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Francisco Estevez rehearses the White Rabbit in ALICE (in wonderland)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Colorado Ballet soloist Francisco Estevez rehearses the White Rabbit from ALICE (in wonderland).

PwC Presents
ALICE (in wonderland)
February 19-28, 2016
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
Choreography by Septime Webre
Music by Matthew Pierce
http://coloradoballet.org

Interview with Sharon Wehner about ALICE (in wonderland)

Thursday, February 11, 2016


This is an interview with Colorado Ballet principal dancer Sharon Wehner about ALICE (in wonderland). Wehner is in her 20th season with Colorado Ballet and is dancing the main role of Alice in the production. The video includes rehearsal footage of Sharon Wehner, Domenico Luciano and Artists of Colorado Ballet.

PwC Presents
ALICE (in wonderland)

February 19-28, 2016
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
Choreography by Septime Webre
Music by Matthew Pierce
http://coloradoballet.org

Colorado Ballet announces 2016-2017 season

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs announced the 2016-2017 season, which will feature technically-challenging classical ballets, innovative contemporary works and the 56th annual production of The Nutcracker.

Colorado Ballet opens its 56th season with Swan Lake, October 7-23, 2016 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  This ballet features the original choreography of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, set and updated by former American Ballet Theatre principals Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner and Sandra Brown, Ballet Mistress for Colorado Ballet.  Swan Lake features Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s classic score performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.  Colorado Ballet’s production will be presented in four acts with two intermissions.

"Swan Lake is one of the greatest classical ballets of all time, juxtaposing the themes of love and unrequited love throughout the timeless story of Prince Siegfried, the beautiful Princess Odette, the villainous Baron Von Rothbart, and evil Odile,” said Boggs.  “This stunning masterpiece will stay true to the original ballet with revitalized choreography that premiered in 2008, and will include grand sets and elaborate costumes.  Swan Lake will also feature some of the greatest acting you will ever see during a ballet performance with the lead female dancers portraying both Odette and Odile; a feat that is extremely challenging both psychologically and physically.  Whether you are a die-hard ballet lover or have never seen Swan Lake before, you will love this magnificent production.”

The season continues with The Nutcracker, November 26 through December 24, 2016 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The Nutcracker features more than 300 costumes, 30 Company dancers, 20 Studio Company dancers, 65 Academy dancers, scenery by José Varona and timeless choreography paired with Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

“Colorado Ballet’s captivating presentation of The Nutcracker remains the ‘gold standard’ because it is largest production of the holiday favorite in Colorado,” said Boggs.  “This tale of larger-than-life holiday magic continues to be as popular as ever, with nearly all performances sold out in 2015 and 2014.  Purchase your tickets early for this dreamy production that features lavish costumes, exuberant dancing, whimsical battles, hypnotizing snow flurries, sumptuous sets, majestic live music and a little bit of magic.”

In the spring, Colorado Ballet will present a collection of three master ballet works to live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra in Ballet MasterWorks, February 17-26, 2017 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  Ballet MasterWorks includes Firebird, by choreographer Yuri Possokhov, Choreographer in Residence for the San Francisco Ballet and music by Igor Stravinsky.  The ballet is based on the Russian folklore tale of the Firebird, a magical creature who assists Prince Ivan Tsarevich in rescuing the maiden Tsarevna from Kashchei the sorcerer.  The production will also feature Serenade choreographed by George Balanchine to Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings in C.”  Serenade was the first original ballet Balanchine created in America and is one of the signature works of New York City Ballet’s repertory.  Colorado Ballet is extremely excited to present a work by choreographer Jiří Kylián for the first time—rounding out the program with Petite Mort by Kylián with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Kylián created this ballet for the Salzburg Festival on the second centenary of Mozart’s death.

“Colorado Ballet performed Ballet MasterWorks productions in 2013 and 2015 and this new collection of works in 2017 will highlight the tremendous talent our dancers and musicians have to offer,” said Boggs.  “It is so important that we present a collection of master works every two years because it challenges our dancers and showcases their artistry and elegance.  Where else can you see Firebird, Serenade and Petite Mort in one production with live music?  Ballet MasterWorks also shows the caliber of dancing that audiences can see in Denver; proving that you do not need to go to New York or San Francisco to see ballet of this quality.  I am so honored to present these three master ballet works to powerful live music.”

Colorado Ballet will close out its season with the children’s classic The Little Mermaid, March 31-April 2, 2017 at the June Swaner Gates Concert Hall at the Newman Center for the Performing ArtsThe Little Mermaid includes choreography by Tony Award nominated choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett and original music by composer Michael Moricz.  The score includes narration and lyrics with the music to enhance the telling of the story.  Carolina Ballet premiered this version of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story in 2012.  This production will also open with a special performance of Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, choreographed by Clark Tippet featuring a vibrant violin ensemble composed by Max Bruch.  Colorado Ballet first performed the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in 2007.

