Dance: THE JOFFREY BALLET (2021-22 Season Announcement)

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by Lawrence Bommer on August 7, 2021

in Dance,Theater-Chicago

The Joffrey Ballet’s inaugural season at the historic Lyric Opera House in downtown Chicago has been announced! The live performances feature several new-to-the-stage works, highly-anticipated remounts, company debuts, and the world-premiere adaptation of a classic American story.

The 2021–2022 Season

Home: a Celebration
October 13–24, 2021 (10 performances)
The Joffrey’s mixed rep fall program marks a celebratory return to the stage.

Evan Boersma, Edson Barbosa, Fernando Duarte, Stefan Goncalvez, Hyuma Kiyosawa in Swing Low.
Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

Birthday Variations, choreographed by Joffrey co-founder Gerald Arpino with music by Giuseppe Verdi, was commissioned in 1986 by Becky D’Angelo as a birthday present to her husband Dino, who owned Chicago’s Civic Opera House and loved Verdi’s music. This lively and melodic ballet is considered one of Arpino’s most popular creations.

Edson Barbosa, Evan Boersma, Fernando Duarte, Stefan Goncalvez, Hyuma Kiyosawa in Swing Low.
Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

Joffrey’s 2020 Winning Works choreographer Chanel DaSilva finds beauty in the complex and multifaceted experience of what it means to be human with her work, Swing Low an original creation for five men, set to the avant-garde rhythms of cellist and composer Zoë Keating. Swing Low reflects DaSilva’s deep connection to the transformative power of the arts and the indelible joy of movement.  The Joffrey’s world premiere of Swing Low will take place at Ravinia on September 17, 2021.

Amanda Assucena, Alberto Velazquez, Christine Rocas in Under the Trees' Voices. 
Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

Under the Trees’ Voices is the newest ballet from Joffrey Rehearsal Director Nicolas Blanc and channels the power of community in the age of social distancing. During this world premiere for the stage, four distinct sections set to Symphony No. 2 by Italian composer Bosso, imagines a future of hope and unity.  Under the Trees’ Voices had its world premiere, virtually, on April 30, 2021 as part of Joffrey’s Studio Series.

Anais Bueno in Boléro. Photo by Matt de la Peña.

Joffrey Company Artist Yoshihisa Arai takes audiences on a journey through time and space with Boléro. During this world premiere for the stage, 15 dancers take inspiration from the seminal score of the same name by composer Maurice Ravel, and are adorned in costumes designed by Joffrey Company Artist Temur Suluashvili. Boléro had its world premiere, virtually, on February 12, 2021 as part of Joffrey’s Studio Series.

The Nutcracker
December 4-26, 2021
(28 performances)

Cara Marie Gary and Graham Maverick in The Nutcracker. Photo by Cheryl Mann,

Christopher Wheeldon’s reimagined classic follows young Marie and the Nutcracker Prince on a Christmas Eve journey through the 1893 World’s Fair, a dazzling spectacle of sights, sounds, and enchantment. This annual holiday tradition celebrates the magic of the season and the rich cultural heritage of Chicago.

Olivia Duryea, Yuka Iwai, Valeria Chaykina, Dara Holmes & Ensemble in The Nutcracker.
Photo by Cheryl Mann.

A ballet in two acts set to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s classic score, The Nutcracker features an award-winning creative team, including Tony Award®-nominated set and costume designer Julian Crouch, Caldecott Medal Award-winning author Brian Selznick, Obie and Drama Desk award-winning puppeteer Basil Twist, Tony Award®-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz and Tony Award®-winning projection designer Ben Pearcy/59 Productions.

Don Quixote
February 16–27, 2022 (10 performances)

Amanda Assucena and Alberto Velazquez in Don Quixote.
Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

A family-friendly ballet full of bravery, fantasy, and love, Yuri Possokhov’s fresh interpretation of this revered ballet classic set to Ludwig Minkus’s score centers on Don Quixote, an aging and eccentric nobleman, who imagines himself to be a valiant knight. With his trusted sidekick Sancho Panza in tow, Quixote embarks on a humorous and fateful journey, ready to breathe life into a world where windmills become monsters and adventure awaits beyond the horizon.

Spring Program:
Of Mice and Men and Balanchine’s Serenade
April 27–May 8, 2022 (10 performances)

The Joffrey premiere of Serenade, set to the original score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is George Balanchine’s first ballet created in America in 1934 and originated as a lesson in stage technique, using unexpected events from rehearsals as the basis for the choreography.  According to The George Balanchine Trust, “When one student fell, he incorporated it. Another day, a student arrived late, and this too became part of the ballet.” Balanchine subsequently reworked the ballet several times before landing on its current iteration, which features four movements based on a score by Tchaikovsky: SonatinaWaltzRussian Dance, and Elegy.

Dylan Gutierrez and Xavier Núñez in Of Mice and Men.
Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

The world premiere of Of Mice and Men marks Cathy Marston’s first original creation for The Joffrey Ballet. Marston previously staged the Chicago premiere of her critically acclaimed production of Jane Eyre for the Joffrey during the 2019-2020 season. The dance story follows George Milton and Lennie Small, two drifters looking for work on the golden farms of Depression-era California. When tragedy strikes, George and Lennie face difficult choices that test the nature of their friendship. Marston goes from page-to-stage with Steinbeck’s tender tale of friendship, perseverance, and sacrifice, with an original score by Academy Award®-nominated composer Thomas Newman.

The Joffrey Ballet
Lyric Opera House, 20 North Upper Wacker Drive
for three-program subscriptions (starting at $120), which do not include The Nutcracker visit Joffrey or call 312.386.8905
and, later, for single tickets (starting at $35), also visit Joffrey or call 312.386.8905

About The Joffrey Ballet­­

The Joffrey Ballet is one of the premier dance companies in the world today, with a reputation for boundary-breaking performances for more than 60 years. The Joffrey repertoire is an extensive collection of all-time classics, modern masterpieces, and original works.

d in 1956 by pioneers Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, the Joffrey remains dedicated to artistic expression, innovation, and first-rate education and engagement programming. The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director Ashley Wheater MBE and President and CEO Greg Cameron.

The Joffrey Ballet is grateful for the support of its 2021–2022 Season Sponsors: Abbott Fund, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, The Florian Fund, and Live Music Sponsors Sandy and Roger Deromedi, Sage Foundation, and The Marina and Arnold Tatar Fund for Live Music. The Joffrey also acknowledges our Studio Series Sponsors Nancy and Sanfred Koltun and BMO Harris Bank, Season Partners Chicago Athletic Clubs, and Athletico Physical Therapy, official provider of physical therapy for The Joffrey Ballet.

For more information on The Joffrey Ballet and its programs, visit Connect with the Joffrey on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

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