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University of Iowa News Release


March 19, 2009

The Joffrey Ballet -- a profile

The Joffrey Ballet has become one of the world's most revered and recognizable arts organizations in America and one of the top ballet companies in the world. Classically trained to the highest standards, the Joffrey Ballet expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its company, audiences and repertoire.

Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino's uniquely American vision of dance first took form in 1956 and together they created a company of dancers for whom they choreographed original and socially relevant ballets.

The Joffrey has since been hailed as "America's ballet company of firsts." The Joffrey Ballet's long list of firsts includes: the first dance company to perform at the White House, at Jacqueline Kennedy's invitation; first to appear on television; first American dance company to visit Russia; first classical dance company to go multimedia; first to commission a rock 'n' roll ballet ("Billboards"); and the first and only dance company to appear on the cover of Time magazine.

The company's commitment to accessibility is met through the most extensive touring schedule of any dance company in history, an innovative and highly effective education program, and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations.

The Joffrey Ballet had former residences in New York and Los Angeles, but in 1995 the company made Chicago its permanent home and is currently the resident ballet company of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under internationally renowned Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater, in a brilliant new state-of-the-art facility, Joffrey Tower, located in Chicago's prestigious art district at the corner of State and Randolph streets.

In January 2009, the Joffrey Ballet launched Academy of Dance, Official School of the Joffrey Ballet. Academy of Dance has addressed various recognized needs in Chicago's dance education programs, including the establishment of a professional dance school associated with a world-renowned company in the Midwest.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Farrah Malik, Joffrey Ballet,; Chuck Swanson, Hancher Auditorium, 319-335-1133,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell), 319-338-4274 (home),