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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Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech
President Barack Obama makes his final farewell speech in his hometown of Chicago. Arriving at O'hare airport on Airforce One Tuesday, early evening was First Lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia and Vice President Joe Biden along with wife, Jill Biden.
Making a final journey as the 44th President of the United States, expressways and local South Side streets were cleared as traffic stood at a complete when the 20-vehicle caravan made its way to Valois Restaurant in Hyde Park. There, President Obama conducted a one-on-one interview with NBC anchorman, Lester Holt before proceeding to give his farewell speech at McCormick Place.
Nearly 20,000 attendees packed the nearly standing-room only space in the East wing of the McCormick Place as VIP attendees sat upfront to hang onto the President's every word. There were various groups that traveled from far and near to be a part of history including celebrity sightings from Sharon Stone to Empire's Jussie Smollett--local and state dignitaries. Opening up the ceremony was a special performance by Hip hop/R&B singer, BJ the Chicago Kid showcasing belting out the national anthem is a smart blue suit.
Once President Obama hit the stage, the electric energy of emotions ran throughout the audience. At times, the crowd's applause was so loud that it impossible to hear him but there were moments that silence rippled throughout the venue--knowing this would be his last time addressing his hometown as Chief of Staff.
In his signature style of class, poise and honor--he addressed the various strides that he and his administration has made over the last eight years in protecting America's democracy. His emotions got the best of him when he addressed his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia who sat in the front row along with Vice President Joe Biden, wife Jill and his mother-in-law--Marian Shields Robinson.
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.”</span></p>
<p class="p1">After the speech, the Obama family took time out to walk along the barricades, greeting and shaking hands with supporters and friends. The scene was definitely historic and we knew it was the end of an era of class that will not be duplicated in the White House for a very long time.</p>
<p class="p1"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/globalmixx">Follow Mary L. Datcher on Twitter</a></p>
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