Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance

by | November 22, 2011 | Uncategorized

Hybrid Cinema is pleased to announce the world premiere of the feature length documentary Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance at Dance On Camera Festival’s opening night in New York City on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 8:30pm. A repeat presentation will occur at Dance On Camera on the following day, Saturday, January 28th at 1:30pm. Both Dance On Camera screenings of Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance will be held at Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center. A stellar line-up of dance world panelists will be featured in Q&A sessions at both New York City screenings of the film.

Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance, the first film to chronicle how the legendary Joffrey Ballet revolutionized American ballet by daringly combining modern dance with traditional ballet, will also simultaneously premiere in theaters around the country via simulcast through Emerging Pictures on Saturday, January 28th. An accompanying art exhibit, featuring bold photos and posters by Herbert Migdoll (painter and official photographer for The Joffrey Ballet) will also be displayed during the month of January at the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery at Walter Reade Theater.

Dance On Camera’s opening night celebration will launch with the world premiere of Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance and include attendance by the director, Bob Hercules, and several members of the cast. The film, and associated Q&A session for the Saturday, January 28th matinee screening at 1:30pm, will simultaneously premiere for dance enthusiasts in participating theaters across the country via the Emerging Pictures network of theaters. A pioneering project, this marks the first time a film has simulcast its world premiere out of a major festival. Audiences at premiere screenings across the country will be able to participate in the New York City Q&A session on Saturday through a live Twitter feed. Walter Reade Theater and the Freida and Roy Furman Gallery are located at 165 West 65th Street, Lincoln Center, New York, NY 10023. Tickets for the screenings go on sale Thursday, January 5, 2012 at the Walter Reade Theater’s box office and online at

This insightful documentary, executive produced by Harold Ramis and Jay Alix and produced by Una Jackman and Erica Mann Ramis, examines the dynamic trajectory of the groundbreaking American ballet company – The Joffrey Ballet – which daringly combined traditional ballet and modern dance at a time when it was not routinely accepted. Weaving a wealth of archival footage, behind-the-scene photos and interviews with former and current Joffrey star dancers, director Bob Hercules (Bill T. Jones: A Good Man) documents the struggles and achievements of the Joffrey from its newfound beginnings in 1956 to the Company’s present international success. The film features rare excerpts from many seminal Joffrey works including Astarte, Trinity and Billboards, as well as breakthrough collaborations with choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Leonid Massine, Laura Dean, and Kurt Jooss. Founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino and a host of ballet notables, including Gary Chryst, Trinette Singleton, Helgi Tomasson, Kevin McKenzie and more, are featured in the film. Narrated by Tony® and Emmy® Award winner Mandy Patinkin, the film is a rich chronicle of a ballet company that continues to reinvent itself, raise the bar and invigorate audiences worldwide. See list of full credits here.

Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance screenings at Dance On Camera are accompanied by special appearances at panel discussions related to the film:

• Friday, January 27 [8:30pm] at Walter Reade Theatre:

Moderator Anna Kisselgoff, former Chief Dance Critic of The New York Times; Ashley C. Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet; Bob Hercules, Director of the film; Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director of American Ballet Theater and former Joffrey principal; and former Joffrey Ballet principals Brunilda Ruiz and Adam Sklute.

• Saturday, January 28 [1:30pm] at Walter Reade Theatre:

Moderator Sasha Anawalt, author of The Joffrey Ballet: Robert Joffrey and the Making of an American Dance Company (published by Scribner 1996); Trinette Singleton, principal dancer of The Joffrey Ballet who appeared on Time Magazine’s cover in 1968 for rock ballet Astarte; current Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater; and former Joffrey principal Christian Holder.

The simulcast premieres across the country mark the launch of the film’s distribution by Hybrid Cinema, which brought Dance Films Association and Emerging Pictures together for this series of events. The simulcast of the Saturday screening, which includes introductions as well as the Q&A session featuring top former Joffrey stars, will also be streamed live into participating cinemas. Audience members throughout the US will be able to ask the stars questions live via a live Twitter feed. Visit for updates on exact theater locations.

The screenings are accompanied by a colorful photo exhibit in the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery by Herbert Migdoll, painter and official photographer for The Joffrey Ballet. The exhibit highlights Joffrey’s Carousel: Celebrating 50 Years of Dance, a photographic parade of Joffrey’s dancers in costume, representing the Company’s classical and contemporary repertoire. The multiple images on panels were shot in 1996 at the famed outdoor carousel on Chicago’s Navy Pier. The Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery is located in the Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, Plaza Level at Lincoln Center, New York, NY 10023. Gallery admittance to the exhibition is free to the public during normal Walter Reade Theatre hours – seven days a week, 1:00pm to 10:00pm, throughout the month of January.

Following the film’s premiere in late January, Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance will embark on a U.S. tour through Spring 2012 with stops in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, Aspen, St. Louis, and many other cities. Special one-off events with Joffrey alumni and limited theatrical engagements are planned. The documentary will then have a VOD/DVD/digital release in June of 2012 through New Video.

Hybrid Cinema is also releasing multimedia companion projects with exclusive content for fans wishing to further explore the Joffrey legend beyond the film. The first of these initiatives is a series of digital photobooks called Joffrey Maverick Moments. Each new edition will be available for free from the film’s website and Facebook page. The digital photobooks are based on themes and time frames found in the film with photos accompanied by quotes from Robert Joffrey, his friends and associates, as well as alumni interviews that provide further insight and background into the Company. Future Joffrey Maverick Moments may explore such themes as Joffrey’s Nutcracker through the years, Joffrey’s psychedelic rock ballet Astarte, Arpino’s most well-regarded ballets (The Clowns, Trinity, Olympics, Round of Angels, Light Rain), and more. Starting December 1st, Hybrid Cinema will start releasing a series of audio podcasts with exclusive new interviews of Joffrey legends. These podcasts will utilize the SoundCloud platform and will be available through the film’s Facebook page for fans only. The multimedia companion projects will be released over the next few months, through the premieres and leading up to the DVD release. Regular weekly content, including film clips and bonus outtakes, is also available on the film’s website blog and YouTube channel.