Dancers From Armenia, Brazil and Utah Join The Joffrey Ballet

edson-barbosa[Chicago, IL] – Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, is pleased to announce the addition of three dancers to the Joffrey’s international roster for the 2014-2015 season: Artur Babajanyan (Armenia), Edson Barbosa (Brazil) and Brooke Linford, a former Joffrey Academy of Dance Trainee (Alpine, Utah). The three new dancers officially began rehearsing with the company July 21.

About the New Dancers

Edson Barbosa was raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and began his training in ballet, jazz and tap at age 10 at Grupo Cultural de Danca-Ilha with Patricia Marques. Barbosa was voted Best Male Dancer at the Festival de Danca de Joinville in 2012, the biggest ballet competition in Brazil. He received full scholarship to study at the Miami City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Washington Ballet and The Harid Conservatory, among others. He was also a Top 12 finalist at the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) in New York in 2010 and 2012, Top 6 finalist at the Beijing International Ballet Invitational for Dance Schools in China and performed at the Opening Ceremony as a guest artist at the Danzamerica in Argentina.

Barbosa was also a prize winner at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland, receiving a scholarship to be a trainee at the San Francisco Ballet School. Barbosa has had the opportunity to work in the San Francisco Ballet’s main company productions of Raymonda, Giselle, Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet as well as Serge Lifar’s Suite in Blanc, John Cranko’s Eugene Onegin, Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella and Yuri Possokhov’s Firebird.

brooke-linfordBrooke Linford was born in Alpine, Utah. She received her early training at Jacqueline’s School of Ballet under the direction of Jacqueline Colledge, Heather Gray and Brittnee Squires. While there, she performed with Utah Regional Ballet and Utah Regional Ballet II. In 2011, Linford competed in the YAGP New York finals and was offered a scholarship to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, which she attended from 2011-2012. Linford then joined the Trainee Program at the Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet from 2012-2014 under the direction of Joffrey Academy Artistic Directors Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik. While a Joffrey Academy Trainee, Linford performed in The Joffrey Ballet’s productions of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker, Stanton Welch’s La Bayadère and Krzysztof Pastor’s Romeo & Juliet.

artur-babajanyanArtur Babajanyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia. He received his training at the Armenian National Ballet School of Yerevan and at the Tanz Academy of Zurich under the direction of Ricardo Duze. He then became of member of Heinz Spoerli’s Junior Zurich Ballet before becoming a Demi Soloist for the Zurich Ballet in 2006 and most recently a soloist at Aalto Ballett Theater of Essen. Throughout his career, Babajanyan has performed choreography by Heinz Spoerli, Hans van Manen, Uwe Scholz, Mauro Bigonzetti, Jiří Bubeníček, Nils Christe, William Forsythe, August Bournonville, Twyla Tharp, Ohad Naharin, David Dawson and Mats Ek.

Upcoming Productions

The Joffrey Ballet celebrates 20 years of the company calling Chicago home in the upcoming 2014-15 season. The season launches September 18-21 with “Stories in Motion,” a one-weekend-only engagement of two Joffrey repertory favorites – George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son and Antony Tudor’s Lilac Garden – along with the Joffrey/Chicago Premiere of Yuri Possokhov’s Asian-themed RAkU.

Following, for its fall production, The Joffrey Ballet brings a newly re-imagined Swan Lake to Chicago, choreographed by one of ballet’s most acclaimed choreographers, Christopher Wheeldon. This production represents the first time The Joffrey Ballet has ever presented any Swan Lake in its almost 60-year history. Swan Lake runs October 15-26.

Both “Stories in Motion” and Swan Lake are presented at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, and tickets are available via Ticketmaster at 800-982-2787 or online at

For more information on The Joffrey Ballet and its programs, please visit


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