This insightful documentary, executive produced by Jay Alix and Harold Ramis and produced by Una Jackman and Erica Mann Ramis, examines the life and times of America’s premiere ballet company—The Joffrey Ballet—who daringly combined traditional ballet and modern dance at a time when it was not routinely accepted. Weaving a wealth of archival footage, behind-the-scene photos and interviews with former and current Joffrey star dancers, director Bob Hercules (Bill T. Jones: A Good Man) documents the struggles and achievements of The Joffrey from its newfound beginnings in 1956 to the company’s present international success. Founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino and a host of ballet notables, including Gary Chryst, Trinette Singleton, Helgi Tomasson, Kevin McKenzie and more, are featured in the film. Narrated by Tony and Academy Award winner Mandy Patinkin, the film is a rich chronicle of a ballet company that continues to reinvent itself, raise the bar and invigorate audiences worldwide.
In addition, for the first time there will be a simultaneous premiere in theaters across the country through Emerging Pictures. This occasion marks the launch of the film’s distribution by Hybrid Cinema who brought DFA and Emerging Pictures together for this event. The introductions and the Q&A after the Saturday screening will also be streamed live into participating cinemas. Special appearances for panel discussions will include:
Friday, January 27 at 8:30pm
Moderator Anna Kisselgoff, former Chief Dance Critic of The New York Times; Ashley C. Wheater, Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet; Bob Hercules, Director of the film; Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director of American Ballet Theater and former Joffrey principal; and former Joffrey Ballet principals Brunilda Ruiz and Adam Skulte.
Saturday, January 28 at 1:30pm
Moderator Sasha Anawalt, author of The Joffrey Ballet: Robert Joffrey and the Making of an American Dance Company (published by Scribner’s 1996); Trinette Singleton, one of original dancers of The Joffrey Ballet, who appeared on Time Magazine’s cover in 1968 for rock ballet “Astarte”; current Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater; Bob Hercules, Director of the film; and former Joffrey principal Christian Holder.