The Auditorium Theatre today announced the programming for its 2018–2019 subscription season, and dance fans will want to take note. The grand old theater will offer no fewer than 10 local and visiting dance companies under its presenting banner. Also on tap: Frankie Valli, Alan Menken and National Geographic Live.
When the Lyric Opera announced last fall that it would bring on the Joffrey Ballet as a co-tenant of the Civic Opera House beginning in the 2020–2021 season, some observers wondered what the Auditorium Theatre, the Joffrey’s performance home for the last 20 years, would do without it. (The Joffrey still has two more full seasons in residence at the Auditorium—its 2018–2019 slate there, as announced in February, will include a world premiere adaptation of Anna Karenina, alongside The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and other offerings.)
The Auditorium’s own season seems designed to reassure dance lovers that the Auditorium won’t be forsaking them when Joffrey moves out. The theater’s International Dance Series features the annual visit by New York’s Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater—marking Ailey’s 50th anniversary of performing at the Auditorium— along with return visits by Ballet Folklórico de México and Russia’s Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg. And the American Ballet Theatre will swing through with a family-friendly Midwest premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Whipped Cream.
Local troupes will get their own spotlight in the “Made in Chicago” 312 Dance Series, comprising three separate programs featuring three, one and two companies respectively. The first evening, November 16, will see works from Ate9 Dance Company (performing with Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche), Visceral Dance Chicago and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. On February 2, Trinity Irish Dance Company gets a whole program to itself. And on March 2 and 3, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago joins forces with Havana’s Malpaso Dance Company.
Beyond dance, look for a Halloween-night screening of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, with Danny Elfman’s score performed live by the Chicago Philharmonic. On March 30, 2019, Menken—composer of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, among other works—will perform and reminisce in A Whole New World of Alan Menken. Frankie Valli and the current incarnation of the Four Seasons will grace the Auditorium’s stage on November 3. And the National Geographic Live series will present three evenings “dedicated to inspirational women.”
Take a look at the complete lineup below. Subscriptions and group packages are on sale now; individual tickets will go on sale at a later date.
September 26: National Geographic Live: When Women Ruled the World with Dr. Kara Cooney
October 31: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
November 3: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
November 10, 11: Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández
November 16: Ate9 Dance Company/Visceral Dance Chicago/Deeply Rooted Dance Theater
January 18–20: Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah
January 24: National Geographic Live: Pink Boots and a Machete with Mireya Mayor
February 2: Trinity Irish Dance Company
March 2, 3: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Malpaso Dance Company
March 6–10: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
March 30: A Whole New World of Alan Menken
April 11–14: American Ballet Theatre
May 7: National Geographic Live: Point of No Return with Hilaree O’Neill
May 17–19: Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg