Mayor Rahm Emanuel Named honorary Chairman of The Joffrey Ballet Board of Directors

April 9, 2011

CHICAGO – June 15, 2011 – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been named Honorary Chairman of The Joffrey Ballet Board of Directors, following a unanimous Executive Committee vote. Mayor Emanuel, a former dancer, has a long history with the Joffrey. At 17 years old he was offered a scholarship to study at the Joffrey before choosing to pursue dance at Sarah Lawrence College. Since assuming office in May, Emanuel has been a vocal proponent of elevating Chicago’s performing and visual arts community to even higher international recognition.


The Joffrey Ballet Board has also elected Jason Tyler as its working Chairman. Tyler, Senior Vice President of the Investment Committee and Director of Research Options for Ariel Investments, LLC, previously served as the Treasurer of the Joffrey. Tyler succeeds Fred Eychaner, who served as Board Chairman since 2009 and has been a member of the Joffrey Board since the company relocated to Chicago from New York in 1995.


The Joffrey Ballet’s 2011-2012 season launches this fall with the World Premiere of Yuri Possokhov’s story-ballet Don Quixote. Possokhov, a former principal dancer with Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet, recently premiered a new work, Bells, to critical praise as a part of Joffrey’s spring engagement. For this new work – the first commission of an evening-length piece by The Joffrey Ballet in over 60 years – Possokhov presents a fresh interpretation of the classic story of Don Quixote, an aging nobleman who imagines himself a valiant knight off to rescue the damsel Dulcinea. Puppets by Cynthia Von Orthal, projections by Wendell Harrington (whose work was seen in Joffrey’s production of Othello in 2009), and a set design by Jack Mehler, all complete this new production. The Joffrey will perform Possokhov’s Don Quixote at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, October 12 – 23, 2011.


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. 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 Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater and Executive Director Christopher Clinton Conway.


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