Farrah Malik / Beth Silverman
The Silverman Group, Inc.
Farrah [at] silvermangroupchicago [dot] com
THE JOFFREY BALLET CLOSES ITS 2008-2009 SEASON WITH THE COMPANY PREMIERE OF WHEELDON’S CAROUSEL (A DANCE)
AND A REVIVAL OF NIJINSKA’S LES NOCES
AT THE AUDITORIUM THEATRE, APRIL 29 – MAY 10, 2009
Program to also feature the Joffrey Premiere of Tomasson’s Valses Poeticos and Arpino’s Round of Angels
CHICAGO – The Joffrey Ballet closes
its 2008-2009 season with an eclectic romantic Spring Program featuring
the Joffrey Premieres of Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance) and Helgi Tomasson’s Valses Poeticos; the revival of Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces (The Wedding), in commemoration of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes Centennial; and Round of Angels by
the late Joffrey Co-Founder Gerald Arpino. The Spring Program will
take place at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E.
Congress Parkway, in nine performances only, April 29 – May 10, 2009.
goal throughout this season has been to make ballet accessible and
enjoyable for aficionados and newcomers alike,” comments Joffrey Ballet
Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater. “An amalgam of great works, the Spring Program includes two Joffrey premieres: Christopher Wheeldon’s much anticipated Carousel (A Dance)
to the classic score by Richard Rodgers, which is an unbelievable
addition to our repertoire, and San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director
Helgi Tomasson’s Valses Poeticos, a beautiful series of solos
and duets about love. We will also continue to honor the Diaghilev
Centennial celebration with Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces, as well as and the memory of Co-Founder Gerald Arpino, with one of his most beloved works, Round of Angels. The whole program speaks of the many different levels of human love and is a wonderful way to begin the spring.”
Opening the program will be Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces (The Wedding). First presented by the Ballets Russes in 1923, Les Noces vibrantly
depicts the rituals and revelry of an ancient Russian peasant wedding.
A cast of 36 dances in four tableaux: the Blessing of the Bride, the
Blessing of the Groom, the Departure of the Bride from the Parental
home, and the Wedding Feast. Nathalie Gontcharova’s mono-chromatic
scenery and costumes, together with Igor Stravinsky’s ferocious musical
score, adds to Nijinska’s stunning choreography. Sister of the
legendary choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky, who choreographed the famed Le Sacre du Printemps, Nijinska was also a member of Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes and choreographed Les Noces for
the company. This work is performed in celebration of the Ballet Russes
Centennial. The Joffrey Ballet’s first performance of Les Noces
took place at The Opera House of the John F. Kennedy Center for the
Performing Arts, Washington, DC in 1989, to great critical acclaim. Les Noces
was last performed by The Joffrey Ballet in 2003 as part of its
“Diaghilev Dynasty” program. This revival is being set by Howard
Following will be The Joffrey Premiere of Valses Poeticos,
choreographed by veteran San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director Helgi
Tomasson to the music of Enrique Granados. Originally created in 1990
for Ashley Wheater while he was a member of the San Francisco Ballet,
this lyrical ballet evokes deep emotion through physical movement.
Neo-classical in form, Valses Poeticos transforms love letters into dances with intimate pas de deux and solos reflecting the tenderness of a couple’s relationship.
In memory of the late Joffrey Co-Founder Gerald Arpino, his Round of Angels will
also be performed. Inspired in part by an etching entitled “Ronde
d’Anges” by Cavaliere d’Arpino, as well as the loss of a dear friend, Round of Angels
is set to the haunting Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.
With scenery byPenelope Curry and costumes byA. Christina Giannini,
this emotional ballet is set against a starry sky and tells a turbulent
and melancholy story of a couple, surrounded by five broken-winged male
angels, who are destined to part. Arpino was never afraid to tackle
sensitive subjects and in this case he conveyed the depth of his
feeling with astonishing sensitivity. This is a serene work unlike
many of his other ballets, which are wonders of vitality and
virtuosity. Premiered by The Joffrey Ballet in 1983, the company last
performed this work in 2008 as part of Chicago Dancing Festival and
again in 2009 at Gerald Arpino’s Memorial Service. Previously the work
was performed as part of the “Accent Arpino” program staged in 2005.
Making its Chicago debut, the Spring Program concludes with Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance),
a salute to Richard Rodgers first performed by the New York City Ballet
in 2002. Although created for a one-time-only occasion, a gala in
honor of Richard Rodger's centennial, the ballet was such a success
that it was kept in the repertoire and is now in the repertoire of
other dance companies. A wonderful addition to The Joffrey Ballet’s
repertoire, Wheeldon’s choreography is set to two selections from the
beloved 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel, the
"Carousel Waltz" and "If I Loved You.” The work echoes the circular
movement of carnival rides, evoking the gaiety and romance of the
scene, as a colorful ensemble circles the stage and a young woman and
man are isolated to find each other in a poignant love duet. Carousel (A Dance) will be set by Christopher Wheeldon.
Performance Schedule and Pricing for The Joffrey Ballet’s Spring Program:
The performance schedule for The Joffrey Ballet Spring Program, April 29 – May 10, is as follows: Wednesday,
April 29 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 2 at
2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 3 at 2:00 p.m.; Friday, May 8 at
7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 9 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday,
May 10 at 2:00 p.m.
Single tickets, priced from $25 to $145,
are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office
located in the lobby of the Joffrey Tower at 10 E. Randolph Street, as
well as the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University box office, all
Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by telephone at (312) 902-1500, or online
The 2008-2009 season is dubbed
“Time To Move! Ten Choreographers, Five Premieres, One Company” to
showcase not only the company’s prodigious physical movements and
season accomplishments, but also its literal move into, and first year
occupying, the new Joffrey Tower, 10 East Randolph Street, at the high
profile corner of State and Randolph in downtown Chicago.
Joffrey Ballet extends special thanks to its 2008-2009 Season Sponsors
the Abbott Fund and Huron Consulting Group; United Airlines, the
Official & Exclusive Airline of The Joffrey Ballet; AthletiCo,
the Official Provider of Rehabilitation, Fitness and Performance; and
M.A.C, the Official Cosmetic of The Joffrey Ballet.
For more information about The Joffrey Ballet and current productions please call 312-739-0120 or visit joffrey.org.
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