The Little Mermaid is perfect for families and anyone who enjoys a classic love story,” said Boggs.  “The colorful costumes, vigorous dancing and entertaining musical score will entertain audiences of all ages.  This is the first time that Colorado Ballet has ever presented this classic fairy tale and will demonstrate what it looks like to dance ‘under the sea.’  Plus, the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 is always an audience favorite.  This production is a colorful and fun way to close out our 2016-2017 season.”

Season subscriptions are on sale now and single tickets will be on sale July 15.  Visit www.coloradoballet.org for more information.

In addition to the season productions, Colorado Ballet will perform at the Arvada Center for the Performing Arts in August 2016.  For more information on additional performances, visit www.coloradoballet.org.

Artists of Colorado Ballet in Swan Lake - photo by Terry Shapiro

Interview with Yosvani Ramos about ALICE (in wonderland)

Monday, February 08, 2016

This is an interview with Colorado Ballet principal dancer Yosvani Ramos about ALICE (in wonderland). The video includes rehearsal footage of Yosvani Ramos, Dana Benton and Artists of Colorado Ballet.

PwC Presents
ALICE (in wonderland)

February 19-28, 2016
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
Choreography by Septime Webre
Music by Matthew Pierce
http://coloradoballet.org

Artists of Colorado Ballet rehearse Caterpillar in ALICE (in wonderland)

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Artists of Colorado Ballet rehearse Caterpillar from ALICE (in wonderland).

PwC Presents
ALICE (in wonderland)

February 19-28, 2016
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
Choreography by Septime Webre
Music by Matthew Pierce
http://coloradoballet.org

Sharon Wehner and Domenico Luciano rehearse Cheshire Cat from ALICE (in wonderland)

Monday, February 01, 2016

Principal dancers Sharon Wehner and Domenico Luciano rehearse Cheshire Cat from ALICE (in wonderland).

PwC Presents
ALICE (in wonderland)

February 19-28, 2016
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
http://coloradoballet.org

Fall down the rabbit hole and join Colorado Ballet on an adventure for the Colorado premiere of a ballet based on Lewis Carroll’s books.  Experience a whimsical (wonder)land with beloved, eccentric characters including the frantic White Rabbit, mysterious Cheshire Cat, peculiar Mad Hatter, terrifying Jabberwock and other exotic creatures as young Alice escapes the clutches of the wicked Queen of Hearts.  Featuring choreography by Septime Webre and music by Matthew Pierce, performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra, this ballet will charm adults and children in a theatrical extravaganza!

Colorado Ballet seeks schools for free live streaming of ALICE (in wonderland) performance on February 18

Monday, January 25, 2016

Colorado Ballet seeks schools and educational organizations throughout Colorado and out-of-state to participate in a free remote live stream of its student matinee performance of ALICE (in wonderland) at 10:30 a.m. on February 18.

“The in-person student matinee performance of ALICE (in wonderland) has been sold out since before the 2015-2016 season began, but students and teachers are still welcome to participate through the live stream,” said Samantha Hyde, Colorado Ballet Director of Education.  “Students who would otherwise be unable to see ALICE will have the opportunity to experience a live ballet performance with costumes, sets and a live orchestra.  Plus, this production follows Lewis Carroll’s classic book very closely, so students will learn a lot while watching the production.”

This is the third time that Colorado Ballet will live stream a production in its student matinee series, which brings nearly 2,000 students to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex to watch ballet performances with full sets, costumes and a live orchestra.  Colorado Ballet hosted its first live stream during the student matinee of La Sylphide in October and its second live stream during the student matinee of The Nutcracker in December.  More than 100 sites from 10 Colorado cities and 27 states streamed The Nutcracker student matinee performance.  In addition, students in England, Ireland, Ecuador, Greece, Italy and China also participated in the live stream event.  The majority of the sites were schools, but four hospitals including Denver Health also participated.

“The response we have received on the live streaming of our student matinee series has been incredible,” said Hyde.  “We heard back from so many teachers after The Nutcracker live stream and the students were mesmerized by the dancing and music.  One teacher who works in a dual-language school said it was incredible that we offered a performance that could be understood in any language.  That is what we hope to accomplish with this series; impacting students from all over Colorado and the U.S. through the power of dance.”

Based on Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” with characters from “Through the Looking-Glass,” ALICE (in wonderland) includes choreography by Septime Webre and music by Matthew Pierce, performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.  ALICE first premiered with The Washington Ballet in 2012.  The total runtime of the production including the intermission is 2 hours and 5 minutes.  The 20 minute intermission will feature live interviews with artistic staff and dancers for schools participating in the live stream.

Interested schools can contact Hyde at samantha.hyde@coloradoballet.org for more information, including technical requirements.

Students participate in live stream of "The Nutcracker" in December 2015

Sharon Wehner and Domenico Luciano rehearse Cheshire Cat from ALICE (in wonderland)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Principal dancers Sharon Wehner and Domenico Luciano rehearse Cheshire Cat from ALICE (in wonderland).

