Lux Life: Joffrey Ballet’s Winter Fire

February 8, 2012
Simply Magnificent.
Emmaline Niendorf


The Joffrey Ballet presents the work of three world-renowned choreographers in the new performance Winter Fire. The program is presented in ten performances on stage at the Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University, from February 15 – 26, 2012.

Winter Fire presents three groundbreaking pieces, including the U.S. Premiere of Infra by Wayne McGregor, the Company Premiere of In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated by William Forsythe and the critically acclaimed After the Rain by Christopher Wheeldon. Each of these contemporary choreographers has transformed the direction of dance, and is groundbreaking in their own way.

The Joffrey Ballet_Winter Fire_In the Middle_Victoria Jaiani_Fabrice Calmels

Victoria Jaiani and Fabrice Calmels in In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. Photography by Herbert Migdoll.

The program opens with Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, originally created for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1987. With music by Thom Willems in collaboration with Leslie Stuck, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated is a purely abstract work that combines classical ballet lines with an air of cool detachment.

The next piece is the return of Wheeldon’s After the Rain, a 2010 critically acclaimed Joffrey Premiere. Set to the classical music of Arvo Pärt, After the Rain is in two sections strikingly different in tone: the first is feverishly paced with bold lines and intricate lifts; the second shifts to a meditative pace with a tender tone.

Winter Fire is completed by the U.S. Premiere of McGregor’s work Infra, premiered by The Royal Ballet of London in 2008. Infra is set to an original score by Max Richter, a mix of mournful strings and calm industrial sounds. The set includes a 59-foot LED screen suspended above the stage; beneath it 12 dancers execute the quick and intricate movement, displaying their strength and flexibility. Created after the London subway bombings of 2005, the work illustrates the vibrant emotional undercurrent of urban life.

The Joffrey Ballet_Winter Fire_After the Rain_Valerie Robin_Matthew Adamczyk

Valerie Robin and Matthew Adamcayk in After the Rain. Photography by Herbert Migdoll.

About the Choreographers
William Forsythe
was raised in New York and initially trained in Florida. He danced with The Joffrey Ballet beginning in 1971 and later the Stuttgart Ballet, where he was appointed Resident Choreographer. In 1984, he began a 20-year tenure as director of the Ballet Frankfur. After the closure of the Ballet Frankfurt in 2004, Forsythe established a new ensemble, The Forsythe Company.

Wayne McGregor was born in Stockport, England, and studied dance at University College, Bretton Hall and at the José Limon School in New York. In 1992 he founded his own company Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, and in 2006 he was appointed Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet. Outside the “pure” fields of dance McGregor has directed opera and choreographed movies, plays, musicals and art galleries.

Christopher Wheeldon is one of today’s most innovative contemporary ballet choreographers. Born in Somerset, England,Wheeldon entered The Royal Ballet School and joined The Royal Ballet company in 1991. He worked as the Resident Choreographer for the New York City Ballet from 2001 to 2008. Wheeldon has shown his versatility by working in various mediums. He founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company in 2007, and works as a freelance choreographer.

The Joffrey Ballet_Winter Fire_Infra_Ricardo Santo

Ricardo Santos in Infra. Photography by Sandro.

The Joffrey Ballet’s Winter Fire program runs Wednesday, February 15 through Sunday, February 26, 2012. Tickets are available for purchase at Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower, 10 East Randolph Street, as well as the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University Box Office.

For additional information, please call 312.386.8921 or visit Joffrey Ballet.