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Robert Joffrey

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March 26, 1988 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER, Times Music/Dance Critic
Robert Joffrey, who died Friday at the age of 57 after a long struggle with devastating illness, was a visionary and a pioneer. He also was an educator, a choreographer, an impresario and, in the noblest sense of the term, a curator. Undeterred by financial problems and national indifference to dance, he built a tiny touring ensemble--it traveled around the country at first in a station wagon--into one of the finest ballet companies in America, and in the world.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2006 | Lewis Segal, Times Staff Writer
Seven dancers performing for only one hour cannot take the measure of the Joffrey Ballet in its 50th anniversary season. However, a program titled "Joffrey Live at Zipper Hall" brought to the Colburn School of Performing Arts on Saturday a reminder of the honed athleticism and dedication to contemporary expression that made the company so welcome during its residency at the Los Angeles Music Center from 1982 to 1992.
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NEWS
March 26, 1988 | BURT A. FOLKART, Times Staff Writer
Robert Joffrey, the visionary son of immigrant parents who founded what many critics consider the most diverse ballet company in the world, died early Friday at New York University Hospital. He was 57 and had been under treatment for a liver ailment brought on by the medication he had been forced to take for years for an asthma condition. Joffrey was a lifelong asthmatic whose latest attacks had forced him to work from home, said Pennie Curry, a spokeswoman for the company.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 22, 2003 | Diane Haithman, Times Staff Writer
Gerald Arpino, artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, smiles a little when asked to compare his own highly theatrical style of choreography -- and, indeed, of being -- to that of the late Robert Joffrey, who died in 1988. "He was the classical one. I was the revolutionary," muses Arpino, 75, as though recalling the family dynamics of two close siblings instead of the intense creative and personal partnership that led to the founding of the Joffrey Ballet in 1956.
NEWS
March 25, 1988 | BURT A. FOLKART, Times Staff Writer
Robert Joffrey, the visionary son of immigrant parents who founded what many critics consider the most diverse ballet company in the world, died today at New York's University Hospital. He was 57 and had been under treatment for a liver ailment brought on by the medication he had been forced to take for years for an asthma condition. Joffrey was a lifelong asthmatic whose latest attacks had forced him to work from home, said Pennie Curry, a spokeswoman for the company.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 1988 | SUSAN REITER
"It was Bob's last gift to all of us, and nothing could be more appropriate," said Gerald Arpino, reflecting on what became Robert Joffrey's final theatrical venture. Former associate director and resident choreographer, Arpino has been the Joffrey Ballet's artistic director since the founder's death in March at the age of 57.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 21, 1990 | CHRIS PASLES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With the board of American Ballet Theatre recently threatening to disband the company during contract negotiations with the dancers, and with some board members of the Joffrey Ballet trying unsuccessfully last May to wrest artistic control from company co-founder Gerald Arpino, 1990 has been a cruel year in the dance world.
BOOKS
November 17, 1996 | Donna Perlmutter, Donna Perlmutter, a recipient of the ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award, is the author of "Shadowplay: The Life of Antony Tudor."
For disbelievers who weren't around in the '70s to see it with their own eyes, there was a dance boom--an epic period in American culture when creativity flourished, crowds packed the halls, dancers took on star appeal and audiences cheered them by their first names. That time is gone, so its especially gratifying to have biographies of two seminal figures who came to full flower then.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 9, 1990 | ROBERT R. HESSE, Robert R. Hesse is a management consultant in Del Mar, Calif.
