Joffrey Ballet Season Features 'Stories in Motion' & Two Repertory Favorites to Celebrate 20th Year, 9/18
CHICAGO (August 11, 2014) - The Joffrey Ballet celebrates its 20th anniversary of calling Chicago home in the 2014-15 season. Artistic Director Ashley Wheater opens the season with "Stories in Motion," a special one-weekend-only addition to the Joffrey's usual three-program subscription season. This program, exploring the concept of "story ballet" with works that each tell a story in a freshly conceived way, features the return of two Joffrey repertory favorites, George Balanchine's Prodigal Son and Antony Tudor's Lilac Garden, along with the Joffrey/Chicago Premiere of Yuri Possokhov's Asian-themed RAkU. The Joffrey presents "Stories in Motion" in five performances only at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 East Congress Parkway, September 18 - 21.
"With 'Stories in Motion,' The Joffrey Ballet explores the ways by which stories are told with physical movement and music," said Wheater. "We tend to think of only full-length ballets as our narrative food, so I wanted to focus on telling a complete story in a very short space of time. We present three very distinct narrative works and hope to show that the language of dance is as expressive and nuanced as the spoken or written word. As with all great stories, human nature is the source of these ballets. Emotions are rendered through movement without words...love, longing, passion, jealousy, sorrow, revenge and forgiveness."
Prodigal Son, not performed by the Joffrey since 2000, was one of the first Balanchine ballets to achieve an international reputation. Originally premiered in 1929 and set to music by Sergei Prokofiev, it is the dramatic story of the son who flees his family, seeking adventure but falling into sin, and his eventual return and redemption, based on a parable according to the Gospel of St. Luke. Wheater makes a rare return to the stage portraying the Father. Learn more about choreographer George Balanchine here.
Lilac Garden, set to Ernest Chausson's Poeme for violin and orchestra, premiered in 1936 and is an intimate work that showed Tudor's increasing interest in revealing psychological motivation through choreography - his first "psychological ballet." A glorious Victorian melodrama, it is a story of a young woman who must say farewell to her lover on the eve of her arranged marriage to a man she does not love. It was last performed by The Joffrey Ballet in 2008. Learn more about choreographer Antony Tudor here.