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Joffrey Ballet Announces 2010-2011 Season

Ashley C. Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, has announced the Company's 2010-2011 season, which will launch with a mixed repertory program of Company Premieres by iconic New York choreographers George Balanchine and Christopher Wheeldon, October 13-24, 2010, followed by the timeless holiday classic, Robert Joffrey's The Nutcracker, December 11-26, 2010. In the new year, The Joffrey revives a Chicago favorite, John Cranko's romantic comedy ballet The Taming of the Shrew , February 16-27, 2011, and culminates the season with a second mixed repertory program showcasing two World Premieres, by Edwaard Liang and Yuri Possokhov, May 4-15, 2011.

Continuing in The Joffrey Ballet's mission to provide the highest level of performance quality, the season will feature live orchestral accompaniment by the Chicago Sinfonietta, the official orchestra of The Joffrey Ballet. All performances will take place in The Joffrey's home venue, the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, in downtown Chicago at 50 East Congress Parkway.

"The Joffrey's next season promises to be an intriguing array of dance," noted Wheater. "We'll salute the contributions of 20 th century, New York masters in the fall, and introduce works by the next generation in the spring, with two full-length story ballets in between. Throughout the season we balance established and rising talent, mixed rep and evening-length ballets, contemporary and traditional. There's something for both the dance aficionado and the dance novice, and everyone in between."

The Joffrey Ballet's 2010-2011 Season opens with a mixed repertory program of Company Premieres, highlighting 20 th century New York icons. The program will include Christopher Wheeldon 's emotionally resonant After the Rain (2005). Set to the minimalist, classical music of Arvo Pärt, After the Rain is in two sections that are strikingly different in tone, with the first section marked by steel gray costumes and backdrop with three couples creating bold lines and intricate lifts. The second section shifts to a warmer palette as dancers embody an emotional relationship, at times becoming tender and connected while at other times pulling away or struggling to find each other. The bill will also offer George Balanchine 's Stravinsky Violin Concerto , which was revised in 1972 from a previous choreographic endeavor titled Balustrade that premiered in 1941. Using the opening "Toccata," two central "Arias" and the final "Capriccio" from Stravinsky's Violin Concerto in D, Balanchine forms contrasting pas de deux for two different couples. Dancers resemble musical notes floating over the stage in Balanchine's sensual and saucy homage to the genius of Igor Stravinksy. The fall program will include a third piece, to be announced at a later date. This program will be presented October 13 - 24, 2010.

America 's #1 Nutcracker and Chicagoland's most popular holiday tradition, Robert Joffrey's production of The Nutcracker will again transform the Auditorium Theatre into a winter wonderland, complete with magical toys, dancing snowflakes and exotic sweets. The Tchaikovsky masterpiece, featuring the full Joffrey Company, local children's choruses and more than 120 young dancers, will be presented in seventeen performances, December 11 - 26, 2010.

In February 2011, The Joffrey Ballet revisits the popular The Taming of the Shrew, last performed by The Joffrey in 2002. John Cranko's world-renowned ballet adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic story is a romantic comedy about the trials of finding balance in love. With music by Kurt-Heinz Stolze and Domenico Scarletti, The Taming of the Shrew depicts the boastful Petruchio as he attempts to tame the strong-willed Katherine. When it originally premiered at the Stuttgart Ballet in 1969, Cranko's translation re-defined narrative ballet through witty and subtle choreography that brought the characters and their foils vividly to life. The Joffrey will revive this two-act ballet February 16 - 27, 2011.

The 2010-2011 Season concludes with a mixed repertory program featuring two World Premieres, by Edwaard Liang and Yuri Possokhov. A former soloist for New York City Ballet, Liang's first work for The Joffrey, The Age of Innocence, premiered in the fall of 2008 and was met with critical and audience acclaim. His theatrical work paired 19 th century romanticism with athletic prowess and a contemporary sensibility. Possokhov, a former dancer for the Bolshoi Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, and a principal dancer and choreographer for the San Francisco Ballet, has made a name for himself as an austere and charismatic dancer and a bold, innovative choreographer. The Joffrey Ballet is proud to commission these new works, being performed May 4 - 15, 2011.

Three-program subscriptions, which do not include The Nutcracker, start at $75. Subscriptions are available February 4, 2010 online at joffrey.org , by mail (Joffrey Ballet Subscriptions, The Joffrey Ballet, Joffrey Tower, 10 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601 ); or telephone (312) 386-8905. Single tickets, priced from $25 to $145, will be available for purchase as of August 1, 2010 at The Joffrey Ballet's official Box Office located in the lobby of 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 www.ticketmaster.com .  

The Joffrey Ballet extends special thanks to United Airlines, the Official & Exclusive Airline of The Joffrey Ballet; and AthletiCo, the Official Provider of Rehabilitation, Fitness and Performance for The Joffrey Ballet.

The 2009-2010 season continues as The Joffrey Ballet welcomes back Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, regarded as one of his greatest full-length ballets. Performed in three acts, the classic rags-to-riches story comes to life in a dazzling ballet set to Sergei Prokofiev's brilliant score, with breathtaking sets and costumes designed by David Walker. Ashton's Cinderella is a mysterious and magical fantasy world, where the comedy of Cinderella's pantomime step-sisters-unlucky in looks and love-provides the perfect foil for the developing romance of Cinderella and the Prince. Last performed by The Joffrey Ballet in October 2006, Cinderella will be presented February 17 - February 28, 2010.

For more information about The Joffrey Ballet and current productions please call 312-739-0120 or visit joffrey.org.

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