Joffrey Ballet Hosts Luncheon To Celebrate Giselle Premiere

Jamie-Clare Flaherty, Greg Cameron, Melissa Trandel_Photo Credit Steve Becker
Jamie-Clare Flaherty, Greg Cameron, Melissa Trandel

 

Jamie Clare Flaherty, the director of strategic initiatives for the Obama Foundation and Melissa Trandel as co-chairs of the Joffrey Ballet’s Giselle luncheon, welcomed over 300 guests to the elegant luncheon held at the Loews Hotel Chicago’s Sullivan Ballroom on October 2. The luncheon was to celebrate and get a sneak peek of the much-anticipated Joffrey premiere of Giselle which opens October 18.

Joffrey Ballerinas_Photo Credit Steve Becker

Guests began the day with a champagne reception on the Loews outdoor terrace before they were ushered down to the Sullivan ballroom. Joffrey Ballet’s Executive Director Greg Cameron welcomed guests and the two co-chairs, both members of the Women’s Board,  acknowledged the luncheon sponsors including Athene, Mesirow Financial and bag pull host J McLaughlin. The Joffrey Ballet’s Artistic Director Ashley Wheater, who is celebrating 10 years with the company, led the conversation portion of the day, first with Academy student Jose Pablo Castro Cuevas, this year’s recipient of the Richard Ellis and Christine Du Boulay Ellis merit scholarship, who actually ended moving to Chicago at the age of 14 after being a summer scholarship recipient. 

Jose Pablo, Ashley Wheater_Photo Credit Steve Becker

The panel discussion between Ashley Wheater, Lola de Ávila’s, Giselle Ballet Master and Stager, as well as Joffrey Artists performing the role of Giselle, Christine Rocas and Amanda Assucena, concluded the luncheon. Rocas talked about her growth since having played the role of Giselle years ago as well exploring the heartbreaking story of Giselle and why it continues to resonate with ballerinas and dance enthusiasts.

Ashley Wheater, Lola de Avila, Christine Rocas, Patti Eylar, Amanda Assucena_Photo Credit Steve Becker

Giselle: A sweeping tale of passion beyond the grave, de Ávila’s visionary Giselle elevates one of the greatest Romantic ballets to new heights. When a young peasant girl discovers her lover is betrothed to another, she dies of grief, only to be enlisted by the vengeful Wilis, a ghostly army of maidens who haunt the forests, dancing to death any male mortal who crosses their path.  When her beloved wanders into their grasp, Giselle carries out the ultimate act of love to free him from his fate. An ethereal descent into madness, desire, and sublime beauty that will leave you breathless.

The Joffrey Ballet’s production of Giselle, staged by Lola de Ávila, will run from October 18-29.

Shelley Farley, Greg Cameron, Maria Smithburg, Jerrilyn Hoffmann_Photo Credit Steve Becker
Shelley Farley, Greg Cameron, Maria Smithburg, Jerrilyn Hoffmann

Katie Freiburger, Ellie Forman, Heather Martin, Donna Brunso, Mary James, Maggie Scheyer_Photo Credit Steve Becker
Katie Freiburger, Ellie Forman, Heather Martin, Donna Brunso, Mary James, Maggie Scheyer

Leslie Prizant Goodman, Jill Dodds, Bal Nandra_Photo redit Steve Becker (1)
Leslie Prizant Goodman, Jill Dodds, Bal Nandra

 

Ellie Forman, Melissa Trandel, Greg Cameron, Jamie-Clare Flaherty, Kathleen Kenehan_Photo Credit Steve Becker
Ellie Forman, Melissa Trandel, Greg Cameron, Jamie-Clare Flaherty, Kathleen Kenehan

 

Greg Cameron, Shauna Montgomery, JP Anderson_Photo Credit Steve Becker
Greg Cameron, Shauna Montgomery, JP Anderson

Marilyn Slattery, June Gruner_Photo Credit Steve Becker
Marilyn Slattery, June Gruner

Emily Strobel Amiet, Katie Hernandez, Carolyn Blessing_Photo Credit Steve Becker
Emily Strobel Amiet, Katie Hernandez, Carolyn Blessing

 

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photo credit: Steve Becker

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