JOFFREY STUDIO SERIES CONTINUES THROUGH MARCH AND APRIL, INCLUDES WORLD PREMIERE OF NICOLAS BLANC’S
UNDER THE TREES’ VOICES
The Joffrey Ballet invites the public to experience the choreographic process via two rehearsal livestreams on April 7, leading up to the one-time-only performance of Under the Trees’ Voices on April 30 at 7:00 PM
2020 winners of annual Winning Works choreographic competition reimagine their works for the virtual stage; livestream performances on March 25-26 and April 8-9
The Joffrey Ballet continues its Joffrey Studio Series—a roster of virtual programming during the COVID-19 era—headlined by the World Premiere of Under the Trees’ Voices, a new 28-minute work by Joffrey Rehearsal Director Nicolas Blanc, performed and streamed live from the Joffrey’s Gerald Arpino Black Box Theatre on April 30, 2021 at 7:00 PM. Additional virtual Spring offerings include a reimagined Winning Works, a culmination of Joffrey’s 2020 national call for ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American) artists bycompetition winners—Chanel DaSilva, Tsai Hsi Hung, Pablo Sánchez (recipient of the inaugural Zach Lazar Winning Works Fellowship), and Durante Verzola—to be performed on the virtual stage by Joffrey Academy Trainees and Studio Company on March 25-26 and April 8-9, 2021; and new episodes in the Joffrey’s behind-the-scenes Stage Notes program.
Blanc’s Under the Trees’ Voices features 15 Joffrey artists dancing to Symphony No. 2 by Italian composer Ezio Bosso. The performance channels the power of community in the age of social distancing. In four distinct sections, Blanc imagines a future of hope and unity. In advance of the April 30 performance, viewers also have the opportunity to experience a “window into the Joffrey,” as cameras livestream the rehearsal process on March 3 at 3:00 PM and April 7 at 3:00 PM.
“The pandemic reminds us that life is precious, that our shared sense of community and the ability to engage with one another face-to-face is one of humanity’s great joys,” said Ashley Wheater MBE, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of the Joffrey. “Nic’s piece speaks to the idea that human interaction and socialization is essential and that we should never take it for granted.”
“Innovation, creativity, and the ability to adapt with the times have been part of the Joffrey DNA since its founding in 1956.” Added Greg Cameron, President and CEO. “Over the past year, our focus has been about the health and safe return of our Company Artists to the stage. For now, our stage is digital, a platform that has allowed the Joffrey to reach audiences across the globe with universal stories. Nic’s new creation, in addition to all the wonderful work of the Joffrey Artists, reaffirms that the fundamental quality of expressing ourselves through dance will never stop.”
The performance livestream and rehearsals of Under the Tree’s Voices will be viewable via the Joffrey’s website at Joffrey.org.
More information on all Joffrey Studio Series programming, including links for pre-registration as applicable, will be updated regularly and can be found via Joffrey.org/StudioSeries. Due to COVID-19 city and state mandates, all launch dates and livestreams are subject to change.
Other Joffrey Studio Series programming includes the following live and prerecorded content:
Joffrey Academy’s Winning Works and Livestream Rehearsals
The Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, was set to present its tenth annual Winning Works performance in March 2020, however, all performances were cancelled due to the COVID-19 shut down. The four winners of the Winning Works choreographic competition—Chanel DaSilva, Tsai Hsi Hung, Pablo Sánchez and Durante Verzola—have reimagined their original works to be choreographed for a virtual performance to presented via livestream throughout 2021.
Chanel DaSilva’s world premiere of B O R D E R S will stream March 25 at 7:00 PM.
B O R D E R S imagines the boundaries—both literal and figurative—that people place on themselves and others. DaSilva challenges the audience to look at how they separate themselves from others in the world, whether through physical means or psychological ones. The 13-minute piece features a cast of 11 artists—ten women and five men.
Tsai Hsi Hung’s world premiere for the Joffrey Academy (Brushstroke) will stream on March 26 at 7:00 PM. Brushstroke takes inspiration from the work of designer Alexander McQueen and painter Jackson Pollack. Using “the line” as a central theme, Hung weaves a series of complex textures through movement that create the effect of currents of wind winding around each other. The 12-minute piece features a cast of eleven artists—eight women and three men.
Durante Verzola’s world premiere (Ballet de Cour) will stream on April 8 at 7:00 PM. Ballet de Cour features a cast of 15 and evokes the courtly nature of classical ballet’s 17th Century origins. The piece is danced to music by Frédéric Chopin (based on a theme by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) and steeps itself in neoclassical technique, with the women dancing in pointe shoes. Through the many “micro dramas and stories” inspired by the music, Verzolauses Chopin’s lively score to explore the dancer’s innate desire to move and express it.
Pablo Sánchez’s world premiere of the Joffrey Academy¡VIVA! will stream on April 9 at 7:00 PM. ¡VIVA! celebrates the Joffrey Academy’s tenth anniversary year and its ongoing commitment to presenting works by under-represented groups of artists. Sánchez is inspired by his native México in creating a fresh and vibrant work titled ¡VIVA!, using music by composers Manuel Ponce and José Pablo Moncayo. “It’s an illustration of Mexican tradition with a splash of the colorful spirit for which México is beloved in our world.”
The Winning Works livestreams will be viewable at Joffrey.org. All launch dates subject to change.
Stage Notes, featuring commentary by Joffrey Artists
This unique, behind-the-scenes series features quick take segments, showcasing archival content with a twist: narrated commentary by the dancers involved in the works.
Photos: Courtesy of the Joffrey Ballet