Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet kicks off its fall season Wednesday at Roosevelt University’s Auditorium Theatre with a three-part performance titled “Human Landscapes.”
Last June, the company shut down for a week during contract negotiations for dancers. One of the company’s Ballet Master’s, Gerrard Charles, says the dancers are all happy to dedicate themselves to making this a great show.
“I think it’s always a relief for any dancer not to have to worry about the business side of things because really, dancers are artists,” he said.
"We’re involved in this because we believe in the artform of the dance and we want to do what we can to make that happen,” he added. “Of course we have to live, we have to make a living, and sometimes there are some contractual details, but overall, we are focused on the artform here.”
Tonight’s debut program features three different ballets titled “The Green Table,” “Pretty BALLET,” and “Forgotten Land.” “The Green Table, referred to as a classic “anti-war” piece, plays a role in the Joffrey’s history. Founder Robert Joffrey first saw the dance when he was 11-years-old and later recreated it when he formed his own company.
Charles says the piece may seem terribly depressing but he calls it poignant and wonderfully constructed.
“It’s as timely today as it was when it was first created,” Charles said.
Set during war times in Germany, Charles says the piece is iconic for the Joffrey since they were the first ones in the United States to perform it.
Charles worked with the Joffrey dancers on the piece,“Pretty BALLET,” another staple for the company. The piece was specifically created for the Joffrey ballet.
Tonight’s performance starts at 7:30 p.m. and will run until October 28th.