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The Joffrey's rebirth in ChicagoHow has it changed? Will it survive?


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#16 bart

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 08:57 AM

Thanks for that link, Holly. It's interesting that they are purchasing space in a new mixed-use tower rather than seeking a building of their own in a more outlying area.

The classical ballet company will reside on the third and fourth floors, to include administrative offices and seven state-of-the-art rehearsal studios, including a black-box theater. The first two floors of The Joffrey Tower will be retail; tenants are to be named by Smithfield Properties. Floors 9 through 32 will be condominiums.

I don't know how 45,000 sq feet compare with other companies of a similar size. Mixed-use seems to be the only way to go in the current down town real estate market in the biggest cities. I bet that having the Joffrey there -- and bringing its name: "Joffrey Tower" -- will add cache and glamour to the entire project. :)

#17 carbro

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 10:35 AM

Now the Joffrey has settled in in Chicago, weaving ties of community loyalty and institutional support. I hope that they are able to keep their identity and links to their unique history and repertoire.

And with the new building, emphatically asserting its home turf.

Great companies need a school -- ideally in their home city. Is a move to Chicago desirable for the Joffrey School? Is it feasible?

It appears to be now!

#18 Mel Johnson

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 10:49 AM

Indeed, having the school in Chicago would be preferable. The NY school hasn't been feeding the company in years. I can say that now without fearing of offending Edith D'Addario, who was an old and dear friend, but the school just isn't doing what a company school is supposed to do! Its raison d'etre is gone, too, as being the "neighborhood ballet school with the director living around the corner". I hate to say these things, but they've been bothering me for years.

#19 Marga

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 11:02 AM

..... I hate to say these things, but they've been bothering me for years.

It's good to let it out. You speak for many. I think Edith D'Addario will continue to rest in peace.

#20 Treefrog

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 01:40 PM

It's interesting that they are purchasing space in a new mixed-use tower rather than seeking a building of their own in a more outlying area. ... Mixed-use seems to be the only way to go in the current down town real estate market in the biggest cities. I bet that having the Joffrey there -- and bringing its name: "Joffrey Tower" -- will add cache and glamour to the entire project. :beg:


This location strikes me as just the right place to be -- especially if, as the architect's drawing shows, there will be a prominent marquee. It will put the company unescapably in the public eye at this hugely trafficked corner surrounded by stores (Marshall Fie .....er, Macy's) and theaters (the Chicago, Palace, Oriental, and Goodman are all within eyeshot), two blocks from Millenium Park and on the footpath between a commuter train station and downtown work areas. With those gorgeous looking windows, perhaps we can even glimpse the dancers at the barre.

My fantasy is that they will hold onto the current rehearsal space a couple of blocks down State St. and house the school there.

#21 Mel Johnson

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 05:51 PM

My fantasy is that they will hold onto the current rehearsal space a couple of blocks down State St. and house the school there.


The plan seems to be for six studios plus one as a black box. It may just be me, but six was the number of studios at 434 6th Ave., but one was primarily storage, being a sort of vestibule for the freight elevator. The immediate propinquity of company and school made for a much more solid bond between the two institutions. It also made for higher visibility of the student body and subsequent advancement to second company, apprenticeship, and finally full membership in the main company.

#22 sandik

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 09:06 PM

Arpino is stepping down in July and they're just starting their search now (mid-April)? That's an extremely accelerated schedule. When Pacific Northwest Ballet embarked on their search for a new AD I did some research about other companies who'd had similar experiences, and I don't really remember anyone trying to turn the whole thing around in 3-4 months...


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