Ashley C. Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, announces the company’s 2013-2014 season, titled “Masters of Dance.” The season kicks off with a special addition to the Joffrey’s home engagement line-up, a one-weekend-only program titled “Russian Masters” celebrating the centennial of Vaslav Nijinsky’s ground-breaking 1913 ballet Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), along with George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante and the return of Yuri Possokhov’s Bells, September 19 – 22, 2013. The season continues with the Joffrey’s annual fall engagement, featuring the Company Premiere of Stanton Welch’s new evening-length staging of the exotic, Indian-set La Bayadère, October 16 – 27, 2013, before continuing with the holiday classic, Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker, December 6 – 27, 2013. For its winter program, the Joffrey presents a modern mixed repertory program, “Contemporary Choreographers,” featuring the Company Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Continuum and the Chicago Premiere of Crossing Ashland by Chicago choreographerBrock Clawson, February 12 – 23, 2014. The spring program closes the “Masters of Dance” season with the U.S. Premiere of a contemporary, multi-media Romeo & Juliet choreographed by Krzysztof Pastor, April 30 – May 11, 2014.
All performances take place in the Joffrey’s home venue, the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, in downtown Chicago at 50 East Congress Parkway. The season features live orchestral accompaniment by the Chicago Philharmonic conducted by Scott Speck, Music Director of The Joffrey Ballet.
“Next season promises to be very special,” said Wheater. “The programming is compelling. Our dancers are performing at the pinnacle of their art form. At its heart, though, dance thrives when it is shared. From the power of Russian music and dance to the splendor of La Bayadère, from contemporary masterpieces to a timeless Romeo & Juliet, we invite our audience to experience this season of beautiful dancing.”
“The 2013-2014 season is global and comprehensive, encompassing a wide range of cultures and voices,” added Joffrey Executive Director Christopher Clinton Conway. “The season’s diversity echoes that of the company, Academy and history of The Joffrey Ballet. The Joffrey is a national leader in defining and creating contemporary ballet, in the vanguard of the major changes that the art form is undergoing. Our company is distinctive and capable of anything that comes its way.”
About the Season
In 1913, Ballet Russe star Vaslav Nijinsky premiered Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, set to Igor Stravinsky’s score. Nijinsky’s unconventional musical phrasing and highly unusual body positions (including turned in feet) created an uproar but today his work about pagan fertility rituals is seen as a pioneering piece of contemporary ballet. The Joffrey Ballet culminates a national tour of Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer’s painstaking reconstruction of the original choreography in honor of the ballet’s 100th anniversary. The Joffrey pairs this with George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante, a vigorously paced work of Russian romanticism set to music by Peter llyich Tchaikovsky, and Yuri Possokhov’s Bells, a contemporary ballet set to Sergei Rachmaninoffwhich the Joffrey presented the World Premiere of in 2011. These three powerful works by Russian choreographers and composers are presented in a special, limited-run program, “Russian Masters,” in four performances only, September 19 – 22, 2013.
Less than a month after “Russian Masters,” The Joffrey Ballet takes Chicago audiences to India by way of Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch, with his 2010 staging of La Bayadère, a Joffrey and Chicago Premiere. A ballet in three acts, La Bayadère features lavish costumes and sets by British designer Peter Farmer and is accompanied by Ludwig Minkus’ score as arranged by John Lanchbery. Set in the fairytale-like India of the past, La Bayadère revolves around Nikiya, a temple dancer, her secret lover Solor, and the jealousy and betrayal that rips them apart. Based on Marius Petipa’s classic choreography – including the famous Kingdom of Shades scene, which Welch has left intact – Welch breathes new life into a 19th century classic full of the exotic appeal and fantastic mysticism of the Orient, complete with live snakes. La Bayadère is presented over 10 performances, October 16 – 27, 2013.
Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker, Chicago’s most popular holiday tradition and America’s #1 Nutcracker, returns for its seasonal run at the Auditorium Theatre, bringing Tchaikovsky’s classic score to life with dancing snowflakes, battling toys, waltzing flowers and the splendor of the full Joffrey company on stage with over 100 young dancers from the Chicagoland area. Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker is presented in 22 performances, December 6 – 27, 2013.
The Joffrey revisits its contemporary roots in winter 2014 with a mixed repertory program titled “Contemporary Choreographers,” featuring a Chicago Premiere by Brock Clawson. Named for the well-known Chicago street, Clawson’s Crossing Ashland, created for Milwaukee Ballet in 2012, is a metaphor for facing change within ourselves. With movement that intertwines the mundaneness of pedestrian movement with the virtuosity of ballet, he explores vulnerability and the need for connection, with music by John Adams, Michelle McLaughlin, Martin Tillman, M83 and Jeremy Limb. Also on the program is the Joffrey Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s 2002 work Continuum, set to the modernist piano music of Gyorgy Ligeti and utilizing a contemplative pace and geometric body patterns to render music into pure movement. Additional programming to be announced. “Contemporary Choreographers” is presented over 10 performances, February 12 – 23, 2014.
The Joffrey’s “Masters of Dance” season comes to a close with the Company and U.S. Premiere of Krzysztof Pastor’s Romeo & Juliet, created in 2008 for the Scottish Ballet. Set in Italy and spanning three eras of the 20th century, the Polish National Ballet Director’s modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic has all the drama, power and timeless themes of love and loss in one darkly intense ballet, set against a multi-media backdrop and Sergei Prokofiev’s dramatic score. Krzysztof Pastor’s Romeo & Juliet runs for 10 performances only, April 30 – May 11, 2014.
Tickets and Subscriptions
Three-program subscriptions, which do not include “Russian Masters” or The Nutcracker, start at $81. Subscriptions will be available for purchase starting February 13, 2013, online at joffrey.org, by mail (Joffrey Ballet Subscriptions, The Joffrey Ballet, Joffrey Tower, 10 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601), by telephone at 312-386-8905, by fax at 312-739-0119, or by email at subscriptions [at] joffrey [dot] org. Subscribers have the option to add on the “Russian Masters” program at 50% off the single ticket price.
Single tickets are priced from $31 to $152 for the special “Russian Masters” program, the fall LaBayadère, winter “Contemporary Choreographers” and spring Romeo & Juliet programs. Single tickets for The Nutcracker are priced from $31 to $132. Single tickets for “Russian Masters” will be available for purchase June 1, 2013; single tickets for all other programs will be available starting August 1, 2013. Single tickets are available at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of 10 East Randolph Street, as well as the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by telephone at 800-982-2787, or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
The Joffrey Ballet is grateful for the support of its 2013-2014 Season Sponsors and Partners. With special thanks to Abbott Fund and NIB Foundation, Co-Sponsors of the 2013-2014 Season; United Airlines, Official & Exclusive Airline; Vanguard Weiss Memorial Hospital, Chicago Center for Orthopedics, Official Healthcare Provider; AthletiCo, Official Provider of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Services; JW Marriott , Official Hotel; MAC, Official Cosmetic Sponsor; and Season Partners Allstate and Chicago Athletics Clubs.
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