This 4PHOTOS explores “Lorelei,” which was originally created as a dance film featuring Joffrey Ballet dancers Jeraldine Mendoza and Dylan Gutierrez.
The brightest lights shine more brilliantly in the dark. And when facing the darkness of adversity, no community shines brighter than the dance community in Chicago. Each year, the city’s professional dancers unite and donate their time, love and energy to raise funds for peers who are facing critical health issues. It culminates in a single, spectacular evening of dance at Chicago’s historic Auditorium Theatre — Dance for Life.
Each of the participating companies and artists present their most heartfelt performances, and this year’s contributions from The Joffrey Ballet are no exception to the norm. This iconic ballet company presents not one, but two stunning pas de deuxs (Lorelei and Bells) that represent the elegance, technical prowess and unmatched artistry that their dancers strive for.
This 4PHOTOS explores Lorelei, which was originally created as a dance film featuring Joffrey Ballet dancers Jeraldine Mendoza and Dylan Gutierrez. The film version, directed by Christina Burchard, premiered in the fall of 2018 at the historic Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles. The film festival, supported by KCRW, Live Nation and the Alliance for Women Film Composers (AWFC), put the spotlight on women in the film industry. The program featured the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra premiering ten new works by female composers. One of those new works was the score for Lorelei, composed by Jessica Weiss. The dance film played as the orchestra performed the score, and now Chicago audiences have the opportunity to see it come to life before their very eyes.
DancerMusic Dance Editor Kristi Licera caught up with Joffrey Ballet dancers Jeraldine Mendoza and Dylan Gutierrez to learn more about Lorelei and what it means to perform the work in this year’s Dance for Life. Here’s what they told us:
Lorelei is somewhat of a Siren; she lures sailors to their death with her beautiful voice.
“We were immediately interested in this dance film project when we heard the concept by Christina Burchard. The Mythology of Lorelei is really interesting and I think we felt like a full length ballet version of the story could be cool. Lorelei is somewhat of a Siren; she lures sailors to their death with her beautiful voice. This is what the movement and structure of the Pas de Deux, choreographed by Joffrey Ballet’s Ballet Master Nicolas Blanc, is inspired by.” – Dylan Gutierrez and Jeraldine Mendoza
Find the thing you love, and let it kill you.
“This still symbolizes the sailor’s last breath. Although the story can seem kind of morbid, it echoes the sentiment of, “Find the thing you love, and let it kill you.” That’s essentially what the Sailor in our story did.” – Dylan Gutierrez and Jeraldine Mendoza
…doing this piece for Dance for Life is fitting because Dance for Life speaks for and represents a community that deserves to have its story told
“Working on this project with Director Christina Burchard and Composer Jessica Weiss was exciting for us because it is rare to work with an all-female creative team. We think reaching out and getting perspectives and points of view from the less represented communities is important. The more we do it, the broader and more expansive the art world’s stories become. We feel doing this piece for Dance for Life is fitting because Dance for Life speaks for and represents a community that deserves to have its story told.” – Dylan Gutierrez and Jeraldine Mendoza
[Dance for Life] has shown us year after year the strength and depth of the Chicago Dance community.
““We love getting to be a part of Dance for Life. It’s an event that has shown us year after year the strength and depth of the Chicago Dance community. There are so many companies, dancers, choreographers and creatives that make this community so vibrant, and we relish the opportunity to add to that with this Pas de Deux.” – Dylan Gutierrez and Jeraldine Mendoza
The Joffrey Ballet will perform Lorelei alongside a second pas de deux, Bells, at Dance for Life 2019.
Dance for Life 2019 takes the stage Saturday, August 17 at 6pm at the Auditorium Theatre (50 E Ida B Wells Dr. Chicago, 60605). Tickets are available online at tickets.auditoriumtheatre.org.
For more information, visit chicagodancersunited.org.
Lorelei Trailer from Christopher LaMarca & Kat Taylor on Vimeo.