Ron De Jesús Dance and uChicago’s oriental institute Present Preview of New Ballet Osiris and Isis, October 17; Three scenes presented amidst the Oriental Institute’s Middle Eastern artifacts, preceded by free lecture by leading Egyptologist

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Ron De Jesús Dance and uChicago’s oriental institute

Present Preview of New Ballet

Osiris and Isis


Three scenes presented amidst the Oriental Institute’s Middle Eastern artifacts, preceded by free lecture by leading Egyptologist


At the Oriental Institute

One night only: October 17



CHICAGO (September 17, 2014) – The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago presents a preview showing of Osiris and Isis, a new evening-length story-ballet choreographed by Chicagoan Ron De Jesús and performed by his namesake company, Ron De Jesús Dance, inspired by the ancient Egyptian myth of Osiris, the god who was murdered by his brother, Seth, and resurrected by his loving wife, Isis.  The preview is presented one night only in the Yelda Khorsabad Court of the Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th Street in Hyde Park, Friday, October 17 at 7 pm.


Surrounded by ancient Middle Eastern artifacts, including a 16-foot-tall, 40-ton sculpture of a lamassu (human-headed winged bull) flanked by 10-foot tall stone reliefs from the palace of the Assyrian King Sargon II, three dancers portraying Osiris, Isis and Seth dance three scenes from De Jesús’ new work about one of the oldest and strongest love stories, which will have its full premiere at the University of Chicago in the fall of 2015.  Live music composed and performed by James Falzone accompanies the performance and in between each scene, University of Chicago students read excerpts from ancient Egyptian texts about the Osiris myth.  This program is generously funded by University of Chicago Arts Council, the Illinois Humanities Council, and James and Trudene Westerman.


The preview performance of Osiris and Isis is preceded by a free public lecture by Robert K. Ritner, professor of Egyptology at the Oriental Institute.  Dr. Ritner, a world-renowned expert on Egyptian religion and mythology, will focus on the enduring power and appeal of this god of the Egyptian pantheon.  The lecture, titled “A Game of Thrones and Coffins: The Death and Resurrection of Osiris,” takes place in the Oriental Institute’s Breasted Hall, 5:30-6:30 pm.  Admission to the lecture is free, but advanced registration is required either by phone at 773-702-9507 or online at



Tickets for the Osiris and Isis preview performance are $15 for museum members, students, UChicago faculty and staff, and $25 for non-members.  Tickets are available by phone at 773-702-9507 or online at  A reception follows the performance, included in the ticket price.


About the Choreographer

Ron De Jesús is an internationally recognized dancer and choreographer.  His talents have taken him through 17 years as a leading dancer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago to choreographing works on many award-winning performers and companies.  He performed in the original cast of Twyla Tharp/Billy Joel’s musical Movin’ Out and was part of the creative team of Tharp’s original production of Frank Sinatra’s Come Fly Away on Broadway.  He has also performed with widely respected professional dance companies including Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre, Joseph Holmes Dance Theatre and the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble.  As a choreographer, De Jesús has created work for StaatsBallet Berlin, NBA Ballet Japan, Washington Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, BalletMet Columbus, Alabama Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Giordano Dance Chicago and others.  Learn more at


About the Oriental Institute

The Oriental Institute was founded in 1919 by James Henry Breasted with the financial support of John D. Rockefeller Jr., and was originally envisaged as a research laboratory for the investigation of the early human career that would trace humankind’s progress from the most ancient days of the Middle East.  The goal of the Oriental Institute is to be the world’s leading center for the study of ancient Middle Eastern civilizations by combining innovation in theory, methodology and significant empirical discovery with the highest standards of rigorous scholarship.  The Oriental Institute Museum was opened to the public in 1931.  The majority of the collections of the Oriental Institute came from its expeditions in the Middle East during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.  A major reinstallation of the Museum, including the construction of a climate-controlled wing for housing collections and archives, took place in the 1990s and early 2000s. The Oriental Institute is a unit within the University of Chicago.  Learn more at


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