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Nearly three years ago, in the midst of the pandemic, an idea to host an event celebrating Gerald Arpino, his 100th birthday, and his remarkable contribution to American dance came to be. The Gerald Arpino Foundation and the Auditorium Theatre paired together to host two extraordinary performances held on September 23 and 24, 2023. The weekend was a once-in-a-lifetime event that brought American dance companies together to perform some of Gerry’s iconic ballets. His legacy spans five decades, five continents, and nearly fifty works. I hope many of you, like me, were able to experience this glorious weekend of dance. More than 3,200 tickets were sold for the two public performances at the Auditorium Theatre, with over 100 offered through the venue’s ADMIT ONE, its performing arts access program for community groups.

Once I had come back to earth, something I knew but hadn’t thought about in a long time came to mind. The weekend showed us just how incredibly diverse Arpino’s body of works are. The thirteen ballets that were performed over two days, from L’Air d’Esprit to Valentine, from Round of Angels to Light Rain, presented a smorgasbord of breathtaking dance. Then add to all that about 200 Joffrey alumni and spouses who came together for the Alumni Reunion. We met with old friends and colleagues, some of whom we hadn’t seen for 30 or 40 years. Spanning time from 1969 to 2019, alumni traveled from all over the world, some as far as Tokyo, South America, and Europe. Fabulous!

We salute you, Gerry, a true “Maverick of American Dance.”

– Charthel Arthur Estner
Executive Director, The Gerald Arpino Foundation

“...congratulations on a five-star weekend…”

Greg Cameron
President & CEO, Joffrey Ballet

“...I’m so glad I got a chance to see this exhilarating and distinctive choreography realized with such acuity and verve.”

Colin DeJong
piano accompanist

“The program was incredible from the first glimpse of friends at the cocktail reception to the last curtain call and candle for Gerry on Sunday afternoon.”

Quinton Hallett
Former chairman of the board of the Los Angeles Friends of the Joffrey

“...I just wanted to give…a shout out to congratulate you all for such a fabulous tribute to Arpino. It was so nice to see so many of his pieces and realize his range and enjoy his gems. Thank you!”

Tina LeBlanc
Former Joffrey Ballet dancer

“What a positive and inspiring experience for our dancers and artistic staff, and one that will not be soon forgotten. We felt very honored to be included in paying tribute to such a gifted artist and human [being].”

Jennifer Martin
Associate Artistic Director, Eugene Ballet

“[I was] absolutely blown away at what you all accomplished with the Arpino Centennial extravaganza! Truly spectacular, moving, and unforgettable.”

Meg Paul
Associate Artistic Director, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and former Joffrey Ballet dancer

Centennial Sponsors


Company Sponsors

Alex Ewing Trust
Barbara Levy Kipper
Helen Hall Melchior

Executive Producers

Mary Jo Basler
Marsha and Phil Dowd
Patti Eylar and Charlie Gardner
Anne and Keith Moffat

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