Seaside to host the Joffrey Ballet

Staff Writer
The Destin Log
The Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, in the heart of New York City, serves as a platform for some of the nation’s best young dancers to launch their professional careers.

The Merchants of Seaside have announced that America’s premier ballet company, The Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, the performance company of the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, has set its debut performance in Seaside for sunset May 2, 2015. The one and a half hour show will include 26 Joffrey company members performing a variety of dances ranging from modern and jazz, to classical ballet. The Joffrey Ballet Concert Group is under the direction of Davis Robertson, choreographer and artistic director.

In addition to a company performance, Robertson will conduct a workshop for 15 local dancers April 30 – May 2, 2015. Dancers from the surrounding area must audition on Oct. 4, 2014, at the Seaside Assembly Hall in order to be selected. Intermediate to advanced dancers ages 13 and up from the Northwest Florida regions are eligible to participate in the audition and workshop. The Assembly Hall is across the lawn from the Seaside Neighborhood School, 168 Smolian Circle in Santa Rosa Beach.

These 15 local dancers selected and trained by Robertson will perform Robertson’s work in Seaside at a later date. Robertson is planning to bring his Joffrey Ballet Concert Group dancers as demonstrators and teaching aids for the four-day workshop. Rehearsals will be conducted by Seleta Hayes Howard, Seaside’s Nutcracker ballet mistress and ballet teacher of the Dance Academy of Seaside Neighborhood School.

“The Joffrey Ballet Concert Group workshop offers local and regional dancers an incredible opportunity to study under one of the most premier ballet companies in the country,” said Howard. “It is cultural experiences such as these which enrich our community and continue our goal of providing performing arts education and entertainment.” 

“Not having been to this area before, the Joffrey Concert Group, featuring 26 concert dancers, will offer attendees and the community a delightful, quality ballet performance — the type found in places such as New York and Chicago.”

Founded by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino and located in the heart of New York City, the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group has dazzled audiences for more than 50 years and the Joffrey Ballet School has remained on the forefront of American dance education since 1953.

Graduates have continued their professional dance careers at major dance companies such as American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Miami City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and other companies throughout the United States and Europe. Esteemed alumni include Patrick Swazye, Charlize Theron, Rudolf Nureyev and Yvonne Rainer.

The school’s most advanced students are chosen by audition to perform with the Joffrey Concert Group. The company serves as a platform for some of the nation’s best young dancers to launch their professional careers. Under Artistic Director Davis Robertson, the company performs a diverse repertoire including classic works by Gerald Arpino as well as new works from emerging contemporary choreographers, such as Larry Keigwin. The group has recently completed multiple tours in the United States to rave reviews and opened the Florence Dance Festival in Italy this past summer, confirming Joffrey Ballet School’s world-renowned reputation as a premier institution of American dance.