karen Krolak: Presenting the Midwest premiere of Othello is an enormous project involving 42 dancers, sets by George Tsypin, costumes by Ann Hould-Ward, recreated projections by Wendall K. Harrington, and a score by Academy Award® winner Elliot Goldenthal. What drew you to this piece and why did lanch your season of Legends with it?Ashley Wheater: For me it is a profound piece of dance. There are very few contemporary full length ballets at this same level in terms of technique, choreographic content and such creative collaborations. I worked with Lar Lubovitch from the birth of this work with the joint venture between American Ballet Theater (ABT) and San Francisco Ballet (SFB). I looked after it at SFB through various seasons and was very involved with televising of the work on PBS. I wanted to bring this to the Joffrey, but knew that I would wait a few years to do it. I wanted the dancers to really have an understanding the movement and why this full length should be seen in and should, of course, be presented by The Joffrey Ballet.
kK: How have you liked working with Lar Lubovitch?
kK: What have you enjoyed as you have watched your company rehearse with him?
AW: For me it was watching the full company work with Lar and let everyone take in his vast knowledge of dance and his connection with this story. Experiencing the dancers learn about themselves and really challenge themselves was most exciting. I feel they have exceeded even their own expectations, which as an artistic director is what one can only hope for.
AW: This is a good question for many reasons, some of which I have explained above. As an Artistic Director I am of course very interested in new works. I have brought many new works to the Joffrey over the past two years, will be doing so again in the spring, and will continue to in the company's future! The risk involved in staging new work is that it can be very, very expensive so if you are going to do a new work you must be sure that you are able to deliver the highest artistic qualities and that it will be a success. I have sat through many new works and have been disappointed and wonder how a company recuperates from that. In this day and age, we should not shy away from new work, but need to understand the risk involved and be ready to take it on. As I mentioned above, we are bring two world premiere works to Chicago in the Spring, one by Jessica Lang and the other by James Kudelka, which I am thrilled about. This will be our only mixed repertory performance of the season and is sure to be just as captivating as our production of Othello.
THE JOFFREY BALLET OPENS ITS 2009-2010 SEASON OF LEGENDS
WITH THE MIDWEST PREMIERE OF LAR LUBOVITCH’S
WITH MUSIC BY ACADEMY AWARD® WINNER ELLIOT GOLDENTHAL
& DRAMATIC, CONTEMPORARY COMPUTER PROJECTIONS
AT THE AUDITORIUM THEATRE, OCTOBER 14-25
Single tickets, priced from $25 to $145, are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office, located in the lobby of 10 E. Randolph Street, as well as the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University box office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by telephone at (800) 982-2787 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.