Dance From The Heart

Fact Sheet

  • Emmy-winning and Emmy-nominated erformance documentary
  • Hosted by Ben Vereen, and featuring The Joffrey Ballet and Dance>Detour
  • Premiered October 1999

A moving chronicle of the collaboration between The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and the wheelchair dancers of Dance>Detour, hosted by Ben Vereen, whose warm and engaging performance as host earned him yet another Emmy Award. Dance From The Heart follows the creation of an original ballet choreographed by The Joffrey's Davis Robertson, beginning with the first tentative meetings between the able-bodied Joffrey dancers and disabled artists of Dance>Detour and then chronicling their developing creative and personal relationships. HMS' cameras take us to the world premiere of the new work, "A Portrait of Hitch," at the Skyline Stage in Chicago, which leads to artistic director Gerald Arpino deciding to mount an encore performance at The Ravinia Festival, a moment that has a surprising, moving and lasting impact on both the performers and the audience.

Related Information

  • Host Ben Vereen shot his hosting segments in a local dance studio in Las Vegas, where he was performing as Billy Flynn in Chicago, the Kander & Ebb classic that features the song "Cell Block Tango," which years later would be the opening number in HMS' acclaimed First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb.
  • Dance>Detour founder Alana Wallace was featured in a performance work with Mikhail Baryshnikov.