A young, driven dancer focuses on the goal. Study the proper technique. Train the mind and body. The talent is there. The drive is there. Desire? Through the roof. But her means are restricted. Her personal funds under-resourced. How to dance to the next level?
A set of circumstances presents itself. The dancer is given a chance. Continue to labor, sweat, push. Join a company. Audition. Wait. The good news arrives. She is the next lead. The turning point is here. Hard work has been rewarded. Its payoff will be enjoyed by patrons numbering in the thousands.
The Women’s Board of The Joffrey Ballet proudly presents the Giselle Luncheon, an event raising funds to grant opportunity on Monday, October 2. Hundreds of supporters will gather at the Loews Hotel in Chicago for a memorable afternoon, co-chaired by Women’s Board members Jamie-Clare Flaherty and Melissa Trandel.
Giselle, a sweeping tale of passion beyond the grave, with music by Adolphe Adam, opens The Joffrey Ballet’s 2017-2018 season, staged by Lola de Ávila. The Luncheon acts as the season’s kick-off, featuring a panel-style conversation with Joffrey’s Artistic Director Ashley Wheater, Lola de Ávila, and the upcoming Giselles. Guests will be treated to a glimpse into the reconstruction of the classical, romantic ballet.
Funds raised from the afternoon will be earmarked for operational costs, including scholarships. The Joffrey provides close to $400,000 in scholarships and tuition waivers each year. These gifts support students at all levels, allowing motivated students the chance to study at the Joffrey Academy of Dance.
“We want to showcase how earning the role of Giselle is often a turning point in a dancer’s career,” explains Flaherty. “Scholarship is an integral part of expanding career opportunities for a broad range of dancers. Keeping with the Joffrey’s mission of inclusivity, we hope to do everything we can to increase opportunities for all.”
An extremely popular event, the Women’s Board Luncheon enters its fourth year, holding steady as one of the signature cultural fall events. Loews Chicago provides a chic backdrop this year, offering a unique place to explore the mystique of the Joffrey while taking the pulse of the vibrant city.
Dancing its way into Chicago more than two decades ago, The Joffrey Ballet’s history with Chicago runs deep, and it’s community outreach programs are legendary. The classically trained company presents a cultural richness to Chicago unmatched by most. Its power to make a positive impact is felt throughout the city and beyond, blending the art of dance into the lives of people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. “It can be the beginning of a lifelong love of the arts felt by a child or young dancer that they might not have known,” says Trandel. “The Joffrey’s educational programs provide Chicago’s youth the opportunity to explore the world of dance.”
Both Flaherty and Trandel have been inspired for years to support the mission of the Joffrey, throwing their enthusiasm and energy behind the Women’s Board Giselle Luncheon. Even Trandel’s daughter is a student at the Joffrey Academy, allowing her to see firsthand the artistry of the instructors. Discipline and confidence are the name of the game. “The expectations are high,” notes Trandel. “And the outcome? Extraordinary.”
Tickets for the Monday, October 2, Giselle Luncheon are $200, or $2,000 for a table of ten, and can be purchased at joffrey.org/luncheon.