Auditorium Theatre Celebrates Grand Re-Opening with Golden Celebration of Dance
On November 12, 2017, the Auditorium Theatre, The Theatre for the People, commemorates the 50th anniversary of its grand re-opening with a one-night-only mixed repertory program featuring dancers from the world's premier dance companies: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Dutch National Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, MOMIX, New York City Ballet, Parsons Dance, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and The Washington Ballet.
In 1941, the Auditorium Theatre closed its doors to the public in the wake of the Great Depression. Aside from when it was used as a servicemen's center during World War II, the theatre sat unused and in disrepair, until a 7-year-long fundraising campaign - led by Beatrice Spachner and the Auditorium Theatre Council - covered the costs of theatre renovation, culminating with a grand re-opening on October 31, 1967. That historic evening, the Auditorium Theatre hosted New York City Ballet for A Midsummer Night's Dream, starring principal dancers Edward Villella and Suzanne Farrell, who will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of the 50th anniversary celebration.
While the Auditorium Theatre has a long history of presenting dance, starting with its original opening in 1889 (including performances by Anna Pavlova and Isadora Duncan), the re-opening began an unprecedented new chapter that continues to this day. The theatre has since hosted companies including the Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and Martha Graham Dance Company, as well as many of the companies represented at A Golden Celebration of Dance.
"The Auditorium Theatre's grand re-opening 50 years ago helped usher in one of the most exciting eras of dance in Chicago," says Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, Auditorium Theatre CEO. "I am thrilled to commemorate this momentous occasion with such a special evening that will bring so much talent from around the world to our historic stage. As the Theatre for the People, this is an amazing opportunity for our patrons to experience an incredible array of top-tier performances over the course of one unforgettable night."
Dancers for the Golden Celebration performance include American Ballet Theatre principal dancers Daniil Simkin and Maria Kochetkova performing a pas de deux from Marius Petipa's Don Quixote, with Simkin also performing the solo piece Les Bourgeois by Ben Van Cauwenbergh; New York City Ballet principals Daniel Ulbricht and Megan Fairchild in a pas de deux from George Balanchine's Tarantella; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Solomon Dumas performing Robert Battle's Takademe; and The Washington Ballet principal Brooklyn Mack and Ballet Nacional de Cuba premier dancer Viengsay Valdés in a pas de deux from Petipa's Diana and Acteon. The Joffrey Ballet's Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili will perform a pas de deux, piece to be determined.
Dancers from the Dutch National Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, MOMIX, Parsons Dance, Mariinsky Ballet, and The Suzanne Farrell Ballet also will perform.
In addition, patrons will be able to experience the next generation of dance with performances by winners of major international dance competitions, including the Youth America Grand Prix.
Many of the companies whose dancers will present pieces during A Golden Celebration of Dance have a rich history with the Auditorium Theatre: American Ballet Theatre first performed at the Auditorium in 1969 and returned for many engagements, their most recent in the fall of 2014; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater began its Chicago residency with the Auditorium in 1969 and has been performing at the theatre for over 48 years; and The Joffrey Ballet began performing at the theatre in 1968 before becoming the theatre's resident company in 1995. New York City Ballet, who performed at the theatre's re-opening, first appeared on the theatre's stage in 1941. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performed at the theatre multiple times throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and returns for its first full-evening engagement in 20 years in March 2018.
The Auditorium Theatre's 2017 Annual Gala will take place immediately preceding the performance at the Standard Club. The gala includes tickets to the Golden Celebration of Dance performance. The Auditorium Theatre honors Sonia Florian of the NIB Foundation with the second annual Adler and Sullivan Award, recognizing her dedication to the arts and the Auditorium Theatre.
About the Dancers
Solomon Dumas (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater)
Solomon Dumas joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2016. He was introduced to the company through the AileyCamp program in Chicago. Dumas was a member of Ailey II before joining the main company, and has also performed with Garth Fagan Dance and Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE.
Daniil Simkin joined American Ballet Theatre as a soloist in October 2008 and became a principal dancer in December 2012. His repertoire with the company includes Basilio in Don Quixote; Franz in Coppélia; and Romeo, Mercutio, and Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet.
Maria Kochetkova joined American Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer in 2015. Her repertoire with the company includes Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, and the title role in Giselle. She also performs with the San Francisco Ballet.
Victoria Jaiani joined The Joffrey Ballet in 2003. She has danced leading roles in productions including Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, Lar Lubovitch's Othello, and Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake.
Temur Suluashvili joined The Joffrey Ballet in 2003. He has danced leading roles in productions including Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, Yuri Possokhov's Don Quixote, and Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake.
Daniel Ulbricht joined New York City Ballet in 2001 and was promoted to the role of soloist and principal dancer in May 2007. His featured roles with the company include Oberon and Puck in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Fall in Jerome Robbins' The Four Seasons; and the Jester in Peter Martins' Swan Lake.
Megan Fairchild joined New York City Ballet in 2001. She was promoted to soloist in 2004 and to principal dancer in 2005. Her featured roles with the company include the Sugarplum Fairy in George Balanchine'sThe Nutcracker, Winter in Jerome Robbins' The Four Seasons, and Aurora in Peter Martins' The Sleeping Beauty.
Brooklyn Mack (The Washington Ballet)
Brooklyn Mack joined The Washington Ballet in 2009. In 2014, he performed the role of Prince Siegfried in The Washington Ballet's Swan Lake, with Misty Copeland from ABT performing the role of Odette-Odile. He also has performed in The Washington Ballet's production of Giselle and in English National Ballet's Le Corsaire.
Viengsay Valdés (Ballet Nacional de Cuba)
Viengsay Valdés joined Ballet Nacional de Cuba in 1996 and was promoted to premier dancer in 2001. She starred in Ballet Nacional de Cuba productions of Giselle, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and many more. In 2009, Valdés was a guest artist with The Washington Ballet.
Sunday, November 12 | 7:30PM
Tickets start at $41 and will be available online at AuditoriumTheatre.org, by phone at 312.341.2300, or in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office (50 E Congress Parkway) on July 28 at 10AM. A Golden Celebration of Dance is part of the International Dance Series, which offers a 30% discounted subscription. The evening may also be added to the Select Your Own subscription, discounted at 20-25%. Discounts available for groups of 10+.
Auditorium Theatre's 2017-18 Season Upcoming Performances
August 19: Dance for Life
September 23-24: Shen Wei Dance Arts
October 6: Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater
November 12: A Golden Celebration of Dance
November 17: Ella & Lena: The Ladies and Their Music
About The Auditorium Theatre
The Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E Congress Pkwy in Chicago, is an Illinois, not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community, and educational programming to all of Chicago and beyond as "The Theatre for the People." The organization also is committed to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark.
The Auditorium Theatre 2017-18 Season is made possible in part with support from the MacArthur Foundation and the Palmer House Hilton. For more information about programming, volunteer, and donor opportunities or theatre tours, call 312.341.2310 or visit AuditoriumTheatre.org. For a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please click here.
Historic Auditorium Theatre photo, courtesy of the Auditorium Theatre. | Historic Auditorium Theatre photo, courtesy of the Auditorium Theatre. | Viengsay Valdés, photo by Jacques Moatti. | Solomon Dumas, photo by Paul Kolnik. |Auditorium Theatre, photo by Carlos Rosas.