To Russia With Love

September 18, 2013
Pure Wow

Russian Masters at The Joffrey Photo by Herbert Migdoll.    

The U.S. and Russia have been engaged in a tense political dance for decades--particularly as the two countries’ presidents faced off in the news last week. 

But starting tomorrow on the Auditorium Theatre stage, our own Joffrey Ballet will celebrate the fantastic contributions of Russian choreographers and composers to dance. (Minus the surreal behind-the-scenes drama.)

The program, “Russian Masters,” is anchored by composer Igor Stravinsky’s once-controversial work Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring). When the avant-garde piece was first performed 100 years ago in Paris, it caused a near-riot in the audience. (Fear not, Chicagoans of 2013--you can handle it.)

In the Russian tradition, the program contains works that are fiery and technically challenging--Joffrey artistic director Ashley Wheater tells us to watch out for Allegro Brillante, a piece set to music by Tchaikovsky that he calls “fiendishly difficult.”

This is the company’s first outing of the cultural new year (that’s our favorite way to think of fall). It’s also a chance to see some fresh faces onstage--if you can catch them mid-spin, that is.

Tomorrow through Sunday at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy.; 312-386-8905 or

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