Joffrey Ballet’s “Sylvia”
In an extraordinary week of world-class performances, with Chicago’s great arts companies firing on all cylinders, The Joffrey’s opening night of John Neumeier’s “Sylvia” stood out as an unforgettably powerful experience. The iconic choreographer John Neumeier, who for over forty years has led the Hamburg Ballet and has created some of the most powerful works of ballet and dance theater, is originally from Milwaukee, so welcoming this midwesterner back home added an extra emotional dimension to the evening. Neumeier’s intensely dramatic vision for “Sylvia,” which sometimes mirrors and sometimes confronts Delibes’ lushly romantic score, blends classical ballet with a contemporary physical vocabulary of real psychological insight. The superb Joffrey Ballet rose to the piece’s considerable technical and emotional challenges with great skill. And the beautiful playing of the Chicago Philharmonic added immeasurably to the impact of an overwhelmingly powerful experience. I can’t wait to see it again.
—Anthony Freud, general director, Lyric Opera of Chicago (Players)
Best of Chicago 2015