BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
Over 300 of Chicago’s most notable women gathered recently to celebrate Giselle, surely the most romantic ballet of all time and the Joffrey’s 2017-18 season opener.
Following a view-filled reception on the outdoor terrace of the Loews Hotel and luncheon in the hotel’s Sullivan Ballroom, guests heard from the ballerinas dancing the tragic role of Giselle, and from the Joffrey’s Artistic Director, Ashley Wheater, celebrating his tenth anniversary with the company.
Lola de Avila, Giselle Ballet Master and Stager; Christine Rocas and Amanda Assucena, the two Giselles this season; and Wheater all explored the ballet’s tragic story, which the Joffrey calls “a sweeping tale of passion beyond the grave.”
Women’s Board members Jamie-Clare Flaherty and Melissa Trandel chaired the annual opening luncheon honoring the treasured ballet company. Fashion illustrator Kristine Steiner drew live sketches for guests to take home in addition to bag pull raffle items sponsored by J. McLaughlin.
If the tales of Giselle’s ghostly army of haunted ballerinas known as the Willis got to be slightly scary, Chill Meditation and Massage provided guests with a meditation session.
The Nutcracker, Modern Masters, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream will complete the season.
For more information about Giselle and the Joffrey schedule, visit joffrey.org.
Photo credit: Steve Becker