For its winter engagement, The Joffrey Ballet presents The Times Are Racing, a mixed repertory program featuring choreography from four of the most influential artists working today, including the Chicago premiere of Justin Peck’s 2017 ballet for which the program gets its name, two Chicago premieres by Israeli choreographer and former Batsheva Dance Company member Itzik Galili, a Christopher Wheeldon classic, and a new work from Chicago's Stephanie Martinez, 2015 winner of the Joffrey’s Winning Works choreographic competition. The Times Are Racing is presented in ten performances only, February 12-23 at the Auditorium Theatre.
“Every season, the Joffrey brings the world to Chicago, and this year’s winter repertory program continues that tradition,” said Ashley Wheater MBE, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director, recently recognized by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his exceptional service to the U.K. in the field of performing arts. “We are grateful to these four choreographers for enabling us to begin the new year with an incredible program that includes all forms of dance and is pure ‘Joffrey’; daring, powerful, and athletic.”
Created in 2008 to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Ballet Russes, Christopher Wheeldon’s Commedia takes inspiration from Igor Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella Suite”—originally composed in 1920 for a ballet that featured harlequinade costumes by Pablo Picasso. Commedia returns for an encore presentation following its Chicago debut in the spring of 2019, in a collaboration between the Joffrey and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Itzik Galili brings two Midwest premieres to Chicago and the Joffrey. Wiggling hips, break-neck twists and turns, and feats of grand athleticism make up Galili’s Mono Lisa. This dynamic and seductive spin on the classical pas de deux evokes a daring game of cat and mouse, set to original music inspired by the clapping sound of typewriters. Galili’s second piece on the program, The Sofa, is a nuanced trio that takes shape as a love triangle run amok, with a set design that consists of a single piece of vinyl-covered furniture. Music by Grammy Award-winner Tom Waits adds emotional depth to this comical take on gender, sexuality, and relationships.
Award-winning choreographer Stephanie Martinez shares her newest work, Bliss!, set to Dumbarton Oaks Concerto, one of only two chamber concertos composed by Stravinsky. A Chicago favorite, Martinez presents her first work for the Joffrey mainstage.
Fresh off his Tony win for Broadway’s Carousel (Best Choreography), Justin Peck’s Chicago premiere of The Times Are Racing is a “sneaker ballet” for 20 dancers that channels the power of protest. Danced to the last four tracks of Dan Deacon’s expansive 2012 album, America, with lighting by Peck collaborator Brandon Stirling Baker and streetwear designed by Opening Ceremony, this expressive ballet speaks to the times.
Tickets and Schedule
The Joffrey Ballet presents The Times Are Racing February 12-23, 2020; the full performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday, February 12 at 7:30 PM, Friday, February 14 at 7:30 PM, Saturday, February 15 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM, Sunday, February 16 at 2:00 PM, Thursday, February 20 at 7:30 PM, Friday, February 21 at 7:30 PM, Saturday, February 22 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM, Sunday, February 23 at 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 E. Randolph Street, as well as the Auditorium Theatre Box Office, by telephone at 312.386.8905, or online at Joffrey.org.
About The Joffrey Ballet
Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its Company, audiences, and repertoire, which includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces and contemporary works.
The Company’s commitment to accessibility is met through an extensive touring schedule, an innovative and highly effective education program, including the much-lauded Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations.
Founded by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey in 1956, guided by celebrated choreographer Gerald Arpino from 1988 until 2007, 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 gives special thanks to Bliss! Production Sponsor the Shea Family Foundation in loving memory of Joanne Sevcik Shea. The Joffrey extends its gratitude to The Times Are Racing Production Sponsor Jane Ellen Murray Foundation. Additional support for Bliss! provided by Elizabeth Yntema in honor of women in leadership in dance.
The Joffrey Ballet is grateful for the support of its 2019-2020 Season Sponsors: Abbott Fund, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, The Florian Fund, 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 Preferred Partners Chicago Athletic Clubs and Athletico Physical Therapy, official provider of physical therapy for The Joffrey Ballet.