Joffrey Ballet Announces 2022–2023 Season at Lyric Opera House
67th Season Highlights Include:
Chicago Premiere of John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid
The Return of Vespertine by Liam Scarlett and Suite Saint-Saëns by Gerald Arpino
World Premiere from Choreographer Chanel DaSilva
The Return of Yuri Possokhov’s Blockbuster Anna Karenina and
Christopher Wheeldon’s Holiday Classic The Nutcracker
World Premiere of Rita Finds Home, Joffrey’s New Family-Friendly Ballet from
Choreographer Amy Hall Garner, Author Karla Estela Rivera, Illustrator Elisa Chavarri
New Works from Choreographers Cathy Marston and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa,
in Collaboration with Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The Return of Winning Works at the MCA Chicago
March 14, 2022 (Chicago) – Ashley Wheater MBE, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, today announces the Joffrey’s 2022–2023 Season at Lyric Opera House, featuring a world premiere from a rising choreographic star, a revival from a Joffrey icon, the return of a Joffrey blockbuster, and a full-length story ballet of such grand scale that it is rarely seen in the United States. The Joffrey Ballet begins its 67th season with Beyond Borders, October 12–23, 2022, a mixed program that pays tribute to the Joffrey’s maverick legacy with works by artists of its past and present. It includes an original work from choreographer Chanel DaSilva (creator of the Joffrey world premiere Swing Low, featured during the Joffrey’s 2021–2022 Season), and returning works by choreographer Liam Scarlett and Joffrey co-founder Gerald Arpino. Soon after, the Joffrey celebrates the return of Christopher Wheeldon’s magical production of The Nutcracker, December 3–27, 2022, followed by the remount of Yuri Possokhov’s blockbuster Anna Karenina, winner of the 2019 “Oscars of Dance” Benois de la Danse International Prize for Best Choreography, February 15–26, 2023. Closing the season in glorious fashion is the long-awaited Chicago premiere of John Neumeier’s hauntingly beautiful interpretation of The Little Mermaid, soon to be the largest production ever mounted by The Joffrey Ballet, April 19–April 30, 2023.
All season performances take place at Lyric Opera House in downtown Chicago at 20 North Upper Wacker Drive. All programs throughout the season feature live music performed by Lyric Opera Orchestra, conducted by Scott Speck, Music Director of The Joffrey Ballet.
“Over the last several years, the Joffrey has striven to curate performances that speak to our ambitions, provide a voice to rising choreographic talent, and reach audiences everywhere,” said Wheater. “The Joffrey’s 67th season not only highlights inspiring new works from artists like Chanel DaSilva and classics like the Joffrey’s own Gerald Arpino, paired with grand story ballets by two giants of the art form in Yuri Possokhov and John Neumeier, but also new commissions from Cathy Marston and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and an original family-friendly ballet from Amy Hall Garner that is designed to assemble easily in neighborhoods and on stages across Chicago and beyond. We are committed to artistic excellence and a Joffrey for All, part of our mission to ensure that dance is for everyone. My hope is that this coming year shows the extent of that commitment.”
“The Joffrey mission and Ashley’s artistic vision remain at the forefront of the field,” added Greg Cameron, President and CEO of the Joffrey. “We have embraced the idea of community, much like our founder, Robert Joffrey, who believed that dance was a universal language that spoke to everyone. This season, we bring Chicago exceptional works of art that demonstrate the Joffrey’s standing among the great dance companies of the world, but also our intention to be collaborative and impactful partners in the Chicago community and beyond. As Mr. Joffrey himself once said of this company, ‘Classical ballet is our core, but it is not our circumference.’ That sentiment rings true today more than ever.”
About the 2022–2023 Season
October 12–23, 2022
“Classical ballet is our core, but it is not our circumference.” —Robert Joffrey
The Joffrey begins its 2022–2023 season with a mixed program that celebrates the company’s maverick legacy with works by artists of the Joffrey’s past and present, including Joffrey icon and co-founder Gerald Arpino, choreographer Liam Scarlett, and choreographer Chanel DaSilva, creator of the Joffrey world premiere Swing Low.
