The Joffrey Ballet's season concludes with a spring mixed repertory program of three sensual, neo-classical works in "Spring Desire," presented in ten performances only at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 East Congress Parkway, April 25 – May 6.
With this program, the Joffrey Ballet heralds the return of Edwaard Liang's 2008 world premiere, Age of Innocence. Set to the music of Philip Glass and Thomas Newman, Age of Innocence explores the uncertainty, tension and passion of human romance. Liang was inspired by the novels of Jane Austin in which individuals frequently struggle to express themselves beyond the confines of social decorum. The choreography juxtaposes nineteenth century austerity with contemporary athleticism and sensuality.
Also featured is Jerome Robbins' 1970 masterpiece In the Night. Danced to Frederick Chopin's piano nocturnes, Robbins portrays three couples whose relationships range from tender romance to stoic reserve and passionate confrontation. As the six gather for a final dance, Robbins offers a window into universal human nature.
The centerpiece of the "Spring Desire" program is a world premiere by San Francisco-based Val Caniparoli. Caniparoli's choreography is rooted in classical ballet but influenced by all forms of movement, including modern, ethnic and social dancing. His new work for the Joffrey, titled Incantations, is set to a meditative score of the same name by Russian minimalist composer Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky. The arc of the music and the ballet is continuous movement, akin to a vortex or a mantra. Underlying this spiral motion is a sense of human spirituality, mysticism and prayer. Supporting the ritual atmosphere of Incantations are set and costume designs by Sandra Woodall and lighting design by Lucy Carter, also the lighting designer for the Joffrey's U.S. Premiere of Wayne McGregor's Infra.
"The human spirit is invariably the focus of dance and the dancers of The Joffrey Ballet," said Ashley C. Wheater, Joffrey Artistic Director. "These three choreographers are able to touch audiences with vignettes drawn from the human experience. By combining their work in one program, I hope we provide a sense of the emotional range available within our art form."
About the Choreographers
Val Caniparoli, born in Renton, Washington, opted for a professional dance career after studying music and theatre at Washington State University. In 1972, he received a Ford Foundation Scholarship to attend San Francisco Ballet School and he performed with the San Francisco Opera Ballet before joining the San Francisco Ballet in 1973. He continues to choreograph for the San Francisco Ballet under Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson. He has contributed to the repertories of more than 35 dance companies worldwide, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ballet West (Resident Choreographer 1993-97), Washington Ballet, Israel Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, State Theatre Ballet of South Africa, Louisville Ballet and Tulsa Ballet, where he has been resident choreographer since 2001. His most recent ballets in 2010 were created for Milwaukee Ballet and Scottish Ballet.