The 2020-2021 season is a landmark one as it is also its inaugural season of performances at Lyric Opera House. Each program also features live music played by the Lyric Opera Orchestra, directed by Scott Speck.
It gives me great joy to begin a milestone year at the Joffrey with productions that I have wanted to bring to Chicago for a long time,”
From the ornate salons of Paris to the mysterious wilds of colonial Louisiana, the beautiful Manon finds herself caught between a life of luxury and the prospect of true love. A tangled web of romance, desire, and deceit ensues in this dramatic masterwork from one of ballet’s greatest choreographers. With music by Massenet, Manon is considered a must-see of the ballet canon.
MacMillan’s classic three-act ballet (based on the 18th-century French novel by Abbé Prévost, L’Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut), features music by French composer Jules Massenet and was originally created and staged for The Royal Ballet in 1974, when MacMillan was then the company’s artistic director. The piece has since become a staple of The Royal Ballet repertoire and for companies around the world..
THE NUTCRACKER (December 11-26)
Wheeldon’s reimagined classic rings in the holidays like no other. Follow young Marie and the Nutcracker Prince on a Christmas Eve journey through the 1893 World’s Fair, a dazzling spectacle of sights, sounds, and enchantment. This annual holiday tradition celebrates the magic of the season and the rich cultural heritage of Chicago.
A ballet in two acts set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score, The Nutcracker features an award-winning creative team, including Tony Award®-nominated set and costume designer Julian Crouch, Caldecott Medal Award-winning author Brian Selznick, Obie and Drama Desk award-winning puppeteer Basil Twist, Tony Award®-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz and Tony Award®-winning projection designer Ben Pearcy/59 Productions.
OF MICE AND MEN and SERENADE (February 17-28)
The Joffrey’s winter program highlights the world premiere of Cathy Marston’s Of Mice and Men, a new adaptation following the successful Chicago premiere of Marston’s Jane Eyre during the Joffrey’s 2019-2020 season. The program also features a Joffrey premiere by pioneering choreographer George Balanchine
Hope abounds for George Milton and Lennie Small, two drifters looking for work on the golden farms of Depression-era California. When tragedy strikes, George and Lennie face difficult choices that test the nature of their relationship. Marston goes from page-to-stage with Steinbeck’s tender tale of friendship, perseverance, and sacrifice, with an original score by Academy Award®-nominated composer Thomas Newman. Of Mice and Men marks Marston’s first original creation for The Joffrey Ballet.
Serenade, Balanchine’s first ballet created in America originated as a lesson in stage technique, using unexpected events from rehearsals as the basis for the choreography.
“When one student fell, he incorporated it. Another day, a student arrived late, and this too became part of the ballet.” —The George Balanchine Trust
Balanchine subsequently reworked the ballet several times before landing on its current iteration, which features four movements based on a score by Tchaikovsky: Sonatina, Waltz, Russian Dance, and Elegy.
THE LITTLE MERMAID (April 21 - May 2)
Dive into the emotional depths of Neumeier’s beautifully haunting adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 fairytale. With an original score by composer Lera Auerback, this expressionist ballet follows the tormented mermaid heroine, as she travels between the divergent worlds of land and sea—one utterly complex, the other beautifully serene.
Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid was originally commissioned by The Royal Danish Ballet to commemorate Anderson’s 200th birthday. It received its world premiere in Copenhagen in 2005, and its North American Premiere for the San Francisco Ballet in 2010.