THE JOFFREY BALLET presents Winter Program of Game Changers including Chicago Premiere of Year of the Rabbit by Justin Peck

February 10, 2017

Also featuring the return of audience favorites Fool’s Paradise by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and INFRA by Wayne McGregor


At the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University: February 15-26, 2017


CHICAGO – For its annual winter engagement, The Joffrey Ballet presents Game Changers, a program of three contemporary ballets including the Chicago Premiere of Year of the Rabbit by New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck, along with the return of two popular works from the Joffrey repertoire – INFRA by award-winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor and Fool’s Paradise by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, who recently debuted his critically acclaimed world premiere of The Nutcracker for The Joffrey Ballet in December 2016. Game Changers is presented in 10 performances only, February 15–26, 2017.

“With Game Changers, we bring audiences ballet for today – fearless and emotionally charged works from visionary new voices in 21st-century choreography,” said Artistic Director, Ashley Wheater. “In our age of complexity, rebellion and hope, it has never been more important for dance to represent our momentum forward. From the Chicago Premiere of Justin Peck’s brilliantly innovative Year of the Rabbit to contemporary masterpieces by Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon, we’re thrilled to start the second half of our season exploring three modern choreographers who are pushing dance to new heights.”

INFRA, which made its U.S. Premiere with The Joffrey Ballet in 2012, was created for The Royal Ballet by internationally celebrated choreographer Wayne McGregor. Created after the London subway bombings of 2005, INFRA is set to an original score by Max Richter, a mix of mournful strings and calm industrial sounds, and features a 59-foot LED screen suspended above the stage displaying urban animations designed by world-renowned British artist Julian Opie. Beneath it 12 dancers execute McGregor’s bold and abstract movement to explore what’s beneath the surface of human interactions. Recently, McGregor served as Movement Coach for this fall’s popular film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Learn more about Wayne McGregor, here.

Fool’s Paradise first captivated Joffrey audiences with its Chicago Premiere in September 2015. Set to a commissioned score by Joby Talbot, this abstract ballet for nine dancers moves through solos, duets and trios in a grand display of beauty and strength as the dancers’ bodies form a series of living sculptures, while falling shimmering petals shower the stage. Fool’s Paradise reveals a deep connection between the dancers that leaves the audiences to discover its meaning and effect. Wheeldon recently reimagined a new Nutcracker for The Joffrey Ballet, set in Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair, which received its critically acclaimed world premiere in December 2016.  Learn more about Christopher Wheeldon, here.


Inspired by the Chinese zodiac, Peck’s second work for New York City Ballet, Year of the Rabbit, is a collaboration with American singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. Set to a classical orchestration of Stevens’ electronic song cycle Enjoy Your Rabbit, Year of the Rabbit weaves its ensemble of dancers into intricate and architectural forms with grace to produce a visually arresting work. Currently a soloist and resident choreographer with New York City Ballet, Peck, 29, has already been hailed as an important new voice in 21st-century choreography and was the subject of the documentary Ballet 422. Peck made his Joffrey Ballet choreographic debut with the Chicago premiere of In Creases in April 2015. Learn more about Justin Peck, here.

Tickets and Schedule

The Joffrey Ballet performs Game Changers February 15 – 26, 2017; the full performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday, February 15 at 7:30pm, Friday, February 17 at 7:30pm, Saturday, February 18 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, Sunday, February 19 at 2:00pm, Thursday, February 23 at 7:30pm, Friday, February 24 at 7:30pm, Saturday, February 25 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, Sunday, February 26 at 2:00pm.

Single tickets range from $34-$159 and are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph Street, as well as the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University Box Office, by telephone 312.386.8905, or online at


About The Joffrey Ballet

Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its company, audiences, and repertoire which includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces, and contemporary works.


The Company’s commitment to accessibility is met through an extensive touring schedule, an innovative and highly effective education program including the much lauded Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs, and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations.


Founded by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey in 1956, guided by celebrated choreographer Gerald Arpino from 1988 until 2007, The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under internationally renowned Artistic Director Ashley Wheater and Executive Director Greg Cameron.


The Joffrey Ballet gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Live Music Sponsors The Marina and Arnold Tatar Fund for Live Music and Cheryle and Joel V. Williamson as well as Year of the Rabbit Production Sponsor JHL Capital Group, LLC and Fool’s Paradise Production Sponsor Anne L. Kaplan. 

Special thanks to Co-Sponsors of the 2016-2017 Season: Abbott Fund, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, NIB Foundation, and Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation; Season Partners: pamella roland and Fox Ford Lincoln, Conagra Brands, Clear Channel Airports, Official Provider of Physical Therapy Athletico; Official Hotel JW Marriott; and Official Health Club Chicago Athletic Clubs.

For more information on The Joffrey Ballet and its programs, visit



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