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Colorado Ballet Presents: Asuka Sasaki Promoted

Monday, May 01, 2017

Behind the scenes footage of the moment Asuka Sasaki was told she was being promoted to Principal dancer with Colorado Ballet.


She joined Colorado Ballet's Company in 2005, was promoted to Soloist in 2010 and was promoted to Principal in 2017. With Colorado Ballet, she has worked with accomplished choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Eldar Aliev, Michael Pink, Ben Stevenson, Martin Fredmann, Lila York, Shelly Washington, Jessica Lang, Dwight Rhoden, Edwaard Liang and Amy Seiwert. Sasaki has danced many soloist roles with the Company. Her notable roles include, Clara and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, Mercedes and Flower Girl in Don Quixote, Gulnara in Le Corsaire, Pas de Trois in Swan Lake, Myrta and Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle, Fleur de Farine, Miettis Fairy and diamond in The Sleeping Beauty, Autumn Fairy and Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, Red and Pink Couple in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, Soloist in George Balanchine's Concerto Barocco and Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

About Colorado Ballet 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

This video originally played at Colorado Ballet's Firebird Gala.  It features artists of Colorado Ballet, Colorado Ballet Academy and Education and Community Engagement programs.

Nutrition with Arianna Ciccarelli

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Arianna Ciccarelli

If you’ve been curious about how a ballet dancer eats, keep scrolling to find out from Arianna Ciccarelli. She also shares some of her favorite recipes!

My nutrition plan varies from rehearsal weeks to performance weeks but it looks something like this:

Rehearsal day

Breakfast 6:45 a.m.
Chia seed pudding

Snack 11 a.m.
Kashi granola bar

Lunch 2 p.m.
Hard-boiled egg
Toast with avocado

Dinner 7:30 p.m.
Quinoa roasted vegetables and baked chicken

9 p.m.
Dark chocolate or popcorn

Performance day

Breakfast 7 a.m.
Decaf coffee on performance days
Oatmeal with almond butter and banana

Snack 11 a.m.
Cucumber and hummus

Lunch 3 p.m.
Berry smoothie with protein powder

Snack 5 p.m.
 (last snack until after a performance so I have a lot of time to digest)
A handful of pretzels
Piece of chocolate

Dinner 10 p.m. (after show)
Chicken or vegetable curry

Banana Chia Seed pudding


  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup  milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup, to taste (optional)


  1. Mash up the banana with a fork until all the lumps are gone. 
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour. Enjoy!

Lentil Spinach Coconut Curry


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or more or less to taste)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 tin coconut milk (14 fl. oz.)
  • 1 cup water or vegetable stock
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • Juice of half a lemon (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander (optional)
  • salt to taste


  1. In a large lidded pan or skillet, heat olive oil over a medium heat and add onions. Sauté until softened, about 4-5 mins. Add Garlic and ginger, and cook for a minute longer
  2. Add the curry powder, cumin and cayenne pepper to the pan and give everything a good stir so the onions are coated in the spices.
  3. Next, add the lentils, coconut milk, water (or stock), and cover. Gently simmer for about 20 minutes stirring frequently (I find that my lentils stick to the bottom of the pan otherwise). If the mixture looks dry at any point, stir in a few more splashes of water.
  4. After 20 mins, fold in the spinach and cook for a minute or two more until the spinach wilts. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan
  5. Finally add lemon juice and coriander if using, and adjust the seasonings to taste.
  6. Serve with rice or naan.

What’s the most important food in a dancer’s nutrition?

Every person and dancer responds differently to every food! I think that is most important to just listen to your body and plan your meal plan accordingly. Many people assume that dancers are all on crazy diets, but moderation is the only “diet” I live by.  We exercise 6 hours a day, and because of this I need to eat a healthy balanced diet, however I never deny myself of any food! I have a major sweet tooth and probably have chocolate of some sort every day!

Ballet Off Season with Domenico Luciano

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Domenico Luciano by Allen Birnbach

After a record-breaking season packed with four incredible productions, you can imagine a dancer needs time to recoup and relax. I sat down with Domenico Luciano to talk about how he spends his summers off.

What were some highlights for you this season?

Swan Lake. It was my first time dancing the Prince in the full version so definitely that. I enjoyed Petite Mort and Serenade. Also, The Nutcracker was great because of unfortunate injuries, I got to dance with two different partners so I got to experience the stage for more shows.

What did you learn this year?

To keep doing what I’m doing, to focus and work hard and to trust that things will get better.

What are you plans this summer?

I’ll be guesting with Oakland Ballet in May for their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I’ll be playing the role of Oberon. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m not familiar with the company, so I’m excited to meet new people and experience a new company and learn and share with them.

Do you have any travel plans?

I’m trying to go to Italy to visit my family early July.

How do you stay in shape during the off season?

I try to take class every day, yoga, go to the gym, lift weights, and eat better. It’s very important to try to stay in shape during time off, it makes it easier to come back to a full schedule. With age, you learn and gain experience and I learned over the years it’s best to be disciplined and keep it going rather than to let it go and try to pick back up again. It’s easier to maintain and stay in shape through the summer and it helps with injuries.

Words for the summer

Swim suits, speedo and sun!

Stay tuned for more from our dancers on their summer plans!

Ballet Off Season with Tracy Jones

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tracy Jones by Francisco Estevez Photography

After a record-breaking season packed with four incredible productions, you can imagine a dancer needs time to recoup and relax. I sat down with Tracy Jones to talk about how she spends her summer off.

First, what were some highlights for you this season?

For me the biggest highlight was Ballet Masterworks, especially dancing Serenade. It was huge for me because it was the first big ballet I did on stage over ten years ago. To be back doing it again and doing a principal part was a great experience. Also, Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort has been on my ballet bucket list forever. In the past, it’s been hard selling tickets to Ballet Masterworks, so to see the audience’s reactions was amazing. People always enjoy it but it never gets as much credit as it should and I feel this time, it really showed Denver not only those masterworks but also what Colorado Ballet can do and the talent we have here. It was really rewarding. 

What did you learn about yourself this season?

This season, I had the attitude of I need to do this for me and for the audience more so. The past couple of years, I’ve been very worried about what people think of me as a dancer or what the staff think. My focus was on doing really well for other people instead of remembering why I do this art form and that’s essentially for me and sharing that with the audience. That was the mentality I applied to this season. Also, that hard work does pay off. Hard work and perseverance will get you results. 

So, what are your summer plans?

We start with Fancy Footwork in the first week of the off-season, which is a show the dancers put on themselves. That’s always fun to be involved in. Also, Francisco and I have a lot of teachings scheduled at different summer intensives and I’ll be helping Francisco with his photo shoots this summer.

We also dance with a Sacred Dance Ensemble, which combines ballet with ancient rituals and brings it together. Every summer we do it for about 5 weeks. It’s nice because it breaks the summer up and it gives you a chance to dance in the middle of the layoff. I am also the marketing coordinator of that company, which is exciting because I can explore a different side. It’s fun to explore that creativity which is why I like the off-season, you get to do things you’re sometimes too busy to do during the rest of the year.

We bought a new house so we’ll be moving and furniture shopping which I love to do.

Stay tuned next week to hear from Domenico Luciano on how he spends his summer!

9News Storytellers: principal dancer retiring after 21 years with Colorado

Monday, April 10, 2017

This story about Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Maria Mosina's retirement appeared on 9News' Storytellers segment.

Colorado Ballet has most successful ticket sales season in its 56-year history

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Colorado Ballet just finished the most successful performance season in the 56-year history of the organization by breaking both attendance and revenue records.  Colorado Ballet’s 2016/2017 productions of Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Ballet MasterWorks and The Little Mermaid all exceeded budgeted revenue goals.  Colorado Ballet’s ticketing budget goal for 2016/2017 was $3.66 million and the company just ended the season with $4.24 million, which is 116.0 percent of goal.

“This was the first season in our history to exceed $4 million in ticketing revenue,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs.  “Ticketing accounts for 50 to 55 percent of our overall budget, so ticketing revenue is tremendously important to our organization.  We’ve seen ongoing ticketing growth for years; every season since 2013 has exceed goals.  Plus, our ticketing goals keep growing each year and we have not done any dramatic price increases for a long time, which means that we are selling more tickets overall and performing to full houses.”

