As the centerpiece of its 2018-19 season, The Joffrey Ballet proudly announces the world premiere of Yuri Possokhov’s historic reimagining of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel, Anna Karenina, considered the greatest literature ever written. This majestic full-length work is presented in a first-time collaboration between The Joffrey Ballet and the renowned Australian Ballet to be performed in Chicago at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, in ten performances only, February 13-24, 2019.
Created by visionary choreographer Yuri Possokhov, this original production brings Leo Tolstoy’s epic 19th-century story of passion and forbidden love to life on the stage. A ballet in two acts, Possokhov’s Anna Karenina centers on the tragic tale of a married aristocrat and her ongoing love triangle in Imperial Russia, a story that explores the complex politics of family, religion, morality and gender.
“Anna Karenina is a deeply emotional story that speaks to our turbulent times and offers the ideal muse for Joffrey’s tradition of powerful storytelling through dance,” says Ashley Wheater, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet. “Our collaboration with the Australian Ballet is momentous on so many levels, and Yuri Possokhov is a creative powerhouse at the height of his career. His fresh classical vocabulary will no doubt lead to a phenomenal retelling that honors the classic story while exploring the modern ballet idiom.”
Possokhov is joined by an all-star creative team known for theatrical, opera and film excellence. Among them: award-winning Russian composer Ilya Demutsky (2016 Golden Mask Award recipient, Russia’s most prestigious theater honor); Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award®-nominated set and costume designer Tim Pye (Gloriana, Fiddler on the Roof) and renowned lighting designer David Finn (Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence).
Known for his visceral and expressive style, Possokhov has created groundbreaking new works around the globe. A frequent guest artist with The Joffrey Ballet, Possokhov has received much critical acclaim for transforming iconic literature into inventive, emotionally driven story ballets, including the world premiere ofDon Quixote with the Joffrey in 2011. For The Joffrey Ballet, Possokhov has choreographed Bells, Adagio, Don Quixote andThe Miraculous Mandarin.
The world premiere of Anna Karenina will be presented first in Chicago with The Joffrey Ballet, February 13-24, 2019, and then in Melbourne with The Australian Ballet in May 2020.