Joffrey Ballet | Auditorium Theatre | Dance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through May 10 2009
Price: $25-$145
For a "romantic" program, the Joffrey Ballet's spring show is awfully melancholy. A Chicago premiere, Christopher Wheeldon's 2002 Carousel (A Dance) is faithful to its namesake--the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical--so the hero is a bounder and the love affair is doomed. Wheeldon counters the tragic plot, though, with rapturous, whirling choreography. At rehearsal he kept asking his dancers for a greater sense of abandon and release in their rocking motions. You could get seasick watching this piece, and maybe that's the idea--the dizzying, dangerous power of love. And then there's marriage: Les Noces ("The Wedding"), a 1923 work by Bronislava Nijinska (Vaslav's sister) revived here for the first time since 2003, doesn't take a happy view of the happy day. Grim and monochromatic, it closes with the image of stern mothers standing guard at the newlyweds' bedroom door. The other pieces on the program are Gerald Arpino's uplifting Round of Angels, about a loved one who's passed on, and the Joffrey premiere of Helgi Tomasson's Valses Poeticos. --Laura Molzahn



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