The full program is as follows:
Choreography: Gerald Arpino | Music: Camille Saint-Saëns
Joffrey co-founder Arpino’s Suite Saint-Saëns weaves classical movement with the late choreographer’s signature neo-classical style of speed, energy, and quality. With its dappled lighting and lilting score, this American masterwork was once described by choreographer Agnes DeMille as like “standing in a flight of meteors.”
Learn more about Gerald Arpino here.
Choreography: Chanel DaSilva | Music: Cristina Spinei
DaSilva returns for a second original creation, following her 2021 critically acclaimed company debut, Swing Low (described by the Chicago Tribune as a “tour de force”). One of the most in-demand artists working today, DaSilva brings her storytelling prowess back to Chicago for another sure-to-be-glorious world premiere.
Learn more about Chanel DaSilva here.
Special thanks to the Chanel DaSilva World Premiere Commissioning Sponsor Kiphart Family Foundation.
Choreography: Liam Scarlett | Music: Bjarte Eike, John Dowland, Arcangelo Corelli, Francesco Geminiani
Scarlett takes inspiration from Baroque era classics in this hypnotic performance of expert lyricism and elegance. Illuminated under the subtle glow of crystal chandeliers, with chic costumes designed by Scarlett himself, Vespertine puts a modern twist on the romantic era of the late 18th century.
Learn more about Liam Scarlett here.
Beyond Borders is presented in 10 performances, October 12–23, 2022.
December 3–27, 2022
Choreography: © Christopher Wheeldon | Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Magic is on the horizon for young Marie and the Nutcracker Prince, thanks to a visit from the charming but mysterious Great Impresario. At the stroke of midnight on a snowy Christmas Eve, when the lines between fantasy and reality blur together, Marie sets out on an unforgettable journey through Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair, a marvel of sights, sounds, and enchantment. This annual holiday tradition celebrates the magic of the season and the rich cultural heritage of Chicago.
A ballet in two acts set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score, The Nutcracker features an award-winning creative team, including Tony Award®-nominated set and costume designer Julian Crouch, Caldecott Medal Award-winning author Brian Selznick, Obie and Drama Desk award-winning puppeteer Basil Twist, Tony Award®-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz and Tony Award®-winning projection designer Ben Pearcy/59 Productions.
Learn more about Christopher Wheeldon here.
The Nutcracker is presented in 25 performances, December 3–27, 2022.
With gratitude to The Nutcracker Commissioning Sponsors: Margot and Josef Lakonishok, Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, Hancher Auditorium, University of Iowa, and the many “Believers”.
February 15–26, 2023
Choreography: Yuri Possokhov | Original Score: Ilya Demutsky
Love is all-consuming for the beautiful but married Anna, who finds herself caught in a life-changing affair with the dashing Count Vronsky. Set in the late 19th century of Imperial Russia, Possokhov’s immersive adaptation—winner of the 2019 “Oscars of Dance” Benois de la Danse International Prize for Best Choreography—returns to the Joffrey for the first time since its successful world premiere in 2019. This blockbuster ballet, based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy, features an original composition by award-winning composer Ilya Demutsky, costumes and sets by Emmy-Award-winning designer Tom Pye, and lighting by famed designer David Finn.
Learn more about Yuri Possokhov here.
Anna Karenina is presented in 10 performances, February 15–26, 2023.
With gratitude to Anna Karenina Commissioning Sponsors: Producing Sponsors Margot and Josef Lakonishok and NIB Foundation; Major Sponsors Lorna Ferguson and Terry Clark, Nancy and Sanfred Koltun, Mr. and Mrs. Joel V. Williamson, The Walter E. Heller Foundation, JHL Capital Group, Jane Ellen Murray Foundation, Diane and John Patience, Poetry Foundation, Rudolf Nureyev Fund at The Joffrey Ballet; and Sponsors Mary Jo and Doug Basler, Ethel and William Gofen, Bill and Orli Staley Foundation, and the Australian Consulate-General in Chicago.
The Little Mermaid
April 19–30, 2023
Choreography: John Neumeier | Original Score: Lera Auerbach
A gripping tableau of shadows and colors, Neumeier’s beautifully haunting interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 fairytale follows the tormented mermaid heroine on a journey between the divergent worlds of land and sea—one utterly complex, the other magnificently serene. With sets and costumes of the grandest scale, this fantastical love story, based on Andersen’s original and decidedly complex themes, makes its long-awaited Chicago debut.
