The Joyce Presents The Joffrey Ballet in Long-Awaited NYC Return

The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc. (Linda Shelton, Executive Director), will present the long-awaited NYC return of one of the world's most renowned ballet companies, The Joffrey Ballet, performing the New York premiere of its critically acclaimed production of Krzysztof Pastor's majestic Romeo & Juliet at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater from March 29 - April 2. This engagement, the first time the Entire company will perform in New York City in over 20 years, will include a special gala performance of mixed repertory on Thursday, March 30. Tickets for The Joyce Theater Foundation's presentation of The Joffrey Ballet's Romeo & Juliet can be purchased online at or by calling (212) 496-0600.

Linda Shelton, Executive Director of The Joyce Theater Foundation, said today, "It has been a personal wish of mine to bring The Joffrey Ballet back to the New York City stage. I am proud to announce the Joyce Theater Foundation's presentation of the Joffrey's beautiful retelling of the timeless classic, Romeo & Juliet, at Lincoln Center this spring."

Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, Ashley Wheater, added, "Though The Joffrey Ballet once made its home in New York City, it has been many years since we have performed in Manhattan. During that time, exciting things have been happening at the Joffrey. We are excited to bring Krzysztof Pastor's Romeo and Juliet and a program of repertory work to the New York audience. We are grateful to The Joyce Theater Foundation for making possible our return."

Under the artistic direction of Ashley Wheater, The Joffrey Ballet recently celebrated its 61st Anniversary since its 1956 founding by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino in NYC. Twenty-one years ago, the company made a surprise exit from NYC, moving to Chicago, where it has been based ever since. This Joyce Theater Foundation presentation marks the Joffrey's triumphant homecoming offering audiences the opportunity to see the entire spectacular company perform its glorious retelling of William Shakespeare's most heart-wrenching love story, Romeo & Juliet, choreographed by celebrated Krzysztof Pastor, of the Polish National Ballet. Romeo & Juliet will be accompanied by The Joffrey Ballet Orchestra: Members of the Chicago Philharmonic and presented at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center March 29 & 31, and April 1 & 2.

A special Gala performance of mixed repertory will take place on Thursday, March 30. This benefit for The Joyce Theater Foundation will include the New York premieres of Bells by Yuri Possokhov and Body of Your Dreams by Myles Thatcher. Christopher Wheeldon's Fool's Paradise completes the evening's program.

The Joyce Theater Foundation's presentation of The Joffrey Ballet continues its ongoing presence at Lincoln Center. Since April 2012, The Joyce has successfully presented seven engagements at the David H. Koch Theater. The previous presentations consisted of Sylvie Guillem's 6000 miles away in 2012, followed by Nederlands Dans Theater in 2013. The Royal Ballet's return to NYC and the 50th Anniversary Tour of Twyla Tharp in 2015, and last spring's extraordinary run of Miami City Ballet. With these ongoing presentations, The Joyce proudly ensures that New York City continues to offer a diverse roster of outstanding large-scale dance productions while increasing the organization's capacity to engage new audiences.


Romeo & Juliet

By Krzysztof Pastor

March 29 & 31, and April 1 & 2, 2017

Surrender to Pastor's critically acclaimed reimagining of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers as they fight against a 20th-century Italian society awash in political strife and war. Blurring the lines of dance and violence, this is impossible love at its most defiant. A ballet in three acts, this contemporary rendition of Shakespeare's classic tale uses a multimedia video backdrop to depict three different political eras of the 20th century. Throughout each time period, the timeless tale of love and loss unfolds to the darkly intense score by Sergei Prokofiev.

The ballet opens with imagery of Italy in the 1930's, the time of Mussolini and the rise of Fascism. The Capulet family represents the upper class conservatives with stiff, militaristic movement, while the Montagues represent the liberal low and middle classes, danced with loose, flowing motions laced with pedestrian naturalism. The second act shifts to the 1950's, the rise of the Red Brigade and increased political terrorism, a fitting scene for the tensions blocking Romeo and Juliet's passionate romance. The third act, closer to the 1990's during Berlusconi's leadership and increasing social divisions, escalates the conflict toward the story's tragic conclusion.

