Across The Pond offers a series of ballet pieces for Joffrey audiences

By Stephanie Racine, Staff Writer

Published on April 25, 2019

On April 24 at the Auditorium Theater, The Joffrey Ballet premiered Across the Pond, a collection of three ballets by UK choreographers. “Yonder Blue” and “Home”were world premieres, whereas “Vespertine” was a Joffrey premiere.

The performances run through May 5 and tickets start at $35.

The performances varied from contemporary to classical, with classic orchestral arrangements to electronic scores.

“Yonder Blue,” by Andrew McNicol is a stunning and airy vision of dancers dressed in different shades of blue. The stage is a blank canvas and the set is dressed mostly on lighting. The music starts with sweeping violins as a group dances amongst smoke, as if on a cloud. Throughout the performance, different groups of dancers melt and unfold onto one another, as the lighting changes shades of blue.

Liam Scarlett’s “Vespertine” is a baroque-inspired dream. The stage solely consists of simplistic chandeliers that suggested opulence. Performers switch from classically inspired burgundy outfits, to nude leotards. “Vesperine” is not without its modern influences, as the music goes quiet with only the sound of ballet shoes on the stage. Dresses are used to highlight dance moves, with matador-like displays. A female soloist performs impressively amidst four male dancers.  

“Home” is a story about American immigrants and the struggles they face. Andrea Walker’s contemporary work features a man struggling to fit in in the place he has always called home. The costuming is simple and modern, with sweatpants and T-shirts. The man tries to fit in within the perfectly choreographed masses, but struggles. Lights flash and provoke a sense of foreboding, along with sharp, intense modern music. The man finds fleeting connections with others until he finds someone who feels familiar. They mirror each other’s movements without struggle. The performance ends as the pledge of allegiance is said.

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