Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

World Premiere of BAREFACE & More Announced for Ballet 5:8 2022-2023 Season

Ballet 5:8 will be unveiled to Chicagoans anew this season with breathtaking works across the city for audiences to enjoy.

World Premiere of BAREFACE & More Announced for Ballet 5:8  2022-2023 Season

After celebrating a decade of beauty and innovation, Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer Julianna Rubio Slager today announceD the 2022-2023 season of Ballet 5:8, ambitiously launching the female and minority-led premiere ballet company into the next chapter.

The 11th season features the world premiere of BareFace, Ballet 5:8's first work as a Resident Company at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. BareFace is a full-length story ballet adaptation of cultural luminary C.S. Lewis' novel, Till We Have Faces. Ballet 5:8 will also welcome guest choreographers Matthew Rushing, Associate Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Tobin James, former member of the Martha Graham Ensemble, to present works alongside returning fan favorites. Ballet 5:8 will perform at several notable Chicago cultural institutions and festivals including Athenaeum Center for Thought & Culture, National Museum of Mexican Art, Navy Pier's Wave Wall Moves and more. Ballet 5:8 continues its experimentation with the art form in The Living Room Series. Hyperlocal and intensely personal, these works are curated and set within patrons' homes complete with a live pianist and spoken word performances.

Ballet 5:8 will be unveiled to Chicagoans anew this season with breathtaking works across the city for audiences to enjoy. Chicago will experience the unparalleled artistry, innovation and elegance that audiences have come to expect from Ballet 5:8.

Season Subscription Packages are now available through July 10, 2022 to audiences for online purchasing at Ballet58.org/Season-Subscriptions or by calling the Box Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 312-725-4752. Single tickets will go on sale July 11, 2022. The Living Room Series events are also available for booking by visiting Ballet58.org/Living-Room-Series.

"With more enthusiasm and inspiration than ever after celebrating Ballet 5:8's 10th year anniversary, we are committed to fearlessly inject and create new works to captivate audiences while immersing ourselves in Chicago's dance scene in big and bold ways," said Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer Julianna Rubio Slager. "As we move forward into a new decade, we want to continue telling stories that are relevant to humanity in modern times and elevate different perspectives. The 11th season will delight both fans and new audiences as Ballet 5:8 breaks boundaries and achieves new heights. Audiences can expect scintillating, thrilling and original ballet experiences truly unlike any other this season and beyond."

ABOUT THE 2022-2023 SEASON IN CHICAGO

NEW COMMISSION AND WORLD PREMIERES

Ballet 5:8 has announced a mixed-bill program in the fall at Athenaeum Center for Thought and Culture featuring a new commission from choreographer Matthew Rushing, Associate Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater alongside a world premiere by Julianna Rubio Slager and returning Ballet 5:8 fan favorites. More information about the new commission by Matthew Rushing and world premiere by Julianna Rubio Slager will be released at a later date.

After the debut performance on the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance stage this past March, Ballet 5:8 is thrilled to announce that the company will be joining on as a Resident Company of the Harris Theater. Ballet 5:8 will bring more productions to the Harris Theater stage and downtown Chicago and build further relationships with peer performing arts organizations in the area. In the spring of 2023, Ballet 5:8 will present the highly anticipated world premiere of BareFace on the Harris Theater stage. BareFace is a full-length story ballet adaptation of cultural luminary C.S. Lewis' novel, Till We Have Faces.

"I am delighted that Ballet 5:8 will be with us again next season! My son and I thoroughly enjoyed Ballet 5:8's program on the 12th of March," said Lori Dimun, Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols President and CEO of Harris Theater for Music and Dance. "It truly felt and looked like the company had been on the Harris stage for years. It was a gorgeous program."

