Joffrey Ballet celebrates legendary choreographer Antony Tudor

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Since Gerald Arpino, co-creator of the Robert Joffrey Ballet, established a permanent home at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in 1995, the dance company has produced many historic productions.

The ballet company continues its performances with the Chicago Sinfonietta with The Joffrey Ballet: Tudor Centennial at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy. The production runs now through March 2. Led by Joffrey’s music director and principal conductor, Dr. Leslie B. Dunner, it features three of Antony Tudor’s choreographic works: Lilac Garden, Dark Elegies and Offenbach in the Underworld.

Ashley Wheater, who was appointed artistic director of The Joffrey Ballet in September said, “Antony Tudor was one of the great 20th century choreographers who explored social relationships through narrative dance. “I believe that we should keep these great works alive so they may be appreciated by future generations and that everyone may understand the unique talent of this man.

“It is only appropriate that we celebrate Tudor’s 100th birthday by present-ing three works that mostly embody his contribution not only to The Joffrey Ballet, but to the world of dance.” Dunner, a New York native, has served as principal conductor of the Joffrey Ballet since September 2003 and also served as music director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra for five seasons.

He has guest conducted at the American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and England’s Royal Ballet at Covent Garden. Additionally, he has guest conducted for the New York Philharmonic and symphony orchestras of a number cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago and Cleveland. The Joffrey Ballet will end its 2007-08 season with American modern dance productions that will run May 14-25.

In addition to performances such as Cloven Kingdom by Paul Taylor, Inner Space by Mehnet Sanders, and the company premiere of Waterbaby Bagatelles by Twyla Tharp, there will also be Lar Lubovitch’s àSmile With My Heart, a moving tribute to the legendary broadway composer Richard Rodgers.

Curtain call for The Joffrey Ballet: Tudor Centennial is Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster by calling (312) 902-1500 or by visiting or calling the Auditorium Theatre box office at (312) 922- 2110.

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