The Joffrey Ballet Presents Yuri Possokhov’s ‘Don Quixote’ to Close 2021–2022 Season
Joffrey performs the family-friendly classic for the first time in over a decade
CHICAGO (May 5, 2022) — After being postponed in February due to COVID-19, The Joffrey Ballet proudly presents the international classic Don Quixote for the first time since its world premiere in 2011. Choreographed by Yuri Possokhov and set to the canonical score by Ludwig Minkus, Don Quixote features a family-friendly, universally beloved story of adventure, romance, and the power of belief. Don Quixote closes the curtain on the Joffrey inaugural season at the historic Lyric Opera House in downtown Chicago at 20 North Upper Wacker Drive, in ten performances only, June 2–12, 2022.
One of the most translated texts in human history, Don Quixote centers on an eccentric nobleman who imagines himself to be a valiant knight. With his trusted sidekick Sancho Panza in tow, Quixote embarks on a humorous and fateful journey, ready to breathe life into a world where windmills become monsters and adventure awaits beyond the horizon. Miguel de Cervantes’s timeless novel of bravery and hope has inspired endless cultural adaptations around the world, from music, opera, and ballet to poetry, fine art, and film.
“The return of the perennial story Don Quixote to The Joffrey Ballet feels especially relevant emerging out of a trying time when we could all use a dash of light-hearted romance,” said Ashley Wheater MBE, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of the Joffrey. “We are thrilled to be working again with Yuri, a frequent collaborator of the Joffrey and a modern master of this ballet. Don Quixote has been an inspiration throughout his career, first as a dancer and then as a choreographer. His voice translates well through the Joffrey’s energetic and expressive dancers, matching the gusto of this joyful and ambitious ballet.”
“After two postponed performances due to the pandemic, Don Quixote serendipitously comes at the perfect time as we welcome summer in Chicago and new beginnings with a performance full of warmth, perseverance, and optimism,” added Joffrey President and CEO Greg Cameron. “We look forward to closing our inaugural season at Lyric—our new performance home—with a ballet classic, one that resonates with audiences of all ages.”
Possokhov choreographed the world premiere adaptation of the classic ballet for The Joffrey Ballet in 2011 to critical acclaim. In addition to Don Quixote, Possokhov’s collaborations with The Joffrey Ballet include Bells (2014), The Miraculous Mandarin (2017), and the world premiere blockbuster Anna Karenina (2019). Possokhov’s original works have toured with prominent ballet companies in cities around the globe, including New York, Chicago, London, and Paris. In 2001, Possokhov earned the Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Choreography for Magrittomania, an inventive commission for San Francisco Ballet inspired by the surrealist painter René Magritte. He received the Benois de la Danse International Prize for Best Choreography in 2019 for his world premiere adaptation of Anna Karenina for The Joffrey Ballet.
The Joffrey’s Don Quixote features set and lighting design by Jack Mehler, animated projections by Wendell Harrington, and original costumes by Travis Halsey. Cynthia Von Orthal’s life-sized, animated puppet of Don Quixote’s horse, Rocinante, adds to the magic.
Presented during the Joffrey’s inaugural season at the historic Lyric Opera House, Don Quixote features live music performed by the Lyric Opera Orchestra, conducted by Scott Speck, Music Director of The Joffrey Ballet.
The Joffrey Ballet performs Don Quixote from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 12, 2022, at Lyric Opera House, 20 North Upper Wacker Drive. The full schedule is as follows: Thursday, June 2, 7:30 PM; Friday, June 3, 7:30 PM; Saturday, June 4, 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM; Sunday, June 5, 2:00 PM; Thursday, June 9, 7:30 PM; Friday, June 10, 7:30 PM; Saturday, June 11, 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM; Sunday, June 12, 2:00 PM.
Single tickets start at $35 and are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower, 10 East Randolph Street, or online at joffrey.org. Ticket holders for the postponed performances had their seats automatically transferred to a corresponding performance date.
The Joffrey requires that all audience members provide proof of full vaccination (when eligible) against COVID-19, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO), for Joffrey performances and events at Lyric Opera House. Those who arrive without proof of full vaccination status or without valid photo I.D. will not be admitted to any Joffrey event or performance. Additionally, protective face coverings must be worn properly over the nose and mouth at all times while inside the theater. More information on the Joffrey’s commitment to patron safety can be found at joffrey.org/safety.
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 60 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.
Special thanks to Don Quixote Presenting Sponsors Margot and Josef Lakonishok and Mr. and Mrs. Joel V. Williamson, Major Sponsors Lorna Ferguson and Terry Clark, ITW, and Poetry Foundation, and Sponsors Colleen Loughlin and John Sirek.