Joffrey Ballet to Open Season with Christopher Wheeldon's SWAN LAKE

Joffrey Ballet to Open Season with Christopher Wheeldon's SWAN LAKE

On the heels of the highest grossing season in its history, The Joffrey Ballet opens 2018-2019 with the much-anticipated return of Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake, which became an audience-favorite when it premiered in Chicago in 2014. Danced to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's classic score and performed live by the Chicago Philharmonic, Swan Lake is presented at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway in 10 performances only, October 17-28, 2018.

"Christopher is one of the most influential choreographers of our generation," said Ashley Wheater, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of the Joffrey. "Performing his full-length ballets with regularity is a privilege, especially one as exquisite as Swan Lake. This is one of the most Popular Productions we have ever mounted, and we are thrilled to bring it back after five years for another run in Chicago."

Wheeldon's stunning re-telling of this classic tale returns for the first time since its Chicago premiere with the Joffrey in 2014. It was an instant success and went on to become one of the Joffrey's best-selling productions ever.

A ballet in four acts, Wheeldon's modern re-telling transports one of ballet's most famous works to the studios of the Paris Opera during the 19th century, the same era Tchaikovsky composed Swan Lake in Moscow and when a young impressionist named Edgar Degas was on the rise in Paris. The story begins as the dancers of the world's most famed ballet company prepare for opening night. Inspired by the paintings of Degas, this opulent production follows Siegfried, a leading dancer who falls in love with his beautiful partner. When a wicked arts patron threatens to spoil their love, Siegfried is thrust into a world of mystery and wonder, as the line between reality and fantasy suddenly blurs together in unexpected ways.

Set to Tchaikovsky's timeless score, with lavish costumes by Jean-Marc Puissant and scenic design by Adrianne Lobel, Wheeldon's "ballet within a ballet" brings to life Paris' bohemian fervor of the era while staying true to the classical elements of Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa's original choreography. Throughout the production, Wheeldon plays with themes of fantasy, illusion and transformation, juxtaposing both time, setting and characters to reveal a new way to see this classic fairytale ballet.

Swan Lake features live music performed by the Chicago Philharmonic, conducted by Scott Speck, Music Director of The Joffrey Ballet.

The Joffrey Ballet performs Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake Wednesday, October 17 through Sunday, October 28, 2018. The full performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 pm; Friday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, Oct. 20 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm; Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 pm; Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 pm; Friday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, Oct. 27 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm; and Sunday, October 28 at 2 pm.

Single tickets, priced from $35 to $195, 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 at 312.386.8905, or online at joffrey.org.

Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon is one of the most innovative and sought-after choreographers in ballet today. Born in Yeovil, Somerset, England, Wheeldon began his ballet training at eight years old and began studying at The Royal Ballet School at eleven. Wheeldon joined The Royal Ballet in 1991 and in 1993 was invited to become a member of New York City Ballet (NYCB), where he was promoted to soloist in 1998. Wheeldon choreographed his first work for NYCB,Slavonic Dances, for the 1997 Diamond Project and, in collaboration with artist Ian Falconer, created Scènes de Ballet for the School of American Ballet's 1999 Workshop Performances and NYCB's 50th anniversary season. After creating Mercurial Manoeuvers for NYCB's Spring 2000 Diamond Project, Wheeldon retired from dancing to concentrate on choreography. Wheeldon has choreographed for companies all over the world and in 2012 he collaborated with Alastair Marriott on the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games, watched by 23.2 million people worldwide. His most recent creations are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a co-production between The Royal Ballet and National Ballet of Canada, The Winter's Tale for The Royal Ballet, the Broadway smash American in Paris, and the Joffrey's newly reimagined, critically-acclaimed The Nutcracker, which received its world premiere in 2016. To learn more, visit here.

Photo by Cheryl Mann

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