Joffrey Ballet Announces Virtual Season

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Among curated, free content available to viewers now and in the New Year include specially commissioned, original works livestreamed from Joffrey Tower; Stage Notes, unique behind-the-scenes commentary on classic Joffrey recordings by featured Company artists;

and On Cue, in-depth conversations on the state of dance

Previously announced holiday treats: PBS documentary, Making a New American Nutcracker,throughDecember 31, and Virtual Enchanted Evening Nutcracker-themed ballet classes December 11 (ages 7-9)

CHICAGO (DECEMBER 8, 2020) – The Joffrey Ballet is pleased to introduce the Joffrey Studio Series, a comprehensive roster of virtual programming — from livestream performances and company rehearsals to pre-recorded conversations — curated by Joffrey artists during the COVID-19 era. Highlights include the world premiere of Bolero, a new 30-minute work by Joffrey Artist Yoshihisa Arai, performed and streamed live from the Joffrey’s Gerald Arpino Black Box Theatre on February 12, 2021 at 5 pm; Stage Notes, featuring unique behind-the-scenes commentary by Company Artists overlaid on classic Joffrey archival footage; and On Cue, a video podcast series of interviews about the arts by the professionals who know it best. More information on all Joffrey Studio Series programming, including links for pre-registration as applicable, will be updated regularly and can be found via Due to COVID-19 city and state mandates, all launch dates and livestreams are subject to change.

“People are craving deep connection and live performance more than ever and The Joffrey Ballet is in a unique position to deliver. Our Joffrey Studio Series is a newly curated series of dance content, utilizing the studios at Joffrey Tower to re-create the magic of the proscenium,” said Ashley Wheater MBE, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet. “In effect, the Joffrey’s Black Box Theatre and our various Joffrey Tower studios will transform into a loose ‘sound stage,’ with the ability to capture and produce high-quality video content that will be accessible to dance lovers around the world.”

“You cannot keep talented artists from doing what they do best,” added Greg Cameron, Joffrey Ballet President and Chief Executive Officer. “Accessibility and innovation are central to the Joffrey’s mission and the Studio Series will enable us to broaden our reach locally, nationally, and internationally.”

The Joffrey Studio Series encompasses the following live and prerecorded content:

Livestreams and New Works
The Joffrey Ballet premieres two exciting new works, choreographed for and during the COVID-19 era: Bolero, a 30-minute work choreographed by Joffrey Artist Yoshihisa Arai for 15 members of the Company, set to the classic Ravel score and livestreamed via The Joffrey’s YouTube channel on February 12 at 5 pm; and Under the Trees’ Voices, a world premiere work by Joffrey Rehearsal Director Nicolas Blanc. Each piece will be performed and streamed live from the Joffrey’s Gerald Arpino Black Box Theatre. In advance of these debuts, viewers will also have an opportunity to experience a “window into the Joffrey,” as cameras livestream the rehearsal process on December 9 and January 27. Future dates will be announced.

All livestream dates subject to change.

Stage Notes, featuring commentary by Joffrey Artists
This unique, behind-the-scenes series features quick take segments, showcasing archival content with a twist: narrated commentary by the dancers involved in the works. Upcoming Stage Notes videos include: Anna Karenina by Yuri Possokhov, with commentary by Joffrey Artists Anais Bueno, Yoshihisa Arai, Hansol Jeong, and Xavier Núñez.

Stage Notes is viewable on The Joffrey Ballet’s website, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram pages on December 7, 14, 22, February 11, 25. Future dates to be announced. Current videos available for viewing include Mono Lisa by Itzik Galili, with commentary by Joffrey Artists Amanda Assucena and Alberto Velazquez; and The Times Are Racing by Justin Peck with commentary by Edson Barbosa and Greig Matthews.

All launch dates subject to change.

On Cue | A Joffrey Interview Series
Hosted by Joffrey Rehearsal Director Adam Blyde, On Cue features in-depth conversations on the state of dance from the artists who know it best. Upcoming interview subjects include Joffrey Artist Derrick Agnoletti, Joffrey Artists (and wife and husband) Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili, and Joffrey Community Engagement Director Linda Swayze.

On Cue interviews are viewable on The Joffrey Ballet website, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram pages on December 10, January 5 and 19. Current interviews available for viewing include Ashley Wheater MBE, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, and Raymond Rodriguez, Academy Director of the Joffrey Academy of Dance.

All launch dates subject to change.

Current Holiday 2020 offerings
Through December 31, viewers can stream the Emmy-winning PBS documentary Making a New American Nutcrackeron the Joffrey’s website and YouTube channel at no charge. The 2017 documentary, narrated by actress Neve Campbell, reveals the inner workings of the Joffrey creative team — from rewriting the story to the making of elaborate puppets to the choreographic process, led by Christopher Wheeldon. Plus, young dancers and dance enthusiasts are invited to take an interactive Nutcracker journey, complete with special guest appearances from The Joffrey Ballet Company Artists. A Virtual Enchanted Evening: The Nutcracker, hosted by the Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, takes place on Friday, December 11 from 6:30-7:30 pm for dancers ages 7-9. Tickets are $15 per dancer and can be purchased on Eventbrite at

The Joffrey Crisis Stabilization Fund
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the cancellation of the Joffrey’s 2020 Spring production of Yuri Possokhov’s Don Quixote and all performances of the 2020-2021 season — an estimated earned revenue loss of more than $9 million. The Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, and Joffrey Community Engagement have moved to virtual programming and limited in-person classes indefinitely.

This coming season, the Joffrey will rely almost entirely on contributed revenue to meet its financial commitments. The establishment of the Joffrey Crisis Stabilization Fund attempts to recoup lost funds stemming from Covid-19 and maintain basic operations through October 2021. To date, the Joffrey has raised $8 million of its $12 million goal.

About The Joffrey Ballet­­
The Joffrey Ballet is one of the premier dance companies in the world today, with a reputation for boundary-breaking performances for more than 60 years. The Joffrey repertoire is an extensive collection of all-time classics, modern masterpieces, and original works.

Founded in 1956 by pioneers Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, the Joffrey remains dedicated to artistic expression, innovation, and first-rate education and engagement programming. The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director Ashley Wheater MBE and President and CEO Greg Cameron.

Making a New American Nutcracker is made possible through the generosity of The Grainger Foundation of Lake Forest, Illinois.

The Joffrey Ballet is grateful for the support of its 2020-2021 Season Sponsors: Abbott Fund, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, The Florian Fund, and Live Music Sponsors Sandy and Roger Deromedi, Sage Foundation, and The Marina and Arnold Tatar Fund for Live Music. The Joffrey also acknowledges our Season Partners Chicago Athletic Clubs, and Athletico Physical Therapy, official provider of physical therapy for The Joffrey Ballet.

For more information on The Joffrey Ballet and its programs, visit Connect with the Joffrey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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