The Joffrey Ballet Welcomes New Company Members for 2017-18 Season

The Joffrey Ballet Welcomes New Company Members for 2017-18 SeasonAshley Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, has announced the addition of three dancers to the Joffrey's international roster for the 2017-2018 season: Olivia Duryea (Haslett, Michigan), Yuka Iwai (Iwate, Japan) and Greig Matthew (Aberdeen, Scotland).

Duryea and Iwai join the Joffrey directly from the Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet's Studio Company. With these new company members, The Joffrey Ballet is currently comprised of 43 dancers.

"The Joffrey continues to grow with an exceptional range of international and local talent, much of which comes from our own Academy," said Wheater. "I'm pleased to welcome these beautiful dancers to the Company as we begin our 2017-2018 Season. Their artistry exudes all the qualities of a Joffrey dancer - energetic, versatile, dynamic."

ABOUT THE NEW DANCERS:

Olivia Duryea was born and raised in Haslett, Michigan. She received her early training at the Happendance School under the direction of Diane Newman and Patricia Villanueva and performed for several years with Capitol Ballet Theatre of Michigan under the direction of Gregory George. In 2014, Duryea joined the Trainee Program of the Joffrey Academy of Dance and was promoted to the Joffrey Academy's Studio Company in 2016. During this time, Duryea performed in Sir Frederick Ashton's Symphonic Variations, Gerald Arpino's Suite Saint-Saens and George Balanchine's Serenade. She also performed with The Joffrey Ballet's Company in Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, Christopher Wheeldon's The Nutcracker and Krzysztof Pastor's Romeo & Juliet.

Yuka Iwai was born and raised in Iwate, Japan. She received her training at the Reiko Koyangi Ballet Studio under the direction of Reiko Koyanagi. In 2014, Iwai joined the Trainee Program at the Joffrey Academy of Dance and was promoted to the Joffrey Academy's Studio Company in 2015. During this time, Iwai danced many roles including The Nutcracker Suite, Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Don Quixote Suite, Viva Vivaldi and George Balanchine's Serenade. During her training, Iwai received numerous awards including first place in the Tohokushibu Ballet Competition and second place at the All Japan D.A.T.E competition in 2014. In 2015, Iwai was a Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) New York finalist and was awarded first place at the YAGP Chicago semifinal. In 2016, she finished in the top 12 in the YAGP New York finals in the senior category and first place in the YAGP Chicago semifinal.

Greig Matthew was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. He began his training at Lamour School of Dance in Glasgow, Scotland before training with the Royal Ballet Upper School in London. From 2009 to 2011, he performed several times with The Royal Ballet before joining the Wiener Staatsballett in Vienna, Austria in 2011 where he was appointed to Demi-soloist in 2012.Throughout his career, Matthew has performed countless works by the world's most prestigious choreographers including Kenneth MacMillan's Manon, William Forsythe's The Second Detail, John Neumeier's Bach Suite III, Jerome Robbins' The Four Seasons, Christopher Wheeldon's Fool's Paradise, as well as the solo from Rudolf Nureyev's Sleeping Beauty. Matthew has also received numerous honors including a nomination for "Best Dancer" in the Berlin-based journal, Tanz in 2012, the "Most Promising Graduate Award" from the Royal Ballet Upper School in 2011, and was given the "Promotional Prize" from the Ballettclub Wiener Staatsoper & Volksoper in Vienna, Austria in 2013 and the "Prize of the President of the Jury" at the Wien Welt Wettbewerb, also in Vienna, in 2014.

UPCOMING PRODUCTIONS:

ORPHÉE ET EURYDICE

The Joffrey Ballet will collaborate with the Lyric Opera of Chicago for the first time on a world premiere production of Christoph Willibald Gluck's classic opera, Orphée et Eurydice. Lyric Opera will present Orphée in the Paris version, containing thrilling ballet sequences that will come to life under the direction and choreography of internationally acclaimed Director and Chief Choreographer of The Hamburg Ballet, John Neumeier.

Orphée et Eurydice is presented in seven performances at Lyric's Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, September 23 - October 15, 2017. Tickets are available at 312.827.5600 or at lyricopera.org.

GISELLE

The Joffrey Ballet launches its 2017-18 season with the Chicago Premiere of Lola de Ávila's visionary adaption of Giselle, one of the greatest and most beloved Romantic era ballets. De Ávila, former Associate Director of the San Francisco Ballet School, has elevated this classic tale of passion beyond the grave to new heights, set to prolific 19th century composer Adolphe Adam's original score created for the ballet's premiere in 1841.

Giselle is presented in 10 performances at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, October 18-29, 2017. Tickets are available at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office as well as The Joffrey Ballet's official Box Office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph Street. Tickets can also be purchased by telephone at 312.386.8905 or online at Joffrey.org.

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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