There’s excitement afoot at Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet, which Monday announced its 2018-19 season, including the previously disclosed first-ever collaboration with the Australian Ballet in a world-premiere staging of “Anna Karenina.”
The ballet, by Yuri Possokhov, to be presented Feb. 13-24, 2019, reimagines Tolstoy’s iconic novel of love, politics and family set against a backdrop of 19th century Imperial Russia. The ballet features a score Ilya Demutsky, set design by Tom Pye and lighting design by David Finn.
The new season also boasts the return of Christopher Wheeldon’s “Swan Lake” (Oct. 17-28), set at the 19th century Paris Opera, and the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” (Dec. 1-30), Wheeldon’s critically acclaimed reimagined ballet, set amid the 1893 Chicago Worlds’s Fair.
An April 24-May 5 mixed-repertory program, “Across the Pond.” will feature a world premiere by Andrea Walker, founder and director of London’s 201 Dance Company; the Chicago premiere of Wayne McGregor’s “Kairos,” and the Joffrey premiere of Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Symphonic Variations.”
“The Joffrey has consistently shown a desire to lead artistically and culturally,” said Joffrey artistic director Ashley Wheater, in Monday’s announcement. “Our upcoming season harkens back to all-time classics, but also provides a window to the future. Our collaboration with The Australian Ballet is momentous on so many levels — from the scale of the production to the interpretation of Leo Tolstoy’s seminal work of fiction. I am also thrilled to present a program of works by some of the United Kingdom’s most influential artists including Wayne McGregor, rising star Andrea Walker, and one of ballet’s most revered artists, Sir Frederick Ashton. This upcoming season is packed with substance.”
The Joffrey makes its Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut with performances May 30-June 1, 2019, in a world premiere work set to the music of Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks Concerto. The program at Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan) will also include Wheeldon’s “Comedia” set to the music of Stravinsky’s Suite from Pulcinella.
All performances (except for the CSO program) are presented at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress. Subscription series tickets will be available starting Feb. 12 at joffrey.org and by phone at (312) 386-8905. Ticket information for the CSO program is available only at cso.org. Single tickets for the October, February and April/May performances and “The Nutcracker” will be available beginning Aug. 1.