American Masters “Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance”

American Masters “Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance”

Sun, 12/30/2012 - 2:00pm

Image: Joffrey and Arpino color with flowers

Image credit: Courtesy of Herbert Migdoll

Uncover the history and background of the Joffrey Ballet, the first quintessentially American dance company to move beyond traditional ballet classics. American Masters “Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance” premieres Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 2 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11). Learn about the founders of the Joffrey Ballet and their defiance of the status quo in search of creation and expression.

Watch Trailer: Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance on PBS. See more from American Masters.

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Founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino pioneered a new dance philosophy by daringly combining modern and traditional techniques and art with social statement, and integrating pop and rock music scores. At its peak of success in the 1960s and 1970s, the Joffrey Ballet was reviving classic dance features while simultaneously creating original works. Currently based in Chicago, the Joffrey Ballet features classically trained dancers and a unique vision for a dance company. Tracing the struggles and triumphs of the company from 1956 to the present, “Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance” features interviews with former and current Joffrey dancers, the breakthroughs of choreographers Twyla Tharp, Laura Dean and Margo Sappington, and rare archival performance footage. Excerpts from signature works Astarte, Trinity and Billboards are featured. Award-winning American actor and tenor Mandy Patinkin narrates.