The "Chicago All-Access Subscription" is now available through July 10, 2022 for audiences to secure premium seating at both historic Chicago theaters. Performance schedule is as follows:

Athenaeum Center for Thought and Culture (2936 N. Southport Ave.)
October 15, 2022
New Commision by Matthew Rushing, a World Premiere by Julianna Rubio Slager and Ballet 5:8 Fan Favorites Día de Los Vivos and Gospel Impressions

Día de Los Vivos


Choreography: Julianna Rubio Slager | Music: Ezio Bosso

Originally premiered in 2021, Día de Los Vivos was created based on Rubio Slager's personal experience with clinical depression. Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies from suicide. Countless others bear the crushing weight of depression in silence. Día de Los Vivos is a tribute to the men and women that fight each day to stay on this planet. It is a love letter to those who choose to fight the good fight, who choose to believe in hope; to honor all who choose to stay.

Gospel Impressions


Choreography: Julianna Rubio Slager | Music: Rachmaninoff

Originally premiered in 2021, Gospel Impressions is inspired by leading contemporary artist Makoto Fujimura's exquisite paintings, The Four Holy Gospels. Fujimura's work is layered, colorful and nuanced. Rubio Slager takes his work as a base and fleshes out both his inspiration, philosophy and painting with movement and geometry that further illuminate the gospel stories.

Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E. Randolph St.)
April 22, 2023


World Premiere of BareFace by Julianna Rubio Slager

Love has been the muse for all manner of myths, legends, movies and poems throughout the ages. Often held as the greatest of all virtues, love can even be said to be the bridge from mortals to the divine. But is it truly so? C.S. Lewis brilliantly adapts the myths of Cupid and Psyche to examine love's motivations, pitfalls and blind spots. The story begs us to look inward at our desire for love, and to ask whether or not we honestly understand the depths of our own hearts. We remain faceless until we are brave enough to look staunchly upon the ugliness of our duplicitous motives. We become beautiful when we release jealousy and embrace the truly selfless love of the divine. Set in the Grecian fairytale world of Glome, audiences can expect to be gripped by the dynamic storytelling through the impressive athletic prowess of Ballet 5:8's dance artists. The full-length story ballet is brought to life by costume designer Lorianne Robertson, projections by Sarah Freeman and music by Orchestra of the Swan.

ADDITIONAL FREE PRESENTATIONS

Ballet 5:8 is excited to participate in festivals and open air performances at several notable Chicago cultural locations. Programming information for all performances will be announced at later dates. Additional activations and performances may be added at later dates. Patrons are invited to subscribe to Ballet 5:8's email newsletter or join the dedicated text line, "Inner Circle," by texting "Ballet58" at 866-499-1120 for event updates.

Performing locations and dates are as follows:

Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Avenue)
July 9, 2022
Ballet 5:8 will bring an exhilarating experience to Navy Pier's live dance performance series, Wave Wall Moves, which is presented in partnership with See Chicago Dance.

Mayfair Arts Center (8701 S. Bennett Ave)
July 31, 2022
Presented by Chicago Human Rhythm Project and Mayfair Arts Center, Ballet 5:8 is offering introductory classes and a short performance to serve the community of Mayfair in the inaugural year of North Side South Side One Side.

Elpis Dance Festival Across the Road from Landmark Cafe Brauer of Lincoln Park Zoo (2021 N. Stockton Dr.)
August 6, 2022
Ballet 5:8 will be performing at this summer outdoor concert offering messages of faith and hope through the Company Artists' extraordinary gift of dancing.

The Richard J. Daley Center's Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.)
September 7, 2022
Ballet 5:8 will be performing at the Farmer's Market and sharing a taste of works that will premiere at the Athenaeum Center for Thought and Culture in the fall.

National Museum of Mexican Art (1852 W. 19th St.)
November 12, 2022
In honor of Artistic Director Julianna Rubio Slager's Mexican American heritage, Ballet 5:8 will present a program titled, Ver la Música, Oír la Danza, free to the public. Free tickets must be reserved in advance.

ADDITIONAL RETURNING FAN FAVORITE BALLETS

Audiences can expect to enjoy the following Ballet 5:8 returning fan favorites throughout the 11th season at various venues and locations.

Mi Familia
Choreography: Julianna Rubio Slager | Music: Ezio Bosso

Originally premiered in 2015, Mi Familia is drawn from the choreographer's own personal experiences growing up in a multi-racial family, Mi Familia celebrates the beauty of family and relationships that can be experienced by all people, transcending racial and cultural differences. The work has a fun-filled flavor, utilizing traditional Mexican folklorico movements to create a lively, relatable picture that is sure to have audiences dancing along in the seats.

