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Third season of Attitude on Santa Fe will showcase works choreographed by four Colorado Ballet dancers

Friday, August 18, 2017

Colorado Ballet’s Attitude on Santa Fe production will feature four ballets choreographed and performed by Colorado Ballet dancers on September 8 and 9 in the Black Box Theater at the Armstrong Center for Dance, 1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO. 

The September 8 Attitude will feature the performance and the September 9 Attitude will include a catered dinner with a three course meal and wine prior to the performance.  Principal Dancers Domenico Luciano and Yosvani Ramos and Corps de Ballet Dancers Arianna Ciccarelli and Kevin Hale will choreograph works for the September Attitude on Santa Fe.

“We are now in our third season of Attitude on Santa Fe productions in our Black Box Theater,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs.  “Every single Attitude performance has sold out and our audiences have enjoyed new or restaged works created and performed by our extremely talented dancers.  We are thrilled to give our dancers the opportunity to present their own works because it encourages creativity and showcases emerging choreographers.  Plus, it gives our dancers additional opportunities to perform in an intimate setting with patrons who want to see new and innovative works.”

About the ballets:

Domenico Luciano's new untitled ballet features a soundtrack by Michael Jones, who is rearranging a classical piece, Andante by Dmitri Shostakovich, with added sound effects and a five minute soundscape tailored to Luciano's choreography.  The 10 minute work features five dancers and will explore the equality of gender.  Luciano said that this ballet will be very different from the previous two pieces he has choreographed for Attitude on Santa Fe.  According to Luciano, "Male and female dancers will be dressed the same, dance the same phrase, have the same movement vocabulary, and most likely partner same gender in a duet.  This will be very contemporary movement, low to the ground, abstract, not really focusing on lines and aesthetic but enhancing the physicality of the dancers."

Yosvani Ramos created his ballet Steps in the Night in 2000 for the English National Ballet's Choreographic Workshop.  The ballet will feature five female dancers and two male dancers to the first two movements of Beethoven's 7th Symphony.  "I have always wanted to do the whole 7th Symphony, which is in four movements, so the year after in 2001, I choreographed the second moment," said Ramos.  "It's neoclassical with strong classical language and a lot of off-the-leg partnering and lifts.  It has a sexy feeling to it."

Arianna Ciccarelli's new ballet is a contemporary piece called What Could Have Been; An Unfinished Symphony.  Ciccarelli said that she wanted to step out of her comfort zone and explore a different side of dance by choreographing a contemporary work first time.  The ballet features two pieces of music: one is a four minute piano piece composed by Wesley Harper, a friend of Ciccarelli's; the second and last piece of music is Knee Play 4 composed by Philip Glass.  "Even though there is no formal story line, I think that we all find/use a part of our lives to relate to the movement," said Ciccarelli.  "I am very excited to share my experience of choreographing with my co-workers and of course with the audience!"

Kevin Hale’s new untitled work features eight dancers and is set to the music of Radiohead from their album “A Moon Shaped Pool.”  According to Hale, “the ballet centers around a robot that is turned on for the first time and is learning everything quickly.”  The robot quickly realizes more about life than it should.  “When dropped with all the other robots, they start to have feelings and subsequently their glitches start to appear,” said Hale.

The doors will open at 7 p.m. on September 8 and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m.  On September 9, cocktails begin at 5 p.m., dinner begins at 6 p.m. and the performance starts at 7:30 p.m.  The cost for the September 8 performance is $30 and the cost for the September 9 dinner and performance is $85.  Seating is limited.  To register, visit www.coloradoballet.org/events

Colorado Ballet plans to host another Attitude on Santa Fe with different works in February 2018.

Colorado Ballet seeks schools to participate in assembly shows

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Colorado Ballet seeks schools to participate in the school assembly show From the Page to the Stage for shows in October-November 2017 and January 2018.

From the Page to the Stage features Colorado Ballet Studio Company dancers performing excerpts from ballets based on folk tales and literary classics while taking students through the timeline of ballet in school cafeterias, gymnasiums and theaters.  This season, Colorado Ballet will feature new From the Page to the Stage productions, with the option for an elementary school show or a middle/high school show.  In addition, the productions will feature a brief excerpt from one of Colorado Ballet’s 2017-2018 productions: Dracula, The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet.

After the brief show, members of Colorado Ballet’s education staff will discuss a variety of ballet-themed topics including how stories are translated into dance, a brief history of ballet, frequently asked questions about pointe shoes, male roles in dance and more.  The assembly will conclude with a question and answer session with dancers from students and teachers in the audience.

After retiring from Colorado Ballet at the end of the 2016-2017 season, former Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Maria Mosina will now take on the role of choreographing the excerpts and working with the Studio Company dancers for the assemblies.

Colorado Ballet has presented assembly shows in schools throughout Colorado for more than 20 years.  Schools interested in booking a show for the 2017-2018 school year should contact Colorado Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement department at (303) 339-1619.  Spots are limited. 

Individuals also have the opportunity to sponsor the program for a school.  “My granddaughter Emma started taking lessons at Colorado Ballet's Academy when she was three years old, said Karen Bruggenthies.  “Sponsoring an assembly program at my grandchildren's school gave Emma and I a chance to share our love of ballet at its highest level with all of her schoolmates.  The students at Rick's Center loved the program!  I have always believed firmly in the many benefits children receive through exposure to the arts.  I also believe that one of the greatest joys in life is being able to share something you love with another person.  Imagine how much more wonderful when you are able share it with hundreds of children at one time!  Colorado Ballet's school assembly program is an opportunity to do just that.”

For more information on sponsoring a show for a school or group, contact Colorado Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement department at (303) 339-1619.

 

From the Page to the Stage performance with Colorado Ballet Studio Company dancers

Get To Know: Alyssa Fazekas

Thursday, August 03, 2017
Alyssa Fazekas

By Kendra Harris, Social Media and Marketing Assistant

Get to know Alyssa Fazekas, a new corps de ballet member with Colorado Ballet. 

KH: Where are you from?
AF: I am from Orlando, FL, but I spent the last couple years dancing in Phoenix, AZ. 

KH: Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
AF: I started at a small studio in Orlando, then spent a few years with Orlando Ballet. After Orlando, I joined Milwaukee Ballet II, then I joined Ballet Arizona Studio Company. 

KH: At what age did you start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
AF: I started at 14. The thing I remember is fear. Ahaha. I know that sounds terrible, but I started at 14, and didn’t even go on pointe until a few months shy of 15. So, my first ballet class I was surrounded by amazing little 10 year olds, it was intimidating, but I remember leaving the class thinking it was still so much fun. 

KH: What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it? 
AF: I'm pretty sure it was Nutcracker. I just remember thinking "that’s what I want to do, all that those dancers are doing, I want to do it.”

KH: Favorite ballets to dance?
AF: So far, hands down my favorite ballet to dance has been Western Symphony. It’s such a fun, carefree ballet.

KH: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
AF: Sleep. Hahaha, I don’t sleep too much, so when I have free time I try to make up for it. I also just like to spend some time with friends. 

KH: What are some of your indulgences? 
AF: Oh my gosh! I love all food. Chocolate, sweets, pizza, all of it. 

KH: Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals? 
AF: I like to have my makeup done super early. Like before warm up class, even if I have a long time before I dance. It’s just so I don’t have to worry about it and focus on choreography or corrections. I also have to put on rosin like 7 or 8 times before I go on stage. I fall a lot (I actually fell really bad the second day of this season in rehearsal).  I once fell and hit my head really bad on stage and ever since then, I overload on the rosin. 

Alyssa Fazekas

KH: What show are you looking forward to this season?
AF: Serenade for sure. (at Vail Dance Festival). It’s always been a dream to get do it, I’m also looking forward to Dracula, I’ve heard amazing things about it. 

KH: What do you most enjoy about your life in ballet?
AF: The freedom of it. The freedom to express yourself and escape from the real world for a little bit. 

KH: Who are your dance heroes?
AF: I have some idols like Natalia Osipova and Alina Cojocaru. But in terms of hero, I think it would have to be my ballet teacher back home Ms. Kim. She’s helped me through every part of my career, she’s like my ballet mom. 

KH: If you were stuck in an elevator for 12 hours with anyone, who would it be?
AF: Getting stuck in an elevator is one of my biggest fears, so I would want to be stuck with a fireman or elevator mechanic. So they could fix it and get us out ahahaha.

Photos: Alyssa Fazekas

Get To Know: Francesca Martoccio

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Francesca Martoccio

By Kendra Harris, Social Media and Marketing Assistant

Get to know Francesca Martoccio, a new apprentice with Colorado Ballet.

KH: Where are you from?
FM: Miami, Florida

KH: Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
FM: I trained at Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, which is actually the oldest ballet school in Miami & attended a performing arts high school downtown. I then moved up to New York to attend SUNY Purchase College where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a concentration in ballet. Then I moved out to Denver! 

KH: What did you do with your summer break?
FM: A huge highlight of my summer vacation was going to Italy for the first time with my mom. We visited little villages of my great grandparents along with all of the expected highlights like Rome, Florence, etc. I then spent a restful month home in Miami and eventually made my way back to Denver to work as a chaperone for Colorado Ballet's Summer Intensive. 

KH: What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
FM: I started dancing when I was six. My sister and I were picked up from school and driven to our very first class together. I remember feeling a sense of belonging & instantly gravitating towards the art form--it became my favorite form of self-expression.

KH: What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
FM: 
The first ballet I ever attended was a production of The Nutcracker when I was seven. I remember getting all dressed up during the holidays and wishing that I could dance the role of Clara one day. Luckily, a few years later that wish came true.

KH: Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
FM: 
Of the ballets that I've danced, my favorite ones are Balanchine's The Four Temperaments & Antony Tudor's The Leaves are Fading. Some of my favorites to watch are Swan Lake and works by Jiri Kylian. 

Francesca MartoccioKH: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
FM: When I am not dancing, I enjoy spending time with friends/family, being outdoors, & experimenting in the kitchen.

KH: What are some of your indulgences?
FM: I truly love pure dark chocolate. I've even started making it myself!

KH: Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals? 
FM: 
Before a performance, I always make sure that I set aside alone time to sustain calm energy by listening to music & practicing meditation.

KH: What show are you looking forward to this season?
FM: I have never danced in Dracula or Romeo & Juliet, which I'm very much looking forward to doing. Closing the season with Ballet Director's Choice will also be an exciting triple bill to be a part of. I guess the answer is...everything! 

KH: What do you most enjoy about your life in ballet?
FM: I ultimately enjoy how my life in ballet is an ongoing learning experience. I am constantly discovering new things about the art form itself as well as who I am as a dancer. 

KH: Who are your dance heroes?
FM: I have been so fortunate to cross paths with professionals that helped shape me into the dancer I am today. My many dance teachers who have nurtured/mentored me are my absolute heroes.

KH: If you were stuck in an elevator for 12 hours with anyone, who would it be?
FM: Definitely my mom. She would be the only person to understand the panic attack I'd be having since we both have an irrational fear of elevators. 

Photos: Francesca Martoccio by Francisco Estevez

Get To Know: Nicolas Pelletier

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

By Kendra Harris, Social Media and Marketing Assistant

Get to know Nicolas Pelletier, a new corps de ballet member with Colorado Ballet.

KH:  Where are you from?
NP: Born in Quebec City, Canada

KH: Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
NP: I trained with the San Francisco Ballet School for 10 years and danced professionally with Alberta Ballet for 6 years.

Nicolas

KH: What did you do with your summer break?
NP: I took a trip with some old friends to Mexico. We stayed on an island and were on the beach every day for over a week.

KH: What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
NP: I started when I was 9 and one thing I remember most about my first class was that as a boy, I did not like wearing tights at all.

KH:  What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
NP: I really enjoy going on bike rides. And I also like to bake when I have spare time.

KH: What show are you looking forward to this season?
NP: I'm looking forward to everything about this season. Everything is new for me and that is really exciting.

KH: What do you most enjoy about your life in ballet?
NP: I always have a goal in mind, and that is to be better than yesterday. With ballet, I can do that and I never feel bored because of it.

KH: Who are your dance heroes?
NP: Davit Karapetyan

KH: If you were stuck in an elevator for 12 hours with anyone, who would it be?
NP: My mom!

Photos: Nicolas Pelletier

Colorado Ballet to perform An Evening under the Stars at the Arvada Center

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Colorado Ballet will perform a collection of classical and contemporary works at An Evening under the Stars at 7:30 p.m. on August 26, 2017 at the Arvada Center Outdoor Amphitheater.

An Evening under the Stars will feature excerpts from upcoming and past productions as well as other classical and contemporary works.  The first act will include a scene from Colorado Ballet’s upcoming season opener Dracula, with choreography by Michael Pink and music by Philip Feeney.  The production will continue with a pas de deux from Don Quixote, the Fairy Doll Pas de Trois and more.  The performance will close with an encore performance of Serenade by choreographer George Balanchine to Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings in C.”  The Company performed Serenade during its Ballet MasterWorks production in February.

“Colorado Ballet kicks off the season every year with An Evening under the Stars at the Arvada Center Outdoor Amphitheater,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs.  “This fun summer performance includes selections from ballets we have presented in the past, ones that are coming up and works that highlight the dancers’ artistry in a relaxed, outdoor venue.  Plus, we are excited to perform an encore of our critically-acclaimed Serenade, for patrons who missed it earlier this year or for individuals who want to see it again.”

Tickets range from $15 to $44.  Patrons who use promo code BALLET will receive 20 percent off covered seating tickets.  This promotion is not valid on lawn seats and expires on August 11.  For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.arvadacenter.org.

Colorado Ballet’s 57th season includes Dracula October 6-15, 2017, The Nutcracker November 25-December 24, 2017, Romeo and Juliet February 16-25, 2018, and Ballet Director’s Choice March 30-April 1, 2018.

 

Artists of Colorado Ballet in Serenade by Mike Watson
©The Balanchine Trust

Get To Know: Sara VanderVoort

Monday, July 31, 2017

Sara VanderVoortBy Kendra Harris, Social Media and Marketing Assistant

Get to know Sara VanderVoort, one of the newest apprentices with Colorado Ballet.

KH: Where are you from?
SV: Right outside of Philadelphia in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

KH: Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
SV: I began my ballet training with Metropolitan Ballet Academy at the age of 12. I spent summers training at Washington Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Nashville Ballet and Colorado Ballet. I was also in the Second Company at Nashville ballet and then joined Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company. 

KH: What did you do with your summer break?
SV: My fiancé, Kevin Gael Thomas, has created a summer dance project called Thomas Dance Project to employ ourselves and other dancers of the company during our off season. It’s also a great way to stay in shape and explore with more contemporary choreography. This summer we had our very own show, Riviera, in the Black Box Theater at Colorado Ballet. We also perform at private events around the Denver area. In addition to performing, I love to travel during the summer break, it’s the perfect way to check out and reload for the upcoming season.  This summer, I spent time in Pennsylvania and in Ashville, NC with family, my fiancé and I also vacationed in San Diego.  It’s always a goal of mine to see the ocean at least once over the summer.  Over the summer, I also try to take a lot of college classes while I have more time to devote to studying. This summer, I finally decided to become certified in Yoga, something I have been debating to do for a few years, and I finish my certification in three weeks!

KH: What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
SV: I started dancing when I was four, but I don’t remember much from that first class.  However, I remember feeling incredible when I received a medal after completing my first year of lessons.  I told my mom that I was finished dancing, because what else could I have possibly gotten that would be better than that medal!  Once one month past, I was yearning to go back to ballet classes, and my mother said okay but you have to wait until September when classes actually begin again. 

KH: What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
SV: Cinderella. I remember the grace, comedy, fear, and joy the ballet made me feel. I had never felt more engaged and intrigued as an audience member ever before.  I remember the Step Sisters, it was the first time that I realized ballet could be funny.  I was hooked to the emotion of the dancers and their ability to project themselves through technical movements.

KH: Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
SV: Thus far, my favorite ballets to perform are Balanchine’s Serenade and Swan Lake, both of which we performed last season at Colorado Ballet.  My favorite ballets to watch are definitely the classics (Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote) I also love watching Balanchine's ballets.  On a more contemporary, side I love watching Netherlands Dance Theater basically do anything, their dancers are unlike any others in the world. 

Sara VanderVoort and Kevin Gael Thomas

KH: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
SV: Between our busy schedule at the ballet, college courses, teaching, and making ballet skirts for my small business SeamsBySara, I don’t have much free time. However, when I do have time off, I love finding a great happy hour spot with friends or enjoy a much needed girls night equipped with cheese and wine.  I also enjoy taking baths, getting a massage, and going to yoga to care for both my body and mind. 

KH: What are some of your indulgences?
SV: Chocolate, wine, Netflix, and new leotards. 

KH: Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals? 
SV: I love taking a nap before heading to the theater for a performance, even if I just lay down or close my eyes for twenty minutes.  I find that it resets my mind for the show, it is almost as if a new day is beginning.

KH: What show are you looking forward to this season?
SV: All of them! But especially Romeo and Juliet, it has always been a favorite of mine!

KH: What do you most enjoy about your life in ballet?
SV: I’m paid to do something I am deeply passionate about...what’s better than that? I am also incredibly grateful to be surrounded by such beautiful people and artists at Colorado Ballet.

KH: Who are your dance heroes?
SV: Alessandra Ferri, and I was lucky enough to see her perform at the Vail International Dance Festival in 2015, which made me love her even more.

KH: If you were stuck in an elevator for 12 hours with anyone, who would it be?
SV: My fiancé, or Alessandra Ferri, but I would probably be too star struck to even speak so that could get a bit awkward!

Photos: Top - Sara VanderVoort, Bottom - Sara VanderVoort and Kevin Gael Thomas by Emmy Gaines

Colorado Ballet presents 2017/2018 Season

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tickets are on sale now at coloradoballet.org!

Colorado Ballet: Where Athlete Meets Art - Featuring Domenico Luciano

Monday, July 17, 2017

Featuring Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Domenico Luciano

Tickets go on sale tomorrow for Colorado Ballet’s 2017-2018 season

Friday, July 14, 2017

Single tickets will go on sale tomorrow for Colorado Ballet’s 57th season, which will include DraculaThe Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and Ballet Director’s Choice at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts.

Colorado Ballet opens its 57th season with the crowd-favorite Dracula, October 6-15, 2017 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  Dracula features choreography by Michael Pink and music by Philip Feeney, performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.  Based on Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror, Dracula features seductive vampires, frightening mental patients and the king of the undead himself, Count Dracula.

The season continues with the holiday classic The Nutcracker, November 25 through December 24, 2017 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The 57th annual production features timeless choreography paired with Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.  In addition to being the largest production of The Nutcracker in the state, Colorado Ballet’s 2016 production was named the best-loved Nutcracker in the U.S. in the 10th Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award contest.

In the spring, Colorado Ballet will present the Shakespearean love story Romeo and Juliet, February 16-25, 2018 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  The romantic ballet features choreography by Derek Deane and music by Sergei Prokofiev, performed by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.  Prokofiev’s music serves as a melodic substitute for Shakespeare's poetry and Deane’s staging of the ballet focuses on the characters’ relationships.

Colorado Ballet will close out its season with a collection of ballets in Ballet Director’s Choice, March 30-April 1, 2018 at the June Swaner Gates Concert Hall at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts.  Ballet Director’s Choiceincludes Pillar of Fire by choreographer Antony Tudor and music by Arnold Schoenberg, Brief Fling by choreographer Twyla Tharp with music by Michel Colombier and Percy Grainger, and a third work to be announced.  Colorado Ballet received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to perform Pillar of Fire.

Tickets range from $30 to $155.  Visit www.coloradoballet.org or call 303-837-8888 ext. 2.  To continue reducing the number of ticket resellers who buy Colorado Ballet tickets and resell them at much higher prices, the print-at-home option for tickets will not be available until approximately one month before each production opens.  Until then, Colorado Ballet will send paper copies of tickets in the mail at no additional charge to ticket buyers.  Colorado Ballet used this strategy for the first time last season and it significantly cut down on the number of ticket resellers.

In addition to the season performances, Colorado Ballet will perform at the Vail Dance Festival on July 31 and August 1.  For more information, visit www.vaildance.org. Colorado Ballet will also perform An Evening under the Stars at the Arvada Center Outdoor Amphitheater on August 26.  For more information, visit www.arvadacenter.org.

For the second season in a row, Colorado Ballet will also have two Attitude on Santa Fe productions in its Black Box Theater during the season.  Attitude on Santa Fe features three original works choreographed and performed by Colorado Ballet dancers.  The Company will present two Attitude on Santa Fe performances in September 2017 and two performances with different works in February 2018.  Information about these performances will be available soon on Colorado Ballet’s website.

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