Joffrey Ballet of Chicago

Joffrey Ballet of Chicago: Address, Phone Number, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago Reviews: 4.5/5

Joffrey Ballet of Chicago
The area
Neighborhood: Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
How to get there
  • Harold Washington Library – State/Van Buren • 3 min walk
  • Harrison • 4 min walk
Popular mentions

101 reviews
Very good

Thomas K
Kauai, HI31 contributions
Dec 2017 • Friends
PBS aired a documentary about the Joffrey's commissioning of a re-imagining of the Nutcracker set among the immigrants who actually built the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. We were hooked on seeing it during this holiday season. As it turned out, our daughter bought first balcony, first row, matinee tickets for the Saturday before Christmas. The anticipation we felt was intense, the payoff was phenomenal! The story has its inspiration in a photograph of a simple wooden shack just outside the fairgrounds that the artistic director came across while researching the World's Fair.
the story he created is far more beguiling than the rich girl getting the nutcracker from her rich uncle. The dancing was mesmerizing, and truly up to Joffrey artistic perfection.
Lighting and sets, costumes, and Buffalo Bill twirling his lariat made for a truly delightful production. As far as we were concerned, it was a triumph. And a treasured memory for this holiday season. Last but not least, we'd never been to a matinee, but it is now the only way we'll do a show in the city. Parked in Mellenium Park garage by 1PM. Matinee at 2:00. Dinner AFTER the show at 5. A walk down Michigan Avenue in its Christmas best back to the car. Home by 8PM. Couldn't have been a better day!
Written January 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kelly E
Valdosta, GA617 contributions
Dec 2014 • Couples
It seems like a tradition with my spouse to try and see a Christmas Carol or Nutcracker when we go somewhere for Christmas. We were lucky to find options for both in Chicago, and we opted for Nutcracker. The production was much better than other productions we have seen in Atlanta and other places. The Joffrey obviously has much better funding to have such great costumes and set pieces. The theatre itself was lovely, very historic feeling with wonderful touches like little alcoves in the landings with fireplaces. The show itself was great, some wonderful talent on display with amazing musical support. Well worth the tickets.
Written December 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chicago440 contributions
Dec 2018 • Family
How creative to place the scene of the story in a shack of an immigrant working at the 1893 World's Fair. This Nutcracker could only be appreciated in Chicago. The Christmas theme was the same, cleverly weaving the attractions of the Fair into the sequence of dreams. Technology produced stunning sets. The dancers meshed to tell the traditional story of a magical evening of shared traditions and wishes but the first half definitely lacked the luster and opulence usually associated with the original version.
It was an appropriate opportunity to introduce the youngsters to Chicago history and the grace of ballet.
Written December 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

2 contributions
Dec 2018 • Friends
I have never been more disappointed in my life . The theme , the costumes , the set ! DRAB !!! Utterly non entertaining ! I could not wait to leave and wished for my money back ! The theme had nothing to do with Christmas and seemed politically motivated to shove their opinion down the sudienrs throats! Save your money and do something Christmas like in this festive month
Written December 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Buffalo, NY2 contributions
Dec 2018 • Couples
A big fan of the wonderful Joffrey Ballet and recently loved their classical presentation of Swan Lake. Their Nutcracker 2019 however, while brilliantly performed deformed the plot and lost the charm. Set in Chicago just before the world's fair of 1892 and with the central family being poor. It not only lacked the sheer magic of a traditional approach but took liberties withe the score and the story line which robbed it of its magical and childlike quality. The romanticization and almost sexualization of the relationship between the Mage and the Sugar Plum Fairy and ultimately the apparently formation of a new family with the Mage coming into the family household as paramour of the Mother was a step or two too far.

The crowd cheered and clapped but mostly stayed in their seats. There was no widespread standing ovation. The artists deserved it for their great merit but the producers did not.