Dry Bones
Choreography: Julianna Rubio Slager | Music: Les Tambours du Bronx and Scanner

Originally premiered in 2020, Dry Bones finds inspiration in the Book of Ezekiel and the famous story of dry bones rattling to life. The Prophet Ezekiel stares over a valley of dry bones but when the Word of the Lord speaks over this scene of grim death, the bones begin to have tendons, flesh and skin. Breath reinvigorates death, and they stand to their feet-a vast army. Even in death, even when true life is so far gone that the bones have been bleached white by the sun, there is hope in resurrection.

Todo Raba
Choreography: Julianna Rubio Slager | Music: Oliver Davis

Originally premiered for the 10th year anniversary, Todo Raba is a light-hearted, full ensemble work simply as a thank you to God, the dancers and all who have supported Ballet 5:8's journey. "Toda Raba is a Hebrew phrase that means 'thank you very much.' Without my faith, nothing I do has any meaning or significance. Ballet 5:8's ten-year anniversary was all about boasting in what He has done." - Julianna Rubio Slager

THE LIVING ROOM SERIES

The Living Room Series is a series of site-specific works in different homes and venues. Ballet 5:8 invites patrons to book and reserve special Living Room Series experiences where artists of the company are brought directly into living rooms or venues with customized, personalized and breathtaking performances complete with live piano music accompaniment and spoken word. Each individual performance will be curated by Artistic Director Julianna Rubio Slager and choreography will be informed by patrons' unique life stories in their living rooms. This experience is suitable for events, celebrations, house parties and intimate gatherings.

Life happens in the living room. In the center of our homes, generations gather, wisdom is shared, and relationships are both built up and torn down. Through The Living Room Series, Ballet 5:8 recreates the cyclical stories that shape lives through meaningful, up-close and exquisite dancing. Some are playful, and some are tumultuous, but each living room moment shapes the story being carried out into the world.

Patrons interested in inquiring about booking The Living Room Series event at house parties or venues can visit Ballet58.org/Living-Room-Series

BENEFIT PERFORMANCES

Ballet 5:8's Benefit Performances, Chapter II, will take place on September 10-11, 2022 at Ballet 5:8's Black Box Theater located at 11545 183rd Pl. Ste 101, Orland Park, IL as well as virtually. Each season Ballet 5:8's Benefit Performances are vital events to share the vision of the season and unite Ballet 5:8's community around the mission. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a raffle, enjoy performances, spend time with Ballet 5:8 artists, staff, and Board as well as make financial contributions to support Ballet 5:8's mission. This year's Benefit Performances will include works by Julianna Rubio Slager and the Ballet 5:8 premiere of Transcendence by guest choreographer Tobin James, former member of Martha Graham Ensemble.

In honor of Artistic Director Julianna Rubio Slager's world premiere of BareFace, the newest full-length story ballet adaptation of C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces, this year's Benefit Performances will host a British-themed tea party full of tea and delicate finger foods. Tickets to the Benefit Performances will be available on July 11, 2022 at Ballet58.org/Benefit. Ballet 5:8 will host three Benefit Performances in total on Sat. September 10 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sun. September 11 at 3 p.m.

ONLINE PERFORMANCES

Ballet 5:8's will continue to offer online performances for audiences to enjoy this summer. Online performances are original works performed by Artists of the Company and filmed especially to present fantastic online viewing experiences. Tickets can be purchased at Ballet58.org/Online or by calling the Box Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 312-725-4752. Audiences can also purchase the Online Summer Bundle to save $10 and get access to all three ballets each month from May through July. Online Summer Bundle is priced at $55 and available through May 22, 2022.

Online performance series schedule is as follows:

All God's Children | Priced at $15
May 13-22, 2022
Choreography: Julianna Rubio Slager | Music: John Adams, Attacca Quartet

The ballet approaches the issue of racial tension and diversity from a fresh perspective. We are observers of another time, another world and watch the development from primal Man to full-fledged culture. By re-framing the issue in another world and starting from scratch, we can see ourselves more clearly. Whimsical, satirical and compellingly fresh, the ballet shows the development of culture and the beauty of what makes us distinct, without forgetting what binds us together.

