The Joffrey Ballet concludes its 2009-2010 Legends season with Eclectica A spring program featuring world premieres by James Kudelka and Jessica Lang, plus a Gerald Arpino classic

March 23, 2010
Press Release


Press Release


Live the Fairytale... The Joffrey Ballet warms the hearts of Chicago with Sir Frederick Ashton's timeless Cinderella At The Auditorium Theatre, February 17-28, 2010THE JOFFREY BALLET CONCLUDES ITS 2009-2010 LEGENDS SEASON WITH ECLECTICA A SPRING PROGRAM FEATURING WORLD PREMIERES BY JAMES KUDELKA AND JESSICA LANG, PLUS A GERALD ARPINO CLASSIC At The Auditorium Theatre, April 28 to May 9


CHICAGO March 23, 2010 The Joffrey Ballet's 2009-2010 Season of Legends concludes with a spring mixed repertory program, Eclectica, featuring two world premiere commissions: Pretty BALLET by innovative choreographer James Kudelka, and Crossed by distinguished dancer/choreographer Jessica Lang, plus the revival of Joffrey Co-Founder Gerald Arpino’s Reflections. Eclectica will be presented at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, in nine performances only, April 28 to May 9, 2010.

"We are grateful to the people of Chicago and surrounding communities for embracing The Joffrey Ballet during our 2009-2010 season", said Joffrey Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater. In spite of the economic challenges of the last year, it is our mission to bring the highest quality of dance to the stage.  Without a doubt, the company is dancing at a very high level, and audiences have responded with overwhelming support.  Following on the success of Othello and Cinderella earlier this year, we conclude the season with two world premieres, Pretty BALLET by renowned choreographer James Kudelka, and Crossed by visionary young choreographer, Jessica Lang.  Rounding out the evening, we present a revival of Reflections, choreographed by Joffrey co-founder, Gerald Arpino, his most romantic ballet.

Kudelka's world premiere Pretty BALLET will be his fourth piece for the Joffrey and the first time he has returned to work with the Company since 1988. For this new work, Kudelka uses Bohuslav Martin's Symphony No. 2, an upbeat 1943 composition that utilizes waltz-like melodies but with off-kilter timing and syncopation. Set in four movements, Pretty BALLET creates a pastiche of different moods with small ensembles that continuously shift in organic but unexpected ways. Kudelka's demanding phrase work and intricate spatial patterns will explore the subject of ballet itself as a balance between romantic ideas and industrious principles.

Lang's first commission by The Joffrey Ballet, the world premiere of Crossed is set to music by Mozart, Handel and des Prez. Crossed is a reflection and reaction to music inspired by religion, and with a cast of 14 dancers, the piece ranges from dramatic and reverent to high-spirited and joyous. The work is consistent with Lang's inventive vision, deep artistry and emotionally spellbinding choreography.

A neoclassical, pure dance ballet and a perfect example of the Arpino style, high lifts, a flying pace and classic beauty Gerald Arpino's Reflections is set to Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme for Violoncello and Orchestra, op. 33. This fast-paced and physically challenging ballet was re-created by Arpino in 1985, after having been out of active repertory since 1976, and has not been seen on the Company since 2003.

About the Choreographers
Gerald Arpino was born in Staten Island, New York in 1923 and died in Chicago in 2008. He co-founded The Joffrey Ballet with Robert Joffrey in 1956 and served as Associate Director. Upon Joffrey's death in 1988, Arpino succeeded him as Artistic Director. Arpino choreographed his first work, Ropes, in 1961. Shortly thereafter, he became the company's resident choreographer. He created more than one-third of the company's repertoire. His ballets are in the repertoires of companies around the world. Arpino was the first choreographer commissioned to create a ballet to honor the office of the American presidency; he was the first American commissioned by a city, San Antonio, to do a ballet. In 1993, he produced America's first full-evening rock ballet, Billboards, set to the music of Prince. Arpino received numerous awards and honors over his long and prestigious career. In 1995 he moved The Joffrey Ballet to Chicago. Prior to that move, no ballet company had ever successfully been transplanted from one part of the country to another.

James Kudelka is widely acknowledged as one of North America's most innovative choreographers. His mastery of both classical ballet and modern/contemporary dance has earned him commissions from companies, some 20 in all, as stylistically diverse as American Ballet Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. Even as a student at Canada's National Ballet School, Kudelka demonstrated a choreographic interest in exploring innovative approaches. While adept in the classical ballet vocabulary he infuses it with a contemporary sensibility acquired from his intense interest in modern movement idioms. Kudelka's work covers an impressive range, from virtuoso pas de deux, through large-scale and always arresting adaptations of such classics as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Cinderella, to boldly innovative creative collaborations with dancers, designers and musicians. Kudelka is known to have never been afraid to tackle psychologically challenging subject matter in his story ballets he views dance as a primary medium of artistic discourse and through his gift for movement metaphor infuses poetic, emotional meaning into his many non-narrative works. After nine distinguished years as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada (1996-2005), Kudelka continues to undertake collaborative projects that engage and challenge him as a choreographer.

Jessica Lang, a Juilliard graduate and former dancer with Twyla Tharp, has created and restaged her own works on companies across the U.S. including American Ballet Theatre, Colorado Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Washington Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Saint Louis Ballet, ABT II, Ailey II, Hubbard Street 2, Dallas Black Ensemble Theater, Ballet de Monterey, and New York City Ballet's Choreographic Institute, among others. Her choreography has also been performed abroad in Japan, France, Mexico and South Africa. She has also received unique commissions from the Dallas Museum of Art to create a new work for their Henri Matisse Exhibition as well as from The Juilliard School for its Centennial Celebration Concert. Lang has received numerous grants for her choreography including three NEA grants in sole support of new creations and a Choo-San Goh award. She is on faculty at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theater as well as for ABT's summer program in New York City.

Performance Schedule and Pricing for Eclectica:
Wednesday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 1 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 2 at 2:00 p.m.; Friday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 8 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, May 9 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 10 E. 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

The Joffrey Ballet extends special thanks to its 2009-2010 Season Sponsors:  Abbott Fund; NIB Foundation; United Airlines, the Official & Exclusive Airline of The Joffrey Ballet; AthletiCo, the Official Provider of Rehabilitation, Fitness and Performance; UBS, Live Music Sponsor; and MAC, Official Cosmetic Sponsor.  The Joffrey would also like to thank the National Endowment for the Arts, Program Sponsor for Eclectica, and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Production Sponsor for Jessica Lang's Crossed. The 2009-2010 Season is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; and CityArts 4 grant from the City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs.

For more information about The Joffrey Ballet and current productions please call 312-386-8905 or visit