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Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino's uniquely American vision of dance first took form in 1956 with an ensemble of six strong, individual dancers who toured the country with a repertoire of Joffrey's original ballets. From the beginning, the JOFFREY BALLET brought a new American approach to ballet, with innovations that have influenced ballet companies across the United States and internationally.

Renowned for a remarkable repertory of more than 225 ballets by 85 choreographers, the Joffrey has commissioned the first ballets of such notable American choreographers as Alvin Ailey, Laura Dean, Randy Duncan, Mark Morris, Peter Pucci, Margo Sappington, Anna Sokolow, Edward Stierle, Glen Tetley, and Twyla Tharp; re-introduced a complete program by Kurt Jooss, and revived ballets by Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Leonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska, Vaslav Nijinsky, Jerome Robbins, and Antony Tudor. In addition, the Joffrey has reconstructed "lost" ballets of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, including Parade (1917), Le Sacre Du Printemps (1913), and The Three-Cornered Hat (1919); and was the first American company to present the work of Denmark's Auguste Bournonville.

With Robert Joffrey's creation of the multimedia Astarte in 1967, followed by Gerald Arpino's anti-nuclear ballet, The Clowns (1968) and the rock ballet Trinity (1970), the Joffrey was catapulted into the forefront of American culture, highlighting one of its signature elements: the incorporation of popular culture, modern technology, and contemporary ideas into its classical foundation to present ballets for our time.

The Joffrey has always stuck with its roots as a touring company, performing regularly in more than 400 U.S. cities in all 50 states and engaging audiences in Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, and the Middle East.

On September 7, 1995, Joffrey artistic director Gerald Arpino established The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago to carry on the traditions and legacy of The Joffrey Ballet. The company established repertory seasons at Chicago's Shubert Theatre and Civic Opera House while maintaining a national and international touring schedule. Chicago's Auditorium Theatre has served as home to the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago since 1998.

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