The Joffrey Ballet is a dance company founded in 1956 in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, the company got its start performing original ballets created by Robert Joffrey with a six-dance troupe. In 1957, the troupe made its first appearance in Chicago, and by the end of the decade, found their home in New York City.In the 1960s, the group worked with a number of famous choreographers including Alvin Ailey and others. In the 1960s and 1970s, the group flourished under the direction of Joffrey and Arpino. The group found itself taking up residence in the City Center in New York City, performing a number of revivals, as well as original ballet’s including the extremely popular rock ballet Trinity, written and choreographed by Arpino.In 1982, the group established a second home in Los Angeles, where it remained for ten years as a secondary home. In 1995, the group left New York City and moved to Chicago. In Chicago, the group struggled at first, nearly closing multiple times before eventually developing a younger audience and flourishing.The group is well renowned for a number of things. The group was the first ballet company to perform at the White House, doing so under the Kennedy administration. The company was also the first ballet company to perform on American television. The group worked multimedia into their performances early on and were frequently on the cutting edge when it came to adapting new elements into their performances. The company is also famous for being the first ballet company to set their performance to rock music, and also performed the first rock ballet in Russia.Today, the company features 42 dancers, performing everything from classics such as The Nutcracker to contemporary pieces. However, Arpino has retired and since passed away in 2008, Ashley Wheater, who became only the third artistic director of the company, a testament to the company’s loyalty and consistency, has replaced him.