For more than a half-century, The Joffrey Ballet’s commitment to taking world-class, artistically vibrant work to a broad and varied audience has created a solid foundation that continues to support the company, based since 1995 in Chicago. The work of company founder Robert Joffrey (1930-1988) was first seen at the Pillow in 1952 and 1953 on what were known as Choreographer’s Workshop Programs. Pillow director Ted Shawn took a personal interest in promoting Joffrey’s career, and presented several return engagements in the 1950s and 60s. The performance seen here marked the company’s first Pillow appearance in 47 years, after a pivotal season in 1965 which marked their re-emergence after a complete reorganization. To celebrate their return in 2012, the company presented this world premiere by Australian choreographer Stanton Welch, director of the Houston Ballet since 2003. The Joffrey is now under the direction of Ashley Wheater, who was first hired as a Joffrey dancer by co-founder Gerald Arpino in the 1980s.