Joffrey Academy of Dance to Present 'WINNING WORKS,' 3/1

Joffrey Academy of Dance to Present 'WINNING WORKS,' 3/1

The Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, presents the fourth annual Winning Works: Choreographers of Color Award, featuring three World Premieres by rising-star choreographers Justin Allen, Stephanie Batten Bland and Norbert De La Cruz III. The three World Premieres, along with Academy Co-Artistic Director Alexei Kremnev's restaging of Le Roi S'Amuse, are performed by the international members of the Joffrey Academy Trainee Program at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 East Randolph Drive, one night only, Saturday, March 1 at 7:00 pm.

Stefanie Batten Bland's piece Chiral, consisting of eight women and two men, is a fusion of contemporary and classical dance vocabulary exploring behavioral patterns of the body in symmetrical and non-symmetrical orders. The women in this piece switch between dancing on and off pointe, reflecting both masculine and feminine nature.

Justin Allen's Stillness in Motion was derived from the idea that even in constant movement, one can find moments of breath and stillness, and even in moments of stillness one can find continuous motion. Stillness in Motion is set to contemporary classical music by Ezio Bosso.

Norbert De La Cruz III's untitled piece, also for seven women and three men, aims to tell his own story of deeply personal relationships. The idea of "presence" versus "vanishing" guides his exploration of mistake and fear through the medium of contemporary ballet.

The Winning Works program also includes Kremnev's restaging of Le Roi S'Amuse. Set to recorded music composed by Leo Delibes and performed by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, this piece is inspired by the six ancient dances and thematic material written for the ball scene in a Comedie-Francaise production of Victor Hugo's 1882 play Le Roi S'Amuse.

"Dance remains a 'universal' language. People from all backgrounds dance, and communicate, without sharing words. Dance is a powerful bridge. With Winning Works, we celebrate all that is different and all that is universal amongst us," stated Ashley Wheater, Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director.

"Winning this award was a huge honor and one of the greatest successes of my choreographic career," said 2013 Winner William McClellan. "The dancers were a complete joy to work with and we learned and grew together through the process."

Tickets for the Winning Works: Choreographers of Color Award 2014 at the Harris Theater are $20 in advance and $23 at the door. Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting or calling the Harris Theater Box Office at 312-334-7777 or online at

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