THE JOFFREY ballet TO CELEBRATE 100 YEARS OF TUDOR
THROUGH LOVE, LOSS AND LAUGHTER WITH
Antony Tudor Centennial
at the auditorium theatre, FEBRUARY 20 - MARCH 2, 2008
JOFFREY PREMIERE OF LAR LUBOVITCH'S "...SMILE WITH MY HEART,"
FEATURING THE MUSIC OF RICHARD RODGERS, ADDED TO SPRING PROGRAM
January 17, 2008 - The Joffrey Ballet will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the
birth of choreographer Antony Tudor, with an Antony Tudor Centennial, a repertory
program featuring Lilac Garden, Dark Elegies and Offenbach in the Underworld, at the
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, in nine
performances only, February 20 - March 2, 2008.
The Chicago Sinfonietta, under the baton of The Joffrey's Music Director and
Principal Conductor Dr. Leslie B. Dunner will provide live musical accompaniment.
The NIB Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) are the program
sponsors for the Antony Tudor Centennial.
"Antony Tudor was one of the great 20th century choreographers who explored social
relationships through narrative dance," said Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director of
The Joffrey Ballet. "I believe that we should keep these great works alive so they
may be appreciated by future generations and that everyone may understand the unique
talent of this man. It is only appropriate that we celebrate Tudor's 100th birthday
by presenting three works that most embody his contribution not only to The Joffrey
Ballet, but to the world of dance."
The British-born Tudor (1908-1987), known as the "king of psychological
dance-drama," was the first choreographer to marry psychology to ballet and create
complex, multi-dimensional characters. His ballets, influenced by the expressionism
of Fokine and Massine, use the modern idiom, and, in his later work, he used
psychological tension and dramatic gestures to explore human suffering. This
repertory program will honor Tudor's unique genius, exploring the inner landscapes
of three of his seminal works as they journey from love (Lilac Garden), to loss
(Dark Elegies), to laughter (Offenbach in the Underworld).
A prolific dancer-choreographer for London's Ballet Rambert in 1939, Tudor was
invited by Agnes DeMille to join the first season of New York's Dance Theatre, now
known as the American Ballet Theatre. He danced leading roles and created ballets
for several English and American companies and was later the artistic director of
the Royal Swedish Ballet (1963-64). Tudor's works have been represented in every
American Ballet Theatre season, where he was named Choreographer Emeritus in 1980,
and remained the company's resident choreographer until his death in 1987.
The Antony Tudor Centennial will open with a revival of the choreographer's 1936
work, Le Jardin aux Lilacs (Lilac Garden), a piece for which The Joffrey has become
renowned nationwide. This glorious Victorian melodrama, filled with intrigue and
secret love affairs, was originally created for Ballet Rambert and is set to the
music of Ernest Chausson. This intimate work reveal's Tudor's increasing interest in
developing a choreographic language that shows the psychological motivation for his
protagonists' actions through the story of a young woman who must say farewell to
her lover on the eve of her arranged marriage to a man she does not love. The
Joffrey first premiered Lilac Garden at the Auditorium Theatre in March 2001.
The program continues with Dark Elegies, said to be Tudor's greatest masterpiece.
The straightforward, literal movements of the piece exemplify the depth of human
emotion, depicting the grief of village peasants over the death of their children.
Accompanied by Gustav Mahler's haunting "Kindertotenlieder," Dark Elegies consists
of five songs that translate to "Songs on the Death of Children" sung by bass
baritone Stephen Salters. By reflecting the spirit of the Song Cycle, Tudor has
constructed his choreography along the lines of what may conveniently be called
"symphonic ballet," to distinguish it both from classical ballet style and the
romantic story-telling kind. He has created choreographic joins between the songs,
and also endeavored to mirror the ideas of the songs in the movements of the
dancers. The work received its World Premiere by the Ballet Rambert in 1937 and
features scenery and costumes by Nadia Benois and lighting by Jean Rosenthal. Dark
Elegies was first performed by The Joffrey Ballet in March 2005 as part of its
American Masterworks program.
Closing out the program is the joyous, Parisian romp, Offenbach in the Underworld
(1954), set to the music of Jacques Offenbach, with orchestrations by George Crum,
costumes by Kay Ambrose, and set design by Kenichi Yamaguchi. The action of the
ballet takes place in a fashionable café in the 1870s, where many people come to
relax and enjoy themselves at the hour when most people go to sleep. As it has an
international reputation, characters of all walks of life make up the clientele, and
visiting celebrities come to see, to be seen, and to be amused. Among them are a
famous operetta star and one of her admirers, a debutante of good family masking her
identity, a penniless painter trying to earn a living by drawing sketches of the
café patrons, a queen of the carriage trade, a young officer, and a group of
laundresses that dance a ruckus can-can to let off steam. Intrigue surrounds all
the patrons throughout the late evening hours, but the flirtations that take place
at such a time are half-forgotten by the next morning. There is no sad or happy
ending - just closing time.
Offenbach in the Underworld received two World Premieres - the first by the
Philadelphia Ballet Guild in 1954, and the second version (with orchestrations by
Crum, and costumes and set design by Ambrose)
by the National Ballet of Canada in 1955 - and its American Ballet Theatre premiere
at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in 1956. Tudor himself worked with The
Joffrey Ballet on this piece in the 1980s, and it has not been performed by the
Company in over 20 years.
