The Joffrey Ballet Review - Opening Night Performance is a Towering Achievement

The Joffrey Tower

Dubbed “Time to Move!” the 2008-2009 season boasts Ten Choreographers, Five Premieres, One Company to showcase not only the company’s prodigious physical movements and season accomplishments, but also its literal move into, and first year occupying, the new Joffrey Tower, 10 East Randolph Street, in downtown Chicago’s theater district.

Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director, The Joffrey Ballet

“This season is an important one for The Joffrey Ballet as we stage one world premiere, one Joffrey premiere, and one company revival. We will honor Jerome Robbins and his vast talent on Broadway and in dance with his exquisite In the Night,” comments Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater.

“We will also honor one of our founders, Robert Joffrey, who is considered internationally to have been a true American maverick in the field of dance. Joffrey’s Postcards will be staged in memory of the 20th anniversary of his death. Concluding this not-to-be-missed program is the highly anticipated world premiere of Age of Innocence by Edwaard Liang with stunning costumes by Chicago’s own Maria Pinto.”

Robert Joffrey, co-founder of the Joffrey Ballet

If you haven’t been to the ballet or haven’t been for a long time -

Postcards will delight you as it pirouettes to the stage. Choreographed by Joffrey Ballet co-founder Robert Joffrey, it is a piece for 18 dancers. Postcards was the last choreographed work for the company by Robert Joffrey and is considered one of his best. It is performed this season to honor the memory of the company’s Co-Founder ( Robert Joffrey). Set to the music of Erik Satie, the piece suggests a picture postcard from Paris at the turn of the last century, and early notes speak of “hidden meanings—a shared discovery, a suggestion of intimacy, a knowing smile between friends.” The imaginative backdrop of the opening scene of Postcards is an abstract painting with variations on Magritte themes—a pleasant, humorous, subtle way to turn our thoughts to the romantic. This piece was performed for the first time in almost 20 years.

Postcards

If you enjoy classical ballet with a contemporary look and feel -

The Joffrey Premiere of In the Night, choreographed by the world-renowned Jerome Robbins is intriguing and innovative. With music by Frederick Chopin and costume design by Carole Divet Harding, In the Night was staged for The Joffrey by Anita Paciotti. Featuring three exquisite pas de deux, the piece explores love in a variety of phases, from young and tender to fiery and falling apart. In the last movement all three couples meet together for a sweeping dance for six. Here again, the simple but imaginative, changing set creates a mysterious atmosphere, at one time a starlit sky, at another a veiled chandelier. In the Night is considered by many to be one of Jerome Robbins’ most sublime works.

In the Night

And if you are a lover of ballet looking for a show stopper -

The World Premiere of the high-energy Age of Innocence by Edwaard Liang delivers! A former soloist for New York City Ballet, Liang is a brilliant new voice in American dance and was named among the “Top 25 to Watch” by Dance magazine. Danced to the music of Philip Glass and Thomas Newman, the dynamism of this exuberant, potent music practically lifts the dancers from the stage. For this ballet, Liang was inspired by the work of Jane Austen and the women of her era, who demonstrated significant grace and strength of spirit in the face of societal repression. This piece was particularly noteworthy because of the strong performances of the men as well as the women. What a combination of grace, athleticism, and artistry! The costume design by Maria Pinto was also notable for its originality and functionality. The men’s dancing costumes fit the Victorian era and yet allowed their astonishing movement. And the set was a beautiful example of understated elegance. Overheard in the audience: “It was like watching Russian ballet!” This program presents something that can satisfy and thrill everyone.

Age of Innocence

Ably accompanied by Chicago Sinfonietta under the baton of Joffrey Music Director and Principal Conductor Dr. Leslie B. Dunner, The Joffrey Ballet performs in its stunning home venue, the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, in downtown Chicago at 50 E. Congress Parkway in nine performances only, October 15 – 26, 2008. For more information about The Joffrey Ballet and current productions please call 312-739-0120 or visit www.joffrey.org.

Stage at the Auditorium Theater

For daily details, visit the Chicago-Splash calendar
http://www.chicago-splash.com/calendar/calendar.php?op=cal&month=10&year=2008.

Photos: Courtesy of The Joffrey Ballet

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