Ballet 5:8 at Athenaeum Theatre: Navigating Cultural Tension with Compassion

CHICAGO – Celebrating its sixth performance season, Ballet 5:8 will return to the Athenaeum Theatre this November with the Chicago premiere of Compass, presented by Dance Chicago. Ballet 5:8’s Compass features four one-act ballets inspired by the challenges of navigating cultural tension in the present day. From an alien society to 1970’s Chicago, Compass stretches across time and space to explore some of our country’s most pressing topics. At times witty and satirical, and at times deeply emotional, Compass is full of athleticism, power and poetry. A single performance will be held on Friday, November 10 at 7:30pm at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 North Southport Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for students and seniors, and $15 for children. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 773-935-6875. Performance information is available at

A unique professional company, Ballet 5:8’s mission is shaped by a desire to engage audiences in meaningful discussion through innovative storytelling and the beauty and power of professional dance. Compass is based on the theme “navigating cultural tension with compassion” and is inspired by a desire to consider the pressing issues of the day through the lens of compassion. The four original ballets in the Compass program include works inspired by poems authored by African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist, Sojourner Truth, and Pulitzer Prize author and Chicagoan, Gwendolyn Brooks. After the performance, audience members are invited to stay for a Ballet 5:8 tradition, the Talk Back. During this panel discussion, Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director Julianna Slager and artists of the company discuss questions, comments and feedback on the performance with audience members.

Ballet 5:8’s return to the Athenaeum Theatre this November follows the March 2017 world premiere of the company’s groundbreaking dance/film production Scarlet, also at the Athenaeum. Audience members at the premiere described Scarlet, which is inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s American classic novel The Scarlet Letter, as “well done,” “spectacular,” and “brilliantly choreographed.” Veteran Ballet 5:8 dancer Brette Benedict received her promotion to Lead Artist following the Scarlet premiere and will make her Chicago debut as Lead Artist during Compass on November 10th.