Given the cost of attending there are better around the country
Written December 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Koda H
1 contribution
Dec 2018 • Friends
Part of the beauty of the traditional Nutcracker ballet was the colorful scenery, the grand Christmas tree, the 3 headed Mouse King, the Snow Queen etc.....this version, set at the the world's fair in Chicago, with the characters being poor immigrants living in a shack instead of a wealthy German family is so drab, colorless, boring...why do this to this beautiful music and story? Why remove so many essential elements? It felt "equalized", as if people will be offended by a wealthy white family?. Its another assault on Tradition. Glorious dancing, glorious music, awful, horrible set and story...don't see it. Wait until a traditional version is produced.
Written December 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Springfield, IL3 contributions
Dec 2017 • Family
The Joffrey Ballet's Nutcracker was a complete disappointment!
Mediocre performance, primitive costumes, PowerPoint like backdrops.
The most disappointing was a new concept. The Nutcracker, a beautiful fairytale many-many generations of children of the world grew up with, from the beginning was crudely converted to the socially correct and Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist like environment. Absolutely ridiculous idea to tight The Nutcracker with The World's Columbian Exposition (also known as the Chicago World's Fair) which was a world's fair held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World. It feels like an infomercial for the Chicago Office of Tourism (no offense). I wouldn't be surprised to see the Abe dance in (just kidding - I would!).
The tasteless substitution of the Tchaikovsky's Russian Dance with a cheap western saloon dancers and cowboy lasso-guns bang bangs demo performed on a Russian motive, left me speechless.
Dear creatives, please don't ruin the genius magic created by Tchaikovsky an Marius Petipa! Just come up with your own original ideas.
Written December 18, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kim P
2 contributions
Dec 2018 • Couples
I have always wanted to see the Nutcracker ballet...I was so excited when my boyfriend bought me tickets. I was so disappointed when I saw this production. It was not the original and I'm so upset about it. I am 60 years old and probably will never see it again. I dreamt of seeing the dance of the sugar plum fairies,which did not happen instead the world fair performers danced. I wish I could get my money back. They should of called it something else or make sure it was stated that it's not the original.
Written December 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jean H
Pleasant Prairie, WI296 contributions
Dec 2017 • Friends
I attended with a group; I didn't realize until we were in Chicago that it was going to be a modernized version. We had seats on the 2nd floor, which were fine. The Auditorium Theater is a beautiful building with old-theater charm. The Joffrey Ballet dancers were spectacular! They are very talented and a pleasure to watch.
My one and only disappointment lies in the modernized version, set in Chicago on Christmas Eve, 1892. The city is under a major construction, preparing for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Groups are expected from around the world, including Spain, China, and Arabia. What is unusual is Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show instead of the Russian dancers, they didn't dance ballet in their cowboy boots! In my opinion, the best dancers were the two Arabian dancers, Christine Rocas & Fabrice Calmels. The slow, smooth lifts, spins, and lowering of the woman was so fluid, it reminded me of Tai Chi moves. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the combination of physical and digital set designs, from Christmas decorations and snow, to buildings and lakefront skyline.
I wouldn't say the 2017 Joffrey was not a good performance, but if you want to take someone to The Nutcracker that hasn't seen it before, I would say this is NOT the version for them to see for their first experience. Take them instead to the Genessee Theater in Waukegan, Illinois, for a traditional and excellent performance.
Written December 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ashlie K
Spring, TX72 contributions
Dec 2014 • Solo
Let me preface this review by saying, I grew up practicing ballet, got a degree in dance, and have been to many see ballets companies perform (Houston Ballet, Trey McIntyre Project, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Kirov Ballet, etc). I went to see The Nutcracker just after Christmas (Dec. 2014), which is not my favorite ballet but it is a winter tradition. I was not as amazed by the Joffrey Ballet as I thought I would be; I guess I had high expectations due to how the company is projected in the media and dance-world. I also expected a lot because Fabrice Calmels was performing the male lead. Calmel's leaps left much to be wanting; I expected longer, higher leaps, although, he turns were fantastic. Kara Zimmerson, who played the Sugar Plum Fairy, was not "on" this particular evening, and I understand as I dancer we can't always be "on" but...I felt that there was an overall lack of energy from most of the company. Clara's choreography was quite simplistic; I am accustomed to seeing more from this role, so I was a bit disappointment that Clara did not dance more challenging sequences. But! the Land of Snow was very impressive; the dancers, lead by Jaiani and Suluashvili, were in sync and very precise yet they exuded such grace. The stage is small compared to most professional stages, but the production crew did a phenomenal job with the set and props - the growth of the tree and its flickering candles was impressive and the final send off for Clara was quite special and unique (I'll keep this part a secret in case someone has not yet seen the Joffrey's version yet!). Overall for the price of my ticket and the performance I saw, I was let down. In the future, I may return to see another performance, but probably only if someone else buys the ticket for me.
Written January 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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