Joffrey Ballet presents Modern Masters of Dance, 2/7 18

Joffrey Ballet presents  Modern Masters  of Dance, 2/7 18 For its annual winter engagement, The Joffrey Ballet presents Modern Masters, a mixed repertory program showcasing works by ballet's most celebrated contemporary icons along with today's top emerging choreographers, including the world premiere of Beyond the Shore by Joffrey Ballet Master Nicolas Blanc, the Chicago premiere of Glass Pieces by Jerome Robbins in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Joffrey premiere of The Four Temperaments by George Balanchine, plus the return of Body of Your Dreams by Myles Thatcher. Modern Masters is presented in 10 performances only, February 7-18, 2018.

"Modern Masters is a vibrant look at ballet throughout the 20th and 21st centuries," said Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley Wheater. "From the iconic works of two ballet legends to bold new pieces from up-and-coming pioneers, we're thrilled to start the second half of our season exploring ballet's rich contemporary past side-by-side with the art form's bold future."

Created by world renowned choreographer George Balanchine, The Four Temperaments fuses classical steps with a lean, angular style. The ballet is inspired by the medieval belief that human beings are made up of four different humors that determine a person's temperament. The Four Temperaments is one of Balanchine's earliest experimental works and features a score by neo-classical composer Paul Hindemith, considered one of the greatest German composers of the 20th century. The ballet first premiered in 1946 in the opening program of Ballet Society, the direct predecessor of the New York City Ballet.

Body of Your Dreams, created by up-and-coming choreographer Myles Thatcher, is a tongue-in-cheek take on fitness, which made its world premiere at the Centro Cultural del Bosque in Mexico City as part of the 2014-2015 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. The work was first performed by the Joffrey at the David H. Koch Theater in March 2017 as part of the company's first engagement in New York City since the company moved to Chicago over 20 years ago. A contemporary work for nine dancers, Body of Your Dreams features a series of movements expressing the highs and lows of body image woven together with inventive wit, set to a score by Dutch avant-pop composer Jacob TV (aka Jacob Ter Veldhuis). A current dancer with San Francisco Ballet, Thatcher is known for melding contemporary sensibility with classical technique to resonate feeling and atmosphere. Thatcher made his Joffrey Ballet choreographic debut with the World Premiere of Passengers in September 2015.

Nicolas Blanc, current Ballet Master and Principal Coach for The Joffrey Ballet, presents the world premiere of Beyond the Shore for the company, which will take audiences through five mesmerizing worlds set to an orchestral and electronic soundscape by Mason Bates, composer-in-residence at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and former Mead Composer-in-Residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Blanc, former Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet, made his choreographic debut with the Joffrey in April 2015 with the U.S. Premiere of Evenfall. Most recently, Blanc was selected to participate in the 2015 National Choreographers Initiative as well as the New York City Ballet's New York Choreographic Institute where he created Mothership, which premiered during New York City Ballet's 2016 gala.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Jerome Robbins' birth, the Joffrey will present the Chicago premiere of Glass Pieces, a signature Robbins ballet set to three works by American minimalist composer Philip Glass. Originally premiering with New York City Ballet in 1983, Glass Pieces is a tour de force of movement and music for 42 dancers featuring urban, postmodern choreography, recurrent rhythms, shifting patterns and an energized pace to reflect the pulse of metropolitan America in the '80s. One of the great American choreographers of the 20th century, Robbins' prolific career has made a profound contribution to the ballet world in addition to renowned commercial credits as a director and choreographer for theater, movies and television, including On the Town, West Side Story, The King and I, Gypsy, Peter Pan, and Fiddler on the Roof. Even after his death in 1998, his body of work continues to be celebrated and performed by companies worldwide. In its 62-year history, The Joffrey Ballet has presented numerous works by Jerome Robbins, including The Concert, Interplay, Moves and N.Y. Export: Op. Jazz.

Tickets and Schedule

The Joffrey Ballet presents Modern Masters February 7-18, 2018; the full performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday, February 7 at 7:30pm, Friday, February 9 at 7:30pm, Saturday, February 10 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, Sunday, February 11 at 2:00pm, Thursday, February 15 at 7:30pm, Friday, February 16 at 7:30pm, Saturday, February 17 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, Sunday, February 18 at 2:00pm.

Single tickets range from $34-$159 and are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet's official Box Office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph Street, as well as the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University Box Office, by telephone 312.386.8905, or online at joffrey.org.

About The Joffrey Ballet

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 which 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 Joffrey would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the Modern Masters program: The Estate of Linda and Gary Blumenshine, The Four Temperaments Production Sponsor Patti Selander Eylar, Glass Pieces Production Sponsor the Jerome Robbins Foundation and Trust, and Beyond the Shore World Premiere Production Sponsor Nancy and Sanfred Koltun. Additional rehearsal support for Beyond the Shore was provided by a Commission Initiative Grant from the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet. Special thanks to Co-Sponsors of the 2017-2018 Season: Abbott Fund, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, NIB Foundation, Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, Season Partners: Pamella Roland and Fox Ford Lincoln, Clear Channel Airports, and JW Marriott; and Live Music Sponsor The Marina and Arnold Tatar Fund for Live Music.

For more information on The Joffrey Ballet and its programs, visit Joffrey.org. Connect with the Joffrey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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