February 8, 2012

Contact: Eric Eatherly / Beth Silverman
The Silverman Group, Inc.
Eric [at] silvermangroupchicago [dot] com 


Season to feature two mixed repertory programs including the 80th Anniversary of Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table, works by James Kudelka, Jiří Kylián, Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp, a Chicago Premiere by Houston choreographer Stanton Welch, the return of acclaimed story-ballet Othello, and the Silver Anniversary of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker


CHICAGO – Ashley C. Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, announces the company’s 2012-2013 season, launching in the fall with a mixed repertory program featuring James Kudelka’s Pretty BALLET and Jiří Kylián’s Forgotten Land, along with the return of Kurt Jooss’ anti-war masterpiece The Green Table, celebrating its 80th Anniversary, October 17 – 28, 2012. Following will be the 25th Anniversary production of Robert Joffrey’s beloved The Nutcracker, December 7 – 27, 2012. In the New Year, the Joffrey presents a winter mixed repertory program featuring a Chicago Premiere by Stanton Welch and the return of Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs and Jerome Robbins’ Interplay, February 13 – 24, 2013. The season is completed in the spring with the return of Lar Lubovitch’s acclaimed Othello, presented in honor of the choreographer’s 70th birthday, April 24 – May 5, 2013.


Continuing The Joffrey Ballet’s mission to provide the highest level of performance quality, the season will feature live orchestral accompaniment by the Chicago Sinfonietta conducted by Scott Speck, Music Director of The Joffrey Ballet. All performances will take place in the Joffrey’s home venue, the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, in downtown Chicago at 50 East Congress Parkway.


“Recently, the documentary film Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance was released across the United States,” noted Wheater. “Throughout its history, The Joffrey Ballet has celebrated the broad diversity of our art form, embracing the classical and modern, abstract and narrative, traditional and avant-garde. Underlying this eclecticism is a love of excellence, and, always, a deep regard for the human spirit. This exploration continues in 2012-2013, as we present a wide range of work, created new for the Company or drawn from the best of the past.”


The Joffrey’s 2012-2013 season launches with a fall mixed bill of work by three choreographers portraying and exploring their passionate beliefs through dance. James Kudelka’s Pretty BALLET returns to the stage after the Joffrey presented its World Premiere in 2010. Set in four movements to Bohuslav Martinů’s Symphony No. 2, 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 explore the subject of ballet itself as a balance between romantic ideas and industrious principles. Also on the program will be Jiří Kylián’s 1981 work Forgotten Land, not performed by the Joffrey since its Company Premiere in 1985. With music by Benjamin Britten (2013 will be the 100th anniversary of Britten’s birth), this dance was inspired by a painting of women on a beach by the Norwegian Expressionist painter Edvard Munch. With a motif of pulsing, circular movements reminiscent of the waves, the work invokes treasured memories of lost homelands, lost lovers and lost time. The fall program closes with German choreographer Kurt Jooss’ seminal anti-war ballet The Green Table. Originally choreographed in 1932, the Joffrey is proud to present this work in honor of its 80th Anniversary. The Joffrey Ballet was the first American company to dance The Green Table, a Company Premiere in 1967. Subtitled "A Dance of Death in Eight Scenes” and set to music by F.A. Cohen, The Green Table is a commentary on the futility of war and the horrors it causes. The fall program is presented October 17 – 28, 2012.


In 2012 The Joffrey Ballet celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker, Chicago’s most popular holiday tradition and America’s #1 Nutcracker. Originally created in 1987, each year The Nutcracker incorporates the full Joffrey company plus 118 young dancers from the greater Chicagoland area to tell the heart-warming story of Clara and her adventures with the Nutcracker Prince and other enchanted characters. Last year, Joffrey’s Nutcracker was recognized with the Goldstar National Nutcracker Award (affectionately nicknamed “The Nutty”) as the “Best Loved Nutcracker” in the United States. This year Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker is presented in an engagement of 21 performances, December 7 – 27, 2012, with additional Silver Anniversary celebration plans to be announced at a later time.


In the winter of 2013 the Joffrey presents its second mixed repertory program of the season, including Jerome Robbins’ 1945 work Interplay. An energetic, light-hearted and brightly colored ballet with music by Morton Gould, Interplay conveys the wonderful playfulness and unfettered exuberance of children maturing from pre-teens to young adults. Interplay was first performed by the Joffrey in 1972. Also on the lineup is Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, created following Tharp’s investigation of turn-of-the-century exhibition/ballroom dancing for the 1981 film Ragtime. Each Sinatra song has its own musical and dance-theater character. A wildly popular Tharp classic, Nine Sinatra Songs captures the social dancing of the 1950’s through variously sultry, comic and glamorous vignettes, all costumed by Oscar de la Renta. The winter program is finished off with the Chicago Premiere of a new work by choreographer Stanton Welch, Artistic Director of the Houston Ballet, that will have its World Premiere by The Joffrey at the Jacob’s Pillow Festival in August, 2012. The Joffrey’s winter program runs February 13 – 24, 2013.


In celebration of Lar Lubovitch’s 70th birthday in 2013, the Joffrey’s 2012-2013 season concludes in the spring with the return of the native Chicagoan’s three-act ballet Othello. A Joffrey Premiere in 2009 that garnered unanimous critical acclaim, Lubovitch’s ballet is adapted from three sources: The Moor, a story by Geraldo Cintio in The Hundred Tales, published in Venice in 1566; William Shakespeare’s play Othello, The Moor of Venice, written around 1602; and Guiseppe Verdi’s opera Othello from 1887. Set to music by Elliot B. Goldenthal, Othello uses contemporary ballet and innovative stage design to tell the dramatic story of the Venetian Moor, Othello, his beloved Desdemona and the conniving Iago, who will stop at nothing to usurp Othello’s power. Othello is presented April 24 – May 5, 2013.


Three-program subscriptions, which do not include The Nutcracker, start at $81. Subscriptions will be available for purchase starting February 13, 2012, online at, by mail (Joffrey Ballet Subscriptions, The Joffrey Ballet, Joffrey Tower, 10 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601), telephone (312) 386-8905, fax (312) 739-0119, or email subscriptions [at] joffrey [dot] org. Single tickets, priced from $31 to $152 for the fall, winter and spring shows, and priced from $31 to $132 for The Nutcracker, will be available for purchase starting August 6, 2012 at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of 10 East 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 is grateful for the 2012-2013 Season Sponsors and Partners. With special thanks to Abbott Fund and NIB Foundation, co-sponsors of the 2012-2013 Season; United Airlines, Official & Exclusive Airline; Center for Orthopedics at Weiss, Official Healthcare Provider; AthletiCo, Official Provider of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Services; and MAC, Official Cosmetic Sponsor.


For more information about The Joffrey Ballet and current productions please call 312-739-0120 or visit