If you want to see the Joffrey Ballet’s first program in its 60th anniversary season, get your tickets now, because Millennials is here for five performances only, Friday, September 18 – Sunday, September 20, 2015.
The program features the Chicago premiere of Tony Award™ winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s Fool’s Paradise and World premieres from two of the country’s new generation of choreographic talents, Myles Thatcher’s Passengers and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Mammatus.
One of the more interesting aspects of The Joffrey Ballet is its willingness to push the boundaries and redefine the traditional definition of ballet. According to Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley Wheater, “Millennials provides a vibrant look at innovation in dance today by three extremely talented young artists. We are honored to bring their visions to the stage as we open our 60th anniversary season.” He adds that each choreographer “works with a contemporary language to reach today’s audiences. It is essential that we provide these new voices a platform to explore a modern ballet idiom. Whether you are a novice to dance or a dance aficionado, Millennials offers many points of access. I am proud to share this exciting work with our audience.”
Dancer-turned-choreographer Lopez Ochoa, known for her close collaborations with dancers and a fierce improvisational talent, has choreographed critically acclaimed works for numerous dance companies across the nation and around the world. For The Joffrey Ballet, Lopez Ochoa has created a powerful abstract piece entitled Mammatus featuring 20 dancers in a series of ensembles and duets set to contemporary composer Michael Gordon’s Weather One. A minimalist stage, equipped with tree branches lit up with LED lights (which looks like lightning), sets the scene for Mammatus while dancers represent surreal insects and birds through sinuous and organic movements to explore the nonlinear essence of nature. Mammatus is a high energy, very modern dance with a seamless interplay between the dancers, the music, and the special effects.
Myles Thatcher, currently a dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, premieres his new piece, Passengers (the first he has created for The Joffrey Ballet), which is choreographed to sections of The Four Sections and Triple Quartet by minimalist pioneer Steve Reich. Set in a train station, Thatcher’s narrative work mixes contemporary abstraction with ballet’s classical vocabulary to explore the depths of transition, vulnerability and relationships through the comings and goings of nine dancers. Passengers is a poignant, wordless story beautifully told through dance.
Following the triumphant success of the Joffrey premiere of his reimagined Swan Lake, and on the heels of his Tony Award for Best Choreography for the Broadway hit, An American in Paris, Wheeldon returns with the Chicago Premiere of Fool’s Paradise. Set to a commissioned score by Joby Talbot, this abstract ballet for nine dancers moves through solos, duets and trios in a grand display of beauty and strength as the dancers’ bodies form a series of living sculptures while falling shimmering petals shower the stage. Both beautifully painful and emotionally intense, Fool’s Paradise reveals a deep connection between the dancers that leaves the audiences to discover its meaning and effect. The slower pace of Fool’s Paradise allows the audience to see the fluidity and intricacy of the beautifully symmetrical movements.
Millennials will be at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University through this Sunday only, September 20, 2015. The theater is located at 50 East Congress Parkway in Chicago.
The performance schedule is as follows: Friday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, September 19 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, September 20 at 2:00 p.m.
Single tickets, priced from $32 to $155, can be purchased online at http://joffrey.org/millennials, in the lobby of Joffrey Tower (10 E. Randolph St.), at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office, at any Ticketmaster Ticket Center, or by phone at 800-932-2787.
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