Summer in Chicago Means Free -Yes Free- Ballet Performances

Many summer dance festivals feature ballet companies, and many more take place in beautiful outdoor settings. However, few can boast as outstanding a combination as the Chicago Dancing Festival. Not only does this year’s edition feature Daniel Ulbricht’s Stars of American Ballet, the Joffery Ballet and the Washington Ballet, and not only does much of the festival take place in the majestic Pritzker Pavilion, but the entire festival is free!

Some events are “ticketed,” and the free tickets will be released on July 8th for events at the Harris Theatre and July 9th for events at the Museum of Contemporary Art. If you can’t snag a seat inside the Harris Theatre for the opening night of the show on August 20th, don’t despair. The entire performance, including the Stars of American Ballet, will be simulcast on a giant screen outside in the Pavilion.

The Joffery Ballet will be performing three times. The company will appear twice in an excerpt of Yuri Possokhov’s Bells, with both performances taking place on the 22nd at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Though the tickets to these shows are free, they are still limited due to space constraints at the museum.

The closing gala on the 23rd – danced on the outdoor stage in the Pavilion – will feature dancers from the Washington Ballet in the pas de deux from Le Corsaire, along with the Joffery’s final festival appearance and performance of Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs. I can’t think of anything more glamorous.

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Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

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