"The dancers come first," was Robert Joffrey's exhortation when the going got rough. No matter how difficult the financial condition, the art of the dance was first and foremost. It was his most endearing quality as well as his singular fault, as surrounding him was a constant administrative turmoil that was a daily threat to the company's existence. I served as executive director of the Joffrey Ballet, the eighth in 13 years, from 1983-1986.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 2, 1987
The Joffrey Ballet will open its fall season at the Music Center on Sept. 30, with a program that includes the premiere of a reconstruction of "Le Sacre du Printemps," based on Vaslav Nijinsky's long-lost, controversial 1913 production, with music by Stravinsky. Dance historian Millicent Hodson and art historian Kenneth Archer covered three continents in researching the project, which was supervised by artistic director Robert Joffrey. Costumes and sets are by Nicolas Roerich.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 30, 1997 | LEWIS SEGAL, TIMES DANCE CRITIC
Just a few years ago, Mehmet Sander was the holy terror of the Cal State Long Beach dance department and the big news at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica. On Friday, when the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago presented his trio "Inner Space" at the Ahmanson Theatre, he became the first locally based choreographer to have a work performed here by a major national company while still a part of the Southland dance scene. "Inner Space," however, is scarcely ballet by any definition.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 1996 | CHRIS PASLES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"The Nutcracker" takes place on Christmas Eve, but the holiday favorite is danced on that night about as rarely as dolls become handsome princes. As it turned out, the magic of the evening didn't ensure a special event when the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago opened a seven-performance run Tuesday at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Some of the reasons are built into the familiar production.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 23, 1996
With the movie version of "Evita" opening Wednesday, it's no accident that the stage production upon which the movie is based is nowhere to be seen. The Robert Stigwood Organization, which produced the original Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical that opened on Broadway in September 1979 and still oversees the stage rights, recently placed a temporary freeze on further licenses to produce the stage version in the U.S.
BOOKS
November 17, 1996 | Donna Perlmutter, Donna Perlmutter, a recipient of the ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award, is the author of "Shadowplay: The Life of Antony Tudor."
For disbelievers who weren't around in the '70s to see it with their own eyes, there was a dance boom--an epic period in American culture when creativity flourished, crowds packed the halls, dancers took on star appeal and audiences cheered them by their first names. That time is gone, so its especially gratifying to have biographies of two seminal figures who came to full flower then.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 23, 1994 | LEWIS SEGAL, TIMES DANCE WRITER
Fifty years ago this week, the first complete "Nutcracker" ever seen in America received its premiere in San Francisco. It took another decade before a full-length production reached Los Angeles (courtesy of George Balanchine), but, obviously, the ballet landscape hasn't been the same since. Always the liveliest of dance historians, the late Robert Joffrey renewed and extended many "Nutcracker" traditions in his 1987 staging for the company that still bears his name.
NEWS
July 22, 1993 | CHRIS PASLES, Chris Pasles covers music and dance for The Times Orange County Edition.
"Billboards," coming to the Orange County Performing Arts Center next week, isn't the Joffrey Ballet's first rock-music ballet. Far from it, in fact. In 1967, Robert Joffrey himself created the company's first work set to rock: the multimedia "Astarte" to music by Crome Syrcus. Gerald Arpino, co-founder of the company with Joffrey in 1956 and its sole artistic director since Joffrey's death in 1988, followed with "Trinity" to music by Alan Raph and Lee Holdridge in 1969.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 12, 1990 | LIBBY SLATE
Edward Stierle, 22, is not only one of the Joffrey Ballet's youngest dancers. He's its youngest choreographer, too. His 1988 ballet, "Lacrymosa," had its Los Angeles premiere last Sunday, with more performances scheduled for Thursday and May 25 and the company's final spring program May 27. Stierle danced the premiere and will appear closing night.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 31, 1988 | LEWIS SEGAL
During the yearlong existence of the Joffrey Ballet's "Nutcracker," Sugar Plum Fairies have come and gone, but there's been only one Drosselmeyer, that mysterious figure in the eye patch and cape who guides the child-heroine, Clara, from her Christmas Party to a magical Candyland. Night after night, plus matinees--more than 40 times this season alone--the distinguished British character dancer Alexander Grant has appeared as a guest with the Joffrey in his first U.S. appearances since 1976.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 1993 | JANICE BERMAN, NEWSDAY
The story of how the Joffrey Ballet came here recently to present the world premiere of the full-length "Billboards," with music by Prince, begins in Los Angeles. It seems Patricia Kennedy, an L.A. member of the Joffrey board, had leased one of her two Bel-Air homes to Prince. "For our special 1991 gala, I had a couple of tables and a cancellation, and asked if he'd like to come," Kennedy said. "This happens to have been the first ballet Prince had been to, which he shared with me.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 1991 | LEWIS SEGAL, TIMES DANCE WRITER
No longer a member of the Music Center family, the Joffrey Ballet returned to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Wednesday as a tenant, opening a 16-performance run of its familiar, problematic 1987 staging of "The Nutcracker." Ironically, this "Nutcracker" puts a premium on everything the Joffrey avoided before it became a Music Center resident company: tutu-and-tiara classicism, grandiose spectacle, backdated sentimentality.
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