Not recommended for children ages 12 and under.
Learn more about John Neumeier, Director and Chief Choreographer of The Hamburg Ballet, here.
The Little Mermaid is presented in 10 performances, April 19–30, 2023.
Special thanks to The Little Mermaid Production Sponsor Pamela Crutchfield.
New Commissions and Premieres in 2022
The Joffrey is also proud to announce three forthcoming world premieres in the summer and fall of 2022: the world premiere of Rita Finds Home, a new family-friendly ballet from the creative team Amy Hall Garner (featured choreographer of the Joffrey’s Winning Works Choreographic Competition in 2011), author Karla Estela Rivera, and illustrator Elisa Chavarri; and two commissioned world premieres from choreographers Cathy Marston, choreographer of the Joffrey world premiere Of Mice and Men, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, choreographer of the original Joffrey creation Mammatus, in collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Rita Finds Home, a collaborative project between the Joffrey and Miami City Ballet, makes its debut at the Navy Pier Lake Stage, July 9–10, 2022, with additional free presentations throughout the summer; times and dates for the Joffrey’s collaboration with the CSO are to be announced.
More information for both performances will be released at a later date.
Special thanks to Rita Finds Home Commissioning Sponsors: Denise Littlefield Sobel, The Pritzker Foundation, Lorna Ferguson and Terry Clark, Greg Cameron and Greg Thompson, Dr. Rebecca L. Sherrick, Fry Foundation with Amina Dickerson, Chicago Park District, the National Endowment for the Arts; and to Courtney Shea for supporting the creation of new work by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Cathy Marston.
The Return of the Joffrey’s Winning Works Choreographic Competition in 2023
The Joffrey’s Winning Works Choreographic Competition, founded in 2010 to recognize talented and emerging ALAANA choreographers, whose unique perspectives ignite creativity in the form of original works of dance, returns to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s Edlis Neeson Theater, March 17–19, 2023. Winners are to be announced.
Joffrey On Tour in 2023
Of Mice and Men
Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium
January 20–21, 2023
Tickets and Subscriptions for the Joffrey’s 2022–2023 Season Performances
Three-program subscriptions for the fall, winter, and spring season productions, which do not include The Nutcracker, start at $108. Subscriptions are available for purchase online at joffrey.org, by mail (Joffrey Ballet Subscriptions, The Joffrey Ballet, Joffrey Tower, 10 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601), by telephone at 312.386.8905, by fax at 312.739.0119 or by email at email@example.com.
Single tickets for the October, February and April performances, as well as The Nutcracker, will be available starting August 1, 2022. Single tickets are available at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of 10 East Randolph Street, by telephone at 312.386.8905 or online at joffrey.org.
All performances subject to change.
Safety and COVID-19 Precautions
The health and safety of the Joffrey artists and audience members remain the Joffrey’s priority. The Joffrey continues to monitor the state of COVID-19 with its venue partner, Lyric Opera, as well as safety officials with the city of Chicago and Illinois, to ensure the safest in-person viewing experience for live performances.
In the event of a performance cancellation, patrons can choose between a full refund, credit to account, or converting their tickets to a fully tax-deductible donation to The Joffrey Ballet. Patrons who experience any COVID-19-related symptoms and cannot attend the performance will have tickets credited to their account.
Vaccination and Mask Policy
In consultation with public health officials, in response to strong patron feedback, and along with many of our peer organizations in Chicago's theater community, The Joffrey Ballet requires that all audience members provide a valid photo identification and proof of two or more doses of vaccine against COVID-19 as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO) for all Joffrey performances and events. Additionally, facial masks worn properly over the nose and mouth will continue to be required. Please note that bandanas, neck gaiters, and masks with exhalation valves are not accepted. As guidelines evolve, so may these directives. For the most recent information about safety at the Joffrey, visit the Joffrey Safety page.
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 65 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.
The Joffrey Ballet is grateful for the support of its 2022–2023 Season Sponsors: Abbott Fund, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, The Florian Fund, Anne L. Kaplan, Nancy and Sanfred Koltun 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.
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