Joffrey Ballet establishing new scholarship program for potential professional dancers

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 01/20/2014, 01:53pm

The Joffrey Ballet has announced the formation of a new entity — the Joffrey Studio Company — a scholarship program that will be instituted as part of the 2014-2015 season.

The program will award 10 Joffrey Studio Company dancers — to be recruited through auditions of students from around the globe — full scholarships to the Joffrey Academy of Dance, the official school of the Joffrey Ballet. There they will be part of a program designed to prepare them for careers as professional dancers, and will be given prime performance opportunities, as well.

Under the supervision of Ashley Wheater, artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet — in conjunction with Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik, co-artistic directors of the Joffrey Academy of Dance — selected participants will train alongside dancers in the Trainee Program of the Academy and participate in daily classes. Led by Kremnev and Reznik, the Studio Company dancers will be taught and rehearsed by Academy faculty and directors and Joffrey artistic staff. They also will be eligible for selection
to perform with the main company at the Auditorium Theatre, in the Academy’s performance series at the Joffrey Tower and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and on other programs.

Selection for the Joffrey Studio Company is by audition only. Students may be asked to join the Trainee Program in the Academy for one to two years prior to being selected for the Studio Company, or may be asked to join the Studio Company from an Academy audition.

In a prepared statement, Wheater noted: “The individualized training and performance opportunities provided by the Joffrey Studio Company will offer students unique insight into the life of a professional dancer, assisting students in preparation for a professional career in dance, and helping them expand their technique and artistry.”

“We are excited to be able to take another milestone step for the Joffrey Ballet organization,” said Kremnev. “The Joffrey Studio Company will be dedicated to developing the next generation of dance professionals. This exceptional group of young, emerging dancers will make a huge impact on the future national and international professional dance community.”