[Interview] The Joffrey Ballet’s Jane Eyre, Amanda Assucena, Promises a “Fearless” Season

Greig Matthews and Amanda Assucena. Photo Credit: Cheryl Mann

On October 16th, The Joffrey Ballet plans to bring one of my favorite classics to life!

“Jane Eyre” is the story of a girl who has to overcome unbelievable hardship to find her own happy ending. Following a terrible childhood, Jane lands a job as a governess for a cold and mysterious man that just happens to be her soulmate. The  astonishing love story has many twists and turns that requires an exceptionally talented person to portray. Joffrey found that talent in dancer Amanda Assucena. Recently, BTSCelebs was given the opportunity to interview Amanda and learn a little more about her and the exciting story that awaits us.

BTSCelebs: Who is Amanda Assucena?

Amanda Assucena: I’m a dancer with The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. In my seven seasons with the Company, I have performed the lead roles in several ballets such as Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Giselle, and Anna Karenina.

What attracted you to Chicago’s dance scene?

I have noticed that the Chicago dance scene is incredibly diverse and supportive of each other. There is always a new performance to go watch and new works by different companies that inspire me to keep exploring my range of movement.

Tell us about one unforgettable moment during your very first performance with The Joffrey Ballet.

My very first performance with the Joffrey was Le Sacre du Printemps, with choreography by Nijinsky and music by Stravinsky. We were collaborating with one of the best orchestras in the world, The Cleveland Orchestra. I remember the first rehearsal of the piece with a full orchestra, and there was a section of the ballet where I could sit and watch the dancers and musicians feeding off each other’s energy, and creating something incredibly powerful on that stage. At that moment I told myself to never take a single day of the amazing job I have for granted. Not everyone gets to live incredible stories and listen to amazing live music on a daily basis, and that’s what this career and the Joffrey has given me.

What was your knowledge of “Jane Eyre” before this adaptation?

I knew about the love story and that it was big part of literature, but not much more than that. I am really enjoying the process of getting deeper into the woman that is Jane Eyre.

Do you share any similarities with Jane Eyre in real life? How do you differ from the character?

Photo Credit: Cheryl Mann

I think Jane and I are very similar in our ambitions. She is someone that knows her potential and knows it takes hard work and determination to achieve your goals. We differ in the sense that I believe Jane is someone who is very sure of who she is and how she deals with situations. She goes through a whole lot of trauma throughout her life, and that shapes her into a strong woman very early on. I believe I am still constantly learning new things about who I am and who I want to be.

What should the audience anticipate from this upcoming production?

The audience can expect an incredible journey of a woman overcoming obstacles and remaining true to herself.

If you could pick one word to describe Joffrey’s 2019-2020 season, what would it be and why?

Fearless. Why? Come and see for yourself!

Click Here to learn more about Amanda Assucena by reading her bio on Joffrey’s official website.

“Jane Eyre” will run for 10 performances October 16th-27th at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago.

A Special Thanks to The Silverman Group, The Joffrey Ballet and Amanda Assucena for the exclusive interview and images. 

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