Ashley C. Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, is proud to announce the company's 2011-2012 season, titled New Generation, which will launch with a Joffrey Premiere, the evening-length Don Quixote by Yuri Possokhov, October 12 - 23, 2011, followed by the timeless holiday classic, Robert Joffrey's The Nutcracker, December 8 - 27, 2011. In the new year, The Joffrey will present two mixed repertory programs, first featuring the U.S. Premiere of Wayne McGregor's Infra along with the Joffrey Premiere of William Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, February 15 - 26, 2012. The spring mixed rep program will feature a World Premiere by Val Caniparoli along with the return of Edwaard Liang's Age of Innocence and Jerome Robbins' In the Night, April 25 - May 6, 2012.
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 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.
"The Joffrey Ballet has always embraced the challenge of honoring the past while looking towards the future," said Wheater. "While respecting our heritage, The Joffrey Ballet celebrates a new generation. I love the phrase 'new generation,' with its reference to both 'time' and 'creation.' Ours is a rich world, and the Joffrey thrives by exploring its many frontiers."
The Joffrey Ballet's 2011-2012 season launches with Yuri Possokhov's story-ballet Don Quixote. Marius Petipa staged Don Quixote in 1869 for the Bolshoi Ballet of Russia, based on the novel The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, and Possokhov, a former Bolshoi principle dancer, performed Petipa's ballet many times. In 2007 Possokhov and Helgi Tomasson, Artistic Director of the San Francisco Ballet, staged a new version seeking to imbue it with more authentic Spanish flavor. A bright and humorous piece, the plot revolves around a poor barber, Basilio, an innkeeper's daughter, Kitri, and Don Quixote, an aging nobleman who imagines himself a valiant knight off to rescue the damsel Dulcinea along with his trusty sidekick Sancho Panzo. Set to a score by Ludwig Minkus and complete with matadors and gypsies, this lighthearted ballet is full of themes of rivalry, bravery, fantasy and love. The Joffrey will perform Possokhov's Don Quixote October 12 - 23, 2011.
Robert Joffrey's The Nutcracker, Chicago's most popular holiday tradition and America's #1 Nutcracker, returns to transform the Auditorium Theatre into a winter wonderland filled with magical presents, waltzing flowers and exotic sweets. Accompanied by the Tchaikovsky masterpiece, the full Joffrey company will once again be joined on stage by local children's choruses and 120 young dancers from Chicago and beyond. Robert Joffrey's The Nutcracker will be presented in 20 performances, December 8 - 27, 2011.
For its winter engagement, The Joffrey Ballet will present Beyond the Threshold, a mixed repertory program of contemporary ballet. The lineup will feature the U.S. Premiere of Wayne McGregor's Infra, also a company premiere for The Joffrey. Originally created in 2008 for The Royal Ballet in London with music by Max Richter, the set includes a 59-foot LED screen displaying animations designed by British artist Julian Opie. Below the screen the dancers display McGregor's signature combination of technical complexity and exaggerated flexibility, coupled with intimate episodes with even some literal dramatic gestures. The winter program will also feature the Joffrey Premiere of William Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, which originally premiered on the Paris Opera Ballet in 1987. With music by Thom Willems in collaboration with Leslie Stuck, In the Middle is a purely abstract work that combines classical ballet lines with contemporary, rapid-fire virtuosity and a coolly impersonal sensibility. The winter program, Beyond the Threshold, will run February 15 - 26, 2012.
The New Generation season will conclude with a spring mixed repertory program titled Attractions, featuring a World Premiere by Val Caniparoli. A highly sought-after choreographer due to his unique versatility, Washington-born Caniparoli has contributed to the repertories of more than 35 different dance companies. His work is rooted in classicism but influenced by all forms of movement, including modern dance, ethnic dance, social dancing and even ice-skating. The Attractions program will also see the return of Edwaard Liang's critically acclaimed 2008 work for The Joffrey Ballet, Age of Innocence. With a score by Philip Glass and Thomas Newman, Age of Innocence was inspired by the novels of Jane Austin and her frequent themes of social oppression and the enduring strength of the human spirit. The choreography blends a nineteenth century austerity with a contemporary athleticism and sensuality. Also returning to the Joffrey stage will be Jerome Robbins' poetic In the Night, a series of three romantic pas de deux all set to music by Chopin. The spring program will be presented April 25 - May 6, 2012.
Three-program subscriptions, which do not include The Nutcracker, start at $75. Subscriptions will be available for purchase on March 1, 2011 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Single tickets, priced from $25 to $145, will be available for purchase on August 1, 2011 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 www.ticketmaster.com.
The Joffrey Ballet is grateful for the 2011-2012 Season Sponsors and Partners. With special thanks to Abbott Fund and NIB Foundation, co-sponsors of the New Generation Season; UBS, Live Music Sponsor; United Airlines, Official & Exclusive Airline; Weiss Memorial Hospital, Official Healthcare Provider; AthletiCo, Official Provider of Rehabilitation, Fitness and Performance; and MAC, Official Cosmetic Sponsor. The Joffrey also acknowledges the New Generation Season Partners, including Groupon and Whole Foods Market.
For more information about The Joffrey Ballet and Current Productions please call 312-739-0120 or visit joffrey.org.