Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance

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Co-founded in 1956 by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey and dancer Gerald Arpino, the Joffrey Ballet began as a DIY company of six dancers touring the United States in a borrowed station wagon. It quickly grew into one of the world’s most exciting and prominent ballet companies, at one time ranking as America’s third great company alongside American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet.

Weaving a wealth of rare archival footage and photographs with recent interviews with Joffrey star dancers and dance commentators, Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance chronicles the full story of the company, from its founding in 1956 to the present. The film describes how the Joffrey repeatedly resurrected itself after devastating financial and artistic setbacks and how the company introduced cutting-edge choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Laura Dean and Margo Sappington to a larger audience. Featuring excerpts from Joffrey’s seminal works AstarteTrinity and Billboards, the film captures the youthful dynamism and flair that defined the Joffrey as one of ballet’s most outgoing creative forces. The film also highlights the company’s breakthrough collaborations with choreographers Kurt Jooss (The Green Table) and Leonide Massine (Parade).

This outstanding documentary comes with a variety of extras, mostly notably including a full dress rehearsal of Jooss’ The Green Table. Created with passion and elegantly edited, Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance deserves its accolades. Highly recommended by Vintage Pointe.

Written and directed by Bob Hercules, narrated by Mandy Patinkin.
Running time: 82 minutes + extras
Region Code: 1
Format & Aspect Ratio: NTSC, 16:9
Number of discs: 1
Release date: June 2012

‘Hosannas and hallelujahs for the new documentary on the Joffrey Ballet!’  Dance Magazine

‘Make no mistake. Director Bob Hercules’ Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance is a love letter to dance and a company that heavily influenced American ballet and American dance in general … For dance fans, this is a movie well-worth watching, if only to affirm that America has made contributions to ballet.’