Joffrey Welcomes Four New Artists to the Company
New artists join the Joffrey for historic inaugural season at Lyric Opera House
The Joffrey Ballet’s Ashley Wheater MBE, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director, and Greg Cameron, President and CEO, are pleased to announce the addition of four dancers to the Joffrey roster for the 2021-2022 season: Brian Bennett (Lanham, Maryland), Blake Kessler (Jacksonville, Florida), Yuchan Kim (Seoul, South Korea), and Miranda Silveira (Barcelona, Spain). With these new company members, The Joffrey Ballet has expanded to 43 dancers, representing 13 countries.
Yuchan, Blake, Miranda, and Brian take in the panoramic scenery at Skydeck Chicago.
Kessler joined The Joffrey Ballet in September 2020, one month before the company announced the cancellation of all remaining performances for the 2020-2021 season. Since joining, Kessler has performend with the company as part of the virtual presentation of Boléro, which will have its stage debut as part of the Joffrey’s season opening production at the Lyric Opera House, Home: a Celebration, a mixed repertory program that will feature the talents of all four new dancers and runs October 13–24, 2021.
“As we prepare to launch our first-ever season at the Lyric Opera House, we are thrilled to welcome Brian, Blake, Yuchan, and Miranda, who embody the exceptional level of artistry and creativity that makes the Joffrey unique,” said Wheater. “For Brian in particular, this is a full circle moment as he returns to Chicago after graduating as a Trainee at the Joffrey Academy of Dance, an experience that launched him into the professional dance world at Oregon Ballet Theatre. We are happy to have him back.”
“The Joffrey Artists are the foundation of The Joffrey Ballet,” added Cameron. “It is especially gratifying when that foundation is made up of so many different backgrounds and experiences, talents and personalities, which is exactly what Brian, Blake, Yuchan, and Miranda bring to the company. It is what makes the Joffrey so special. We welcome our new company members and look forward to seeing them shine on stage this season.”
The Joffrey Ballet launches its 2021-22 season with Home: a Celebration, a triumphant mixed rep program that includes Gerald Arpino’s Birthday Variations, Joffrey’s 2020 Winning Works choreographer Chanel DaSilva’s Swing Low, Joffrey Rehearsal Director Nicolas Blanc’s Under the Trees’ Voices, and Joffrey Company Artist Yoshihisa Arai’s Boléro.
Christopher Wheeldon’s reimagined The Nutcracker (December 4-26, 2021) is followed by the remount of Yuri Possokhov’s Don Quixote (February 16-27, 2022).
The Joffrey concludes its season with a spring program (April 27-May 8, 2022) that features the Joffrey premiere of George Balanchine’s Serenade, and the world premiere of Cathy Marston’s Of Mice and Men.
About the Artists
Brian Bennett is from Lanham, MD. He began his dance training in the Competition circuit where he performed tap, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary routines at talent competitions across the United States, winning multiple awards. Full bio available here.
Blake Kessler was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He began his classical training in 2006 at The Florida Ballet Training Center and in 2010 continued his training with Orlando Ballet School. Full bio available here.
Yuchan Kim was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. After training at Sunhwa Arts Middle School and Universal Ballet Junior company from 2014 to 2017, he studied ballet on full scholarship at Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. and graduated with honors in June 2019. Full bio available here.
Miranda Silveira was born in São Goncalo, Brazil, and grew up in Barcelona, Spain. From an early age, she enrolled in Hip Hop, Jazz, Modern, and Ballet and at age twelve, she was accepted at the Theatre Institute for Dance in Barcelona, Spain and shortly after, moved to Madrid to continue her dance studies at the Royal Conservatory of Dance Mariemma. Full bio available here.