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"Rite of Spring" Concerts in Millennium Park to Feature Stunning Visuals

Photo series of “The Rite of Spring” by Joffrey Ballet. | PHOTO BY HERBERT MIGDOLL

Herbert Migdoll, the photographer responsible for helping create the image of the Joffrey Ballet back in the 1960s, and the man who continues to capture the company’s dancers in mid-flight, also is a hugely gifted artist. And this Friday (Aug. 16 at 6:30 p.m.) and Saturday (Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.), two of his grand scale murals will serve as the visual accompaniment to performances by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus — one for “The Rite of Spring,” the Igor Stravinsky masterwork, and another for John Adams’ “Black Gondola.”

“Leigh Levine, director of the Grant Park Music Festival, wanted ‘The Rite of Spring’ to have a visual component to celebrate its 100th anniversary,” said Migdoll. “She decided to incorporate two of my works that join the arts of music and painting. And I am so thrilled and honored that my painting, ‘The Chose One,’ which was originally created with support from Barbara and David Kipper, was selected to hang directly over the orchestra. A second work, ‘Black Gondola,’ will appear below the orchestra.”

This will be the final concert of Grant Park’s 79th summer season, and in addition to “Rite” and “Black Gondola,” Adams’ work, “Harmonium” (a visionary choral setting of poems by John Donne and Emily Dickinson), will be part on the program to be conducted by Carlos Kalmar, with Donald Nally as guest chorus director.