Joffrey Ballet's The Green Table, this weekend at the Auditorium Theatre

October 23, 2012
The Reader
Deanna Isaacs

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The Joffrey Ballet is performing three pieces in its current run at its exquisite home base, the Auditorium Theatre. All very nice, but the one you'll definitely remember is the last one on the program, The Green Table, Kurt Jooss’s 1932 "Dance of Death in Eight Scenes."

Totally apropos for the season, this macabre masterpiece plays out like a silent film, with a two-piano score (by Jooss's colleague Frederick Cohen) and a load of expressionistic melodrama that manages to grab you by the gut. It's a stunning work of movement theater, a potent antiwar protest that transcends even that category in its depiction of our universal fate. Fabrice Calmels, who danced the role of Death in the performance I saw last weekend, will forever be the Grim Reaper in my head.

Performances continue Thursday, October 25, through Sunday, October 28; tickets are $31-$152 at the Joffrey or Auditorium Theatre box offices, or Ticketmaster.