Joyce Theater

Conductor Scott Speck on “Romeo & Juliet”

by Laura Diffenderfer

With performances in London, Paris, Moscow, Beijing, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, Scott Speck has inspired international acclaim as a conductor of passion, intelligence and personality. Speck was named Artistic Director of the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra in June of 2013, and has been Music Director of the Joffrey Ballet since 2010.

We sat down with Speck to discuss The Joffrey’s upcoming “Romeo & Juliet,” for which he will conduct the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, featuring members of the Chicago Philharmonic, performing Sergei Prokofiev's sweeping score. 

What do you try to bring out in the score of “Romeo & Juliet”?

"Romeo and Juliet" and the Hard Parts of Love

by Ada Calhoun

Ada-Ballet.jpeg
A young Ada Calhoun.

Whenever I’m lucky enough to attend a ballet, I find myself remembering how hard I found dancing. As a little girl growing up in New York in the 1980s, I took classes at the Joffrey Ballet at their upstairs studio on Sixth Avenue and Tenth Street. The windows open, trucks barreling up the avenue below, I learned the five positions and did barre exercises in my powder blue leotard until it got difficult. 

It got difficult fast.

“The teacher is tough on you because you’re good,” said my mother, who was a dancer in her childhood. “That’s how ballet works.”

I went with this theory until after some months I began to notice that the teachers were hard on everyone.

The Splendor of Restraint: Five Decades of Work by Lucinda Childs

By Suzanne Carbonneau

There is nothing more thrilling for art-goers than the moment of encounter with an artist whose work is so singular as to make us feel that we will never see art—or the world—in quite the same way again. This is what keeps even the most jaded among us going back to theaters and galleries: the idea that we will emerge different people than we were when we had entered.

That experience of transformation is, of course, a rarity. We can love art, we can admire it, even be awed by it, but not be fundamentally changed by it. That happens only with the work of artists who upend our assumptions about what art can do or be, about who we are or can be.

Lucinda Childs is precisely this kind of transformative artist.