Joffrey Ballet Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Wed., April 28, Fri., April 30, Sat., May 1, Sun., May 2, Fri., May 7 and Sat., May 8 2010

Suspended, moving panels form huge crosses in Jessica Lang's Crossed, a commissioned work premiering on the Joffrey's spring program, "Eclectica." When Lang first plotted the design on paper, she says, the idea was purely visual--nothing to do with religion. But then, while on a walk, she started flipping through her iPod and happened upon Nymphes des Bois, a choral elegy by Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez. Inspired, Lang settled on a score of religious music by Mozart, Handel, and des Prez--though not all of it as solemnly liturgical in tone as Nymphes des Bois. Crossed begins with all 14 dancers arranged in a single line that seems to explode--women flocking to one side, men to the other. They connect again in a floor pattern that embodies the title: a line of women swiftly intersecting a line of men. The feeling is rhapsodic and grave. Rounding out the program: James Kudelka's world premiere, Pretty Ballet, exploring ballet's romantic origins and rigid demands, and Gerald Arpino's 1976 Reflections, which the company hasn't performed since 2003. --Laura Molzahn

Price: $25-$145

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