Interplay | Priced at $20
June 17-26, 2022
Choreography: Julianna Rubio Slager | Music: John Corgliano

Interplay presents a formidable exploration of the human imagination. The work's two main characters, Wisdom and Folly, embody an ongoing debate within the mind and imagination. Exploring concepts drawn from the book of Proverbs and employing an angular, geometric movement style, Interplay is set to be a captivating duel of movement, ideas and emotion. Ultimately, Interplay could be a challenging look inside ourselves.

Four Seasons of the Soul | Priced at $30
July 13-24, 2022
Choreography: Julianna Rubio Slager | Music: Max Richter

Four Seasons of the Soul is a well-loved fan favorite ballet drawing on the seasons of nature and reflects on the spiritual life of the Christian believer. There is a time and season for everything under heaven. A time for war and a time for peace, a time to hate and a time for love. This certainty is written into the fabric of creation. The cool mist of spring gives way to the intensity of summer. Summer leads into the celebrations of harvest and the decay of autumn. Autumn leaves shrivel and are covered with the white blanket of winter. And while winter's grip may feel unending, it gives way once more to spring.

The turning of seasons parallels the recurring themes of human life. The soft innocence of youth, the impassioned zeal of adolescence, the celebrations and tragedies of adulthood and the coming winter of life's final chapter. Using a new orchestration of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, this classic work influences and inspires yet another generation as it strikes the deep chords of humanity and nature in harmony.

SEASON SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGES AND TICKETS

Ballet 5:8 currently offers two season subscription packages now available to audiences for online purchasing at Ballet58.org/Season-Subscriptions or by calling the Box Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 312-725-4752. Season subscription packages guarantee the premium seating to the performances. Season subscription packages are available now through July 10, 2022.

Chicago All-Access Subscription | Priced at $145.00
Patrons are invited to purchase the "Chicago All-Access Subscription" and enjoy Ballet 5:8's fall and spring shows at two historic Chicago theaters with premium seating.

  • October 15, 2022 | Athenaeum Center of Thought & Culture | Ballet 5:8 audience favorites and world premieres by Julianna Rubio Slager and Matthew Rushing, Associate Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
  • April 22, 2023 | Harris Theater for Music and Dance | World premiere of BareFace by Julianna Rubio Slager. A brand-new and full-length story ballet adaptation of C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces

VIP Subscription | Priced at $195.00
Tailored especially for VIPs, the "VIP Subscription" guarantees premium seating at a Benefit Performance in addition to the fall and spring performances at two historical Chicago theaters.

  • September 10-11, 2022 | Benefit Performance at Ballet 5:8's Black Box Theater
  • October 15, 2022 | Athenaeum Center of Thought & Culture | Ballet 5:8 audience favorites and world premieres by Julianna Rubio Slager and Matthew Rushing, Associate Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
  • April 22, 2023 | Harris Theater for Music and Dance | World premiere of BareFace by Julianna Rubio Slager. A brand-new and full-length story ballet adaptation of C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces

Single tickets to the September, October and April performances will be available starting July 11, 2022. Tickets can be reserved online at Ballet58.org or by calling the Box Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 312-725-4752. Patrons are invited to subscribe to Ballet 5:8's email newsletter and to the dedicated text line, "Inner Circle," by texting "Ballet58" at 866-499-1120 to receive exclusive event updates and occasional special promotions.

ABOUT RESIDENT CHOREOGRAPHER, JULIANNA RUBIO SLAGER


Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer Julianna Rubio Slager studied under notable teachers from the New York City Ballet, the Vaganova Academy and Puerto Rican National Ballet. Rubio Slager enjoyed dancing under Barbara Smith at Greater Lansing Ballet during her training, and also under Kathy Thibodeaux and Sol Maisonet at Ballet Magnificat. Slager was instrumental in the co-founding of Ballet 5:8 in 2012 and is known for the unique ability to engage audiences in discussions of life and faith through exquisite choreography. Rubio Slager is a groundbreaking player within the field as one of the few Mexican American Artistic Directors and Resident Choreographers of professional ballet companies in the world. Rubio Slager hopes to pave the way for other minority women to step into leadership positions in professional ballet. Over the past decade, Rubio Slager has dedicated to training and mentoring young artists in the School of Ballet 5:8's Pre-Professional, Conservatory and trainee programs. Students from the School of Ballet 5:8 have been awarded contracts, scholarships and placements with dance companies, colleges and schools across the country testifying to the quality of dance education Rubio Slager provides.

