Joffrey Ballet's WINNING WORKS: CHOREOGRAPHERS OF COLOR AWARDS 2014 Changes Venue; Set for 3/1

Joffrey Ballet's WINNING WORKS: CHOREOGRAPHERS OF COLOR AWARDS 2014 Changes Venue; Set for 3/1

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 Saturday, 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.

Norbert De La Cruz III was born in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines and raised in Los Angeles, California. He began his artistic journey at 13 years of age by training at the Gabriella Foundation in LA, The LA County High School for the Arts, ABT NYC, San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Lines Ballet, NWPDP, NDT Summer Course. De la Cruz graduated from The Juilliard School in 2010 with a BFA in dance. Upon graduation, he balanced a career as a professional dancer, photographer, and emerging choreographer. De La Cruz has danced professionally as a soloist with the Metropolitan Opera House, Aszure Barton & Artists, Jchen Project, Balletto Teatro di Torino (Italy), Gallim, Sydney Skybetter & Associates, Lustig Dance Theatre, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. He has performed works by some of our world's most current and historically renowned teachers and choreographers including Jose Limon, David Parker, Adam Hougland, Johannes Wieland, Ohad Naharin, Aszure Barton, Jerome Robbins, Larry Keigwin, Jeremy McQueen, Jessica Chen, Dwight Rhoden, Desmond Richardson, Lightfoot & Leon, Crystal Pite, Alonzo King, and Jiri Kylian.

De La Cruz was awarded the 2012 Jerome Robbins Foundation's NEW Essential Works Grant - commissioning his first ballet with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB). He was also the 2012-2013 finalist winner of Hubbard Street 2's National Choreographic Competition and received the 2012 Princess Grace Foundation Award Fellowship under choreography - granting his second creation for ASFB. As a result, he received the 2013-2014 Alvin Ailey New Directions Choreography Lab under the mentorship of Igal Perry and guidance and host of Robert Battle. He continues to pursue his passion in choreography and movement and thrives to continue dancing with a high emphasis on his artistry as a means to manifest progressive change in the dance world.

Alexei Kremnev began his career in Moscow at the world famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy (Degree of Ballet Artist), the Russian Academy of Theatrical Art (GITIS), and the Moscow State Academy of Choreography (Degree in Pedagogy and Choreography). He was the recipient of the Leonide Massine Award and the Bronze Medal during 1992 International Diaghilev Competition in Moscow. He also claimed an honorable diploma in 1996 at the Nureyev International Ballet Competition as well as the 1996 Lifar International Ballet Competition. In 2001, Kremnev was recognized as one of the Most Influential People in the Arts in Cincinnati and has been praised for his extraordinary ability to work with a young generation of dancers, as well as for his original and creative choreography. In 2011, he was elected to the Advisory Board on Russia and Eastern Europe for Illinois Senator, Mark Kirk. In 2004-2006, Kremnev's choreography was presented at the legendary Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and he received the Outstanding Choreographer Award at Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) in 2006, 2007 and 2009. As Artistic Director, Kremnev led Southold Dance Theater to become the Outstanding School at YAGP in 2008. He has performed, choreographed and taught internationally with the Moscow Festival Ballet (Russian National Ballet), England's Northern Ballet Theatre, Bolshoi Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, BalletMet, Tulsa Ballet and the Russian and European Stars of the Ballet. Under his current leadership as Academy Artistic Director, the Joffrey Academy of Dance was named Outstanding School of 2010 and 2012 by YAGP.

The Joffrey Academy Trainee Program is a one to two year program for students ages 17 and older who are preparing for a professional dance career. Students are selected to participate in the Trainee Program by invitation from The Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director, Ashley C. Wheater, and Academy Artistic Directors, Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik. The Trainee Program is a rigorous program in which students train in ballet and other dance disciplines. Graduates from this program have been accepted into ballet companies around the world, including The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Staatsoper Berlin, Dresden Semperoper, New York City Ballet, Estonian National Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Complexions, Cincinnati Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Atlanta Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Memphis Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Texas Ballet Theatre, BalletMet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Pittsburg Ballet Theatre, Polish National Ballet, Slovak National Ballet, Ballet West and more. Trainees rehearse and perform classical and contemporary works from The Joffrey Ballet's extensive repertoire and have the opportunity to work with world-renowned guest choreographers.

Trainees rehearse and perform classical and contemporary works from The Joffrey Ballet's extensive repertoire and have the opportunity to work with world-renowned guest choreographers. For more information on the Academy Trainees of the Joffrey Ballet, or other programs at the Academy of Dance, Official School of the Joffrey Ballet, visit joffrey.org/academy.