The son of a farmer, German choreographer Kurt Jooss had no tolerance for white-haired politicians deciding the fates of ordinary men and women. War is the subject of his 1932 The Green Table, whose cyclical structure emphasizes the unassailable power of policy makers oblivious to the suffering of those knee-deep in wartime horrors. Strongly affected by the expressionist strain prominent in early-20th-century German dance, it's ritualistic and heavy-handed, with a Death figure like a cross between a skeleton and a snarling dog. Let's just say the piece suits the mood of our time as well as his. The Joffrey performs The Green Table as part of its "Destiny's Dances" program, devoted to groundbreaking works of the early 20th century; also included are George Balanchine's 1928 Apollo, set to music of Stravinsky, and Leonide Massine's 1933 Les Presages ("The Omens"), set to Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony. The Chicago Sinfonietta provides live musical accompaniment. a Opens Wed 2/14, 7:30 PM. Through 2/25: Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 2 and 7:30 PM, Sun 2 PM, Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, 312-902-1500, 312-386-8899 for groups of ten or more, $20-$130.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Herbert Migdoll.