The Joffrey Ballet has canceled all of is performances through the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced Tuesday.
The canceled productions include Kenneth MacMillan’s “Manon,” originally set for Oct. 14-25 and the annual holiday spectacular, Christopher Wheeldon’s “The Nutcracker,” (Dec. 5-27). Already canceled was the May production of Yuri Possokhov’s “Don Quixote.” The trio of cancellations account for projected revenue loss of more than $6.5 million for the company.
The fall productions would have marked the debut of the Joffrey at the Lyric Opera House, part of a new seven-year rental agreement between the two cultural arts entities. In 2017 the Joffrey announced it would be leaving its longtime home of nearly two decades at the Auditorium Theatre.
In addition, the Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, and Joffrey Community Engagement have shifted to virtual programming until further notice.
The company also announced the establishment of a Crisis Stabilization Fund to help recoup financial losses due to the pandemic.
“The loss of “The Nutcracker” alone — more than half of the Joffrey’s annual earned revenue—compounds a financial crisis for the Company that began this past spring with the cancellation of several important performances and programs,” said Greg Cameron president and CEO of the Joffrey. “We will now put our full attention and energy toward the Crisis Stabilization Fund to ensure the long-term health of the Joffrey. This is a critical juncture. Every moment, every decision, every dollar will count.”
The Joffrey’s 2021 winter and spring performance dates at the Lyric are scheduled go on as planned, including the George Balanchine’s “Serenade”; the world premiere of Cathy Marston’s “Of Mice and Men” (Feb. 17-28, 2021); and the Chicago premiere of John Neumeier’s “The Little Mermaid” (April 21-May 2, 2021). Subscription tickets are available at joffrey.org.
In related news, Lyric Opera’s general director, president, and CEO Anthony Freud announced on Tuesday the cancelation of all performances in the Lyric Opera House from September through December, due to the pandemic. This includes all performances of “Cavalleria rusticana,” “Pagliacci,” “Lessons in Love & Violence,” “Tosca” and “Attila.”
The Lyric plans to resume its 2020-2021 season with Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s Chicago premiere of “Blue,” begining Jan. 17, 2021, presented at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare at Navy Pier. More information can be found at lyricopera.org.