One Year in, This Music Has Kept Joffrey Dancers Active and Inspired in the Pandemic (Playlist)

By Keegan Morris |

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Anais Bueno in class (Photo courtesy Joffrey Ballet)

It’s been a long year for arts enthusiasts, most of whom have gone nearly 12 months without seeing live, in-person performances. But that also applies to the artists — musicians, dancers, actors, and more whose performances have been postponed, reworked, or canceled.

February 23, 2020, was the last time that Joffrey Ballet dancers performed together, in the final performance of the company’s mixed-rep program The Times Are Racing. Since then, numerous titles have been scrapped by the COVID-19 pandemic: the company’s beloved, Chicago-themed Nutcracker included. With February 26th's Boléro, a digital-only world premiere choreographed by company artist Yoshihisa Arai and set to the piece of the same name by Ravel, Joffrey dancers are finally back to performing together.

Anais Bueno and Yoshihisa Arai in rehearsal for Boléro (Photo: Matt de la Peña)

So how have they stayed active and motivated in the intervening year? WFMT asked three dancers: Princess Reid, Chloe Sherman, and Dylan Gutierrez, to share music that has helped them through the pandemic. What results is an energizing musical mosaic of classical, hip-hop, alternative, and soundtrack. Enjoy this Joffrey-curated playlist below.




Boléro, choreographed by Joffrey Ballet dancer Yoshihisa Arai, will have its world premiere in a free streaming-only performance on February 26 at 7:00 pm via Joffrey’s YouTube channel. Joffrey will also livestream a rehearsal of Boléro on Wednesday, February 10 at 3:00 pm.