Studies in Blue
- when February 15-25, 2024
- where Lyric Opera House
- choreography Mixed Repertory
- running time 2 hours and 5 minutes, including two intermissions
Studies in Blue is a captivating program of three dynamic works that test the limits of classical ballet. The program features the return of audience favorite 'Yonder Blue' by Andrew McNicol set to music by Peter Gregson followed by 'Hungry Ghosts', a world premiere by Stina Quagebeur with music composed by Jeremy Birchall. Hungry Ghosts is a stunning exploration of the blight of addiction, and the longing to feel connected amidst devastation. The program concludes with the Joffrey premiere of Liam Scarlett’s 'Hummingbird', a powerful expression of human emotion set to Philip Glass’s three-movement 'Tirol Concerto for Piano and Orchestra'.
Read the program book ahead of your performance - complete with synopsis, company artist roster, artistic and production team biographies, and more.
See casting information for Studies in Blue.
Meet the Artists
We invite you to our Meet the Artists event taking place in the Lyric Opera House one hour before the performance. Simply present your ticket to the usher to gain free admittance.
About the Program
Choreography: Andrew McNicol | Music: Peter Gregson
In this Joffrey commissioned piece, McNicol creates a vastness in Yonder Blue with minimalist costuming and unique lighting. McNicol draws inspiration from writer Siri Hustvedt’s illuminating book A Plea for Eros. In the book, Hustvedt describes “yonder” as a word that shifts and moves, implying distance between one place and another. “Blue” similarly holds multiple associations of honesty and melancholy.
Choreography: Stina Quagebeur | Music: Jeremy Birchall
Praised for her masterful blending of classical and contemporary ballet, Quagebeur intuitively communicates universal journeys, whether they be abstract or narrative. Described in 'Dancing Times' as a choreographer who “managed to express abstract ideas through dance with the sort of clarity that indicates serious talent," Quagebeur’s world premiere of Hungry Ghosts conveys the blight of addiction, and the longing to feel connected amidst devastation. She describes this work as “the story that statistics can’t tell and that words alone cannot do justice to.”
Choreography: Liam Scarlett | Music: Phillip Glass
Hummingbird takes flight in a breathtaking expression of human emotion. Set to Glass’s three-movement 'Tirol Concerto' for Piano and Orchestra, Scarlett articulates profound love and longing through the progression of three pas de deux. Surrounded by the striking artistry of John Macfarlane’s stage design, Scarlett’s dynamic choreography invites audiences to embrace compassion, reminding us of what it feels like to be human. Dance Europe hailed it as a “perfect mix of music, choreography, staging…it takes your breath away.”
Creating Hungry Ghosts (2024)
Creating Yonder Blue (2019)
Meet the Creative Team
Choreographer Andrew McNicol | Yonder Blue
Andrew McNicol is a freelance British choreographer and Artistic Associate at English National Ballet School. He has been noted as “a name to watch” and “talented beyond his years.”
Choreographer Stina Quagebeur | Hungry Ghosts
Born in Belgium, Stina started dancing and choreographing by the time she was 7. At the age of 11 she came to England to study at the Royal Ballet School, and continued her training at the English National Ballet School, joining the company at age 18. She has been choreographing throughout her career as a dancer and was named Associate Choreographer of the company in 2019.
Choreographer Liam Scarlett | Hummingbird
Born in Ipswich, he trained at the Linda Shipton School of Dancing and then The Royal Ballet School before graduating to The Royal Ballet in 2005. He was promoted to First Artist in 2008. In 2012 he retired from dancing and was appointed Artist in Residence with The Royal Ballet.