Joffrey Ballet – Chicago
“Crossing Ashland”, “Bells”, “Nine Sinatra Songs”
Center for the Arts
George Mason University
March 8, 2014
by George Jackson
copyright 2014 by George Jackson
The Joffrey’s two programs in the Washington, DC vicinity were supposed to have distinct repertory. On the so-called “American Legends” bill of March 7 were Jerome Robbins’ 1945 “Interplay”, Twyla Tharp’s 1982 “Nine Sinatra Songs”, Christopher Wheeldon’s 2005 “After the Rain” duo and Stanton Welch’s 2012 “Son of Chamber Symphony”. Having seen other companies dance all these works except the Welch, and also it being a busy dance week hereabouts, I chose initially to see only the so-called “Body & Soul” bill of March 8 with ballets I didn’t know at all: Yuri Possokhov’s 2011 “Bells”, Alexander Ekman’s 2011 “Episode 31”, and Brock Clowson’s 2014 “Crossing Ashland”. Things changed. Ekman’s work on the second program was replaced by a repeat, but with somewhat different casting, of the Tharp. The reason for the switch seems to have been technical, that the Center for the Arts would have needed more preparation time than was available during the Joffrey’s brief visit for staging the Ekman. Then, I found myself also attending the first Joffrey evening and am glad to have done so. I got to see the company’s dancing from two very different locations and could confirm my impression of the Joffrey’s new look.