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Joffrey Ballet Documentary Screens Wednesday

Joffrey Ballet photo of dancers April Daly and Fabrice Calmels courtesy of the company
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The Los Angeles premiere of the feature length documentary Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance will take place at Zipper Concert Hall in The Colburn School this Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 8:00pm. Directed by Bob Hercules, this is the first film to chronicle how the legendary Joffrey Ballet revolutionized American ballet by daringly combining modern dance with traditional ballet.

This ninety minute film weaves a quilt of archival footage, behind-the-scenes photos and interviews with current and past Joffrey dancers to reveal the company’s groundbreaking beginnings and its evolution into a mainstream icon in contemporary dance. Once a part of Los Angeles’ own local dance scene, the now-Chicago-based troupe is still actively performing nationally and internationally. The documentary fills in what today’s generation of dance-goers missed—just because the events preceded us.

Started by then-dancers Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino in the mid-nineteen fifties, the company’s first touring ensemble traveled to performance sites in a borrowed station wagon. Since then, the company has accomplished many artistic, creative and educational firsts. Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance touches on many of those achievements.

The Los Angeles premiere will include a Q&A immediately following the screening moderated by Sasha Anawalt, Director, Arts Journalism Programs at USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, with panelists Leslie Carothers-Aromaa, Artistic Director of the Colburn School's Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, Carole Valleskey, Founder and Director of CDI, Francoise Martinet Moriarty, former Joffrey dancer from the company's earliest days in the late 1950s, and Jodie Gates, Artistic Director of the Laguna Beach Dance Festival, Associate Professor of Dance at UC Irvine and former Joffrey principal dancer.

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The glorious past arrives downtown. Click here to warm your seat!