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The Joffrey Ballet held its 14th Annual Spring Gala on Friday, April 15, celebrating its 60-year anniversary season. The Chicago-based company was founded in 1956 by Robert Joffrey with the mission of creating an American, world-class ballet, that has continued under the direction of Gerald Arpino (1988-2007) and now Artistic Director Ashley Wheater.
On Friday, guests like Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Anne Kaplan, Pamella DeVos, Bruce Sagan, Candace Jordan, Maria Pinto, and Shauna Montgomery gathered at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University for a special one-hour performance of highlights from this season by the Joffrey Company and the Joffrey Academy of Dance. Afterward, over 700 guests dressed in black-tie headed by trolley to the Hilton Chicago for drinks and dinner by the hotel’s chef Mario Garcia. Between courses, attendees were treated to a performance by young dancers, aged five to 18, from the Joffrey’s Community Engagement program (taught by company instructors).
Hosted by the Joffrey Women’s Board and sponsored by BMO Wealth Management, the night raised money toward local programs aiming to foster creativity and confidence through dance.