Gerald Arpino Foundation Announces The Joffrey/Arpino Celebration

Gerald Arpino Foundation Announces The Joffrey/Arpino Celebration

Gerald Arpino Foundation Announces The Joffrey/Arpino Celebration

The Gerald Arpino Foundation announces The Joffrey/Arpino Celebration, to be held beginning in 2018, the 10th anniversary of Gerald Arpino's passing and the 30th anniversary of Robert Joffrey's passing. The Foundation is honoring these two influential innovators in American dance by organizing performances of their works by renowned companies across the nation and internationally.

Participating companies during the upcoming season include:

The Joffrey Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Ballet San Antonio, Ballet West, BYU Theatre Ballet at Brigham Young University, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Dimensions Dance Theatre, Dance Now Miami, Eglevsky Ballet, Eugene Ballet, Fort Wayne Ballet, Franklin School for the Performing Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, New York Dance Project, Oklahoma City Ballet, The Joffrey Academy, Joffrey Workshop Texas, University of Cincinnati, and Wayne State University, among others yet to be announced.

"The mission of The Gerald Arpino Foundation is to honor and promote the legacies of Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino. The board is very proud of its work toward that end and our growth over the last ten years. The Joffrey/Arpino repertory is a unique American dance treasure and we look forward to the many performances of these ballets by wonderful companies across the nation and world, in celebration of the Joffrey/Arpino legacy," said Charthel Arthur, Executive Director, The Gerald Arpino Foundation.

A highlight of the celebration will take place at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi from June 9-23, 2018. This year's competition honors Robert Joffrey, the IBC's first jury chair, and USAIBC has invited the Foundation to participate in activities pertaining to Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino. The Joffrey Ballet will also be participating in the festivities and will perform Arpino's Round of Angels.

"Robert Joffrey will forever be part of the USA IBC story as he was here in the beginning-working with Thalia Mara, our founder, to establish the first international ballet competition in America in Jackson, Mississippi," said Mona Nicholas, executive director of the USA International Ballet Competition. "As jury chairman for the first three USA IBCs, Joffrey had immeasurable impact. Thirty years following his death, we still cherish his contributions. To honor his creative spirit in Jackson this June, the 11th USA IBC proudly presents a lecture by the Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation, a master class taught in Joffrey's teaching style, and a performance of Arpino's Round of Angels by Joffrey Ballet dancers, under the artistic direction of Ashley Wheater, who is also a member of the 2018 USA IBC Jury."<

To view some of the many ballets of Arpino and Joffrey, please visit

For this special celebration, performances scheduled to be presented during 2018-2019 Seasons will receive a very significant reduction in the licensing fee. The Gerald Arpino Foundation hopes organizations will take this opportunity to be a part of this important event.

Robert Joffrey was born in Seattle, Washington, and met Gerald Arpino, a Staten Island native, while he was stationed in Seattle with the Coast Guard. They studied dance with Mary Ann Wells, danced with Graham dancers May O'Donnell and Gertrude Shurr, and studied at the School of American Ballet. Joffrey also performed as a soloist with Roland Petit's Ballet de Paris.

In 1953 Joffrey and Arpino founded the American Ballet Center (Joffrey Ballet School) in Greenwich Village. In 1956, their first company, the Robert Joffrey Theatre Dancers, began with six dancers (including Arpino) in a station wagon travelling across America, inaugurating their unique brand of American ballet. Soon the Joffrey Ballet, with its cutting-edge repertory and meticulously reconstructed historical ballets such as Kurt Jooss' The Green Table and Leonide Massine's Parade, became a world-renown company. While restaging important 20th century works by Frederick Ashton, John Cranko, and others, both Joffrey and Arpino were also acclaimed and sometimes controversial choreographers (for example, Joffrey's Astarte and Arpino's Trinity). Taking risks with new commissions, the Joffrey continued to break barriers between high and popular culture, performed at the White House for several Presidents, and toured the world.

In 1988, Joffrey passed away and Arpino became Artistic Director, moving the company from New York City to Chicago in 1995. After establishing the company in its new home, Arpino created The Gerald Arpino Foundation to preserve his and Robert Joffrey's ballets and legacy. Since Arpino's passing in 2008, the Joffrey has been under the able leadership of Ashley Wheater, continuing to flourish as a beloved Chicago institution.

The Gerald Arpino Foundation is committed to preserving and promoting the choreographic works of Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey while maintaining the integrity of the works through the highest level of artistic excellence.