Joining the company in the role of "The Operetta Star" will be former Joffrey dancer
Trinette Singleton, best known for her starring turn in Robert Joffrey's multi-media
ballet, Astarte (1967) and the famous Time Magazine cover that followed. Singleton
began her professional career with The Joffrey Ballet in New York in 1965 and has
toured throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, performing in ballets by notable
choreographers such as Joffrey, Arpino, Ashton, Balanchine, Cranko, DeMille, Jooss,
and Tudor. Following her performing years, she became Ballet Mistress for the
company, as well as Administrative Assistant to Robert Joffrey. She later joined
Ballet Theatre Pennsylvania as Ballet Mistress/Choreographer in 1990, where she was
appointed Artistic Director in 1994. In 1995, she formed Bravo!Dance with Nana
Badrena, a faculty member of The Joffrey Ballet School. She also taught in the BFA
Program at The New School University in New York City, in 1999.
All three pieces in the Antony Tudor Centennial will be set by Donald Mahler
(Repetiteur for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust) who has staged Tudor's Lilac Garden,
Dark Elegies, Echoing of Trumpets, Offenbach in the Underworld, for companies across
the United States, as well as in France, Canada and Japan. Mahler was trained at
the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School by Margaret Craske and Tudor himself. He
joined the National Ballet of Canada in 1956, where he danced principal roles in
ballets by Tudor, Walter Gore and Andrée Howard. In 1961 Mahler joined the
Metropolitan Opera Ballet where he was later made soloist. In 1975 he was engaged as
Ballet Master for the Zurich Opera House in Switzerland. He returned to the
Metropolitan Opera in 1979 as Ballet Master and in 1982 was appointed Director of
the Ballet. It was there Mahler began his career as a choreographer, creating
ballets not only for the operas, but for the Met Ballet's touring company as well.
He has also choreographed works for other companies such as Joffrey II Dancers,
Ballet West, Ballet Mississippi and the New York Theatre Ballet. Mahler has taught
widely for companies and schools in the United States and Europe, and works
extensively in Japan both as teacher and choreographer. In 1992 he was awarded a
two year Choreographer's Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Joffrey Ballet will conclude its 2007-2008 Season with American Moderns, May 14
- 25, 2008. Joining the previously announced* Cloven Kingdom (Paul Taylor), Inner
Space (Mehmet Sanders), and the Company Premiere Waterbaby Bagatelles (Twyla Tharp),
will be Lar Lubovitch's, "...smile with my heart," a moving tribute to to the
legendary Broadway composer Richard Rodgers. "...smile with my heart" (from the
lyric by Lorenz Hart from"My Funny Valentine") was created for American Ballet
Theatre in collaboration with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and first presented
in 2002 - the 100th anniversary of Rodgers' birth.
Song selections for "...smile with my heart" include "It Might As Well Be Spring,"
(Music by Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II), "The Sweetest Sounds," (Music
and Lyrics by Rodgers), "Do I Hear A Waltz?," (Music by Rodgers, Lyrics by Stephen
Sondheim), "My Funny Valentine," "Where Or When" and "I Didn't Know What Time It
Was," (Music by Rodgers, Lyrics by Lorenz Hart). These selections are used by
special arrangement with the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization.
*Laura Dean's Night will not be performed this season.
Performance Schedule and Pricing for Antony Tudor Centennial
The performance schedule for The Joffrey Ballet presentation of Antony Tudor
Centennial, February 20 - March 2, 2008, is as follows: Wednesday, February 20 at
7:30 p.m.; Friday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 23 at 2 p.m. & 7:30
p.m.; Sunday, February 24 at 2 p.m.; Friday, February 29 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday,
March 1 at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, March 2 at 2 p.m.
Single tickets for both the Antony Tudor Centennial and American Moderns, priced
from $25 to $140, are currently on sale at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt
University box office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by telephone at (312)
902-1500, or online at www.ticketmaster.com
<http://www.ticketmaster.com/> . Groups
of 10 or more should call (312) 386-8899. There will be special $20 college and
graduate student "rush" tickets available an hour before curtain for any remaining
tickets. Students will need to show a current ID.
The Joffrey Ballet extends special thanks to its 2007-2008 Season Sponsors, the
Abbott Fund and Huron Consulting Group; Giselle Program Sponsor, JPMorgan Chase; the
Production Sponsor for Giselle, NIB Foundation; The Nutcracker Program Sponsor,
Macy's North; Antony Tudor Centennial Program Sponsor, NIB Foundation & NEA; Lilac
Garden Production Sponsor, Nuveen Investments; Dark Elegies Production Sponsor,
Jewell Events Catering; Offenbach in the Underworld Production Sponsor, Lockwood
Restaurant and Bar; Inner Space Production Sponsor, United Airlines; and Waterbaby
Bagatelles Production Sponsor, The Sara Lee Foundation. Live music for the
2007-2008 Season, provided by The Chicago Sinfonietta, is underwritten in part by
The Joyce Foundation, the Julius Frankel Foundation, the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice
Foundation, and the Farny R. Wurlitzer. The 2007-2008 Season is also supported by
grants from the Illinois Arts Council and the CityArts Program of the Chicago
Department of Cultural Affairs. The Joffrey Ballet is also supported by the National
Endowment for the Arts. Special thanks to United Airlines, the Official & Exclusive
Airline of The Joffrey Ballet.
For more information about The Joffrey Ballet please call 312-739-0120 or visit
Contact: Samara Harand / Farrah Malik
The Silverman Group, Inc.
The Silverman Group, Inc.
213 W. Institute Place, Suite 501
Chicago, IL, 60610