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Joffrey Ballet's WINNING WORKS: CHOREOGRAPHERS OF COLOR AWARDS 2014 Set for Tonight

Joffrey Ballet's WINNING WORKS: CHOREOGRAPHERS OF COLOR AWARDS 2014 Set for Tonight

The upcoming performance of Winning Works: Choreographers of Color Award by The Joffrey Academy of Dance has changed venues due to last week's electrical fire at the Harris Theater, an event unrelated to the Winning Works production. The production will now take place at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut Street, and the date and time of the performance remain unchanged, which is tonight, March 1 at 7:00 pm. Winning Works ticket holders will be notified by the Joffrey Ballet box office staff about the change of venue.

This is the fourth annual presentation of Winning Works: Choreographers of Color Award by The Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet. The program features three World Premieres by rising-star choreographers Justin Allen, Stephanie Batten Blandand Norbert De La Cruz III, along with Academy Co-Artistic Director Alexei Kremnev's restaging of Le Roi S'Amuse. All four works areperformed by the international members of the Joffrey Academy Trainee Program.

Stefanie Batten Bland's piece Chiral, consisting of eight women and two men set to music by Nils Frahm, 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 Interconnect is derived from the idea of finding the connection between both the choreography and the music. The steps themselves are an exact reflection of the music and Allen's intention is for the audience to see exactly what they are listening to. Interconnect is danced by seven women and three men to contemporary classical music by Ezio Bosso.

Norbert De La Cruz III's Kuya, for seven women and four 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. Kuya is set to an original score composed by Kevin Keller.

Kremnev's restaging of Le Roi S'Amuse is set to recorded music composed by Leo Delibes and performed by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. The 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 Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut Street are $20 in advance and $23 at the door. Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting http://winningworks.eventbrite.com.

Stefanie Batten Bland adds to Mary Batten and Ed Bland's artistic legacy of writing and music with her own layer of dance. She has been recognized as a 2010-12 Baryshnikov Arts Center Artist in Residence and a Jerome Robbins "NEW Fellow," and a 2011-12 Cambridge Who's Who of Professionals and Entrepreneurs. Bland has danced for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Pal Frenak, Georges Momboye, Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal, Lar Lubovitch, Julie Taymor and Angelin Preljocaj, among others. She created Company Stefanie Batten Bland in 2008 in France so that she might better investigate the human condition and our relationship within the natural world. Her works are based in dance, with a strong instillation component which allows futuristic worlds to take place in space and time. The troupe has performed live and via dance cinema, throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the States. Bland has also set pieces on Ailey ll, Danceland of Singapore, Zenon Dance Company of Minneapolis and is currently guest choreographer for Transitions Dance Company of London.

Justin Allen was born in Baltimore, Maryland and began his dance training at the Baltimore School for the Arts. In 2004, he began his training at The Rock School for Dance Education and completed his education in the Rock Academics Program Alliance. From 2004-2008, he spent his summers training with the Miami City Ballet School. In 2008, Allen received his first opportunity to dance as a professional guest artist with The Dayton Ballet, which led to him receiving his first professional contract. In 2009, Allen joined The Ballet Theatre of Maryland where he performed as a soloist and in 2010 he became full time faculty and a choreographer at The Rock School.


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