ABOUT GUEST CHOREOGRAPHER, Matthew Rushing


Matthew Rushing was born in Los Angeles, California. He began his dance training with Kashmir Blake in Inglewood, California, and continued his training at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. He is the recipient of a Spotlight Award and a Dance Magazine Award and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He was a scholarship student at The Ailey School and later became a member of Ailey II. During his career Mr. Rushing has performed as a guest artist for galas in Vail, Colorado, as well as in Austria, Canada, France, Italy, and Russia. He has performed for Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, as well as at the 2010 White House Dance Series. During his time with the Company, he has choreographed four ballets: Acceptance In Surrender (2005), a collaboration with Hope Boykin and Abdur-Rahim Jackson; Uptown (2009), a tribute to the Harlem Renaissance; ODETTA (2014), a celebration of "the queen of American folk music"; and Testament (2020), a tribute to Alvin Ailey's Revelations created in collaboration with Clifton Brown and Yusha-Marie Sorzano. In 2012 he created Moan, which was set on Philadanco and premiered at The Joyce Theater. Mr. Rushing joined the Company in 1992, became Rehearsal Director 2010, and became Associate Artistic Director in January 2020.

ABOUT GUEST CHOREOGRAPHER, TOBIN JAMES


Tobin James is an adjunct professor of modern dance for the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). She holds a BFA in modern dance from the University of the Arts, an MA in higher education administration from UMKC, and a training certification from the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance. Tobin is a former member of the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO), the Martha Graham Ensemble (Graham 2), and formerly a principal dancer and associate artistic director of Störling Dance Theater. She has performed works by notable choreographers Gene Hill Sagan, Louis Johnson, Yung Yung Tsuai, Pearl Lang, Mona Störling-Enna, Randall Flinn, Steve Rooks, and Martha Graham. She toured the U.S. for five seasons as the choreographer/featured dance artist with The Young Messiah and Emmanuel Tours, appeared in concert and video productions for gospel artists Ron Kenoly, Lynda Randle, and Cece Winans. Tobin is credited as co-choreographer and associate producer for Störling Dance Theater's Underground, and has choreographed for Philadanco, Sight and Sound Theaters, Ballet Magnificat, Störling Dance Theater, Kansas City Youth Ballet, and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. She has taught for the Kansas City Ballet School, The Culture House Academy of the Performing Arts and as a guest Teacher for Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. In 2020 Tobin launched The Pendleton Dance Project-a social issues-based dance initiative, and is a contributing author to the Journal of Dance Education's Special Issue on Race and Dance Education.

ABOUT BALLET 5:8


Ballet 5:8 is a female and minority-led premiere ballet company recognized for remarkable artistic excellence, innovation and beauty. Mexican American Artistic Director, Julianna Rubio Slager, creates original and dynamic ballet experiences drawing from life, faith, current events and diverse perspectives that tell relevant stories of the 21st century. Rubio Slager brings to life ballets that are relatable and accessible to all people, delighting both the seasoned balletomane and first time audiences. Since its founding in 2012, Ballet 5:8 has presented more than 45 critically acclaimed ballets forging a robust repertoire, engaging and captivating communities in Chicago, the Midwest and across the nation. Headquartered in Orland Park, IL, Ballet 5:8 is the only performing arts company in Chicago's South Suburbs serving more than 400 students a year as a cultural staple in the community. The School also has a Beverly Campus on Chicago's South Side raising up the next generation of aspiring artists. For more information about Ballet 5:8, visit Ballet58.org and connect on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube.



Related Articles View More Chicago Stories


More Hot Stories For You