Pastor's counterpoint of the star-crossed lovers and real world politics heightens the universal plight - applicable to lovers from any conflicting background, political, ethnic, religious or otherwise - and amplifies the metaphor of a group sacrificing its individuals for the sake of divisive politics. Bravura dancing, touching lyricism and epic storytelling unite in this rendering of ill-fated true love.


March 30, 2017

Bells, Yuri Possokhov's first choreographed work for The Joffrey Ballet, premiered in Chicago in 2011. Set to seven piano compositions (one repeated at the end) by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Bells is a spirited, dynamic work influenced by the W.H. Auden quote: "Each lover has a theory of his own, about the difference between the ache of being with his love and being alone."

Fool's Paradise blends classical technique with a modern sensibility in choreography of great beauty. Bathed in warm light, the dancers move through solos, duets and trios, occasionally settling into still, sculptural tableaux. The work, by Christopher Wheeldon, contains a moving pas de deux and builds to a spectacular arrangement for the whole ensemble, as gold petals shower down on the stage.

Body of Your Dreams is a tongue-in-cheek take on fitness and body image created by San Francisco Ballet dancer Myles Thatcher as part of the 2014-2015 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Thatcher creates ballets that resonate with feeling and atmosphere.


Krzysztof Pastor (Choreographer of Romeo & Juliet ) began his ballet training with the Polish National Ballet School in his hometown of Gdansk. After his training he joined the Polish Dance Theatre in Poznan and four years later he moved to the Grand Theatre of Lodz. In 1983 Pastor became a soloist with Le Ballet de l'Opéra of Lyon in France, dancing ballets by Gray Veredon, Hans van Manen, Kurt Joss and others. From 1985 to 1995, he danced with the Dutch National Ballet. He completed his first choreographic work in 1986 for an international gala performance in Lodz. After creating several ballets for the Dutch National Ballet's workshop programs, in 1992 he was asked to make a ballet for the company's main program: the successful Shostakovich Chamber Symphony. Pastor has since gained considerable recognition as an international choreographer, creating nearly fifty ballets to date. In 2003, Pastor was appointed resident choreographer of the Dutch National Ballet. In this capacity, he created Si después de morir, the festive Voice which premiered at the Holland Festival 2004, Don Giovanni as well as Crossing Paths, Suite for Two and Visions at Dusk. Alongside his work for the Dutch National Ballet, Pastor created ballets for many companies abroad such as the National Ballet of Lithuania, The Washington Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, The National Ballet of Latvia, the Polish National Ballet, Ballet Opera Dresden, The Israel Ballet, the Royal Flemish Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Ankara State Ballet The Scottish Ballet, and the Australian Ballet. In 2009 Pastor was appointed as director of the Polish National Ballet. Meanwhile he continues as a resident choreographer of the Dutch National Ballet.

Yuri Possokhov (Choreographer of Bells). After receiving his dance training at the Moscow Ballet School, Yuri Possokhov danced with the Bolshoi Ballet for ten years, during which time he was promoted through the ranks to principal dancer. In 1992, he joined the Royal Danish Ballet as a principal dancer. In 1999, Possokhov organized and performed in a Russian tour entitled Ballet Beyond Borders. Following his retirement as a principal dancer from the Company, Possokhov was named Choreographer in Residence in May 2006. His final engagement with the Company as a principal dancer was on tour to New York's Lincoln Center Festival in summer 2006. As a choreographer, Possokhov's credits include Songs of Spain, choreographed in 1997 for dancer Muriel Maffre; A Duet for Two, created the same year for Joanna Berman; and Impromptu Scriabin, for Felipe Diaz. In 2000, he completed a new work for a dancer at the Mariinsky Ballet, as well as 5 Mazurkas for the Marin Dance Theatre. In 2004, Possokhov's Firebird premiered at Oregon Ballet Theatre, and the following year, he created another work for the Company. In February 2006, the Bolshoi Ballet premiered his Cinderella and in February 2008, The Georgia State Ballet gave the American premiere of Possokhov's one-act work, Sagalobeli. Possokhov returned to work with the Bolshoi Ballet in 2015, creating Hero of Our Time, a full-length ballet based on the famous novel written by Mikhail Lermontov. In addition to Bells, Possokhov has choreographed Adagio, and Don Quixote for The Joffrey Ballet.

