Add the Joffrey Ballet to your list of companies with impressive facilities: In September, the 48,000-square-foot Joffrey Tower officially opened its doors in Chicago. Modeled after Alvin Ailey in NYC and Miami City Ballet, the building is a glass-and-steel complex with seven rehearsal studios. One converts into a 144-seat blackbox theater that will host viewings, lecture series and open rehearsals, as well as offer local artists affordable performance space.
Like Ailey, Joffrey Tower has floor-to-ceiling windows that allow passersby to observe what’s happening in the studios. The organization hopes the visibility will attract new patrons, as well as offer an interesting interplay between the dancers and the streetscape.
This is the first time Joffrey has been able to accommodate the entire organization in one location. “It’s the end to our vagabond days. We are in Chicago permanently,” says Executive Director Christopher Conway.
In addition to the company, the new space will house the Academy of Dance, a pre-professional training program set to open in early 2009. Auditions were held in Chicago and NYC last November. For more: joffrey.org. —Kristin Lewis