The Joffrey Ballet Introduces Us To Russia

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 19, 2013 3:00PM

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The Joffrey Ballet returns this weekend with a compelling new season celebrating "Masters of Dance" from around the world, beginning in Russia. "Russian Masters" is a special addition to the season that will only run for four performances tonight through Sunday.

Vaslav Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), set to the iconic score by Igor Stravinsky, is the highlight of the program as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of its premiere. The piece is famous for causing people to practically riot at its first showing in Paris in 1913 because of its unexpected avant-garde composition. The choreography itself is just as unconventional with odd positions, stomping and turned-in feet. The Joffrey prides itself on restoring the original costumes and set when it revived the ballet in 1987, along with the original choreography which had been altered for most subsequent performances.

Also on the program is George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, a fast-moving piece without plot, set to Tchaikovsky’s unfinished third piano concerto. The other half of the program turns to modern day choreographer Yuri Possokhov with two works, Adagio and Bells. This will be the Chicago premiere of the pas de deux Adagio, which was originally created last year for Joffrey dancers—and husband and wife team—Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili. Bells was Possokhov’s first work for the Joffrey, and much like Brillante, is also without specific scenario, “just pictures, memories and feelings in eight sections.”

Tickets for "Russian Masters" range from $31 to $152. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday at The Auditorium Theatre, 50 E Congress Parkway