I attended opening night of the Joffrey Ballet’s 7th Annual Winning Works program on Sunday, March 13, at the Harold Washington Library’s Cindy Pritzker Auditorium.
Winning Works is a program designed to promote diversity in the dance community. The show featured four performances, each created by a different choreographer. Each performance included a video introduction, in which we saw the dancers in rehearsal, and heard each choreographer’s vision.
The first performance, Scend, was perhaps the closest to classical ballet — beautiful to watch and inspiring to see the amount of technical skill on display.
The second piece, Moonlight, featured Debussy’s Clair de Lune; the lead dancers commanded the stage for this performance, evoking an ethereal quality, and a sense of longing.
Hopeful Undertones explored the heightened emotions of adolescence, the performance feeling very much like a high school hallway before first bell.
And my favorite piece, Suite Hearts, rounded out the evening — a high energy, lightning fast ode to flirting.
Winning Works is an engaging program that reminds us of the power of dance to express emotion without saying a word.
Matthew Reiss has been a Lakeshore East resident since 2007 and a New Eastside News writer since 2015. He married his true love at the Blackstone Hotel and earned a law degree from the University of Kansas, but prefers to spend his evenings onstage, performing and directing for the local comedy group, The Stuntmen.