It's not often an artistic organization commissions a special work. When it's The Joffrey Ballet and the work is a re-imagining of the famed novel "Anna Karenina," it's definitely something special.
The acclaimed Chicago dance troupe will present the world premiere of "Anna Karenina" Feb. 13 to 24 at The Auditorium Theatre.
"In the history of The Joffrey Ballet, it is the first complete full-length work that's been commissioned," said Ashley Wheater, artistic director of The Joffrey Ballet. The work has been choreographed by Yuri Possokhov and also features Ilya Demutsky's musical score commissioned by The Joffrey specifically for this ballet.
"I've always loved the story," Wheater said. "It's as relevant today as when it was written."
"Anna Karenina," written by Leo Tolstoy, tells the story of a Russian aristocrat, who is married and is involved in a doomed affair with a count. The production puts the spotlight on love's difficulties, politics, morality and a multitude of life's tragedies.
"It's about life, love and infidelity," Wheater said.
The artistic director said the creative team behind the making of "Anna Karenina" has been amazing. "They've taken an 800-page novel and distilled it down to a two-hour work."
Wheater said he was very excited for the debut. "Everyone in the company is so behind this project," he said.