Myles Thatcher (Choreographer of Body of Your Dreams). Myles Thatcher trained at The Harid Conservatory, Ellison Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet School prior to being named an apprentice with San Francisco Ballet (SFB) in 2009. He was then accepted into the corps de ballet in 2010, where he still dances. Mr. Thatcher was commissioned by SFB Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson to create a new ballet, Manifesto, for SFB's 2015 Repertory Season. He choreographed In the Passerine's Clutch for the SFB 2013 Repertory Season Gala and, for the SFB School Showcase, Timepiece, Spinae, Stone and Steel, and Spectrum in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively. In 2014, he was chosen by Alexei Ratmansky to participate in the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative, where he was able to study closely with Mr. Ratmansky for the year-long program.

Christopher Wheeldon (Choreographer of Fool's Paradise) is Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet School and danced with the Company 1991-93. For The Royal Ballet, he has choreographed Tryst, DGV: Danse à grande vitesse, Electric Counterpoint, 'Trespass' (Metamorphosis: Titian 2012, in collaboration with Alastair Marriott), Aeternum (Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production), Strapless, and the three-act ballets Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter's Tale. Works of his performed by The Royal Ballet and originally created for other companies include After the Rain and Within the Golden Hour. Wheeldon was born in Yeovil, England and trained at The Royal Ballet School. In 1991, he won gold medal at the Prix de Lausanne with a solo of his own creation and that year entered The Royal Ballet, where Kenneth MacMillan encouraged him in his choreographic work. In 1993, Wheeldon joined New York City Ballet (NYCB), promoted to soloist in 1998. He created his first work for NYCB, Slavonic Dances, in 1997 and became the company's first Resident Choreographer in 2001. Works for NYCB include Polyphonia (London Critics' Circle Award and Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production) and The Nightingale and the Rose. Wheeldon regularly choreographs for leading international companies, including Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet. In 2007, he founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and became the first British choreographer to create a new work for the Bolshoi Ballet. In 2012, he collaborated with Marriott on the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games. His awards include the Tony Award for Best Choreography (An American in Paris). He was made an OBE in 2016, and that year was artistic director for Les Arts Décoratifs' Fashion Forward exhibition.

Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its company, audiences, and repertoire that includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces, and contemporary works. The Company's commitment to accessibility is met through an extensive touring schedule, an innovative and highly effective education program including the much lauded Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations. Founded by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey in 1956, guided by celebrated choreographer Gerald Arpino from 1988 until 2007, The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under internationally renowned Artistic Director Ashley Wheater and Executive Director Greg Cameron.

The Joyce Theater Foundation (The Joyce), a nonprofit organization, has proudly served the dance community for over three decades. Under the direction of founders Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, Ballet Tech Foundation acquired and The Joyce renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea. Opening as The Joyce Theater in 1982, it was named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz. It was LuEsther's clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to build the theater. Ownership was secured by The Joyce in 2015. The theater is one of the only theaters built by dancers for dance and has provided an intimate and elegant home for over 385 U.S.-based and international companies. The Joyce has also presented dance at Lincoln Center since 2012, and launched Joyce Unleashed in 2014 to feature emerging and experimental artists. To further support the creation of new work, The Joyce maintains longstanding commissioning and residency programs. Local students and teachers (K-12th grade) benefit from its school program, and family and adult audiences get closer to dance with access to artists. The Joyce's annual season of about 48 weeks of dance now includes over 340 performances for audiences in excess of 150,000.

The Joyce Theater presents the highly anticipated, long-overdue NYC return of The Joffrey Ballet, after a 21-year absence, performing its acclaimed production of Krzysztof Pastor's Romeo & Juliet at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater from March 29 - April 2. The production runs approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes, including one intermission. Please note: the engagement will include a special mixed repertory Gala performance on Thursday, March 30 at 7:00pm.

Tickets, ranging in price from $55-$155, can be purchased through or by calling (212) 496-0600. Please note: ticket prices are subject to change. For more information, please visit

Photo credit: Cheryl Mann

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Never Miss a Story
Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram