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Promise is Winifred Haun & Dancers first evening length ballet. Choreographed by Winifred Haun, the work is based on three years of research and development into the women, images and psychological themes found in John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden. “Promise” incorporates aerial straps with modern dance and 15-20 dancers to tell a story of violence and redemption. The work features music by Maki Ishii, Loudin Wainwright III, George Crumb and Jolie Holland.



The premiere of Promise in October 2009 was presented at the Ruth Page Theatre to much audience and critical acclaim.

The role of Cathy was danced by Lindsey Frattare and Liza was danced by Grace Whitworth. Nicholas Torres danced the role of Adam, and the twins were portrayed by Kevin Dirckson and Joseph Shuman.


The premiere of Promise was made possible, in part, by these major donors: Pam Crutchfield, Linda Clark, Kathy Deane, Linda Meisel, John Buenz, Dolores Haun, Patti Eylar and Becky Lipton.

Promise was also presented in February 2010 at the Cheney Mansion in Oak Park, IL. Pam Crutchfield also sponsored this amazing event.



With major support from Young-Kee Kim and Sydney Nagel, the Company re-staged Promise in March 2015 with updated aerial choreography and a new cast. Company Rehearsal Director, Zada Cheeks, performed the lead male role of Adam, and Company Dancer Ariel Dorsey danced the lead female role of Cathy. April Falcon danced the second female lead and Timothy Bowser and Jesse Hoisington danced the roles of the twins, Cal and Aaron.

Here’s video of Promise 2015:

Promise, Act 1 (2015) from Winifred Haun on Vimeo.

Promise, Act 2 (2015) from Winifred Haun on Vimeo.


Promise at Pleasant Home 2015

With support from Pleasant Home and the Oak Park Area Arts Council, Promise was presented in October 2015 at Historic Pleasant Home.

Earlier versions of Promise

Promise began as an aerial duet, featuring Circus artists Erika Gilfether and Andrew Adams, and was presented as part of Circle in the Square: New Works in Dance Theatre in March of 2006. In October of 2006, the first group section was added as part of Circle in the Square at Pleasant Home. In 2007, Ms. Haun created a quartet section and in 2008, the women’s duet was created on Grace Whitworth and Lindsey Frattare (see video below). In the summer of 2009, six dancers were added to the Company and the final sections of Promise were created, just in time for the premiere of the full work in October.


You can read also Ms. Haun’s journal about the making of the original “Promise.”


Choreographed by Winifred Haun, Promise is based on three years of research and development into the women, images and psychological themes found in John Steinbeck’s novel “East of Eden.”

Promise is our first full length work, and it premiered in 2009.  It  was re-staged in 2015.

These photos, from the 2015 re-staging, are by Matthew Gregory Hollis at the Ruth Page Center.

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