By Kyle MacMillan
25 April 2019
Since moving to Chicago in 1995 and establishing itself as a resident company, the Joffrey Ballet has put increasing emphasis on full-length story ballets like “Anna Karenina” and the others that have earlier filled out its 2018-19 season.
But in its latest offering, “Across the Pond,” which opened Wednesday evening at the Auditorium Theatre and runs for nine more performances through May 5, the company returns to its mixed-repertory roots, presenting a program of three shorter, mostly non-narrative works.
Featured are all fresh pieces, including two world premieres, by three young, well-regarded English choreographers. All are men like the composers whose music is employed, a choice that seems a bit surprising and short-sighted given the understandable attention right now to gender equity throughout the arts and across society.
That said, there is considerable diversity among these three creators. Indeed, quick labels for these pieces, which run from 26 to 33 minutes, might be: cool elegance, sensual mysteriousness and assertive isolation.
Each choreographer shows himself to a have a well-formed vision and sense of craftsmanship, even if none of the works come off as instant classics. Joffrey deserves credit for taking some creative risks here and providing a platform to these rising talents, something that is essential if ballet is to be kept alive and vital.
Read the full article in the Chicago Sun-Times.