Joffrey Ballet dancers return after 6-month hiatus due to COVID-19

Despite no performances, The Joffrey Ballet and Lyric Opera of Chicago donated goods to the Lakeview pantry as part of their PB&J food drive
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Dancers are back at The Joffrey Ballet school after a six-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"To be back in the studios is just amazing because dancing in your living room is quite different than dancing with live music," said Derrick Agnoletti.

Dancers had been taking classes virtually but they say it is not the same as being back in the Joffrey Tower studios in Chicago's Loop

Although, being back is not exactly the same.

"We take classes in pods, kind of the way the NBA is doing a bubble where we are kind of in our own little bubbles," Agnoletti said. "And hopefully as time goes on, and as we all do our part to flatten the curve, I think we'll be able to build into bigger groups."

While there are no performances planned until next year, the Ballet wanted to give back.

Joffrey patrons donated to their PB&J food drive for the Lakeview pantry Friday, with the Joffrey collecting the peanut butter and the Lyric Opera of Chicago contributing the jelly.

The Joffrey was planning an opening at the Lyric Opera in two weeks, but like so many cultural institutions, the Lyric also canceled in-person performances for this year.

However, the Lyric will be doing virtual and digital performances to stay connected with their patrons.

The Joffrey is also considering how to bring the ballet to their supporters during the pandemic.

"These are difficult times, so its about maintaining our relationship and the joy that we bring to keep connecting people to what we do," said Brad Renner, the general manager at Joffrey Ballet. "Once we have that vaccine, once it comes into play, then I think we will be ready and people will be joyous to get back to the theatre."

For now, instead of preparing for fall performances and readying young dancers for the holiday favorite "The Nutcracker," the dancers will get themselves show ready and wait in the wings.
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