The Joffrey Ballet first emerged in 1956 as six dancers traveling across the country in a station wagon pulling a U-haul trailer. More than 50 years later, the vision of founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino has flourished into an internationally acclaimed company of over 40 performers. Although originally established in New York, Joffrey Ballet moved around the country for quite a while, maintaining resident-company status at New York’s City Center and the Los Angeles Music Center before settling in Chicago in 1995. In August 2008, the city of Chicago unveiled Joffrey Tower, a commercial high-rise in Cook County that will be the company’s first-ever permanent home.
This company is known for a highly original and varied repertory, including, of course, works by both Joffrey and Arpino, but also works by Ashton, Ailey, Bournonville, Forsythe, Massine, Morris, and Tharp. Slightly more unusual are the historical reconstructions of early 20th century “lost” ballets from Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Equally unusual is the full-length ballet created to rock music by Prince.
- Public Transportation: Good
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Three programs are performed each year, plus the annual Nutcracker. Each show runs for two weeks with seven performances. The Nutcracker runs for two weeks in December with one or two performances almost every day
- Ticket Prices: Range from $25 to $145
- Group Discounts: Groups of 10 or more may receive up to a 25% discount to select performances
- Subscriptions: Packages include all three programs. Subscribers select their preferred show dates. Benefits include free ticket exchanges, a pre-season lecture with Joffrey artists, priority ordering, and lost-ticket insurance
- Membership: Basic donor fees start at $50 and include priority notification of all Joffrey programs and invitations to season closing-night parties.