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Joffrey Ballet adds a special ‘Rite’ to 2013-14 season

Updated: January 28, 2013 12:40PM

The Joffrey Ballet will add a special weekend of performances to its 2013-14 engagements at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre in order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of “Le Sacre du Printemps” (“The Rite of Spring”).

The groundbreaking modernist work evokes pagan fertility rituals and features a score by Igor Stravinsky and choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky (famously reconstructed for the company in 1987 by Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer). The company’s performance here will be the culmination of its national tour of the work in honor of the world premiere of “Rite” in Paris in 1913.

Following is a closer look at the just-announced season, which will arrive under the umbrella title “Masters of Dance.”

RUSSIAN MASTERS (Sept. 19-22): In addition to “The Rite of Spring,” this program will include George Balanchine’s “Allegro Brilliante” (to the music of Tchaikovsky) and the return of Yuri Possokhov’s 2011 contemporary ballet “Bells” (music by Sergei Rachmaninoff).

FALL PROGRAM (Oct. 16-27): The company premiere of Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch’s new evening-length staging of “La Bayadere,” the exotic, Indian fairy tale about a temple dancer and her secret lover. This 19th century classic (originally choreographed by Petipa) is one of the great tests of classical technique. Set to the music of Ludwig Minkus, it will feature lavish costumes and sets by British designer Peter Farmer.

HOLIDAY CLASSIC (Dec. 6-28): Robert Joffrey’s “The Nutcracker.”

WINTER PROGRAM (Feb. 12-23, 2014): This mixed bill of works by contemporary choreographers will include “Crossing Ashland” (created for Milwaukee Ballet in 2012), set to music by John Adams, Michelle McLaughlin, Martin Tillman, M83 and Jeremy Limb; the Joffrey premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s 2002 piece “Continuum,” set to the modernist piano music of Gyorgy Ligeti, and additional works to be announced.

SPRING PROGRAM (April 30-May 11, 2014): The U.S. premiere of a contemporary, multimedia “Romeo & Juliet,” choreographed by Krzysztof Pastor (director of the Polish National Ballet). Created in 2008 for the Scottish Ballet, it is set to the iconic Prokofiev score and spans three eras in 20th century Italy.

Subscriptions (which do not include “Russian Masters” or “The Nutcracker”) will go on sale Feb. 13. Call (312) 386-8905 or visit Subscribers have the option to add on the “Russian Masters” program at 50 percent off the single ticket price.

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