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Winning Works 2019
Joffrey Academy Trainees and Studio Company
Vessels Bearing
by Xiang Xu
Photo by Cheryl Mann

Joffrey Academy of Dance 9th Annual Winning Works at MCA

By Lazette Rayford

The winners of the Joffrey’s national call for ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American) artists to submit applications for the the Joffrey Academy’s Ninth Annual Winning Works Choreographic Competition presented a unique evening of works that pushed boundaries and challenged the Academy Dancers mentally and technically.

The program showcased the Joffrey Academy Trainees and the Studio Company. The artists delivered a beautiful evening of transformation, wisdom, bonding and unity in chaos. The dancers were able to put their heart and soul into it and take each choreographer’s vision to another level.

“Lineas” Choreographer Edgar Zendejas presented a metaphor of life. The movements invoked a feeling of unity while the dancers pushed to be heard as an individual.

Tommie-Waheed Evans, “Coup de Grace” The piece was a study of the human spirit’s ability to create unity out of chaos. He painted a picture of an apocalyptic world as it could be. The music and the movement drove the intensity to a climactic ending.

The strength of the choreography by Xiang Xu was breathtaking. “Vessel Bearing”  was a study of reverence and importance of the things we do daily and how the simple act of eating becomes an homage to family and culture grounded in tradition. The use of the rice bowl as a symbolism of family ancestry and respect was wonderful.

“Give The People What They Want” was a great ending to the program. Choreographer Marissa Osato’s use of  music and the imagery of how technology takes over our lives was quite poignant. It showed how we present this false self to the world but once we put down our facades we then can bond and create relationships.

Joffrey’s New Works competition is not only building new voices in choreography but creating new artists who are capable in mind, body and spirit to bring these works to life.

My advice…you don’t to miss the 10th Annual Winning Works Program. See you in 2020!


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