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The Joffrey Ballet closes 2016-17 season with global visionaries
From a press release
2017-04-11

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April 11, 2017 ( Chicago, IL ) — For its annual spring engagement, The Joffrey Ballet presents Global Visionaries, a program of three contemporary works by internationally renowned artists including the World Premiere of Episode 47 by Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman, the Chicago Premiere ofThe Miraculous Mandarin by San Francisco Ballet Resident Choreographer Yuri Possokhov, created specifically for The Joffrey Ballet and The Cleveland Orchestra, plus the return of Mammatus by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Global Visionaries is presented in 10 performances only, April 26-May 7, 2017.

"Global Visionaries provides a vibrant look at innovation in dance today by three contemporary choreographers at the height of their careers," said Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley Wheater. "In addition to returning works by two creative powerhouses, Yuri Possokhov and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, we're delighted to work with Alexander Ekman on a fearless world premiere that serves as an antidote to the uncertainty felt by many today. Each of these works brilliantly explores the modern ballet idiom and I'm thrilled to celebrate their visions as we close our season."

Alexander Ekman once again brings his unique vision to the Joffrey with the world premiere of Episode 47. Brimming with Ekman's trademark originality and humor, Episode 47 explores the feeling of joy through dance to serve as a remedy to our uncertain times, incorporating movements based on improvisation with the Joffrey company to showcase the dancer's individual personalities. A large ensemble work intermixed with a series of solos and duets, Ekman sets Episode 47 to a mix of modern music featuring selections from Grammy-nominated Brad Mehldau Trio's bluesy interpretation of Buddy Johnson's Since I Fell for You; experimental rock band Django Django's psychedelic dance hit, First Light, Tiga's pop hit Shoes and international music star Moby's LA5.

Ekman is known for his award-winning collaborations with classical and contemporary companies worldwide with works that both entertain and challenge the observer. Additional works by Ekman in Joffrey's repertoire include the highly successful Chicago Premiere of Tulle in 2015 along with his wild and rhythmic Episode 31, which had its Joffrey premiere during the 2013 Chicago Dancing Festival.

In a unique collaboration with The Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Ballet Resident Choreographer Yuri Possokhov has created a new work specifically for The Joffrey Ballet: The Miraculous Mandarin, a magnificent tale of a girl forced to act as a decoy by thugs, luring a wealthy mandarin to his tragic fate. Set to Béla BartÃ"k's 1926 score, Possokhov reimagines this story ballet for seven dancers to explore the tragic, dark passions between men and women. The Chicago Philharmonic, led by Joffrey Music Director Scott Speck, will provide live accompaniment of Bartok's score on stage alongside the company during every performance. The Miraculous Mandarin made its world premiere with The Joffrey Ballet and The Cleveland Orchestra in March 2016.

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Mammatus returns to Chicago after its world premiere with The Joffrey Ballet in September 2015. This powerful, 20-minute abstract piece features 20 dancers in a series of ensembles and duets and is set to contemporary composer Michael Gordon's Weather One. A minimalist stage, equipped with tree branches lit 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 and turbulent cloud formations. Dancer-turned-choreographer, Lopez Ochoa, known for her close collaborations with dancers and fierce improvisational talent, has choreographed critically-acclaimed works for numerous dance companies across the nation and around the world.

Tickets and Schedule

The Joffrey Ballet presents Global Visionaries April 26-May 7, 2017; the full performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30pm, Friday, April 28 at 7:30pm, Saturday, April 29 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, Sunday, April 30 at 2:00pm, Thursday, May 4 at 7:30pm, Friday, May 5 at 7:30pm, Saturday, May 6 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, Sunday, May 7 at 2:00pm.

Single tickets range from $34-$159 and 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, by telephone 312.386.8905, or online at joffrey.org .

About The Joffrey Ballet

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 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.

The Joffrey Ballet gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Global Visionaries Presenting Sponsor Margot and Josef Lakonishok, Live Music Sponsors The Marina and Arnold Tatar Fund for Live Music and Cheryle and Joel V. Williamson as well as Mammatus Production Sponsor Denise Littlefield Sobel, The Miraculous Mandarin Production Sponsor The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and Episode 47 Production Sponsor The National Endowment for the Arts .

Special thanks to Co-Sponsors of the 2016-2017 Season: Abbott Fund, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, NIB Foundation, and Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation; Season Partners: pamella roland and Fox Ford Lincoln, ConAgra Brands, Clear Channel Airports, 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, visit joffrey.org .


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