THE JOFFREY BALLET Opens 60th Anniversary Season with MILLENNIALS

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tjbmillennialswebpageimage668x3384The Joffrey Ballet opens its 2015-2016 60th Anniversary season with a special mixed repertory program entitled Millennials, showcasing new works by the country’s next generation of choreographic talents including World Premieres by Myles Thatcher and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa plus the Chicago Premiere of Fool’s Paradise, choreographed by Tony Award™ winning choreographer,Christopher Wheeldon. Millennials is presented in five performances only, at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, September 16-20.

“Millennials provides a vibrant look at innovation in dance today by three extremely talented young artists. We are honored to bring their visions to the stage as we open our 60th anniversary season”, said Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley Wheater. “Including rising star Myles Thatcher, creative powerhouse Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Broadway-acclaimed Christopher Wheeldon, each millennial artist works with a contemporary language to reach today’s audiences. It is essential that we provide these new voices a platform to explore a modern ballet idiom. Whether you are a novice to dance or a dance aficionado, Millennials offers many points of access. I am proud to share this exciting work with our audience.”

Thatcher, current dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, for whom he’s also created new works, will premiere a brand new 25-minute piece entitled The Passengers choreographed to sections of The Four Sections and Triple Quartet by minimalist pioneer Steve Reich. Set in a train station, Thatcher’s narrative work mixes contemporary abstraction with ballet’s classical vocabulary to explore the depths of transition, vulnerability and relationships through the comings and goings of nine dancers. This dynamic, high energy new piece is the first Thatcher has created for The Joffrey Ballet. Learn more about choreographer Myles Thatcher, here.

Dancer-turned-choreographer Lopez Ochoa, known for her close collaborations with dancers and a fierce improvisational talent, has choreographed critically acclaimed works for numerous dance companies across the nation and around the world. For The Joffrey Ballet, Lopez Ochoa will create a powerful 20-minute abstract piece entitled Mammatus featuring 20 dancers in a series of ensembles and duets set to contemporary composer Michael Gordon’s Weather One. A minimalist stage, equipped with tree branches lit up with LED lights, sets the scene for Mammatus while dancers represent surreal insects and birds through sinuous and organic movements to explore the nonlinear essence of nature. Learn more about choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, here.

Following the triumphant success of the Joffrey premiere of his reimagined Swan Lake, and on the heels of his Tony Award for Best Choreography for the Broadway hit, An American in Paris, Wheeldon returns with the Chicago Premiere of Fool’s Paradise. Set to a commissioned score by Joby Talbot, this abstract ballet for nine dancers moves through solos, duets and trios in a grand display of beauty and strength as the dancers’ bodies form a series of living sculptures while falling shimmering petals shower the stage. Both beautifully painful and emotionally intense, Fool’s Paradise reveals a deep connection between the dancers that leaves the audiences to discover its meaning and effect. The Joffrey Ballet has also commissioned Wheeldon to re-envision a new Nutcracker, which will make its World Premiere in December 2016. Learn more about choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, here.

Tickets and Schedule

The Joffrey Ballet performs “Millennials” September 16 – 20, 2015; the full performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday, September 16 at 7:30 pm, Friday, September 18 at 7:30 pm, Saturday September 19 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, Sunday, September 20 at 2:00 pm. Single Tickets, priced from $32 to $155 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, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by telephone at (800) 982-2787, or online at ticketmaster.com.

About The Joffrey Ballet

This year, The Joffrey Ballet celebrates its 60th company anniversary. 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. To learn more, visit Joffrey.org.

The Joffrey Ballet is grateful for the support of its 2015-2016 Season Sponsors and Partners and would like to acknowledge the generous support of Millennials Presenting Sponsor Alphawood Foundation Chicago. Special thanks to Mammatus Production Sponsor Elizabeth Yntema and Mark Ferguson and Fool’s Paradise Production Sponsor Jane Ellen Murray Foundation and Co-Sponsors of the 2015-2016 Season: Abbott Fund, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, NIB Foundation and Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation; Season Partners: pamella roland and Fox Ford Lincoln, Official Provider of Physical Therapy, Athletico; Official Hotel, JW Marriott; and Official Health Club, Chicago Athletic Clubs.

For more information on The Joffrey Ballet and its programs, please visit joffrey.org.