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Joffrey Ballet highlights Russian composers in special program

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Tonight through Sunday only, the Joffrey Ballet will perform at the Auditorium Theater in a special engagement add-on to its 2013-14 season. The program, titled “Russian Masters,” will feature a work commissioned in 1987 by Robert Joffrey, a dance performed to Tchaikovsky’s unfinished third piano concerto, Yuri Possokhov’s first choreographed work for The Joffrey Ballet, and a work new to Chicago audiences that was originally choreographed by two Joffrey dancers (and real-life husband and wife), Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili.

The program includes:

100th anniversary performance of The Rite of Spring by Vaslav Nijinsky

Allegro Brillante by George Balanchine

Bells by Yuri Possokhov

Adagio by Yuri Possokhov

In 1987, Robert Joffrey commissioned a restoration of the then-almost-forgotten Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) in its original form. Today, Le Sacre du Printemps is widely recognized as a pioneering work of contemporary ballet, and the Joffrey culminates a national tour of this work in honor of the ballet’s 100th anniversary.

George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante is danced to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s unfinished third piano concerto and, as the title suggests, is a study in choreographic brilliance.

Yuri Possokhov’s first choreographed work for The Joffrey Ballet, Bells, premiered in Chicago in 2011. Set to seven piano compositions by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Bells is a contemporary ballet full of contrasts.

Rounding out the program is something new for Chicago audiences, Possokhov’s Adagio, a work featuring two dancers and set to music by Russian composer Aram Khachaturian.

Russian Masters will be at the Auditorium Theater for four evenings only, Thursday through Sunday, September 19-22, 2013. You can purchase tickets online or by phone at 800-982.ARTS (2787). The Theater is located at 50 E. Congress Parkway in Chicago.

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