader
Laura Molzahn

Content

Choreographer Edwaard Liang visits the land of Nod in his world premiere Woven Dreams. More abstract than his previous work for the Joffrey--The Age of Innocence, based on Jane Austen’s novels--this ensemble dance is intended, he says, "to take audiences to an alternate universe, something fantastical." Jeff Bauer's set helps, placing the dancers at the bottom of a huge basket with moving strands. Liang describes Woven Dreams as "a little dark and edgy" overall but adds that a men's section inspired by his own flying dreams is "more airy, giving a feeling of freedom." Set to the "Playful Pizzicato" movement from Benjamin Britten's Simple Symphony, the section features a swirling entry with arms floating, unison leaps, and quicksilver shifts in direction. "It's like you’re a school of fish swimming!" Liang told the dancers at a rehearsal. Yuri Possokhov contributes another world premiere, Bells, and Julia Adam's 2000 Night--also about dreams--is a company premiere.