Joffrey Ballet brings fresh vibrancy to Clowes

April 11, 2011
The Examiner
Tom Alvarez


Even before the curtain came up this past Saturday at Clowes Memorial Hall for the Joffrey Ballet concert, one could feel the excitement and anticipation in the air. After all, one of America's most accessible dance companies was in Indianapolis to perform ballet celebrated for its freshness and vibrancy. By concert’s end, it was undoubtedly clear that the audience was thoroughly satisfied and that the concert was a resounding triumph.

With former residences in New York City and Los Angeles, the Joffrey Ballet, founded in 1956 by Robert Joffrey is now headquartered in Chicago where it now has a permanent home in the Joffrey Tower. Guided from 1988 until 2007 by renowned choreographer Gerald Arpino, the company is now headed by Artistic Director, Ashley Wheaton and Executive Director Christopher Clinton Conway.

Famous for the quality of its dancers whose classical training is of the highest caliber, the Joffrey is also known for the broad range of its repertoire. That diversity was evident a program which included works by Broadway/ballet/dance icon, Jerome Robbins; the aforementioned Arpino; ballet pioneer and icon, George Ballanchine; and contemporary choreographer Edwaard Liang.  

Opening the concert was “In the Night,” choreographed by Robbins, with music by Frederick Chopin. It featured three beautifully intricate pas de deux exploring the various emotional stages of romantic love. Danced flawlessly by all three couples (which included Christine Rocas & Mauro Villanueva and April Daly & Miguel Angel Blanco), the pair of Victoria Jaiani and Fabrice Calmels was the most striking, due in part not only to their physical beauty but also the delicacy and dynamic power of their movement and attitude.