ASHLEY WHEATER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE JOFFREY BALLET, ANNOUNCES ITS 2009-2010 SEASON: “LEGENDS”

ASHLEY WHEATER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE JOFFREY BALLET, ANNOUNCES ITS 2009-2010 SEASON: “LEGENDS”

Season to feature two world premieres by James Kudelka and Jessica Lang; two classic story ballets: the Company Premiere of Lar Lubovitch’s Othello, and the return of Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella; and the timeless tradition of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker!

CHICAGO – The Joffrey Ballet, led by Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater, proudly announces its 2009-2010 Season, opening with The Joffrey Ballet Premiere of Lar Lubovitch’s passionate story ballet Othello, October 14-25, 2009. This legendary season continues with Chicago’s family holiday favorite, Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker, December 11– 27, 2009. Back by popular demand, the winter of 2010 brings Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella to the Auditorium Theatre stage, February 17-28, 2010. The 2009-2010 Season closes with a springtime, mixed repertoire program entitled Eclectica, featuring a World Premiere by the highly acclaimed James Kudelka (first introduced to audiences by the late Robert Joffrey), and a second World Premiere by the young and extremely talented Jessica Lang, one of the few female choreographers working in the classical realm. The program also features Gerald Arpino’s neoclassical work Reflections, April 28-May 9, 2010.

Continuing in The Joffrey Ballet’s mission to provide the highest level of performance quality, the season will feature live orchestral accompaniment by the Chicago Sinfonietta, the nation’s most diverse orchestra. The Joffrey Ballet will perform in its home venue, the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, in downtown Chicago at 50 East Congress Parkway.

    

“I am thrilled for The Joffrey Ballet to present this diverse and legendary season,” comments Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater. “We are expanding the company’s capacity this season -from the classicism of Cinderella to the powerful and emotional depth of contemporary dance with Lar Lubovitch’s stunning full length ballet, Othello. I also look forward to presenting these two new works by James Kudelka, who was discovered and first presented by Robert Joffrey himself, and Jessica Lang, who continues to amaze audiences with her choreography.”

In the fall of 2009, The Joffrey Ballet will present the full-length story ballet, Othello choreographed by Chicago-born Lar Lubovitch. Lar Lubovitch’s three-act ballet follows Shakespeare’s tale of love, passion, jealousy and betrayal. Othello is beautifully told through Lubovitch’s expression of language through contemporary choreography in collaboration with the commissioned score by Academy Award® winner, Elliot Goldenthal. A Joffrey Premiere, this reinterpreted ballet was commissioned by the American Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet and was first performed in New York City in 1997 by American Ballet Theatre. Othello will be presented October 14 – 25, 2009.

Chicagoland’s most popular holiday tradition, Robert Joffrey’s production of The Nutcracker, will again transform the Auditorium Theatre into a land of beauty, fantasy and wonder. The Tchaikovsky masterpiece, featuring the full Joffrey company, local children’s choruses and more than 120 young dancers, will be presented in seventeen performances, December 11 – 27, 2009.

In February 2010, The Joffrey Ballet welcomes back Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella, regarded as one of his greatest full length ballets. Performed in three acts, the classic rags-to-riches story comes to life in a dazzling ballet set to Sergei Prokofiev’s brilliant score, with breathtaking sets and costumes designed by David Walker. Ashton’s Cinderella is a mysterious and magical fantasy world, where the comedy of Cinderella’s pantomime step-sisters – unlucky in looks and love – provides the perfect foil for the developing romance of Cinderella and the Prince. Last performed by The Joffrey Ballet in October 2006, Cinderella will be presented February 17 – February 28, 2010.

The 2009-2010 Season will conclude with a mixed repertory program, Eclectica. The program will open with Gerald Arpino’s Reflections, performed in tribute to The Joffrey Ballet’s late Co-Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus. A neoclassical, pure dance ballet and a perfect example of the “Arpino” style – high lifts, a flying pace, and classic beauty – Reflections is set to Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme” for Violoncello and Orchestra, op. 33. This fast-paced and physically challenging ballet was recreated by Arpino in 1985, after having been out of active repertoire since 1976. Following on the heels of the 2008 world premiere of Age of Innocence by Edwaard Liang, The Joffrey Ballet is proud to present two newly commissioned works, currently untitled, by the innovative choreographer James Kudelka, former artistic director of The National Ballet of Canada, and distinguished dancer and choreographer Jessica Lang. Kudelka, first introduced to the dance world by Robert Joffrey himself, is one of North America’s foremost dance artists, universally respected for the quality and depth of his work. As a choreographer, he has the rare ability to marry classical tradition with modern movement and is recognized for his remarkable talent in combining both idioms. A remarkably prolific choreographer, he has created over 70 ballets. A Juilliard graduate, Lang danced with Twyla Tharp and is known for her inventive vision, deep artistry and emotionally spellbinding choreography. She has created and restaged her work on numerous companies and has already been commissioned to create seven new ballets this season. Both Kudelka and Lang’s World Premieres will be their first commissions from The Joffrey Ballet. Eclectica will be presented April 28 – May 9, 2010.

Three-program subscriptions, which do not include The Nutcracker, start at $75. Subscriptions are now available online at joffrey.org, 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@joffrey.org. Single tickets, priced from $25 to $100, are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of 10 E. Randolph Street, as well as the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University box office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by telephone at (312) 902-1500, or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

The Joffrey Ballet extends special thanks to its 2009-2010 Season Sponsors the Abbott Fund and Huron Consulting Group; United Airlines, the Official & Exclusive Airline of The Joffrey Ballet; and AthletiCo, the Official Provider of Rehabilitation, Fitness and Performance for The Joffrey Ballet.

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

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