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Game Changers are three exhilarating ballets

For its annual winter engagement, The Joffrey Ballet presents Game Changers, a program of three contemporary ballets, including the Chicago Premiere of “Year of the Rabbit” by New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck.

Two other popular works from the Joffrey repertoire are included– “INFRA” by award-winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor, and “Fool’s Paradise” by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Wheeldon recently debuted his critically acclaimed world premiere of “The Nutcracker” for The Joffrey Ballet in December 2016. Game Changers is presented in 10 performances only, February 15–26, 2017 at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

“With Game Changers, we bring audiences ballet for today – fearless and emotionally charged works from visionary new voices in 21st-century choreography,” said Artistic Director, Ashley Wheater. “In our age of complexity, rebellion and hope, it has never been more important for dance to represent our momentum forward.

From the Chicago Premiere of Justin Peck’s brilliantly innovative “Year of the Rabbit” to contemporary masterpieces by Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon, we’re thrilled to start the second half of our season exploring three modern choreographers who are pushing dance to new heights.”

INFRA Ballet

“INFRA,” which made its U.S. Premiere with The Joffrey Ballet in 2012, was created for The Royal Ballet by internationally celebrated choreographer Wayne McGregor. Created after the London subway bombings of 2005,

“INFRA” is set to an original score by Max Richter, a mix of mournful strings and calm industrial sounds, and features a 59-foot LED screen suspended above the stage displaying urban animations designed by world-renowned British artist Julian Opie. Beneath it 12 dancers execute McGregor’s bold and abstract movement to explore what’s beneath the surface of human interactions. Recently, McGregor served as Movement Coach for this fall’s popular film, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

Fool’s Paradise Ballet

“Fool’s Paradise” first captivated Joffrey audiences with its Chicago Premiere in September 2015. Set to a commissioned score by Joby Talbot, this abstract ballet for nine dancers moves through solos, duets and trios in a grand display of beauty and strength as the dancers’ bodies form a series of living sculptures, while falling, shimmering petals shower the stage. “Fool’s Paradise” reveals a deep connection between the dancers that leaves the audiences to discover its meaning and effect. Wheeldon recently reimagined a new Nutcracker for The Joffrey Ballet, set in Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair, which received its critically acclaimed world premiere in December 2016.

Year of the Rabbit Ballet

Inspired by the Chinese zodiac, Peck’s second work for New York City Ballet, “Year of the Rabbit,” is a collaboration with American singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. Set to a classical orchestration of Stevens’ electronic song cycle “Enjoy Your Rabbit,” “Year of the Rabbit” weaves its ensemble of dancers into intricate and architectural forms with grace to produce a visually arresting work. Currently a soloist and resident choreographer with New York City Ballet, Peck, 29, has already been hailed as an important new voice in 21st-century choreography and was the subject of the documentary Ballet 422. Peck made his Joffrey Ballet choreographic debut with the Chicago premiere of In Creases in April 2015.

Tickets and Schedule

The Joffrey Ballet performs Game Changers February 15 – 26, 2017; the full performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 18 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, February 19 at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 25 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 26 at 2:00 p.m.

Single tickets range from $34-$159 and are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph Street, as well as the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University Box Office, by telephone 312.386.8905, or online at

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