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Dancin' From 'Frisco to The Windy City

By Peter Mavrik in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 25, 2007 9:00PM

2007_09_joffreywheater.jpgThe Joffrey Ballet has been on a hunt. Not for dancers, or choreographers, or even the folks that run the follow spotlights. Joffrey co-founder Gerald Arpino and his board have been looking for a new artistic director, and it seems that they've found one.

Ashley Wheater has a dancer's resume that's full of big names in dance — Nureyev, The Royal Ballet, Fred Ashton, Helgi Tomasson, and more. He was appointed to the position of artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet on Monday. Wheater, who was previously assistant to the artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet, was quoted as saying "I think there are some things that happen in your life that you feel that it's just absolutely the right thing."

The right thing indeed. Wheater is no stranger to the Joffrey, having been a company member from 1985-1989. Following his time with the company he went on to dance with the SF Ballet until 1996 when he became ballet master. Then, in 2002, he was appointed as assistant to the artistic director.

Although his appointment with the Joffrey was sealed with a five-year contract, the company's season has pretty much been set in stone. We'll be expecting to see something new brewing in 2009 as Wheater's influence begins to take hold in the Chicago dance scene.

image from The Joffrey.