Colorado Ballet’s ticketing revenue goals have steadily increased from $3.45 million in 2013/2014 to $3.66 million in 2016/2017.
  • 2016/2017 season – 116.0 percent of ticketing goal
  • 2015/2016 season – 111.7 percent of ticketing goal
  • 2014/2015 season – 100.2 percent of ticketing goal
  • 2013/2014 season – 106.1 percent of ticketing goal

"Every other year since 2013, we have performed a Ballet MasterWorks production at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, which explains why every other year, the revenue appears to dip a little,” said Boggs.  “These productions do not historically bring in large crowds, but they are important for the company artistically.  However, this season, our Ballet MasterWorks made 150.5 percent of goal, which is unbelievable.  This increase demonstrates that there is an audience for artistic masterpieces in Denver and that audience is growing.”

In addition to increased revenue, audience sizes have increased during the last four seasons, without changing the number of total performances significantly.  For example, in the 2013/2014 season, 80,035 people watched Colorado Ballet’s 47 performances at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and the June Swaner Gates Concert Hall at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts.  In the 2016/2017 season, 87,263 people watched Colorado Ballet perform in 49 productions.

“The recession hit cultural institutions like Colorado Ballet especially hard, but since then, we have seen steady growth and record sales,” said Boggs.  “In addition to the strong economy, I think there are a number of factors that have contributed to our successes the past few seasons.  Denver is growing, we have improved our marketing and ticketing strategies, and audiences have grown with us as we continue to expand our repertoire, from family-friendly productions to innovative contemporary works.”

In addition to record ticket sales, Colorado Ballet has had other successes to celebrate.  Colorado Ballet moved into its home in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe in August 2014, which has enabled the company and Academy to grow and expand.  Also, at the end of 2016, Goldstar named Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker the best-loved Nutcracker in the 10th Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award contest, a competition which included more than 80 other Nutcracker-themed productions throughout the U.S.

“We have so much to celebrate and every year just keeps getting better and better,” said Boggs.  “Our organization has continued to improve artistically and financially and we’ve been blessed to call Colorado home for nearly 60 years.  We could not have had this kind of success without the support of our community, board, staff, teachers and tremendously talented dancers.”

Colorado Ballet’s 2017/2018 season will include two performances at the Vail Dance Festival in July and August, a performance at the Arvada Center in August, two Attitude on Santa Fe performances and the season lineup, which includes Dracula, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and Ballet Director’s Choice.

The Little Mermaid photos

Monday, April 03, 2017

Colorado Ballet ended the 2016/2017 season with Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 and The Little Mermaid this weekend.  Here are a few photos from the productions.


Chandra Kuykendall and Domenico Luciano in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 - by Mike Watson


Morgan Buchanan and Christophor Moulton in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 - by Mike Watson


Morgan Buchanan, Christophor Moulton and Artists of Colorado Ballet in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 - by Mike Watson


Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 - by Mike Watson


Asuka Sasaki in The Little Mermaid - by Mike Watson


Asuka Sasaki in The Little Mermaid - by Mike Watson


Artists of Colorado Ballet in The Little Mermaid - by Mike Watson


Asuka Sasaki and Francisco Estevez in The Little Mermaid - by Mike Watson


Tracy Jones, Kevin Hale and Artists of Colorado Ballet in The Little Mermaid - by Mike Watson


Chandra Kuykendall and Artists of Colorado Ballet in The Little Mermaid - by Mike Watson

Francisco Estevez and Artists of Colorado Ballet in The Little Mermaid - by Mike Watson


Artists of Colorado Ballet in The Little Mermaid - by Mike Watson

Carson Brierly Giffin Dance Library interviews choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Carson Brierly Giffin Dance Library interviewed The Little Mermaid choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett.

Denver Post: Colorado Ballet rehearsal

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Denver Post shot this video of artists of Colorado Ballet rehearsing for the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 and The Little Mermaid on March 28.  

Video by Lindsay Pierce, The Denver Post
Read the story:


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