PwC Presents
ALICE (in wonderland)

February 19-28, 2016
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
http://coloradoballet.org

Fall down the rabbit hole and join Colorado Ballet on an adventure for the Colorado premiere of a ballet based on Lewis Carroll’s books.  Experience a whimsical (wonder)land with beloved, eccentric characters including the frantic White Rabbit, mysterious Cheshire Cat, peculiar Mad Hatter, terrifying Jabberwock and other exotic creatures as young Alice escapes the clutches of the wicked Queen of Hearts.  Featuring choreography by Septime Webre and music by Matthew Pierce, performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra, this ballet will charm adults and children in a theatrical extravaganza!

International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) conference is this week!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

By Samantha Hyde, Colorado Ballet Director of Education

Get ready for an incredible night - seven of the nation's top dance companies! Can you imagine Lula Washington Dance Theatre, followed by local Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, and with a finale of the unforgettable Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre? This Saturday, Jan. 23 at 8 p.m.--this will be your experience!  The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) is bringing these companies to Denver as a part of their annual conference.

The conference begins Wednesday and runs until Sunday of this week--filled with workshops, panels and outstanding performances. The annual IABD conference is primarily for high school students in dance programs and emerging young artists/professional dancers. It is an incredible time for these students and artists to be engulfed in both the history and current trends of Black dance.

Colorado Ballet jumped at the opportunity to be involved in this exciting weekend! For the first time in 28 years, the IABD conference is also holding a ballet audition for women of color. Several of the nation's top ballet companies will be present and Colorado Ballet is thrilled to represent the state of Colorado in a truly national audition. You can find more information on the audition, including registration here: www.iabdassociation.org/ballet-audition.

You can learn more about the workshops, panels and performances here: www.iabdassociation.org/conference-festival-information-and-tickets. Do not miss this opportunity to witness history and look into the future of dance in this country!

 

2nd Attitude on Santa Fe will take place on February 6

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Colorado Ballet will host the second Attitude on Santa Fe at 6 p.m. on February 6, 2016 in the Black Box Theater at the Armstrong Center for Dance, 1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO.  The performance will include three ballets choreographed by two Colorado Ballet dancers and one Colorado Ballet Academy teacher, performed by Colorado Ballet Company and Studio Company dancers.  The event will also include a three course meal and wine prior to the performance.

Principal dancer Domenico Luciano’s new work, Attraversiamo will feature two pieces of music, “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber and “Pavane for Dead Princess” by Maurice Ravel.  According to Luciano, while creating the new ballet, he selected specific dancers because he wanted their artistic input.  He had a basic idea in the beginning of his choreographic process and wanted the dancers to naturally contribute to the message he was trying to express in the work.  He said that he paired every couple together for a specific reason because he knows the dancers so well and he knew how they would interact with each other, which was a big part of each piece.  The theme of his ballet is a brief look on the dynamics between people; not all of it is smooth, much like relationships during a person’s life.

Principal dancer Yosvani Ramos choreographed Divertimento Pour Six for English National Ballet's Choreographic Workshop in 2002 and for the first time, Colorado Ballet’s dancers will perform the ballet during Attitude on Santa Fe.  The music includes excerpts from “Faust” by Charles Gounod and the costumes are by Suzi Skelton.  Divertimento Pour Six is one of seven ballets that Ramos choreographed during the nine years he spent as a dancer at English National Ballet.  Ramos said that he is excited to be redoing the ballet for Colorado Ballet’s dancers.  The ballet has no theme, but according to Ramos, it is fun, classical work that showcases the dancers performing in it.

Academy instructor and Colombian artist Carolina Pahde-Mallarino has spent the past 15 years of her professional life exploring the idea of “the influence of cultural identity in the creation of art.”  Her new ballet with(in)me is set to "Ode to Joy" from the fourth movement of Beethoven's “9th Symphony.”  Inspired by the text of F. Schiller’s poem from which the words of the symphony are taken, Pahde-Mallarino expanded her idea of cultural identity to that of identity as a whole.  By working with the dancers on questions such as: “Who are you?  What makes you who you are? and how are you different from everyone else?” she takes the dancers on a journey to discover their own humanity.  She starts the ballet by showing the most outer layer of the performers being, then, little by little, through the use of various dance techniques including classical ballet, contemporary and modern, she introduces new movement ideas.  Through these techniques, she reveals other layers beneath the surface until, finally, at the end of the ballet, all that is left is what she calls “original movement,” or movement extracted from the things that make each of these individuals uniquely human.

Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and the performance starts at 7:30 p.m.  The cost including the dinner, wine and performance is $75 and seating is limited.  Performance-only tickets are also available for $25.  To register, visit www.coloradoballet.org/events.

Colorado Ballet hosted another Attitude on Santa Fe event with different works by Colorado Ballet’s dancers in September 2015.  The event was sold out.

Click here to watch a rehearsal from the September 2015 Attitude on Santa Fe:

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