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Heralding the Black Aesthete

Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 7:00 pm


In this captivating program, Ballet Chicago celebrates black voices, both in music and the spoken word.


In the first part of the program, Ballet Chicago teams up with the Merit School of Music to bring audiences six exciting works by an esteemed group of choreographers. Created at-home during quarantine, Heralding the Black Aesthete features composers and artists Billy Strayhorn, Herbie Hancock, Florence Price, and Maya Angelou. The second section highlights Artistic Director Daniel Duell’s highly acclaimed Ellington Suite, an evocative and jazzy suite of dances that ranges in mood from the serene and romantic to swirling, high-octane energy. Filmed from the stage of the Harris Theater, Duell’s suite suggests a seasonal, or life, cycle, starting with a haunting invocation and ending with a lively, finger-snapping finale. It’s 16 minutes make a captivating journey for audiences.



Chevalier (2020)

Choreography by Durante Verzola

Music by Joseph Boulogne, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges


Emily Hain with Mia Thompson and Madeline Coulter


In a Sentimental Mood (2020)

Choreography by Dominique Atwood

 Music by Florence Price, Bella Berman on Piano


Lauren Batterbee, Emily Hain, Ella Newgarden, Lillie Rose Reddy, Claire Schaefer


Lotus Flower (2020)

Choreography by Ted Seymour

Music by Billy Strayhorn: Piano duet-Aleko Lionikis & Devin Shaw

Poem by Maya Angelou: Spoken word by Kristian Chavez

Quinn Andrew Myers, Tru Annafi, Lauren Batterbee, Sofia Davies,

Moira Ewig Barta, Lillian Hundley, Gabriella Joew, Alyssa Kantner, Claudia Kantner,

Emma Kapetyn, Claire Kellar, Rebecca McCain, Mimi McKelly, Izaeblla Rauch,

Lillie Rose Reddy, Skylar Rutman, Asha San Juan, Claire Schaefer,

Russell Schmidt, Deshawn Townsend, Nora Winans

Ella Bates, Madeline Coulter, Kennedy Luce-Burke, Brianna Moose, 

Kaleigh Muller, Liliana Pfeifer, Allison Yusim, Sophie Zaldeja

Fall (2020)

Choreography by Elyse Jost

Music by Wayne Shorter:  Alum jazz trio -Garret Munz, Miles Richey & Leo Buczkowski

Ella Bates, Emma Kapetyn, Liliana Pfeifer

 Three Fours ‘Adante’ (2020)

Choreography by Julie Niekrasz

Music by Coleridge-Taylor: Joshuah Mhoon on Piano 

Dana Coons

Reflections in D (2020)

Choreography by Johnathon Hart

Music by Duke Ellington and ‘ I Thought it was You’, Herbie Hancock: Recorded Music

Gabriel Moreno Jiminez, Russell Schmidt, Deshawn Townsend


Ellington Suite (1987)

Choreography by Daniel Duell 

Music by Duke Ellington 

Costume Design by Patricia Blair

Lighting Design by Margaret L. Nelson





Katherine Alvarado, Tiffany Cichanowicz, Emily Eisel, Gabrielle Foley, Zoe Jacob, Hayley Lampariello, Kyra Lin, Naomi Lindquist, Rebecca McCain, Morgan Moose, Sydney-Rose Smith, Lexi Sullivan, 

Anna Tworzyanski, Grace Wiechart, Mary Wielgos, Brooklyn Winter


Hats off!



Ivan Aguayo, Lee Borowski, James Heeney, Brenton Taft, Kahlyl Wrather



Kelsey Ann Calhoun, Jade Eitner, Morgan Jankowski, Devin Johnson,

Lilly Leech, Nina Montalbano, Olivia Smith, Jasmine Wheeler


Delta Duet




Full Company

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